Amazing Racers Talk Bribery, Give Madonna Horseback Riding Tips
Michael Munoz and Mark Munoz
It seemed inevitable that stuntmen/brothers Mark and Michael Munoz would get the boot on this week's Amazing Race, seeing as they started the leg with a three-hour-plus penalty that appeared impossible to overcome. But unlike their past few bumbling outings, Mike tells TVGuide.com they ran a "seamless" leg that nearly ensured them a final four spot. How close were they? Find out below, as well as get an explanation of their penalties and learn which Racers suffer from a "lack of personality."
TVGuide.com: We have to talk about the past two weeks and the penalties you incurred. Did you not know the rules beforehand, or were you caught up in the moment and forgot them?
Mark: When we were in Thailand, it was my idea to put the pumps back were they belong, so to speak. I thought I was bending, not necessarily breaking, the rules, because they were still kind of in the vicinity. Who could've known they would've tried to pull those rickshaws with flat tires? The cab rides in Bangkok — in the heat of the moment, it was more of a moral issue where these guys had been dragging us all over to get us to our destination and there was no way I was going to leave the guy hanging. The stuff I gave them, I thought they were worth far more than what we owed them.
Mike: What you didn't see on camera was that we did have to square up with the cab that had our bags, otherwise we would've been penalized anyway, which was emphasized. We also got taken by one cab who charged us more [than what he told us he would]. We just didn't know the [penalties] would be as severe as they were.
TVGuide.com: What do the rules state? That you just can't give away stuff you brought from home?
Mark: Yeah, you couldn't bribe your cab with your personal belongings. But if you picked up things along the way, which is what we did in Siberia with jackets and things, you could use those things. But something happened earlier in the Race — misconceptions — that [led us to think] we could use personal belongings. Something that happened in an earlier leg gave us the idea it was OK to barter with our stuff.
TVGuide.com: How far behind everyone were you when you finally got to the Pit Stop this week?
Mike: We actually made up quite a bit of time — three hours — and came in about half an hour behind the fourth team. We powered through the leg. We did dancing because both of us are trained dancers, so we picked up that pretty quick. Our cab driver was just fabulous. She went through Guilin like no one's business.
Mark: Once we got to Guilin, there was a beginning part of the leg where the rest of the teams had spent a night at a park because [the place we were supposed to go to] wasn't open until the following morning. So it gave us a lot of optimism. We realized they were, at the most, a couple hours in front, so we really rocked through that leg.
TVGuide.com: We didn't get to see a lot of you guys this week since they focused more on the fights between Luke and Margie, and Kisha and Jen. Did you know about the fights when you got to the Pit Stop, or did you hear about them later?
Mark: [The Sunday night broadcast] was the first time I'd even heard about it. But it wasn't surprising. You're racing for a million dollars and you're doing anything to get an advantage. It was getting to that point where you could see a lot of sparks were flying, so it was inevitable that something like that was going to happen.
TVGuide.com: Other teams have told me that Luke and Margie have been very devious. Were they ever that way to you?
Mike: We actually got a long with everyone pretty well. There were minor incidents, but we got along. They're being competitive, but as far as having it in for us, nah.
Mark: The only ones who've only ever really had problems with us were Cara and Jaime, and I think that was just due to their lack of personality. That's just the way they were. They carried that on from the beginning to the end. They couldn't help it.
TVGuide.com: A lack of personality? Jaime has come off as a little bit... mean.
Mark: [Laughs] I didn't say that!
Mike: They did have an alliance with Luke and Margie from the beginning, more so Luke than anything.
TVGuide.com: What are you up to now?
Mike: I stunt-doubled Danny DeVito for a project in New York; it's called When in Rome, and that's out Aug. 7. I live in Maui. My wife makes jewelry from beach glass and we enjoy doing that and surfing together. Life is good, and I'm always looking forward to the next job as a stuntman.
Mark: I just finished a kids' movie called Snowmen, and I did a little something in a movie that just came out — Crank: High Voltage. I'm just enjoying my kids and my wife — life in general. I'm still a very active jockey, so I'll keep doing that.
TVGuide.com: So do you have any advice for Madonna on how to stay on a horse?
Mark: [Laughs] Ride a shorter horse!
Mike: A Shetland!