Two inches might have come between Tim and Marie, and the $1 million on The Amazing Race 23. That's how much Marie's first flour drop missed the target by on her first try. "If I had gotten that and Amy got hers on her second try like she did, who knows what would've happened," she tells TVGuide.com. Instead, Marie took 12 tries, and the bickering exes came in second. Why did she have so much trouble with the drop? And does their 60-40 split contract still stand? Find out below.Jason and Amy left the totem poles? Did you think you still had a chance or were you resigned to second?
Marie: When we left the totem poles, we knew they were already at the Pit Stop. We were hopeful there would be more to the Race and maybe there'd be another Roadblock, but when we got to the totem poles, they were halfway done already. When we got the clue and it said, "Make your way to the finish line," we were a little bit in shock and a little bit upset, like, "The Race is over. That's it." So we casually jogged to the Pit Stop knowing they were already there.Tim: We were probably a half hour behind Jay and Amy at the mat. We were at the final task together doing it side-by-side. That took a really long time. It probably took us about an hour and a half. We were right there with them.The whole leg hinged on that flour drop because they didn't make any mistakes afterward.
Marie: One hundred percent. It was a linear leg, and that was frustrating. The order that you finished the flour drop in was the order the Race was going to end. There was such a gap in between how long we took to do it that you couldn't pass another team or change the order later. The editing made it look like it was closer when we were in the kayak, but we did not see another team at any of the tasks between the flour drop and the totem poles. Why did it take you 12 tries?
Marie: I was frustrated. We honestly were hoping that a finale task would be based on something that was in the racers' control. My very first drop was literally two inches outside the target. ... The second I got in the plane, I knew it was all physics and where you had to drop it and how fast you were going. So after my first drop, all I did was adjust when I dropped it. The second time I was a little shocked that it dropped like 10 feet left of the target. There was a lot of me screaming in the plane [to the pilot], "Why are you doing slower? Why are you going faster?" At one point, we got a little off track, and I missed two turns. My pilot was kind of flying around and Nicole got extra drops. Had she finished before me, I probably would've freaked out. Luckily it didn't change the placement of Nicole and me, but it was frustrating that that was partially in the hands of the pilot.Why did you decide to do it? Did you think there would be another Roadblock later that maybe was more physical that Tim would do?
Tim: We got there third, and Amy was in the plane and Nicole was in the plane, so it only made sense for Marie to do it. We didn't even discuss it. If there was going to be another Roadblock — like we incorrectly assumed because we thought they'd want an evaluation of how complete a team we were — I didn't want her to be against two guys later. And I always feel confident in her being able to beat Nicole and Amy. Like in Tokyo, she beat them when they worked together on the robot.
Marie: Thanks! That was an awesome feeling. We got there and we were like, "Crap, we're in last." And I don't build stuff. I have boxes from Ikea from two years ago of stuff I couldn't put together. Well, no one can.
Marie: Right! [Laughs] But I was panicking, like, "Oh, my God! There's no way I can do this." I saw them helping each other, and when I asked them for the model and they both ignored me, it just clicked in me, "I don't need you guys." I understand it because they were so far along, so strategically it was best to ignore me because with Leo halfway done, it was almost a sure thing we would be eliminated. I get it, but it pissed me off since [Nicole] asked us to work together at the beginning of the leg to get the Afghanimals out. It made me want to beat them more. I just thought, "I have to build this before anyone else does." I honestly don't know how I did it! ... On one hand, I can't even blame Amy for helping her because it was hard for a girl to lift those pieces and jam them together. They were so heavy and it was so physical. It was almost impossible for me, and I'm freakishly strong.What did you think of Amy helping Nicole so much throughout the Race?
Marie: For them, the friendships came before the Race. For us, the Race came before the friendships. I understand that. That's who Amy is. It worked out for them. She was rewarded with a win, but it's not something we would've done. When you're in Leg 11, you have to look after yourself. It was a little embarrassing to watch them do it together. It's a Race. What are you doing? It's not a "help your friend" TV show.Marie, you started out as the villain, but midway through, I think perceptions of you changed and people started to warm to you guys a little bit and your squabbling. Did you get the same sense from fans?
Tim: Yeah. You got to see more of our relationship. It's not all chaos and yelling and screaming. If you think about all the decisions you have to make on The Amazing Race — it wasn't all yelling between us. We actually communicate very well. Unfortunately, when we're in pressure situations, Marie yells, but I don't take it personally. I yell back, but I know she's just communicating. I'm glad as the show progressed, people got to see more of this dynamic between us. It's unique, and people are kind of astounded that it works. Marie: Our relationship as a couple doesn't work, but as a Race couple, it really doesn't get any better than Tim and me. We're able to remove the emotional part out of the equation. We're not going to hurt each other's feelings. Our relationship is not going to suffer based on anything good or bad that happens on the Race. We're there to compete and that's it.
Marie: [Laughs] We're going to go on the trips and we're going to take Jason and Amy with us. We love them. ... That cab thing was nothing. We're past that. Maybe one of us will take one and one will take the other. We're all friends and it'll be fun to share that experience with them.Next season is All-Stars and you've said that you wouldn't do the show again. Why?
Marie: We feel like we were a little taken advantage of this season. We didn't necessarily like our edit halfway through. I felt like I've been saying all along that we would say no if asked. What are you up to now?
Tim: Back to real life! Maybe I'll move in. [Laughs]Marie: Yeah, Tim's homeless right now, so I think he'll move in.That's a reality show waiting to happen.
Marie: If someone wants to film that, we're down!Tim: Separate rooms though!(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)