Garrett Paul and Jessica Stout
Garrett Paul, 28, and Jessica Stout, 27, survived a Japanese game show, but met their match in some wayward ducks on The Amazing Race, becoming the second team to get axed. "It definitely came down to luck, which is disappointing for us since we got out so early," Jessica tells TVGuide.com. What's not disappointing is getting engaged after getting the boot, silencing critics of their "Dating On and Off" label on the show. Get the details on their engagement, what went wrong with the ducks and more.
TVGuide.com: Do you find some solace in the fact that you actually made it onto a plane flight?
Jessica: [Laughs] Yes! It would have been horrible to have been Eric and Lisa, but you know, it was so close. There was some other stuff that they didn't show on TV too. I had really bad luck my first try. My stick that you were supposed to herd the duck with was completely broken and they wouldn't give me a new one. But re-watching it last night, I saw a couple people that had two sticks in each hand! I was like, "What? Four sticks?!" Another time, I had a duck with a foot broken, so it wouldn't move and they didn't know what to do. Also, the guy wouldn't give us the clue either. It was really strange. We knew we were last. We were only a few seconds behind. It was just very short-lived. We had not even performed a Detour at that point and this was the end of the second leg.
TVGuide.com: Why weren't there any Detours? I thought one or two might have been edited out for time.
Garrett: We think because they knew it was going to be a two-hour premiere that they had to fit two shows in there and there was the whole drama with the first elimination that they didn't have time to put in a Detour. Apparently this duck challenge, [creator] Bertram van Munster said he's been trying to do it for the past eight years and he finally got it together. So he really wanted a lot of focus on that. No one thought the Pit Stop was going to be right there. It kind of shocked everyone and we kind of got unlucky there.
TVGuide.com: Garrett, you were pretty mad at the Pit Stop.
Jessica: I've been reading some stuff and everyone's focusing on that. I probably would've reacted just like Garrett did, but I was in shock because I couldn't believe we were at the Pit Stop and getting eliminated. It would be normal for anyone to react like that, given the Race and how it had been so far since it was so different from other Races in the past.
Garrett: I was pissed. It was like a fast-moving tour group. No one got on different flights. Even the two flights at the beginning, it was a terminal thing. One of the planes went into a terminal, so they had to take the shuttle, and our flight, which was behind, flew right into the main terminal, so when we ran out, it was all the same.
TVGuide.com: What do you think went wrong with the ducks? It seemed like the guys had an easier time herding them.
Jessica: Well, No. 1, it's something you can't practice for unless you've had experience with animals and herding, which one person had, Matt, having lived in Montana. Other than that, we had terrible luck. I literally couldn't do two of the 10-minute rounds because I had a broken flag and a broken duck. When they're not willing to help you out, it's costing me major time.
TVGuide.com: Both episodes had a lot to do with luck. In Japan with the Sushi Roulette, you basically had to wait until it landed on you.
Jessica: Oh yeah, totally! It was total luck. Brian and Ericka — worst luck ever! They were there [at the Sushi Roulette] for so long! We feel like we didn't get to use any of our skills. We're strong and there was nothing physical except for the mud challenge. There was no problem-solving. Garrett's very analytical and I'm good at quick-solving stuff.
Garrett: Brian ate, like, 30 pieces of sushi and was there for 10 or 15 minutes after everyone else. But as soon as they got into the city with their tour group, the very first person he asked, they knew exactly where it was. For us, we literally ran around the city for 40 minutes and no one knew where it was. It was this hole-in-the-wall that not a whole lot of people knew about.
TVGuide.com: Did you know Maria and Tiffany lied about being non-profit workers? From what they showed, it seemed like only a few teams found out they were poker players.
Jessica: Yeah, we found out when someone outed them at the airport. We all knew. Everyone was kind of taken aback by it, just because of the lying factor. Everyone was getting to know each other and it's not Survivor where it's one man for himself. I don't know. Normally the whole lying thing doesn't play in here. And I didn't understand their reason too! They have no reason to lie! I think it would've been in their favor to say they're poker players.
Garrett: Everyone was real outgoing and forthright except for the poker girls. It was a real tight cast. We kind of had an alliance with Brian and Ericka. We helped them get the airport in L.A. because they didn't know the area. We shared some information in Tokyo. Justin and Zev — Jessica and Justin had a mutual friend, so we kind of had a bond with them.
TVGuide.com: You spoke about marriage during the episodes. Where are you guys now?
Garrett: We're engaged. I actually brought a ring with me on the Race and I proposed after we got eliminated. We snuck away for that. What was lame was that — I basically said that comment at the end, like, "Oh, I don't know if we're closer to marriage," kind of to throw off Jess more than anything because I wanted it to be an extra surprise. ... I asked producers not to put that in — and they knew we were engaged — but they put it in anyway.
Jessica: [We'll get married] next year. It's laughable when you hear people go, "Oh, the on-and-off couple! They're going to break up after this!" It's just a game. I think it's hilarious watching it knowing there was a big, fat diamond ring in his fanny pack as he's shoveling mud across the river.