Monday, 19 May 2014

Amazing Race Winners Dave and Connor: "It's An Out-of-Body Experience" May 19, 2014 03:35 PM ET

After 24 seasons, The Amazing Race finally had its first parent-child team winners when Dave and Connor won the $1 million on Sunday's All-Stars finale. "We feel really fortunate to be the first parent-child team," Dave, who at 58 is also the show's oldest winner, tells "It feels pretty cool. It's hard to believe we're the first." See what else the Season 22 alums have to say about their big victory, how close it actually was, and why they were so hung up on getting U-Turned by Brendon and Rachel.
Congratulations! Do you know how far ahead you were?
Dave: Seconds! Literally seconds. That is not an exaggeration. It might not seem that way, but it was. When we got to Maverick Helicopters, the reason we beat [Caroline and Jennifer] in was because we had our cab pass theirs. Once I got up in the helicopter, I knew that if I found the clue because my helicopter was first, I probably would get to jump first. But it was still so close.

You guys were in the air at the same time?
Dave: Absolutely. Caroline was right behind me. At that point, you just hope that she doesn't catch an extra wind gust or something and pass you. If I hadn't seen the clue and she had, I would've been sunk. It was so fun for us to watch. I kind of questioned who was going to land. [Laughs] Golly! Until it was over, I was on pins and needles still.

I think every team pictures turning the corner and realizing they're first and running to the finish. With the skydive, it was suspenseful in that you didn't know who was going to land, but it took away some of that excitement of the traditional long run to the mat after you land. What did you think of the structure?
Dave: Well, he knew I was first, but he still thought there was something I had to do! [Laughs] He said, "Dad, did you do it? Did you do it?" I said, "Yeah, Connor, we won!" Connor thought there was an extra task, but I had the clue with me, so I knew from reading the clue that once we landed, we were running to the finish. Man, it was unbelievable. I just can't even describe it.

What was it like for you, Connor?
Connor: Standing there, waiting, it was pretty crazy because nobody had any idea who was going to drop first and I totally thought we would have to do something else. It took a long time to actually realize, "Oh, my gosh! That's my dad!" and "We won!" When I did, I was just ecstatic.

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They key moment was obviously when you passed the girls to the helicopter place. Even though they were right behind you, it was so minor, but it made such a difference.
Connor: Totally. It literally was seconds. I mean, if we hadn't passed them, they most likely would've gotten to the clue box first and would've probably jumped first. It came down to those seconds.

How does it feel to be the first parent-child team to win? Are you surprised it's taken 24 seasons?
Dave: Yeah! Really surprised. There have been some great parent-child teams. Gary and Mallory, boy, they should've won. They just got a lousy cab driver. We feel really fortunate to be the first parent-child team. It feels pretty cool. It's hard to believe we're the first.

There's a new Roadblock distribution rule, which you guys took advantage of with Connor doing the majority of them. How much do you think that helped you getting to the finale? You won three legs in a row before this.
Connor: Yeah. I think we played the Roadblocks smart. We stayed within the rules. We just decided if that Roadblock fits my dad better, he'll do it, and if it suits me better, I'll do it. The clue is a riddle, so it's sometimes hard to tell, but I think we handled them well. We kept it close enough as far as the numbers go. It worked really well for us.

Let's talk about the U-Turn. Why couldn't you let it go?
Dave: We made a big deal of it. In hindsight, we shouldn't have. We didn't know how long it would take for us to do the other Detour because we had no idea what it was, so we were kind of perturbed. And we could've U-Turned the cowboys — they were right behind us — but they're world champion bull riders. How long will it take for them to ride a donkey around a ring? It would've taken them 15 seconds. Our only choice was to U-Turn the Afghanimals. In hindsight, it didn't affect us. But in the moment, it seemed silly to us that Brenchel didn't U-Turn the cowboys. They knew the cowboys had an Express Pass, which they used [that leg], and frankly were the strongest team on the race. I think we let our emotions get the best of us and it got out of hand. They are within their right to U-Turn, but we just didn't understand why they used it on us.

In retrospect, wouldn't you say they U-Turned the right people since you guys won?
Dave: [Laughs] Maybe!
Connor: Yeah, I guess so. I guess you're right there. Maybe they were smart.

I talked to Phil [Keoghan] last week, and he thought that you, Dave, should've embraced your age more. You should've been like, "I'm older, but I'm kicking your ass," instead of, "How could they U-Turn the old guy?"
Dave: [Laughs] I think I probably spent more time stretching than sleeping because I was so sore most of the time. You know, it was something. I wasn't using it as an excuse, but if you look at the teams that were left in the final five, I have children older than every one of those other contestants. I'm racing people that are younger than my kids, so it did make me feel a little older. I saw someone had posted, "It didn't hurt to get hit by those bulls" to me, and I thought, "Boy, you don't know what it feels like to get hit by a rugby player." It almost knocked the socks off me.

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Were you worried about re-injuring your Achilles or something else?
Dave: If I was really worried, I wouldn't have gone back on the race. I really tried to be physically in shape to be able to do it. I was far more cautious this time. I didn't push the running as hard as I did the first season and we only ran a little in the first season. I felt pretty good, but I was sore a lot of the time though. Advil and me were best friends.

What was your relationship with Brendon and Rachel like before the U-Turn?
Connor: To be honest, we didn't interact with them very much prior to the U-Turn. They were always at different places on the race. I guess it's partially because we saw how they acted on their previous season, and we thought, "OK, well, we know what to expect from them." They weren't a team we necessarily wanted to be allies with to begin with, but we definitely didn't have any hard feelings against them. We wouldn't have U-Turned them the way they did to us.

Would you have used your U-Turn if you weren't forced to?
Connor: From the outset, we said if we didn't have to use the U-Turn, we won't, simply because we feel like if you use it and you don't need to, you probably will create enemies and it'll come back to bite you in the end. From a strategic standpoint, we wouldn't have used it if we didn't have to.

The Accidental Alliance came out of the U-Turn drama. How much do you think that benefited you guys?
Connor: I don't know if it necessarily made a huge difference for us, but to have those two teams work with us, and they're smart girls and smart Afghanimals — I guess, cousins. In the end, I'm glad we did it. They're both really good teams.
Dave: We like them all so much. It was really great to work with them.

Were you surprised that Leo and Jamal U-Turned the cowboys instead of Brenchel?
Connor: I was a little surprised, but at the same time, I have to look at it from their perspective. Leo and Jamal didn't know where the cowboys were, and ultimately the cowboys were the strongest team. It made sense. Who knows what would've happened if the cowboys somehow stayed.

What will you do with the money?
Connor: [Laughs] That's a great question! I'm definitely going to donate some to cancer research and probably save the rest, try to find something to invest in ultimately.
Dave: Yeah, it's still like an out-of-body experience to win. We've won this, but have we really won it? I'm in the real estate business and I close apartment deals, and I always wait for the check to clear before I can really say I closed the deal. That's kind of how I feel about this! I still haven't even seen [the check]!

Well, I hope it clears soon. You can finally talk about it after five months.
Connor: I know! It feels so great. It was killing me inside to hold this in. It's definitely a relief it's over and I can finally talk about it.
Full disclosure: is owned by CBS.)

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