The "Twin Brothers" became the third team eliminated from the around-the-world competition after they arrived at the CBS reality show's third Pit Stop in Asuncion, Paraguay in last place because they got stuck on a flight which arrived two hours behind four of their fellow racing teams, took a great amount of time to complete the "Strung Out" Detour task together, and then Elliot struggled to finish a bottle-balancing Roadblock task in a race against Ralph Kelley to the finish.
On Monday, Elliot and Andrew talked to Reality TV World about their The Amazing Race experience -- including how long it took them to complete both the Detour harp task and the bottle Roadblock task, how close they came to beating out Vanessa Macias and Ralph in the end, what their major regrets were in the Race, and whether the brothers were aware of the tense and brutal relationship between Rachel Reilly and Brendon Villegas and Vanessa and Ralph.
Reality TV World: How far behind Vanessa and Ralph do you think you guys finally arrived at the Pit Stop?
Andrew Weber: They left about seven minutes before us. I think we closed the gap like two to three minutes. I know that Ralph was there because Vanessa's not too much of a runner. And I'm sure he -- but Elliot and I -- we knew that we were behind, so we just sprinted the whole way there.
Reality TV World: You guys seemed pretty confident in your abilities to string the harp because you, Elliot, had experiencing in stringing guitars. What made this task so challenging for you guys, and Elliot, how different was it from what you were used to doing? What additional skills did you need in stringing harps?
Elliot Weber: The most challenging thing about that harp was in a guitar, you have -- you're just stringing the neck -- you just pull the string up and string it to the head of the neck, you know? And with the harp, you're in this condensed space and you have to use this other tool to try to pull the strings through this tiny little hole and it helps, but at the same time, it's very different.
You can have fat hands while you're stringing a guitar, but I think if our hands weren't so big, it would have probably been easier. We actually did the harp pretty quick. Andrew was working on the left. I was working on the right and we finished at one point, and we thought we were done, but then we had to wrap the [unintelligible] line around, which was in the middle of the harp.
So then we had to undo like 16 strings and then re-do it. So, we should have finished a long time ago and I feel that if we would have communicated a little better and maybe just went from the bottom up, we would have been in that position. We probably would have finished maybe fourth that day -- fourth or fifth.
Reality TV World: Why didn't you guys switch tasks and attempt the watermelon stacking one instead? Were you hearing horror stories from teams who arrived to do the strings task or were you just confident you could eventually get it done and hopefully within the time it would take to stay in the Race?
Andrew Weber: I didn't think when we started going to the -- when we started to do the harp, when we got there, no one was there. And then all of a sudden, all of the other teams that were in front of us on that earlier plane started showing up. And we were like, "Okay. Those watermelons must have been really hard or they're just not getting it done."
So we started going at the harp and then we almost left, and then we thought -- I was obviously upset and I threw my backpack. We were getting at it a bit, and then we realized, "You look back at it and it would probably take us even longer if we go all the way back to the watermelon, try to do that and then go to the next Roadblock."
We finally decided, we were like, "Let's just get back in there and get it done." It was like, "Let's not give up and quit what we started." And when we got back in there, I think that was the [best] decision -- that we worked through that whole process.
We got it done. If we had looked at it like that the whole way, where one of us is feeding the strings, one of us is trying, and we're just working together, we would have been a lot better off.
Reality TV World: So how long would you say it took you guys to finish the "Strung Out" Detour task?
Reality TV World: Now that you've seen the episode and caught a glimpse of what the stacking watermelon task was like, looking back, do you regret not switching Detour tasks or are you happy with what you decided?
Andrew Weber: I think in the beginning, I think we looked at it and it probably would have been better if we chose the watermelon one right off the bat -- right off the bat -- even though I think it takes longer to do that task than it did to string the harp, but we're really physical.
We're strong. I'm athletic. Elliot's athletic. That's something we probably could have gotten through quicker than the other teams. I'm not sure, but I think we both agree that maybe if we had gone back, we probably would have chose to do the watermelons right off the bat.
But again, at the same time, the harp was nothing that we couldn't handle. We just didn't -- we didn't get it together at that certain point and time in the Race. It just didn't click for us.
Reality TV World: Elliot, how long did it take you to complete the bottle balancing Roadblock task? What did you find so difficult about it and why do you think particular teams excelled at the task while others struggled so much? Did you think it was actually an easier task for the women for whatever reason?
Elliot Weber: No, I don't think it was an easier task for anybody. Some people had better balance. I think if I had given that one to Drew, he would have probably have done a little better than I did because day in and day out, he works on those kinds of things -- using his balance for goal kicking.
And so if I could go back, maybe I would -- I honestly would probably let Andrew take that task, but there were times -- like the first time I got down on my knees and I was about to beat Ralph or whatever, it was crazy to know that they were still in it. I was like, "Wow, okay, we're still in this!" And the first time I got down on my knees, I couldn't remember the last move, so I dropped the bottle.
And the second time I got on my knees and was about to beat him again, I just didn't balance myself well enough and it dropped off again. I knew right there and then, because Ralph was finishing up right after that, that "alright, we could be out." And yes, we were out.
Reality TV World: So Elliot, it sounds like you were a little excited to see Vanessa and Ralph, but when you saw them, did you also start to panic at all? Do you think their presence and how close the competition was at that point kind of psyched you out or made the task even more difficult for you?
Elliot Weber: No, I think it was more of a drive like, "Oh wow, we're still in it." I don't think it was more of a panic. It was just more of a drive. I was like, "Okay, get this done man. Just get this done" -- maybe a slight panic, but it was more like emphasis to get the task done. Because we had not seen other teams and me and Andrew were just assuming we were out.
We were like, "Oh, we just messed up so hard. We're done." And then you go in with that kind of mentality and you see another team doing it, so it wasn't so much panic as it was, "Let's quickly get this done" -- more anxious I guess you could say too, to move on and not be eliminated.
Reality TV World: Since Ralph finished the bottle balancing task before you Elliot, you guys knew you were in last place. So did you feel like your only hope was a non-elimination leg and what did you think your chances were of that happening at the time?
Elliot Weber: I was like, "Maybe this is a non-elimination!" But it was crazy. When they finished before us, we ran so fast to catch up to them and I was hoping right when we saw them take off -- in my head I was going, "Please tell me this is a not an elimination round, please."
You want to hope it's not but usually, as you've seen in previous episodes -- even from the other seasons -- it doesn't seem like they throw out a non-elimination right away.
Andrew Weber: You can't hope it's a non-elimination round. You have to go at it like, "I don't want to be eliminated" and not care, and hopefully, that's the lifeline that you get.
Reality TV World: Elliot, did you ever consider just purposely breaking all the bottles and incurring the two-hour time penalty as a result instead of taking the time to try to do the task right? Because clearly Rachel Brown and Dave Brown ended up with the penalty and still managed to survive the leg. They did have a big jump on you guys though in that leg.
Elliot Weber: At that time, no. No matter what, we couldn't have taken that two-hour time penalty. Ralph had shown up, what, 10 minutes after us? And there's no way that -- Ralph's a huge competitor and he did it really well.
So I was like, "I can't take this two-hour penalty because they're going to finish this in the next 40 minutes to an hour. There's no way." And they did. They actually finished it in like -- I think they got there and finished it probably in about 30 minutes. So the two-hour penalty wasn't even an option.
Reality TV World: Do you guys think if you had gotten on that first standby flight out of Argentina with the four teams that it would have changed the outcome of your elimination? Do you think that would have made all the difference or that it wouldn't have made up enough time for you guys based on your performances in the tasks?
Andrew Weber: Oh yeah. I think if we would have had that jump, I think we would have definitely taken advantage of it. If you saw some of the other teams, they couldn't get the watermelons done, and so, all the teams that were in front of us came over to do the harp. If you noticed Dave and Rachel, [William "Bopper" Minton and Mark Jackson], [Nary Ebeid and Jamie Graetz], they came over.
Everyone came over and I was like, "Okay, that must have been really hard." The only ones we didn't see were [Art Velez and J.J. Carrell] and I'm sure they did the watermelon and it seemed like a more physical task. So with that much time, I mean, you were already ahead in the game.
You have the time to go mess up if you can't get the watermelons done and still be in line with the other teams. That's a huge advantage. I mean, that was a huge advantage for them. And Dave and Rachel, they had to use their Express Pass. They walked into the room after everyone was already going at it -- walked into the room and were like, "Oh crap. We've got to use this Express Pass."
And not only did they use it, they ended up breaking all the bottles and had to have that penalty. They lucked out. They lucked out. I mean, the fact that it took Vanessa and Ralph a long time to do the watermelons and Elliot and I a quite bit awhile to do the harp, they lucked out. There is some luck involved in the game as well.
Reality TV World: I was actually just going to touch on Rachel and Dave and their Express Pass. Did you guys think it was ultimately unfair they survived the leg without actually completing anything or do you believe that's just how the game works and you're okay with it?
Andrew Weber: You know, they won the first leg and that was -- when you win the first leg, they got the Express Pass. So you know, they can use that at any time they want, and that's fair. Everyone's going for that. So you know what?
They played it when they needed it and they got lucky with the two-hour penalty. I don't think there's anything unfair about it. I think, "Good for them. Hats off to you for winning that Express Pass," because it bailed them out.
Reality TV World: Were you guys aware at all of the bad relations that existed between Rachel and Brendon and Vanessa and Ralph? During last night's episode it seemed like Rachel and Brendon really disliked Vanessa and it got to the point where they couldn't even work in the same space. Did you notice any of that happening while you were racing?
Elliot Weber: I didn't see much of that going on. I mean, we weren't able to see that, but when you talk to people, you kind of see the things that go on. We knew there was going to be tension between them.
It was coming up. We knew that sometimes there was going to be some tension between those two and I think they all held their composure really well. I'm sure there will be some things -- they'll show the tension, you know? I'm not sure what the rest is going to be like, but...
Andrew Weber: You gotta understand -- you gotta know that Rachel was with Brendon on Big Brother. So they're used to stirring up the pot and making things interesting. I think they used some of that to try and come into this game with some of it, I guess, and play a little bit into it.
But this is a totally different game, and so, I think at any time -- I hate to say it -- but I think women can be catty. I think you've got two gorgeous women who went at it. I think it's pretty typical sometimes to see that happen.
Reality TV World: How were you cast on The Amazing Race? Was it your first time applying for the show and would you ever consider doing an all-stars edition if you were given the opportunity?
Andrew Weber: We applied awhile back. We started sending in videos and everything and just kept them updated with what we were doing with our lives, and then eventually, casting got a hold of us. We flew down to L.A., did the interviews and we got the gig.
And eventually, yes. I would definitely do an all-stars season if I got invited to go back, especially with what I know now and having the experience already. I feel like a more experienced player.