Joey and Danny
For the first time in seven seasons on The Amazing Race, there was a battle for a Fast Forward. And just like in Season 13, the losers this time — Joey "Fitness" Lasalla and Danny Horal — ultimately got eliminated. "We just really wanted first place," Joey tells TVGuide.com. "If we didn't do the Fast Forward, I think we would've come in second, third or fourth, but we did it and we have to live with it." The friends say they "100 percent" regret going for it in hindsight, but know they were beaten by Dave and Rachel fair and square. See what else they have to say about their final leg, how close they were to winning the Fast Forward and why they're so much more than a Jersey Shore stereotype.
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You kept saying you didn't want to get beaten by a girl. Why can't you get beaten by a girl?
Joey: [Laughs] I dunno why I thought that. Now I'll never underestimate a girl again!
How far behind Ralph and Vanessa were you?
Joey: We don't even know. They always say "race your own race." You never know how far or close you are to other teams unless you see them and we didn't see them. Once we lost the Fast Forward, we were like "Sh--!" [Laughs] ... However long it took us to do that, all the other teams had a jump-start on the other tasks, so we were pissed off.
Why did you decide to go for it? Did you know when you decided that Dave and Rachel were doing it too?
Danny: We were actually the first ones who chose to do the Fast Forward. We were the first ones out of there. Our cab was ahead of Dave and Rachel's. We said to ourselves before entering Azerbaijan that we gotta roll the dice here and get first. We saw the Fast Forward and didn't even think twice about it. We didn't even read the other clue! ... We kept looking behind us and no team was behind us, and I thought we were the only ones going to do it. But our cab was taking a leisurely drive around Azerbaijan and all of the sudden, their cab flew by us. They got there a good two or three minutes before us.
Joey: Yeah, we still went for it because we believed we could beat them. When we got there, they were getting to the first stack of hay, which was obviously closest to where we got left off, and we took the one in the back. Our mistake was I was throwing the hay down to Danny onto the floor and he was picking them up and stacking them. Dave was throwing them onto the piles and Rachel was just moving them over. We thought we were going way faster than them. Next thing we know, they were done. We went from happy to mad in five seconds. We're not sore losers. Obviously we got beaten fair and square, but I was like, "No way!"
Danny: I literally had one more hay bundle to put on top. As I was lifting, I hear, "They're done" from Joey.
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The last Fast Forward was right next to the Roadblock and you had to take a cab to this one. Were the locations far apart?
Danny: Yeah. I think we knew that whoever didn't win that would probably be out of the Race. We were hoping the places would be close, but it was all the way across the city. But we never give up — you saw that the first leg. We should've been eliminated then, but we pushed through and got a little lucky there.
Joey: We also had to keep the cab the entire duration of the leg and he was driving slowly and didn't know where to go. Other cars were speeding pass us. I don't want to put the blame specifically on the cab, but maybe if we had somebody who knew where they were going or went faster, things would've been different.
Danny: To be honest, if we had Dave and Rachel's cab, we would've been there first. And if Dave and Rachel didn't pass us, our cab driver might not have even found the hay because once we said, "Follow them," he went faster. The thing that stunk was that after the Fast Forward, our cab driver was all by himself, whereas the other teams were together, so those drivers were working together. I kept trying to tell him to get on the phone, but he wouldn't. That put us at a big disadvantage. Like last season — that happened to the snowboarders and they got eliminated.
Do you regret taking the Fast Forward?
Joey: I absolutely regret 100 percent taking the Fast Forward. We talk about it all the time. We shouldn't have done it, but if we had won, we would've been in first place and won the cars. It's coulda, woulda, shoulda. We did it, we lost and it's our fault. If we were brought back for another season and there's a Fast Forward, I'm just gonna rip that thing up because we're not doing another one!
Danny: By the way, Joey was the one who said, "Let's do the Fast Forward." [Laughs]
When the cast was announced, a lot of fans thought you guys might be another Jersey Shore — party animals and obnoxious. But I think a lot of them saw that you're nice guys and grew to like you. Did you see a shift in the fan reaction?
Danny: I think we really changed a lot of people's minds. When people think of the East Coast and Jersey boys, they automatically think of The Situation and the Jersey Shore cast. We go out, we have a good time, but we're not complete animals like that. We got along with everyone on the show. If there was a U-Turn, we wouldn't have been U-Turned because people didn't like us; we would've been U-Turned because we're a threat. But I don't think teams would've U-Turned us anyway because teams got along with us.
Joey: It's funny because in the pre-Race interview, we said we do the whole gym, club and tanning thing. Looking at us from the outside, we definitely look like the stereotypical Jersey Shore guys, but we wanted to break down those barriers. And if we had gotten eliminated that first episode, we would've been exactly what everyone said — "We knew it. These guys are dumb. They couldn't do this and that." Luckily, we made it through the sixth leg. We're reading things online and people are saying, "You weren't cocky. You were nice and enjoyable to watch."
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You seemed to enjoy the Jersey Shore and Team Guido nicknames.
Danny: We enjoy them. People tweet jokes to us about the Jersey Shore and guidos, and we retweet them with a smiley face. And people realize, hey, they have a sense of humor and they know that we're spoofing on it. We're not better than anybody, but I think we represented our families and where we come from well.
Joey: We're also put in a different environment. If you followed us to a club, yeah, you'll see us partying and drinking. Put us in a competition-based setting, we'll compete and hopefully dominate everything. We did a good job showing we're not all about that lifestyle.
Were you aware of the original Team Guido: Bill and Joe?
Joey: Yeah. I actually saw something on the Internet when the cast was announced and fans said there's a Team Guido. I don't know if it was Bill or Joe, but someone replied to that saying, "This is the original Team Guido cast member from Season 1. There's only one Team Guido, so there's a curse out on these guys." [Laughs]
Maybe that's why you lost.
Danny: Maybe! And they were named Team Guido after their dog. But we didn't ask for the Team Guido nickname; we were given it. So they can have it!
Joey: We wanted to be the New York boys. Obviously, we knew people would call us the Jersey Shore team, but we didn't expect Team Guido. I guess people just looked us and went, "Team Guido."
Where did you get your animal hats and '80s glasses?
Danny: We brought those. We wanted to show that we're about having a fun, good time. Looking back, I'm glad we did because our fan base is more than just 18-to-25-year-olds. Little kids are coming up to us and their parents are saying, "We appreciate the way you guys represented yourselves on the show." I'm happy that we showed who we are. We're setting a good example as opposed to the typical Jersey Shore example that's out there, which is drinking, partying and all sorts of garbage.
Joey: We were shopping and saw those and said we'll buy them and if we go anywhere cold, we'll have to wear them. People who know us know that we're jokesters. I would never wear that hat somewhere serious, but we're on TV, I'm gonna throw on a silly hat and stupid glasses and make people laugh. And people did.
Danny: We do wear those glasses at the club. We're not gonna lie. And we have a glasses line coming out, so you have to stay tuned to our Twitter for more news.
What else are you up to?
Danny: We'd love to do something again and show the world more about us. The way the Jersey Shore kids are portrayed — they just party. Hopefully we'll get an opportunity out of this.
Joey: We would definitely love if we could get our own show ... where we travel and do all sorts of crazy things. We had a blast doing The Amazing Race, so we'd love to continue experiencing the world and doing our thing and letting people see who we are.