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The Amazing Race kicked off its 21st season Sunday night with 11 teams that included a pair of reality stars, married monster truck drivers, a heavy metal rocker and a pair of Chippendales dancers.
But it was the engaged lumberjack and marketing executive — Rob Scheer and Sheila Castle — who were the first to be eliminated after a leg of the competition that included rappelling 10 stories down the Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena and flying to China, where they had to win a point against a junior ping-pong champion, eat hasma — aka the fallopian tubes of a frog — and locate a woman with an abacus to get their clues.
The day after their elimination episode aired, Rob, 52, and Sheila, 44, talked to The Hollywood Reporter about being the first pair eliminated, just how close the race was and why she initially didn’t want to try out for the show.
The Hollywood Reporter: How disappointing was it to be the first team eliminated?
Sheila Castle: For me, it was pretty devastating at first. It was horrifying, and I never would have guessed it.
Rob Scheer: I was pissed as hell.
THR: When did you realize you weren’t going to make it?
Sheila: I don’t think until we actually got up there [on the mat, where host Phil Keoghan told them they had been eliminated]. I didn’t know the Chippendales [Jaymes Vaughan and James Davis] were still out, but we had just seen Gary [Wojnar] and Will [Chiola], and they acted like they were still searching for the woman with the abacus.
Rob: They stopped us and basically diverted us and told us they were still searching.
THR: When did you realize they were lying?
Rob: When we got the mat, and we were standing there. I could have thrown Gary and Will over the side of the signal tower. We had an alliance with them.
THR: How close was the finish?
Rob: We were running to the signal tower, about 50-75 yards away, and all of a sudden the Chippendales guys [were there], so we were in a foot race. They beat us to the door by 30 feet. … Sheila had been carrying water and a couple of books, and I said, “Give those to me.” We just stopped and here they were, coming as fast as they could go. I grabbed her backpack and said, “Let’s go.” We were literally going up the stairs together.
Sheila: They were single-file stairs.
THR: Why did you want to be on the show?
Rob: Sheila did not. She did everything she could to avoid it.
Sheila: The whole experience seemed a little intimidating, the thought of having a camera on you 24/7. But if I knew then what I know now about what an amazing experience it was, I would not have hesitated a bit.
Rob: It was fabulous. I’m that guy out there doing crazy things all the time. One thing I didn’t what was not be the best people we could be. But now, I think I wouldn’t have had an alliance with anybody.
THR: How are the wedding plans coming?
Sheila: We got married Aug. 5 in Heyward, Wis., at Ghost Lake Lodge, and it was beautiful.
Rob: It was absolutely fabulous.
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