The Amazing Race: Misa and Maiya Share Their Experience

Known for their now infamous elimination in the first leg of the Amazing Race, Misa & Maiya Tanaka have a lot to share about their short lived adventure on the Race. The Yak had the privilege of chatting with Misa & Maiya Tanaka this morning and to describe them as full of life is not descriptive enough! Read on to see what they had to say!


The Yak: Well let’s just start with this… If you were offered the opportunity to do it again would you?

Misa & Maiya: Yes in a heartbeat we would. We wouldn’t even need to think twice about it. We obviously need redemption. We made history for being goof-balls not seeing Phil so definitely we need redemption we need to prove ourselves… one of the biggest mistakes in TAR history and Phil kind of let us know that when we got to the mat…
Maiya: He made me cry.
Misa: ..And I was just standing there angry.

The Yak: I cannot imagine how frustrating it is to know you were so close and that they saw you.

Misa: Oh yeah, it was completely frustrating just the fact that they were right there & Maiya and I were running through all the mazes and ran thru another vineyard before finally getting to Phil and then realizing that we were in the right place to begin with was just beyond frustrating.

The Yak: One of our twitter followers, @mralmondbread wanted to know if you would have left your bags instead of picking them up if that would have helped you?

Maiya: I don’t think that it would have helped us much but we definitely considered that, that was our point in not bringing our bags in the first place is that they did kind of weighed us down. That is why we didn’t bring our bags in the first place and so we were in last place we fully intended to leave our bags if it was that close and we had to sprint to the finish line.
Misa: We knew we had some time since we made great strides during the empanada making challenge & knew Danny & Joey were kind of struggling a little bit so we knew we had a few minutes enough to go grab our bags and come back out.

The Yak: Are you guys Big Brother fans?

Misa: I’ve seen Big Brother, saw a couple of episodes, but never saw Brendon and Rachel on so I had no idea who they were.
Maiya: We knew the concept and we definitely think it is one of the coolest shows. But we had no idea, it looked familiar to me and I think I did see her on it but the fact that they were on it was kind of a little surprise.

The Yak: Yes, a good surprise for Big Brother fans! How about Survivor, are either of you Survivor fans?

M&M: Yeah!
Maiya: I love Survivor. I would struggle with having to eat fish or catch my food and eat that for dinner but I definitely think Survivor is a great show.

The Yak: Any chance either of you will be applying for that?

M&M: [laugh]
Maiya: No, we’ll have to wait & see.
Misa: I don’t know how many goofs we could make of doing that… Survivor is a bit crazy. We have already learned it does take a lot and it is physically exhausting being on this race and the reason why we didn’t see Phil is we were so dehydrated and so frantic that we had tunnel vision.
Maiya: You know the one advantage we would have is not looking for Phil on a mat so I mean maybe we would be a little more successful!

The Yak: On your preshow interview you had both expressed interest in going to Japan. Is that an adventure you will take on your own?

Misa: Yes, definitely! I want to travel with Maiya again so going to Japan is something we are going to do hopefully sometime in the near future. We need to make it happen that is one our dreams to go there.
Maiya: Our family is from there. We were born in US, our dad at least, we are the 4th generation here so the fact is that it is kind of like a lost culture for us. Our grandparents can speak Japanese a little bit and our mom can a little bit. We definitely want to learn a little bit more about the culture and where we come from so we really, really wanted to go there.

The Yak: What was your favorite part of the leg you participated in?

Misa: My favorite part had to be skydiving. I’ve always wanted to skydive before… I just needed an extra push where I just had to do it, had to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, but it was such an incredible experience to be able to see the view from up above and fly over Argentina. It was just incredible and you know what, my landing, I’m always going to remember that special moment my feet planted into home base.

The Yak: Any chance you will be dragging your sister up into a plane now?

Maiya: NO!
Misa: No, I don’t think she would do it. I would love for her to do it but she is afraid of heights.
Maiya: I am terrified of heights, there is no way I would have done that! We lucked out… that was the only lucky part we got! At least we did choose right in the fact that I was going to be the navigator and she was going to be the crazy one jumping out of a plane!

The Yak: Out of all the teams, are there any you would want to remain friends with?

M&M: [both agree] Yes we love all the teams!
Maiya: We socialized and talked to pretty much everyone on a regular basis and it’s such an experience that only a select few get to go through so we can all kind of relate to just being in that situation. We were all there at one point and it is just an amazing feeling to get to share with these people and we are really happy that we are friends with everyone.
Misa: Yes we are going to keep in touch with these people forever, they are like our extended family so just to be able to relate to that experience… no one ever knows what you exactly go through unless you are actually on the show, so we definitely formed a fast bond with the contestants and I look forward to getting to see them again. We’re going to keep in touch. We are looking forward to watching them and seeing what they go through now that we can call them up and give them a hard time too!

The Yak: How was it to watch the one another on the segment where you’re driving and then you’re skydiving… how was it to see your sisters’ take while you weren’t there?

Misa: For me watching Maiya getting stuck in the sand was so heartbreaking and I felt so sad for her. You know it’s funny, it’s one thing when you know what has happened based on what Maiya has explained to me but then watching it and what she went through, I could just picture myself and how sad she was and the amount of stress she went through being in that position (getting stuck in that sand) so I actually started tearing up watching her.
Maiya: For me it was easy to watch her jump out of a plane because that has been something she always wanted to do. I was really happy for her and almost elated to see her! I kind of got an adrenaline high getting to see her do something she always wanted to do and her little comment at the end of “Yeah we did it” was really cool! I was liking that part not so much when I was stuck in the sand.

The Yak: Maiya were your rescuers’ just local Argentineans’ that were there or was it someone sent from production to assist you?

Maiya: Once Phil says go you are on your own so it was definitely not anyone from production or the race. Basically I had to flag down people from Argentina and it was a huge team effort. The first guy I saw was a guy on a motorcycle who happened to have some rope but he spoke zero English, but he was able to understand me and my begging. I was like “por favor”… used a little bit of the Spanish I learned in high school and he understood me enough and I kind of knew what he was saying. He helped me flag down another car which ended up being too small to pull me out and snapped the rope in half, then we had to call in another car that happened to have steel wire with him… then eventually we flagged down a truck who was able to have enough horsepower to pull with the rope/steel wire combination to pull me out of the sand. So it was a team Argentina group effort there and I was just really… it was a blessing in disguise basically. Even though it was very unlucky I got stuck, I got to interact with the locals; I got to see the kindness of strangers and everyone was so willing to help me… even though you saw at the end that the guy was pulling my car out we ended up hitting his car with my car a little bit in the corner. It scratched his bumper and everything and kind of dented it in, but he didn’t really mind… and he knew we were in a hurry to get to the next check point I guess.

The Yak: We don’t see all that so we didn’t realize how traumatic an ordeal it was for you.

Yeah it was a pretty lengthy ordeal but I wasn’t about to give up. They didn’t show the part where I was literally on my hands and knees placing rocks and whatever I could under the tire digging it out! I hadn’t had much experience in the desert sand besides the sand traps on the golf course you know. If I had my sand wedge I feel that I would have done a lot better getting out of it but I was out of my element for sure.

The Yak: You had an amazing come back from that! I am just so sorry you two were eliminated!

M&M: Thank you. We made up a lot of ground but it wasn’t meant to be in the end.

The Yak: Thank you so much for spending time with me today and good luck on all your future endeavors!


So what do you think? Unhappy that they were eliminated first? Who are you rooting on to win? Let us know below!

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