Exclusive: 'The Amazing Race' eliminees Lisa Thomson and Michelle Thomson talk (Part 1)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/29/2014
The Amazing Race eliminated Lisa Thomson and Michelle Thomson during Friday night's premiere broadcast of the CBS reality competition's 25th season.
The "Realtor Sisters" from Miami, FL, became the first team eliminated from the around-the-world competition after they arrived at the Race's first Pit Stop at a "robust fortress" called Fort Christian in St. Thomas in last place.
Lisa and Michelle lost by merely seconds to "Firefighters" Michael Ward and Scott Strazzullo and "Engaged Couple" Keith Tollefson and Whitney Duncan after all three teams rushed to the Pit Stop and received a four-hour time penalty for failing to finish the Roadblock task.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World, Lisa and Michelle talked about their The Amazing Race experience and early ouster from the show. Below is the first half of their interview. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: Could you believe you girls were the first team to get eliminated and how did you feel walking away from that experience?
Lisa Thomson: It was tough to be the first team eliminated but all the teams were very strong, so, we're glad everyone did well.
Reality TV World: Night fell and you guys were still digging at that treasure-chest task. Do you have any idea how far behind the pack you guys finally finished the leg alongside Michael and Scott as well as Keith and Whitney?
Lisa Thomson: I would say approximately maybe an hour.
Reality TV World: What exactly would you say led to your demise in this leg? What would you attribute your elimination to? Was it getting on that second flight to St. Thomas or just the fact that digging treasure-chest task took so long or maybe even some bad luck?
Michelle Thomson: I think it was a little bit of [bad] luck, I don't know. We had a tough time at the beginning of the day trying to get some luck and then we got in the cab and that's the way it played out.
Reality TV World: When you girls were heading to the airport in New York at the very beginning of the leg, you obviously weren't one of the first five teams to get there. Did anything happen there that viewers didn't get to see or did you just naturally get to the airport later than other teams?
Lisa Thomson: Our cab, you know, everyone found the location pretty fast, so it was whoever's cab driver got there first -- made it to the airport first -- and we were on the second flight. We were the first team off the second flight, but you know, we were in the slowest cab and we didn't find the treasure and then we were in another slow cab. That's just what happens!
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Reality TV World: Michelle, what was going through your mind the whole time Lisa was digging? Did you feel defeated or did you remain optimistic?
Michelle Thomson: I'm a pretty optimistic person. I always like to keep a positive view. When you lose daylight on a task like that, it gets to the point where it's like, "Alright, we've got to do something else. Everyone can't dig if it gets dark. That's a little nuts." So, if that didn't happen I don't think we ever would have given up. She was positive; I was positive.
Reality TV World: Lisa, how long did you dig for?
Lisa Thomson: I think about four hours.
Reality TV World: Michelle, do you think you could've done any better with that task or no?
Michelle Thomson: Well there's no way -- no one other than the guy with the compass on his watch [Jim Raman], who knew, right off the bat, how to work that compass. Everyone struggled with it. No one got it easy.
I mean, if I did it, I would've struggled with it the same way. I don't think I could've done a better job. I think Lisa's endurance for four hours, digging in the freaking sand and sun and dirt -- I thought that was pretty tough of her. I don't know if I would've been as mentally tough as her. I mean, she never gave up.
Reality TV World: You girls basically said you thought your looks could help you during the Race or at least provide you with an advantage of some kind as it does in your professional careers. Based upon your experience in the first leg, looking back, do you still believe that?
Michelle Thomson: Looks had nothing to do with the Race. I mean, we're obviously blonde girls so people are going to talk about that, but our looks have nothing to do with it.
Our looks had nothing to do with digging, our looks have nothing to do with our business. We couldn't find the treasure; Two guys couldn't find the treasure either. We're blonde so we get the [brunt] of it. But, you know, three people couldn't find the treasure.
Reality TV World: You two have sparked a lot of talk with your decision to seemingly steal the pen out of Michael and Scott's hands at the sea flight sign-up board...
Lisa Thomson: Yeah, the pen! If you watch it, we were there first before them. They took -- they grabbed the pen and I took the pen out of his hand because I was there first. If you watch it, that's not how it was portrayed. I was at the board first before the firefighters.
Michelle Thomson: I think a lot of viewers, if you watch it, they're going to take it as, like, "Oh, maybe it was a rude move or something." But, you know what? Everyone that got to the board was fighting over pens. No one wants to be on the last flight either. It is what it is.
Reality TV World: It seemed like the firefighters wanted to run a gentlemanly Race until you two crossed them at that sign-in board. Had that incident never have happened in their minds, do you think they would've let you share that taxi with them or do you think it wouldn't have made a difference?
Lisa Thomson: Whoever was in the very last cab would've been the ones who lost.
Michelle Thomson: Yeah.
Lisa Thomson: They would've never let us in that cab.
Michelle Thomson: And we never would've let them in our cab either. So that's just the way it would've been.
Reality TV World: When you and the other two teams determined you should take the four-hour time penalty after digging for those treasure chests, you admitted you were worried about beating Keith and Whitney to the finish but you seemed pretty confident you could beat Michael and Scott. Why was that? What did you think you had on those two guys?
Michelle Thomson: Because we thought it was going to be a foot race. We could definitely outrun them. I mean, we're runners. That's what we do. We work out a lot, so we're confident in our endurance and we're confident. But maybe [someone] might be faster, but endurance-wise, we could kill anyone basically.
Reality TV World: So could you elaborate more then on why you felt threatened by Keith and Whitney?
Lisa Thomson: Well, Keith is like 6'8" or something. His legs are really long. I didn't know if he was a runner or he wasn't a runner, but I knew he was really tall and thin.
Michelle Thomson: Whitney's a runner too.
Lisa Thomson: Yeah. We just thought we could probably beat the firemen because we're pretty fast. We train every day.
Reality TV World: Did you know who Keith and Whitney were at the start of the Race, that they had appeared on Survivor together?
Michelle Thomson: We had no idea.
Lisa Thomson: No.
Reality TV World: So considering that fact now, do you think that presented them with an advantage because of their reality TV experience or a disadvantage because maybe it will paint a target on their backs going forward?
Lisa Thomson: I don't think they had a target on their backs. They're really likeable people. We made friends with them on the second flight. We liked them right off the bat. They're really nice people.
Michelle Thomson: And we liked the firefighters too! We never did not like them. But, you know, when you race the Race, you're in it to win it. You're not going to let someone beat you.
Above is the first half of Michelle and Lisa's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Check back with us soon for the concluding portion.