Season 21 of The Amazing Race kicked off last night as 11 teams rappelled, volleyed and ate their way through a leg that started in Pasadena, California and ended in Shanghai, China. Although we had some surprises with a Double Roadblock and an eating challenge in the first leg, the race ended with Rob Scheer and Sheila Scheer (nee Castle) as the last team to reach the Pit Stop. YakkityYaks had a chance to chat with the eliminated racers on a conference call to discuss their “gone too soon” chance at the final prize. Check out what they had to say below.
Also, stayed tuned for some exciting Race news you’re not going to want to miss!
The Yak: Sorry to see you go last night!
Rob: Wait… Where did we go? [laughs]
Looking back, what was the most difficult aspect of the race that you weren’t expecting?
Rob: I don’t know. I guess it boils down to one thing: the defeat.
Could you explain how you ended up getting lost trying to find the woman with the abacus?
Rob: We weren’t lost.
Sheila: It looked like we were lost.
Rob: No, we read the clue. The abacus – I knew exactly what it was. It’s an old Chinese apparatus for counting that goes back centuries. So, we stopped immediately to look on the Internet for a tourism-type indicator if there was anything special at The Bund about the woman with the abacus. The only thing we could find was that at The Bund there are three large banks, one being the Bank of China. One of the guys at the location said, “Oh, yeah. Bank of China. That’s where you want to go. There’s a woman with an abacus there.” We then spent 40 minutes looking for a woman with an abacus at the Bank of China. Everybody, whether they were British or local, kind of supported this theory that there was a woman with an abacus around this bank. One guy told us it was a carving on the back of the bank. So, then we went to back of the bank. So we get there, and they say, “Oh, no. It’s around the other bank.” It finally took us 40 minutes to get through the bank, and finally get out to waterfront to start looking.
Once you found the abacus and headed for the Pit Stop, you saw Jaymes and James pass you. Did you know at that point that it was between you two at the end, or did you think there might have been another team behind you?
Sheila: We hoped there was another team. We hadn’t seen the Beakman’s since the airport. Will and Gary had communicated to us that they were still searching also, which wasn’t true. They had lied to us. They were on the way to the Signal Tower when we had seen them, and they actually tried to deceive us and have us go toward the Signal Tower to look for the woman. We did not know on the foot race that we were so close and they passed us right there at the Signal Tower and came in ahead of us. We didn’t know until we got to the mat that we were the last to arrive.
Rob: There was nothing we could have done. We got the clue, we got out our map, Sheila was asking people about the Signal Tower, I found it on the map; that was all in about four minutes. We started running, and we ran as hard and as fast as we could since it was about a half-mile away. They passed us in the last 100 yards. Those guys are young and athletic, and they came charging up on us. We didn’t know they were there, and then there they were and they ran by us. I took Sheila’s pack, and we ran harder. They stayed ahead of us, and by the time we hit the steps, they were only 15 paces in front of us. That was that, but we thought that Will and Gary were still out there because just 15 minutes earlier, they told us they didn’t have the clue yet and that somebody told them where it was, so we should follow them. Then, they took off running toward the Signal Tower, so they already had the clue. When we were about half-way down to the Signal Tower, I told Sheila we had to stop and think about this. Right at that time, Trey and Lexi, who had just been at the Signal Tower, came running by and they told us it was the other way. So, we took off running with them, and we both got there at the same time and got our clue, but what we didn’t know is that seconds after that, they told the Chippendale’s guys where the clue was. So, the Chippendale’s got their clue and they took off running, so they just caught us.
How do you both feel about how you finished the race, even though it was so close between your team and the Chippendale’s races (Jaymes and James)?
Sheila: That was tough because you know the Chippendale’s had been on the first plane, and it really, truly came down to a foot race right there at the end. It was really tough. The part about walking away from the race and we were completely committed. We wanted to participate in all the great challenges and completing this amazing adventure together, but as we walked away from the race, I think appreciating the country we live in and we were walking away together. We have this amazing relationship and this great life that we get to come home to, but we were very disappointed. It hurt.
Rob: I was pissed as hell. I was mad. I was really angry. I mean, we should have been there at the end on the last leg and we weren’t. I tell Sheila, “We shouldn’t have trusted anybody!” I look back and think, “Boy! What would I have done different?” I would have not, in any way, trusted anybody. I would have just kept to our own game.
Did you learn anything new about each other during the race?
Rob: The only thing I would say is that it was confirmation that I made a great choice in who my life partner is going to be. Did I learn anything? Yeah, I learned I made the right choice.
Which is tougher – The Amazing Race or planning a wedding?
Sheila: For me, it would have been The Amazing Race. Rob was our wedding planner, and he planned a beautiful wedding at Ghost Lake Lodge in Wisconsin. We were married August 5th, and it was beautiful.
The Yak: Congratulations on your wedding!
Rob: The wedding will be one of the highlights of my life. One of the happiest days for sure, but for The Amazing Race, as a 3-time World Champion, losing is not something that I take well. Losing on The Amazing Race has taught me one thing: it’s how to accept defeat with humility, and to not let it affect who I am and what I do. Being in The Amazing Race makes me more successful. Losing it does not make me less successful.
Sheila: It was heartbreaking, to be honest, to lose. To be the first ones out is horrifying, but we get to come back to a beautiful life in an amazing country. We have a partner next to us that we love, and we’re looking forward to a life together, so it’s not so bad.
So, now that the wedding is done, what’s next for the two of you?
Sheila: We opened last year a dinner theater in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The dinner show seats almost a thousand people, and it tells the story of the Smokey Mountain National Park. The setting is in the 1930s.
Rob: The story is about how they threw the lumberjacks out of the park to make it a National Park. The lumberjacks were very competitive and they feuded over the last remaining tracks of timber, but instead of using guns, they competed to see who would get the land. We tell that story, but my life has been about promoting lumberjack sports and telling the history of the American Lumberjack. I’ve been doing it for 30 years and I’m only halfway done telling the story. We’re going to recreate log drives and put it on film, which is something that’s never been done before. We’re expanding the sport worldwide and unifying it. There are a lot of things that we’ll continue to work on every day that’s part of our true life. My life has been like an Amazing Race, and it’s going to continue to be like The Amazing Race. So, we’re thrilled to have had the opportunity to actually do it.
The Yak: Thanks so much for your time, and I wish you both all the best!
Sheila: Thanks, Jarrod!