Amazing Race's Rowan and Shane made one comeback after another on Sunday's episode, but they couldn't overcome their own huge blunder. After some miscommunication that put them on a late bus to Santiago, Chile, Rowan botched the shoe-shining Roadblock by using an actual shoe-shiner's stand instead of the Race ones. "It was my fault. I read the clue too quickly and didn't look for the Race sneakers hanging off of them," Rowan tells TVGuide.com. "And the guy let me do it! I had no indication that it wasn't right." Still, the actors and Queens of Bingo theater performers say they have no regrets about their error-strewn leg.
Rowan: We were close. We left minutes apart. Nicky was missing a piece of her stand and couldn't find it, so she was running back and forth, and finally she was able to get that piece. That happened right around the time I got the OK too, so we really weren't that far behind. I don't know what the time was, but it was pretty close.So you still thought there was a chance you were safe when you got to the Pit Stop?
Rowan: Yeah. ... We were playing catch-up the whole way and we almost did catch up. We came very, very close. We're proud of the fact that we didn't give up. What you didn't see was our cab was literally running on empty. Fortunately there was one gas station and he got a little bit of gas. I think if we hadn't stopped to get gas we might've beaten the girls, but that was perfectly symbolic of how that leg went for us.You took a risk choosing a bus that you thought would arrive earlier and that turned out not to be true. Why didn't you just stick with the pack to keep the other teams in sight since you knew you were already last?
Rowan: In hindsight, we realized we should've stuck with the pack. But before that, when we were going to the salt mines, we spoke to a student who spoke English well and helped us. When we came to the bus station counter, there was another student there and he spoke fairly good English. He certainly spoke better English than I spoke Spanish, so we were confident. We repeated and he repeated back to us numerous times that the bus was going to get to Santiago in four hours, not six hours. ... It wasn't until the bus left that we found out that the bus was picking us up at 4. That's just how it goes. I think it was an honest mistake on his part. On an upshot, we got on a better bus and got the front seat!Shane: It was comfortable and had air conditioning! We always try to find the positives. We still think the bus people pulled another bus off the road because, as they said, the bus wasn't supposed to be picking us up until 4. We think they realized what had happened and helped us out. Thank God for that bus because we were only 15 minutes behind and we saw all the other teams on the second bus at the Roadblock.
Rowan: I did! [Laughs] ... But I absolutely thought that stand was right. The gentleman was very nice. He showed me what to do. He said it was right. I got paid and I gave him the money. I think a lot of it was because he was on camera. You forget that it has different effects on people who are not used to it. They don't know what's going on. He was very willing to go along with what I was doing, which amazes me after the fact. He literally let me walk off with his livelihood! [Laughs] That was completely my fault. That was a huge mistake.You didn't notice that everyone else's stand was different at the drop-off?
Rowan: I didn't at that point because when I got there, and their stands were in disarray. What I did notice was the chair. Marie started to complain, "Oh, look at the easy chair he got. We've got this big chair!" Marie kind of complains about everything and I just thought, "Well, lucky me!" [Laughs] I love that you called her El Diablo.
Rowan: [Laughs] Well, you know.Shane: I don't think it'll have any problem sticking!Did you consider asking her for the Express Pass?
Shane: We did. Everyone had kind of done that, but it didn't play out that way.Shane, what were you thinking this whole time? Did you have any idea that he did it wrong?
Shane: No. I kept hearing Kim yell, "Nicky!" and Nicky kept running around. I was just like, "We're still OK. Rowan, keep going!" That was why we were still in it.
Rowan: No, it really didn't. You would think it would, but it actually had the opposite effect. It made us feel like, "Hey, we were in it until the very end." It wasn't one of those where we were so far behind that it didn't matter and was anticlimactic. It made us feel good that we kept coming back. And you know how television is. They could edit these things any way. We appreciate the truth in the editing because it did show that we kept coming back and how we kept trying to overcome obstacles that were put in our way and eventually an obstacle that I put in our way. There was a bit of a sting, I suppose, at the time, but the pride came over us. It could've just as easily gone the other way. That's a bit of a salve on the wound. No regrets.What are you up to now?
Rowan: I'm the new artistic director of the Totem Pole Playhouse in Pennsylvania, which was run for many years by Jean Stapleton's husband, William H. Putch, and Jean worked there for many years. I'm going to be running that summer theater. I'm also in Grudge Match, coming out at Christmas, with Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone. We keep working. The Race is another chapter in the remarkable book that is our lives. We are appreciative of it and had a great time, but I think it's different for us than, say, the guys from Oklahoma. Shane: Our friends are always like, "Wow. What are you going to do next?" And it's just what we've always done. They were like, "Oh my God! It'll be like Abbott and Costello on The Amazing Race watching you guys." And that was probably what it was like for them. Now we go on to the next adventure.(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)