This week on The Amazing Race friends Joey “Fitness” Lasalla and Danny Horal of New York saw their time on the CBS reality series come to an end after making the decision to go for the Fast Forward.
Although Joey “Fitness” and Danny were strong competitors all season on The Amazing Race, the race fate of the two friends was sealed when Rachel and Dave were quicker to stack hay in Azerbaijan while competing for the Fast Forward. As a result of losing the Fast Forward, Joey and Danny had to make up time for the entire leg in an effort to become the comeback kids for another time on the race. Despite making up some lost time this week on The Amazing Race, Joey and Danny hit the mat in last place after searching through a car full of apples and cruising through a watery helicopter rescue inside a swimming pool.
The day after their elimination from The Amazing Race, The Deadbolt caught up with Joey “Fitness” and Danny to look back on the race, learn more about what went wrong, how their family and friends reacted to their time on the show, and how Joey and Danny broke out of the Jersey Shore stereotype.
THE DEADBOLT: So, how hard was it to stack the hay for the Fast Forward?
JOEY “FITNESS” LASALLA: It didn’t seem that hard as it was time consuming. I was up on the truck and I didn’t want to fall over. When I was throwing the hay down to Danny, it was a little unstable. Maybe I wasn’t going as fast as I should have been going but I was just throwing them down to Danny and he was stacking them up.
THE DEADBOLT: Were you guys surprised that Rachel got through it so quick?
JOEY “FITNESS”: I was actually very surprised. I was talking to Danny that we’re going at a fast pace but Rachel kept yelling out, “They’re killing us, Dave! They’re killing us!” We definitely felt that we were ahead. The next thing you know, Rachel and Dave are screaming that they’re done. We were in utter disbelief and we couldn’t believe it.
THE DEADBOLT: How far back were you in the end behind the others?
DANNY HORAL: The problem was – I don’t know if you grasp it on TV – our cab really hurt us a lot. First off, we were the first team out of the temple to go toward the Fast Forward. We thought no other team was behind us to go for the Fast Forward. All of a sudden, Dave and Rachel passed us and they arrived at the Fast Forward about a minute or two before us. So, that was one advantage.
Then our cab driver had no clue and there was a total language barrier. He spoke no English. Now our cab driver is working all by himself, alone, as opposed to all of the other teams who are going to the same place together, working with their cab drivers to get to those places and to find out where they are. We were kind of like a lost child out there.
THE DEADBOLT: When you got to the apples, did you feel you still had a shot?
JOEY “FITNESS”: When we were going through the Detour and the Roadblock, there were no other teams around. So we weren’t sure how close or how far we were, behind or near anybody. We were just trying to speed through everything. You get a good feeling when you see at least one or two teams there with you. At least you know there are one or two teams around you, so you maybe have a chance. We really had no clue whether we were five hours behind or thirty minutes behind. In the end, we were really unsure.
THE DEADBOLT: So, what was it like in that rescue pool?
JOEY “FITNESS”: It wasn’t bad. Just watching it on TV, it seemed like some of the other teams were nervous. I’ve always been around water, I used to surf a lot and do some life-guarding and I grew up on the beach. I’ve held my breath numerous times underwater, so that was pretty simple. The only thing that can get people wary is when you’re strapped in a seat belt and you know you have to get out. It’s not like you’re holding your breath underwater just to have a good time, you’re strapped in there and you’re upside down. But if you don’t panic and just try to get through it quickly, that’s what I did.
THE DEADBOLT: What did your family and friends think when they saw the show?
DANNY: When they first saw that we were on the show, period, they were really surprised. A lot of people didn’t expect two guys like me and Joey to go travel the world and do the things we did. They kind of stereotyped us – like a lot of people did after the first episode – as the Jersey Shore guys. All they do is party, drink, hook up with girls, and all of that.
But I think we kind of put that stereotype to the side and showed that there’s more to a couple of guys from New York in their twenties who can do the things we did, like travel the world and not just party like the Jersey Shore type kids.
THE DEADBOLT: Is there anything that wasn’t aired on TV that you wish we saw from the race?
JOEY “FITNESS”: I would say the leg that we were stacking the watermelons. Danny and I were actually fighting a lot, just minor bickering, and he threw a hammer at me. We thought they’d show that. That would have been funny. People never see me and Danny arguing since we’ve been good friends for a long time. We were there for hours stacking those watermelons and it was hot outside and we were just getting really frustrated. I remember he was trying to do something and I was yelling at him and he threw the hammer at me.
DANNY: I wish they did show the hammer thing, because I was right about what we supposed to be doing. [laughs] A lot of the stuff that you don’t see, you don’t see how grueling the show really is. We were sleeping in airports and train stations and they leave that out. You wonder, why do these people look like they’re so gassed when they get to these areas? Maybe it’s because we were sleeping on a cold tile floor for eight hours waiting for a plane. It takes a lot out of you.
JOEY “FITNESS”: Aside from sleeping on the floors, just the traveling, too. You’ll see on TV where they’ll show us on the bus from Point A to Point B. Meanwhile we’re been on the bus for eighteen hours. You’re just trekking and traveling on different flights. On TV it looks like two seconds. They’re flying from Argentina to Paraguay to Germany. In reality, we’re running through airports, racing to Customs, and it takes a toll on your body. You’re never getting a good night’s sleep. You’re either sleeping on a plane or not sleeping at all.