Tiffany and Maria didn’t quit TAR15, they took a 24-hour penalty for quitting the Detour

After apparently quitting during Sunday’s episode of The Amazing Race, pro poker players Maria Ho and Tiffany Michelle did a round of interviews in which they talked about their final day and the challenge of the Detour challenges. They say that their crushes on Sam and Dan were platonic, but do not talk about, nor were they apparently asked, about their own friendship/relationship.

First, Tiffany and Maria said they didn’t really quit the show, but instead quit the Detour task, opting for a 24-hour penalty. (Roadblocks have a four-hour non-completion penalty.) Since it wasn’t a non-elimination leg, and they were in last place, they were eliminated. They argue that between the physical strength required to hit the high striker–the mallet weighed 40 pounds, they say–and the physical conditions at the golf game–wind and cold made it more difficult.

While Maria told People, “I don’t want to make excuses but we gave everything we had and we still couldn’t complete either one,” they pretty much give excuses in their interviews. Maria also argues that she contributed, rather than acting as weight Tiffany had to drag around the world, telling Reality TV World, “I think that I did my part in a lot of the other parts of the race that people don’t really get to see, which is just as valuable in our opinion.”

Tiffany told Reality TV World, “I think it was just a combination of it being a very physical task that we didn’t have the strength and muscle mass to do, and it with the weather conditions and us being freezing cold, we just got weaker and weaker and weaker — which is finally the point we realized we just had to be honest with ourselves and say, ‘Okay, there’s no way we can complete either side.'”

Maria told TV Guide that “if maybe we had stayed at the carnival bell a little bit longer the first time instead of going to the golf thing, we might’ve been able to do it. When Tiffany was getting close to ringing the bell, that was actually on our second try back. So it leads us to believe that we would’ve gotten it eventually if we stayed.”

As to their alliance and friendship with Sam and Dan, which they justify as being beneficial, they said the men came out to them in Vietnam, so they knew before the airport coming out. Tiffany told Reality TV World, “We knew from Day 1, we had a pretty good feeling that they were the token gay team of the season. We knew that usually each season there’s a gay team.”

Because of that, Tiffany says their comments about wanting Sam and Dan weren’t romantic. She said, “A lot of our comments about loving them and the kind of love fest that we had with them definitely came from a platonic place of just loving and respecting them as brothers as compared to what it may have seemed like on TV — like we were falling in love with them and wanting to walk down to the altar and have their children. That definitely wasn’t the case. So we knew early on that they were gay even though it kind of appeared otherwise.”

Maria Ho and Tiffany Michelle discuss ‘The Amazing Race’ [Reality TV World]
Amazing Race’s Poker Players Call Final Task ‘Unfair’ [People]
Amazing Race’s Maria and Tiffany: We Didn’t Want to Quit [TV Guide]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.