The Amazing Race, Andy and Tommy
After dominating The Amazing Race this season — winning six legs — Andy Finch and Tommy Czeschin seemed like locks for the final. But taxi luck reared its head again: As they squandered their huge lead, the cab drivers of the other three teams chatted and drove them all to the Pit Stop, ensuring that the former Olympic snowboarders will get the boot — with the dubious honor of having the highest average placement at elimination in all 19 seasons, natch. "It was definitely ironic that our lead ended up hurting us," Tommy tells TVGuide.com. "But it's true reality. Those guys were just in the right place at the right time with the right taxi drivers, and we weren't." See what else they have to say about their surprising elimination, if they got their Mustangs yet, and which team they want to race against.
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You obviously were unaware of the group taxi driver group discussion. What was your reaction when you saw it last night?
Tommy: It was crazy watching the show last night. We weren't the only ones to not figure it out off the bat. It made us feel a little better about not getting the clue the first time. Our driver was just not in the loop.
Some fans think it's not fair that two teams made the final on luck, but taxi luck has always been part of the race.
Andy: Yeah, taxi luck is a huge part of the race! Going into it, we knew that some taxis were better than others and that could be the end of you. In this case, it was. We told our guy to go to Balboa, and we passed through Balboa and he took us to the Panama Canal. I don't know why! [Laughs] I guess he thought we were tourists. We couldn't really communicate with him. We were just like, "I guess we got to see the Panama Canal. That's cool." I think what's really neat about this show is it shows how people deal with life. Life isn't always fair. We all know people who've had cancer and it's not fair when people get cancer. It's silly to compare that, but it's life and you've got to deal with it. ... Those teams got some extra information and took it. Good for them. We would've done the same thing if we were in the group of taxis and we didn't know where we were going. Some people might think they cheated, but they didn't do anything wrong. They followed the rules. There's nothing in the clue about the taxis talking.
Why didn't you ask your cabbie to go back to the square when you saw that you were passing Balboa?
Tommy: We trusted our taxi driver a little too much. He was super confident that he was going to take us where we wanted to go. But that guy had no idea. [Laughs] There was a lot lost in translation. There were times where we had taxi drivers and we didn't trust them enough. You just don't know.
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How much time did you lose in total doing that?
Tommy: We probably lost a good 40-45 minutes. Even at that point, I think we were within the pack, but then we made a couple more wrong directions. From there, we went to the statue of Balboa. It was like we were on a sightseeing tour. We went back to the square and then we followed the wet paint footprint to another square area, and it was just a sign that said there would be construction in the area.
Did you think you were last or were you hoping other teams made the same mistake?
Andy: We didn't think we were last. We knew how hard that clue was, so you just never know. There were two teams who didn't know the clue, so they could've done the same thing we did and gone on a wild goose chase. They could've driven around more than we did.
How disappointing was it to get eliminated after dominating the race? Even Phil said he expected you to be in the final.
Andy: There were so many things that could've taken us out earlier in the race. We were lucky we didn't get U-Turned. We just really felt like we were blessed to have gone that far. We got to go to all the places the finalists went basically. We have all the stamps in our passports. I think that's the biggest prize on this show — getting to travel the world and seeing the different places.
One of the best moments was when you ran down Ernie and Cindy for first place.
Tommy: Yeah! We went all out. We knew Ernie and Cindy were about five minutes ahead of us. We paced ourselves just enough to catch up with them and when we saw them, we really turned it on. That was a serious run right there, but it was worth every step.
Andy: That was hard! We like Ernie and Cindy, and we have no problem sharing the wealth of winning the prizes and stuff, but you can't just give it to anybody. You've got to give it everything you have. When we saw them, there was no way we thought we could catch them. Poor Cindy, man! I don't know if they showed all the bruises she had. She had a really bad wreck with the bike taxis. She'd been through it. We felt bad running them down, but we knew we couldn't give it to them. If they beat us, great! Then they would've beaten us at us trying our best.
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You guys got a lot of sweet prizes. Did you get your Mustangs yet?
Andy: [Laughs] We're working on that! ... I'm going black on black. How about you, Tommy?
Tommy: Yeah, I mean, you've got to get a black Mustang. ... It's been super fun watching it [with our wives] and having it be a surprise. One of the times was when we were running with the beds in Africa. My wife was saying, when Justin and Jennifer checked in first, "Man, couldn't you have picked up the pace and beat them?" I was just holding it in and waiting for the classic "however" from Phil. All the trips, the cash, the Mustangs — we really felt like we ran a great race. It's awesome.
I think a lot of people would agree you guys are shoo-ins for All-Stars or another Unfinished Business. Would you come back?
Andy: I definitely would!
Tommy: Heck yeah! Absolutely! I've been looking at some of the chats and stuff, and people sound like they want the cowboys and us. That would be so fun. I would love to do that!
Andy: How about you race with your wife and I race with my wife, and we'll compete against each other?
Tommy: I'm down with whatever!
You're both not competing anymore, so what are you up to now?
Tommy: I'm coaching with U.S. Snowboarding, so I'm out in Colorado for early season stuff. The Grand Prix is this weekend. Dew Tour is the following weekend. And just trying to stay warm out here in Colorado.
Andy: I had two major shoulder surgeries six weeks ago and eight weeks ago, so I'm just healing up. I'm taking time to get the body strong again so I can do some more filming. I'm doing some commentating and some traveling.