I had to sneak off to watch this show on Tivo as it was airing against the Vikings and Cardinals. I started off watching the game with the hubby and kids, but bailed when Brett threw his third INT – now that’s the Favre I remember as a lifelong Packers fan.
Phil gives us a quick recap of the race so far, focusing on the three teams:
First Phil talks about married couple Brian and Ericka, indicating that even though they’ve never finished a leg in first place, and they’ve had plenty of testing times, they never gave up.
Then Phil shines his spotlight on brothers Sam and Dan, and shows a highlight reel of those two screaming at each other and telling each other to shut up. Mom must be so proud, especially their “bold, game-changing moves” in screwing over other teams.
Finally, he highlights dating couple Meghan and Cheyne as the dominant team to beat, and shows all of their down times.
We’re Going To the Chapel, and We’re Going To . . . Interrupt Someone’s Wedding
We meet up with our remaining three teams in Prague, the last Pit Stop. The teams need to leave the Czech Republic and go directly to Los Vegas, the last destination in this race. Yup, I’m calling it. Their travel budget is definitely lower this season, as prior year final legs usually involved a stop-over in Hawaii or Alaska or someplace on their way to the final destination. Less stops mean less places they need to set up production crews, but I’m glad the show is still on the air even though the rating aren’t the best.
Sam and Dan are departing and putting on their game faces to beat Meghan and Cheyne. The first two teams don’t seem to know whether the Globetrotters or Brian and Ericka were eliminated at the end of the last leg, so they are surprised to see Brian and Ericka at the airport. Dan (or is it Sam) tries to apologize to Ericka for taking their taxi, but Brian isn’t about to trust them again. All the teams are on the same flight to Las Vegas.
Once in Vegas, the teams need to run through the airport, looking for a cab to take them to Graceland Wedding Chapel. Maybe Meghan and Cheyne will seize this opportunity to get married by Elvis. That would make it very memorable, but this team is way too focused to get distracted by those little details.
They are all on top of each other running in the door in the middle of someone else’s wedding ceremony. Elvis is singing “Amazing Grace” which seems very fitting for the “Amazing [g]Race”. Elvis hands them their clues. Brian and Ericka wish the new married couple well.
Rappelling Face First Down the Side of a Hotel – Why Don’t More Hotels Offer That Kind of Fun?!?!?
Now the teams are on their way to Mandalay Bay, and Brian and Ericka arrive first (for the first time ever, I think), and it involves climbing face first down the side of the hotel. Brian is afraid of heights, so Ericka gets to pull her weight on the team. Brian explains that he would be peeing his pants if he were up there. Brian can’t even look while Erica steps over the side of the hotel. Meghan and Cheyne arrive, and, no shocker, Cheyne is doing the challenge.
Cab Karma has caught up with Sam and Dan (for stealing Brian and Ericka’s cab in a prior leg), as the brothers are stuck in traffic with a cabbie who doesn’t care that they are in a race. Too bad it is happening so early, as we haven’t had either the Detour or the Roadblock yet.
Brian is cheering on Ericka on from the ground. For the viewers who thought that Ericka was just dead weight on her team, I think this shows that loves Brian enough to spare him his greatest fear. I’m sure Ericka’s mom will just see this as more proof that Brian isn’t worthy of her daughter. Ericka says that she “feels like Spider Woman” and finishes her descent before the other teams get down the building.
Cheyne is hanging like a corpse, refusing to look. This is a new style of rappelling that I think we’ll call “the dangle.” The Brothers show up and complain about their cabbie, and Brian recognizes the karma in full effect.
Sam is actually climbing down the building, rather than hanging like a limp dishcloth like Cheyne. Cheyne seems to have arrived on the ground somehow (Devine intervention?) while Sam is booking it down the building.
Love, Love Me Do . . . And Grab Those Dangling Flowers
The teams next need to head off to the Mirage resort, which is featuring a Beatles tribute circus show called “Love.” It’s a Cirque de Solie production based on the music of the Beatles and featuring 60s fashion. Both partners need to suit up and do an acrobatic leap to retrieve some flowers. One teammate needs to get into a harness with some reverse bungee cord action to catapult them towards flowers suspended from the ceiling.
Ericka seems to be getting close, but no flowers (or cigar, for that matter). Meghan retrieves hers, and Ericka loses her cool. If they would just calm down and not freak out, they may be able to keep their lead. Remember that phrase, as it will show up again this recap. But no, they freak out and illogically change positions (over Brian’s protestations, but eventually his calm succumbs to her panic).
Ericka insists that height of the flyer is the key, and that Brian needs to do the leaping. I’m thinking that the key is the strength of the partner on the ground, but hey, what do I know? We’ll see, as Brian suits up to jump, and so does Dan for the brothers.
Never Say Never Again – Released 26 Years Ago, Apparently Is No Longer Pop Culture With the Kids
Cheyne and Meghan can’t figure out the clue, which instructs them to go to the most famous casino in Monaco. I’ve seen enough James Bond movies to know it is the Monte Carlo, but these kids don’t have a clue and think maybe it’s the Venetian. My family watched all of the Bond movies repeatedly when I was a kid, and I think at least three of them had scenes in Monte Carlo, including GoldenEye and Never Say Never Again.
Meanwhile back at the Mirage, Ericka and Brian figure out that Ericka doesn’t have the strength to pull back Brian far enough to even pull off the ground. Who didn’t predict that? I’m guessing that Ericka is the only one. The brothers pass them up easily, as they have just the right combination of strength and height, apparently.
Now Ericka is in full-on meltdown as they swap again and still can’t reach the flowers. The brothers also don’t realize that their next destination is the Monte Carlo. They show Meghan and Cheyne running down the street asking strangers to figure out their clue.
The brothers call another hotel and ask, and get the answer to their clue. The turn their cab around, just out of sight of Meghan and Cheyne, who are still asking strangers and getting weird answers, like Bellagio.
Ericka finally reaches the flowers, and Brian is the only one of the finalists to actually know the answer. Maybe we should call Brian, the Brain. Or maybe he’s a James Bond fan. Either way, it will save them time, as Meghan and Cheyne are finally getting the right answer from people at the Bellagio.
When The Chips Are Down, You Better Count Them Carefully
Sam and Dan are at the Monte Carlo and start counting out $1 million in poker chips. They may have an advantage from arriving first, as they are wisely pulling out as many red $1,000 chips as they can find. If all the teams are using the same pile, they’ll need more chips to compile their $1 Million.
I was the dealer at a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament in a friends’ basement a couple weeks ago and I counted lots of chips, but not a million of them. If this is the last challenge, it sounds a lot easier than the “remember everything from everywhere we’ve been” challenges from prior finales.
Meghan and Cheyne now realize what hotel they need to get to, but are stuck in traffic. How frustrating for a team that came in first for more times than any other team in race history.
Brian and Ericka show up second, surprised that they arrived before Meghan and Cheyne, and start looking for red chips. Meghan and Cheyne seem to be right behind them, and now all the teams are piling up chips. Dan is freaking out and Sam is trying to calm him down. They yell at each other. What a shock.
Dan and Sam have had plenty of time to get a jump on their competition. They have a good system for grouping chips into columns and rows. If they would just calm down and not freak out, they may be able to keep their lead. Yup, here it is again. A team in a good position to keep a lead may let the pressure get to them.
It seems that all the teams finished their first attempt at the million dollar count at almost exactly the same time. Cheyne and Meghan got their totals correct, while the other two teams got the wrong count. They are instructed to find “Mr. Las Vegas” whom oldsters like me know is Wayne Newton.
Cheyne knew it, but then doubted himself, thinking maybe it was Frank Sinatra. I hope that a séance isn’t part of the finale, as Old Blue Eyes is no longer with us, but Wayne Newton sure is. Cheyne and Meghan talk with bystanders to confirm that they are looking for Wayne Newton.
Wayne’s World, Wayne’s World. Party with All the Eliminated Teams. Excellent!
Meghan and Cheyne are the first to find Wayne. He tells them that the final Pit Stop is his house, so now it’s off to Wayne Newton’s house. Anyone whose seen Chevy Chase’s Vegas Vacation movie knows that Mrs. Griswald ended up at Wayne’s house in that movie, so now I’m curious to see if it is the same one.
Brian and Ericka are still counting and re-counting their chips, while the Brothers are off insulting Wayne Newton by not knowing who he is when they are standing right there talking to him. They roam around, looking for the right entrance, but it isn’t even close, as Meghan and Cheyne run pasts all the eliminated teams for the win.
I’m just glad that they finished before the bickering brothers, who show up second. They argued their way all around the world. Mom and Pop must be so proud.
I’m not sure if Brian and Ericka ever got the count right on their chips, but eventually they show up at Wayne’s house. Cheyne said nice things about Meghan’s strength and speed and awesomeness. Ericka says nice things about Brian as a great person that she hopes her family will recognize after this airs, and he starts crying. Which starts the rest of the teams watching crying, including those with pink hair.
These one-hour finales always seem so rushed, but there we are. Our race to the finish is done. Alpha team Meghan and Cheyne earned their win despite not knowing that Monaco is a country on the French Mediterranean coast with a famous casino called the Monte Carlo. Thanks for racing along with the FORT.