For Goth couple Kent Kaliber and Vyxsin Fiala, exhaustion and hunger were ultimately to blame for the clue misread that lead to their elimination on Sunday’s “Amazing Race.” On a call from Los Angeles on Thursday, the duo discussed their fatal flaw, why they felt like there was a target on their backs this season, and how the Globetrotters caused a serious emotional upset.
On how they watched their elimination:
Kent: We had party at Hooters in Burbank. It was tough. But misery loves company. It was reassuring to watch it with other people and not be alone.
Vyxsin: It wasn’t our finest hour. But we had a pretty good run for some goth kids from Kentucky!
On what caused them to misread the clue:
Vyxsin: It was a dumb mistake. This is not an easy game. This is not The Amazing Vacation. It’s The Amazing Race, and they pushed us. We were tired. Our biorhythms were all off. We were hungry. We were stressed, and we literally – at that point in the game – were not in our right minds.
On their treatment by the Globetrotters:
Vyxsin: The Globetrotters’ behavior in that episode was really odd, because we actually really liked them. We thought they were funny and cool. We’d never had conflicts with them before, but they decided I had done something I didn’t do. And actually, Flight Time had taken my chocolate gnome out of the fridge and was running around with it as I was trying to tell him to put it back. So it was kind of weird that they were accusing me of taking his stuff. But they wouldn’t let it go. It was primarily three hours of attack, attack, attack – and it wasn’t very fun. It’s a game, and he wasn’t doing anything that was “cheating,” he was just playing the game in a way that I don’t choose to play. I don’t choose to try to mentally mess with people. I’m not used to that behavior and I couldn’t handle it. It hurt my feelings and it took me out of the game – which is my fault. But it wasn’t very cool.
Kent: If you go back and watch that footage, it’s very clear where Vyxsin put her chocolate mold, and that she never touches his. The fact of the matter is the Globetrotters are big guys, but they’re big babies. When things don’t go their way, they resort to bullying. We saw this in their original season, and we saw it in this season. They’ve got big egos and even bigger tempers. It’s kind of disheartening. We were always nice to them. Ranting and raving at her for two hours was very unnecessary, and something I’ll not soon forget.
On feeling targeted by the other teams:
Kent: What’s strange is that we really tried to run the Race really separate from other teams, and remain to ourselves. But I could feel things change when we arrived at the train station in China. It was really apparent to us that none of the teams thought we should be there. They all just glared at us when we walked in. Everyone was like, “Uh – hi guys. What’s your penalty?” We weren’t trying to do anything bad to anybody – we just missed a flight. It was our mistake. I felt the tide change at that moment, though.
Vyxsin: We didn’t have a premeditated plan. We walked into that train station and everybody wanted to know our penalty. We knew there was a U-Turn coming up and we thought it was none of their business. So we chose to tell a fib about it because we felt like, We don’t need the sharks smelling the blood in the water. We would never say something to someone that would hurt their own game. We would never impede anyone else’s play in any way.
Kent: I don’t know what these other teams expect. On a leg where it’s blatantly obvious that there’s going to be a U-Turn, do they really think we’re going to share our penalty? Come on. That would have made us U-Turn bait. Also, there’s been some questions about the penalty being fair. In past seasons we’ve seen this ruling come up. Should a team take a form of transportation that is not the required form of transportation, the penalty is thirty minutes. It’s been a Race standard from the start.
On whether they think other teams had a personal axe to grind with them:
Vyxsin: I think it’s safe to say that there is a personal element. It happened in the first season, too. Honestly? I kind of don’t understand it…Although I guess I kind of do. On one hand, Kent and I play the game where it’s us versus the race course. We’re going to do the best job we can do. We’re gonna try our best, which obviously sometimes means making mistakes, but that’s how we compete. We don’t mess around with other people or get up in their drama. Having said that, and having been through high school, there are people who don’t need a rational reason to dislike you, bully you, and pick on you. There are people who will look at you and decide for what ever reason to hurt you just because they can. I don’t think I’m a victim, and I don’t think Kent thinks he is either. But having been treated that way for much of our lives, it’s not actually that shocking to have people behave that way. We live our lives celebrating who we are, and I don’t know why that is threatening to people. I think we’re a couple of marshmallows. All that I can say is that no matter how they respond to us, we’re not going to change our freedom or joy to please others or try to fit in.
On an unseen injury during the dinosaur-building challenge:
Kent: Because I’m a little shorty, I needed a stepladder to climb up there, and if you saw – I took a couple of really brutal falls off of the ladder. I actually hairline cracked my third rib on my right side. I didn’t know the extent of my injury til I got home and saw a doctor. But I knew something was wrong. There was pervasive pain at all times – especially with running and lifting. It was even hard to sleep. I kept it to myself, though, because I didn’t want to be in a position where I would have to take a one-hour or two-hour trip to the hospital, because that would have been instant elimination. But you can see it change, as far as my physical capability goes, in those legs afterward. That luggage challenge, I seemed kind of whiny, but that’s because every lift was shooting pains in my side at that point.
Vyxsin: I’m one of those where if I’m hurting, everyone will know. I think sympathy is the best medicine, so I’ll tell you. But Kent, through all his smallness, or seeming fussy, adorable, and fragile - he is a competitor. He was on to win. I’m not surprised he hid an injury from me. He’s tougher than he looks.
On how this experience has changed their relationship:
Kent: Watching it, there are clips where we get to see each other triumphing, and those moments feel so good. But there are moments where I’m thinking, We shouldn’t have been bickering in moments like that. Because of that, I feel like the Amazing Race was amazing therapy. I got to see the things I excel at, but also the moments I’m not proud of. It’s a good observation to be able to see what I did wrong and what I said that I shouldn’t have. If I can learn from that, then I feel like we won something more important than a million dollars.
Vyxsin: I love him. He’s my little bear. I’m so happy to get to get to have day-to-day adventures with Kent. He’s my best pal. It would have been cool to win, but we’ve got a passport full of cool visas and stamps from places that we never would have gotten to see. The Race is a gift. It’s a blessing. Life’s good.