'The Amazing Race' Finale Recap: Missteps and Millions
'The Amazing Race' Finale Recap: Missteps and Millions
The race around the world comes to another close as the remaining four teams have to go through two more legs of the race for their chance to win $1 million. Sadly, Team Kentucky will not be able to win due to some weird loophole in the rules like we all hoped would happen.

C'Mon Down!

The racers are told that they will be leaving India and heading to Hiroshima, Japan. All the teams are on the same flight, so the drama doesn't start until they land. They are told they have to go to a shrine for their next clue, and in order to get there they must take two trains, a taxi and a ferry.

In all the moving and dealing with the Japanese language, the Army couple doesn't make the last ferry in time and are forced to wait until the next morning. The other three teams make the ferry but learn they won't get their clue until daybreak. Looks like Army has some good fortune on their side. The next morning, Army makes it to the shrine with the other teams and get the next clue, which directs them to a TV studio.

Army and Big Brother take the train to the studio, while Border Patrol and the Divorcees take taxis. It looks like that was the better plan, with Border Patrol arriving first. They must participate in a Japanese game show and fund along a moving strip of ground and grab chickens hanging above them. Art makes quick work of the job and gets their next clue. The other three teams arrive at the studio at the same time, with Rachel taking second and Brendon taking third. Vanessa, who is nursing a terribly sprained ankle, falls behind everyone else. After many slips, falls, rolls and bumps, she finally pulls through and finishes.

Final Three

The next stop of the leg takes the teams to the Floating Gardens at the Sky Building. It's like the whole country is a real life anime world! There, the teams must choose whether they want to play sushi bingo or take photos of people in a sumo cardboard cut-out. Army chooses the picture challenge, while all the other teams decide to do the sushi bingo. I would explain how the bingo game works, but it is so overly complicated that all three teams struggle with it when they try it. Meanwhile, Army gets all of their pictures and go to the pit stop, where they finish first for the seventh time in the race.

Back at sushi bingo, Border Patrol finally figures out what to do and finishes while Big Brother struggles. As Border Patrol leave, the Divorcees finally show up and get to work. They make up a lot of time due to Rachel having yet another breakdown and screaming at Brendon. Big Brother finally finishes, with the Divorcees not far behind. At the castle where the pit stop is, all three teams have a hard time finding Phil. It's like the season premiere all over again! Border Patrol finally finds him and finishes second, with Big Brother taking the last spot for the million dollars. Vanessa and Ralph will be at the end of the race, but only as spectators.

Final Destination

The final three teams will now travel to Hawaii to finish the race. Once again, the great equalizer of a shared plane ride will get all the racers there at the same time. When they land, the teams fight for cabs and must solve a riddle to find their next clue. They are supposed to go to a pair of Twin Towers, and Army's cab driver figures that out quickly. Border Patrol don't bother solving the puzzle and instead tells their cabbie to follow Army. Big Brother figure out the answer before they get a cab, so they are bringing up the rear.

Army pulls away from Border Patrol, leaving them lost and confused. At the Towers, teams must go to the roof via ropes, find their next destination and rappel back down. Army quickly finishes this, with Big Brother on their heels.

Border Patrol loses a lot of ground blindly driving around the city until they are told where to go. When they arrive, they are far behind the other two teams. After the rappel, teams must get to the park where they saw the next checkpoint. There, they have to fill a bucket with shaved ice with a random cameo from the fat Hawaiian guy from Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I guess there aren't many casting calls for a man of his type.

The teams are instructed to go BY FOOT to a helicopter waiting for them in a park nearby. Army gets there first, and trying to stay close, Big Brother decides to take a taxi to Aloha Stadium. This is why Rachel shouldn't be trusted with the clues. This gives time for Border Patrol to catch up and move into second place.

Wrong Turn

After the helicopter ride, teams must take a jet ski out and rescue a distressed swimmer. Army, still comfortably in the lead, finishes easily and gets their next clue. Border Patrol is still way behind in second, with Big Brother even further back in third. On the way to the next clue, Army somehow gets turned around and skips the roadblock and paddle board to the finish line. They think they have won, but are told they have to go back and finish the part that they skipped. The go back only to find Border Patrol there ahead of them.

At the roadblock, one person must go down a hill on a thin, wooden sled, then bowl a rock into a net. Art seems to be having a rough time with the sled. He consistently fails again and again, and when Army shows up, JJ realizes that they had their chance to win but blew it.

Rachel quickly makes it down with the sled and finishes the rock bowling. They retrieve their clue and already know what they have to do. They get to the finish line for the SECOND time and are officially named the greatest racers of all time and space in The Amazing Race. Their eighth win is the only one that counts, and it nets them a million bucks. Border Patrol nearly gets passed by Big Brother, but pulls out a second place finish, with Big Brother bringing up the rear.

Out of the final three teams, I guess Rachel and Dave were the ones I rooted for. More for Rachel and less for Dave, but at least Art and JJ didn't win. They somehow became my least favorite, which is saying something considering Rachel and Brendon were still racing. And just like that, another season of The Amazing Race ends.

Chase Gamradt
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of CBS)

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