It’s over. I’m having a hard time believing that the season is through. It seems to have flown by and although I was anxious to see who would take home the money, I was also all of the sudden sad. Yeah some of the players ::cough::Colin and Christie::cough:: got on my nerves, but this was overall a fun group. I remember reading the descriptions before the season started. It seemed as though there were so many models/actors that I must admit to being worried, but Season 5 was phenomenal and in the end, even with Brandon and Nicole, we were watching real people race their hearts out to win One Million Dollars. Emmy deserved.
I’m breaking the finale episode up and writing the recap from Pit Stop to Pit Stop. Or, as I like to think of it: From Phil to Phil. It still seems long, but I hope you enjoy it.
The Particulars For Part One
Teams will leave the Pit Stop and head for Luneta Park. I guess I’m spelling that right… well actually I guess I’m spelling it wrong, but hey, if they can’t put things on the screen for me I can’t be held accountable… I mean really, am I supposed to research these things? So, anyhoodle, they get to the park and have to find a monument to Jose Roselle. At the monument will be a clue box and racers will find the next clue. This sends them to the airport to hop on one of two charter flights, leaving 45 minutes apart, to El Nido. I was actually hoping they wouldn’t put that one on the screen, as I wanted to spell it El Neato. Once in El Neato (I’ve decided I like that spelling) teams must get to the harbor and find a marked boat. That boat takes them out to a buoy where the next clue is waiting. Ahhh, point out our ignorance time. Teams must use binoculars to search the shores of three different islands. On the shores will be three different flags. Teams must find the Philippine flag to get the next clue. If they choose the wrong flag the clue box will contain an official looking envelope, but the words “Sorry, Try Again” instead of directions for the next part of the leg. When teams finally find the flag they will be directed to a nearby beach to don snorkel equipment and search the waters for giant clamshells containing the next clue. Teams then get information on the Roadblock. The contestant choosing to do it can’t suffer from Vertigo. Having never seen the film, I know it would be my turn if I were in the race. HA! That’s a big word boys and girls, but simply put, the player can’t have a fear of heights. They will use a device called an Ascender, to shimmy their butts 150 feet up a rope to the top of a cliff. They will get the next clue, repel down and meet up with their teammate again. The hint points them to a two person kayak and the last Pit Stop in this race around the world.
Leaving, as always in the order in which they arrived:
Chip and Kim 3:46am
Chip tells us that they have been in Chip Time, and now: Chip time is over. It has become Kim time, which apparently translates into: Go For The Jugular Time. She looks so sweet. They arrive at the monument, read the clue and head for the airport. So far things are going well for Chip and Kim as they get themselves on the first charter flight. They share the flight with Brandon and Nicole, but these two see Colin and Christie as their only real competition. I think that’s a dangerous way to view things. Neither of them know what the flag of the Philippines looks like, so even though they are looking at the flags through their binoculars, they are really going to have to go to use the “Damn-I-Hope-This-Is-Right” method and search every clue box until they find the right one. Brandon and Nicole are nearby and playing the same way they have been the whole time. I call it the “Hey-We-Could-Follow-Them” method of play. After Chip tries the first flag Brandon and Nicole ask him if it was the right one. Now Chip has to think of what to do. He had to take the time to get out of the boat, wade through the water, run back, hop in the boat and direct the driver to the next island. If he just tells Brandon, then Chip in affect saves Brandon a lot of time. What to do? Well, I guess it’s not quite Kim time yet, as Chip yells that it’s the wrong one. The married couple is then followed to the next island, where Chip gets out of the boat, wades through the water, runs back, hops in the boat. Again Brandon asks if it’s the right one. HA! It’s Kim time. Well, it’s at least Go-For-The-Jugular time as Chip calmly tells Brandon it’s the wrong one, when in truth he and Kim have the next hint in their hands. The couple dons the snorkel equipment and we learn that Kim can’t swim. We also learn, that Chip isn’t black. Yes, I know what you’re thinking… he looks African American. He even spoke of the motherland while in Africa, but seriously, not only is his name Chip, but the man can swim!! I’m joking people, he can’t swim at all. HA! Joking again, he actually is a very good swimmer, and in case you think I’m on to something (or on something) let me just say that I know Chip is indeed an African American. No need to e-me on that point. Chill out. Sooooo, Chip is trying to find a clamshell when he hears screaming for help in the distance. He goes to lend a hand, but is told to “Beat It”… more on that later. He finds a clamshell, retrieves the clue and he and Kim set off for the Roadblock which, surprise, Chip will perform. Upon seeing the cliff that he will have to climb to the top of, he starts to freak out. Let me tell you, it’s one hell of a cliff. He gets harnessed and tries to shimmy in the manner that the pro’s on hand are telling him to. He is having a hard time getting a rhythm, and is passed by another player, whose partner thinks it’s hilarious. Any guesses? Chip does make it to the top, he pauses a lot, prays a lot and gets plenty of verbal encouragement from Kim. The two get in the kayak and row off for the Pit Stop, arriving…
Linda and Karen 3:54am
The moms are excited about not only still being in the race, but about being in second place. Neither one really thought they’d still be here, and both are visibly tired. They have trouble getting a cab, and I think, not for the first time, that it’s interesting that teams can ever find cabs at the unGodly hours that they sometimes leave. After walking for a little while, they do get a cab and head for the airport. Their second place position slips as they get on the second charter flight. The friends get to the marked boat and have no trouble spotting the buoy and retrieving the next clue. While approaching the first flag they see, they happen upon Colin and Christie. Colin has visited the island, and tells them it’s not the right flag. Who the hell is this, and what did he do with the real Colin? Karen and Linda, knowing him as they do, get out to check the box anyway. He was telling the truth, and they have to get back in the boat to look for another flag. They see Colin and Christie heading for one island, and decide to take a chance. The bowling moms head off for an island in the opposite direction. They see the island, get out and are relieved to learn they made the right choice. They seem to find the clamshell rather quickly, and we learn that it’s Karen’s turn to perform the Roadblock. Karen gets geared up and begins her climb. This proves to be a difficult task for her, but Linda freely admits that there is no way she’d be able to do it. Linda tells us that if Karen can do this, then she’s Superwoman. Karen has to take a lot of breaks, but Linda is always encouraging. She finally makes it to the top, repels down and joins her best friend. In the kayak Linda tells Karen to relax, that she has just worked really hard, and her kids would be proud. They paddle their way to the Pit Stop and arrive…
Brandon and Nicole 3:57am
Brandon is happy and excited to still be racing. Nicole is mad that Brandon is so happy. She says he’s having too much fun. I’ve often wondered if there was such a thing as too much fun, and now, thanks to Nicole, I know. The two get on the first charter flight and actually take a minute to enjoy the scenery as they ride to the harbor to find the boat. Once in the boat, they find the buoy, get the clue, and realize that they have no idea what the flag of the Philippines looks like. Brandon uses the provided monocular to search the shores of the islands. Well, he really used the binoculars, but decided he only needed to take the lens cover off one side of the device. Somehow he still manages to spot a flag and heads off toward the island. They see Chip and Kim, who tell them that it’s the wrong one. Brandon and Nicole follow them to the next island where again they ask Chip and Kim if it’s the right one. Now, we know it is, but as mentioned above Chip tells them it’s not. Brandon, being the trusting fellow that he is, asks Chip again. He gets the same answer, but asks one more time. After hearing one more time that this is NOT the right flag, Brandon decides to check for himself. WOW! It IS the right flag and our Christian pals are furious. Hmmmm, maybe just Nicole is furious. Brandon seems to take it in stride as part of the game. The two get to the beach, and start searching for a clamshell that will give them the next clue. Nicole spots it, but for some reason is unable to dive down to get the clue. In her defense I feel I must add that the clamshell is a good six feet underwater! She flails about calling to Brandon to come help her. Instead it’s Chip who comes swimming up to offer a hand. She’s worried that Chip will spot the shell and steal the clue. Not worried enough to actually try to get it herself mind you, but worried enough to mention it to us. Brandon arrives, tells Chip to beat it, and dives down to retrieve the envelope. I don’t think anyone is surprised to learn that not only do they have no clue what Vertigo means, but it wouldn’t matter anyway, as Brandon will be doing the Roadblock. The two head off for the cliff. Brandon admits that he doesn’t like heights, but tells us he’ll do the Roadblock anyway. Um… you already said you would Brandon, that’s one of the rules. You said you would, so you will. I have to say that Brandon has a nice back. I also have to say that if you’re into backs you will have enjoyed watching him climb up the rope, as we got to see a nice amount of it. That of course was spoiled by the maniacal laughter of Nicole as she cackled at Chip’s attempt to climb. Did you guess right above? Did you think that maybe it was Christie who thought it was hilarious? Just wondering. Anyway, we get to hear a lot of laughing, and a tad too much “Man-He-Looks-good” “God-He-Is-Sexy” “Ooooooh-Baby-You’re-fine”. Excuse me while I go lose my breakfast. Brandon gets the clue, repels down and meets up with Nicole. The two get into the waiting kayak and paddle for the Pit Stop where they arrive…
Colin and Christie 4:02am
Remember the new rule? No money for the folks who survived due to a non-elimination-leg? Well, they did give up their money, and they did NOT receive any with the first clue, but they were allowed to beg for money the night before, so they actually started with quite a bit. Perhaps more than they had to give up. I cry foul, but no one cares. We hear that Christie thinks they are stronger than anyone else and it’s the other teams naivety that will do them in. I laugh. Not because I think they aren’t strong, but when she used the word “naivety” she did so like a person who had just that very morning read it in their “Word-A-Day” calendar. It was interesting to me, that even with the “Yield” being used on them last week they are only five minutes behind the third place team and sixteen minutes behind first place. This concerns me as I am forced, once again, to admit that they are indeed good racers. Colin and Christie get a great cab, but still wind up on the second charter. Once they land, they get to the harbor quickly and find the buoy without incident. Colin admits to his “American Ignorance” as neither of them could recognize any flag other than the Stars and Stripes. He goes to the first island, gets the “Try Again” message and actually tells the moms that it’s the wrong place. He and Christie head off in the opposite direction, and are hopeful that it’s the moms that are going to the wrong island. It isn’t, and Colin and Christie wind up being the only team that has to visit every island to get the clue. Colin is on a mission, and wastes no time searching for the clamshells. The first one he finds contains no clue, so off he swims. The second one does hold the clue and he and Christie are on their way to the Roadblock which of course, Colin will perform, even if they have no idea what Vertigo means. They hop in the boat and head for the cliff where Colin hauls butt up the rope. I think he took a break or two, but if he did they were short and only seemed to revitalize him. The only trouble this team had on this leg was when they tried to get into the kayak. The vessel flipped, my son cheered, and I giggled. They righted themselves and paddled to the Pit Stop arriving…
The LAST Pit Stop
As always their arrival place is listed with their departing place in parenthesis after their names.
1. Brandon and Nicole (3) Winning themselves a trip to the Caribbean
2. Chip and Kim (1)
3. Colin and Christie (4)
Leaving the Moms, Linda and Karen in fourth place. These two ran a extraordinary race and should be proud of themselves. They had a great time and wouldn’t have missed it for the world they just spanned. I’ll miss them.
And Then There Were Three ~ Finale recap PART TWO
I feel the need to let you all know that I voted for Chip and Kim to win the race. I did this because I felt as though the producers wouldn’t have edited Colin and Christie the way they did, only to have them wind up winning. I am worried now, because if this was the only episode you had ever seen, you would like this couple. In the first half they played hard and weren’t unkind to each other or the other teams. What would the second half show? I’ll tell you: It shows Colin and Christie to be a competitive couple. That’s it. No nastiness, no real blow ups, no ugly American attitude. I’m worried.
Teams will leave the final Pit Stop with directions to go the Calgary. They must get to Lookout Mountain, don snowshoes and climb 1,000 feet to the top of the Continental Divide where the next clue is waiting. That clue will send them to Canada Olympic Park where teams must find the Olympic Cauldron. This is not a witches brewing pot as I originally thought, but the Wok looking thing that holds the still lit, Olympic flame. The clue there will send teams to the Detour. This week the choice is between Slide or Ride. If a team chooses Slide they will need to follow the marked path to the
louge loogesled track and slide down the track in under 34 seconds which is the accepted time for amateurs. If the team decides on Ride they will need to ride a bike down a ski slope in under three minutes. No matter which they choose, if they don’t make it in the allotted time they will have to try again. Upon receiving the next clue teams learn they are headed for Dallas Texas to find the Fort Worth Stock Yards and another clue. At the stock yards I find myself rewinding many times so I can bring you the best possible description of what they are to do. I failed. Here is my lame attempt at the directions. Teams will see huge pictures of themselves hanging on a wall. Under the pictures is a key, which they must take through a huge maze to find a box marked with the number 1. They will use the key to open the box, retrieve a picture, take the picture back to the beginning and start again. Of course this time they will search for a box marked with the number 2. That box holds another key, which opens a box back at the beginning. That box holds the next clue. Confused? Me too. When teams finally get the clue they will be excited to learn it is the last clue of the race. It sends them to a park in Dallas… I think it’ something like the Trammel Crow Lake Park. I’m probably way wrong with that. Once at the park they must run to the FINISH LINE!
Brandon and Nicole 3:16am
The dating models, who I’m pretty sure Phil reoffered to as the Christian Models, get on a 6:30 flight to Canada. I’ll go ahead and let you know that this is another Equalizer in the race. When they arrive in Canada they head off for Lookout Mountain and take a gondola to where the snowshoes wait for them. In the gondola they change into warmer clothes and I realize I have probably seen the last of Brandon’s back. I rewind and watch the cliff climb again. So… they get to the snow shoes and Nicole turns into Flo. She whines and complains the entire walk up to the top of the Continental Divide. Brandon tries to get her going again by having her picture Jesus at the top with his arms open waiting for them to arrive. Now, I like Jesus, he’s a cool dude, but come on! He’s waiting at the top? I feel sick about having rewound. They do make it, and Nicole is still complaining. I assume she is anyway, as I have muted my TV. At the cauldron a woman dressed in black grabs Nicole and shoves her in a brew along with an eye of newt. No, that doesn’t really happen, but it could have, and it would have been funny. The couple opts for Slide…No, Ride….No, Slide…No, Ride. YES! It’s Ride. Brandon picks a bike and is ready to go. Nicole complains that her bike doesn’t fit her. Brandon tells her it does, and the two head down the slope. Well, it should come as no surprise that Nicole’s bike doesn’t fit her, and she can’t ride it at all. She’s crying, she’s whining, I’m reaching to mute again. It takes them over four minutes to get down the track and they will have to try again. Nicole gets another bike, one that fits her better, and they head off down the track again. Hmmmm, the bike fits so I can’t figure out what her problem is this time, but she still can’t seem to ride it. She falls off and cries. She cries some more. She gets on the bike again, falls off again, and throws the bike while simultaneously throwing a temper tantrum. Brandon is telling her it’s OK, but she continues to cry. He finally gives her a piggy back…hmmmmm…back…. Ride to the Slide option as they are giving up on the bikes. They make it down the track on their first try in a time of 30.41 seconds and both wonder why they ever tried the bike in the first place. Nicole blames it all on Brandon saying she never wanted to ride. Again I rewind, not that far, and see that she did, in fact, want to slide, but because the bikes were closer, Brandon talked her into it. He did this by saying: “The bikes are right here”. Yes, most definitely all his fault. Brandon is busy playing the victim here, and really, no matter how nice the boys back is, playing the victim is unbecoming. They are excited to hear they are headed back to the United States and once at the airport get reservations on a good flight. The two decide to check most of their belongings so that their load is lighter, and it will be easier to maneuver in the last part of the race. They are EQUALIZED for the last time on a flight to Denver where teams will have to get a connecting flight to Dallas. Brandon and Nicole are upset to learn that Chip and Kim have a better connecting flight. Not only is the flight better, but also already oversold. They get themselves on standby for the flight while they are still in Canada. Once they arrive in Denver they run to the ticket counter to see if they can get the earlier flight. It turns out that it wouldn’t matter if Chip and Kim were they only people on the flight. Seems that checking the luggage was not as good an idea as it seemed. The earlier flight is on a different airline and FFA regulations state that people must stay with their luggage. Now even though this is an FFA regulation, and really if you think about it a comforting rule, Brandon wants to stay and plead with the agent to let them on the flight. All the while the clock is ticking and the flight with their luggage will be leaving soon. The agent advises them to run to the gate and try to make the original flight. Now I wonder what would happen if they missed it? Wouldn’t the luggage still be on it? How do they enforce that rule? No matter as the couple makes it to the plane and they head off for Dallas, with their luggage, which I assume they will be leaving unattended in Dallas. They leave the airport and approach a cab. They have the foresight to ask him how fast he drives. His response? “Slow”. They abandon him and find a new taxi. I don’t know if they posed the same question to this driver, but once they are in the cab they tell him to go fast. He tells them they are on a highway, not a race track. They arrive at the Stock Yards, find their picture and head off into the maze. They complete the task, jump in the ca and head off, in full on traffic, to the park and the finish line, which they cross…
Chip and Kim 3:40am
The married couple is focused and ready. Chip reminds us again that Chip Time is Over. As mentioned above, the flight to Calgary is an equalizer, so I’ll skip over the non eventful airport scenes. They get a cab to Lookout Mountain, but these two are not ready for the cold, they are from SoCal and are not used to this. After getting into their snow shoes, it seems that Chip is having a much harder time than Kim. She seems to be just breezing her way to the top, stopping only to wait for Chip. She does say that this stunt, as oppose to the others I guess, is too hard for people over 40. I am amazed that they are over 40 and think that they look mighty good. At the Detour they opt for the Slide. On the first try down they crash which causes the person manning the loud speaker to announce it to everyone within a 50 mile radius. They return to the top and get into position again… the position, if you’re wondering, is Chip laying on top of Kim. I am curious as to why this is the preferred method. On their second trip down the loud speaker person gets to talk again as they crash about half way down. The third attempt finds them making it to the finish line in a time of 32.99 seconds. They made it with 1.01 seconds to spare. They get to the airport and make calls to get themselves reservations to Dallas. They learn that the flight the others are on is delayed, so they get another flight out. The other teams think they are all on the same flight, and Chip does nothing to change their minds. This isn’t Chip Time anymore after all. They are excited about having an earlier flight and feel that the two-hour cushion will win them the race. It turns out of course, that everyone learns about the delay and the earlier flight, so they arrive in Denver with the other teams. They do have an earlier flight to Dallas, but what they thought was going to be a two-hour lead, gets cut to a 10-15 minute lead. In Dallas they are running out of the airport to find a cab when all of the sudden my TV freezes. I panic. What am I going to do? This CANNOT be happening! My TV unfreezes before I can come up with a Plan B, and I’m relieved. I next see the couple in the cab heading for the Stock Yard. Although they don’t seem to have a problem with the directions, they do have a problem with the maze itself. I feel for them, as I can get lost going in a straight line. Seriously. It happened. Shut up. They find the second box first, and decide to remember where it is. Good plan. It takes them a very long time, but they do manage to find the first box and make their way back to the beginning. Their “Remember-Where-The-Second-Box-Is” plan failed, and it takes them a while to re-find it. Once they do, they make it back to the clue and head off to the park. They have a good cabbie, but he is a law abiding good cabbie, and they sit in Dallas traffic freaking out. They wonder where Colin and Christie are, ands realize this traffic might do them in. They get to the park, drop their packs, and run for the finish line. They cross…
Colin and Christie 3:46am
As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, these two are playing it great. They too get the 6:30am flight to Canada and have no problem getting to Lookout Mountain. They do have a problem getting to the top of the Continental Divide though. Rather Christie has a problem. She, like Nicole, spends the ascent complaining and whining that she just can’t do it. Colin tries to be supportive at first, but finally yells at her to get going. I know I said they didn’t act the way they have in episodes past, and I stand by that. His yelling was nothing compared to how he has acted in the past. Again I worry that the producers re trying to soften the blow of a Colin and Christie win. Where Brandon prompted Nicole with visions of the Big Guy, Colin used visions of A Million Dollars to prompt his love. I guess it worked, as she gets to the top. The trip down is fun for Colin as he flips, slides and laughs his way to the Olympic Cauldron. Once there, the two waste no time deciding to Slide as their Detour choice. They make it on their first attempt with an impressive time of 30.26 seconds. They are happy to hear they are headed to Texas, but discouraged to find that all the counters at the airport are closed. They make calls to get reservations and decide to check their luggage through to Texas. Oops. Colin also has the foresight to have a driver waiting for them when they land. He tells the car company that they need a driver who is fast and knows his way around. They learn that the flight is delayed and are happy to be able to get on the flight with the other remaining teams. Once in Denver, they run into the same problem as Brandon and Nicole, since they too checked their luggage. Being very un-Colin like, he doesn’t argue the fact, but instead heads off to the flight containing their luggage. When they arrive they find their driver, and wind up riding in style to the Stock Yards in a Lincoln Continental. At the Stock Yards Colin impresses me again, damn him, when he has a method for getting through the maze. He and Christie get to both boxes very quickly and get the final clue. They head back to the Town Car, but it’s gone and they are stranded at the Stock Yards. No… no they’re not. The car and driver are waiting for them and they head off to the park. The traffic is bad for them, as with the others, but their driver just honks his horn and rides the shoulder past all the gridlock. They see the park, and run for the finish line. They cross…
The Finish Line
As in seasons past, all teams are lined up waiting to see who will cross first. They are cheering and clapping when they see a team approaching. The pair has dropped their packs and are running as fast as they can. They pass the applauding ex-contestants and are greeted by Phil: “Six continents, Eleven Countries, 72,000 miles… CHIP AND KIM, you’ve just won the Amazing Race”
WOOHOO! They cry, they hug, they compliment each other. Chip says hes lucky to have Soul Mate and Best Friend who is also Fine. Kim says the whole race was a blessing and she loves everyone.
It isn’t long before Colin and Christie show up. They get cheers and applause too, and I have to say they were very gracious in admitting that Chip and Kim ran a great race and deserved to win.
Brandon and Nicole show up too, and there are hugs all around.
It’s been a great season and I hope you all have enjoyed it as much as I did. The next installment starts in less than a month! I look forward to having you all join me again as we cheer and jeer our way around the world with another group of racers.
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