'The Amazing Race' Exit Interview: Maiya and Misa
The golfing sisters share 'the longest day' of their lives
By Diane Vadino
Special to MSN TV
Some unlucky team has to be the first one out on "The Amazing Race." And this season, that (dis)honor went to golfing sisters Maiya and Misa Tanaka, who confronted everything but locusts on their fairly cursed run to the mat: In what host Phil Keoghan announced was a first, the team came within sight of the mat -- but didn't see it, ran in the other direction, and squandered the narrow lead they'd built on Long Island guidos Danny and Joey Fitness. We spoke with the team about the problem with sand traps, a never-ending balloon task, and their shocking exit.
MSN TV: Is it fair to say you guys had an incredibly tough day?
Misa: That is a very fair assessment. We had terrible luck. We were unlucky from the get-go. We were one of the first teams out there [into the vineyard, searching balloon baskets for a clue], and we were there for hours. That had nothing to do with skill. We were just thankful that we could sprint up and down those hills.
Maiya: We can't say it was a terrible day. We got to do so many cool things. But it was definitely the longest.
We couldn't get a sense of how hard it would have been to run from balloon to balloon.
Maiya: That vineyard was literally straight uphill. Some of the teams just checked the bottom [baskets], and as they found them, we were left with fewer options. When we started, we had an 11 percent chance to find a clue, and then it was down to one percent. We checked every single balloon, and we pulled down certain balloons five times.
At least you had a chance to recover with the other four teams on the second flight.
Maiya: We actually got our second wind when we got to the airport just behind Team Pink …
Maiya: Oh, Kerry and Stacy. We called them Double Bubble.
And you were right behind them?
Maiya: Yeah. They actually got a flat tire, and I'd gone to UCLA, so I knew right where LAX is. We were able to relax a little bit.
But then, not long after, Maiya's car gets stuck in the sand.
Misa: It was a huge task to try to get her car out of the sand. Meanwhile, I'm standing there just waiting for her to find me, and one of the guidos, Danny, ran up, and I was so shocked to see him. I knew he didn't know how to drive stick, so I couldn't figure out how he made it there before Maiya.
Maiya: It was really funny because he told me later he would have stopped if he could -- yeah, right -- but he was driving a stick, and he said if he stopped he wouldn't be able to start again. I do know how to read a map and drive a stick. I was the first one out of the airport. I was literally a sand wedge -- about 50 yards -- away from where they were. Misa literally flew right over my head.
It must have been terrible trying to get help.
Misa: This guy on a motorcycle stopped first. I just kept saying, "Ayuda me, por favor" ("Help me"). It's the only Spanish I know. The first car couldn't pull me out, and the rope actually snapped. Finally, there was a truck. But we knew we were still in it.
Was it murder watching back the end of this leg?
Misa: We cried watching that.
Maiya: It was like reliving one of the toughest days of our lives. We know we're really fortunate that that was one of the toughest things we've been through, but still … it brought back how close we were. We tried to keep our heads up the whole day. I could have just plopped myself down in that sand pit.
Misa: It never crossed our minds that we were going to give up, at any point. But at the end of the day, it was a tough pill to swallow.
"The Amazing Race" airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.