Exclusive: Liz Canavan and Marie Canavan talk 'The Amazing Race'
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/25/2011
Liz Canavan and Marie Canavan, although optimistic, believed there was little chance of them catching up to the other teams when they had left the fourth Pit Stop hours behind their competition in last place during the fifth episode of The Amazing Race's nineteenth season.
After beginning the leg without an airplane flight that could help put them back on an equal playing field with the other teams and an additional Speed Bump task that required them to complete a series of tasks before they could attempt the first Roadblock task, the "Twins" also ran out of money half way through the fifth leg and couldn't afford to pay taxi drivers to bring them to their destinations -- forcing them to waste time walking and resulting in their elimination from the competition.
On Monday, Liz and Marie talked to Reality TV World about their The Amazing Race experience.
Reality TV World: It seemed as if you girls were more upbeat and chipper in this leg of the Race than in any of the previous legs. You obviously started it off in last place, so why were you in such good moods? Did you two just kind of relax and sort of decide to just make the best of the experience after began the leg and found out there wasn't going to be a plane flight or something that could help you two catch back up to the other teams easily, or was there some other reason?
Liz Canavan: I think because the leg -- Okay, we knew we were in last but then the leg started off really well because we got to go see our favorite animals and wash them. I don't know, we were in the middle of the rain forest and it was raining and it was fun! We were literally and genuinely having such a good time.
And that's how the leg started off with the elephants, we were like, "Well maybe we can turn this around. We're just going to try the best we can," and we were relaxed. We were just having a good time.
Reality TV World: Why did it seem like you girls had so many money problems during this leg of the Race? You spent the remainder of your money on the taxi driver after you had bought your bus tickets to Bangkok, which left you with nothing to work with afterwards, so how did you end up so limited at that point?
Marie Canavan: I just think that we just got the luck of the draw and got screwed by our cab driver because he was going to call the cops on us. Locals got involved, so it was either that or just take the hit of going to Bangkok with no money. We were just like, "You know, we're going to do what we can and just take that hit and just keep going."
Liz Canavan: We had to make that bus. There was no other bus, so we had to get on it and it already left. So, we were literally just stuck. We didn't know what we were going to do.
Reality TV World: What cost you so much money before that and why did you run out of money when the other teams didn't?
Marie Canavan: We started off that leg with the same amount of money as everyone else. It was just literally buying that one -- after buying our bus tickets and our cab driver insisting on a certain amount of money, it was the rest of what we had. So, we were just doomed from that moment on, but we had to give it to him.
Reality TV World: About how far was that free ride that your taxi driver gave you from the bus station to the Bangkok-bound that they had stopped for you?
Reality TV World: Do you have any idea if it's a common thing in Thailand where they stop a bus for people like that if someone has missed it?
Marie Canavan: No way. I mean, we were just really lucky and I think they understood our situation of how we had to get on that bus. So, the bus people were really sweet about it and called and just you know, took the...
Marie Canavan: I mean, they knew we were just panicking. So, I think they were just like, "Alright, cool. We'll give them a break."
Reality TV World: Once you guys got into Bangkok, how much walking did you guys actually do before you found the taxi guy who drove you for free to the canal where you had to feed the fish?
Liz Canavan: We were walking for four hours and we asked -- because we were walking along the highways -- people along the way. First, we kept getting people saying it was three blocks, some people said it was 15 hours.
We kept getting different answers from different people and along the way while we were walking, we asked cab drivers if they would drive us for free and they would just laugh at us and keep going. So, it took us a whole four hours until we finally found that one driver who was like, "Okay, I'll drive you," because no one was going to drive us.
Marie Canavan: And we couldn't beg people on the side of the road who were so poor that they were selling food to feed their family for a week. We would never -- that wasn't even an option to even go ask them for money.
Reality TV World: Do you think the time you wasted walking around in Bangkok was the reason why you finished last or do you believe you would have came in last place anyways due to all the other circumstances?
Liz Canavan: It was just, no. It was literally just because we didn't have money to take the cabs. We were just...
Reality TV World: About how long after Jeremy Cline and Sandy Draghi do you think you arrived at the Pit Stop in Bangkok? Were you well aware at that point that you were in last place or did you still have hope that one of the other teams may have messed up along the way or got lost?
Marie Canavan: We're not really sure, but no. We knew when we were getting up in the Pit Stop that we were totally last. I think we were like two or more hours behind Sandy and Jeremy and we didn't see anyone for 24 hours, so we just knew.
Reality TV World: You girls seemed so excited to wash and clean up after the elephants. Why was that, was it just because you girls loved elephants as you had mentioned during the show? Because the task itself didn't seem very fun or rewarding.
Marie Canavan: I mean, it was just because we love elephants! We love them so much that when we saw those baby elephants and we were in the rain forest, we were just so happy. We didn't care.
Liz Canavan: It was one of the best experiences of my life -- was washing the elephants. It was for us. But probably most -- if you don't like elephants, it's not rewarding. But to us, it was the best thing in the world.
Reality TV World: Were you girls surprised that you were able to get two different cab drivers to drive you for free in Bangkok, first to the canal and then to the Pit Stop afterwards? Do you think it was the fact you had a camera crew with you, or that you were charming and cute, or something else that made them want to help you?
Liz Canavan: Getting that first cab ride took us forever, so I think it was people -- like that first guy -- just started kind of feeling bad for us after we told them our situation and begged him. And then the second guy, I think, we were girls and he was like, "Alright, I'll give them a break and help them out!"
Reality TV World: Was there ever a point in your last leg of the Race where you thought you had a chance of surviving? Was there a time when you thought there actually were other teams behind you?
Reality TV World: How did you feel when you realized last week's episode was a non-elimination leg? Was that in your mind and were you hoping for that opportunity on your way to the Pit Stop or did you not even think it was a possibility since there had already been a non-elimination leg in the first leg of the Race?
Liz Canavan: We totally thought there was no way that there was going to be a non-elimination leg. We thought we were getting eliminated, because as we said before, at the first non-elimination, we were like, "Okay, we're totally done here." So, when we got the second chance, we were like, "Okay, maybe we can redeem ourselves. We're so lucky to even get a second chance."
Reality TV World: Could you girls talk a little bit about what went wrong during last week's Detour task where you had to set up the umbrellas on the beach? Did you feel physical strength or strategy was more vital in setting up the umbrellas properly and completing that task? Did you feel you were at a disadvantage because you two are fairly small girls and were competing against teams that had men?
Marie Canavan: That is exactly what happened. It was -- we didn't have the man power because we would see all the guys having trouble getting those umbrellas in with the wind, so when we saw that, we were like, "Oh crap!" Because the wind would just -- we'd get them in, and then it would just pick them right up whenever again.
Reality TV World: Why didn't you girls consider switching Detour tasks?
Marie Canavan: We did. We did the umbrellas for like an hour and then we went over and tried the coral reef one, but we couldn't get the structure together in enough amount of time, so we just panicked and went back to the umbrellas.
Reality TV World: Marie, when CBS announced the cast, they listed your occupation as soul searching and in your bio, you said you're currently going through your quarter-life crisis. How's that going and are you still struggling to find work?
Marie Canavan: I never said I was soul searching. (Laughs) I don't know where they came up with that, so I think I put job hunting. And the quarter-life crisis, yeah I think it's just -- what I coin it as is you just graduate college and you don't know what you want to do and so I just called it a quarter-life crisis. But right now, I'm just job hunting and...
Reality TV World: During your final words, you girls mentioned your father would have said, "I can't believe you guys did that!" when referring to your decision to compete on The Amazing Race. Was doing something like this out of the norm for your personalities? Why do you think your dad would have been so surprised?
Marie Canavan: When we say that, not surprised, no. It's like our personalities because we do a lot of different things and go away and stuff. I just think that -- not a happy surprised -- but like, "I'm so..." I don't know how to explain it.
Liz Canavan: I think he would have said like, "Look, you can do a show likeThe Amazing Race and you did it just you two by yourselves in all these countries. Now take that with you for the rest of your life, because no one can take that experience away from you -- Just learn from it. You guys are so lucky."
Reality TV World: After you girls had completed the "Shake for Your Money" Detour task back in the second episode, you were one of the teams who had missed the sign on the table at the orphanage, and the clue itself didn't mention that you had to give all of your money to the children. So do you think that was a fair twist or do you think that information should have been on the clue?
Marie Canavan: I totally think that information should've been on the clue and that was an unfair thing. I just think that because when you start the Race, you are told that any information will be in the clue, and so all the teams didn't catch that because no one else is looking for that additional information anywhere else.
We think that the information we get on the clue, the written information, is all it is and they reiterated that so many times that no one even thought that additional information could be anywhere else.
Reality TV World: When you watched last night's episode, what did you think about the mistake Laurence Sunderland and Zac Sunderland had made about thinking they couldn't take a first-class bus? Do you think that was an easy mistake to make based on what the clues had told you? What was your reaction to that?
Liz Canavan: I think that we probably -- I mean, I guess this is where you really have to think about what is first class and what they're talking about, because you're definitely not allowed to take a first-class plane -- sit in first class on a plane.
But as far as taking a first-class bus, I think if we got on that bus, we probably would have been like, "Hmm, we probably shouldn't take a first-class bus," but I don't know if we would have gotten off.
I think we definitely would have thought about it and would have been worried, so they had a reason to be worried about that. It was just stuck in your mind that you -- the rules and stuff. But I don't know. I guess it's just different in every situation and I don't know.
Reality TV World: How were you two cast onThe Amazing Race? How did you end up on the show?
Marie Canavan: We just applied with our application and video, and we just kept getting further and further in the process. We just thought it was something fun and it looked like something great that we could do.