Exclusive: Vanessa Macias and Ralph Kelley talk 'Amazing Race' (Pt 1)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/08/2012
Vanessa Macias and Ralph Kelley were eliminated at the end of The Amazing Race's eleventh leg, making it just shy of the Final 3, during Sunday night's two-hour finale broadcast of the CBS reality competition's twentieth season.
Vanessa, who struggled with an ankle injury, and Ralph were ineligible to compete in the final twelfth leg of the Race following their ouster mid-episode of the finale broadcast, and therefore, lost their chance to compete for the million-dollar grand prize.
On Monday, Vanessa and Ralph talked to Reality TV World about their The Amazing Race experience -- including what shocking news they revealed about their relationship, whether they were disappointed with their fourth-place finish or satisfied with how they ran the Race, how many attempts it took Vanessa to finally complete the chicken-game Roadblock task, and how severe Vanessa's sprained ankle really was.
Below is the first half of our exclusive interview with Vanessa and Ralph. Check back with Reality TV World in the coming days for the concluding portion. To read Rachel B. and Dave's interview, click here.
Reality TV World: So just to clarify, I'm assuming you guys are still together, but what's the status of your relationship now? Any engagement plans for the near future?
Reality TV World: Okay then moving on! How are you feeling about finishing in fourth place? Are you guys disappointed because you came so close to making it to that final leg or would you say you're very satisfied with how you ran the Race regardless of the finishing order?
Vanessa Macias: I'm disappointed, because we both put everything we had out there. And seeing what we went through from the watermelons and the U-Turn and just the adversity with the buses and the cabs and everything that was wrong, and the spouts of good luck we had and the physical -- just everything that we left out on each leg.
And seeing Ralph go through everything he went through to help perpetuate us to this last leg and getting so close, I obviously feel like I let him down and that's a hard thing to swallow.
Reality TV World: During the eleventh leg in which you got eliminated, how far behind Brendon and Rachel do you think you finally arrived at the Pit Stop?
Ralph Kelley: We've heard everything from 30 minutes to like 10 minutes. Honestly, we have no idea. We know it was really close as far as within 30 minutes. Obviously, we saw them there at the sushi bar, so we knew we weren't that far behind. We didn't realize that they got lost running around the park for quite awhile, so to answer your question, anywhere from 10-30 minutes we know.
Vanessa Macias: I kind of didn't want to know and then immediately afterward, we were brought off to some doctor in Japan for my ankle.
Reality TV World: Your downfall in the Race definitely seemed to be that chicken-game Roadblock task. Vanessa, could you talk about that a little bit? Would you say the task was just really challenging in itself or did it only become a great struggle for you because of your sprained ankle? How much pain were you really in?
Vanessa Macias: Well, I sprained my ankle in India and I've had a number of different [injuries] prior to that one in particular. I've had a screw in there, I've torn my Achilles Tendon, I've broken all the bones on top of my left foot because of that screw -- and it's [affected] my Achilles heel in more ways than one.
So, when I rolled it in India, I was really concerned. But it's one of those things where if you lie down for too long, then they're going to ship you off to the doctor's. But if you get up and go, "Let's get the hell on the rickshaw and go dress the elephants" -- that's something I've never said. (Laughs)
So I was in excruciating pain initially and then we were flying and running around on it, running around all over Japan on it, and then when we got to this Roadblock and it was not up for negotiation -- it was something that I had to do because Ralph and I were going one-for-one and it was just my turn -- I knew it was going to be something physical. I just knew it was and I had no idea how physical it would be.
Reality TV World: So did you end up having just a sprained ankle or did it become something worse than that?
Reality TV World: Oh wow. Well the show made it seem like you two were very close to quitting that Roadblock task to save Vanessa's ankle because she seemed to be in a lot of pain. So how close were you to just stopping where you were and taking the penalty at the end of the leg, and if you had done it, do you think you'd have any chance to avoid coming in last place or would you say you'd be pretty much doomed?
Ralph Kelley: We discussed briefly her stopping. She attempted the Roadblock probably 24-30 times, so it was up to her.
Ralph Kelley: But she opted to stick it out, and obviously, she showed what she was made out of by finishing.
Reality TV World: Ralph, you tried to convince Vanessa to stop the Roadblock task because you were concerned she'd end up really hurting herself. What was going through your mind at that point? Were you thinking 50/50 that you wanted her to quit but you also hoped she would continue, or were you leaning much heavier towards one side?
Ralph Kelley: There was probably about two percent of me that really wanted her to quit, but I mean, it was for the right reasons. Obviously we were there to compete and we were the second team to show up. The other two teams came in and then passed us, but I didn't want to see her hurt any worse than she already was.
It was really her decision. It was completely her decision. I wasn't going to force her. I just wanted her to understand and know that if she did decide not to finish, that I was going to support her, you know?
Reality TV World: How drastically do you both think the outcome of your Race might've been different had Ralph been able to do that Roadblock task instead of Vanessa?
Ralph Kelley: I honestly don't know. Our cab could've gotten lost. I think -- I obviously could have probably done the Roadblock a lot faster and we would've gotten out of there, but then again, there's no guarantee that we would've not been eliminated. So.
Reality TV World: It sounds like it took Vanessa a lot of tries to finally complete that Roadblock task, so how long do you think you were actually there for, and then once you got to the sushi bingo Detour task, how long did it take you to finish that?
Vanessa Macias: I felt like we were there forever! I mean, forever. It went from the Japanese game show host and audience heckling me, and then they saw my ankle, and they were like, "Oh, wow. She's really injured" to them rooting me on. There was a guy in there that was like on the verge of tears. I was screaming and crying. It was agony.
It was absolute complete agony, and then on the same token, I would have felt worse had I quit. I wish I would've just pulled it together sooner or quicker or just did it faster. I don't know if there's any way we would've known how close we were and if it would've even mattered. And seeing Rachel and Brendon at the sushi thing kind of gave us a little glimmer of hope.
Reality TV World: At the sushi bingo task, you guys caught up to Rachel and Brendon and it made them very flustered. So how long after Rachel and Brendon completed and left the task did you guys finish it? At that point, were you convinced you were in fourth place and would finish that way or were you still optimistic you could remain in the Race?
Ralph Kelley: We were probably there about another 15 minutes, 20 minutes maybe.
Reality TV World: Okay, so it sounds like you think you made the right decision in choosing that task right? Because the "Photo Cut-Out" one, Rachel and Dave seemed to breeze through it. So I didn't know if you ended up regretting your choice or not.
Ralph Kelley: Our whole contemplation on that whole choosing what side of the Detour, we didn't know how big the cut-outs were going to be -- the lifesize cut-outs -- and we had to take them from one location to another, and her ankle was already messed up...
Ralph Kelley: So that's really what pushed us to go do the sushi.
Above is the first half of our exclusive interview with Vanessa and Ralph. Check back with Reality TV World in the coming days for the concluding portion. To read Rachel B. and Dave's interview, click here.