Mona Egender and Beth Bandimere finished third on The Amazing Race's 22nd season during Sunday night's two-hour broadcast of the CBS reality competition's finale.

The "Roller Derby Moms" team 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 therefore crowned champions, and "Newlyweds" Max Bichler and Katie Bichler, who finished in second place.

"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, Mona and Beth 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.

To read some of what Bates and Anthony had to say, click here. To begin reading our interview with Max and Katie, click here.

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

Mona Egender: I think we were like 30-40 minutes behind. It wasn't too far behind.

Reality TV World: Were you girls completely certain you finished in third place at that point or did you have a little hope maybe another team got lost or something?

Beth Bandimere: You know, at that point, we pretty much knew that we were in the back and we just decided, "We're just going to finish strong and do the best we can." But we knew actually when we got to National [Stadium]. We saw Max and Katie finishing up and Bates and Anthony, we knew they had been there and were already gone.

Reality TV World: You guys were all on the same ferry at the beginning of the last leg, so what do you think it was that made the difference between you two winning and losing the Race? Why do you think you ended up finishing in third place?

Mona Egender: Well, the suitcase challenge around the lake was kind of just a matter of who happened to talk to the right guy first. So there was a little bit of luck involved, little bit of skill in throwing and catching a baseball, (laughs) and a little bit of luck finding those globes. We knew exactly what we were looking for, it was just a matter of finding them in that massive pit.

Reality TV World: The show showed you girls getting lost on your way to Peatlands Park during the first half of last night's episode. What happened there?

Beth Bandimere: You know what? We were literally like a minute and 30 seconds behind. We had just taken a quick left and we probably didn't even go a mile and then we were just like, "Nope, this isn't right." So we swung around and went back.
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Reality TV World: You girls had a pretty emotional entrance at the Pit Stop prior to the final leg when you learned you had come in third place and Caroline and Jennifer were getting eliminated instead of you. It seemed like you were convinced you were out at that point. Could you talk about what was going through your minds heading to that Pit Stop?

Beth Bandimere: We actually thought we were out. We didn't see Caroline and Jennifer at all and we thought nobody could've struggled as much as we did with that task. We figured they had done the graffiti challenge, and so, you got to love [The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan].

He gives you that deadpan look when you run up to the mat. We thought absolutely for certain -- well you heard me after that. I turned around and looked at Mona and was like, "Are you sure?!" We really did not think that we were still in the Race.

Reality TV World: You guys obviously struggled with the Titanic dinner service task. The show made it look like you just completely unaware there were five courses you had to serve. Is that right? Could you explain the mistake you made and how you got confused?

Mona Egender: We did know that there were five courses. I just made the wrong assumption in thinking that I would serve the first two that were on my seating chart and then they would hand me another card with the rest of the dishes. I literally just ran by that large menu in front of the opening of the tent and failed to look at it and didn't run by it again until I realized what the mistake was.

Reality TV World: It made it look like you kept missing the oyster appetizer...

Beth Bandimere:  Oh yeah, we missed it. We just didn't -- literally, when we went into that tent and there was a list of the five courses, we didn't see that. We just saw the seating card that showed the soup and I think the dessert.

I honestly, we were so exhausted. And it's not an excuse. We should've paid better attention, but by the time we got there, we were so gassed. And then running up and down those stairs and running the trays out, it was, I don't know. It's hard to watch it now.

But when I was talking to Anthony, I don't know if he realized that he was helping me when we had that conversation about the different courses. Because as soon as he said that, the light bulb kind of went on and I was like, "There's something up there that we didn't see."

Reality TV World: So how long would you say it took you guys to finally complete that Detour task, and it also sounds like maybe you think the outcome of your Race might've been different had you done the graffiti one instead?

Mona Egender: We actually went to the graffiti Detour first and decided there was too much detail, and so we switched to do the Titanic. We only finished, it was like roughly 40 minutes behind the other two teams. So while it felt like an eternity, it wasn't quite as long as we thought it was.

Reality TV World: On the way to getting your picture taken with the "president," you girls told your cab driver to go to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue rather than 1100 like the clue said. Did you just jump the gun a little bit there, kind of assuming you were just going straight to the White House?

Beth Bandimere: Yeah, I take full responsibility for that one. I totally confused the cab driver because the clue said the president, so for about half a second, we actually thought, "Well maybe." The show messes with your head so much that by the time we got to D.C. I was like, "Well why wouldn't the president want to come and meet us?"

And when they gave the address, I knew the White House was on Pennsylvania, so I told the cab driver, I said, "1100 Pennsylvania," but then I immediately said, "The White House." So I'm sure he was completely confused, and then I said it a couple more times. So of course, you know, he took us to the wrong place.

Reality TV World: Do you think that cost you a lot of time or just a matter of a few minutes?

Beth Bandimere: I think it cost us maybe 10 minutes. We ended up getting dropped off and then we sprinted down and grabbed another cab and went.

Reality TV World: Beth, you did the spy Roadblock task in which you had to find the right secret agent. How long do you think it took you to find the right guy and what was your reaction to Max's bad luck during this task when you were watching the episode back last night? It seemed like he couldn't catch a break.

Beth Bandimere: I'm a little ashamed to admit it was kind of fun to watch Max sweat a little bit in last night's episode. (Laughs) But honestly, I think I did it -- I ran about maybe half to two-thirds of the way around the -- that tidal basin is huge by the way. Yeah, I think it took me maybe like -- what do you think Mona?

Mona Egender: 10-15 minutes probably?

Beth Bandimere: Yeah, about 10-15 minutes. I think Max said he literally went all the way around, so I don't know if he missed one of them or what. I'm not sure what happened there.

Reality TV World: What were your general opinions of Max and Katie? I talked to [Joey Graceffa] and [Meghan Camarena] earlier this season and they told me they thought Max was rude and kind of a jerk, while Katie was often the "b word." Did you get that vibe or are you more in the Bates and Anthony camp who believe Max was just a funny goofball and they were nice people?

Mona Egender: No, you know what? We really like Max and Katie. Max has a great sense of humor. Sure, we weren't in an alliance with them on the show and we didn't necessarily get along with them on the show, but outside of it, we love them.

We hung out with them all weekend, you know, they were just playing the game. It's a competition. You're not going to be everybody's best friend while you're on the show.

Above is the first half of our exclusive interview with Mona and Beth. Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion. To read some of what Bates and Anthony had to say, click here. To begin reading our interview with Max and Katie, 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.