Don’t expect any enlightenment from my exit interview with “Amazing Race” winners Bates & Anthony Battaglia.
The hockey-playing brothers, who won five Legs during this season’s Race, were easily the most physically dominant team on the course and they were able to overcome a few mental blunders, including Anthony’s ongoing struggles identifying chartreuse jelly at a Detour in Belfast. They also won fans with their goofy, self-deprecating humor.
If you like that kind of thing, there’s a lot of that goofiness in this interview, which led me to suggest that the guys possibly may have had a late night celebrating their victory before doing early interviews.
Click through for banter, and only a tiny bit of substance, in the final exit interview of this “Amazing Race” season…
HitFix: During the finale, Anthony said that when you guys were at your best, you didn’t think anyone could beat you. Was that something you guys felt from the very beginning as well?
Bates Battaglia: Absolutely. I mean, we were in peak physical condition. I really didn’t think that we could lose to anybody.
Anthony Battaglia: Coming into it, we felt we were the strongest team before we saw any of the other teams, but then you go through the whole process and everybody gets pretty equal.
Bates: You don’t realize that it’s more…
Anthony: It’s more than just brute strength, which we have. But we’re not the smartest bunch. We were smart enough, I guess. We were smart enough.
HitFix: What sort of pre-Race preparation did you guys do, beyond making sure you were in peak physical condition?
Anthony: The last summer before we went on the Race, we were training to play hockey again, so we were skating a couple times a week and we were always in the gym. And then we were doing different challenges with each other like uh… What color’s chartreuse? And I forgot.
Bates: Yeah. He definitely fumbled on that one.
Anthony: Yeah, we trained me on that one and I totally forgot what color chartreuse was.
Bates: Like an idiot!
HitFix: In retrospect, do you think more teams should have aligned together to talk the professional athletes out?
Anthony: They probably should have. They probably should have got us U-Turned or kicked us out a lot of earlier. But you know what? They didn’t and I think it bit everybody in the ass and we came out on top.
HitFix: Are you surprised that not only did most of the teams not target you in a negative way, but they were actually willing to help you throughout?
Bates: We tried to play a fair game. We tried to be friends with everybody and I think that helped us out in the end.
Anthony: We came into the Race wanting to be friends with everybody and I think it helped. Not everybody maybe liked us as much, but nobody hated us and I think it helped.
HitFix: Beyond just flirtation, how important did you guys feel like Jen and Caroline were to you as an alliance and as people out there to work with?
Anthony: They were a pretty good alliance, but we were just so friendly with them. We just liked to hang out with them and we liked to just help each other out. We were there just to be friend and we helped each other and they helped us and it just worked out. We were just pretty much friends.
HitFix: Were you surprised by how important it became to just have a friend out there when you’re competing and staying up long nights and all of that?
Bates: Oh yeah, it absolutely helped. You can be as good as you are at everything, but at the end of the day, if you have another two heads working on the same side as you, it’s always helpful.
Anthony: Especially when our two heads are like one head. We’re pretty dumb.
Bates: We’re pretty stupid.
Anthony: Pretty stupid-smart.
HitFix: Well OK, you’ve made that joke a couple times and you joked about the “chartreuse” screw-up, but how many times during the Race did you honestly feel as if you had any sort of intellectual disadvantage out there?
Bates: Oh, the entire time. The entire time. Absolutely the entire time.
Anthony: We were the dumbest team out there and we came out on top. We’re two…
Bates: Loud-mouthed idiots.
Anthony: Two dumb jocks. And we beat everybody.
HitFix: I don’t feel like we saw that being a problem on TV, so was that really a thing, or is this all part of the characters you were playing this season and you’re still playing now?
Bates: We definitely played ourselves up like we’re idiots.
Anthony: Which we kinda are, but…
Bates: At the same time, we’re not that stupid.
Anthony: We kinda played it up a little bit.
Bates: A little.
HitFix: The Titanic dry-dock Detour was the most frustrated we saw you guys out there. Was that your toughest moment?
Anthony: First of all…
Bates: First of all?
Anthony: First of all, I tried asking him what color “chartreuse” is and he wouldn’t even help me. So yeah, it was frustrating, because once Bates gets in his mad zone, there’s no going back. He just loses it. But the only way of getting out of it was to actually get the challenge right and to figure it out and that’s what I had to do and that’s what I did and that’s how we do.
HitFix: How seriously angry would you say you were at that point, Bates?
Anthony: He was a 100. He won’t say it.
Bates: I was at a 12-out-of-10. I was pissed off. I was ready to kill somebody, which is weird, because it takes a lot for me to be pissed off, but yeah. I was not happy.
Anthony: He was not a happy camper.
HitFix: And Anthony, what would you say your own frustration level was at on that 10-point scale?
Anthony: I was frustrated with myself, because I couldn’t figure out what I had to do and then he was making it worse, being so mad. He was a 12-out-of-10, but the only way to set things right was to figure out the challenge and I did it. I’m not as dumb as Bates looks, so I figured it out.
HitFix: How long would you guys say it took you to shake off the anger and frustration of that Detour?
Bates: Oh, five seconds.
Anthony: Yeah, once we figured it out, we squashed the beef and we were good to go. We don’t really stay mad at each other, ever. Once he took the Route Info from me like a real angry person, which you could see on the show, then I think he shook it off and we were good to go after that, which was good, because he’s so angry. He’s so angry.
HitFix: Were you guys anticipating more moments with that level of frustration or anger during the Race?
Anthony: I thought there was gonna be a lot of angry moments like that. But you know what? He was actually really positive about everything even though we were in last place a couple times, so I was pretty proud of him. I couldn’t believe he could be so light-hearted. He’s usually a really mean jerk.
HitFix: And Bates, to what do you attribute how level-headed you were through most of the Race?
Bates: Well, you know, because I’m such a level-headed person… No… I don’t know. That’s how I do. I don’t get angry very easy, but when I do, then I get really angry.
Anthony: It only happened one time.
Bates: Yeah, of all the entire Race, that’s the only time I actually really got angry and then we leveled it out.
HitFix: In that final challenge in the ball pit, did the absence of other teams anywhere around make you guys more confident or was there a way in which it made the challenge even scarier?
Bates: We definitely were pumped up that we hadn’t seen anybody. We went into that knowing that we were way ahead.
Anthony: And we weren’t there very long, so we’re like, “We must be really far ahead…”
Bates: We knew we were doing well.
Anthony: The big thing for us was, “Did we do something wrong?” When we show up at the mat, is Phil gonna be like, “You did this wrong and you’re penalized two hours” or something that like that.
Bates: We were afraid, at the end of the day, that we were gonna hurt ourselves. We thought we were gonna do something wrong. We weren’t worried about the other teams. We were more worried about what we were doing.
HitFix: Each of you, tell me something that you maybe learned or realized about the other through this “Amazing Race” experience.
Bates: I realized Anthony is a lot dumber than I thought he was. That’s what I realized.
Anthony: Really? You’re gonna go with that. You’re gonna go with I’m dumber than you thought?
Bates: Just slightly dumber.
Anthony: Well I realized that *you’re* dumber than I thought.
Bates: We’re even on this.
Anthony: We thought each of us was dumber than we thought. You can quote that. Hashtag it.
Bates: Hashtag it!
HitFix: But… ummm… do either of you have a serious answer for that one?
Bates: No. Not for a legit answer.
HitFix: This is your chance, Anthony, to say something really sentimental to make Bates feel bad.
Anthony: Yeah. I hate him. Just kidding. I love him. I love him like a brother.
Bates: That’s because I am your brother.
Anthony: Yeah, because I love you like a brother.
Bates: I am his brother.
Anthony: That’s about all I’ve got, because he’s mean to me. But no. He actually had more patience than I thought. Usually when we’re driving around home and he’s super-psycho driving, I think that’s why I always drove all the time, and he has more more patience than I thought and cool-headed.
Bates: More patience than a hospital.
Anthony: And it was weird, because you were like a blind man at a urinal. You were always on your toes.
Bates: Got it. And sometimes I was like a blind man at an orgy. I had to feel my way around.
HitFix: Each of you give me a favorite moment that maybe we didn’t seen on TV.
Bates: I’m gonna need a minute for that one.
Anthony: A moment.
Bates: Not on TV.
Anthony: I don’t know, but my favorite moment, I’m gonna say, was probably skiing with the crocodiles. I have to say it. I think it was cool. The only reason I say that is because I can say, “I water-skiied with crocodiles.” Nobody else can say that.
Bates: Yeah. Who can say that? Nobody can say that.
Anthony: Not too many people. You can quote that. Hashtag that.
Bates: I made it look a lot harder than it really was.
Anthony: You made it look really hard. You looked like John Candy in “The Great Outdoors” and you almost pulled me down.
Bates: Minus about 150 pounds.
Anthony: Don’t touch my rope. Don’t touch my rope, bro.