Father and daughter Hoskote and Naina became the first team eliminated on Season 23 of The Amazing Race after they were one of three teams that misread a clue — or so it seemed. Though Naina mistakenly started the boating Roadblock before Hoskote took over, it actually wasn't a blunder at all. "They didn't air that whole part, but that was intentional that I did it first," Naina tells TVGuide.com. Why did they do that? Find out below.
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What was it like watching the episode?
Hoskote: It was tough, beyond disappointing. We've been rabid fans of the show since 2003. I think they've created this magnificent show ... and it's the best reality show on TV. It should get an Emmy every year. Having said that, to be eliminated under the circumstances, it was tough because we could've controlled some of them, but we couldn't control them because of the rules of the Race.
What do you mean?
Hoskote: You had to take one of the two flights the show booked. Between the first and second flights, there was going to be a 30-minute gap between when they landed in Santiago, Chile. Then there was a one-hour window from Santiago to Iquique. Once we arrived there, we could've all gotten on the same flight to Iquique. They didn't show this on TV, but unfortunately, there was a hurricane in Dallas and our flight went through Dallas, so we knew we were going to be three hours late into Santiago. ... If we were allowed to use our own navigation skills and our chutzpah to get to Chile any way we want, maybe we wouldn't have been three hours late. But the rules didn't allow that. We ended up being three and a half hours late, so seven teams were completing the leg before our flight had even arrived in Chile.
You seemed to be doing OK until that taxi got lost to the paragliding destination.
Naina: We left the paragliding place second. I don't know if he technically got lost, but he took a very convoluted route, so I ended up picking up my dad much later than everyone else. We had a lot of issues with our taxi driver because he ended up not really knowing where he was going. That ended up being a death sentence. We lost at least a half hour. By the time we got to the boating, we didn't have an opportunity to catch up.
Hoskote: The taxi we could've overcome if there were more teams. If we had input into the choice of the flight and we picked the wrong flight and arrived late, that's our problem. But we had no choice. That hurt the most.
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Did you consider getting a new taxi?
Naina: It was hard getting a taxi so that would've cost more time and we knew we were last. To have that kind of delay was difficult with just four teams.
So many teams misread clues, including you. What happened? Were you in a hurry?
Naina: This is actually what happened. We knew we were last and when we arrived at the boating, the other teams were finishing up. We knew it was the end. We did read the clue incorrectly at first ... but what happened was we realized we had read the clue incorrectly, but my dad told me to do it because we knew it was the end and he wanted me to do something. It was actually deliberate that I got into the boat.
Otherwise he would've gone paragliding and you would've just sat in a taxi.
Naina: [Laughs] Right. I had done absolutely nothing until then. I did want to leave The Amazing Race without doing a task. There was no harm because we were last, so we might as well just enjoy it.
Why did you change? Were you actually going to complete the task and incur a penalty?
Naina: I got tired and it was getting late and we had to wrap things up. My dad actually did it very well. It was winter in Iquique when we filmed, and I don't think people realized that. It was pretty much dark when we arrived. That's why there was a big change in daylight. We got into Iquique around 3:30, 4 in the afternoon, so there wasn't much daylight left.
Do you know how far behind you ultimately were?
Naina: At least a good half-hour, probably more. We knew there was no chance even if someone got a penalty.
Hoskote: This was our dream to do the show for years. Once we knew the die was cast and it was not going to happen for us, I said, "OK, honey, go do it and at least soak up the experience." That's the way the cookie crumbles. I knew I was supposed to do it, but I wanted her to do something other than sitting in a taxi like you said.
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What are you up to now?
Naina: Back to our everyday lives. We'd like a second chance if they're able to hear us. I honestly don't feel like we got to do what we came to do. We didn't get to use the skills that we have. We are smart people. We have a lot of ingenuity and a lot of wherewithal to do this Race extremely well, and the circumstances were just so much against us. I felt like we had no control over anything in the first leg and it just so happened that everything went wrong. We had delays, we had incompetent taxi drivers. If things had gone a little more smoothly, I think we would've done very well on this first leg.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)
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