The Amazing Race Wiki

Michael Ilacqua and Kathy Perez are a Long-Distance Dating team on The Amazing Race 3.

On the way to a ferry in Spain, their car, along with several other teams', broke down after refueling their diesel car with unleaded gasoline. However, unlike the other teams, they opted to stay overnight at a hotel to have their car fixed the next day. This ended up being their undoing, as they quickly fell behind everyone else and finished in 8th place.


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We're both looking forward to seeing what we're made of, because we've never spent more than probably five days together at any given point.

Michael and Kathy met a year and a half ago in Cancun, Mexico. They have kept in touch and maintained a long-distance dating relationship; however, they have never spent more than five days together at a time. Their primary motivation for going on the Race is to see how compatible they are as a couple.

What struck Kathy about Michael were the provocative questions he asked her on their last night in Cancun, when they spent 12 hours together talking and getting to know one another. This was enough to prove to Kathy that Michael is a genuine person worthy of maintaining a long-distance friendship.

Kathy and Michael are polar opposites. Kathy is more high-strung under pressure and Michael is very laid back. Michael describes himself as unconventional, amusing and dark, while Kathy describes herself as moody, caring and oversensitive. They both agree that their different personalities complement each other well.

Michael has done quite a bit of traveling throughout Mexico, England, France, Holland, Spain and Canada, while Kathy has been to Mexico, Philippines and Canada. The most important item in his backpack is his CD player, because he feels that music will change any mood into a good one. Her most valuable item is her journal.

Michael resides in San Diego and lives with his cat, Tig. His birth date is May 30. Kathy lives in Birmingham, Michigan. Her birth date is December 4.[1]

How would you describe your previous travel experience?

  • Michael: I'm well traveled, with experience dealing with numerous cultures.
  • Kathy: Most of my travels have been within the United States. Outside of that, the only countries I have visited are Mexico, Canada and Philippines.

What is the most stressful aspect of traveling?

  • Michael: The time between stepping off a plane or train and finding some place to spend the night.
  • Kathy: Adjusting to different climates and time zones other than my "normal" seems to put me in a funk for a day or so.

What is the most important item in your backpack, and why?

  • Michael: My CD player and CDs. Music gives me power and can turn any mood I'm in into a good one.
  • Kathy: My empty journal seems value-less right now, but once I am able to write about my travels, it will be the one item in my backpack that will be of worth to me. That, and my hairclip!

Why did you want to be on THE AMAZING RACE?

  • Michael: I'm a sucker for a free vacation.
  • Kathy: The Race has a lot of great elements that I find appealing: competing, traveling, and working as a Team with my teammate Michael.

Have you and your partner traveled together before? If so, what was it like?

  • Michael: We've been to different locations in the states and have always had a good time.
  • Kathy: We actually met while we were both on our travels. Michael and I live on different. coasts, so the only way to see each other was to travel. We've been to Cancun and various states. It's always like a great mini-vacation.

What do you fear most about competing in THE AMAZING RACE?

  • Michael: Losing to a couple of squares.
  • Kathy: Initially, it was to be the first Team eliminated on the Race. Deep down I truly don't feel that we will be; however, to get past the first leg of the Race will take off a lot of anxiety for me.

What strengths and weaknesses do you bring to the Team?

  • Michael: I bring travel experience, levity and unabashed confidence to the Team. I have no weaknesses.
  • Kathy: I am a people person for the most part, which will help in communicating with different people. However, when under pressure I can tend to be a bit high-strung and become moody.

What strengths and weaknesses does your teammate bring to the Team?

  • Michael: She brings salesmanship and a cute face to the Team. Men go out of their way to help her, and we'll use that obtaining directions and other help when needed. Like myself, she has no weaknesses.
  • Kathy: Michael is very patient and always stays calm in any given situation, which will help me calm down. A very good sedative. Having said that, sometimes I wish I could jolt him up a bit to get him more energized.

What will you miss the most from home (besides your bed)?

  • Michael: My cat Tig (aka Li'l Baller).
  • Kathy: The actual comfort of home, from home-cooked meals to taking a shower. Just being.

What languages do you speak?

  • Michael: English, decent Spanish.
  • Kathy: Other than English, none fluently.

What destination are you hoping to visit?

  • Michael: Egypt: the pyramids
  • Kathy: Bali: I want to confirm all the hype. And any part of Europe, since I've never been.

What country do you feel best prepared for?

  • Michael: Mexico, seeing that I spent half a year traveling it.
  • Kathy: I can't say I'm prepared best for any given country. If I had to pick a region, then I'd say Asia/South Asia. Being Asian may be an asset in those countries, so that could be advantage to me. Additionally, my travel experience in Philippines, although many years ago, has not been forgotten.[2]

The Amazing Race 3[]

Race History[]

Michael & Kathy's Race History
Episode Leg Destination(s) Detour Choice
Placement Notes
1 1 United States → Mexico Wings / Wheels No Roadblock 4 of 12
2 2 Mexico Man Power / Horse Power Michael 4 of 11
3 3 Mexico → United Kingdom Punt / Bike Michael 6 of 10
4 4 United Kingdom → Portugal Old School / New School Michael 7 of 9
5 5 Portugal → Spain → Morocco Ropes / Slopes Did not perform 8 of 8 [1]
Average 5.80
     The team finished in first place
     The team finished in last place and was eliminated from the race
     The team finished in last place in a non-elimination leg
     The team that won The Amazing Race
     The team that crossed the Finish Line second
     The team that crossed the Finish Line third
The team used the Fast Forward pass

1: By the time Michael & Kathy got to the Roadblock, they were too far behind the other teams and were told to go directly to the Pit Stop.[3]


  • Michael & Kathy got subsequently married on September 18, 2005 and have two children now.[4][5]


Franchise Records[]

  • Michael & Kathy are the first interracial team to compete on the race.
  • Kathy is the first Asian-American to compete on the race.
  • First long distance dating team to compete on the race.
  • First team eliminated in Morocco.

External links[]


  • Harry Smith on The Early Show (10/31/2002): "Diesel Lesson for Michael & Kathy"
  • FansOfRealityTV (10/31/2002): "Amazing Race: Our Interview with Michael & Kathy"
  • (2002): "After the Race"

Social Media Profiles[]


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