It’s hard for me to believe that The Amazing Race has finished. I was anticipating this moment like one anticipates the Heinz Ketchup. Yet dreading it, like one dreads the coming of the apocalypse.
Maybe not that bad… but…
Hell yes, it IS that bad.
The mere thought that the Amazing Race will not be around for a fifth installment is beyond belief. I fully expect Jonathon Frakes to ask, “So, this terrifying tale of the race that is over…is if fact or have we sent you on a wild goose chase?”
It better be Fiction. If For Love or Money can get a season two, if Temptation Island gets to season 3 and if Joe Millionaire is popular enough to get a bit part on a Family Channel Original Movie, the EMMY NOMINATED Amazing Race had better be back.
There is no fury like a TAR fan scorned. Just a friendly warning CBS!
Well, here we are. The finale episode of the season. I get just a few more moments of Phil’s voice. A couple more breathtaking scenery shots. I’m really going to miss this show.
A few minutes is spent updating us on the final
twothree teams. I know it’s hard to believe if you saw the episode, but there honestly were three teams participating. A married couple, and engaged couple, and a team made up of …goats or something? I’m not entirely sure…perhaps they were shepherds, or just drove GTO’s… whatever it is, they WERE there, I swear it.
For the last leg of the race, the racers got to do what I consider to be some truly fun things. After the obligatory 12 hour rest stop the teams learn that they need to get to tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park and witness a traditional Aboriginal ceremony, after which they will be given a clue directing them to the next destination.
They are told to get themselves to General Aviation Terminal at the Cairns Airport, a fifteen minute drive, where the route marker awaits.
It’s the Detour cleverly named once again. This time it’s “Wing It" or "Wander It.". Teams have the choice of skydiving (tandem with an experienced jumper) or driving to someplace, finding a boat and taking the boat to the landing site of the jump where the next clue is waiting. I know I didn’t explain “Wander It” very well, but it’s the final leg… how many teams do you think chose to Wander it?
After performing the Detour, teams learn that they need to get to Hawaii, get a marked car to drive to Kaulana Bay, the southernmost point in the United States, where they will find the Roadblock in which one Team member must swim out to a floating tiki head, dive down, grab a rock and carry it back to the beach. There they will have to use a chisel and hammer to smash open the rock and retrieve the next clue.
That clue directs them to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park where they must walk across a field of hardened lava (would have been interesting if it WASN’T hardened!) to their next route marker.
The next clue informs teams that they must get to Arizona and find USS Arizona Anchor Memorial where yet another clue awaits. This one sends them to the southeast entrance of Sun Devil Stadium where a pretty decent riddle awaits them.
Once they figure out the riddle : February 14th + White + White which of course means section 214 row 33 seat 11. There the final clue awaits. The last yellow envelope.
This one sends teams to Papago Park, get on some bikes, and ride the marked path and then run to the finish line.
And away we go….
David and Jeff 1:47am
As they are opening the first envelope they inform us that they will win this race. At this point I believe them. One of them is talking, and says that out of the three teams left, they have made the fewest mistakes. I can’t help but flash back to them getting lost in a parking lot in episode one. The editors have a little fun, and air footage of the twosome not being able to close the back door of their SUV. These are the voice over/scenes I love.
They have no problem finding the tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, but surprise, surprise, it doesn’t open until morning. I can’t believe it was just last week that they had hoped to keep their lead throughout, it’s almost like they were a replacement team that didn’t know about the weekly equalizers.
When the gates to the park open David and Jeff run to the spot where they get to witness the ceremony. They seem to enjoy it, and after watching the Aboriginal Man throw a fire stick/spear thingy to what looked like a neighboring town to light a tree on fire, I’d have to say I think I’d have enjoyed it also.
They receive their clue and head off for the General Aviation Terminal at the Cairns Airport, where they quickly choose Wing it over the boring, slow sounding wander it.
They are enjoying the flight up to the 10,000 foot jump height, and seem ecstatic at the prospect of such a fun Detour. The jump goes well, and they are happy to learn that they will be heading back to the states, albeit not the mainland.
They head to Cairnes Airport and go straight to the international terminal, where they decide to get a quick flight out to Sydney where they figure they will have more options to get to Hawaii.
Here is where my recap tells a little before I would like it too. You’ve read the particulars, you know they need to get to a Roadblock in Hawaii, that they need to go to the Volcano park, they need to get to Arizona, the monument, the stadium, the bikes and finally the Pit Stop. Unfortunately here is where I would normally type “They arrive…” This week however I will have to be content with typing: They…….
Reichen and Chip 2:14am
These two let us know that they think many people picture all gay men as “Queenie and effeminate” and are glad to be able to hopefully break the stereotype and come across as just two men who happen to be gay.
They make good time to the tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, but of course have to wait hours before being able to enter. As soon as the gates open the pair runs to the spot and anxiously await the ceremony.
After receiving the clue it’s Chip’s job to drive them to the airport. He gets a small case of road rage and attempts to pass another team on the slick road. This is almost as good as having my “Just-got-his-learners-permit-son” watch one of those scary Death Behind The Wheel movies young drivers should be forced to watch. Chip decides that the best time to pass is on a curve. The road is wet and he over corrects when he starts to lose control causing the car to slide off the road and land in a ditch. This prompted Reichen to tell Chip, “You can’t do that again” which in turn prompts us at Casa de Cali to laugh out loud.
Now, I may be wrong, since it was the final leg, but I would wager that if the team they had tried to pass (and for a few seconds succeeded), had been Jon and Al, the team would have stopped to offer assistance if needed. Alas, it wasn’t the clowns but Jon and Kelly who decided their best course of action was to laugh at the accident as they passed by.
Chip was able to get the SUV out of the ditch and back on course soon enough.
The pair opted for Wing it and suited up for their jump. Reichen informed us that although it may be a tad scary to be in a plane without doors 10,000 feet in the air, it was better than being in a car with Chip driving.
Learning that they needed to get to Hawaii, the self-proclaimed frequent flyers opted for the Domestic counter at the airport, where they felt they would get the best advice on how to get to Hawaii in the shortest amount of time. This meant getting a flight to Tokyo, then from there, to Hawaii.
Having only a short time to make their connecting flight, the pair hustled through the airport and barely made the connection. They got off the plane quickly and found the marked car easily, only to get stuck in traffic trying to get to Kaulana Bay. Once they arrive and read the clue for the Roadblock, it was up to Chip to take the swim and chisel out the clue.
Chip seems to have a hard time trying to get the chisel to work. With a name like Chip, one would have thought he’d be a natural. He tries standing the chisel up and hitting it with the hammer, causing it to shoot off the rock and land in the sand a foot away. Since this seemed to work so well, he tried it numerous times. Finally he decided to forego the chisel altogether, and just hit it with a hammer. This worked about as well as the balance-smash method he had tried first.
It took some time, but he finally figured out how to get the rock open, and retrieved the clue.
There was no problem getting themselves to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and retrieved the next clue directing them to Arizona.
There were two options as far as airports were concerned and they opted for the closer and went to Hilo, getting a flight to Honolulu.
While waiting for the flight to Phoenix, the couple found people to help them find out exactly where the memorial was in Arizona. I would have to say this is something I NEVER would have thought to do. I can’t picture myself asking someone in Hawaii, where the USS Arizona Anchor was.
When the plane landed in Arizona, the two, who had made sure they had seats close to the front, dashed off the plane and grabbed a cab. Offering the cabbie an extra $50 bucks was a good idea, and the pair made good time to the Stadium.
Now, after hearing the clue, I honestly thought it sounded hard. I pictured the teams standing in the field at the stadium with blank stares. I saw them aging before our eyes. I actually thought the reason they had not officially announced The Amazing Race 5 was because this race was not actually over yet.
They seemed to have no problem figuring out the riddle, and ran to the seats to gather the final clue.
They hopped into their cab and although there was a little traffic they made it to Papago Park. They jumped on the awaiting mountain bikes and peddled furiously to the spot where they would need to ditch the bikes and run.
They run, and the married couple arrives…
Kelly and Jon 2:38am
Last week Kelly made a statement that scared me. It scared me because I agreed with her, and it really was something that I never thought would happen. Never in a million years would I have thought that I’d agree with her AGAIN.
[quote=Kelly] I can't believe it we made it this far. That freaks me out, because, not only do I think we don't deserve to be here, because we're so stupid…[quote]
She sometimes is quite brilliant… perhaps she’s a savant?
So, away they go, and of course wind up equalized at the tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park where Kelly makes me feel better by saying something stupid again. They have rested for 12 hours, driven a few minutes, and rested again until the gates opened. She then tells us that it’s great to watch the ceremony as they’ve been racing so hard and it’s nice to relax. Whatever.
They receive the next clue and quickly decide to Wing It. Kelly feels that she will be OK, but shortly after take off she begins to get scared. She is trying to hide her fear, but since she is practically chewing her lower lip off, I’d say she is failing.
It’s hard for her to jump, but it doesn’t take long for her to relax a bit, and actually enjoy the sights. I actually smile. Dammit.
They received their clue and decided to go to the international terminal in the airport in Cairnes. Instead of getting the first flight out, they do a little research and find out that they will have better luck getting to Hawaii through Tokyo, and the best way to Tokyo is from where they are.
When they arrive in Tokyo, they have only a short time to get to the connecting flight. They ask a woman for help, but are sent in the wrong direction. The woman quickly discovers her mistake, and runs with them to the bus, that will get them to the terminal where they need to be. She then goes with them to the counter where they are told they are too late to board the flight. Jon tries explaining that their names are in the computer, and that they have the tickets, but just need to check in.
The woman who is helping them attempts to get them on the flight, but the man in charge is adamant, and won’t allow them on, meaning they will have to take a later flight.
They arrive in Hawaii, and quickly hop into the marked car and drive off for
Kaulana Bay where Jon will perform the roadblock for the team.
Knowing that the race will not end here, and not wanting to be walking/driving/flying around in wet undies, Jon decides to do the roadblock completely nude. I feel bad for the cameraman, and have to remind myself that, really, except for this moment, it would be a really cool job to have.
Jon dives into the water, and quickly retrieves the rock. Once on shore he decides NOT to get dressed, causing Shop Teachers all over the world to moan as he chisels and hammers dangerously close to the Family Trinkets.
Kelly is worried, but is too busy laughing to object to loudly. I always thought guys would be upset if a woman laughed at them while they were naked. It’s Jon though, and he’s oblivious.
They drive to Hawaii Volcano National Park and learn that the next stop is Phoenix. There are two airports they could go to, but Kelly urges Jon to go to Kona Airport. Although it was a little farther, there were more flight options.
Once in Honolulu, they either copied, or came up with the same strategy as Chip and Reichen, and tried to find the best directions to the memorial in Arizona.
After getting to Phoenix, they hop a cab and Jon urges the cabbie to go faster. He gives the cabbie a hundred dollars to prove that he’s serious with his need to get to the memorial fast. Once arriving, they learn they need to get to the Stadium and hurry off once again.
I again have trouble believing that the riddle was figured out so quickly, but Kelly did get it and direct Jon toward the right seats, where he found the next clue.
They hopped in the cab and headed off for Papago Park finish the race.
They grabbed their bikes and worked hard to get to the point where they could run. Dropping the bikes and running for the finish line, the often-quoted team arrives…
Par for the course in the finale of The Amazing Race, the final few yards to the final mat are flanked with the teams who were eliminated throughout the course of the race. We get to see them all cheering wildly as the winning Team is running towards Phil. It’s great to see them again, although I admit there was one guy who I didn’t recognize at all. They all look happy as they applaud the winners…
1. Reichen and Chip have won the fourth installment of the TRULY Amazing Race. They hug, they cry, and they are joined by the other races for congratulatory hugs. They’ve learned a lot about themselves and about each other, and they are glad to have won, but happier to know that they truly love each other.
Congratulations Reichen and Chip. I may have given you grief in my recaps, but I must say I think you both did a great job and it was a pleasure to watch you each week. You ran hard, and I’m happy for both of you.
2. Kelly and Jon arrived later, I have no idea if it was a few minutes, or quite a long time. Reading the previews for the episode I was under the impression that two teams would REALLY be neck and neck until the last second. I feel lied to, and therefore they owe me a fifth season.
Kelly is disappointed, but Jon is very proud of how well she did. He is very supportive and they seem to be happy to have at least finished the race. They did work hard, and I know I gave this team more grief than possibly even Flo from last season. I will happily give them their props, as they did run a good race. I sincerely congratulate them in their second place finish.
I guess one could say that David and Jeff came in 3rd, but we never got to see them cross the finish line. They learned that the race was over when they opened a clue box in Hawaii.
I really feel bad for the best friends, as it somehow doesn’t seem fair to end such a great adventure without getting to cross the finish line. I joked about their non-existence, I called them invisible, I referred to them as a spoiler team that arrived half way through the race. I did like them though, and they deserved better. I hope they had a great time and I enjoyed playing “Where Are David And Jeff” each week. They seem like great guys, and they also deserve props for running a great race.
Phil, honey, darlin’… what the heck man??? You need to go raise an eyebrow down at HQ and demand another season. Um….NOW…..
Thanks to all who have stopped by to read my ramblings each week. I thoroughly enjoyed writing each and every recap, and I’m having trouble wrapping this one up. I don’t want the season to end.
I hope you enjoyed reading my recaps as much as I enjoyed writing them. You are all a wonderful audience and I’ve enjoyed (hopefully) entertaining you each week.
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