On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to speak with Lance and Marshall, who set Amazing Race history by dropping out of the race short of the pit stop. Is there more to the story? Let's find out. Here's what they had to say:
What was the reason behind quitting the race, rather than just completing the task and going to the pitstop, even knowing you would almost certainly be eliminated?
Marshall: Well, bottom line, it was one of the rare situations in the race where you knew you were last. There were 7 squares to be dug, and 6 of them were dug, so it was very obvious that we were last. And I literally could not walk at that point. I was sitting there, and Lance spent around 2 hours digging in that site. The goal was to finish the leg, but after almost 2 hours of digging methodically, we had no idea what we were looking for unlike some of the teams as you saw last night. So the end result is, after looking for so long, Lance looked at me, and he was exhausted from carrying the team the whole leg because I couldn't really do anything, and what he actually said was "f*** it".
Lance: Quote it.
Marshall: And that was when we pulled out, because it didn't make any sense. And they said okay, and I think they really appreciated how much pain I was in and that it was just suffering at that point for no reason. That's when Phil decided to come out and make history by bringing the finish line to us.
Lance: And the misery.
It seems like it took quite a while to arrive at the sand pit, and we really didn't get to see why. Did something happen before you got there?
Lance: Yeah, Marshall's knees. Basically when the Moms made the chartered flight, that was when we knew it was pretty much over. Because literally to walk 100 yards for Marshall it would take 30 or 40 minutes - he could not walk. So when we made it to the place in Egypt after we landed from the flight, when everyone grabbed their next clue, they had all gotten the clue and were at the next site while we were still walking to get the clue. So it was very obvious, all the other teams were running past us, but there was nothing we could do. It took us hours to get around, because everything in Egypt was walking. Unlike some of the other legs, it wasn't a lot of travelling by foot, but this leg was more walking, and it took us many times longer to get from point A to point B.
Marshall, did you get your knee checked out after you were eliminated, and what was wrong with it?
Marshall: Yeah, I had it checked out before we were eliminated in fact, at a pitstop. And I had an acute case of tendonitis in both knees, and the treatment was rest, not being on your legs, and lots of ice. And that's what they really needed, and of course during the race you can't do any of those things. The doctors that I saw would say "3 or 4 days of rest and ice, your legs will be much better." And I was like "great, I have 3 or 4 HOURS before I leave on the next leg." They were really getting worse. They did a good job of not showing it a lot the episode before, but my legs were almost as bad then. We just had a huge lead on the Moms and the Twins, so even though we were incredibly slow and I couldn't walk then, we were able to finish before them.
Was it a problem before the race that you were aware of, or something that occurred during the race?
Marshall: It happened during the race. I'd never had knee problems before, and never had any problems since the race. I don't know if it's right or wrong, but I'm blaming it on the new fancy pair of crosstrainer hiking sneakers that I bought right before the race and probably didn't break in properly. Lance and I both bought the same exact kind of sneakers, and the day before the race, Lance decided to ditch his, having a feeling that they weren't going to work out for him, and went back to his old, beat up sneakers. And looking back, that would have been the one thing I would have changed, I would have worn my old sneakers.
Let's go back a couple of episodes to the "bitch" incident with Mirna. Our members are wondering why you didn't confront her earlier face-to-face instead of just yelling out to them as they passed by?
Lance: I confronted them, numerous times, they knew exactly how I felt about them. I was just reiterating my feelings to them as they were driving by, just in case they happened to forget. It started in the airport when Mirna told her cousin not to talk to me, and that was when I pretty much lost it, and basically gave her a piece of my mind, Marshall's mind, and pretty much everyone else's mind that was around there. She knew damn well who said it, even though she said "who said that?", she knew who said it, and she definitely knows now who said it. And you can see as you're watching the show that this isn't an isolated incident with Mirna and Charla. They showed their true colors early on. Lance and I were the first team to show our true reactions and feelings about them. From day one, we said we weren't going to hold back on our feelings, we were going to be "if we see it, we say it," and that's part of our personalities, we don't hold back. And we were the first to vocalize what miserable human beings the two of them are, and as you see, many other teams feel the same way.
I know who your least favorite team is, but what team did you get along with best during the race?
Lance: Obviously we got along with a lot of the teams. Marshall just got married about 8 weeks ago, and Chip & Kim, Colin & Christie, Dennis & Erika, and Kammi came to the wedding. So we made a lot of friends, and when you're friends with people you obviously hope they make it to the end, but you can't control anything.
Marshall: You even saw on one episode, Chip wearing the "Cafe Nostra" t-shirt. He was short on shirts, and needed a shirt, so Lance gave him one. When you're in the race, you make friends, and we made a lot of friends. 3 and a half teams were at my wedding, and I think a lot of these friendships will last a lifetime.
Congratulations on your wedding, I hadn't heard you'd gotten married.
Marshall: Thank you.
What was the most interesting thing that happened to you that we didn't get to see on TV?
Lance: One funny situation was when I was loading the goats on the boat in the last episode. Marshall's knees were so bad, he couldn't get down the embankment to the boat, so he was standing on top of it. I was loading the goats on, and 2 of the goats jumped off the boat. I got quite irritated, and yelled to Marshall that at the least, he could watch the f***ing goats so they don't jump off the boat. That was one of those things that looking back is funny, but at the time wasn't so amusing to me. And there are some other moments like that, but really, they show everything that we feel - the highlights and the low points. They really do a good job of capturing everything and getting it on television.
You had an alliance at various times in the race. Do you think alliances help or hurt you in the race?
Marshall: I think they help. Especially in the first half of the race. The teams we worked with all agreed to work together in the beginning, because it was a huge benefit. We had that alliance with Colin and Christie, and it gave us great seats on the bus. But at the same time, alliances can only go so far. This is not Survivor, and it's not that kind of show. We didn't expect Colin and Christie to wait up for us anywhere, or not get an earlier flight when they were able to, but when you can help someone out, a lot of times it does go a long way.
What did you do to prepare for the race, and what do you think helps the most to prepare for?
Lance: I think packing properly is the best thing you can do for this race. I think we did a pretty good job with that. Not bringing too much stuff. I think if I had it to do over again, I might bring even a little less. We didn't dump anything along the race, and I think I would dump some stuff next time. But I think we thought about it enough and planned well packing.
You've certainly seen some extremes in weather this race. Watching previous seasons, do you think this race is tougher than those seasons?
Lance: They talk about how this is the most mileage of any race so far. But I don't know if it's any tougher because you spent a little more time on an airplane or anything. I'm not going to say just because we've been on this race that it was any tougher than anyone else's. I think they're all tough, they're all challenging, and at the end of the day a lot of luck plays into this race - you're lucky some places, you're not other places - and it kind of plays on the result.
Having prepared for the race by watching other seasons, what surprised you the most actually doing the race versus watching?
Marshall: Well, it was entertaining to see Alison and Donny there. That was kind of a surprise at the beginning of the race. I had watched Big Brother 4, and to see Ali at the starting line and kind of know what she was all about, that was my initial shock. I didn't expect to recognize anyone on the starting line, and when I saw her I kind of laughed, and thought it was entertaining and kind of a little twist.
Let's talk about Alison being there. What do you think about cross-over contestants on these shows?
Marshall: I know some people have come out and said it's horrible. But I think it was another great example on this race of proving that being physical isn't everything. I know a lot of people hate Ali, but she did very well at Big Brother because she's not dumb, she's very manipulative and shrewd. And her and Donny from a physical standpoint were kind of the front-runners in this race. The first leg, they came in first place, and then on the second leg came in last and got eliminated. I know it wasn't planned, but it was a perfect example of how physical and mental ability isn't everything in this race, there are a lot of other factors that go into it. People who knew Ali either liked her or disliked her, but I don't think her experience in Big Brother helped her at all, in fact I know it didn't, because they were out way before us. So, I don't think it matters.
Thank you to Marshall and Lance for taking the time to speak with us, and congratulations to Marshall once again on the wedding. And thanks, as always, to CBS for allowing us to conduct these interviews.