Someone always has to be the first last team to the pit stop on The Amazing Race. In the show's seventh edition (Tuesdays at 9 pm/ET on CBS), that ignoble honor has fallen to Ryan Phillips and Chuck Horton. The good buddies from South Carolina more than kept up with the pack, but could never seem to get ahead. Here, the duo discusses their downfall — and Ryan relays a special message to the ladies out there, on Chuck's behalf.
TVGuide.com: So how does it feel to be the first team Philiminated from TAR 7?
Chuck Horton: We decided that we weren't going to say any bad stuff, so I can't answer that question. [Laughs]
TVG: How exactly did you fall behind Ron and Kelly anyway? It looked like you were ahead of them when you first got out of the taxi.
Ryan Phillips:Well, what happened was our taxis stopped right in front of where we were supposed to go in, but the taxi driver told us to go to the bottom of the hill. So we all jumped out and started running. We got to the bottom of the hill first; Ron and Kelly were behind us. When we realized it was back at the top of the hill, they were closer than we were.
Chuck: They followed us straight down the hill.
Ryan: So we weren't the only dummies. We were just the dummies furthest down the hill.
TVG: How did you feel about Rob and Amber being on the show?
Chuck: We actually didn't know who they were. When we first saw them, I was like, "There's another one of them pretty couples they like to put on these things." And then somebody said, "That's Rob and Amber... you know, off Survivor."
Ryan: Neither one of us had heard about All-Stars or Amber. At first, we didn't even know who Rob was from Survivor. But then someone called him "Boston" Rob and it all came together. But we didn't have any problems with them. We actually got to talk to them and they were pretty good people.
TVG: Were you fans of the show before going on the race?
Ryan: Oh, yeah. When the show first came on, I was home with the flu and I was in bed just dying. I hardly ever watch TV, but I happened to wake up for supper that night, and it was on and I watched it. And since then, I've never missed an episode. We always knew we wanted to do it and the timing was just right for this one.
TVG: Had you always planned to race together?
Chuck: I had decided about two and a half years ago that me and Ryan needed to do this thing because it would be a whale of a time. But I'm single, and Ryan has a wife and a child and all those headaches. I just couldn't ask him to take time away from his family to go gallivanting around the world with me. So I never mentioned it to him, but last year, he called me and said, "They're taking applications [for TAR 7]. We can do this." I was actually out of the country, so he left that message on my cell phone. When I got home, I called him and said, "I've been waiting two and a half years for this phone call."
TVG: What did you do to prepare?
Ryan: I'm proud of this. We both lost over 40 lbs. when we knew this was starting. We got to where we could run two miles, and we also walked about 8 to 10 miles three or four times a week. We started eating right and we were preparing for everything we could think of. If we thought we might have to climb a rope, we climbed a rope. If we thought we had to run uphill, we did that.
TVG: Had you both traveled much before going on the show?
Ryan: I've been to Mexico and about half of the U.S., but that's about it for me.
Chuck: I've gotten to travel a good bit. I was an exchange student in Brazil in high school, which has led me back to South America often. One of my buddies from Brazil moved to Australia, so I got to go spend some time with him there.
TVG: I guess that explains where your fluent Portuguese comes from.
Chuck: Actually, a whole lot of people here in South Carolina speak Portuguese. It's our second language. [Laughs]
TVG: Nice one. You almost had me going there. So what would you do differently if you ran the race over?
Ryan: Trip Ron when we was running up the hill.
Chuck: I'd say we would try to break away from the pack like Debbie and Bianca. That was a smart thing they did. We were followed by three teams who didn't speak the language, and we realized that we lost a lot of time with them asking us, "What are they saying?" We weren't rude enough to tell them to either be quiet and follow us or leave us alone. It's just not in our nature to be super-rude like that.
Ryan: Our game plan was to surprise everyone. We made jokes about being fat and about being country. We thought they were going to underestimate us and then we'd shock 'em.
TVG: Finally, Ryan, have you had any luck finding your best friend a wife?
Ryan: No. My plan was that if we made it five or six weeks, I'd get the word out nationwide that I've got this single buddy who really needs to be married. But we never got the chance. For all we know, everyone thinks he's married and has 19 kids. I've probably done about 10,000 different things in my life and there's only two things I've failed at. One of them was racing around the entire world and the second one was getting him a wife! So I want everyone to know that he's a single, available and very energetic male. [Laughs]