After the pee heard round the world, Jen and her sis Kisha have now been relegated to standing around the finish line, clapping for somebody else tonight. A shame. But, hopefully, a lesson learned: donít drink so much water with your fried scorpions and starfish next time! Weíre left with the final three teams to cheer on (or not) tonight: Margie and Luke, the first deaf Racer and a pair who have had to overcome communication obstacles; friends and ex-cheerleaders Jaime and Cara, the fourth all-female team to make final three - the abrasive Jaime has ďmade herself heardĒ says Phil; and Tammy and Victor, who had sibling issues and leadership problems of their own to get over. Who will pocket the million this time?
Bunched Like Jaime's Undies
Phil sees the teams off in China, sending them over 5000 miles to the bee-utiful island of Maui, Hawaii. And let me just say, Phil all zipped up in black leather is a nice sight, indeed. Iíll sure miss him on my TV this summer. *sigh* Anyhoo, Victor interviews that he knows the others will be bringing their A game and he wants to bring his A+ game. Well then. Margie and Luke are happy to have proved their detractors wrong, saying that they came in underdogs and made it to the end, proving their strength. Jaime and Cara donít know why itís taken fourteen seasons for a pair of girls to win, but dammit, they aim to change that tonight. Not if karma has anything to say about it, ladies. Or, lady (looking at you, Jaime).
Of course, itís the finale, so that dictates a bunching at the airport. All in the name of a close race, I suppose. The teams end up sitting around at the airport like bumps on logs, waiting for the ticket office to open at 6 am.
Arriving in Hawaii, Margie immediately begins a Jaime-like fussing at the cabbie, telling him to go fast, fast, fast. Heís not having it, telling her that itís illegal to speed. I have to laugh. Jaime and Cara try another ploy and promise a big tip for the driver if he beats the others.
Salted Pork, Anyone?
Once they hit the beach, they learn of their first task: to prep a pig for a luau. This isnít a little porker, either. Itís a 145 pounder, trussed up on a pole. But first, they must season it and slather some oil on it before carrying it 200 yards down the beach to the luau spot. I donít think salt water and beach sand were on the seasoning list, but both Tammy and Cara drop their end of the pole several times in their quest down the beach, letting the pig carcass land slap onto the beach. Yum.
Victor declares the whole thing to be nasty and disgusting, but heís actually a damn good cheerleader, egging the struggling Tammy on with positive comments instead of berating her. Vic, I take back all those bad things I said about you back in Romania. Youíre okay with me.
Contrast this with Jaimeís ranting at her friend Cara, who canít seem to hold her end of the oinker up. Jaime complains long and loud about losing the million bucks, asking Cara what her problem is. Of course, the camera dude gets in a shot of their bikini-clad butts.
Yes, for some inexplicable reason, all the racers have changed into their bathing suits for this leg. Ratings. Pff!
Even though they were last to get to the pig task, Margie and Luke whiz right by the other two teams. Say what you will about Margie, that is one strong woman! Tammy and Cara drop the pole about 300 times before arriving at the cooking station, where they finally get to drop the pig on the stones and cover it with the proper stuff: palm fronds, sand and such. I canít say I was paying much attention, having developed an odd craving for barbeque.
Next: they must swim out to a jet ski and hunt among a field of buoys for a specially marked one. Margie and Luke go first, and Luke wastes no time in starting his ďMom mom mom moooooommmmm!!Ē mess, causing Margie to snap at him, telling him to stop yelling. Luke finds the buoy with the clue, and they head back, passing Jaime and Cara on the way out. Tammy and Victor are right behind them - Tammy tells her brother to drive the jet ski and let her do the searching, and he agrees. Then he promptly begins searching again. Control issues much?
All finish the jet ski task with relative ease, zipping back to land and getting into taxis to hunt for a surfboard fence along the highway. I have to wonder: how on earth is it that Jaime and Cara have gotten the worst cab drivers the world over? Their driver takes them to the wrong surfboard place, while Tammy and Vic get stuck behind a Sunday driver with no option to pass on the highway. I wonder if slow-driving-guy saw himself on the show and was embarrassed. Iíd be mortified to be identified on some TV show as some random doofus who couldnít drive.
Surf's Up, But their Pants Aren't
At the surfboard fence awaits the Roadblock, and the infamous memory task that has kicked the collective butts of teams for years now. A huge pile of vintage surfboards sits in a field, and all have pictures on them. Some are indicative of each leg, some are just random, useless pictures. The relevant ones have to be picked out and lined up in order of occurrence.
Luke says he has a good memory and hops to it, pretty much nailing them all. Except the last two, which he struggles with. He also struggles to keep his shorts on, whipping them off to reveal his bathing suit underneath. As he tries to figure out the last two pictures, Tammy and Victor arrive.
The redheads? Are still stuck in their cab, lost. The driver pulls over for directions, calling in to his base. The woman who answers barks that he needs to tell his people that she is not their personal concierge and doesnít have time to be hunting directions for them. Well, howís that for service. Jaime, fed up with crappy cab drivers the world over, snatches the phone and makes her own call: to the police. Who have to know where all the streets are. And they do! And the driver gets his directions.
Then stops for gas. Oh, bother. Jaime fumes. Cara sits quietly in the back, probably rethinking her criteria for friends.
Meanwhile, Victor is absolutely killing the surfboard task with his mad memory skills. And a pair of wet, baggy shorts like Luke, so Victor joins the party and presents his Speedos to the world. Did nobody bring a belt with them? Really now. Victor makes short work of the Roadblock, getting them all correct the first time and taking off with a shaking, happy Tammy to the final Pit Stop.
This leaves Luke getting into one of his frustrated moods. And once he gets irritated, he canít focus. The redheads finally make it, and Jaime gets immediately confused by all the extraneous surfboards. Once she realizes whatís going on, she lines up her boards in order - except for the first one, which she canít remember. Luke flips his boards, showing her what sheís missing. Sheís done! Jaime runs to take her clue to Cara, who reminds her to go back and help Luke. She says she is. And she does, showing Luke the last board with the scorpion picture. Who is this woman, and what has she done with Jaime? This one is almost...nice! Luke canít believe he forgot the scorpion munchies already. Off they go to the mat.
In the cabs, Luke is upset. Margie tells him itís okay. Jaime cries, apologizes to Cara. Sad music plays.
And apparently it just didnít matter, as the editors didnít even try to make it look like a close finish. Cue the happy music! Tammy and Victor bound over to the great big million dollar Amazing Bathmat, grinning happily upon learning that they won the big bucks. All of the Philiminated teams are there: Mel and Mike! Yay! Brad and Victoria! Woo! The cute young couple, and the bitchy couple. Kisha and Jen, whom I hope went potty before this. Tears flow, teams hug, people clap. Tammy laughs that she has no pants on, and says sheís glad to have went through it all with her brother. It helped their relationship.
In come the stragglers, Jaime and Cara second and Margie and Luke third. Jaime blames herself, but Cara says no, sheís just happy they finished together. Now that is one good friend. Margie is proud of Luke, and he says heís happy to have a mom who signs because apparently not many parents of deaf children do. Really?
A little more crying, lots more hugging (no, I did not see Margie and Luke hug Kisha and Jen). And we are all done with season fourteen! Have no fear, they are casting for season fifteen, to be aired sometime this fall. Weíll just have to think happy Phil thoughts til then.
The fat lady, she has sung.