This season of The Amazing Race
wraps up with one realization: do not rule out one team. Something surprising might just change the game.
I mean, who didn't think Jet and Cord, the cowboys who've run the last eleven legs with such savvy, wouldn't win the race? Well, odd things did happen, and a smart decision at the beginning of the leg turned out to seal everybody's fates and led the most unexpected of teams to win the million dollars.
And that team isn't Brent and Caite.
They may have left the pit stop first--they were headed to San Francisco--but their dumb luck ran out once they boarded their cab and headed to Battery Godfrey, a military outpost looking out at the Golden Gate Bridge. Once again, Brent managed to confuse me with his uncharacteristic calm. As their cab went in circles, it was Caite who struggled to keep her emotions in check. Sure, Brent had his zingers ("Why are we in America where nobody speaks English?"), but in the end he was the apologetic one. "Thank you, sorry, thank you," he told the cab driver when they finally found their destination.
That goof pretty much put them in third place, which honestly is where they should've been. They disappeared from our screens until they arrived at this season's finish line, Candlestick Park. Caite got over her frustrations and was really subdued... at least until Carol and Brandy acted really unhappy. As expected, it was the models who U-turned the lesbians in Singapore. "I don't wanna hear sorry from you," Brandy said, still reeling from Caite not U-turning the cowboys. "You purposely whacked us." Fortunately, Caite quickly defused the situation with a pageant-like "I love you all!"
Unfortunately, the cowboys didn't get it either. They may have finished second, and they may have arrived at the airport quickly--it was another terminal bottleneck--but their fates were sealed when brothers Dan and Jordan pulled a really smart, if sneaky, trick: they put their backpacks behind the models', effectively cutting in line and pushing the cowboys to third. "We haven't done a dirty thing in the entire race until now," Jordan later said. "You can hate the game all you want, but you can't hate the player."
The brothers later pulled another sneaky stunt: they asked to be moved to first class once they boarded the plane to San Francisco. I'm sure that isn't against the rules, since they only upgraded after boarding their economy class seats, as opposed to buying first class at the airport. What followed was a neck-and-neck race between the two teams, although the cowboys failed to catch up as they climbed the Coit Tower and headed to the Lucasfilm studios for one of the coolest tasks ever.
Dan and Jordan really had it in the bag. That's not to say the cowboys didn't try. When they reached the Lucasfilm studios, where one had to guide the other through a virtual reality map leading to the next clue, Cord decided to distract Dan by spewing out these weird instructions. Jet, who was donning the motion capture suit, was similarly confused by the faux commands. "Skip! Jump! Crawl! Ballet move! Four 360-degree turns!" Dan got pissed, but they finished first anyway. It helped that Jet couldn't move forward since Jordan was literally in front of him.
Now, we all know the brothers' back story: It was Jordan's dream to run the race, as he's been a huge fan for the past 15 seasons, and Dan wanted those dreams fulfilled even though he doesn't like traveling. Jordan was smart enough to know that the very last task had to be a memory challenge recapping the last eleven legs, but it was an unusually easy task that they had at the Great American Music Hall. After a cryptic clue ("Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, if you want to be at the finish line, jump on over to ___"), difficulty finding a cab, the sports fans headed to Candlestick Park and won The Amazing Race. I honestly preferred the cowboys, but I don't mind the upset. For a team that's struggled for most of the race, this is a much-deserved win.
And that's it for the season, kids! It's been fun watching it, and it's been fun covering it, too. I'll have our best moments of the race, as well as my interviews with the final three teams, within the week. Until then, stay on your toes and we'll do this again in the fall.
(Images courtesy of CBS)