Art Velez and J.J. Carrell were eliminated in the first episode of The Amazing Race's 31st season Wednesday night on CBS after 11 reality-star teams took off to Japan.

The former The Amazing Race racers were ousted from the competition after they arrived at the first Pit Stop in Tokyo, Japan in last place due to a four-hour time penalty they had incurred for quitting a Roadblock task.

Art failed to complete the second Roadblock task of Leg 1 in which he had to climb a slippery slope -- while wearing a sleek unitard -- to retrieve a clue at the top.

After his leg appeared to cramp up, Art and JJ determined he'd never be able to finish the job. The guys therefore had to wait four hours before checking into the Pit Stop.

During an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Art and JJ opened up about the task Art deemed nearly impossible. Below is a portion of their The Amazing Race interview.

Reality TV World: How far into your time penalty did Rupert Boneham and Laura Boneham arrive at the Mount Fuji task? And how long did it take Rupert to grab his clue at the top of the slide?

Art Velez: (Laughs)


Reality TV World: No teasing intended, Art, on that Rupert question. (Laughs)

Art Velez: I want to say it was about 30 to 40 minutes into us deciding to take the penalty, and then once he showed up, he literally got up there in 10 seconds. I was (laughs) -- I was in absolute shock.

I was like, "How in the world did that dude get up that thing so fast and grab that [clue]?!" I mean, they were in and out of there. It was amazing, and it was a sight to behold. And if I wasn't there [to see it], I wouldn't have believed he did it.

Reality TV World: How long after Rupert and Laura did you finally arrive at the first leg's Pit Stop then?

J.J. Carrell: We knew -- we went ahead and did the final hour and then we took a cab to the final. We knew we were done. Once Rupert and Laura completed and went on, we knew that was it. The only hope would be a non-elimination, but that was our only hope, and that was dashed right when we got to the mat.
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You're always holding out hope because you're never out until [The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan] tells you that you're out, but it was pretty obvious once we got there that that was not going to happen. So we just had to eat it.

Art Velez: There wasn't any running I was going to be doing. My calves were so jacked up, I could barely walk after that thing! It took me about three days.


Reality TV World: Viewers saw you, Art, dealing with some major muscle cramps or a Charley horse in your leg or something. Could you explain exactly what happened there? And was dehydration a factor as well?

Art Velez: I think dehydration probably was a factor. I mean, I probably tried to scale that thing close to 20 or 30 times. They only showed a couple of them, but literally, it was an ongoing thing.

I was going and going and going and going, and then I got a cramp in one of my legs. I scrunched it out and tried to get moving again and still tried to keep doing it, and then my other leg cramped up.

It got to a point where they were both cramped and I couldn't walk; I couldn't stand up. I was like, "Oh my God, what's going on?!"

I was looking at my leg and it looked like somebody had taken an ice pick and jammed it into the back of my leg. I had like this big, giant hole that was going into my calf. I was like, "What in the world?!" And I couldn't get it to go away.

So, I mean, I literally could not stand up. I couldn't walk and I couldn't do anything. I was like, "How in the world am I going to get up this thing?"

And then J.J. was like, "Hey buddy, are you going to be able to do this?"

And I was like, "I don't think so. Man, I can't even get up."

They had people there who were rubbing it out and getting it to stretch -- because I didn't want to stop -- but I'm like, "Dude, I don't know how I'm going to do this."

So that's why when Rupert showed up and he got in and walked straight up that thing, I was like, "How in the world did that dude do that thing?!"

Being at that point, when you get to a certain challenge, you just want to get it done and you want to get it over with. I came running out of the tent and I go through a mud pit, so by the time I get to the thing, I'm soaking wet already.

When I see Rupert walk out, he walked out with his shoes on, and I'm like, "Oh, maybe I should've walked out with my shoes on instead of running through a mud pit."

So, you know, there are some strategic-thinking portions of it that you need to do when you finally get to that point, and you need to think about that stuff -- but I didn't.

I was like, "Let's just get this thing done so we can keep going."


Reality TV World: When you guys arrived at the Fuji slide, you were the only team there. Do you think you struggled so much because you were at a disadvantage in that you couldn't watch anyone else do it first, successfully? You weren't able to witness the proper technique.

Art Velez: I think that plays into it when you get to challenges like that. You're right. I didn't have -- again, just the thought of leaving my shoes on to walk out to the actual challenge would've been huge, which I didn't do.

I should have done that but I didn't. I just wanted to get out there and do it, and I just ran through this big muddy field, and by the time I got to the thing, I was already at a disadvantage because I didn't have any traction and I couldn't jump.

So I don't know if anybody else did that or if anybody else wore shoes or whatever, but when I saw Rupert walk out with his Size 15W Adidas, I'm like, "Wow! I should've kept my shoes on!" But whatever.

Reality TV World: Some fans were wondering whether Rupert's Survivor background might've helped him out a little bit there. What do you think?

Art Velez: I think there's some physical [aspect] to it, but for me, it was just mostly a traction thing. I could never get any traction and my legs just kept coming out from under me.

And then to be able to get to one of the hand-holds, you needed to be able to -- you couldn't just reach and grab a hand-hold. You needed to step up to the next one to grab it and pull yourself up. And I just could never do that.


Be sure to check back with Reality TV World soon for much more from our exclusive The Amazing Race interview with Art and J.J.
About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.