Long-distance daters Michael Ilacqua and Kathy Perez were among several teams that mistakenly put gasoline into their diesel tanks during a midnight drive across Portugal in "The Amazing Race."
"It was my fault. She forgave me. But it was a weak way to go out. We weren't outraced. I just slipped. At least half the teams did it with me," says Michael Thursday on The Early Show.
While other teams scrambled for solutions (a tow truck, or a manual siphoning device), these two decided to wait the night out in a four-star hotel before getting their car fixed in the morning.
"We tried to get a mechanic, but they said not till 9:00 in the morning. Hey four-star hotel, let's do this right, you know?" says Michael.
Unfortunately, they did not realize the problem was the fuel and not some other mechanical issue.
"Never in my life have I put diesel into a car," says Kathy.
"Neither one of us thought it was diesel fuel car. It didn't drive like one.
I think the other teams realized at a certain point. It just went over our heads. So had we, like, realized it sooner, maybe we'd have done something," Michael adds.
When asked if Michael's non-type-A personality helped lead to their demise, Kathy says she would not blame it on that. "But it definitely frustrated me because I am more type-A. So when he would run or he'd say.'Let's kind of stay back in the back, we're still in front,' that would frustrate me. But in hindsight, he did a lot of things that I wouldn't have thought to do that put us ahead. So it kind of balanced itself out," she says.
The mistake cost them the Race, but they won something more. The two had been dating long-distance (he's in San Diego; she's outside Detroit) and hoped the Race would confirm their relationship. It did!
"It's a shorter distance now. After the show, we had talked about it, and we figured things are going to go well. Let's talk about moving the relationship forward. So since then I've just moved to San Diego," says Kathy.
Living happily ever after?
"Without the money, but yeah!" notes Michael.