Looks like the sky wasn't blue for the Rogers family after all. The troop from Shreveport, La. — father Denny, 47, mother Renee, 42, sister Brittney, 23, and son Brock, 19 — were eliminated in Middlesburg, Va., after they got lost on the way to Washington, D.C., went to the wrong reflecting pool, then couldn't' make up time at the Civil War reenactment grounds. The day after their elimination they talk to TVGuide.com about their misadventures in The Amazing Race: Family Edition.
TVGuide.com: If you happened to bump into that guy who said "You can't miss it," then proceeded to give you directions to the wrong reflecting pool, what would you say to him?
I'd slap him.
TVGuide.com: OK, for the record: How do you get to D.C.?
Um, 80 East.
Denny: 80 West. And since I seem to be the villain here, I'll say I made the decision to go east instead of west. We went 16 miles out of our way — so 16 miles one way, 16 miles the other. That took away our advantage of leaving a half hour ahead of a couple of teams. But at the time, you were talking to a 47-year-old who wears bifocals. We probably should have had a little bit more discussion on the map before I made that decision.
Brock: No excuses.
Denny: The decision falls on my shoulders. And the big thing about leadership, and one of the things I wanted the kids to realize, is that when you make a decision, whether it turns out to be right or wrong, it's your decision and you can't back off of that. You take the responsibility — either the failure or the glory — whatever comes out of that.
TVGuide.com: That's a good lesson. What are some other things you learned about yourselves during the race?
I learned that, apparently, I can't run to a starting line without falling down.
Brock: I give better advice than I knew. And I give good directions, especially when something's wrong.
Brittney: I'm 23, and I haven't lived at home in years. Being on the race with my parents, I guess I learned that sometimes you have to become a child again when it comes to being with your parents. That was a good lesson.
TVGuide.com: How much time would you say you spent in the SUV?
Renee and Denny:
Way too much time.
TVGuide.com: Is that the longest you've been in a car together?
We have two other children at home, and when we take family vacations, if it's more than four or five hours, we're on a plane. We are not a read-the-map-and-drive family. We are an on-the-plane family. We don't do the car trips well.
Denny: We drive plenty of places. But when it comes to vacations, we've just elected to get from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible. So we were really pumped and ready to get the clues that said, "Get to the airport." But we weren't getting those clues. It was saying, "Drive yourselves" and then when we had to get the tent we thought, "Oh, god, there's a tent factor here and we might be sleeping not in a hotel."
TVGuide.com: And did you panic?
Brittney and I have never slept in a tent.
Brittney: I'm not against sleeping in a tent, but the tent we had I don't think was meant to hold four adults in the rain. I was on the edge of tent, which meant whenever it would rain, the tent would slap me. And Brock was on the other side of the tent with the only pillow that we packed.
Renee: And it was pink and heart-shaped!
TVGuide.com: I know it sucks that you got eliminated. But you did two legs. What was the best part about being in the Race?
Meeting the people.
Denny: And subsequently bonding with them, even after the race. The way nine of the teams came together to collectively help the Schroeders is unbelievable.
TVGuide.com: That's the team from New Orleans?
Yes. They lost everything in Hurricane Katrina — their home, everything. They only had their backpacks of clothes. They actually came up and stayed with us for two weeks. And the other families shipped clothes and money and, during their premiere parties, they had fundraisers. We've all just been really supportive trying to get the Schroeders back on their feet.
TVGuide.com: That's very kind. How has this experience brought you, the Rogerses, together?
Brock went off to college shortly thereafter and we realized he would probably be OK 17 hours away from home — and he'll make some pretty sound decisions. Not that we didn't think he could before, but I think it just reaffirmed that he was ready to leave the nest.
Renee: I've always had respect for Brock. He goes about things a little differently. He's not going to shove it down your throat; he's just going to say it, and if you don't believe it, he's like, ‘Whatever, I don't care." That's just his style.
TVGuide.com: Brock, where are you going to school?
Northwood University in Michigan. I'm studying automotive marketing and management.
TVGuide.com: Random question, Brock: Where'd you get the I Heart Twins T-shirt?
Hollister. It's a branch of Abercrombie. I thought it would be funny if I wore it.
Brittney: And he really does heart twins — the Olsen twins. So if you could hook him up, that'd be great.
TVGuide.com: I'll get right on that. Have the twins on speed dial. Now, back to the Race. Denny, you said you seem like the villain. Is that how you feel you were portrayed on the show?
I think they portrayed me as a loser — I mean a leader! — who made a bad decision. The first day, when we were somewhat indecisive as a group, I took the role of making the decisions and we came in OK. I know Brittney and Brock, and, maybe even to some degree Renee, felt like I was making too many decisions. I drove to the shoe house, then I was asked to get in the back seat and read the map. And of course, that's where I made a mistake.
TVGuide.com: Besides that, is there anything else you would have done differently?
We certainly could have looked at the clue and realized that it said "at the capital" instead of wasting 10 or 15 minutes to go to the Washington Monument. But all in all, we had a great time. It was a great experience.
TVGuide.com: Where did you guys go after you were eliminated?
Denny: Renee fell at the starting line. She had grass on her shirt and pants and she skinned her knee, and when we got to the car she said her ear was ringing and she thought maybe she'd burst an eardrum. So we dusted her off and took off. That night she became nauseous; the next morning, she couldn't eat. As we progressed to Washington, she was starting to not finish her sentences and she couldn't remember what she was fixin' to speak about. She lagged behind at the Reflecting Pool and when I looked in her eyes, I knew we didn't have the same competitor we started with. Once we were eliminated, of course we reserved the right to seek medical attention on her behalf and [doctors] determined that she had a concussion.
TVGuide.com: So, Renee, you went three days with a concussion.
TVGuide.com: That's dangerous. You can lapse into a coma like that.
If we hadn't been eliminated then, we would have been eliminated next. That was grounds for elimination.
TVGuide.com: Well, thank goodness you're all better now. Of the people who are still in the race, who would you like to see win?
We'd like to see the Schroeders win because they need it. And they're from Louisiana, so it would be nice to represent our state.