Amazing Race's Jill and Thomas "Very Frustrated" with Final Leg Design
Jill and Thomas
Bad cab luck reared its ugly head again on The Amazing Race finale — this time costing Jill Haney, 27, and Thomas Wolfard, 30, a chance at the $1 million prize. After being in second place for most of the leg, the couple fell to third when they got into a cab with a driver who didn't know English — or what the Internet was. "He said he didn't know. How much worse luck can you possibly have?" Thomas tells TVGuide.com. "But the race kind of reflects life experiences, and sometimes you have good days and sometimes you have bad days. Sometimes you go in the wrong direction, you have communication barriers. Everything went wrong. It's kind of how it is." Though they've made their peace with their third-place finish now, the two say they're still upset they never had a chance to catch up to Nat and Kat thanks to the linear structure of the leg.
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TVGuide.com: Everything went downhill once you got into the cab. How much time did you lose?
Thomas: We spent quite a lot of time in there. We were able to finally find the right directions after probably 45 minutes or so.
TVGuide.com: Did you try to get a new cab?
Jill: We did. When we got off the freeway, we got to use somebody's phone. We went looking for a new cab, but we were in such a small area that there were no cabs to be found.
TVGuide.com: We saw you stop at a shop for help. Did you go anywhere else?
Thomas: Not a store. Obviously, they showed us getting frustrated with our communication and me trying to ask him to use his phone. Ultimately, I did get to use his phone. I called information, and they were in the process of looking everything up for us and then the phone died. He had no charger. He didn't have his radio dispatch, so we were on the highway with zero means of communication. That's when we had to get off the highway and we were in a very remote area. There was a small strip with some mom-and-pop shops, and we went in one and she was not willing to let us use her computer. But we found someone across the street with an iPhone who helped.
TVGuide.com: Did you know the answer was Don Quixote or did you have to look that up too?
Thomas: You know, it's funny. My second major was in Spanish and Spanish literature. I knew Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, but at that point, you want to confirm everything. I didn't know what Quixote Studios was, so I wasn't sure if that made a whole lot of sense. But when we found a person with an iPhone, we realized that was our next stop.
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TVGuide.com: You were in second place for most of the leg. Was there a chance for you to move ahead at any point?
Jill: No. You know, honestly, it's like [Nat and Kat] getting in the first cab [out of the airport] was almost the winning part. Everything was so set by time — getting your safety briefing [for bungee-jumping], putting on harnesses, the helicopter ride. You had to wait for them to get out of the water before you could drop. We really couldn't go much faster. ... When we flew over the Rose Bowl, we were hoping it was a physical task. We were like, "Yes! Thomas, you can burn through this!" Then it was putting flowers on a float.
Thomas: It was an arts-and-craft challenge. There wasn't a mental focus or a physical focus where you could maybe work to your advantage or that would really trip someone up. There was really no point for us to catch up at the beginning. The only way to get ahead of a team this leg — and I was very frustrated with the leg — was a cab ride.
TVGuide.com: Did you complete the memory task?
Jill: Yeah, it sucks they didn't show it. We did great on it. We got it right away. After every leg, we wrote down where we were, who was there, so we kept note of everything.
TVGuide.com: What was the mood like en route to the Pit Stop?
Jill: It's like... you work so hard to get there and then to see it end that way and with something as silly as a cab driver and the phone. It was just so hard to swallow that it was completely out of our hands.
Thomas: [There was] disappointment, frustration. Mostly disappointment. You know what you could've had.
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TVGuide.com: You guys got to use both new elements this season: the Express Pass and the Double U-Turn. I'm assuming you liked the Express Pass. Why did you opt to U-Turn Brook and Claire?
Jill: We both thought of them as a tough team. At the end of the day, you want the toughest team to be out. We love Brook and Claire. We love them ... but we were hoping they would get eliminated!
TVGuide.com: What are you up to now?
Thomas: Business as usual. We're living in Marina del Rey [Calif.]. The race has definitely opened up a lot of doors for us. It was a great experience that we were able to share together and we'll always have that unique bond with each other.