Archive for the ‘The Amazing Race’ Category

Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson

MW: Please introduce yourself:

MA: My name is Mark “Abba” Abbattista but everybody calls me Abba.  I am a music/entertainment attorney based out of Beverly Hills and was a contestant on the last season of the 9 time Emmy award winning show, The Amazing Race.

MW: You were on The Amazing Race 21. What do you remember about getting the call you were going to be on the show?

MA: It was a total thrill!  Both James (Lomenzo, my partner) and I felt this sense that it was almost our destiny to be on the show, we just knew it was going to happen once we applied. 

MW: How did you pick James to be your partner for the race?

MA: Being in the music business we had both traveled extensively together and felt we had the skills that best suited the Race.  It was a natural process that initially started when we were running through an airport and I turned to James and joked that we should go on the show because essentially we were running the Race in our normal lives…except for the million bucks.

MW: Had you really wanted to be on The Amazing Race?

MA: Abbasolutely!  We’ve been big fans of the Amazing Race for a long time.  It’s the best show on television and has 9 Emmy awards as the Best Reality show to prove it.  The whole production of how they bring the world into your living room is truly unfathomable and it was an honor to have been a part of it.

MW: What was your favorite Road Block to do?

MA: The bamboo challenge in Indonesia was great because it showed how well James and I worked together as a team and the Turkish bath in Istanbul was a pleasurable break from the rigors of running the Race.

MW: What was your favorite challenge to do?

MA: Believe it or not I most enjoyed eating the frog fallopian tubes in Shanghai, the rappel to start the Race in Pasadena and collecting the rats in Dhaka.  When do you ever get to things like that?! 

MW: Tell me how you all lost all your money on the 6th. leg and had to quit the game?

MA: You’re confused a bit here – our money was taken by two other teams in Bangladesh and despite the dire circumstances we actually prevailed in not only getting the money back from the generous gifts of locals but we also beat the team that took it.

We were eliminated 2 legs later in Moscow when a taxi driver drove away and stole all our belongings including my passport so we could not leave Russia and therefore could not proceed forward in the Race.  We tried everything we could to get a new passport issued by the US government and then the required exit visa from the Russian side but it just couldn’t be done in time.  It wound up taking six days before we had a letter of diplomatic immunity issued to us that allowed us to come back to the States. 

For the record, we never quit and I’d like to think we were never actually beaten.  We were eliminated by a uniquely ridiculous set of bad luck circumstances that has never happened in 22 seasons of the show.

MW: Do you feel if you were not made to leave you and James would have won The Amazing Race 21?

MA: I’d like to think that, yes.  We were a strong team that had won two legs previously and were hitting our stride but as we, and many teams before us, found out anything can happen and that’s the beauty of the Amazing Race.   

MW: What was your favorite team to hang out with?

MA: We don’t really get the opportunity to hang out together and it just so happened that we never really ran with the other teams very much.

MW: How was it when you were at a Pit Stop?

MA: It’s pure adrenaline as you run in to meet Phil and await the stressful declaration of where you finished the leg.  Once you step off the mat it’s like everything just flushes out of your body, you catch your breath and then exhaustion slams you immediately.   

MW: What was your favorite country to visit?

MA: I’d say China, Indonesia and Bangladesh only because I had never been there before (I had been to Turkey and Russia several times previously). 

MW: What was your least favorite country to visit?

MA: I loved them all!   The conditions in Bangladesh were by far the toughest but we won both legs there and had wonderful experiences with all the local people there – they all hold a special place to me.

MW: What happens when you get eliminated?

MA: You go back to the hotel and cry!  It’s really an emotional ride because you prepare so hard to win and the realization that you’ve just been eliminated is terribly disappointing.

Typically you would go to a secret sequester location with all the other teams that have been eliminated but due to our passport/visa problems we never went there and just went straight from Russia to the finale in New York.  We just made it in the nick of time. 

MW: What have you 2 done since The Amazing Race 21?

MA: I’ve done my best to transition back to normal life.  There are several months between when we finish running until the show airs on TV and I just laid low and recuperated from my broken legs during that time.  Once the show airs it was a whole new experience of people recognizing us in public.

MW: What reality conventions will you be at?

MA: I just came back from the Reality Rally which is a huge charity event for a breast cancer research facility in California called Michelle’s Place.  It’s put together by ex-Survivor Gillian Larson and features 100 guests from a variety of different reality shows.  It was a totally amazing experience!  I got to meet a ton of people, the event raised a tremendous amount of money and I feel blessed by the opportunity that my simple participation on a television show can unite me with such wonderful people in making a positive impact.      

MW: Tell me about being in the music business?

MA: It’s a unique world full of creative people that is a joy to work in – I wake up every morning wondering what’s going to happen and go to bed every night wondering what just happened! LOL

MW: Who have you worked with? 

MA: Due to confidentiality I can’t name specifics but I’ve pretty much worked with all the big names in the metal genre. 

MW: Give me a good story about a rockstar you have worked with?

MA: This guy I know very well, James Lomenzo, who played bass in White Lion, Megadeth, Ozzy and more, went on a television show called the Amazing Race!

MW: Would you want to MC a 3 day rock show here in Kentucky in 2014 as a tribute to Dimebag?

MA: Abbasolutely!  Having known Dime it would be a honor.  He really was like no other – his playing speaks for itself and anybody who ever met him has a story of that day forever.  He made everybody laugh and was a lot of fun.

MW: What would you like to say in closing?

MA: My simple message is Be Dipherent – Be Yourself.  Whoever you are, that’s who you are supposed to be.  Embrace yourself, do things that make you, and others, happy and cherish life.



Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson

MW: So you were on Amazing Race Season 20 in 2011. What do you remember about getting the call you were going to be on both the shows?

MJ: It was the best call I ever got. The first call we got turned us down. Then 4 years later we get the call asking if we was still interested in being on the show. We said yes and it all started.

MW: How did you pick your partner?

MJ: I asked a long time friend if he was interested. He said yes.

MW: What was your favorite Road Block to do?

MJ: When we were in Germany the knolls sliding on the ice that saved us after the speed bump.

MW: What was your favorite challenge to do?

MJ: Putting together the solar kitchen in Salta.

MW: In season 20 you and your partner came in 5th. Tell me about that?

MJ: Yea we had a couple bad breaks health wise and it cost us. But we gave it everything we had.

MW: What was your favorite team to hang out with?

MJ: Jamie and Nary.

MW: How was it playing with Brandon and Rachel?

MJ: They are two of the best people you will meet. They are very competitive. They helped us when we got low on money.

MW: How was it when you were at a Pit Stop?

MJ: You just eat and get some rest. Next thing you know it’s time to start.

MW: What was your favorite country to visit?

MJ: Africa and the train ride thru the Swiss Alps.

MW: What was your least favorite country to visit?

MJ: India was my least favorite.

MW: Would you do The Amazing Race again?

MJ: Yes I would. If we didn’t get hurt I believe we could have won.

MW: Would you use the same partners?

MJ: Yes I would he would back me in everything I do and would look out for my well being.

MW: What else do you do in your off time?

MJ: I coach MANCHESTER Elm football and basketball.

MW: What reality conventions are you going to be at in the future?

MJ: Temecula Reality Rally in April, and The Urban Stampede on Louisville.

MW: What would you like to say in closing?

MJ: It was a experience of a lifetime that we would have never got to do if we didn’t just do it. So I hope it made a lot of people realize you can’t do anything if you don’t try. Thank you for the interview.




Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson

MW: Please introduce yourself?

CL: Chloe Lanier, nice to meet you.

MW: How did you get into acting?

CL: I’ve always known I wanted to be an actress, and I grew up doing theatre and taking acting classes, but it wasn’t until I graduated high school and booked Army Wives that doors started to really open for me professionally.

MW: Tell me about getting the role of Penny on Army Wives?

CL: I was ecstatic! “Army Wives” was my first big acting gig, and I remember my agent calling me and after I got off the phone I jumped up and down, screaming, “I booked it! I booked it! I booked it!” I was over the moon.

MW: Give me a story from the set of Army Wives?

CL: Oh, gosh. On set I’m usually in my zone and try to stay in character, but I have had some really fun times with my co-star, J.J, who plays Hector. He was the first person on set to really open their arms and make me feel really comfortable on set. He’s since become a good friend and I will always be thankful to him.

MW: How is working with everyone on Army Wives?

CL: It’s honestly the best working environment I’ve had so far. Everyone is always on their A-Game, and is absolutely professional. Not only is the cast absolutely fantastic to work with, but the crew is superb. I’ve yet to hear anyone on that set complain about anything.

MW: Do fans of Army Wives reach out you?

CL: Yes, which has been really nice. I’ll get really sweet messages on Twitter or Instagram. I think fans have definitely grown to love, or at least sympathize, with Penny.

MW: What is going on with you in 2013?

CL: Well I just moved to L.A. and am still getting acclimated to the city. Auditioning, hopefully some cool things to share in the near future.

MW: What do you do in your spare time?

CL: I’m a cinema file, so I’m constantly watching or studying movies, especially movies with actors that I really aspire to work with. Jessica Chastain and Leonardo DiCaprio are two of my favorite actors whose work I really admire. I’d like to build a body of work that is of equal caliber to them.

MW: What would you like to say in closing?

CL: If you want something my advice is to go for it! Never give up and never let anyone steer you away from your dreams.



Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson

Let me say at first I do not agree with these 2 girls issues with Buckwild. I myself love the show. Everyone knows reality is not reality. A show like Buckwild is for us viewers to watch and laugh. People really need to get a life…

Also neither girl would send me a photo. If you would like to do a interview with me about why you love Buckwild please email me at or message me here.


MW: Please introduce yourselves?

A: I’m Aleah. I’m 21 years old and I’m a fulltime college student at West Virginia State University.  I am the original creator of the page Stop MTV Buckwild from Airing.

M: My name is Makayla, and I’m 21.


MW: Why did you all create a Facebook page to get MTV to not air Buckwild?

A: I knew about the show being filmed and from the beginning I wasn’t a fan, knowing what kinds of shows MTV produced, but I didn’t want to make any judgment until seeing footage. When I saw the trailer for the show I was immediately appalled by the behaviors displayed. After searching a little more and reading the cast “bios” I realized to myself, wait half these kids didn’t grow up or act like this. That is when I created the page. I knew the falseness behind the plot of the show and the cast, and I wanted to show the truth bring attention that WV residents do not want WV depicted in this way

M: My best friend actually created the page, and I was only a fan on it. I didn’t even know she was the creator of the page when I had “liked” it.


MW: Why do you feel you have the right to try to get Buckwild off of MTV?

A: I think as a citizen I have the right to voice my opinion of the show. I live here and will have to read and hear the jokes that will eventually be the repercussions.

M: As a young adult it is my responsibility to be a good role model for others.


MW: Are you two from West Virginia?

A: I’ve lived in various parts of West Virginia; I grew up in Charleston and lived in Sissonville for a few months but moved to South Charleston. I spent a year on my own in Beckley while attending my freshmen year at Mountain State University, but I’m now back in South Charleston. I’ve lived my entire life here and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

M: Born and raised!


MW: Really what they do on Buckwild can be seen on any given day in America. What is so bad?

A: There is a difference, I think, between the show Buckwild and everyday American life.  The cast keep saying they do not claim to represent the state, but whether they realize it or not they are indirectly. They are on national TV behaving this way and saying I’m from West Virginia.

M: I don’t know anybody who acts like that on any given day. The disrespectful attitudes and reckless behavior is what makes the show bad to me, other than the fact that it is completely fake. I think what makes it worse for me is that I know some of the girls and they never acted like that before, and to think that someone can be bought is just awful.


MW: Are you two just jealous of all the young country girls on the show?

A: I’m truly not jealous. We get that a lot on the page. I have goals and a plan for myself, and I would never do anything that could jeopardize myself with potential employers or bring shame upon my family. I really don’t consider these girls to be country. So they go four wheeling and get a little muddy, big whoop.  My definition of country is someone who has good morals and values, knows the value of earning dollar for a hard day’s work. It is ok to go out and have a few every now and then, but being country is knowing the limit and not embarrassing yourself to the point of being the “talk of the town”.

M: No. I actually feel kind of sorry for these poor girls. These “country” girls that you speak of are far from country. We actually attended high school with three of the girls. They were very preppy and rude, let’s put it this way… if you were country, don’t even think about talking to them.


MW: Do you all really wish you two were on the show yourselves?

A: No, absolutely not. I hate reality shows in general, like the ones where you’re supposed to find true love or whatever but I don’t get what is so interesting about watching another group of people party. Honestly, if they were to film my life it would be pretty boring, I’m a typical full time student with a job and boyfriend.

M: No! There is no way I would want to be on that trash. It would not only be embarrassing to myself, but also to my family and community. I haven’t watched the show, and don’t plan to. I actually haven’t even watched MTV for the past few weeks. There are shows that I would love to be watching, but I would rather not support a network that says it’s okay to be reckless and trashy.


MW: Do you two not party or have a good time yourselves?

A: I’m 21 and a college student. Of course I go out and have a good time, but I know my limits. I think people are getting confused on what the page is all about and what we are against. MTV is making the young adults of WV look like irresponsible, disrespectful, unmotivated, people and that just not true. We’re in our twenties of course we party, we are normal college students.

M: It’s hard to party when you are busy working 40 hours a week, attending school full-time, and also taking care of your house. I do like to have a good time,. but I don’t waste my time “partying” like most 21 year old kids. I have more important things to worry about than what party to go to.


MW: How much hate mail have you two gotten?

A: We get hate mail probably every day, but honestly it doesn’t bother me. In fact the people who send us hate mail are kind of proving my point in a way. I keep saying that people across the nation don’t know what living in WV is like or what the residents are like will base their opinions on this show, the people who send us hate mail are basing their opinions that we are boring or don’t know how to have fun just for the simple fact we don’t like a certain TV show. They have no idea who we are and what we are like outside of the internet, just like viewers won’t have a clue outside of Buckwild.

M: Honestly, not a lot. We’ve had a couple messages on Facebook asking why we were trying to stop the show from airing, but other than that we get a lot of support mail! 🙂


MW: Has any of the cast members tried to get a hold of you two?

A: I talked to Shae Bradley once on twitter, I don’t follow her but I did call her out on the cast bio MTV had posted when the trailer first made its debut. She told me she never claimed they were old friends nor did she live in Sissonville. My point to her was she might not have said it herself, but MTV said it for her and she stood behind it. She never responded after that.

M: Nope.

MW: Do you feel you two are just being busy bodies?

A: No I don’t think we are busy bodies. I just think if people who say they like the show, take the time out of their day to visit our page to let us know how dumb it is then in my opinion they are the busy bodies, especially the ones who do it repeatedly, like Buckwild Fan. I think they posted on every status and shared a few of my links in one day.

M: Umm, no. I wouldn’t say that we are being “busy bodies.”


MW: Now that the first episode has ran it is doing well. Will you all continue to get Buckwild off TV’s?

A: The page will continue to operate during the airing of the show. If we can discourage many people from watching then our jobs are done. Realistically I knew the first season would air no matter what anyone did, if the page was started before production it could’ve been a different story. Like I said though, if we can discourage people from watching the ratings will go down, and then the show will be canceled.

M: Obviously the show is still going to continue to run, but we can hope that there is no second season. That’s our next mission. We may not have been able to stop the airing of this trash, but we can continue to fight for our state.


MW: What would you like to say in closing?

A: I’ve quoted this from my mom several times on the page, If you see something you don’t like or don’t agree with and you didn’t do anything to change it, then you have no right to complain later on. I saw something I didn’t like and think will ultimately have a negative impact for the residents here in WV, so I’m just doing my part to change it. I’d also like to thank everyone who has supported us this far. I never thought the page would be where it is today.

M: I’m not really sure what I would like to say, but I hope all of our supporters keep on fighting.