Max Bichler and Katie Bichler finished second on The Amazing Race's 22nd season during Sunday night's two-hour broadcast of the CBS reality competition's finale.

The "Newlyweds" team just fell short of claiming the $1 million grand prize to "Hockey Brothers" Bates Battaglia and Anthony Battaglia, who were the first team to cross the Race's finish line in Washington D.C. and crowned champions.

"Roller Derby Moms" Mona Egender and Beth Bandimere finished the Race in third place, while "Friends and Country Singers" Caroline Cutbirth and Jennifer Kuhle were eliminated in fourth place just before the final leg. 

In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Monday, Max and Katie talked about their The Amazing Race experience. Below is the first half of their interview. Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion and more interviews with the Final 4 teams.

To read some of what Bates and Anthony had to say, click here.

Reality TV World: How far behind Bates and Anthony do you think you finally arrived at the last Pit Stop?

Katie Bichler: I'd probably say -- enough [time] to lose, (laughs) but half-hour maybe.

Reality TV World: Did you guys head to that final Pit Stop pretty certain you were in second place or did you still have hope you could come in first? Were you thinking maybe Bates and Anthony could've gotten lost or something?

Max Bichler: No, we knew. Because, I mean, I would say we were 99% percent that we were second place because we hadn't seen Bates, and you know, it's almost impossible to get lost going to Mount Vernon. Like, if you can't figure that out, they wouldn't have been there at the end. So we knew. We knew to a pretty great degree of certainty that we were [second].

Reality TV World: Did it kind of worsen the blow of finishing as the runners-up considering you departed the final leg in first place?

Katie Bichler: Yeah, you know, we did everything right except when we got to the briefcase challenge and it came down to chance and luck, and for us, that was so disheartening because we were the only ones that knew about the Lincoln Memorial and we were the only ones that knew that 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue was not the White House.

We knew that we weren't going to the White House. So, we were doing so well and to [lose] and be out of it by chance, it was so disheartening for us.

Reality TV World: Yeah, I was going to ask you if you guys thought your big downfall was that Roadblock in which Max was looking for the correct secret agent. So it definitely sounds like that was the case then.
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Max Bichler: Yeah. That was it. That was the entire leg, was finding the -- you know, we breezed through everything else. So it was just, yeah, it was finding the spy and it wasn't finding him so much as he had to walk past me.

Because Bates got it on like the fourth guy he asked and I was there for an hour. It wasn't doing anything right or wrong or better or worse. It was just a matter of luck and stupid dumb luck again.

Reality TV World: So you think it took you an hour to complete the task?

Max Bichler: Yeah, if I was not mistaken, I was there almost an hour.

Reality TV World: During the Titanic Detour task in which you had to serve the five courses, after a little confusion, the task just seemed to click for you guys and you got it done pretty quickly unlike the other teams who struggled with it. Is that accurate to say, how long do you think it took you to complete?

Katie Bichler: We did that actually extremely fast. I mean, going up to it, I read the clue and when they had given us the menu and there were only two courses and the clue had said you had to serve five courses, we immediately were like, "Something's up. We're missing something."

And before we ran down there like the other teams did just to start whatever, we stopped and thought about it. And we did it extremely fast. I think we were almost done by the time Bates and Anthony even got there.

Max Bichler: Yeah.

Katie Bichler: So we flew through that challenge.

Max Bichler: Yeah, it was one of those ones where, you know, initially, we were going to go on our gut reaction and start running around like crazy. But something we had learned by the time we got to go on the Race was not to do that, and we took that extra little second to really pay attention and it paid off because we were able to get that done really fast.

Reality TV World: So it sounds like had you attempted the graffiti Detour task instead, it wouldn't have made a difference in the outcome of your Race right? You think you still would've lost?

Max Bichler: I don't know how long -- it looked really tedious. I mean, watching it on TV, I thought it was really, really tedious and I'd rather run around for a little while, because at that point, I had a lot of energy. I really don't know how it would've turned out had we done that.

Reality TV World: How many attempts did it end up taking you guys to finish the baseball catching task at the stadium? Do you think you might've gotten it done faster had Katie done the catching or no?

Max Bichler: No, I think it would've been -- well, I'll let Katie answer.

Katie Bichler: I thought it took maybe four or five attempts. It wasn't that many. And no, it wouldn't have made a difference. What made the difference was the suitcase [task].

Max Bichler: Even if we would've gotten it on the first drop, it really didn't take much time in the park. It was great TV, it looked awesome, but it was hard to catch the ball because you couldn't see.

That was the biggest issue. Seeing through the suit was really hard. There was only a tiny little slit of window -- a slit in the helmet where you could look out. It was like looking through cellophane. You had no depth perception... I think even if we had gotten it on the first try, it wouldn't have changed anything in the entire race.

Reality TV World: Bates and Anthony told me they thought Mona and Beth were the most competitive, threatening team they had raced against all season. I guess they believed that the whole way through and not just at the end when three teams remained. What's your reaction to that? Does that surprise you or do you kind of see that perspective?

Max Bichler: Um, I know what they were saying because Mona and Beth were tough, and Anthony and Bates didn't love like going to work in the airports on flights and stuff. And Mona and Beth were really good in the airports with the flights and such. So, I know where they were going with that, and I do think they were competitive.

It surprises me that they thought they were the "most" competitive team, because we stole three in a row from them. And I think Katie and I kind of flew under the radar, because we were closer to Bates and Anthony than we were the "Roller Derby [Moms]," so I think they may have been wearing their blinders a little bit with Katie and I because of our friendship.

Reality TV World: When I've spoken with other teams this season, they mostly all agreed Bates and Anthony were one of -- if not "the" -- biggest threat this season, yet your alliance never U-Turned them or seemed to try to get them out. Looking back, you guys wish you had targeted them when you had the chance, especially since they ended up winning the whole thing?

Katie Bichler: Well, actually that's incorrect because we -- with the alliance, or whatever you want to call it -- it was lose, like Caroline and Jennifer and Bates and Anthony were very tight. We never helped Bates and Anthony or Caroline and Jennifer. We were in it for ourselves. And as far as U-Turns and stuff, we were trying to U-Turn Bates and Anthony the whole time.

In [a previous leg], we knew that [Dave O'Leary] and [Connor O'Leary] were eliminated, so by wasting a U-Turn on Bates and Anthony, they wouldn't have been eliminated anyway.

And then on the way to Scotland, we had the first flight and our plan going in was to U-Turn Bates and Anthony as soon as we got there, because we knew we needed to get them out. We realized they were strong. But unfortunately, Jen and Caroline told them about a flight and helped them, so they were able to get on the flight and then we never had a chance to U-Turn them.  

Max Bichler: Yeah, we knew that they were a huge threat and we never had an opportunity to -- there was never a chance for Katie and I to U-Turn them. There was never a chance for us to, you know, there was nothing we could do about them at that point.

It was just -- and they say -- they almost imploded a couple times on themselves, but Katie and I were never in the position that we could've. And we weren't like the "alliance."

It really wasn't as much of an alliance as I think people think. It was more like, we enjoyed their company when we were sitting around in airports, and when we started racing, it was like the gloves came off. There was no help.

We had the Detour task figured out in Ireland at the dock and I wasn't helping anybody. And I didn't tell Bates and Anthony or Caroline and Jen about getting on that early flight to Scotland either. So, if you really look at it, there was a lot of times that Katie and I could've helped but didn't help.

Above is the first half of Max and Katie's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion and more interviews with the Final 4 teams. To read some of what Bates and Anthony had to say, click here.
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.