Amazing Race bid adieu to one of the most venerable female teams to attempt the race in recent years, college athletes and best friends Brittany Fletcher and Caitlin King, on Sunday night. ETonline catches up with the tough cookies to get their take on their elimination.
ETOnline: You guys are the second team in a row to be eliminated based on a driver not knowing where to go. How frustrating was that for you?
Brittany: Basically, the most frustrating thing was -- obviously you saw how we got feisty -- [what] America didn't really see was we were actually in sixth leaving the detour and we had gotten a becak (bicycle cab) driver and he had actually taken us on a different route to the pit stop. He didn't actually take the path ... that we were telling him to take us to so we could have got the U-turn map. So, basically he takes us all the way to the pit stop, we're like, 'Oh, crap,' we get back in his becak, he takes us to the field, and we're running around looking for this U-turn map, but we can't find it. Then we think, maybe he took us on a different route, so we took another becak thing, he ends up passing the U-turn map, we see it in the rear-view, we were looking behind us and noticed it, so we get out of the becak, run to the U-turn map. Then our driver, who had just taken us to the pit stop prior, was there at the same time as well, right around the U-turn map, so that's when we were like, ‘Okay, he's somebody who actually knows where he's going, we've got to get there. It's now between us and Will and Gary.” We jumped in his thinking he would be the safe bet and knew where he was going. It turns out, he didn't.
ETOnline: Throughout the episode, you were pretty direct with the cab drivers, raising your voice at times. Do you regret doing that? Or was it the situation that drove you to that?
Brittany: The thing is, we were fine with the cab drivers at first. America only saw, when it got down to the wire of the moment where we had no choice -- we were down to the wire. So, [there were] scenes where it looks like I was just being disrespectful, and very forceful against these becak drivers, and I wasn't. They had not shown the probably two-and-a-half hours prior with these guys. The first part they showed [when we were talking about the fare], we had been sitting there for fifteen minutes, actually Will and Gary ended up showing up and passing us, and starting the challenge, because we were still trying to figure out, how much to owe and you saw that they had gotten off the train last, so it just kinda goes to show you how long we had been standing there and for him not to give us an amount to pay… they showed the last part of the fifteen minutes of course, it wasn't like that the entire time.
ETOnline: Was it that he just didn't understand what you were asking, or was he just trying to get more money out of you guys?
Caitlin: It was just very confusing because we were literally just standing there. We didn't even know what to do at that point because he was just literally staring at us, not even giving us any hand motions or letting us know he understood anything we were saying. It was just really, really frustrating. But yeah, it was a money thing, it was just... it was everything.
Brittany: And then these people shouting all around, telling us different amounts. We're like -- stop yelling guys, we're asking this person specifically. We're not trying to cheat him out of money or anything, we just wanna pay him correctly so we're not penalized later on.
ETOnline: You were frustrated that the driver of the little bike thing didn't speak any English. Did you expect people to speak more English as you went around the world? Or was it about what you expected?
Caitlin: The one line that everyone is talking... and actually what I had said was, 'It's so frustrating not being able to communicate with these drivers, I really can't believe they don't speak English. These drivers don't speak English.' So the part that was only shown was, 'I can't believe these drivers don't speak English,' when really, like hello, we're in foreign countries. Obviously they're not gonna all speak English, that's just kinda common sense. I think what was so frustrating is we were in the heat of the moment, and these guys had been getting us lost, you know had taken us to the pit stop. For us to have been in a situation where the driver had already taken us to the pit stop, and then ends up going left instead of right, when you figured he knew where he was going, ‘cause we had just went there. So, yeah, it caused us to look like we were crazy yelling at these drivers, but I mean they had wasted almost two-and-a-half hours of our time, it was insane.
ETOnline: What was the most challenging aspect of the race overall?
Caitlin: We knew going into the race, that we only had control over a few things and that we would be in good shape and we knew we were mentally tough. Other than that, you don't know what's gonna happen, you really don't realize how much you're on your feet, and our backpacks are just so heavy, and at the end of the day, you just had to really stay mentally tough because you're running on no sleep. We knew that's what we were gonna be doing, but you really don't know how much you can live on until you're actually in it.
ETOnline: And everyone was commenting on the heat in China, it was probably equally hot in Indonesia, right?
Caitlin: Oh, yes. It was so hot and we had to wear long sleeves and longer pants because of religious and cultural reasons. We were burning up.
Brittany: For both of us, obviously it was gonna be hard. When you're in a situation, you don't have a phone, you're trying to rely on communicating with people. We both have traveled to places throughout the world, and we've always kind of gotten away with finding either a cab driver, or somebody that spoke even a little bit of English. I think sometimes when you're in a situation that you can't communicate, that was eye-opening because you can't do anything about it. These people have no idea what you're saying, and it's really out of your control trying to communicate with them. So I think that was part of it, that was hard, and definitely the currency I think too. When you're transferring from American to yuan, I think that's what it was, yeah yuan to rupiah, you don't know how much you have left of those currencies, how much the equivalent it is from a U.S. dollar to a rupiah. You don't really know how much the value is. That was of course hard and—are we getting ripped off? 'Cause they know that we don't know, or is this really how much it costs?
ETOnline: Which task would you say was the hardest?
Caitlin: For me, the hardest thing was definitely the balloons. I just was struggling with that.
Brittany: It's hard to [do] ‘cause like, you're sweating, it's so hot, and trying to grip it was so like…
Caitlin: And my bike was too small for me, but I had chosen it, and I couldn't switch bikes. So my knees were like hitting, banging the metal thing in front of me the whole time so that wasn't very fun.
ETOnline: How long did it take to do that task? Hours?
Caitlin: I don't even know. I don't think it was that long.
Brittany: Like forty-five minutes.
ETOnline: What would you say is the most interesting thing you learned about other cultures from being on the race?
Brittany: Being able to experience other cultures, it makes you appreciate how blessed we are, even just the little things, just even having a shower. So you know it's one of those things to be able to experience those different cultures and participate in their living style was such a blessing because you really need to be able to interact with different cultures. It definitely was eye awakening, and we are very thankful and blessed to have been a part of it.
ETOnline: What team do you think is gonna win?
Caitlin: There are a few teams going into it that we kind of knew were the stronger teams to begin with. We're friends with all the teams, so we're pulling for mostly everyone. But I'd say we would really like to see another girls team go far, maybe the Sri Lankans, or… both of us really loved Amy and Daniel, hated to see them go. And then the rockers, they're smart, savvy, and street smart and we think they'll go a long way. And we were also good friends with the Chippendales, so really we don't have one team pegged that we definitely want to win. But that's the good thing, it's gonna be fun to see the other teams and just continue to watch our friends compete.
The Amazing Race airs Sunday nights at 8/7c on CBS.