Michael, Scott Michael, Scott

A nasty ankle sprain didn't stop Michael and Scott on The Amazing Race, but bad directions did. The Boston firefighters were on the verge of safety when locals directed them the opposite way to the pit stop at Scotland's St. Ninian's Isle. "It was bad directions and a host of things coming together," Michael tells TVGuide.com. "And we have no one to blame but ourselves." Is it worse getting eliminated because of bad directions than an injury? See what they have to say below. Plus: Find out how they feel about Phil Keoghan picking them to win before the season began.

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How's your ankle?
It's hanging in there. It was a high sprain. It's not 100 percent. I'm working through it. It's funny, I've played how many years of football and I never got injured and now on a curb in England — it's crazy.

You just tripped off the curb, right?
Yeah, I was running along with Mike and we were making a push. We had made it to sixth [place] and we were like four hours behind everyone. Mike has said before, "You can't walk to these places. You don't know what you have to do when you get there." So we were making a move and we were on a cobblestone road and I was trying to read the map, and it's dark out. And then I just fell straight off the curb just the right way and went right over [my ankle]. It was bad.

It definitely looked bad.
It only got worse!
Michael: The part you didn't see was we were running to the train station. You don't know how far behind you are and you don't know what the train schedule is. You're a fool if you take your time and we wanted to move up. We were running and there was tiny print on the map. Scott had the map fully extended. He was running sideways to get the light on the map and there was a little curb and he hit it.

You were so close to a comeback: You got injured, you persevered, you were gonna be safe and then you got bad directions. Does that sting more? Would you have rather gotten eliminated because of the injury?
Well, it's like asking if you'd rather have cyanide or Ebola. [Laughs] When you're out, you're out. It's not a fun place to be.

How did you miss the museum?
We pulled into a spot and I helped Scott out of the car. He had flipped his ankle two more times when we were chasing the sheep, so it was really swelling. We have to stay together. I can't run uphill and do a reconnaissance without him. We completely missed the museum. We went into a hotel and the woman didn't know. We went into a bar and the guy told us all about the broach. He knew all about it. It was a Viking broach. He was right about everything. The jewelry store he sent us to — they made them there.

Check out behind-the-scenes photos from The Amazing Race start line

So he was right technically.
Yeah! The people in the bar were right. It was like the Hubble telescope: a perfect mistake. We had one team behind us, but we didn't know where they were. You don't know where the other teams were.
We're not making an excuse of the ankle failing us. I think a lot of it was the directions. If we had gone to the museum, everything would've been laid out for us. The bar owner had good intentions. Unfortunately, [we drove] too far for us to recover. I really thought we were still in it. ... Time and how the race is running don't always fit correctly.

Do you know how far behind you were in the end?
I think 10 or 15 minutes. We would've had it if we gotten the right directions. It came down to that mistake.

Do you think the elimination was perhaps a silver lining? How much longer do you think you could've lasted on that ankle?
We never give up. We always take things one at a time. We had to assume on some physical tasks that we'll have limited mobility. That's why we did the wrapping of the torches Detour. You never know what could happen the next minute. The thing is we went on the show not to win money for ourselves. We were going to contribute to Wounded Warriors. We want to thank the people in this country for their sacrifices and shine a light on them. We didn't want to come off as incompetent. We did this for them. The results are what they are unfortunately.
Scott: We see a lot of stuff that people don't or shouldn't have to see. We weren't fazed by anything. People think we're aloof. We thought we were going to win. An injury wasn't going to stop us. In the end, we can't cry over spilled milk. No one wants to see negative people.

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I don't know if this is any consolation, but when I talked to Phil before the season started, he picked you to win.
Aw. That's a tough one to swallow. I think we were going to make a comeback. I felt that energy. We've been in this type of situation before with our backs against the wall.
Michael: We saw other teams start to crack under pressure. You haven't seen it in the 44 minutes you see, but maybe you will soon. We let ourselves down, but more importantly, we feel like we let other people down. We had a message to deliver. ... Scott and I want to thank people for all the sacrifices. We want to thank the show. The Amazing Race is full of amazing people, the producers and camera people. from the top to the bottom. Nothing but great, great people. It was a true blessing to be here. As Scott's tattoo says, "After darkness, there is light." Some bad things happen, some wonderful things happen. There have been great people who came into our lives who we've been able to connect to.

The Amazing Race airs Fridays at 8/7c on CBS. Check out our behind-the-scenes footage from the start line:

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