This is it, Amazing Race fans - we’ve come to the end of the Race. I don’t know about you, but I’ve really enjoyed this season. Many of the pairs have made it memorable, whether you loved them or hated them. Nerds, hippies, slackers, and hicks...we’ve seen them all this go around. They have all been Philiminated with the exception of the remaining three: the sex-obsessed “Frat Boys”, Eric and Jeremy; the goofball “Hippies”, BJ and Tyler; and directionally-challenged Ray and Yolanda. The latter pair has never really been given a catchy nickname, for some reason. Ah, well, it’s too late for that now - let’s get on with the recap!
An Elephant in the Room
We start out in Bangkok, Thailand, site of the last Pit Stop. Ray and Yolanda are enjoying their luxury hotel suite and planning their New Year’s Eve trip to Australia, courtesy of the “golden gnome” they found during the previous leg. I wish I could run across one of those little suckers, as I’d love to see Australia. BJ and Tyler are first to depart this time, and open their clue to reveal their next task:
- Travel 75 miles by taxi and find the Royal Kraal, then obtain a T-Mobile Sidekick from an elephant in ceremonial dress to get their next clue.
Yes, you read right - an elephant. BJ and Tyler talk about how they thought that their intelligence would help them blow the competition away as they are shown having trouble flagging down a cab. Smarts will get you far, but apparently they won’t help you get a cab in Thailand, guys. They finally grab one, and Eric and Jeremy head out about two hours behind the hippies. Reading their clue, Eric informs us that he’s never seen elephants up close, but he’s seen them in “Elephants Attack” on TV. Must have been a FOX show, I’ve never heard of it. The hippies arrive at the elephant corral to find that it opens at 4 am (who goes to see elephants at 4 am?) while Ray and Yolanda get going in a garish pink taxi, saying that they have to catch up to the hippies and “frat girls.” Hee. Perhaps they know more than we do about the boys. Either way, I’d rather not find out.
All of that running was for naught as the three teams are bunched up at the gate, waiting for opening time. 4 am arrives and they all run to the elephants to get their Sidekicks, as Yolanda tells Ray to watch out for “doo-doo.” I don’t think it’ll be hard to see those huge piles. Grabbing their Sidekick first, Ray and Yo read their next clue:
- Travel by plane more than 7000 miles to Tokyo, Japan, and proceed to Shibuya (Japan’s version of Times Square) where they will scan the big video screens for their next clue.
Driving Miss Crazy
All three teams are happy to be going to Japan, but BJ and Tyler are ecstatic, as Tyler actually speaks Japanese and has traveled the country extensively. Arriving at the airport, Eric and Jeremy and Ray and Yolanda grab tickets to Tokyo, but the hippies get there too late: the flight is full. The frats and Ray-Yo make it to Tokyo as the hippies struggle to get on a later flight. All is not lost, however, as Ray and Yolanda get lost and lose their first-place spot, letting the frat boys overtake them. I like this couple, but they really need to learn to read maps. They bicker at each other out of frustration while Eric and Jeremy find Shibuya quickly, and BJ and Tyler begin to catch up to the other teams. Cheesy music that sounds like it came from a bad kung fu movie plays as the frat boys see the clue on the big screen, “Find Hachiko”, and they get their next clue from the man near the statue:
- Detour: Maiden or Messenger. In Maiden, teams must travel seven miles to a Japanese tea garden. Once there, they must carry a maiden one-third of a mile to receive their next clue. In Messenger, teams must assemble bikes and ride through the city to deliver two parcels, and return to the start where they will get their next clue.
No big surprise here, but Eric and Jeremy choose Maiden, hoping to meet some girls. Give it a rest, guys. The task is harder than they thought, and they struggle to carry the girl to the garden as the hippies take over second place and choose the Messenger task. Ray and Yolanda are still wandering the city, lost. BJ and Tyler snap the nifty little bikes together and zip through the incredibly busy city to deliver their parcels, while the frats deliver the girl and get their clue. As she steps out, Eric exclaims that “this is like a naughty fantasy come true right here.” Ugh. Teams must now:
- Find the Capsule Land Hotel to receive their next clue.
BJ and Tyler finish their deliveries to more cheesy music, Eric and Jeremy make their way to the hotel, and Ray-Yo finally find the damn Shibuya and choose Maiden as their task. They carry the girl to the garden as the hippies and frats meet up at the hotel. Ray and Yolanda finally find the hotel and the other four greet them in bathrobes. Strange scene, that. After spending the night, the teams wake up to open their next clue:
- Drive nearly 80 miles to Fujikyu Highland, an amusement park at the base of Mount Fuji. There one person will ride three thrill rides while looking for a man holding a sign with their next clue.
Eric and Jeremy lead the way with BJ and Tyler only fifteen minutes behind. Ray and Yolanda leave soon after and stop at a Denny’s (a freakin’ Denny’s!) for directions. I guess bad food is worldwide. The frats get within sight of the mountain, and Jeremy exclaims that it must be Mount Tokyo. No, dumbass, it’s Mount Fuji, says Eric with a roll of his eyes. Hey, he’s your friend, Eric. The hippies marvel at the sight of the snow-covered mountain as they make their way to the amusement park. Both teams get there at the same time, with Tyler and Jeremy choosing to ride the coasters. The first ride is a horrible-looking thing called the Pizza, which spins around and slings the riders into the air. No way could I get on that thing. The two manage to finish the ride without losing their lunch and run to get on the next contraption. Meanwhile, Ray and Yolanda have lost their toll ticket, much to the ire of the drivers behind them.
While waiting for the next ride to begin, Tyler flirts with a few giggly girls in line. Jeremy mutters “idiot” under his breath at the sight. Jealous much? The duo make it through the incredibly fast coaster ride, and as they get off Tyler asks Jeremy if he saw the clue, inferring that he saw it. He didn’t, of course. During their third and final coaster ride, Tyler and Jeremy both spot the man with the clue, which is “Lake Yamanaka.” How they kept their eyes open to see that, I don’t know. I would have passed out. The two teams open their next clue to find directions to:
- Pit Stop. Travel seven and a half miles to find Lake Yamanaka, get in a duck paddle boat and make their way to the large Swan Boat.
Giving Them the Bird
notshocking revelation, Jeremy tells us that he was not only on the Swan Boat Club in school, he was the captain. I’m assuming he was serious, since neither of them laughed. What exactly a Swan Boat Club is, I haven’t a clue. Where are Ray and Yolanda, you ask? They just arrived at the amusement park, and an irritated Yolanda is more than happy to get away from Ray for a few minutes and hops on the coasters. Jeremy whines to Eric about Tyler’s trickery on the coasters, and Yolanda gets her clue to the Pit Stop. It doesn't take them long to get lost this time, either.
Arriving at the lake, it’s another mad footrace to the goofy-looking duck boats. The skinny hippies pedal for all they’re worth, edging out the frat boys and making it to Phil and winning first place. For their efforts, they win a T-Mobile Sidekick and three year’s worth of service. Yee-haw. Eric and Jeremy come in second, and Phil jokes with them about losing a physical challenge to the hippies. Jeremy again complains that the hippies are “playing dirty” and Tyler tells him it was for cancelling their cab earlier, and now they’re even. So there. Finally, stragglers Ray and Yolanda make it to the pedal boats and Phil. They walk up to the mat, and Phil tells them that they are the last team - but it is a non-elimination leg! They are still in it, but must surrender their money and possessions. They tell Phil that they are determined to win, and the three teams head off to compete in the last leg of the race....
Want to find out who wins? Check out the amazing Amanda’s recap of the second half of the Amazing Race finale!
I actually learned some Japanese tonight...firstname.lastname@example.org