Eliminated Amazing Race Contestants Reveal What Went Wrong
College admissions representative Amanda Blackledge, 25, and her insurance agent fiancé Kris Klicka, 27, finished eighth on season 14 after being delivered the penalty by another team.
On their second time around on the series, the Pismo Beach, Calif.-based couple earned one, finishing last in Phil's test in Palm Springs. They spoke with PEOPLE about being the first all-stars to get the boot.
Did this extended leg make the Switzerland cheese hill and its animal droppings seem easier?
Amanda: This leg was really long and there was a lot of physical demand with sailing, scuba, bouncing shoes and a lot of running. They make it look like the commodore was just down the beach, but he was like a mile away. And it was a lot hotter than it was in Switzerland.
Kris: It almost took Mel out. He was really struggling. You don't get a lot of food or sleep, which makes you grumpy. The last thing you want to do is try to analyze a vague clue.
Driving from Palm Springs to LAX is enough to drive some people crazy. Add to that a 14-hour flight to Australia.
Kris: And you're not sleeping on the plane because the adrenaline is pumping so hard thinking about what lies ahead.
Last time you were eliminated from the show you blamed trusting the wrong people for elimination. What's the culprit this season?
Kris: Right of the bat we got the U-turn, We just did it to ourselves this time around and that sucked.
Amanda: And missing the first [Outback] flight. If we hadn't had so much trouble finding the anchor, we would have made that flight and beat Ron and Christina. We were only five minutes behind them to the mat and they definitely gained more than five minutes because we had to do both tasks.
It seems like people are too friendly and working together too much so far.
Kris: Good point. But you're basically thrown into the world. When you have to figure something out and someone is standing next to you, it might help to work together. What we learned the first time was that doesn't mean you'll work together for the remainder of the game.
Amanda: When I was trying to decode that thing next to Kisha and started seeing other teams coming, I decided to work with Kisha to get out of there faster to keep from giving other teams any help solving it. It's very situational. People do what they need to do to get ahead at any given point and sometimes that is form an alliance.
Was it comforting to watch the episodes and realize other teams didn't have it all together either and made mistakes?
Amanda: It's not so much comforting as it is, 'Aw dang, if only they had struggled a little bit more, we might have survived.' We knew we were in last place driving to the pit-stop so we prayed that someone had either gotten lost, which was unlikely in that little town, or checked in with a missing costume piece. It really stung to see Mel give Margie her kangaroo foot. We didn't know that had happened until we watched.
Going out first is no fun. Do you regret playing again?
Kris: Absolutely not. This whole experience was such a blessing and a fun ride both times. If we got a phone call tomorrow, we'd do it again – Amazing Race 25: Really Unfinished Business.
Who are you rooting for?
Kris: We hit it off with Gary and Mallory. Gary's a lot like my outdoorsy dad, and Mallory and Amanda are two 5-foot-nothing blonds with vivacious personalities so we bonded with them.
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