Call them “The Blondes” or “The Beauty Queens” or whatever else you want, but all that matters is that Dustin Leigh-Seltzer and Kandice Pelletier were incredible competitors on The Amazing Race: All-Stars. The duo’s stated goal was to become the first all female team to win The Amazing Race and they came close to accomplishing this on two separate occasions. Dustin and Kandice finished this season of The Amazing Race in second place, just minutes behind winners Eric and Danielle. The two were kind enough to stop by and discuss their race experiences with us.
Below you will find both the written transcript and the full mp3 audio of our interview.
Were you guys hesitant at all when you were contacted by CBS to do the race all over again so quickly?
Dustin: I don’t think so.
Kandice: Not at first. Not at first. I think when we initially got the phone call we were ecstatic and just jumping up and down at the chance to race around the world again. When the reality set it, you know how hard the race actually is. But we definitely would’ve taken it. We had a great time doing it.
When you first arrived and saw the other teams, what did you think of the competition? Did you see anybody that you thought “Oh, they’re gonna be tough?”
Kandice: It was so funny because when we first saw the other teams like…it wasn’t so intimidating because, like, it’s teams that you know we’ve studied, teams we watched, it was all fine and we idolized these teams like TV personalities that we’d love to have a race with a personality or whoever it was. So, to actually fight people again in a race of our own, it’s like “Oh my gosh” it definitely had the potential to be intimidating. I think we tried to keep our focus on us but definitely we’re getting some very strong teams. Teams like Rob and Amber, who Dustin and I were watching this season for the whole summer. And their tactics! I mean their tactics, they were like, “Oh we should do that” and then when you’re with the people, you have no more game because they know you’re game. So we’re like, we’re just gonna have to be extra focused this time around.
One thing from the season I found most amusing was how people get so upset with you guys for using the Yields. My thought is that you play for a million dollars, you pretty much have to use the Yields, right?
Dustin: That’s kinda what we thought. We were like how great would we feel if we don’t yield our way and we get to the end and we’re eliminated and we could have done something that was built into the game to be used by the players of the game and we didn’t. I mean, how would we feel then? We really did feel that the Yield was something that was meant to be utilized, as a part of the strategy used in the game. Frankly we’re pretty surprised when people that could have used the Yield didn’t.
Kandice: You know what I think, Dustin and I, one of our biggest strengths in this race was being able to separate the game from personal because if you can’t do that, then there’s just too many ties and you can’t play the game. Like, we’ve been using the example of a monopoly game. So, we’re playing the game and if someone lands on your property, you’re gonna charge them. You know, similar thing, it’s just the same type of idea. You use what is built in the game for your advantage otherwise why are you playing the game? You’re wasting your time.
When I talked to Oswald and Danny, I asked them if things in the final four were really sort of contentious among teams as seen and they said yeah, there were some serious conflicts there. Was that your guys feel too?
Dustin: We were oblivious to the tension and energy that was around us. I think what we felt was just the pressure that we wanted to be in the final three because it can be really a mental and emotional game more than anything else. So five teams, I guess we were able to able to use our energy how it should be used.
Over the course of the season, is there anything that was edited out that you wish we could have seen more of at home?
Dustin: You know, every once in a while there’s like a roadblock that they don’t show. What was yours, Kandice?
Kandice: I actually was thinking of Dustin because I’m so proud of her. She, in the last episode, in the final roadblock in Hawaii was to jump off of this cliff. Now it was really scary. I’m kind of the daredevil and I was scared for her and she’s a little bit more afraid of heights. That was usually my job, so when I thought she had to do that I was like “Oh no”. And she just like, without hesitation, jumped off the cliff and I was so proud, I wish we could’ve seen that, you know what I mean. It was such a big moment for her to tackle, stuff like that and little roadblocks here and there and like “Aw man they didn’t show that”. Maybe they didn’t have enough time, maybe there was more fun at the airport.
Last episode was kind of the first time we’ve seen you two get in a significant fight over your two seasons. Was that a product of the stress of the final episode? Where did that come from?
Kandice: There are things that you can’t really see on television like the times we had after. We were in last place, we just ran like about a mile to get to the kayak and our boat kept tipping over and I think what set me off was that my leg was all cut up. By the time we raced to our car, we ran a mile back, so there was just the miscommunication, and the yelling over the waves. Yeah it was hard and, you know, friends fight. That’s really just how it is. I mean, I’m actually really proud of us, that’s all it was. You know what? Over the course of this crazy race you can see how even the best relationships can be tested.
Going to the finish line last night, the final stop, did you guys think that you had a chance of overtaking Eric and Danielle, what was kind of your mindset in the cab?
Dustin: I didn’t think…we didn’t feel like we…you mean after the Mint?
Dustin: I think it was different for both of us. I feel like in my mind I had this feeling that they had enough of a lead on us, that they probably could’ve gotten there before us, but you’ll never know and I was kind of preparing myself.
Kandice: As soon as I left the Mint, I don’t even know if Dustin remembers this, but I had a feeling that just flushed my face, because as soon as we left I was like…and I knew that they had left and I knew it was over. It was just really hard. It was over but then like…I mean my role in this race is “it’s not over until it’s over”. So, you have to think that, it’s helped me out, because you don’t know til it’s over with so many variables. But I think in my mind I did know it was over, but I wasn’t prepared to get second. That was the thing because it was funny because it didn’t hit me until I reached the finish line. We didn’t win. Although I knew, we didn’t really know until we were on the line. I mean, you never know. That’s tough.
Anything going on with you guys personally in the future that you’d like to tell us about?
Kandice: Do you have any offers for us? You know, Dustin and I…we’re both definitely at transitional points in our lives. I just finished school finally. I’m gonna be graduating from NYU, which kinda took a long time because of the race which was fun and because we’re blonde. It takes longer for blondes.
Dustin: I got engaged, which was cool. I feel like a winner anyways. I got engaged right after the race, around Valentines’ day.
Kandice: Yeah, Dustin and I are in that time in your life where we’re open to opportunities, so we’re gonna see, you have to stay posted.
Alright. Well thanks you guys for stopping by.
Kandice: Shoutouts to everyone listening to this interview, if you’ve written out cheers to the blondes, thank you so much. We did our very best to make you proud and to run a good race and we appreciate all the love and support. We really do.
Dustin: We met so many great people over here doing press tours. It’s really nice to see people who take the game for what it is and I don’t know, I feel the appreciation as a woman for being strong all the way around and I think that I hope it would make you proud too. So thanks. Thanks, guys.
-Interview conducted by Oscar Dahl
(Photo courtesy of CBS)