Mike and Rochelle's cab struggle was real on The Amazing Race finale — and you didn't see any of it. After the couple let their cab leave when they were dropped off at AT&T Stadium, they found another one that, as we saw, ran out of gas en route to P2 Ranch. What you didn't see, though, were the multiple stops at people's houses to get directions that lasted almost an hour. Get the details on their ordeal and why they think they would've rocked the selfie task.
What happened with your cab? It wouldn't wait for you outside of the stadium?
Rochelle: Yeah. First off, we held the cab and as he was dropping us off, I asked him to wait for us and he said, "No, I can't do that." I let him know the situation and then I asked him if he could at least call his cab company and have them send another cab. He said, "No, I can't do that." He just absolutely would not help us at all. So after he dropped us off, we were left to ourselves.
Mike: It took us probably five or 10 minutes [to find another cab]. We had to run up the street from AT&T Stadium. We were in an area where there weren't a lot of cabs. It wasn't a big populated city area. It was mainly a highway. We spotted a cab a little ways down the road and we grabbed him and it wasn't a good choice, but it was all we had at the time.
And then he ran out of gas.
Rochelle: Yeah! [Laughs] Even before he ran out of gas, he didn't know where [the ranch] was located. We stopped three or four times, and he said he got the directions and he knew where to go now. But every single time he tried to drive there, he got lost again, so we'd stop somewhere else, get directions from them, but he'd just drive around in circles.
Mike: He didn't follow the directions at all. There was one point where some lady physically drew a map with the train tracks and gas station, and Rochelle's like, "This is where we're going," and he's like, "Yup." And he went the complete opposite way. It was terrible. ... We were in an area where there was no way to get another cab at all. We were on dirt roads. He was our only option.
Rochelle: We seriously stopped and knocked on people's houses. It took a long time.
It did seem like the other teams were long gone before you got to the ranch.
Mike: Yeah. They didn't show much of our struggle getting to the ranch. That was a huge part. We were stopping at people's houses, running on their front yards. It was crazy. We spent close to an hour, if not more, in his cab just trying to find the ranch. Nothing was going our way.
At that point, did you think you would be eliminated knowing that there would be a mid-leg elimination?
Rochelle: Yeah. When we finally arrived there, we knew it was over.
Mike: I wasn't sure at the time though because I didn't know when the elimination was gonna take place. I truly didn't expect it to be a Roadblock and then you get to the next challenge and it was an elimination. I was trying to keep my hopes high. Even if we had busted that out, it probably wouldn't have ended well.
You missed out on monster trucks!
Mike: I know! [Laughs] I wanted to drive the monster trucks!
How do you think you would've done at the selfie challenge?
Rochelle: I think we would've done really well because we didn't really take a lot of selfies throughout the race. [Laughs] I'm sure they tried to keep the amount even for the [final three] teams, but we wouldn't have had a lot of selfies to sort out.
Mike: I don't even think we would've had enough selfies to fill up [the map]!
So then maybe you could've won.
Mike: Right? It would've been easy for us! If it weren't for that cab!
You definitely were the underdogs. After you got first place on the third leg, you were always trailing, barely making the cut. What was your mindset like while playing catch-up?
Mike: I thought as long as we kept working together and not arguing, we felt like had a chance. We had some hiccups with navigation, catching earlier flights. In Germany, we struggled with navigation and getting directions, but we overall had a pretty good sense of that. So if there was a challenge that was a little harder on us that the Olympians would've busted out, our navigation skills could help us out. We always relied on that and staying positive and having a good time.
Rochelle: I think keeping cool helped us. I think a lot of the other teams were hectic and spent a lot of time running back and forth, trying to figure it out, and we kind of ran a more relaxed race. I think we saved a lot of time by not running down the street in the wrong direction.
There were some times where you had some good luck being behind and being patient. You were able to do the dog-feeding Detour because you were far back enough and you found the shoe-shining place when everyone else missed it in the last pack.
Mike: Oh, yeah. The shoe-shining place - when I watch that back, it was mind-blowing to me that people missed it. The Speed Bump was right there. It was really out in the open and there were llamas and typewriters and stuff. They knew it was something to do with the race, but they just didn't look around enough.
How did it feel being the last pre-existing couple on the race?
Mike: I thought that was really cool. I did not expect that. Going into the race, we just didn't wanna get eliminated first. We got through that and the next milestone was first place on the third leg, which was huge. Beyond that, we just didn't wanna get eliminated and suddenly the Olympians were eliminated. That was a huge surprise. Then it was narrowing down ... and suddenly we were in the final four.
What did you think of the blind date twist?
Rochelle: I think it was definitely a cool twist. When that was announced, I actually felt a sense of relief, thinking that we had an upper hand. Then we soon found out that they had certain advantages that we didn't have. There was definitely no baggage between them.
Mike: Even if they weren't looking for love, when you're meeting a new friend, I think it was Jelani who said in one of the episodes, "If you're meeting someone for the first time, you always show the best version of yourself." Spending three weeks with them every single day, it will be stressful, but you're still trying to show them the best side of you. You don't wanna go into the race with someone you hate or don't get along with. I mean, we did see a little bit of that!
Rochelle: Every single one of the blind date teams was super in shape, super intelligent, relatively young with great skills. I think the teams they chose for the blind dates were definitely tough. There weren't any easy blind date teams that you think might go out early. I think it would be cool if they did it again but not blind dates for love, but just two strangers. I think that's a cool relationship to watch develop.
They all did end up friends.
Mike: Yeah. That's a great way to meet a friend. We're friends with the entire cast, probably will be forever. But if you had taken me on that race to date someone, that's asking a lot — racing around the world trying to win $1 million and trying to find love. That's not a place you can find love easily. They really tried to make it happen. I felt bad for Phil. He constantly had to ask about it and everybody just kind of turned around and laughed, like, "We're really good friends!"
What are you up to now?
Mike: We're just getting ready to enjoy the summer! That's really it. Trying to have a normal relationship. We haven't really had that. It was preparing for the race, doing the race, preparing to watch ourselves on the race, so now we get to have a normal relationship.
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