Amazing Race's Marcy and Ron Find Closure in Vietnam
The Amazing Race - Marcy and Ronald
Dating couple Marcy Maloy, 60, and Ron Shalita, 59, wanted to represent "older couples" on The Amazing Race, but their time was cut short Sunday after falling behind on a far-flung Detour. There was little disappointment, however, since the pair was eliminated in Vietnam, the same place Marcy's father was shot down and later rescued while serving in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. "It was so wonderful to be there," she tells TVGuide.com. "Obviously the war divided the north and the south, and we met people from the north and the south, and they were the most beautiful, smiling people." See what else the two had to say about their emotional exit, why they did not misunderstand the Detour clue and more.
TVGuide.com: The way the episode was edited, it seemed like you spent a lot of time at the Detour and that's what did you in. Was it?
Marcy: Oh, I would say it was more like a bad taxi! We didn't really spend that much time doing the Detour. We got the letters fairly quickly and then went downstairs to solve it. I would say it was about 10 or 15 minutes.
Ron: Yeah, it wasn't that long. I think the problem was that our Detour was further away, so we had to travel further, and then we were stuck in traffic for a while. It was brutal. But, you know, that's the way it is sometimes. You just never know what's going to happen. Who knew that all the other teams would do the other Detour? We chose brains over brawn, and it turned out brawn was easier!
TVGuide.com: Why did you try to unscramble the word yourselves? Did you not know you could ask someone?
Ron: We didn't know we could! [Laughs] The clue said to go to the roof of the hotel, find six Vietnamese letters in the traffic circle and then figure out the well-known Vietnamese word it spells. It said "figure out." It didn't say anything about asking people, so we went downstairs and tried to figure it out! We were the only team there too, so we were calm and focused and ready to take everything in, you know, hoping to recognize something on the signs. Then we finally asked someone, but I wouldn't say we lost a lot of time doing it. ... I think they also made us seem more calm than we were — or maybe it looked that way compared to everyone else [who were] moving those animals around — but we were definitely determined and fighting to stay in.
TVGuide.com: They also made it look like a three-way race to the Pit Stop, but you guys were clearly last when you got to the Roadblock. No one else was there.
Marcy: Yeah, but as we were getting there, we saw Lance and Keri take off. They had just gotten done, so we knew we weren't that [far] behind.
Ron: They had trouble securing a cab — they had a whole lot of problems this leg! But they were all turned around, and our taxi had trouble getting there too. That's another thing they didn't show — just bad, bad taxi luck.
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TVGuide.com: Did you have a feeling you were last when you got to the Pit Stop?
Ron: We were hoping maybe Lance and Keri got lost behind us! [Laughs]
Marcy: Yeah, and obviously it was disappointing, but being there in Reunification Palace was so overwhelming after what my father and my brother went through there, having been shot down and rescued. You go through so much during the Race already that this sort of amplified everything.
TVGuide.com: You only mentioned your father being shot down in Vietnam on the show. How were they rescued?
Marcy: Yeah, they both were. My father... ejected out of an F4 into the Tonkin Bay, and he survived a huge wave until he was rescued by a helicopter. I saw it live on national TV without being warned that it was my father being pulled out of the ocean with a broken neck. My brother, we didn't know about until he had been rescued and was on the hospital ship. They happened to call my mother Collect, and his jaw was broken and everything, but she wouldn't accept the call because she thought he was calling to say "Happy birthday" to my dad. But he was really calling to say he had been shot down. Being there definitely gave me closure.
Ron: This was a warm, open, embracing culture. We got eliminated, but we got to experience something in terms of seeing a country we had no sense of. That really touched both of us.
TVGuide.com: I thought one of the smart things you did was bring a whistle to hail cabs, even thought that probably wasn't fun to hear all the time.
Marcy: [Laughs] Oh, thank you! Yeah, I always said the best things I brought with me were a whistle and my eyelash curler! I always looked good!
Ron: One thing they didn't show was that Marcy carried all of her belongings for three weeks in one seven-pound bag. She got everything in there, so she was very efficient.
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TVGuide.com: I read that you guys trained extensively for this, so how disappointing is it to not show your physical prowess?
Marcy: Yeah, I'm very active and I spent months getting ready. We both did. I didn't want to embarrass myself! I went rock climbing and did archery, kung fu, running — the whole nine yards. I went on vacation with my 19-year-old daughter, and I insisted on wearing a backpack to walk and she was like, "Oh, mom. You look like a dork." [Laughs] But I wanted to be prepared! And I did the trapeze. That was fun.
Ron: She did that for months. She was going to be our heights-person if any of the tasks called for it. But unfortunately none did and we didn't last long enough to see if there were!
TVGuide.com: What's next for you guys?
Ron: We talk about the next adventure.
Marcy: Maybe I'll train for a marathon. I need something, though.
Ron: Yeah, we need something different. We talked about maybe living in New York City a little bit. We definitely have some travel on the radar screen.