John and Jessica had an unhappy Roman holiday on Sunday's Amazing Race All-Stars. After leaving the Detour first, the couple had taxi trouble and arrived last to the Roadblock at Rome's Spanish Steps. Fortunately, the Globetrotters and the Afghanimals were still there, and Jamal shared the answer with John and Flight Time, thinking there was still another team behind them. Unfortunately, there wasn't, and because John had to get a new postcard to write down the answer, the Season 22 alums were eliminated. "Yeah, I shouldn't have asked them [to tell us the answer]," Jessica tells TVGuide.com with a laugh. "I was a little surprised they did, but at the time none of us thought we were fighting for last."So why did they think Caroline and Jen were behind them? And is this elimination harder to swallow after their infamous Express Pass miscue? See what they say below.
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All of you seemed shocked that you were the last three teams. What made you so sure Caroline and Jen were behind you when you never saw them?
Jessica: We weren't sure when we got to the Roadblock. We thought for sure we were dead last. We were shocked that there were other people there. I think the Globetrotters thought the singers were behind them because they had left the Detour before Caroline and Jen, so I think they thought it would take them a long time to do the Detour, and they weren't sure if they had done their Speed Bump or not. ... I think everyone was just really tired and really optimistic. You just want to get to the finish, so you just think so optimistically, like, let's work together, thinking it was the best option when it wasn't.
Last time, you got eliminated because you thought someone was behind you, so you didn't use your Express Pass, and now you thought someone was behind you and you got eliminated.
John: Right! If we had an Express Pass this time, we definitely would've used it on the Spanish Steps! [Laughs]
Did you arrive at the mat thinking you still weren't last?
John: No. By then we knew. We showed up to the Roadblock certain we were last, then it was suggested to us that none of us were fighting for last place, and we shared the answer. The way the answer got shared was just this random sequence that unfolded naturally. That was really the determining factor in how we all ended up on the mat in the order we did. You could only grab one postcard at a time. [If the answer] wasn't right, you needed to get a fresh postcard at the bottom. When Jamal started sharing the answer, I was on my way down after getting the wrong answer and Flight Time had a new card. When Jamal gave us the answer, I wrote it down, but I had to run down the stairs, get a new postcard, write it there, run to the top and submit the answer, whereas Flight Time just had to write it down and run up.
It was bad timing.
John: Yeah. How do you plan for something like that? The answer-sharing just happened out of nowhere from my perspective. It's just really interesting to think about how everything panned out. At that point, since we were sharing answers, we were under the assumption, "Oh, maybe there is a team behind us," which we didn't think coming in.
Because why would you share answers with everyone if there wasn't someone behind you?
John: Exactly. So we bought into that idea. We were all feeling good about it. ... Everything was done in good will. But when we started running, the dynamic changed.
Jessica: I had a head-start on John because he was still coming down the steps. As we were running, it just hit me that we could be last and if you're seventh, you were last. ... I get tunnel vision a lot on the Race, so I literally saw Big Easy and I just remember darting as fast as I could. I ran my heart out. They were pretty far away and I ended catching up with them, but as soon as they saw how fast I was running, I think it hit them, like, "Whoa! Why is she running so hard?" They threw off their backpacks and picked up the pace. At that point, there was no way we could've beaten them. They had more energy than we did and they're Globetrotters! I guess I could've been more stealth about it and snuck around them. Leo and Jamal were praying, "Let us be four, five and six." But I knew we were last.
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Jess, you suggested Jamal share the answer. Do you regret that now? It didn't seem like he was going to until you brought it up.
Jessica: Yeah. ... We were all talking about it. I feel like I was definitely egging him too, so I definitely take responsibility for that. It was just Leo and I talking and then Big Easy got involved. Big Easy and I were kind of joking about it, like, "You can share the answer with us!" Then they were like, "OK!" Because they wanted people on their side and not get U-Turned. I wish I did not say that at the time.
John, you were only one number off the right answer the first time. So it seemed like you would've gotten it eventually since Flight Time didn't even know you had to add the year.
John: Right. I mean, you never know. That seems like that was the path I was on, so I'd like to think that I would've figured it out. It's hard to say unless you do it. I'm pretty sure I had the year right and I counted the gutter on the bottom. Until yesterday when we watched it on TV, I was confused why it was 135 and not 136, and then I realized it was the gutter step. We ended with a sprint to the mat, so I never got a chance to reconcile with the gutter.
Jessica: It was really confusing. I think people started counting side stairs. No one really knew. John could've ended up being there longer. I think it ended up being fine.
Part of it was your bad cabbie. How much time did you lose figuring out it was the Spanish Steps?
Jessica: Two hours. It wasn't all our cabbie's fault, but he was definitely a factor because he was so stubborn and so certain that he was taking us to the right spot. We knew we had to be very thorough with our taxi driver. He was over-the-top certain, which was a little annoying. We felt a little uncertain, so we should've stuck to our guns, like, "Hey, you're taking us to the wrong place." I knew it was a riddle and it wasn't Via John Keats. But you don't know where you're supposed to be going, so you just hope that someone has the right place.
Did he search on his phone? Some of the other teams' cabbies just whipped out their iPhones.
Jessica: I know! He didn't. But we looked on people's iPhones and it wasn't the first thing that came up. I think we had to change some settings and the language. You had to research a little further down. Some people had really good luck with their cabbie Googling. That sucked for us.
When did you dump him?
Jessica: After we went to Via John Keats, we stopped at an insurance company and they told us to go three hotels called Roman Holiday, and we were like, "OK." Again, you don't know ... and at least that was taking us back to the city because we were on the outskirts and we knew it was not right. We weren't getting a good vibe from him, so we decided to leave him then. Your first instinct when you get a clue isn't to go to a hotel because that takes time, but we thought, "Let's just slow down and find a computer and sit down and figure this out." So we went to a hotel and we found on a Wikipedia article about John Keats dying next to the Spanish Steps. ... It was frustrating because watching the show, the cowboys went to Via John Keats too. And they went to the coffee shop by it and talked to the barista and the barista happened to have some time and found it on his iPad. But when we went in there, he was really busy and was like, "Wait 15 minutes and I can help you." But we weren't going to wait 15 minutes. Now we realized we should've!
So everything after the Detour was just bad timing.
John: Oh yeah! All around! Everything was like, if something had happened a little bit differently or like a minute later, who knows? Maybe I would've been on my way back with a new postcard when they were giving us the answer.
Is it tougher to go out this way with a series of unfortunate incidents and decisions or last time with your Express Pass unused?
Jessica: [Laughs] I think it's way easier this time. There wasn't too much that we could've done differently. The cabbie was out of our hands. A lot of it was just bad timing.
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It's interesting because last time everyone gave you so much grief for not using the Express Pass. But now I feel a lot of people are sympathizing with you and saying the Globetrotters should be out.
Jessica: Yeah! People are so nice! We've gotten so many great tweets. We haven't gotten any negative comments. The Express Pass thing doesn't bother us, but no one's really bringing that up. I think part of it is that we were in the back of the pack this time around and we hadn't really caught up yet.
What are you up to now? When's the wedding?
Jessica: It's in the fall. There's a whole lot of planning left. It's stressful, but we're excited and we're looking forward to it.
Are you inviting the Afghanimals like they asked?
Jessica: [Laughs] Oh, yeah! We're inviting some Racers! For sure the YouTubers will be there. I think there'll be some other appearances.
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