The Amazing Race season 24 finale is upon us, with one of the final three teams set to cross the finish line first for a cool $1 million. And while anything can happen, there is no denying that only one team really deserves it.

David and Connor have combined skill, luck and capitalizing on opponents’ mistakes to step on the Pit Stop mat before all other teams in five of the 11 previous legs, while both Brendon and Rachel and Caroline and Jennifer would be watching from the sidelines if not for non-elimination legs.

And not only have the country singers not won a leg ever, they finished last and needed to be saved on two separate occasions. Still, all things considered, it would almost be poetic justice if they somehow found a way to win it all. 

There has been a clear divide of the front, middle and back of the pack this season, and we’ve got one team left from each tier. A fitting final three would have included the Afghanimals and the cowboys, but fate saw it different and here we are. 

So who will fortunes shine upon and who will go home empty-handed? Will it be the deserving father-son duo? The annoying married couple with the flair for drama, waterworks and meltdowns? Or the sometimes-bumbling bestie singers who have ridden a wave of chance to the end? Let’s find out.

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A Sin of a City

David and Connor were the first to arrive at Peckforton Castle, and they depart first at 4:31am. Teams will now fly to their final destination, Las Vegas, which is also where Brendon and Rachel live or lived. Caroline and Jennifer leave seven minutes later, and Jennifer went to high school in Sin City. So it would appear David and Connor are at a slight disadvantage, but at least everyone will speak English there. 

Brendon and Rachel opens the clue at 4:52am, and she is so excited that she makes noises only a dog can hear. They are supremely confident, knowing a win is in their future so that a Rosemary’s Brenchel baby can be brought into the world. Which means that hopefully, this is their last reality show. 

All three teams are on the same flight, and upon landing, a driver whisks them off to their next destination. Apparently, Rachel pushed Caroline or Jennifer in the Customs line and a brief word scuffle ensued. Brenchel and their stupid dangling beaded green headbands gloat about the run-in in their SUV, with Rachel boasting that if she had pushed one of the girls, they’d know because they’d be on the ground. 

A Dig in the Desert and a War of Words

The teams are driven out to the middle of the desert, where they are handed shovels and told to dig. Things take a turn for the nasty as David and Connor tell Brendon and Rachel to stop throwing dirt in their hole, and Rachel tells them to shut up. Caroline and Jennifer call them dirty players, and Brendon lands a zinger by telling the singers not to be upset that Rachel runs faster than them. And boom goes the dynamite. 

David and Connor, as usual, find the buried box first. It reads “Property of David Copperfield,” and they must figure out a way to open it and return its contents to “the lot.” Brenchel and the girls follow suit, with Rachel keeping it classy by dropping this line on the car ride back to Vegas: “The reason I told him to shut up is because he’s so stupid … If I could, I would go back and put more dirt in their hole.”

Houdini’s Escape

David and Connor arrive at the MGM Grand first, but Brenchel is the only team that’s opened the box and found a set of 50 keys. It’s a Roadblock — Do You Believe in Magic? — and the teams must learn the secrets of a daring Copperfield-ian escape. They will be locked inside a wooden crate, where they’ll have to use the keys to unlock their shackles. Then they have to look for lock picks outside the crate and use them to release the chains holding them captive.

David smashes the box on the ground to get his keys while Connor gets in the box, but the country singers struggle to open theirs and allow Rachel to leapfrog them. Finding the correct key is tedious work, but Connor frees himself first and gets started on picking the lock as techs set the box on fire and raise it into the night sky. Once he’s done, David flips a switch that sends the flaming crate crashing to the ground. But since Copperfield’s in the house, it’s all an illusion, and Connor appears dressed in fireman’s gear.

They’re off to the Neon Boneyard Museum, full of old sign relics, to search for their next clue. As is par for the course, Benchel completes the task second, followed by the singers.

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Bright Lights, Neon City

David and Connor search the boneyard for the clue, which instructs them to unscrew a light bulb from the silver and red question mark sign and take it to the Mirage, where the ‘I’ is out. The question mark is directly next to the clue box, but Brenchel search the grounds for it instead. Rachel apparently used to work at the Mirage, continuing her streak of having experience in every aspect of the race challenges. 

They leave the museum as Caroline and Jennifer arrive, and the jerks do everything in their power to steal the country singers’ taxi, even offering the driver $25. How anyone can like these two is beyond me. Luckily, the cabbie doesn’t take the bait, even vowing to catch the girls up to the Brenchels when they get back. And he’s not joking.

David and Connor’s cab gets lost, and Caroline and Jennifer arrive first at the hotel. The teams must use a window-washer cart to replace all the bulbs in the letter ‘I’ high atop the hotel and also keep track of how many bulbs they use. 

Brendon and Rachel talk to their cab driver like he’s a toddler, and he naturally gets stuck behind a bus. Then they end up in the hotel lobby and run through the hallways looking for the clue, and Brendon suggests they search the hotel for it. Then when they finally find it, and Rachel puts all the blame squarely on Brendon. It’s classic Brenchel. 

David and Connor pass the girls and finish the task first, getting about a minute head start on the way to Maverick Helicopters. Brenchel brings up the rear, with tears a fallin’. 

Skydive to the Finish

After hitting a dead end, Dave and Connor’s cab passes Caroline and Jennifer’s, and they arrive at the heliport just a few seconds ahead of the girls. It’s another Roadblock — Light Up the Sky — and one team member will be skydiving from 10,000 feet in a futuristic suit. But first, they must fly over the strip and locate their drop point: the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. 

It’s David vs. Caroline for the win, and Rachel won’t stop her whiny crying as Brendon dresses for the jump.

Both David and Caroline spot the sign and plummet to the finish, and it’s a trail of lights as they streak to the ground. No one on the ground knows who it is, but then David lands and greets his son, and they run to the finish to become the first parent-child team to win The Amazing Race. David is also the oldest winner in 24 seasons, and all is right in the world. 

Caroline and Jennifer finish a close second and immediately embrace their alliance mates, both just thankful that Brenchel didn’t win. A tearful David laments the journey he’s taken with his son, and then an even more tearful Rachel and Brendon step on the mat in third. They will be waiting on that Brenchel baby, and once again, all is right in the world. 

Who were you hoping would win, and were you happy with the way the race played out? Do you think Brendon and Rachel’s bad karma moves bit them in the butt? Or were they victims of bad luck? Do you like the all-stars format, or are you ready to meet some new teams as The Amazing Race embarks on its 25th season in the fall? And what’s up with the move to Fridays? Will it help or hurt the classic reality franchise? Either way, we’ll see you then!

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Bill King

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Emmy-winning news producer & former BuddyTV blogger. Lover of Philly sports, Ned, Zoe, Liam and Delaine…not in that order