Chester and Ephraim went from first place to a more dubious Amazing Race first on Sunday's episode: After a booking mistake by a ticket agent and a string of flight delays set them back nearly 24 hours, the former Houston Texans teammates became the first team to get eliminated in an airport before even having a chance to do the tasks. "It's not the thing we want to be first in!" Chester tells TVGuide.com. "We weren't looking for that trademark. It's never over 'til it's over, but we knew we were in a hole." Find out why the two, who can currently be seen on Texans Insider and Fox Sports Live, respectively, decided to roll the dice with a double connection and why they could've arrived even later in Portugal.
Ephraim: Well, it was nice to see what the challenges were. [Laughs]Chester: We had no idea what was going on the whole leg, so we watched it kind of like every other fan.Do you know how far behind you were? It seemed like at least 18 hours.
Ephraim: I'm going to say it was around 22.75-hour mark. Somewhere around there.Chester: That's pretty accurate. We were hoping it would be a non-elimination. We thought we could pull off a Beekman boys comeback. Even if it was a non-elimination leg, they would've had to change the entire show going forward because we couldn't do anything in Portugal since we landed so late. If it were a non-elimination, you might have had a chance if there was an hours of operation rule or travel restrictions.
Ephraim: Yeah, but I don't know what happens next. I don't know where they went after Lisbon. If they stayed in Lisbon, then that's fine, but if they had to take flights and leave and go to another country, then there was no way we could've caught up if you could book any flight you want.The ticket agent obviously made the date error and tried to make it up to you with the double-connection flight. Did you immediately take the tickets or did you think it over and consider flying with other teams?
Ephraim: We wanted the extra five hours because even with a delay, you figure the extra five hours would give you such a huge cushion that you have to take it. We were already chasing the mistake from earlier in the evening. Normally, I would say never take two connecting flights, but so many other teams had the same situation where they had two connecting flights, and they got in at the same time our original flight was supposed to get in. We wanted to take that chance. Let's get that five-hour head start and be there with the doctors. We figured five hours was plenty of time. It was not. [Laughs] Every single flight we had was delayed. It was either delayed because of weather or malfunction.
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You guys had a good sense of humor about it.
Ephraim: You have to! We came to terms with it because the way things were happening, it was pretty much meant to be. You hate that you have to go through that, but for the most part and for whatever reason, the way things kept on unfolding, it was our time to leave the Race. After the third or fourth delay, you've got to laugh about it! Or you'd be miserable. This is a television show. It's a chance of a lifetime, but it's entertainment. You have to keep things in perspective. Who am I going to be made at? Chester? The travel agent lady? She made a mistake. We all make mistakes in life. You have to be able to overcome it or you'll just drive yourself crazy.
Do you regret taking the double connection? Do you think you should've at least convinced another team to get on same itinerary so you could keep one team in sight?
Ephraim: No, because there were so many different flights, as you saw in the episode. People were getting in at random times. They were landing all through the episode, so if it were just us on that flight and everybody else together on another one, that would be more disconcerting to me because it would've been like, we took a chance that we didn't really have to take. But because there were so many flight options — there were nine teams and I think there were six different flight options — it wasn't like everyone was sticking in a pack. So what happened to us could've happened to someone else, but it didn't!
Chester: We never left the airport! [Laughs] We changed airports in four different countries, but we never left an airport. We had no idea what Portugal had to offer. All we saw was baggage claim.
When you landed, did you think you'd be able to run the leg knowing that you were almost a full day behind?
Chester: We didn't know then how far we were behind because we knew a bunch of teams had different flights. During the Race, you always have to have that in mind — there's always a team behind you. Let's push through and then Phil [Keoghan] popped up behind the kiosk and it's like, "OK!"
You're the first team to be eliminated in an airport.
Chester: It's not the thing we want to be first in. We weren't looking for that trademark. It's never over 'til it's over, but we knew we were in a hole. You have no idea how long it was. It was out of control. We didn't sleep. It was crazy.
Ephraim: We talked and were like, "Whatever the challenges happen to be, we're going to go out there and fight. Nothing's going to change." That was one thing we focused on after the frustration of airport to airport to airport. Freaking Chile to Buenos Aires to Sao Paulo to London. Some people talk about a whole day like an eight-hour day. No, no, no, we lost almost 24 hours, the moon up, the moon down.
Chester: We would've been later if we hadn't caught a delayed flight in one of the countries.
Chester: I would love to do it again. I had a ball. I would've preferred to have gotten eliminated doing a challenge. No one wants to get eliminated like we did. We'd be fine if it's in our control.Ephraim: That's absolutely the hardest part. If we got outworked, got out-thought, if someone just beat us and we lose and we gave everything we had, that's easy. We can deal with that. It's like football. You go out and play as hard as you can. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don't. But when you lose and it's something that's completely out of your control and you're just helpless, it's so frustrating. If it's all on us, we can deal with it. When it's not, it's tough.(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)