'The Amazing Race 36's Anthony and Bailey Smith Talk Their Detour-Switching Disaster

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There are definite pros and cons to racing with your identical twin on The Amazing Race, as Anthony and Bailey Smith showed with their run on season 36. Getting to run around the world with your DNA double means a lessened chance of conflict over different approaches to the competition. Unfortunately, being so similar to your partner also means you have double the chance of falling into the same pitfalls, as was the case with Anthony and Bailey. The Florida boys struggled to find their footing throughout the race, netting two back of the pack finishes as they wandered lost around the streets of Mexico.

Unfortunately, a change of scenery in Colombia only made things worse for them. Entering the Detour tied for last place, their anxieties and indecision had them switching options a record four times over the course of the afternoon. Though they were able to finally pick a Detour and stick with it, their game, like a plate of bandeja paisa, was cooked. The long-haired twins, unfortunately, were short for this race.

Now, out of the race, Anthony and Bailey talk with Parade.com about their consistent switching between Detours, why they struggled so much with navigation, and what they learned about their relationship after racing around the world.

Everything to Know About The Amazing Race 36

You talked in the premiere about being brought up your whole lives constantly in competition with each other. So what made you decide to compete together on The Amazing Race?
Bailey Smith: When I say we always felt like we were pinned against, I don't think it was all malicious. It's hard to not compare someone that's almost exactly like you in every aspect. So we always knew that we did work well together, even if it wasn't as efficient as it looks the other day. But we work well together. And I think we can not butt heads all the time and kind of just get over some stressful things. So for the show, we've been watching it for a while now. And, when the opportunity came up, we were like, "There's just no way we we can't."
Anthony Smith: It was one of those things where we just started a great opportunity to strengthen our relationship and just work as a team for once, since we're always competing against each other.
Bailey: I definitely feel like we came out stronger from this regardless of everything else. It was so awesome.

Let's get into this rainy disastrous leg for you in Colombia. I'll admit, as two young athletic guys, I was surprised to see you in last place with Michelle and Sean coming off of the stair climbing. Did something happen to make you fall to the back of the back of the pack?
Bailey: When we started, it was split in three groups. So we started in the last one. So we are already behind the start. And I mean, I'm sure everyone else was too. But  definitely the "continue racing" Megaleg in Mexico, our legs hurt. We're tired. So we're like, "Maybe if we can just get down the stairs and pick it up in other aspects."
Anthony: I think our game plan was to slow down and think just a lot more. And obviously that costs us the time. But coming down from the stairs, you know, we did get a little lost, as you saw, trying to find just the boat ramp alone. So that did eat up a lot of our time. And it did kind of keep us in the back there. I think that when we were climbing we were going down hills and all the wrong way before we even found that boat ramps.
Bailey: And when it started raining, we didn't want to slip.
Anthony: Trying to keep on pace without bustin.' [Laughs.]

In general, it seems like you guys struggled with navigation, most prominently in getting completely lost on the way to the Pit Stop in last week's episode. Was there a common denominator in your directional difficulties?
Bailey: I think for sure, just the navigation in general. In life, I'm so used to just typing everything in on my phone. We couldn't read any of the signs. Our Spanish is horrible. Everything about it was like setting us up for failure. [Laughs.]
Anthony: To answer your question, yeah, navigation, I don't know if it was one specific thing. It was just our navigation the entire time.
Bailey: It all added up.
Anthony: Yeah, I think it was just time and time just kept catching up to us.

Now, we need to get into this Detour, which you end up swapping choices in an unprecedented three times. Talk to me what was going through your head as you were making those back-and-forth decisions.
Anthony: The indecisiveness came from we had a pact going into it. If there's any mental challenge or physical one, we'll just jump on the physical. And I think the physical challenge with those those Willys actually ended up being a little more mental than physical. With the order and just where to stack things. 
Bailey: I mean, it looked crazy. I think there's a reason why all the other teams did go the other direction. So then we do that. And then we pull up, and we're like, "Okay, this is insane, dude. Let's get out of here. Now let's go to cooking while everyone else is still there." We go, and everything's in Spanish. I'm trying to read; I don't know what any of these words say. And I'm like, "Is it going to take us longer just to like translate and figure out what like what the heck any of this stuff is, or just go back to  something we kind of already had the idea for?" We go back again. We're like, "Okay, this is actually still as crazy as it was the first time. There's still no way we're doing this. Maybe we can catch Double Dutch. They're still cooking. They're still on pace."
Anthony: And when we saw everyone cooking, they looked a lot more relaxed than we did try to figure out those Jeeps. So we figured maybe there's some truth behind that that is not as chaotic as that one. Again, like he said, when we got there, all the instructions were in Spanish. And, we were like, "Hey, maybe we'll throw the dish together."
Bailey: There's no YouTube, bro! You can't even look it up, man. [Laughs.] And that's how I cook at home.
Anthony: Our heads started spinning. When we saw the Spanish instructions we're "Well, the Willys, you just look at it and replace it. So maybe we're better off doing that."
Bailey: In the moment. It felt like it made sense. But watching it back last night was like pulling teeth. [Laughs.]
Anthony: [Laughs.] Yeah, it was hard watching it again.

We saw Kishori and Karishma ask the other teams for help in figuring out what the meats were. If you were having so much trouble with the Spanish, did you debate asking some of the other teams for help?
Anthony: I think we were more focused on our race. And we did feel the pressure being behind it. I don't know why even asking for help didn't cross our mind at the time. Again, I think we're just so focused on our own race and our next steps that I never even thought to ask for help.
Bailey: Yeah, and everyone's so nice. But we didn't want to rely on maybe another team being super nice and just helping us through, especially when it was kind of tight for the back of the pack people. Double Dutch, sweet people. I don't know if they'd be in a rush to help us catch up and pass them.
Anthony: Yeah, it's a race at the same time.
Bailey: Yeah, I get it.

When you checked in at the Pit Stop, you said that the Roadblock was so straightforward that you couldn't really catch up from your Detour mistakes. So do you think if you stuck with the cooking the first time you chose it, you would have been able to survive the leg?
 Yeah. I think what you said, man. I we just stuck to one thing, or at least back and forth twice, not the third time in a row, I feel like there could have been a lot of slack made up.
Anthony: Yeah, to even be more specific, I think if we stuck with cooking, [we would have stayed]. Once we went to Willys, that was okay to switch. I just think we should have stayed at cooking. I think that was our best bet. And in hindsight now, yeah, I don't I don't think we should have switched.
Bailey: Very obviously the best option now, dude. [Laughs.]

Now you did try your best to make up ground. And we saw Michelle and Sean struggle the heights element of the coffee plantation. How far behind do you think you were when you checked in at the mat?
Bailey: I felt like it was a race pretty close until the end.
Anthony: Yeah. I mean, I was up on the hill picking those those coffee beans. And I was able to see Sean down there waiting for the most part, until there was one point where we didn't see them. And that's kind of when it clicks.
Bailey: They were they were there up until almost the very end. They were cracking me up, too. They're so funny.
Anthony: But it was a close one. We didn't see them as we were racing to the [mat]. But I can assume it was probably just as close as it was a matter as what you saw last night.
Bailey: It was definitely close enough.

Finally, you're about as close as two Amazing Race partners can get, having shared a womb and even DNA. But what did you learn about the other person racing around the world together?
 What I learned most about this guy racing around the world, is that I think we've learned how to handle some of our conflicts. I think we're so quick sometimes to be like, "Hey, dummy, don't do that." But I learned at least just how to uplift each other in pressure and not point out where if someone falls short. Because I think that just kind of hurts us as a team. So I learned how to just deal with him under higher pressure. I mean "deal," take it how you want. [Laughs.]
Bailey: The race is so fun, but it is very stressful. You're stressed out and it's so easy to want to just snap because he's not helping directions, or I'm lost and I'm stressing, so I'm not believing what he's saying. It's the same thing. I think that we really did learn that we really can overcome stressful situations in our relationship together and not let let that define us and who we are together.
Anthony: Yeah, even if we accomplish our goal or not, I think it's more of how we treat each other within whatever we're trying to do. And I think that alone will take us wherever. [Laughs.]

Next, check out our interview with Chris Foster and Mary Cardona-Foster, who were eliminated in The Amazing Race 3 Episode 2.