Did the Soul Surfers, the Wrestlers, the Dentists, or the Food Scientists cross the Amazing Race finish line and win a million dollars?
The second half of the finale superleg of the Amazing Race sent teams from Manila, Philippines to Los Angeles. Brooke (of “and Robbie”) was the least pleased to see Amy and Maya (the Food Scientists) at the airport, though Jim and Misti (the Dentists) and Adam and Bethany (the Surfers) were not jumping for joy either.
After touching down in LA, the teams had to find product placement vehicles and use the built-in GPS for their clue. The teams learn that the contents of the manila envelope they received at the last pit stop include a film permit which needs to get approved at City Hall. The dentists and the wrestlers got lost instantly. The scientists and the surfers are the first to receive approval and head to a warehouse movie studio. The dentists arrive later and get approval while the scientists worked on getting directions.
At the warehouse is a Road Block: Who wants to be an action hero? The task: practice with a stunt coordinator the art of defenestration from a third story window. Um, yes?1 Maya takes the task for the scientists and Adam takes the task for the surfers. The trick is to land on your back by twisting in the air. Adam has no problem getting into the role, but Maya has hesitation in the practice session. She gets over the jitters and kicks the Road Block’s ass. The next clue sends them to Terminal Island’s coast guard station.
Jim and Misti take the long way to get to the studio while Brooke and Robbie are still looking for City Hall. After some extended bickering from the wrestlers, we see the dentists arrive at the road block. Jim takes the task. As the front two teams run toward the cars, the scientists realize they forgot to remove their costumes. This puts the surfers in the lead. At the Coast Guard station, Adam and Bethany are excited to learn they will participate in a search and rescue mission. Phil is on location to introduce this task, so this could be the cutoff point.
Brooke and Robbie: still bickering.
The surfers have no problems with the search and rescue task, as they are familiar with snorkeling and other gear used on the task. As they completed the challenge—complete with mourning their Resusci-annie —the scientists and the dentists were swimming out to their respective locations. Both pairs were pretty much tied coming out of the task. The next clue instructed the teams to take a taxi to Conglobal Industries‘ storage yard.
Brooke and Robbie watch the demo of the Roadblock as Phil walks out from behind a crate. Sorry, wrestlers, you have been eliminated from the race. Good on them for getting a lot farther than they probably should have, but as villains go they weren’t even that bad.
Back at Conglobal, another Road Block. The person who didn’t jump out of the window had to go through a maze of storage containers to find the nine locations they visited this season. Each container has three numbers, each of a different color. Each team has an assigned color and must collect their respective numbers in order without taking notes. After collecting all nine numbers and reporting them in order to the yard’s foreman, the team will receive a clue. This is mentally exhausting and I’m sitting on my couch. The editing suggests that Bethany, Amy, and Misti all finish collecting numbers at about the same time, so there is essentially a three-way tie at this point.
Amy is first to return to the foreman. She fills out the form, calls out the number…and is right! Make your way to the finish line at Point Vincent Lighthouse. Unfortunately, their cabbie doesn’t know where he’s going. Meanwhile, Bethany and Misti each have inverted numbers in their first guesses. Misti gets it right on the second try, while Bethany struggles with one digit and needs a third try. TAXI RACE!
The door opens and the winners of the Amazing Race are…Amy and Maya! Maya leaps into Phil’s arms2 as Amy hobbles up to the big red mat. They are the third female team to win the race. Jim and Misti are the second team to arrive. They will probably be on a future all-star season. Adam and Bethany are okay with third place. Adam’s okay with not winning the million because Bethany is a total BAMF.
This is the first full season of TAR I have watched in a few years. Were it not for Ben wanting to cover it (and having multiple weekend shows already), I probably wouldn’t have checked in. This season was a wonderful refresher of what I loved about this show back in its heyday. The cast was likable and the tasks were a good mix of challenges and tasks that make you want to say “me too!” The itinerary was somewhat stale, with Morocco being the only location where English wasn’t a dominant language. I mean, current U.S. foreign policy is probably a major obstacle for bookers, but is it really the Amazing Race without someone screaming “rapido?” Regardless, I’m back on board.