LuLu And LaLa Gonzalez Talk All Things The Amazing Race Season 33 - Exclusive Interview

"The Amazing Race" Season 33 is still airing but has already gone down in the series' history as one of its most unique seasons, in large part due to being interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Season 13 took a 19-month break from filming, during which the contestants were sent home (via CNN). However, after more than a year and a half of waiting, the remaining contestants who were willing to finish filming returned, and the stakes have never been higher. 

With just three episodes left in the season, everyone is on the edge of their seats to see which pair is going to rake in the $1 million grand prize. Luckily for us at The List, we were able to sit down recently with LuLu and LaLa Gonzalez, the professional radio hosts and charming team of twins who have been captivating the nation. They're genuine on camera just as they are off, and they've proved each episode that they're not to be messed with because they mean business.

Together, LuLu and LaLa dished on all things "The Amazing Race" Season 33, including how the pandemic affected the season's filming, how their relationship was tested on the show, what they did during the season's long filming break, what their relationships are like with their cast mates, and more.

LuLu and LaLa discuss the rest of The Amazing Race Season 33

What can you tell us and tease about the rest of [Season 33] of "The Amazing Race"?

LuLu: Well, first and foremost, I want to say that "The Amazing Race" has been one of the, if not the best experience of our lives. We're not married and we haven't had kids. I can easily say that.

LaLa: Yeah.

LuLu: What a wonderful time. Thank you to CBS. It's just been incredible. [You're asking] what we could  tease without getting in trouble?

LaLa: There's going to be a lot more emotional moments between the both of us. With the rest of the cast, you're definitely going to see a lot more tears, maybe little anxiety attacks or whatnot, because the race is getting closer and closer.

LuLu: That million dollars everyone is gunning for. The anxiety level is at an all-time high. Everybody is gunning for that, and emotions will get the best of people, but it's going to be great television.

What has it been like watching yourself on television? I know you're both used to radio work where it's just audio. What is it like to see yourself on video too?

LaLa: It's actually pretty cool. We don't really take ourselves so serious. We have noticed a lot of things that we do that we're so clueless. Sometimes when I'm talking, she'll be mimicking the words that I'm saying.

LuLu: Yeah.

LaLa: So that's something we picked up on.

LuLu: Something that we also picked up on was how much we doubt ourselves.

LaLa: Yeah.

LuLu: I didn't think it was a thing up until I started watching all the episodes and it's like, "Why do we do that to ourselves?" We should be more confident.

LaLa: Mm-hmm.

LuLu: Noticing [those things] definitely changed the way we do things now and how we approach life and different tasks on our daily routine.

LaLa: Yeah, because originally going into the race, I don't know why we thought this way. We thought we were the underdogs, we thought we weren't going to make it past leg two. Here we are, already in leg eight and we feel proud of ourselves.

LuLu: We do. I think that we've represented the ladies and it's a great show to teach you how strong physically, mentally, and emotionally you really are.

LaLa: Because it will test you.

LuLu: 100%.

LuLu and LaLa's thoughts on their journey on the show

LuLu: It also... I also wanted to touch [on]: We are twins, right? We work together. We live together. I also picked up on the fact that the relationship we have when it comes to work and when it comes to at home completely different, when you have a million dollars at stake and you're in a competitive atmosphere. At the beginning of the race, as you guys all saw, we were fighting all the time, we were making each other feel bad and then after the pandemic, we moved forward. It was different.

LaLa: Totally different, we had a different perspective and we learned a lot. Why are we mean to each other? We're sisters.

LaLa: You know, we shouldn't do that. That helped out too.

How might your feelings on your journey throughout the season have changed from when you were filming the season to now watching it?

LuLu: Oh my God. Alright. Our feelings throughout the entire race [were] excitement, but at the same time, anxiety, because you never know what the tasks are going to be. You don't know what the other teams are thinking. 

LaLa: You don't know, you're barely getting any sleep, because you're too nervous to not wake up on time.

LuLu: Yeah.

LaLa: Your eating habits have completely changed. Sometimes, you're eating food that you don't even like. 

LuLu: Watching yourself on television ... all those emotions are coming back. All that anxiety that we were going through, it all came back. It's hilarious because we know the outcome, but we still get nervous. It's the craziest thing because you just don't know how things are going to be edited. 

LaLa: You do still get a little emotional, like "Man, if things would've been differently, why didn't we do this instead of that?" You end up critiquing yourself, but in a positive way, because at the moment you're so wrapped up on it. You're not noticing the smaller things like reading the clue and knowing [you should] leave your bags in the car, that trail just behind. The feeling is cool.

On forming relationships with the other contestants

Do you remember everything exactly how it happened, or are you picking up on new things or remembering things differently as you're watching it?

LaLa: Honestly, for me, I see each episode and it's like, this happened yesterday. I don't know why I feel like such little time has gone by.

LuLu: But it's been two years...

LaLa: Since we first started filming.

LuLu: Right.

LaLa: Even those episodes, I'm like, "[Oh] my god, I remember that day clear, like if it just happened" ... I don't know why I have those memories still fresh in mind.

LuLu: What I do like to see is how the other cast mates were dealing with the tasks that we were given. We know how we went through it and how we were feeling, but seeing Kim and Penn, and Dusty and Ryan, and Raquel and Cayla, and all the other cast mates going through the same thing and feeling the same way, it's relieving because we, in our heads, thought maybe we're overexaggerating on the anxiety.

LaLa: Yeah.

LuLu: To see them going through the same trials and tribulations, it's like, "All right. We're not so bad."

I feel like, in this race, the relationship and the focus really is on everybody as pairs, but how did your relationships with the other contestants form? Are there people that you're still really close with, or how did those relationships form?

LuLu: At the very beginning, we started the first and second legs and we were not talking as much to everybody because everybody was focused. In Scotland, when the pandemic hit and we were stuck in a hotel room for about a week not knowing what was going to happen... 

LaLa: That was a time where we actually started trying to get to know one another, sending little notes to one another.

LuLu: It was there that we formed this amazing bond for life, this family for life. We got to know each other's story. We got to know everyone's background. That is where this cast is totally different than every other cast because we got so close and yes, we're going up against each other for a million dollars, but at the same time...

How did their day jobs prepare them for the race?

[On building relationships with their cast mates]

LaLa: We all really care about each other. [On the] last episode ... We went camping. We had to stay there for a night or two and we got even closer because we got to share that experience. We had time to talk about...

LuLu: ...what everybody was going through during the pandemic. We are still very close up until today. We have a group chat and we talk to each other literally every day.

LaLa: Someone is at least giving an update, sending a "Happy Valentine's Day." There's always some chatter going on.

LuLu: Yeah.

Were there any couples that you didn't necessarily mesh with? You don't have to name names, but, like, was there any drama, too?

LuLu: No. I don't think there was a lot of drama this season due to the pandemic and we were all very appreciative that we got the second chance to actually finish the race. Was there little hiccups along the line, like along the race? Of course! 

LaLa: But nothing so dramatic where there's hostility with other cast mates. No, we genuinely all like each other. We care for each other and want the best for one another.

LaLa: Which is nice — there's too much hate in the world.

Outside the show, you work as radio hosts and personalities. How might your experience in that field really have helped prepare you for the show?

LuLu: Well, it definitely helped being in radio and knowing how the industry is worked. We definitely feel like we had a leg up because we knew how the behind the scenes works, the camera angles. 

LaLa: Even though when you're in the race, you forget that the camera's there and that there's an audio guy running around with a boom mic because you're so focused on the race. 

LuLu: As far as social media in this day and age, there's a lot of negativity going around. Because we work in the industry, we're used to the good and the bad. When the show started airing and you had certain people saying certain things about us and other cast mates, we knew not to let that affect us because people will be mean.

LaLa: Yeah.

LuLu: They're going to be mean and people have the right to their opinions and you can't... you got to focus on the positive and not on the negative. Radio really prepared us for that.

LuLu and LaLa on the fan reception from "The Amazing Race"

How has the fan reception been for you two as a team?

LuLu: It's been pretty good. At first, we were kind of skeptical, because you just never know what the reaction's going to be, but we've been very ourselves. Wwhat you see is what you get. This is how we are. 

LaLa: We're clumsy, we're ditsy sometimes, but we're very focused. We're very lighthearted.

LuLu: The fan reaction has been amazing. I can't honestly say that I've read negativity. I mean, do they like other teams more than us? Perhaps.

LaLa: There's a few of them.

LuLu: But that's in any show, you're always going to have the fan favorites and I'm appreciative that people have taken to our liking, and have showed support and we truly appreciate that.

LaLa: We do.

LuLu: Thank you.

I think it's because you're so authentic and completely yourself, like you said. That definitely comes through to viewers.

LaLa: Yeah and we always keep in mind, I have my nieces watching this, I have coworkers watching this.

LuLu: We have our radio listeners watching this. Trying to be something that we're not is not going to come across the right way. So why [bother]? Let's be ourselves and if we fight, then we fight. Everybody fights. We made it a point to be authentic.

I know you mentioned that, when you came back from the filming break, that you tried to not fight, like maybe you had before the break. Was there anything else in your relationship that was maybe challenged or tested throughout the filming process?

LuLu: Yeah. It was weird because we are very close. Our daily roles in radio and in our house kind of switched. Whereas I'm normally more of the stronger, more of the physical...

LaLa: Aggressive type. 

LuLu: And on the show I cried like three or four times...

LaLa: She got emotional.

LuLu: I would never do that in public. I cry on my own time. We switched roles for some reason. She's a little bit — she has more endurance than I do, and I did more of the physical challenges and...

LaLa: I did more of the mental, like being patient, and trying to stay cool. It's funny how roles will be switched when under pressure.

On the 19 month filming break

LaLa: We're so lucky that we were able to handle it and be there for one another...

LuLu: And it worked out, I mean, we've gotten this far. [On] Wednesday [February 16], it'll be leg eight and yeah. It should be an interesting episode.

Season 33 took a 19-month filming break?

LuLu: 19 months.

Were you surprised by the teams that didn't return to the rest of the season, or on the other hand, were you maybe surprised that more teams didn't return?

LaLa: Well, honestly we didn't know if the show would even come back because so many months went by, we didn't hear anything. With this whole COVID thing, we thought that the season was going to be a wash, but getting the call back saying that they were going to finish the race, we were so excited to see ... we were hoping for the entire cast to come back, but we knew there could be possibilities of some teams not returning because of the pandemic.

LuLu: We were actually shocked to see that Anthony and Spencer weren't coming back because they were such a... 

LaLa: ...strong team at the beginning.

LuLu: Very strong. They were physically fit. They were tall. They were well-traveled. I'm not going to lie — I was kind of relieved that they didn't come back, but at the same time, it was like, "Wow, we want the originals to come back and battle it out the way it's supposed to be."

LaLa: We do have to appreciate that Arun and Natalia and Michael and Moe were able to come back. Had it not been for that, I don't know if the season would've taken off, because then there wouldn't have been enough teams to compete unless they would've [brought back] older teams or cast new ones. I'm sure that would've been a headache.

Did you two ever consider not returning or was that out of the question?

LuLu and LaLa: No, never.

LuLu: We always thought if we get the call back, we're doing it, because our grandmother always said, "When you start something, you finish it." The fact that they gave us the opportunity to finish off the race...

LaLa: It was a no-brainer.

LuLu: There was nothing that was going to stop us from finishing. We're like, "We're in...all in."

LuLu and LaLa reveal what it's like sharing their grandmother's death on TV

You experienced this devastating loss during the pandemic between the two filming sessions. What has it been like for you guys to basically share that with the world and see it on television?

LaLa: It was...

LuLu: It was hard because, as we know, the pandemic came and ruined a lot of lives. A lot of people lost their jobs. A lot of people lost loved ones, and there's not feel helpless. At the beginning of the pandemic and after we came back, that's how we felt. We lost our grandmother. We couldn't be there with her at the hospital. We couldn't say our goodbyes, and to know that we weren't the only ones that were going through that, we felt like we need to represent for everybody who lost a loved one. For all those that are going through difficulties and show them, there is life after the pandemic, we're all going to make it out through this. We have to stay positive and keep going, but it was a challenge...

LaLa: It was.

LuLu: Our mind wasn't really...

LaLa: There were so many mixed emotions because to do a radio show, you don't want to be insensitive, but then you don't want to be negative too, saying the same things. That was a challenge in itself. How do we entertain the Tri-state [area] knowing there's so many ... and knowing what we're going through internally. It was a challenge with that, and then dealing with the loss of her grandmother, trying to be the positive ones for our family — that was hard. And then training for the show — we really had to set our minds and be like, all right, we got this. Let's  enjoy every moment. Because of the loss of our grandmother, we learned to be appreciative of the stuff that we do have and the abilities that we have that many people don't. That helped us too, coming back the second time around. 

LuLu: Time, life is short. And so you got to make the most of it with the ones that you love, family and friends really.

On how they prepared during the filming break to return

Did you do anything during the break I to set yourself up for success? Did you learn any new skills? What did you do during that break?

LuLu: We knew that, going in, there would probably a lot more stick-shift driving. We focused on learning how to [expertly] manage that car, because we knew it was coming. We also did a lot more puzzles to work the brain a little bit, get it there faster and, you know, memorizing the countries, their capitals, trying to say new things in different languages like help, please, north, south.

LaLa: Also, I think it's going to sound cheesy, but going into it with a grateful heart really helped too. The first time around, we were doing it and not really enjoying it. The second time around, we were like, "Let's enjoy it, no matter how far we get, let's enjoy the fact that we're even given this opportunity."

LuLu: Yeah. We did do a lot more cardio than we did the time, because we were able to see, "Oh no, this is hard. A lot harder than I anticipated." We definitely amped up the cardio for us.

What obstacles during the show were the hardest for you two?

LaLa: Going to the bathroom...

LuLu: Outside of the obstacles I have to say that, my sister, LaLa, is on point. Going to the bathroom, I guess, for the women, was a big challenge, because sometimes, there were no bathrooms around.

LaLa: When nature called you had to go in nature, no paper. That was funny. Actually, it was a funny challenge. 

LuLu: If we're going to talk about the roadblocks, kayaking was definitely the hardest. We had never done that. I don't know who was supposed to be steering left, right. She doesn't know.

LaLa: Upper body strength, which — we have strong legs, but up here, kind of weak.

LaLa: We struggled with it and it really kicked our ass.

LuLu: I also want to say the hiking. There was a lot of hiking in this season, and to me it was kind of like, okay, I'm fast, but this is a whole other... Mt. Säntis was 8,000 feet above sea level. The air up there was very thin. That was very challenging for my lungs.

LuLu and LaLa reveal challenges that didn't make the TV cut

What challenges did you face that maybe didn't make the TV cut?

LaLa: In London, there was, I forgot what it's called. I think it's called the Axis or...

LuLu: The Orbit?

LaLa: The Orbit. That's what it was. There's like a thousand steps to go up that. 

LuLu: You can take the elevator. 

LaLa: We weren't allowed to take the elevator. We had to take the steps and we had to carry our bags. It was cold. It was raining. We had got into this epic fight and then we're going up those stairs, like, dragging, or the bags are weighing us down.

LuLu: Asthma kicked in. My knee gave out.

LaLa: It was a lot against us, but we managed to make it through. But that's one thing that didn't make it on air.

LuLu: Yeah.

LaLa: That was very hard for us.

LuLu: You know what else was very challenging? It's going to sound kind of air-headed.

LaLa: Uh-oh, what are you going to say?

LuLu: Reading a map.

[Laughs] Well, we don't do that anymore.

LuLu: We're all so spoiled with GPS that when they gave us a map, even holding it, I'm like, "Where's north? Where's south? I don' do I read this?" And it was there where I'm like, "You know what? This is something that we should have really focused on prior to the race." It didn't come to mind, but it was hard to self-drive in a country you know nothing about, and sometimes, a language barrier made it very difficult.

That's not air-headed at all. I don't know anyone personally that would be able to do that.

LaLa: Yes, man. We're so lucky to have that. I don't know how people got around back in the day.

On their favorite sites and countries from the show

I think a lot more people got lost for sure. In that traveling aspect, what were your favorite countries and sites and everything to see?

LaLa: I loved Lugano, [it] was absolutely gorgeous. I think Corsica was very pretty — the views, the culture, the cleanliness. It was just so pretty. I definitely want to go back.

LuLu: Yeah. Driving through Switzerland, I said it, it didn't come out on camera, but it was like I was inside of a Bob Ross painting. You saw the mountains, the happy little trees, the waterfall. It was beautiful, and Corsica, breathtaking.

LaLa: Yeah. We're so used to living in, the Tri-state [area], and New York City is only five minutes away from us. W're used to the high rises and the buildings, but then to see the mountains and the nature. It's so refreshing.

Had you been to any of these places before, or was this all brand new?

LaLa: It was actually her first time in Europe. I had been to Spain for three days, but that's about it. It was our first time looking at the other side of what the world has to offer.

LuLu: It was amazing. I actually was upset with myself [for waiting]. I had waited so long to actually travel and to see what's out there. I'm this travel junkie now. I have to go back to those places. I want to travel. I want to see everything the world has to offer. [I have a] different thought process too.

We talked about the other teams earlier. How did your relationships with the other teams either help or hinder your journey on the show?

LuLu: I think there was no hindrance to the relationships that we formed with the teammates. If anything, I think we got closer to Dusty and Ryan, because that was the one team I could honestly say always helped everyone out, even if it was going to be a target for them because they were one of the strongest teams.

LuLu and LaLa reveal how the pandemic affected filming

LaLa: Overall, we all helped each other out, no matter what, to their best ability. It wasn't like, "Oh no, I'm not going to help you out. I'm going to help." It was more, "You're here. This is what it is," and then you move on with your leg.

LuLu: Raquel and Cayla, the other all-female team, we had a bond with them too. We had an understanding, four ladies, we immediately came together and worked together the best as possible.

LaLa: I think I have to honestly say that, for every leg, there was always one team that helped us. Penn helped us out in the last leg, Ryan and Dusty, Arun and Natalia, and the girls, Raquel and Cayla. From what I remember now, we all helped each other at one point.

LuLu: It's not like in that last season, Season 32, there was a lot of alliances and they were trying to get people out. It wasn't like that at all for Season 33. We were all generally... We love each other and we worked together, but then when it was game on, it was like, "Hey, I helped you. Bye. I got to do me now."

LaLa: It was nice – the best of both worlds. You run your race, I'm going to help you, and then I'm going to run my race. You run yours. May the best team get to the pit stop first.

Aside from the filming break, did the pandemic affect the show in any other big ways?

LuLu: Yes it did. When we came back, it was totally different. We had to get tested every other day, which was a challenge in itself because it was very clear that if anybody tested positive, that's it. You're done. You're eliminated. Every time we've come around, we're like, "Oh my God. Hopefully not." 

LaLa: Which we didn't. Nobody during the entire race tested positive.

LuLu: We actually felt safer on the race than when we came back home. 

LaLa: They kept us in a bubble and it was... They did a great job taking care of us.

On which other reality series they'd like to compete on

[On how COVID-19 affected "The Amazing Race"]

LuLu: We had to wear our masks when cameras were not rolling and if we had to go up to people and ask for directions, that was different. We were also flown private. There was no more taking public transportation — no buses, no cabs...

LaLa: Trains, nothing like that.

LuLu: So that was different. And it made it harder because, normally in past seasons, you'd run to the airport, and at least you know where you're going, and you can ask people for information about the country. 

LaLa: This time around you're in a plane, they don't tell you where you're going. You're looking out the window trying to guess, like, what ocean is this? What are we flying over? Is that a mountain? Like where are we?

LuLu: Yeah. It made the anxiety go way up, 'cause you don't know how to prep up. 

LaLa: You couldn't really hug. When we first came together and then the cast was there, it's not like, "Oh, it's good to see you" [with a hug]. It's those little things that people take for granted, but that was the major changes.

Are there any other reality series that you two are interested in doing, whether together or separate?

LuLu: I would love to do "Dancing with the Stars."

LaLa: "Dancing with the Stars" would be fun.

LuLu: "Big Brother" seems like it's pretty dope, more dramatic than "The Amazing Race," 'cause you're in a house.

LuLu and LaLa: Living together. 

LuLu: Everyone's emotions and stuff goes up and down. I think that would be cool.

LuLu and LaLa on what they would do with the $1 million grand prize

On the other side of things, what are your favorite reality series to watch?

LuLu: I like "Big Brother." I do like to see...

LaLa: Well, "The Amazing Race" was one of our favorites.

LuLu: "The Challenge" I like because it's very physical, and it's different. 

LaLa: You're, like, in teams sometimes. So it switches up. Then...

LuLu: "Survivor," because you're in the middle of a jungle ,and you're eating bugs and you're doing all...

LaLa: I don't think I could do "Survivor."

LuLu: I don't think so either, but it's great television. I do like to watch it. 

LaLa: I'd be terrible, to be honest with you. Yeah. Those are it, pretty much.

LuLu: Maybe the "Real Housewives of New York" and "LA."

LaLa: No, not for me. There was a show, I don't know if... "Road Rules?" It used to be on MTV. Back in the day. "Road Rules" were, they were on like on a Winnebago and they had to do challenges. There was like the red team and the blue team. I always thought that was pretty dope. I would be up for something like that.

If you were to win, the big $1 million grand prize, what are we doing with it?

LaLa: Well, we always said it ... paying off our parents' mortgage. They've worked their entire lives. It's nice to be able to do that...

LuLu: So that they don't have to stress about it. I want them to live their lives now, go out and travel, and see what the world has to offer and not focus on paying bills.

LaLa: And then invest it, make more money off of it.

LuLu: Well, I don't know about you, but I'd like to go to nice little shopping spree. Maybe go on a little vacation.

Yeah. Get the best of both worlds.

LuLu: Exactly. Balance it off, but enjoy it. I mean, we worked hard. If we won the $1 million.

LuLu and LaLa reveal what's next for them after "The Amazing Race"

What can you tell us about what's next for both of you after "The Amazing Race"?

LuLu: Well, we're going to continue obviously doing our radio show in the Tri-state [area] on 103.5 KTU.

LaLa: That is our baby.

LuLu: That's right. 

LaLa: We love our listeners. We love doing radio and being able to communicate with so many people every night. 

LuLu: We also do plan on taking out a line. A line of what exactly?

LaLa: We don't want to say yet, but that is definitely there. 

LuLu: We are working on that, and I...

LaLa: I would really like to produce a sitcom. 

LuLu: Yes. We've always talked about that for so long. You know, we love the help behind the scenes. 

LaLa: That's something that I'm definitely, you know, digging my finger in because it was I really want to see that. I want to follow through with that and hope that it all goes well. So yeah, those are the two things really that...

LuLu: Maybe get back into TV. We started in TV ,and then we switched on over to radio and now I got bit with the TV bug now and I...

LaLa: We want more. We want more.

LuLu: I want to get back to that.

Do you already have plans for a sitcom?

LuLu: We have an idea of what the sitcom would be.

LaLa: We have a name for it and everything.

LuLu: Now we're in the process of fixing it up a little. We wrote this about six years ago, maybe even more, about the entertainment world and other situations. And so now we're kind of like rewriting and switching things up and...

LaLa: [To] be able to present it to different networks and producers and hope that, you know...

LuLu: Someone picks it up.

You can catch LuLu and LaLa on CBS' "The Amazing Race" every Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET.