NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – A Niles native only got 60 seconds to impress producers for the CBS reality show, “The Amazing Race.”
Whatever Haley Keel did worked and she will help kick off the show’s 26th edition on Wednesday night. She spoke by phone from New York Wednesday morning with First News reporter Jeff Levkulich.
“I pretty much have a great time with everything that I do,” Keel said.
She is one of 22 competitors on this season’s show. And while people may not yet know who she is, they may have grown up listening to father, DJ Fast Freddy, on 93.3-FM The Wolf, whose real name is Fred Woak.
Even though he is excited about his daughter’s chances at winning a million bucks and traveling the world, he is a little nervous about how she could be portrayed on the show, and told her not to do anything to embarrass the family.
“Her response was ‘oh, you mean like the time you were standing on a street corner in a dress holding a Cleveland Browns sign from a bet you lost as a school bus rolls by? You mean something like that?’ And I said ‘OK, just win the million bucks and buy me a motorcycle’,” Woak said.
Keel graduated from Niles McKinley High School in 2004. She said she has been a fan of the show for years, but this season is different.
“This is the first season they have ever had blind daters, so I am really excited to be a part of something new for the show,” Keel said.
And while Keel cannot reveal the outcome of the show, she said the race is both physically and emotionally demanding.
“So the fact that I could even participate in something like this made me realize I am a lot stronger than I give myself credit for,” Keel said.
When not traveling, she is a children’s nurse in Florida and plans to use the show to help causes around the world, including an organization in Niles called Courtney’s Coats for Kids.
“In memory of a girl that went to Niles. The Millers have been part of my life forever, so I hope to get involved with that very soon and do something for them as well,” Keel said.
“The Amazing Race” kicks off after “Survivor” at 9:30 p.m. on WKBN.