'The Amazing Race': Season 22's First Eliminated Team on Their 'Heartbreaking' End
11:25 AM PST 2/18/2013 by Kimberly Nordyke
Firefighters Matthew Davis and Daniel Moss tell THR what they wish they'd done differently and what they struggled with the most -- apart from the canoe.
Matthew Davis, 25, and Daniel Moss, 24, made a pact with two other teams to take a penalty at the sand castles, thinking they could beat the others in the rowing part of the leg. But their canoe kept tipping over, and they were eliminated after coming in last on Sunday night's season premiere.
On Monday, the firefighters and best friends from Gaffney, S.C., talked to The Hollywood Reporter about being the first team out and what they would do differently.
The Hollywood Reporter: I'm sure it's hard being the first person out. Was it hard to watch it last night?
Matt: It was just as heartbreaking last night as it was when it came out of Phil [Keoghan]'s mouth.
THR: What would you do differently if you could go back and do it again?
Daniel: I don't know that we would do anything differently. The major thing I would have done is I would have jumped out of the helicopter, and Matt would have done the sand castles. Because when I started [with the sand castles], I had absolutely no plan, no theory. I was just breaking and building. Once we were eliminated, we started talking about it, and Matt said he had a theory about working in a grid section. With Matt being the brains of the team, if I had jumped out of the helicopter and he had done the sand castles, maybe it would have been different. But taking the penalty and quitting [the sand castle challenge], all that I would do again.
THR: You weren't the only team struggling with the boat, which kept tipping over. Was it as hard as it looked?
Daniel: The canoe, it was tough. After just being out there so long in the sun, it almost felt like a mirage or going into the desert. But at that point, we were tired. Normally we canoe a lot, and we were going up against skinny little girls half our size, and I think weight had a little do to with it. One little lean to the right, and you were out of it. If you look closely, there was another guy on the back with us, so there were three grown men in that canoe.
THR: Aside from the boat, what was the most challenging part of the race for you?
Matt: The most challenging thing for us was getting to the airport in Los Angeles. We thought we'd take the freeway like everybody else did, and where we got on the freeway, it was just slam-packed with traffic, so we were the last team to get to the airport.
THR: After you were eliminated, was there a particular team you were rooting for?
Matt: The firefighters -- we're hoping the CBS editing can still make us win. [laughs]
THR: Would you compete again if asked?
Daniel: Absolutely we would.
Matt: We still think about it as the chance to do something we never get to do. We work 100-hour weeks here. We never have the time or money to see places like Bora Bora. The chance to do that and do the things we did and meet people we never would have met made it all worth it. I thought we were a little more prepared. But if we [went back on the race] and had to do the sand castles again, we'd just quit before we even got started. [laughs]
THR: At the end of last night's episode, you said you were probably going to get some grief from your fellow firefighters for the way it went down. Have you heard from them yet?
Daniel: We haven't gotten back to work yet [since the episode aired], but several guys from the fire station watched with us, and when they aired the last quote of the show, they laughed and said, "You better get ready."