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Exclusive: Marcy Maloy and Ronald Shalita talk 'The Amazing Race'


By Christopher Rocchio, 10/05/2009 

Marcy Maloy and Ronald Shalita were unable to overcome the Detour task they chose and were ultimately ousted for it.

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Marcy, a 60-year-old advertising photographer, and Ronald, a 59-year-old stock trader and math tutor -- both of whom reside in San Francisco, CA -- became the third team eliminated from The Amazing Race's fifteenth season during last night's broadcast of the CBS reality series.

On Friday, the dating couple talked to Reality TV World about how they read too much into the Detour task's clue and the logistics surrounding it led to their elimination; why Ron was able to correctly predict that a team was going to be booted at the starting line; why they felt like chaperones during the race; and how they ended up on the show after only three dates.

Reality TV World: During the Detour it looked like you tried to unscramble the letters by looking at signs around the city.  Was that the case and -- if so -- why didn't you just quickly ask a local for help?

Ron: You're very perceptive. (laughing)  The clue said once you get the letters try to figure it out.  So we interpreted that as a figure... a sculpture, a picture...

Marcy: We thought it was a riddle.  It said just go into the streets and (with Ron) "figure it out."  We probably over thought that.

Reality TV World:  So how long did you try to "figure it out" before you asked for help?

Marcy: Five minutes.

Ron: I was going to say three to five minutes.

Reality TV World: Wow, so it didn't take as long as it looked on the episode?

Ron:  Did it seem long? (laughing)

Marcy: It was like three to five minutes and the second person we asked gave us the answer.

Reality TV World: Did you really think you'd be able to spell a Vietnamese word simply by looking at signs?

Marcy:  We were confident.  I mean words are just letters and everybody knows that none of us spoke the Vietnamese language.  You had to be...

Ron: When we were driving over to the hotel and we knew we were going to be having to unscramble letters, we actually looked at phraseology on billboards, and tried to get the clusters of letters and what was common linkages, things like that.

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Marcy: The accents...

Ron: The accents that were on the letters.

Marcy: We were writing down all the little hats, the dots and the lines that we weren't familiar with.  We just started writing them down on the way to the hotel.

Reality TV World: In hindsight, do you wish you had chosen "Child's Play" or think you just should have approached unscrambling the "Word Play" letters differently?

Marcy: In hindsight we wished we had [chosen "Child's Play"].

Ron: Yeah, I think we chose the task that took longer.  I think we did it fairly expeditiously, but the actual logistics of getting to the hotel and getting to the next place I think put us at a disadvantage.  I think we were in a cab for longer.  In our particular case, much longer because we had some.. What's the appropriate thing I can say here?

Marcy: I don't know.

Ron: Cab drivers who didn't know where they were going.

Reality TV World: Was there ever a point where you considered quitting the "Word Play" Detour task and switching over to "Child's Play" instead?

Ron: Never.

Marcy: No.  We never considered that.

Reality TV World: Do you know how far behind "Engaged Couple" Lance Layne and Keri Morrione and "Friends" Zev Glassenberg and Justin Kanew you were in reaching the Pit Stop?

Marcy: Minutes...

Ron: Minutes we think.  It was a fair presentation of the three of us in the cab at the same time.

Reality TV World:  Interesting.  So despite your problems, you guys were still pretty close?

Marcy:  I think we arrived 10 minutes, or 15 minutes...

Ron:  No, five to 10 I think.  When we were at the VCR [Roadblock] and getting into a cab, I actually saw Lance running back up the street.

Reality TV World: Marcy you stated a few times during last night's episode how being in Vietnam was emotional for you due to your father, and Ron you also seemed to enjoy taking in your surroundings.  In hindsight, do you think that hurt you guys and you could have been more aggressive?

Marcy:  No.  When we were talking about Vietnam and looking at the people, we were in a cab.  Part of our strategy was to stay relaxed because the more relaxed you are, the better you can do.

Ron:  I think being in Vietnam had some emotional import for both of us.  But when you're in the race, you are in the race -- you're not thinking about anything else.

Marcy: Yeah, we weren't thinking about the [Vietnam War] when we were doing our "Word Play."

Reality TV World: You two were by the oldest team competing on The Amazing Race by more than 10 years...

Ron: Twenty! (laughing)

Marcy: How about 30? (laughing)

Reality TV World: Do you think that played any role in your early elimination?

Marcy: Only in that... We're very fit, we're strong.  But we don't run.  Our endurance isn't as high...

Ron: I think in our actual elimination, our age was not a factor because there was no...

Marcy: There was no footrace.

Ron: ... there was no footrace or anything.  The actual earlier segment in Cai Be, there was a great deal of running and had we not made it through that, the answer to your question probably would have been yes. 

Marcy: Just endurance and how fast we could run, I think.

Reality TV World: What was your reaction when host Phil Keoghan revealed that somebody would be eliminated at the Race's starting line?

Marcy:  I thought, "Holy s--t!"

Ron: I was going to say, "You're s--tting in your pants."

Marcy: But I'll tell you really quickly, we had given up our jackets as we ran through the tunnel [to the starting line] because I was hot.  My glasses were in my jacket, and I didn't get my glasses back and I'm extremely blind -- nearsighted.  So when he said that about the plates, I was squinting.  I thought I was going to be Mr. Magoo going on the race.

Ron:  I had a strong sense prior to Phil saying anything that something was happening because when we got to the canal I counted 11 cars and there were 12 contestants.  So I said to Marcy, "Something is happening here.  This is too weird.  Something's going to be happening."  I was braced for it.

Reality TV World: When we talked to "Married Yoga Teachers" Eric and Lisa Paskel last week they thought it was an unfair twist.  Do you agree or do you think they were just bitter since they were the ones who were eliminated?

Marcy:  Well unfair in the sense that they didn't really get a chance to jump into the swimming pool.  It was a shocker.

Ron: It was a shocker, but I think it's the nature of the game.  You go in there for the unexpected and they threw it at you.

Marcy: I think The Amazing Race is like a metaphor for life.  There are things that happen in life and you go, "What the hell!?  You can't do that!?"  But I mean things happen.  So if the race is a metaphor for life, yeah maybe it is unfair.  But you survive, you push through.

Reality TV World: Marcy, you didn't seem to have much trouble with last week's duck-wrangling task.  Was that actually the case and if so, why do you think some of the other teams seemed to struggle so badly with it?

Marcy:  I don't know.

Ron: Because she has a zen spirit inside of her. (laughing)

Marcy: If Zev was a duck whisperer then I'm a duck whisperer too.  They didn't really show me and I was disappointed.  I had my whistle in my mouth and I had the flags.  I was very sweetly telling the little bastards to go where I wanted them. (Ron laughing) And I did it.  It was like, "Yes! I did it!"  Maybe that's why they didn't show me.

Ron: Yeah, I think because she was so smooth, it didn't get a lot of airplay.

Reality TV World: After you were eliminated, was there anybody you really began rooting to win the $1 million?  Was there anybody you didn't want to see win?

Ron:  I have to say there's a brotherhood of competitiveness where you just become endeared to the people you are going against.  Everyone is out there giving 110% and ultimately whoever wins, they did it because of skill and tenacity and a little luck.

Marcy:  I do have a soft spot for ["Teammates" Nathaniel "The Big Easy" Lofton and Herbert "Flight Time" Lang]. (laughing) I love those guys.  I asked [Big Easy] if he would carry me once. (laughing)

Ron: As a parent, I obviously had strong feelings for [Gary Tomljenovich, who is racing with his son Matt].

Reality TV World: What teams did you get along with the best? The worst?

Ron: We had no real clashes with anyone.

Marcy:  We didn't really get to know ["Professional Poker Players" Maria Ho and Tiffany Michelle].  In the middle of the night before we did the mud challenge, I spoke to Tiffany in the public bathroom.  She was probably really preoccupied and she seemed kind of cold to me, but I spoke to her after that... They were like the mean girls.

Ron: But part of it too, we almost felt like chaperones at the frat party.

Marcy: Yeah, we called it the brat pack.

Reality TV World: What was your favorite overall experience on the show?  What was your least favorite experience?

Ron: I had a clear favorite -- and they caught a little bit of it -- but when we flew in from Tokyo to Ho Chi Minh City, it was monsoon weather and it was torrential.  We got in a cab and as we're driving through Ho Chi Minh City the spray of the cars was four or five feet high.  There were literally thousands of people out on motor scooters during all this.  That visual just has stayed with me.

Marcy: I think my favorite moment was herding the ducks.  As I came back, I was bringing them back on the bridge and I standing on the peak of the bridge, and Ron said I looked up and I smiled at him or the crowd.  At that moment, it was like a true zen moment.  I thought, "This is great." I was so happy.  Then they didn't show it.  Then I got them in the pen and I was like, "Yes!" It was great.

Reality TV World: Was there anything you didn't really enjoy?

Ron:  Lack of sleep.

Marcy: Yeah, lack of sleep.  I actually liked running around in the mud.

Ron: Yeah, the mud was fun.

Reality TV World: Was there anything else that you wanted to make it onto the show that was edited out?

Ron:  I really did -- on the last day of the race for us -- blow up at Marcy at one point.  I was really surprised that they didn't show that.

Marcy: You didn't blow up at me.

Ron: I blew up like, "We've got to get the blank-blank out of here! Come on!"  My voice was raised and I was more intense than I think they generally showed me on the show.

Marcy: And it's something they didn't put in, but I also talked extensively about my brother.  My father was shot down [during the Vietnam War] -- he was in the Air Force -- but my brother was a helicopter pilot in the Army at the same time and he was shot down.  They were both rescued.  It was very emotional for me, and they edited it out.  I was sorry that they did because [my brother] is very, very involved in the Vietnam Vets organization. I kind of wanted to bring some attention to our Vietnam Vets and it was so surreal to have been there where all these guys died.

Reality TV World: What aspect of The Amazing Race surprised you the most?

Marcy:  They made us run way further and faster between challenges than I had ever anticipated.  I had no idea.

Ron: There's a lot more running that occurs, and a lot of that you don't see.

Marcy:  And they didn't provide a hair and makeup person. (laughing)

Reality TV World: What's the current status of your relationship?  Are you guys still dating?

Marcy: Yes, yes.  Of course.  We're fine.  It didn't hurt us, and I don't think it pushed us forward.  It didn't hurt us.  I'm sure it bonded us.

Reality TV World: How were you cast for The Amazing Race?  Was it your first time applying for the show?

Ron: It was the first time we applied.  They liked the interviews between us.  We went down to the interviews and for whatever reason there's a nice chemistry between us when we're in front of an audience.  And we were fit and healthy and great looking people.  What can I say?

Marcy: It was our third date and Ron said, "I have something crazy to ask you."  He asked me if I'd go on it, and I thought, "Wow that is crazy!  I don't even know the guy!" So we applied and I think the whole application process also bonded us.

(Photo credit CBS)


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