The "Cousins" team became the fourth team eliminated from the around-the-world competition after they arrived at the Race's fifth Pit Stop at Landhannes Farm, a 200-year old working dairy farm, in Ehrwald Austria, Germany in last place due to a fatal combination of bad luck and poor navigation skills.
On Monday, Kerri and Stacy talked to Reality TV World about their The Amazing Race experience -- including how much of their time was wasted on getting lost and why it kept happening, whether they were really set on doing the "Fairy Tale" Roadblock task or had an entirely different plan at first, who out of all the Racers they believed had a "mean personality," and what they thought would have been the turning point in their Race and could've saved them from elimination had they caught a break.
Reality TV World: How far behind Nary Ebeid and Jamie Graetz do you think you guys finally arrived at the Pit Stop?
Stacy Bowers: I don't think we were really far behind them. I know I can guesstimate that leaving the gnome, the curling Roadblock, that we maybe had left within five minutes of them from that task. But then we went to the wrong place after that.
Reality TV World: They didn't show much of you two attempting to complete the "Fairy Tale" Detour task, but while you guys arrived at the task in last place, you ended up finishing it ahead of two other teams. So how did that task go? Was it difficult and about how long do you think it took you to complete?
Kerri Paul: The "Fairy Tale" task was really difficult because we had to search around for this gingerbread through the snow and it was snowing on us. It was freezing, and then we had to put the gingerbread house together -- you know, assemble the roof.
And so Stace and I were really focused on being efficient because we didn't want to make the mistake of doing it wrong, and then they tell us that we have to start over. So, we were making sure that we had each piece of gingerbread stuck against the other.
Then "Brenchel" [Brendon Villegas and Rachel Reilly], they even had to go out and collect more gingerbread. They didn't even have enough. So, that was one of the things that held them back. I think that Stace and I were really efficient and working hard. Stace was eating the cookies (laughs) to figure out and make sure they fit together perfectly like a puzzle.
Stacy Bowers: We only had one utensil and I mean, we're talking like, these are dirty cookies that were along the path, so it was "do whatever you have to do" to win and complete this challenge. So even if it meant chewing on dirt a little bit, hey, I'm up for that challenge too.
Kerri Paul: Any time that Stace and I went to a challenge, we were going into it knowing that we had to rocket. And so, we were running through challenges. Even if you paid attention and watched us, we really were fast in all our challenges, because we were focused. Like [William "Bopper" Minton and Mark Jackson], we love them, but they had a more relaxed feel when going through challenges.
I don't know if they helped them or not, because they were in the Race longer than us obviously, but we were focused. We weren't playing. We were balls to the wall. We weren't being silly during the challenges. So it was like Bopper would be singing songs (laughs) and throwing us off our game, but I just think that's his way, you know?
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Reality TV World: Now that you've seen the episode and caught a glimpse of what the "Champion Male" Detour task was like, looking back, do you regret not starting off the with the beard task or switching tasks at any point, or do you think you ultimately made the right decision in choosing Fairy Tale?
Stacy Bowers: Honestly, Kerri and I wanted to do the "Champion Male" challenge first, but I mean, the story of our night was directions and no one seemed to know where that place was. So we were like, "Oh my gosh. What are we going to do? We're just going to have to go to this one."
Kerri Paul: And then we -- no, we saw Bopper and Mark, remember? So we were like, "Well we're just going to follow them." Because you know that at least if you have another team in sight with you, you just know that you have to beat them out. So we were confident that we could beat them.
Reality TV World: So that period of time when you were driving from the train station to the restaurant and then to the Detour, you got a little lost. What happened there and how long did you think you got lost for?
Kerri Paul: During that time, we worked with Jamie and Nary and "Brenchel." We worked really well with "Brenchel." They didn't show it a lot on the show, but we were kind of with them and navigating with the map and I was actually instrumental in showing them where it was.
Stacy Bowers: And we were like, "Where did they come from?!" You know? (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Kerri, what did you find so difficult about the gnome-sliding Roadblock task on ice? Why do you think particular teams excelled at the task while others struggled so much like you and Nary? Do you think it was actually an easier task for the men or something for whatever reason?
Kerri Paul: I think some people may be more inclined if they're used of pitching or throwing or something, but at first, it was just difficult because I don't think Stacy and I had a good rhythm at first. But once we got out rhythm and Stacy stood on the target and she started sliding the gnome straight to me, I could kind of get a rhythm and then that way, I can tailor my pitches or my slides versus having to get up.
Because at first, I was kind of having to get up and go and get the gnome and go back to my spot. It's kind of like playing basketball and shooting a free throw. When you practice, you want to stay in that exact same spot and do that exact same motion every time because it'll help you. But once we got our rhythm, we were fine. It was just getting to that point.
Reality TV World: So how long did it take you to finally complete that Roadblock task and do you think the pressure of competing directly against Nary overwhelmed or psyched you out a little bit to the point where the task took you longer than it normally would have?
Kerri Paul: It started to psych me out but I knew that I had to remain calm and confident, because I started to freak out, but then I had mind over matter. I had to just keep telling myself, "Kerri, you can do this." I don't even know if they played it, but even in the other challenges, I would have to just verbally say, "You can do this. You can do this," you know? (Laughs) -- just to get myself through it.
But I feel like I focused. It's just really hard because you have to -- you not only have to hit the target, but it has to land on the target. So it's not so much just aim, but it's the velocity at which you're sliding the gnome. So that's what made it kind of challenging for me. But I feel like once I started getting in my rhythm and I started shooting it in and Stacy started kind of giving affirmation to help me do it better.
Reality TV World: Stacy, what was going through your mind while Kerri was attempting to complete the Roadblock task? Were you frustrated or stressed because you seemed to be neck and neck with Nary and Jamie? How good did you think your chances were at that point of avoiding coming in last place?
Stacy Bowers: Well, I knew that that was a challenge that Kerri could master. I think I was just getting a little frustrated because initially, I don't think Kerri had confidence in herself and in finding her rhythm, but I have kids, so I learned to not get frustrated so quickly. (Laughs)
It might take a couple times for people to catch onto things, so I just -- what was important for me was just to remind Kerri, "Girl, you can do this. This is nothing for you. Just put it right on that circle! Just push it." And then I would kind of tell her, "Okay, that was too hard. You almost had it. Just slow up a little," you know?
And once she found her rhythm, there was really nothing I could say or do or coach her anything to Kerri to hit it. She was getting really close and it was just a matter of moments before she -- you know, we struck gold. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: So it sounds like you two were pretty convinced you could survive another leg leaving that Roadblock task, right?
Stacy Bowers: I would say we were lost for about 20-30 minutes, because people were giving us the wrong directions. We went back to that yellow castle, which was the wrong place, and that's in a whole totally different city or what they call villages. And it's really hard...
Kerri Paul: I don't know if it was 30 minutes. It wasn't that long, but it seems like it. Because when we had to go in that store, we had to drive there.
Reality TV World: Since you both got lost on the way to the Pit Stop and also got lost going to the restaurant from the train station earlier in the leg, what do you girls think was wrong with your navigation skills? What could you have done differently to better the situation in figuring out those directions?
Stacy Bowers: Well the problem was, the directions weren't good at all. (Laughs) It was kind of hard to decipher where we were actually going.
I think that people are just really accustomed to tourists in that area, so you would ask them for directions, and they would immediately send you to a tourism [spot] like the castle. Leaving the [Roadblock] we showed them exactly where we had to go. It was written out, "We have to go here." And yet, we were still directed to the castle.
Reality TV World: When you guys got lost on the way to the Pit Stop, did you still believe Nary and Jamie were behind you or did you start to think you had put yourselves in last place? Did you feel like your only hope was a non-elimination leg at that point?
Stacy Bowers: It didn't occur to us that we were -- we always knew we could be in last place, because she might have gotten it a second after us. We had no idea and I never felt like we were out of it, and I don't think Kerri ever felt like -- when we're looking for directions -- we never had the affirmation, "Oh, we're in last place."
But we knew, "Kerri, we can do it! We can get it. Let's go, let's go." It was always, "Let's go. We can do it!" And once we got to the Pit Stop and reality set in, when we drove up, we saw seven cars. So, we knew we were the eighth ones and that's when it hit us, "Man, Nary did it."
Reality TV World: Do you guys think if you had gotten on that first train with Art Velez and J.J. Carrell, Rachel Brown and Dave Brown Jr. and Danny Horal and Joey "Fitness" Lasalla 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 the two times you got lost and how long it took you to complete the Roadblock task?
Kerri Paul: I feel like if we had been on the first train -- and there's a lot to be said with being in the group, and that was one of our strategies as well. We wanted to remain with the group, because Stacy and I are very good at going into something with a group and getting the rest of the teams out of the challenge.
So, I feel like if we would've been in the first train, we would have definitely gone with the other teams to do the hair cutting -- the hair-styling challenge.
That would have been quick and we wanted to do that because we're girls. We're used to flat irons and curling irons and pomade. That's what we use everyday. So, I definitely know we would have been in the Top 3 if we would have gone on the first round -- with the first group. But half of this game is luck.
Reality TV World: Rachel and Dave and Nary and Jamie had entered the wrong castle looking for the Roadblock task clue and ended up going on a time-consuming tour by mistake. How easy do you think it was for them to confuse which castle was the correct one and how did you two come to the right conclusion?
Kerri Paul: It was very easy to confuse the castles because there were two castles and we even got sent to the wrong castle, but we wanted to make sure before we went inside, that we were in the right place.
I think that -- when we're watching the show, we didn't even realize that they had done something so time-consuming. You don't know how far ahead or how far behind anyone is, but watching the show, that's what kills you.
Because you're watching it thinking, "Oh my God. Look at that big mistake! We could have made up time right there." But of course, there's nothing you can do about that after the fact. But we were diligent in making sure that we were in the right place, and if we weren't, we went on to the next.
Reality TV World: I want to talk a little bit about last week's episode. How did you guys feel about surviving the leg? It seemed like if Bopper and Mark hadn't made the fatal mistake of driving to the airport right off the bat instead of the travel agency -- which was the only place they could buy their tickets unless waiting for possible standby seats -- then you guys would have been eliminated since you arrived at the Pit Stop just before them. Would you say you beat them in that leg because you ran a better leg than them in general or because you got lucky that Bopper and Mark had made a mistake in your favor?
Stacy Bowers: I would say we finished, like in real time, we finished a good -- it was a good time between Mark and Bopper and actually finishing the leg. We finished way before them. But I just think Kerri and I, we did run a good leg. We had car problems, is what started our leg off on the wrong foot. But I think Kerri and I did a great job in Italy.
Reality TV World: Last week, Art and J.J. decided to share their prize money for coming in first place with Bopper and Mark because Bopper's little girl was sick and he needed the money. What was your reaction to that? Did it surprise you that Art and J.J. decided to do that and would you have done the same had you been in their shoes?
Stacy Bowers: I was definitely surprised that Art and J.J. did that, because in my experiences with them, they weren't -- it didn't seem like they were the most pleasant people to be around.
So, I was kind of shocked by their act of kindness and I guess I was happy that they do have a sensitive and nice and friendly side that I -- just because we weren't really around them very much -- that I never had the opportunity to see.
Kerri and I, we're friendly people and I'm sure if we were in the same situation, we would do the same. But that's how we are. We're just naturally loving, fun, happy people, and we are always willing to help someone else in need.
Kerri Paul: We got a really good vibe from Mark and Bopper from the first time we met them, and we're country girls too, but they're even -- in my opinion -- more country than we are. (Laughs) But we kind of -- that kind of drew us to them or them to us.
We had a really good relationship the whole time. So I feel like we know them and Bopper had told us about Madison, his little girl, and what problems she had. So I definitely know that we would have done the same thing in sharing our prize money with them.
Reality TV World: Were you guys aware at all of the bad relations that existed between Rachel and Brendon and Vanessa Macias and Ralph Kelley? During a previous leg, 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?
Stacy Bowers: We definitely noticed the tension, but I mean, I think a lot of people noticed tension with Vanessa because she was just a difficult person. But we saw it because we were there in the airport.
We saw them exchanging words and I wasn't surprised. Rachel is a really nice person and when you pair a nice person with somebody who's just kind of a mean girl -- personality I mean -- that's what happens.