Going into the latest leg of The Amazing Race, father-daughter team Gus and Hera were comfortably at the head of the pack. But then, an unfortunate encounter with an errant gate knocked Hera for a loop and left the duo stuck in last place. Although the team continued to run a solid race, Gus and Hera weren't able to avoid Philimination. Here, they reveal their take on the Gate Incident and what exactly Gus did for the CIA.
TV Guide Online: Hera, what do you think happened at the gate? Did somebody pull on it like Freddy claimed or was it just an accident?
Hera: I'm not sure if Freddy was correct. I think it was more a matter of carelessness. It also ended up being carelessness that knocked over the clue box. Everyone was being very careless and we ended up at the raw end of the deal.
Gus: I personally think that someone lifted it up to go through it faster, and then they dropped it. And when they let it go, Hera just happened to be standing there. As for the clue box, we got handed a number and after we looked at it, we saw we were last. That was disappointing. It was 15 minutes between each team riding the train and we just didn't have enough time to make that up.
TVGO: Do you wish you had chosen the water polo challenge instead of the raft?
Gus: Not really. We still had to make up those 15 minutes and where would you have made them up on such a short leg? Also, as a family, we've always been into boating. Whenever I would come back from my long, exotic trips, we would go boating. Of course, that may not have been a good decision, but because of who we are, we always took the boat. Granted, when someone tells you you're going to be competing against an Olympic-class water polo team, you think they're going to be good. Watching them last night, I don't know how they won a competition! They couldn't stop anybody. They must have been like the Jamaican bobsled team.
Hera: If I ever have a chance to meet the Hungarian Olympic water polo team, I'm going to be like "Buddy, you could have helped us out! All that training you had — you could have at least stopped one of them!" [Laughs]
TVGO: Gus, you were a real champ on that soup Roadblock. How quickly did you wolf it down?
Gus: They told me afterward that I finished it quicker than anyone else. I just concentrated on it and did it. It just took a lot of concentration trying not to think of the smell around me. It smelled awful, [puke] was all over the floor. And the band was not something you'd want to invite to your house. It was almost worse than the eating.
TVGO: How'd you keep your cool, calm demeanor with all the tension around you?
Gus: Well, have you ever tried to fly an open-cockpit airplane at the North Pole?
TVGO: Nope, can't say that I have.
Gus: I have. And if you don't keep a cool, calm, deliberate mood, you'll be in trouble. So you learn to keep a cool, calm head. You never gain anything by showing your hand. We brought that to the race and I think it helped us. It kept us from overheating and I think we enjoyed the experience more because of it. In retrospect, we don't feel we did anything particularly wrong; we're only disappointed because of our bad luck.
TVGO: Hera, did you worry that Dad's approach would slow you down too much?
Hera: I think being calm and collected didn't slow us down. In fact, it made us excel on certain legs of the race. There were several instances where teams were slower than us because they were fighting. Even down to the end, people thought we would be slow doing the challenges but we were actually one of the faster teams finishing every challenge.
TVGO: What was it like being a father-daughter team on the race?
Hera: A lot of people talk about the curse of the father-daughter teams, but I don't think it was a curse for us. There was never a moment where our dynamic made us lose. We're used to dealing with each other and we know each other's strengths and weaknesses.
Gus: The neat thing about being a father-daughter team is that no matter how mad we get at each other, we're always family. With couples, it can be a disaster. Some teams, like our good friends Mary Jean and Don, were very comfortable with each other and a nice team to be with. And Jonathan and Victoria, when they're off camera, are a very nice team. They're comfortable people to be with. Some of the others were not comfortable teams.
TVGO: So Jonathan and Victoria seemed normal off camera?
Gus: Well, I don't know how you'd define normal. [Laughs] But off camera, they have a relationship that seems to work for them. And they're certainly very friendly people. They're very focused and caustic to one another, but having been married for 30 years, I know that you have to have a relationship that works for you. What other people see in that relationship is irrelevant — it's how it works for you. I'm told that couples on The Amazing Race have a tendency to break apart, and we'll see if that happens with them. The dynamic of their relationship is certainly not one that I would want, but it is one they seem to have mastered.
TVGO: Finally, Gus, can you tell us what the heck you did for the CIA?
Gus: I was an ex-spy and I worked undercover for the CIA for a while, basically dealing with spies. I don't know if that helped me on the race. My natural instinct is to calm things down, be focused and see what you have to do.