‘The Amazing Race’ Season 33: Lulu and Lala Gonzalez Reflect on Returning to the Show After the Shutdown and Tease Tonight’s Episode [Exclusive]

From singing and dancing onstage in Scotland to bungee jumping in Switzerland, Lulu and Lala Gonzalez went on the adventure of a lifetime in CBS‘s The Amazing Race Season 33. Unfortunately, they had to endure a 19-month pit stop due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. A lot happened during the production shutdown, but Lulu and Lala were determined to return to the race with a positive attitude and appreciation for life.

'The Amazing Race' Season 33 stars Lulu and Lala Gonzalez talk with host Phil Keoghan at a pit stop. Lulu and Lala wear pink vests over black long-sleeved shirts, and they sip cups of tea. Keoghan wears a black  coat.
Lulu Gonzalez, Lala Gonzalez, and Phil Keoghan | Photo by Michele Crowe/CBS via Getty Images

Lulu and Lala reflect on the shutdown of ‘The Amazing Race’ Season 33

Like the rest of the remaining teams, Lulu and Lala returned home after the third leg. And while in quarantine, their grandmother died from COVID-19. During an exclusive interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, Lulu and Lala detailed their time during the production pause.

“So when the shutdown happened, obviously we were very sad because we wanted to keep racing,” Lulu shared. “And when we found out the news about my grandmother, I kind of just stopped everything. I wasn’t really as active on social media. It’s not that I didn’t care, but I was really just focusing on family and spending the time that I hadn’t spent with my mom and my dad, and my nieces.”

Lala added, “And even prior leaving to the race, we had just been working so much that we didn’t even realize how distant we had become. You put work first before anything else. Then the race happens, and you realize what is important, especially with the pandemic and the loss of our grandmother.”

And as for whether or not they trained during the shutdown, Lala said, “We worked out, but not as much as we should have. I mean, we had time, and we could have taken more advantage of it. We did, however, [try] to learn the flags of every country and the capitals. We tried to learn different phrases in different languages.”

Lulu concluded, “But overall, [they learned] to take [The Amazing Race Season 33] with a grain of salt. Yes, it’s a competition. Yes, it’s a million dollars. We all want the million, but also taking the experience and just enjoy it and appreciate it. So that’s how we went into it.”

The duo reveal their favorite moments from the race

So far, The Amazing Race Season 33 has made its teams complete multiple daunting tasks. And Lulu and Lala discussed their favorite challenges from the episodes that have aired.

“I think my favorite challenge is the one that just aired with me bungee jumping,” Lala revealed. “[It was] something on my bucket list. I can’t believe I got to do it. And in Switzerland, such a gorgeous country. I always thought, ‘Am I really going to go through with it if I’m put to the challenge?’ And I’m so happy I did.”

As for Lulu, she said, “I think from what we can say and what’s been aired, the climbing of Mount Säntis in Switzerland [was her favorite]. I never thought I would ever do something like that. It was a struggle for me because it was 8000 feet above sea level. But that definitely has been the most beautiful experience that I’ve had. Just looking around and you can see all the different countries. The view was just breathtaking. I haven’t seen anything like that since that day.”

Lulu and Lala confronted many challenges during ‘The Amazing Race’ Season 33

When discussing the biggest challenges they faced during The Amazing Race Season 33, the duo came clean about navigation struggles.

“The biggest challenge for me was reading a map,” Lulu stated. “Let’s be real. We use GPS nowadays. We’re all very spoiled. So opening up a map and trying to figure out and understand where you are was very hard for me. It was. I can’t believe I’m admitting that, but it was a challenge.”

Lala also shared, “I think also too, the relationship [was a challenge]. You know, we live together, we work together, everything’s always together, but the communication is different. And then even with brothers and sisters or husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, sometimes we tend to like, make the person feel bad if we mess up.”

“So that’s something that we did in the first two legs where instead of, ‘Hey, no worries, it’s OK, you did your best,’ it was like, ‘How come you didn’t see it? You know, it’s common sense,'” she continued. “So rather than being encouraging, we would kind of make each other feel bad, and then it wouldn’t help the situation.”

Lulu added, “Instead of moving forward and keep going, we wouldn’t let it go. We would dwell on it. And that really held us behind. And as you saw in this last leg, we just kept it going, and, you know, we didn’t do that to each other.”

Lala concluded, “But definitely admitting that to each other like, ‘Alright. Yeah, I was a b**** to you. I’m sorry,’ or ‘Hey, yeah, why do we do that?’ That’s something hard.”

Lulu and Lala’s grandmother motivated them to continue racing

As mentioned before, Lulu and Lala’s grandmother died during The Amazing Race Season 33 production shutdown. And during our interview, the pair discussed how she was a role model for them when they returned to the race.

“I think the biggest motivation that we had was her fight to live,” Lala shared. “That woman is the strongest woman I’ve ever known, and she fought to the very end. And I always kept that in the back of my head. Even when I was struggling, I was always like, ‘No, you got to keep going. Keep looking toward the front, don’t worry about the mistakes in the back, and just keep going.'”

Lulu added, “And also, you know, 2020 was a year of negativity. You had the political unrest going on in the country. You had the pandemic. And so what also pushed us forward was staying positive, and just whatever bad decision we made, we were like, we chose this. We’re going to stick to it, and we’re going to keep moving.”

The duo went on to express their gratitude for The Amazing Race Season 33. Lala said, “I know it sounds cliche, but just being able to be cast for The Amazing Race.” And picking up where her twin left off, as they often do, Lulu said, “Being able to be brought back and finish the race. We just had this abundance of appreciation for life and for the opportunities that were awarded to us.”

She concluded, “And we understood. We related to the people who lost a loved one and couldn’t see them in the hospital because we went through that. And so we were like, ‘Let’s do this and be a positive note to all those people who went through the same thing. Let’s represent them. Let’s represent the pain. We know how you feel. We were there. We’re still going through it, but we’re going to keep on moving because you have no other choice.'”

What’s in store for tonight’s episode of ‘The Amazing Race’ Season 33?

According to Lulu and Lala, tonight’s episode of The Amazing Race Season 33 is when the teams start to kick it into high gear.

“So, obviously, I feel like we’re one of the closest castmates between all the other seasons,” Lulu shared. “Because of the pandemic, we were able to bond, and we’ll always have that. But it’s a game, it’s a competition, and we all want the million dollars. And so you want to help out as much as you can.”

Lala chimed in to say, “But you have to help yourself.”

“You know, feelings get hurt when people think that you didn’t help enough or you didn’t help at all or stuff was said that doesn’t happen,” Lulu teased. “And so I’ll leave it there. We don’t know how it’s going to play out on TV, but I do feel like this is where the competition really started.”

Per IMDb, the synopsis for tonight’s episode, “Say Cheese,” reads, “Racers travel by private jet to Corsica, France, where they go canyoneering through the beautiful landscape of natural rockslides, waterfalls, and rivers.”

Fans can watch Lulu and Lala Gonzalez continue to fight for the grand prize in The Amazing Race Season 33 Episode 6, which airs on Wednesday, Feb. 2, at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

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