The Amazing Race has included gay people from its very first season when Team Guido raced into the final three. Reichen and Chip won the big prize in Season 3 and, of course, there have been others along the way. One of the most beloved teams of all times, however, has to be Danny and Oswald from Season 2. The gay best friends shopped their way into our hearts while remaining formidable opponents. AfterElton.com had the chance to talk to them following their elimination from Sunday night’s episode of The Amazing Race: All Stars.
AfterElton.com: Hi guys! Thanks so much for talking to us.
Danny: Just know this. The majority of the talking is usually done by my big-mouthed friend Oswald. When in doubt, it's Oswald.
Oswald: If it's anything raunchy, it's Danny. [Danny laughs]
AE: Got it. You're my favorite team ever on The Amazing Race. I was so sorry to see you eliminated last night. I was really rooting for you.
Both: Thank you, Josh!
Oswald: We really enjoyed it.
Danny: Josh, I've never dated a Josh.
AE: You've never dated a Josh?
Danny: No. So I'm coming on to you, just so you know.
AE: You don't know what you're missing.
Danny: You sound really hot.
AE: [laughs] Why thank you.
Oswald: So, Josh, do you have any questions for us?
AE: As a matter of fact, I do. This was your second time on The Amazing Race. How did this experience differ from your first time?
Danny: Go ahead. You know you want to answer it. [laughs]
Oswald: I think what we wanted to do this time around is be a little more competitive than the last time we were on.
Danny: He joined a gym.
Oswald: No, Danny. We wanted to come in and maintain our style, which is a little more laid back than other people, but we also wanted to show that we were in it to win it. And I think we did that.
AE: The show seemed a lot more comfortable with gay content this time around, showing Bill and Joe kissing, you guys hugging and being campy. Did it seem that way to you as well?
Danny: We were the first to kiss on the mat. Bill and Joe are just Johnny-come-latelies. They saw us do it, and therefore thought they could do it too. And we chased Phil around the mat. They didn't even try to chase Phil. And by the way, they've had enough plastic surgery to pay for a whole new state. Oswald: Oh, quit it. I think, the whole idea of the show being more comfortable with gay content, I think it's admirable that CBS is actually taking a step in doing so. They showed us, not coming in and marching with a rainbow flag and standing on any particular platform, but just showed gay people in very ordinary circumstance without having to say "I'm gay" in every single episode.
AE: You guys have a great chemistry. A lot of people are wondering why you don't date. Have you ever considered it?
Danny: Here we go with the dating question again!
Oswald: It would be incestuous if we dated.
Danny: I wouldn't want to lose my best friend. You date temporarily.
Oswald: Best friends forever.
AE: On The Amazing Race website you did an interview in which you listed all the things you were going to do after the race. One of the things you mentioned was, um, finding male companionship. How has that gone?
Oswald: Slow? I have a male companion. We've been dating for three months. Danny: You know what I call him?
Oswald: Oh my God.
Danny: An inconvenient truth, because he's come in the middle of my fun. Now Oswald's home reading the Bible as opposed to going out with me.
Oswald: I'm not. Danny finds male companionship as well… on a regular basis.
AE: You've been best friends for 12 years. What the secret to maintaining a lasting friendship?
Danny: Tolerance. [laughs]
Oswald: Actually, you know what? He's joking but all it really takes is a dash of patience and a lot of respect for each other.
Danny: That is the recipe. That came out of our grandmother's book.
Oswald: Patience and respect is something that is incredibly important. The fact is we're both very different people. We find common ground when we're together, we have a lot of fun, but like everybody, we have our disagreements. When you have a disagreement with someone, they bring things to respect to each other, not belittle one another. That's the key.
AE: Even in this season, you seem to have such a different philosophy from the other racers who were so focused on the money and seemed to fight so much more. Where does that attitude come from? Does it have anything to do with being gay or does it have more to do with your personalities?
Oswald: Actually, I think it has more to do with the fact that we both come from a communist country in which, when our families were growing up, they were quite comfortable. Then overnight, they lost everything when the country was nationalized. So for us, while we do enjoy the nicer things in life, we keep it in perspective that it's here today and gone tomorrow. The key is to really enjoy—
Danny: Enjoy the moment. You have to live for the moment. I remember many legs of this race where I just paused and took in where I was at. I don't think that a lot of people do that. They just go through the motions and they forget what it is that they're doing in life. Just take in the beauty.
AE: You seemed to have a wonderful rapport with Phil. I especially loved the week you chased him around the Pit Stop covered in coal. Were you two flirting with Phil?
Danny: We were flirting with Phil. I would love to be in Phil's pants. [laughs]
Oswald: And by that he means he wants to stand on the mat to welcome all the racers.
Danny: Yeah, that's it.
Oswald: Phil's very playful. He's a really cool guy.
Danny: A great guy. We actually watched our last elimination at his house.
Oswald: From season two. By the way, that leg of the race you mentioned, where we did the coal, that was also a very important leg for us. We actually happened to be in Maputo on World AIDS Day. Again, kudos to CBS for showing that we did stuff when the parade was going through handing out the condoms and encouraging people in Africa to get tested, raising the awareness of something that is so important. We dedicated that leg to the memory of Danny's partner Nelson who passed away a few years ago. It was sort of divine intervention that we were there on that day, and maybe, in some small way, we were able to bring attention to such an important cause around the world.
AE: You guys touched on this a little earlier, but what did you think about the other gay team on TAR – Bill and Joe?
Danny: They have an ugly dog. I have the Hilton sisters, Sabrina and Samantha. Much prettier dogs. I didn't bring them on TV because once you put an ugly dog on The Early Show [on CBS] you can't bring pretty dogs, so I left my dogs at home. I thought it would be too gay for the two gay teams to both bring their dogs. They ruined it for the Hilton sisters, but that's okay.
Oswald: I think there's a dog rivalry going on here.
Danny: Have you seen that rat? Come on.
Oswald: Poor Guido. He's getting old.
Danny: He looks bad. He should have plastic surgery like his dads.
Oswald: Shut up.
AE: What do you think of Eric and his interactions with Bill and Joe? How was he with you? Was he as much of a jerk as he came across?
Oswald: He's a f**king a**hole. Eric came across as a homophobe. And you know what? It's really sad to hear that from somebody who has made a living from the gay community by working in gay bars. I'm just surprised that he made those comments. I mean, you can make some comments because we can make fun of ourselves, but he just took it too far.
Danny: I agree with that.
AE: It's been great to have such strong representation of Hispanic gay men on television. Do you see yourselves as role models?
Oswald: We went in to represent ourselves. What we wanted to do, for the most part, was have our families be proud of us. They're the most important thing in our lives.
Oswald: And that's what we were representing: the values and principles that our families have instilled in us. Whether we are a positive gay role model or positive Cuban-American role model, that's something we'll leave for the people to decide. We just wanted to represent our families well.
AE: You teamed up with Mirna and Charla at one point, much to dismay of your fans, and when you were eliminated you told Phil you hope they win. What did you really think of the cousins?
Oswald: Again, we don't see what happens when people are racing individually. We basically only see the interaction when we're with them, and our interaction with them was very positive. We recognize that Mirna is a bit pushy and she does have the funniest accents when speaking to the locals. I didn't know you had to put on an Italian accent to have people understand you in Macau. Hey, you never know. The thing is with them is they were trying so desperately to win, and they were so perseverant. They were giving it their all. Taking into account Charla's height impairment…we thought it was admirable that they came to win and represent themselves. So…that's the reason why we were rooting for them.
AE: Do you regret accepting the money from Dustin and Kandace to yield Eric and Danielle?
Danny: Absolutely not. No. We needed that money. Even though we thought karma did affect us, we wouldn't have been able to finish that leg without the money. It was a catch-22. We were up against the wall. You need money to get a cab, and if you don't have it, there's no way you're going to get to the Pit Stop.
Oswald: Danny said something interesting when we were in that leg and we were both a little down and out. He said, "Look, if you were playing monopoly and your best friend landed on your house, you would charge them rent. That's the rules of the game." Here, the Yield is one of the elements of the game that is put here for your usage. We shouldn't feel guilty for using it. And we used it in a smart way, to recuperate some funds that we had lost.
Danny: I thought it was ingenious. Who thinks of selling a Yield?
AE: If you could race against any team, either from All Stars or any other season, who would it be?
Oswald: I don't know. Who would I want to race? You know what would be fun… a Celebrity All-Stars.
Oswald: That's Danny's type. Not really mine.
Danny: Oh! Like you would have kicked him out of bed.
Oswald: Maybe. But, I think it would be a cool idea to have celebrities paired up with us. I would run it with Sarah Jessica Parker.
AE: That's a great idea. Maybe CBS will use that now. Would you come back for a third race?
Oswald: If I run it with Sarah Jessica Parker, yes.
Danny: What do you mean? What about me?
Oswald: With Danny? Of course I would! For the senior citizens race.
Danny: See what I have to put up with? This is the kind of friend I have. I'm done. I don't even get a third race with you? That's it. I'm going to date Nick.
Oswald: That's my boyfriend's name.