'The Amazing Race' Season 23 Finale Recap: Which Team Wins?
'The Amazing Race' Season 23 Finale Recap: Which Team Wins?
Kim Stempel
Kim Stempel
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
It is finally time to find out which globe-trotting team will be the winner of The Amazing Race. Last time, Jason and Amy were the first team to reach the Pit Stop, followed by Timothy and Marie (Reebs). Nicole and Travis grabbed third place.

Leo and Jamal (the Afghanimals), after a disastrous Detour, were the final team to reach the mat and were elated to learn that it was a non-elimination leg. The cousins will have to complete an additional task, a Speed Bump, which certainly may impact their chances of winning.

So who will reach the final Pit Stop first and win The Amazing Race? Let's find out!

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The Alliance of Three

Jason and Amy receive the first clue, and the teams are off to Tokyo. This couple plan to continue working with Nicole and Travis. Leo and Jamal are enthused to head to Gotokuji, which is a temple that houses ceramic cat statues. Unfortunately for the Afghanimals, the other three teams are plotting to make sure that they don't reach the final three. Can't we all just get along, kids?

Leo and Jamal book the same flight as the other teams, but decide to do some additional research and board a different flight that gets them to Tokyo a few minutes earlier than the others.

Meanwhile, the other teams have to wait for an additional taxi, and they do not have the address of the temple. Well, Reebs actually has the address, but she is holding it hostage until someone gets her a taxi since she is upset that the other teams planned to leave without them. Nicole and Travis and Jason and Amy are not in the mood for these shenanigans and hop in the two waiting taxis. So much for team work.

Wild Challenges

Leo and Jamal reach the temple first and encounter a Detour, which consists of two challenges: "Knock It Down" or "Call It Up."  In "Knock it Down," teams must become a human bowling ball for a popular Japanese game show. Once they have scored a strike, they will receive the next clue. In the "Call it Up" challenge, teams must make a phone call from inside an old telephone booth filled with water and live gold fish. When they dial the number and hear the message, they must run and tell their partner to receive the next clue.

In an unusual turn of events, the taxi drivers for Nicole and Travis, Jason and Amy, and Timothy and Reebs want to continue to follow each other.

Bowling for Clues


Leo and Jamal are excited to do the "Bowling" Detour, but their enthusiasm is tempered by climbing up and down the slippery carpeted hill when they fail to knock down enough pins.

Jason and Amy and Nicole and Travis decide to do the "Call it Up" challenge and split from Timothy and Reebs, who are off to try their hand at the "Bowling" challenge. Amy and Travis have to don speedo-type orange swimsuits and fish caps to make the aquatic phone call. Sexy!

Leo and Jamal finally bowl a strike, and pick up the host and spin him around in triumph. Say what you will, but the Afghanimals always have fun with whatever they are doing. When Timothy and Reebs arrive, they see all the other teams' costumes there, so they assume that Leo and Jamal haven't been there yet. Timothy pushes Reebs so hard that she nearly flies off the donut ring that she is riding. This ex-couple completes the task relatively quickly.

The Zookeeper's Apprentices

Leo and Jamal find their Speed Bump and must become apprentice zookeepers and capture an escaped rhino. The fact that it is a fake rhino being worn by actual human beings is wonderfully weird. Soon, Nicole and Travis and Jason and Amy arrive and discover a Roadblock, "Pipe Up or Go Home."  For this challenge, teams must build a robot. Nicole and Amy set out to work together once again.

Mr. Robot

Reebs cannot find the tiny model, and asks Nicole and Amy where it is. They don't answer, and Leo helps her. Reebs is not happy with the other ladies, but she soon surpasses them. She finishes first and gets the next clue. Teams must find a roaming vending machine in Tokyo.

Travis and Jason are incredibly frustrated that they didn't perform the Roadblock, and Travis remarks that Nicole "is weak."  Not nice, Travis! Amy completes her robot, and then tries to help a struggling Nicole, much to Jason's dismay. Leo, while off to a good start, cannot figure out what is wrong with his model.

The Next Pit Stop

Timothy and Reebs find the vending machine and get the next clue. Teams are headed to the ancient Konno Hachimangu Shrine by foot, which is the Pit Stop. Timothy and Reebs reach host Phil Keoghan first. They also win a trip to Aruba, and Reebs wastes no time telling Phil that they will not be going as a couple.

Nicole finally finishes her robot, but her husband's angry lecture in the cab brings her to tears.
Jason and Amy snag second place, and Nicole and Travis come in third place.

The Elimination

Leo and Jamal arrive last and find their racing dreams dashed.

Alaska Bound

Timothy and Reebs get their clue first, and they are headed to Juneau, Alaska. Teams must find Douglas Harbor and take a boat to Grizzly Bar to find the next clue. Reebs also reveals that she made Timothy sign a contract that agreed to a 60% split of all prizes won, in her favor.  After a scramble for taxis once they land, the teams board the boats to locate the next clue.

They encounter a Roadblock, which simulates a supply drop from a small plane. Teams must drop a bag of flour on a target. The ladies take on the challenge. Amy hits the mark on her second attempt.

Where are the teams headed next? They are going to a glacier by helicopter to take part in an ice expedition. They must then find the next clue frozen in the ice and use an ice ax to remove it. Sounds easy enough, right?

Missing the Mark

When Nicole is the last person still completing the Roadblock, Travis is not a happy fellow. She finally makes it on the 21st attempt. Nicole feels disappointed in herself, and her husband giving her the silent treatment on the flight to the glacier isn't making her feel better.

Glacier Games

The glacier is breathtaking. Teams must go down the glacier backwards, then cross a rickety metal ladder bridge before climbing up the other side of the glacier. Jason and Amy complete the climb first, then head into an ice tunnel in the glacier. They emerge to find an ice wall where the clues are buried, but some are fakes. This dating duo finally grabs an actual clue. They discover that teams must hike down to the shore and paddle a tandem kayak to a marked island to obtain the next clue.

Dangerous Climb


At the same time, Nicole is struggling on the glacier and nearly falls off when she drops one of her ice picks. She keeps going with just one pick. Way to go, Nicole!

Show Us the Money

In the kayak, Timothy and Reebs bicker while they row. Jason and Amy finally reach the island and head off to Juneau by helicopter to find Blueberry Hills Trailhead. Once they reach the trailhead, teams must use blocks to build a wall of totem poles that spell out the name of the currency of each of the countries they have visited. Yikes!

Jason and Amy are working well together, but they do not remember the name of the currencies. Soon, Timothy and Reebs arrive and remember most of the currency names. When Nicole and Travis arrive, he is still resentful about his wife's performance. Jason and Amy finish first, with Timothy and Reebs close behind.

The Pit Stop

The final Pit Stop for The Amazing Race is the end of North Douglas Highway.

And the Winners Are...


Jason and Amy win the race and the million dollar prize! Jason tells Phil and the other teams that the race, for them, was about working together and challenging themselves.

Timothy and Reebs arrive next, and Phil asks about the payment agreement that the exes made. I am still shocked about that.

Finally, Nicole and Travis hit the mat, and she cries about disappointing her husband. Travis admits to being disappointed, but also remarks that he loves her.

What do you think of Jason and Amy winning The Amazing Race? Let us know in the comments below.

(Image courtesy of CBS)



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