Ron and Christina, The Amazing Race
A spiritual quest for sadhus (or holy men) on The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business led Ron Hsu astray as he erroneously wandered the Ganges River waterfront for hours. "It took over an hour and a half to realize that mistake," he tells TVGuide.com. "I still felt we had a glimmer of hope because the cowboys were on a later flight. I thought, 'The cowboys could mess up like they did in Australia and other teams might mess up too.'" Alas, no one else made any mistakes, and Ron and daughter Christina got the boot. Find out how Ron got so lost, why they took the water taxi and why he was so hungry in China. Plus: Would Christina ever run the Race with her new husband and Season 12 alum Azaria Azene?
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Ron, how long did the Roadblock take you?
Ron: I lost track of time, but I felt like it was a couple of hours. I took the wrong road and I over-thought. I took the wrong street and found one sadhu right on the riverbanks, which they called the Ghat, and then I said, "Oh, yeah, the holy men are generally by the holy river of the Ganges," so I traversed back and forth from one end of the Ganges to the other when I should've gone back to my original starting point and taken a different road.
Some other Racers worked together. Why didn't you pair up with anyone?
Ron: Well, my downfall was taking the wrong road initially because I was told by locals that was the direction to the Ghat that we were on. Taking that road, I saw a few, what I consider, holy men, but they were not the ones that we had to find. So because I was on wrong road, I didn't see any other Racers. I should've at that point retraced my steps, but I said, "Well, if I'm on this road, maybe this is a difficult challenge where I have to go further down." It was reinforced by other sadhus I found by the river, but I should've gone back up. ... I did think of teaming up. That would've been a good idea had I seen any of the other Racers, but I didn't.
Why did you think the sadhus were taking a bath?
Ron: I thought that they were cleansing because the Ganges is considered a holy place in India and people want to cleanse their sins in it. So sadhus are there and people are congregating there to purify themselves. And I did find a lot of sadhus down there, but not the ones I was supposed to look for!
Christina, what was going through your mind while you were waiting?
Christina: I just wanted us to do our best. Whenever you're waiting for another teammate, you're just hoping that they're doing well. I think going into the experience, my dad and I just wanted to have a good time together. When the cowboys showed up, it added a little bit of anxiety. ... It was tough when the cowboys had left, but my dad didn't come back too long afterward. In a case like that, you can tell the leg will be pretty quick and it's more about speed, and my dad and I were very aware of our physical limitations. We're not as quick as the cowboys and would have a hard time not just catching them, but passing them. But it was fine. We were happy when he got back.
You picked the quicker Detour. Did you have a feeling from the clue it would be faster?
Christina: We actually really thought about that one a lot because we knew we were last, so we read the clues and we thought feeding the buffalo would be faster. We chose the right Detour and we never gave up. I think it's easy when you're at the bottom of the pace to give up, but we wanted to experience Varanasi as much as we could.
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You took the water taxi to the Pit Stop, which was apparently the slower option. How long did that take?
Ron: I think about half an hour. They had a speed limit on the Ganges River and we didn't realize that. We asked him to go fast, but evidently they had restricted speed limits, so they went at their regular speed that we considered too slow.
And you didn't think of jumping out like Vyxsin did?
Christina: [Laughs] No! I couldn't believe that when we saw it! We were told after asking around that the water taxi would be the fastest way to Ramnagar Fort. You know, the Race is a lot about luck and maybe the water taxi wasn't the fastest, but we trusted the people we asked, and that's just our luck. ... I don't know if [we would've beaten the goths if we took a cab]. We were told we weren't too far behind. They did the longer Detour, so it's very possible.
Ron, you were very temperamental in the early episodes, but seemed to calm down from China on. What happened? Did you get used to racing conditions?
Ron: I think so. There was less sleep deprivation. Basically, I had a full belly of food in my system, so I think I calmed quite a bit. The Race means a lot to me and I just wanted to make sure I didn't disappoint Christina.
Why were you so hungry in China?
Ron: [Laughs] Just the smell and the way the food is prepared and how economical it is, relative to other places. Compared to Japan, it was a bargain to buy good-cooked street food in China. Even the small little fishies taste great!
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Christina, I hear you and Azaria got married last month. Congratulations!
Christina: Thanks! I was lucky and so blessed to have my parents walk me down the aisle. So yeah, I'm married now and couldn't be happier. Married life is great!
Would you run the Race again with Azaria?
Christina: [Laughs] Yeah, in a heartbeat. My dad and I would definitely race again, and Azaria and I would definitely jump at the opportunity too. We really love and respect the Race. We have that competitive spirit and love for traveling, so absolutely.