Mel and Mike beat Jaime and Cara to the pit stop despite being medically removed

On Sunday’s The Amazing Race, the father-son team of Mel and Mike White were eliminated after being removed from the competition during the Detour challenge because they were suffering from hypothermia. Yet even after being treated, putting on fresh clothes, and being driven to the pit stop to be eliminated, they still beat Jaime and Cara to the pit stop.

Mel told Reality TV World that “when we got out — when we got treated, and then we got clothed, and then they took us by SUV to the Pit Stop — it was pretty late. It was raining, and we were just about to get out of the SUV to go up to see [Phil Keoghan] when Cara and Jaime arrived.” He says that means that “if we’d found that frog within 30 minutes or 40 minutes, because they had such a hard time finding the Pit Stop, we could have beat them! So, there’s a little bit of sadness there, like, ‘We could have done it! We could have been in there!’”

In another interview, Mel told TV Guide that Mike (who didn’t participate in post-elimination interviews because of his work on his forthcoming HBO series Enlightened, which stars Laura Dern) “told the producer to pull me out, and the producer came up and said, ‘Your son insists that you get out now.’ I went, ‘Why?! I don’t want to get out! I want to find the damn frog!’ ‘No, c’mon, get out.’ But it felt good to get out.”

Mike told Reality TV World, “I wanted to get back in but they wouldn’t let me and it made me really unhappy. When they finally treated us for the hypothermia and they wrapped us in these electric blankets and all this stuff, I realized it was stupid for me to try to get back in. So I felt sad about losing but frankly, I was a little relieved.” He said that ultimately, “we had lost by simply being medically discharged in a way, so we couldn’t go back into the pond to get the frog. That was my intention.”

He said in TV Guide that if they’d done the ritual task, they would have finished far ahead of other teams, because it was easier, but they were unable to switch tasks “because it had to be done in the daylight, so we didn’t have an option. It was getting dark already.”

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.