Mike White wrote and co-starred in School of Rock, but now he's probably best known as the guy who couldn't stop smiling as he raced around the world with his father, Mel. Exhausted from an intense leg in India, they never had time to recover before landing in Thailand. "I think we were delirious the whole day," Mike tells In Touch. Unfortunately, a confused cab driver in Thailand turned out to be too much for the father/son team to handle and they became the latest team eliminated from of The Amazing Race. "You live by the cabbie and you die by the cabbie," laughs Mike. "Our taxi driver didn't speak Thai or English," adds Mel. "I don't know what language he was speaking."
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What was your first impression of Thailand?
Mike: We were so tired the minute we got off the plane. I think we were just delirious the whole day.
Mel: I love Thailand, but man that was a bad return. Our taxi driver didn't speak Thai or English! And I don't know what language he was speaking.
What went wrong for you on that leg?
Mike: Well, you know, you live by the cabbie and you die by the cabbie. We had some amazing cab drivers, but there is a lot of luck involved in that. In Thailand, we seemed to get a guy who really was kind of baffled by the whole enterprise. But that being said, we did make a mistake when we caught up to all the teams but decided not to follow them.
Mel: In airports, we'd try to learn everything we could from people going to the same destination. Everybody in the Bangkok airport told us that the gorilla we had a picture of was located at Patong Beach. I mean, invariably they all said that. So we had it in our minds that the zoo was too obvious, and that was a mistake. Usually the locals helped us, but this time it seemed that they were all in it to deceive us.
Mel, if I recall, you injured your groin during the first leg. Were you prepared physically for this race?
Mel: I have cholesterol and high blood pressure, so I would rattle from all the pills I was carrying as I ran! But an older body doesn't do what a younger body can. So at the starting line, I pretended I had a younger body and I stretched really hard to keep up with the younger people, and it twanged.
Did the race turn out to be harder than you imagined?
Mel: I don't know. It was pretty hard.
Mike: The truth is that my dad was feeling older early on. But our energy levels switched somewhere along the way. My dad got more and more competitive. The more he did well, the more he was in it to win it, and at the same time I started flagging.
Mike, are you proud of your dad?
Mike: Oh, yeah. I mean now whenever I think of my dad I think of him hustling across India feeding camels and dancing. He was awesome and he not only inspired me but the other contestants once they realized that we were not a team to be dismissed.
Mel: Hey, I'm getting proposals from every rest home in America.
What was your favorite part of the race?
Mel: My favorite leg was India because my dad was such a superstar. And I've never been to India before and it's such a beautiful place and the people were so fun. After being in Siberia for so long, it was like being dropped in the middle of a carnival.
Mike: Almost every pit stop involved a cultural moment or event and I loved all of them. But they went by so fast. I'd say to Phil, can't you have them do it again? Of course he wouldn't. But my favorite moment without question was jumping off that cliff and parachuting in the Bavarian Alps. It was so exhilarating to be hanging up there. I'll never forget that!
What was the most difficult part?
Mike: I'm basically vegan and don't eat any of the food that was around. So as it got to the sixth or seventh leg, I was just running on fumes.
Mel: One day we had cheese sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner and he doesn't eat cheese, so he was really hungry.
Would you do it all over again?
Mike: Heck yeah! We're ready for the invite for the All-Stars or a rematch. We'll be there for sure.
Mike, what did your Hollywood friends have to say about your performance?
Mike: Yes, I think The Amazing Race has a different subset of viewers in LA this season. But people were really supportive. Last night and today I got a lot of e-mails from people that were not taking it as well as we did. They didn't seem to snap back as quickly as I thought they would. We had all the teams fly out last weekend and we actually organized a race around LA. Jack Black, Molly Shannon and Sean Hayes popped up along the race to give out clues and Phil was at the finish line. It was just a cool thing just to prove that the race never ends for anybody.