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Chuck and Wynona McCall didn’t come in last, but they were still eliminated from The Amazing Race in Sunday night’s episode.
In a physically demanding leg that saw the teams travel to Switzerland, where their challenges included scaling the side of a cliff and lugging 50-pound cheeses down the side of a mountain on a sled (in a nod to a previous season’s challenge), Wynona, 49, struggled to keep up with Chuck, 46.
But the married couple from Daphne, Ala., actually came in fifth place out of six teams at the mat, only to be told that they had failed to perform the cheese challenge correctly: Instead of using the sleds, they rolled the cheeses down the hill, after Wynona realized that way was easier.
They incurred a 30-minute penalty, and YouTube hosts Joey Graceffa and Meghan Camarena ended up remaining in the competition instead since they beat that time.
On Monday, Chuck and Wynona talked to The Hollywood Reporter about their tough elimination, their bickering and whether they’d do it again.
The Hollywood Reporter: It seemed like this was an especially heartbreaking way to be eliminated.
Wynona: We were disappointed, for sure. We had no idea we were breaking the rules. We were certainly surprised and disappointed.
Chuck: When we hit the mat, we had our next clue to carry out, so we didn’t think we had done anything wrong. And when we hit the matt and Phil [Keoghan] told us we were in fifth, we were ecstatic. But when he told us we had a 30-minute penalty, things changed quickly; we went from happy to sad.
THR: So you figured if the man at the cheese drop gave you the clue, you were in the clear?
Chuck: We were still in race mode. We didn’t think we had done it wrong. We weren’t told anything about it. We got the next clue … and thought we had made a smart move. We jumped in the taxi and beat Meghan and Joey and thought we were still in it.
THR: Was it hard to watch last night’s episode?
Wynona: We knew it was coming, so it was probably not as hard as for some of the viewers.
Chuck: Yes, it was hard. I was ready to call into work sick today. I knew I would catch hell from my fellow co-workers and customers.
Wynona: We hadn’t even told our children or anybody that came over to watch the Race with us. Nobody knew. Some of them were even crying.
THR: That leg of the race looked especially demanding. How hard was it?
Wynona: It was really, really hard. Certainly going up the mountain, I got lighthearted. And trekking in the snow, the cold climate — I wasn’t used to it. I hate the cold. I froze. Then traversing outside of the mountain was scary and difficult. It was a hard day. And to think it ended perfect, coming in fifth, we were absolutely ecstatic. And to get to the amt and find out we didn’t do the cheese right, we were like what?
Chuck: It was definitely difficult. I make fun of Wynona and call her a one-climate girl. If she gets too hot or too cold, she’s in a different gear.
THR: You two bickered a lot. Is that how you are in real life?
Chuck: Wynona will say I was mean to her the whole race, but I tried motivating her by kissing and huggeing her and then by yelling and screaming at her.
Wynona: You yelled and screamed and then kissed and hugged.
Chuck: After watching it Sunday night, she said she was mad all over again. It reminded her of how “mean” I was to her.
Wynona: I forgot how hateful you were to me.
Chuck: It really was stressful. You get jet-lagged and tired, and it’s go-go-go. It’s stressful 24/7 trying to win this thing. I had my eyes on the prize, and she was mad at me because we weren’t having any fun. But I wasn’t there to have any fun; I wanted to come home with $1 million.
THR: Would you do it again if asked?
Chuck: I would in a heartbeat.
Wynona: Absolutely, and now I would know exactly what to pack and not to pack.
THR: What do you wish you’d taken?
Wynona: Hiking boots.
Chuck: She made fun of me because I only brought one pair of shoes, hiking boots. She packed two fancy pairs of tennis shoes and was wishing she had hiking boots.
Wynona: I also wish I had something to keep my feet from getting wet inside the tennis shoes.
THR: You talked a lot about never having the opportunity to travel to this extent. What was your favorite place you visited?
Chuck: I think I would go back to Africa.
Wynona: If I were planning a trip for myself, I’d go back to Bora Bora. If I were taking the whole family, it would be New Zealand.
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