Michael and Kevin Wu talk about the mistake that sent them home, competing as a father-and-son team and more

By Carrie Bell
November 11, 2010 12:00 PM
John Paul Filo/CBS

It was tough for Internet sensations Michael, 58, and Kevin Wu, 20, to admit defeat on The Amazing Race after coming back from last place in a non-elimination round. The software consultant and his son from Sugar Land, Texas, spoke with PEOPLE about misreading a clue and Nick and Vicki’s missing speed bump challenge. (A source close to the show tells PEOPLE several teams experienced time delays due to technical and production glitches in the first St. Petersburg leg, which was marked as a non-elimination round before The Race began. Producers decided that the only fair way to proceed was to not make the non-eliminated team perform the speed bump. They also said teams were informed of the change before racing resumed.)

If Nick and Vicki would have had to do the extra task, would you still be on The Race?
Kevin: Who knows? It could have affected us, but ultimately we’ll never know. We understood why production eliminated the speed bump for this leg.

Did it hurt to be sent home for a clue-reading error instead of something physical, which you constantly worried about?
Kevin: The other teams were athletic and young so we knew we had to focus other strengths. We always prided ourselves on being more mentally focused so it was kind of ironic that the last leg we made big mental errors and incurred penalties that sent us home.

Did you ever at any point realize that you’d made a mistake?
Kevin: We didn’t see it coming at all. We thought we were safe. We had no idea we hadn’t followed the clues right.

Are there advantages to being a father-son team?
Kevin: Yeah. You don’t see [parent-child] teams get as angry at each other or start yelling because you have an established respect for each other. With us, there was a good balance of youth and wisdom.
Michael: Yes.

Michael, you are a man of few words.
Michael: I’m still upset that we lost that day.

Are there disadvantages?
Kevin: The age difference is for sure. Culturally, my dad and I are very different. He grew up in Taiwan and I grew up in America and that sometimes came up.
Michael: The hard part for me was that I had to play both roles – father and teammate – and it was difficult sometimes to decide which one to be at which time.

Favorite and least favorite moment?
Kevin: Not including elimination, my least favorite was having to sit on the ice for 10 minutes and getting frostbite on my butt cheeks. My favorite was coming back from last place and doing well the next three legs and consistently coming in close to the front of the pack.
Michael: My favorite was the dog sledding in Norway and my least favorite was Ghana. I made a mistake and I had to suffer through it.

Is there a particular team you were routing for?Kevin: We liked all the teams, but we really connected with Gary and Mallory. They helped us on several occasions and we told them about the earlier flight in Ghana. I think it was because we related to them most because they were a father-daughter team.

Despite having lived and worked together before on your Team Jumba YouTube videos, did this experience still affect your relationship?
Michael: I suddenly realized Kevin is a grown man. He isn’t 12 years old anymore and I respect him.
Kevin: I also realized my father is a grown man. I really appreciate him being a part of it. He had his doubts going in, but he got on board and supported me a hundred percent because this was something I really wanted to do this. That says a lot about his character. He really cares about me being happy. I love my dad and want to keep working with him. There will definitely be more videos in our future.

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