Ari Bonias and Staella Gianakakos, <EM>The Amazing Race</EM> Ari Bonias and Staella Gianakakos, The Amazing Race

Karma's a, well, you-know-what. And when best friends Ari and Staella stole another team's cab at an airport in Ireland, the god of providence waited patiently and then, just when it looked like the two Californians were winning, pimp-slapped them with a vengeance, making them the first team ousted from The Amazing Race (Sundays at 8 pm/ET, CBS). Ouch!

TVGuide.com: You're the first out. Sucks to be you. After you left Phil on the mat, who cried the longest?
Staella: Me.
Ari: I didn't really have very much sad emotion until after the cameras went off, and then I cried for a little bit, and then I just kept walking. But Staella was pretty bummed.
Staella: I just, you know... nobody wants to be the first one to go. It's like you get a little taste of it, and then it's yanked from you. And it was just something so completely out of our hands. We were both thankful that at least it wasn't like I messed up or Ari messed up. We can say, "It was because of the donkey!"

TVGuide.com: Right, blame the stubborn beast that refused to carry out your task. How long did you try to coax the donkey to move?
Ari: At least six or seven hours.
Staella: We couldn't get this donkey to move after the first 20 feet.

TVGuide.com: Why didn't you change donkeys?
Staella:
There were specific rules that you couldn't change donkeys. So we were just s--t out of luck because we got a bad one.

TVGuide.com: Give us a list of the things you tried to do to get that donkey to move.
Ari: Well, I sang to it.
Staella: We tried petting it and talking nicely.
Ari: Then I cussed it out. [Laughs]
Staella: In the beginning, it was kind of funny. But then when you see one team pass you, two teams pass you, and three and four, then you know you're at the back. That's when, like, the anger started coming out.
Ari: I mean, Staella ended up getting an allergic reaction, her eyes were puffy. We were both dehydrated.
Staella: I was sunburned by the end of the day. I had bruises from the donkey kicking me, and I had poop on my foot. Ari's foot was already sprained from running up the hill, and then the donkey stepped on him. So it was the worst.
Ari: The worst.
Staella: We literally had to push and pull a good three-fourths of the way. Until all of a sudden, the damn donkey decides to take off full force. Mind you, we're both exhausted and we're trying to keep up with this thing.
Ari: It brought a new meaning to "stubborn as an ass." Let's just put it that way. Now I hate donkeys.

TVGuide.com: Don't let PETA hear that. Now tell us something happy: Was it fun to ride the bike on the zipline across the ravine?
Staella:
That was amazing. Neither one of us is really scared of heights. But when we were getting ready, I sat on the bike and looked out over the water like, "Oh, my god, we are really high." And all we have under us is this wire.
Ari:
And me! [Laughs]
Staella:
Yeah, and Ari — sitting under me on a seat attached to this long pole. But it was absolutely beautiful.
Ari: Until we read the clue and it said that there was a hotel with limited rooms. And Staella and I, you know, being from the O.C. and L.A., we heard "hotel with room service" and we booked it. We needed a nice hot shower and some coffee.

TVGuide.com: The hotel looked rustic. What was it actually like?
Ari: It was like a bed-and-breakfast. Everything is a bed-and-breakfast in Ireland, apparently. And it was very cozy.
Staella:
All we were concerned about was having a bed to sleep in.

TVGuide.com: What did you eat?
Staella:
Nothing. [Laughs]
Ari: We shared a bowl of soup and some free bread and that was it. I felt poor because we were using the money that was given to us prior to [the start of that leg of] the race and we didn't know how long we'd have to make it last.

TVGuide.com: If it was a bed-and-breakfast, shouldn't breakfast have come with the room?
Ari:
Not this one. [Laughs]
Staella:
It did.
Ari:
We just missed it.
Staella:
But you don't really think about food or sleep; those are the last things on your mind.
Ari:
I must have woken up, like, four times because I was afraid we were going to wake up late and miss our boat or something. We had this little alarm clock and we didn't know how to work it.

TVGuide.com: Tell me about the cab — aka the karma bomb you set off. Did you know you were stealing someone else's ride before you got in?
Staella:
What happened was... OK: Everybody was outside looking for taxis and they are completely unobvious there. I mean, they are not bright yellow. So Ari's in the middle of the street screaming, "Where the eff are the taxis?!" And this guy pops out, like, "I'm right here." So we put our stuff in. And we were already driving with the guy when we started making conversation and asking how much and blah, blah, blah. That's when he was like, "Wait, didn't we discuss this on the phone before?" Ari and I looked at each other and were like, "Oh, crap."

TVGuide.com: But Ari, you seemed to be gloating about it in the cab. Was that just clever editing?
Ari:
I didn't really know that we were stealing it. But when I found out, I was happy that we stole a taxi because Staella and I didn't reserve one. And I would have done anything in order to get ahead of everyone. I already said it: We were not there to make friends. But we didn't end up going far anyway.

Check out all the Amazing Race action in our Online Video Guide.

You can find all four exclusive TV Guide illustrated Heroes covers on newsstands, or try four risk-free issues now! Also, visit our Heroes webpage for a gallery of the covers, an exclusive video of artist Tim Sale at work, and much more.

Send your comments on this Q&A to online_insider@tvguide.com.