It was good news, bad news for Chuck and Wynona McCall on The Amazing Race. After a rough leg in Switzerland, they learned that they were penultimate team to check in — but they incurred a 30-minute penalty for rolling their cheese wheels down the hill instead of using sleds. Unfortunately, Joey and Meghan checked in — trekking 3 miles on foot — before the time was up. "Our smiles turned into frowns when Phil [Keoghan] told us we had a penalty," Chuck tells TVGuide.com. "Thirty minutes is a long time and it just didn't work out for us." How far behind were Joey and Meghan? And what's the real reason Wynona didn't do any Roadblocks earlier in the season? Find out below.
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How far behind were Joey and Meghan? You were still on the mat when they showed up.
Wynona: We were there for about 10, 15 minutes. We were just hoping at that point. We were excited when Phil said we were fifth. We were totally shocked by the penalty. It didn't say that you couldn't roll the cheese. It just said to take it down the hill in traditional fashion. We tried to use the sleds, but the cheese kept coming off. It started to roll at one point, so we thought, "Let's just roll it!" We weren't intentionally breaking the rules.
Chuck: When we got into the taxi to go to the Pit Stop, we were told that it was about 3 miles away. Joey and Meghan were already out of our sights. We thought that going by taxi was our best chance, so we spent our last $35 to get a taxi to get there. We made a good move doing that. We passed them running, but that penalty cost us.
You had a very rough leg. You fought, and Wynonna, you had trouble with the Roadblock and getting up the hill. Is it tougher or easier to go out on a bad leg?
Wynona: I don't know. But I think everybody had trouble going up the hill. I might have had more trouble. I don't like snow. ... There were two sections [of the hill]. As we were pulling up, Joey and Meghan were on the second section. They were right in front of us, but they were falling because we were pulling on the rope from the bottom. Everybody's hands were on the rope, so it was tough.
It was hilarious when Chuck used his head to push your butt.
Wynona: [Laughs] Yeah! He was trying everything. But I had tennis shoes on and he had hiking boots. It was really hard and we didn't know what to pack for the Race, so had I packed the proper shoes, I might've been able to climb it faster.
Chuck: Wynona gets in snow and that's it. She freezes up. We don't have too much snow in Alabama! It probably took us 30 minutes to get up. By the time we got to the top, Meghan and Joey were stacking their last cheese.
Did the altitude affect you during the Roadblock?
Wynona: I wasn't feeling it too much then. I was trying not to look down and just get around the mountain. But when you walked out, you were just on a ledge and I'm short, so if you weren't high enough, you couldn't unhook the hook. I had to go back and go up a little bit to unhook the hook and move around to the next section. I was probably out there for 10 minutes and everyone was faster.
Chuck: Katie did it first and she basically ran back around and was like, "Wynona, it's easy. You'll get it done." If we didn't hold up Meghan and Joey, we probably would've been the only ones left.
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Were you actually mad that she couldn't get around quickly?
Chuck: No. It was just hard pacing on the sidelines, waiting for her, when the person in front of her did it in two minutes. I'm like, "Uh oh. What's going on?" I couldn't see her, so I hoped she was alright. I could hear her, but I couldn't see her and what was going on. It was more nerve-wracking than me being mad.
Wynona: When I snapped back at him, everyone says I'm being negative, but I was really being positive. I kept telling him, "It's not the end until we get to the mat and Phil eliminates us. You never know what's going to happen." And that's exactly what happened until we got the penalty. I was getting frustrated with him, but I was trying to stay focused on racing. I had hurt my leg at the start of the Race, so that's what dragged us down the first few legs. They didn't show that, but that's why Chuck started carrying my backpack and it just became easier for him to carry my backpack.
Was that why you didn't do any Roadblocks until Chuck almost reached his limit?
Wynona: That's exactly why. When we saw it was jumping out of the airplane for the first one, Chuck said, "No, you can't land on your leg. You need to rest." So he did that one. I had to do the next one and luckily it was just the sandcastles. From that point on, we decided to make the best choice to get us to the next leg. My leg was hurting really bad. I couldn't run fast on it. I'm proud I made it through eight legs.
Chuck: We were trying to strategize when we read the clue, but sometimes the clue is misleading. We tried to look for an easier one for her.
How did you injure your leg?
Wynona: Before we even left L.A., we were running up the hill taking pictures and I pulled my right calf muscle. I was passing out, but I sucked it up. I put Icy Hot on it, I was resting it and Chuck was icing it down. I was like, "We're not pulling out. I can't believe this happened." We just kept going and going, and it slowly got a little better by the end.
That's interesting because a lot of fans thought you were lazy and scared of the Roadblocks.
Wynona: [Laughs] Yeah! Everyone thought I was lazy and didn't want to do any Roadblocks, but I was in pain!
Chuck: [Laughs] Yes, it did. They were making fun of me up until that point. I think I was the only one who packed blue jeans. I had worn blue jeans and I didn't even pack a hat. My head stays warm with all my hair.Would you have shaved it had there been a hair-shaving task?
Wynona: We were joking that he'd let me shave it since I'm a hairdresser.Chuck: I thought for sure I was going to come home bald. But it didn't happen, so that's good.What are you up to now?
Chuck: Back to our normal routine. I'm working and Wynonna's dealing with our clients. We've enjoyed our little bit of fame. I work at Wal-Mart, so I'm a little visible there, but the town is really reacting well to us. It's just neat seeing their reaction. They didn't believe real people got on these shows. They thought that [the contestants] were actors, but now they know people who are on it. So we're enjoying our 15 minutes!(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by a joint venture between Lionsgate and CBS.)