Not-So-Amazing Racers: 'It Just Wasn't Our Day'

Not-So-Amazing Racers: 'It Just Wasn't Our Day'
John Paul Filo/Landov

09/28/2010 AT 12:35 PM EDT

L.A.-based director and choreographer Ron Kellum, 45, and Tony Stovall, 42, a doctoral student in Tucson, blame a lack of highway signage and a medieval boat for their last-place finish on the season premiere of The Amazing Race. The best friends of 22 years spoke with PEOPLE about their short-lived journey and which team will be the biggest threat. – Carrie Bell

You went from first at the airport to last. What went wrong?
Ron: We had directions to Stonehenge. We were on the motorways as they call them in England. They don't really give you a lot of warning for the exits there and I was in the far right-hand lane when our exchange was on the far left. We couldn't make it and unfortunately it isn't like here where you can just jump off, make a u-turn and get back on. We knowingly went the wrong way for 25 miles in rush-hour traffic.

You managed to stay positive despite realizing you were last.
Ron: We figured other people would have trouble as well.
Tony: Ron is a fantastic driver. He can get anywhere in five minutes, so I thought we could get back in it. At Stonehenge, where you couldn't run, we realized we picked out the last clue from the box.

Was there a moment you realized it was a lost cause?
Tony: The reality sank in when we saw the coconut boat. We ran around the corner and were like, "You're kidding? Black people, water – oh, here we go!" We sank 40 times before getting across.

There were a lot of mishaps – a watermelon in the face, a flat tire – on the first leg. Who did it hurt the most to lose to?
Ron: We're both very competitive but we never saw it as a competition between teams. We just wanted to do our absolute best and thought we could win this thing because we are well traveled, educated, communicate well and are physically strong . . . It just wasn't our day.
Tony: We felt awful. So many people were rooting for us. People I hadn't talked to since junior high had contacted us, and you feel like you let them all down. And even though you try not to, you start making plans for the money.

After getting first impressions, who is the strongest competition?
Tony: That's hard to answer because you have no idea what's ahead, where you're going or what people's backgrounds are. I did notice Chad seemed built like me so I thought he might be competition in terms of strength challenges.

Were you nervous at all that the Race would negatively affect your friendship?
Ron: No because we made a pact beforehand that no amount of money was worth hurting our friendship or embarrassing our friends and family.

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