The Amazing Race got off to a brutal start as two couples were eliminated in the first episode – including California yoga teachers Eric and Lisa Paskel, who didn’t make it past the starting line! Meanwhile, when Garrett Paul and Jessica Stout started the race, they were at a crossroads in their relationship. Doomed by a bizarre duck-herding challenge in Vietnam, they were the second team to be sent home. “I don’t know if we’re closer to marriage,” said Garrett at the time, but now he admits to In Touch that their on-and-off status was mostly for the show. “We portrayed something we really weren't at all,” he says.
To find out why both couples are still happy despite the disappointing outcome, click here.
The Amazing Race 15
Eliminated September 27
ERIC & LISA
How are you?
Lisa: We are the happiest Amazing Race losers in the world.
Eric: I really didn't watch the end of the show, only the part we were in. I think we avoided a lot of stuff we really wouldn't have been thrilled about doing. We traveled to India and studied with our teacher instead.
Lisa: And we got thousands of e-mails since we started. People are saying we took such a hard hit, but because of us they can go through anything in life now.
Were you shocked when you were the first to be eliminated?
Lisa: Yes, we were shocked that they created something that was so cruel. There is so much preparation and hard work that goes into being there. We had arranged not to see our children for a month. To be there and not be given a second chance really is BS. We were happy to take the hit for the whole team. We both are really lucky to have each other. We have a fantastic yoga community. We own four yoga studios. Would I like it to be any different? Yes. It stung like hell … but it was just a moment.
What is next for you both?
Lisa: Right now, we are getting prepared to teach a training course to 80 people in Michigan. I’m working on an infomercial and we have a reality show in the works — and, of course, raising our kids. It is all good.
JESSICA & GARRETT
How did it feel to be one of the first teams to be eliminated?
Jessica: It was tough. We really wanted to go further, and we thought we were a much stronger team. But unfortunately, unlucky things happened. And here we are.
What do you think went wrong?
Jessica: For us, the duck challenge went wrong. We started off at second place and we really had bad luck with the ducks. I couldn't do two of the rounds because I had a broken flag and a broken duck. So there were some unlucky things going on that you didn't see on the show.
Were you in shock?
Jessica: I was in complete shock! We thought that after the duck challenge, there would be a detour or something, because there wasn't yet a detour and normally there would be. So we really were in shock that the race was over so quickly. We raced around nonstop, yet it was totally out of our hands.
Who do you think has the most potential to go all the way?
Jessica: I really can't say who is the strongest team. Every team is strong in different ways, but it really comes down to the challenges. I think this is the strongest cast ever. Everyone is young and fit, smart. It is a really solid group of people.
What are you both doing right now?
Jessica: We actually got engaged! Yes, Garrett was carrying a ring with him the whole time. I was absolutely shocked — again!
How did he propose?
Garrett: We were really down in the dumps. We surely weren't happy about where we ended up. And when we were on the island where the eliminated competitors go to, I brought the ring and we walked down the beach and I told her there are bigger things in life than a silly game show and that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. And then I gave her the ring.
Jessica: I think it really surprised a lot of people because on the show everyone was saying we were the on-and-off couple.
Garrett: I guess we kind off sold ourselves out and portrayed something we really weren't at all.
Jessica: For me, it really was a happy ending!