Chris, 40, and Bret, 44 -- who raced as friends and former Survivor castaways from Moore, OK, and Dedham, MA, respectively -- were ousted from the Race to win $1 million after arriving at the ninth Pit Stop at Matejuska at Split Harbor in Split, Croatia, in last place.
"We started out great and it just went downhill," Bret explained. "I'll never make detective because I didn't find those coins!... Croatia kicked our butts."
"But the bromance is still going!" Chris noted with a laugh.
During an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Thursday, Chris and Bret talked about their time on The Amazing Race and unfortunate ouster. Below is a portion of what they had to say.
Chris Hammons: Yeah, I don't think it was long. They were trying the poem and then failing and going back, and we were just alternating. And I think after they did it, I think we might've gotten it on the next try or maybe the one after.
So it wouldn't have been too long after. And Bret got through the Roadblock really, really quickly.
Bret LaBelle: Yeah, if they had just screwed that up, we would've been good! I think if they didn't help each other, [Christie Woods] and Leo, I think if they were in a position where they couldn't help each other throughout, I might have come in [and passed them].
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Because I literally blew through that one! In fact, they were all shocked at how fast I did it. They were like, "How did you do that so fast?!" And I just knew the trick or something and was like, "I don't know. I just paid attention to detail!"
So we didn't even know I did it fast until after, and I guess people took 10 -- sometimes 15 or 20 tries, you know? They showed seven or eight, but from what I hear, it was a lot and more than that.
Chris Hammons: Yeah, he was really quick at it. I think our fate was sealed by the end though.
Reality TV World: It was clear your downfall in the Race was that Detour and choosing to hop back and forth between the two tasks at the beach. How long were you guys looking for treasure until you finally decided to switch that first time? And how long do you think you waited after Tyler Oakley and Korey Kuhl left?
Chris Hammons: Yeah, (laughs) no kidding. It had to be hours. It was a crazy amount of time, and I think that the cold water, it certainly got to me. I started getting confused, basically.
Bret LaBelle: Yeah, we were almost hypothermic. That's how cold that water was! It was no joke, and I'm used to it up in New England, but Chris is not. And I realized he started not making much sense, you know what I mean? The ocean water is freezing [where I'm from]!
Reality TV World: It seemed like you guys decided to quit the poetry-tubing Detour task after your first attempt. Was that accurate? And if so, why didn't you stick with it a little longer before choosing to give up on it?
Chris Hammons: I think there were two problems with it. We thought in our minds that we had to do the entire poem -- both of us. And we thought, "There's just no way at this point."
And then we just kept going back in our minds, "We just need two coins. Why can't we find these two coins? There's got to be 50 coins out there!"
And so, we just said, "There's no way we're going to learn this [poem]." If we had just stopped and went over to Tyler and Korey, with their Race experience, they would have told us, "Just memorize half of it, you dorks."
But Bret and I thought, "Oh my goodness, we're never going to get this down. All we need is two coins, so let's just run over and find the two coins."
Bret LaBelle: It didn't take us long to memorize that poem either! That's what sucked, is when we went back the second time and we did it, we were like, "Jeeze." If someone had just been there ahead of us and we watched them do it, [we'd be successful]."
Because the first time we went over to it, people were trying to memorize the poem, and we didn't see -- this was our first memorization task. So we didn't even think that we could share it.
We just thought one person had to recite the whole thing, so if we saw two people reciting two halves of it, we'd be like, "Oh shoot!" And I think we wouldn't have gone back [to treasure] because we would've said, "Well, we can do that!"
Chris Hammons: We had a walk to third place at least. It would've just been easy. We were so far ahead of everybody; it was just a colossal meltdown. I mean, it's one for the ages I think.
Reality TV World: Colin Guinn and Christie noted they were nearly three hours behind the teams who had arrived on the first flight into Split, which you guys had been on. Do you think having such a big lead is actually what kind of ruined you guys? Do you think since you weren't under pressure, you allowed yourselves to be indecisive and maybe take your time on things?
Chris Hammons: I think it's kind of like just maybe the reality TV gods, so to speak, came down on us, because I don't know if we were indecisive. We just literally could not get away from the idea that there were only two more coins in there and they've got to be sitting there and there's got to be enough coins for six teams to have enough coins to find!
And no one was doing it, so we just kept thinking, "Gosh, it has to be under this rock or under that rock or under the next rock." We just thought, "Pretty soon!" And I don't know, it just spun out of control. It was just crazy.
Reality TV World: They showed a clip of you guys saying you were super confident in this leg, that you'd place first if nothing went wrong. Do you think you were maybe overconfident and that hurt you a bit, or no?
Bret LaBelle: We were just excited from the beginning. We got to the drinks first, we handed them out. We were on the same plane as Tyler and Korey yet we were about a half hour ahead of them. I don't even know how!
So we found the second clue quick when we had to give the monk the bread, and I was like, "Wow we are blowing through this." I think, yeah, our confidence level went up!
But I think the cold water and the fact we found three coins really quickly -- we found stuff really quick and then it was just like, "Boom." It was done.
And we just couldn't get away from the fact there had to be 50 of these coins. There has to be enough for several teams to be doing this, and no one else was doing it, so we thought we'd have to be able to find them!