Two puzzling surfboard photos prevented Luke Adams from being Amazing Race's first deaf winner. But even if the die-hard Race fan and his mom, Margie, had won, they'd probably still be remembered more for their infamous fight with Kisha and Jen. Is it all water under the bridge now? Find out what the third-place finishers had to say below, as well as why Luke couldn't stay cool under pressure at the Roadblock.
Check out our interviews with winners Tammy and Victor here, and runners-up Jaime and Cara here.
TVGuide.com: Luke, you're obviously a huge fan of the show and you seem like a real student of the Race. Did that put more pressure on you at the Roadblock?
There was a lot of pressure. The deaf community was watching me. First, I was on the show and here I am at the end, and I had a lot of responsibility. What they didn't show was that there were producers and a lot of people standing around with cameras watching the Roadblock and I wasn't expecting that, so that kind of added a lot of pressure to have all these eyes on me. My goal was to finish it before the last two teams arrived. [Victor] arriving did not throw me off. I knew that when they got there, they would finish that fast, so it made me hurry up myself.
TVGuide.com: Did you get confused with the last two surfboards because the previous leg was a double leg?
Actually, it was the pictures that were more confusing. I didn't have a problem with the second-to-the last one ... but since I wasn't the one eating the bugs, I really had a hard time finding that one. There were three surfboards with pictures of bugs and [the spear] looked like a sword, so that's what confused me.
TVGuide.com: How far behind Tammy and Victor were you?
It was really a short time. We were two minutes behind Cara and Jaime. Victor and Tammy left maybe 10 minutes before us.
TVGuide.com: I don't know if you know this or not, but for the past few seasons, the team who arrived first at the Roadblock did not win, so is there some sort of curse?
[Laughs] It's just really bad luck.
Luke: When I arrived at the Roadblock, I knew the history of that and I was hoping to break that chain, but that didn't happen.
TVGuide.com: You guys built such a huge lead from the pig task up until then. How disappointing was it to get passed at the final task?
The hardest thing was watching Luke. I could see that he felt disappointed with himself and that he felt he let me down. But anybody can win. It just wasn't our turn. When we first started, of course we wanted to win, but realistically, I didn't think we would actually win. We wanted to make it far and didn't want to be the first team eliminated. But when we got the lead — after being 20 minutes behind leaving the airport — I started to let myself think maybe we would win.
Luke: I was disappointed. It was hard. The thing I was proud of was that we were the first mother-and-son team to make it to the end.
TVGuide.com: Your competitors have called you deceitful. Do you think you were?
I don't think we were ever deceitful, but sometimes it looked like that on TV, because of editing partially. When we U-Turned Amanda and Kris, Amanda said that I told her that I would never U-Turn anybody, and that Kisha and Jen said they would never U-Turn anyone. It came out afterwards that Kisha and Jen did say they would use the U-Turn, and I would not have used it. It was Luke's decision to do that. ... It was very hurtful when it came out, but once the truth got out, everyone apologized. We never lied. When we promised [Tammy and Victor and Jaime and Cara] to U-Turn Amanda and Kris, we stuck to our word.
TVGuide.com: Do you think your fight with Kisha and Jen was blown out of proportion?
I think it was. We all have a responsibility in that. We should've just all let it go. It became more than it was. There were some hurt feelings. But everything since has been great. We love Kisha and Jen, and I don't think there are any hard feelings now.
TVGuide.com: Luke, what has the reaction from the deaf community been like?
The deaf community has responded very positively. They were very happy with how I played the game and that I made the final three. They were a little disappointed about the Kisha and Jen incident. It's kind of the deaf-culture thing that the natural reaction is to protect myself when I'm bumped into. I was also really upset when Jen called me a bitch because I couldn't hear what she said. She should've said it to my face and not behind my back. I thought that was a very cowardly thing to do and I felt like she kind of got away with that. The deaf community was mad about that.
Margie: It's been overwhelming the response that we've had. Luke wanted to go on the show for that reason. His whole life, people made fun of him because he makes funny noises, and he's been excluded from a lot of activities. He just wanted to show deaf people are not any different than hearing people and I think he really achieved that. Whether we won a million dollars or not, I think we've made people more aware.
TVGuide.com: What are you guys up to now?
I'm just going back to work!
Luke: I'm looking for a job. I'm going to help the deaf community. I actually want to help people in general also. Last year, I graduated from college and I didn't really have time to look for a job because two months later, I applied for The Amazing Race. I've spent so much of the past year focused on the show that I haven't really thought about what I wanted to do afterward.
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