Canaan Smith, 26, and Mika Combs, 22, saw their Amazing Race dreams slide away when Mika, paralyzed by her fear of water and heights, couldn't take the plunge down the Leap of Faith waterslide in Dubai, allowing Harlem Globetrotters Flight Time and Big Easy to pass them. "I knew I had to go," Mika tells TVGuide.com. "I knew in my heart I would be OK, that I wouldn't die or anything, but it's six stories high and I just couldn't do it." See what else the couple has to say about her teary meltdown that played out for 45 minutes. Plus: Did they really think Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was Queen Elizabeth?
TVGuide.com: Mika, I think everyone's wondering why you would go on the race if you're afraid of heights and water.
Mika: Right. I had these fears before the race and when I watched the show, I said, "You know what? I think I can do it for $1 million." When I got there, I realized that no matter what situation or what circumstance you're in, you are still yourself. Unfortunately, I couldn't overcome my fears on the race. It was probably the worst feeling I've ever had, being there on the top of the slide, wanting to go in a sense, but at the same time being so terrified of going.
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TVGuide.com: Canaan, a lot of people think you were abusive toward her, trying to push her and pulling her fingers off the bar. Do you think you were out of line?
Canaan: Abusive my butt! I did what any competitive person would do. I wanted to win the race. I tried every angle for 45 minutes. I tried being sweet, understanding and patient with Mika, and that wasn't working. I tried being forceful and brash, and that wasn't working. Going into the race, I knew if we got to the point where we had to jump off a building or anything like that and she was going to hold us up, I would push her. I don't regret trying to do that. I don't think it was abusive in the least. I think people need to take another look at what abuse means.
Mika: I think he realized how strong I really was when he was trying to push me! I had a death grip on that handle. That's what fear does to you. You become so strong because you're so afraid. There was a lifeguard at the top. At one point, Canaan was trying to peel me off the wall and I looked at [the lifeguard] and went, "Please help me!" And he just stared at me. [Laughs] I tried to get help, but nobody helped.
TVGuide.com: I thought Flight Time and Big Easy showing up would give you an incentive to go. What went through your mind when they came?
Mika: When I saw them, I knew I only had two minutes [to complete it before yielding to them]. I thought, "If I went down now, it probably won't be worth it because Big Easy's legs are about as tall as I am." So if I went, they probably would've won in a footrace.
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I understand it was the competitive thing to do. It was kind of like trash-talking on the basketball court, but Big Easy knows better. He has a daughter and if his daughter was on the slide having an absolute fit and I was up there taunting her, he wouldn't have liked that. ... What they didn't show was that I tried to fight Big Easy. I didn't actually fight him because I would've been a fool to do that, but I went up to him and Flight Time and got up in their face. I was like, "This is ridiculous! Shut up! She's a mess right now!" TVGuide.com: Canaan, you seemed to have cooled down by the time you reached the Pit Stop. Had you accepted that Mika couldn't do it and were OK with it?
I wasn't OK with it. It really hurt. You never want to go out that way. But at the same time, I understand how irrational fear can be. If I were the one terribly afraid of those things, there'd be nothing I could do. Unfortunately, nobody can overcome it for you. I realized at that point to hold it against Mika would be ridiculous. I had to stand by her and look at the positives instead of thinking it was the end of the road for us.TVGuide.com: I've been dying to ask you this: Why did you think Jackie Kennedy was Queen Elizabeth?
We never did! [Laughs
] That was an edit. We actually said what the locals kept telling us, which was — edit — "It was a picture of Queen Elizabeth" — edit — and it made us look like idiots. Somebody asked us afterward who we thought it was and I guessed, "I don't know, one of the Kennedys or something?" ... Mika also never said [Kennedy Onassis] was of Cambodian descent; she said "they were."Mika:
[I was talking about] the guy in the car with her that I think was Cambodian and all the people around them, who were Cambodian.Canaan:
We're fine with the edit, but there were a couple blond moments that were completely accurate! Like when she thought she was going 120 mph, not 120 kph, and said it felt like she was going 60 [mph]. And this leg when she said, "Does a Muslim clock work differently?" [Laughs
] But we did not call Jackie Kennedy Queen Elizabeth! We're not the dumb blondes everyone thinks we were. Well, Mika is!Mika:
The 60 mph thing — I was like, "Did I just say that?"
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We're going to take over the world next! Actually, our music careers are taking off. I have a Top 10 single [that he co-wrote] on the country charts right now ["Runaway"] with a band called Love and Theft. I'm in the process of shopping for a record deal. I think the race really makes you comfortable in your own skin. One thing that I took from it was learning to make decisions for me that worked for me, regardless of what other people are doing. I'm going to apply that to my career. Mika:
I actually just did a music video for Boys Like Girls. I'm doing some television stuff, some music.TVGuide.com: And you guys are still together. The waterslide didn't break you up.
Nope. It's just a speed bump on our journey! [Laughs