The season finale of The Amazing Race has Titanic servers, graffiti artists, bog snorkeling, zip lining, picture taking, globe diving and spying. Who is the next Amazing Racer? Scratch that: who will win The Amazing Race? Much better.

The Amazing Race Finale Likeability Rankings: Likeability Equals Success >>>

The episode starts off by reviewing the teams in the competition. I should note who I’m rooting for to win, but I’d be lying if I said I had a favorite. Really, I’d be happy with Caroline and Jennifer, Bates and Anthony or Max and Katie (though I am quite partial to Bates). Mostly, I would be livid if the Roller Derby Moms won. If they are a strong team, then I am a dumb blonde.

Caroline and Jennifer: They started on the wrong note, but flirted and charmed their way throughout. With a positive spirit and a flirtatious charm, the two became very close with the Hockey Players. Despite making it to the final four, the two have never come in first. Also like…

Roller Derby Moms/Mona and Beth: I think this is the most we have ever learned about them — from their highlights reel. Seriously. But it has failed to teach me who is who.

Bates and Anthony: There have been some really high highs and some really low lows for these professional athletes. Physically, they are probably the fittest team.

Max and Katie: For the Newlyweds, this is their honeymoon. I joked earlier this season that these two were terrible for each other, but over the course of the season, the two have really grown to be a strong team and couple. 

Also, it’s the last time for the opening credits. While watching, I realize I miss Pam and Winnie.

A Gigantic Titanic of a Problem 

The teams now must train and ferry to Belfast, Northern Ireland. Of course, there is a lot of layover and a slumber party for everyone. Also, did everyone get new clothes? Max rubs in his lead over Mona and Beth to Mona and Beth (which gets a smirk out of me). And Bates and Anthony say the Roller Derby Moms are the strongest competitors. WHAT? What about Caro and Jen? 

So with all of this new information about Mona and Beth … I still don’t know who is who. 

After arriving, teams split up to get to their Roadblock. Translation: two teams go the right way and two teams go the wrong way. Why would Caroline and Jennifer follow the team that gets lost the easiest? Answer: I have no clue.

Roadblock: Bog Snorkeling. Teams will now ride out on a train, and snorkel in a bog lap. In under four minutes. They wear these skin-tight snorkeling suits; everyone looks good in their bathing suits, if I may shallowly add. The weather does not look at all pleasant. In fact, it looks very cold and miserable as it is difficult to see and breathe.

Two teams freak out doing it: Mona (or Beth) and Jennifer. Mona (or Beth) has a spaz attack as soon as she gets out, screaming for the wet suit to be off of her. Jennifer’s having some difficulty, though. Of the bog variety. She’s not exactly a great swimmer, and she is getting quite claustrophobic. Caroline, meanwhile, is really encouraging and supportive, giving Jennifer some positive strength. They are a really great team, or at least teammates. Even though they fall behind because Jen has to do the course several times, the two remain each other’s rocks while traveling. Of course, they flirt for directions. So that helps.

I say that they are a great team because everything about Mona and Beth tells me they are not. All this time is spent on them recently (and previously), and they get frustrated with one another too frequently. They think they are a stronger team than they are. And with the exception of the earlier teams and Chuck and Wynona, I think they are the worst team to make it as far as they did.

After the bog snorkeling, teams must drive for a detour. Tray It: in the place where the Titanic was built (side note: is that something to brag about?), teams must use a menu and seating chart for reference wherein one team member prepares dishes and the other serves to the correct passengers. After successfully delivering five courses, teams can move on. Or Spray It: teams must finish one side of a piece of graffiti art to the artist’s specifications.

One is clearly easier than the other based on the description. In actuality, Spray It is a thousand times easier.

See, in Tray It, the menus and food are not easily marked. The server has to run down flights of stairs and then 100 yards just to the tent. Also, what color is chartreuse? 

It is a really draining challenge, physically and mentally. Everyone fails to read the initial menu that teams must serve oysters as the first course. Max and Katie are confused by it, but manage not to be screwed over until the chartreuse portion. Mona and Beth? Screwed. Just completely screwed. They don’t even figure out there are five courses until Anthony mentions it to either Mona or Beth (still can’t tell). 

As for Bates and Anthony, this challenge is incredibly frustrating. Anthony drops the plates. Bates is tired and angry, about to kill Anthony. I don’t know why they don’t switch at one point, but if Anthony wasn’t also a pro hockey player, I would have been worried at Bates’ rage. My poor baby Bates!

Because Mona and Beth are failing so epically, there is a possibility that Caroline and Jennifer can catch up over at Spray It. Nice job on the graffiti art, girls!

Elsewhere, Max and Katie and Bates and Anthony are raising to Ulster Hall, serving as the pit stop in this leg of the race. Max and Katie and Bates and Anthony spot one another from the street and cars, respectively. Max and Katie run so fast after the spotting that I’m laughing so loud. It’s so comical and intense. I’m not sure when I started loving these two idiots, but alas.

Since this a race for who will make the Top 3, I am hoping it’s Caroline and Jennifer so badly. I want them to race with Bates and Anthony. But I just know it will be Mona and Beth, which makes me sad. 

And I hate that they are in the Top 3. I hate it. The whole season, they had been behind and under-featured and boring. Yes, this is a competition and they were “better” competitors. But this is also a reality show, and Caroline and Jennifer are more fun to watch. All are attractive ladies, but I’d want to drink a cocktail with Caroline and Jennifer or have them paint my nails or, at the very least, watch them on my TV every Sunday night for three months. 

So later, baby Caroline and Jennifer. If there is a future season where they take from past contestants, I hope Caroline and Jennifer are on it. 

Part Patriotic, Part Idiotic Part 2

From Belfast, teams must take a ferry to Liverpool and then to London. An eight-hour ferry ride. Teams must fly out from London to Washington, D.C. The capital of the United States, in case you Amazing Race viewers did not know that. The next clue is at the Lincoln Memorial.

The clue, where Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, tells teams to go to 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue to take a picture with the President. Excuse me! How is that possible? 

Max mentions he is a big Republican — like I didn’t know that, Rush Limbaugh, Jr. — but he’s respectful enough to meet the guy. I’m not sure whether to love, hate or be ambiguous towards Max here. So teams go to this tourist attraction place where you take a picture in the story and photoshop yourself meeting the prez. THIS IS AN INDUSTRY, folks. I find that amusing.

In other news, Bates takes off his hat because he and Anthony (and everyone else) are gullible enough to believe they’re meeting the President. Bates continues to be my favorite.

After these escapades, teams must find a marked car and knock in the window three times to get a briefcase with the clue. Some producer has seen All The President’s Men too many times.

For this Roadblock, teams must figure out which one of these 50 agents is carrying the correct clue. And must get the right combination by figuring out which place they came in New Zealand, somewhere else and Thailand. My notes were deleted, okay!

So basically, they have to say this password to the correct agent and then put some memory to use. Except, nearly everyone kept thorough notes throughout the competition. Booyah! This makes me so happy for some reason.

This task is really difficult because a lot of it has to do with luck. Bates and Anthony happen to specialize in this sort of luck (like earlier this season), and Bates finds his guy early. Max is not so lucky because he is running miles and miles around D.C. to find his secret agent man. 

After gathering some clue intelligence, the spies make their way to the D.C. baseball field for a new clue and challenge. Detour: one team member is suspended high above the stadium and throws the ball to their ball partner, in which they must catch it. Did I mention they wear costumes? 

It’s pretty amusing, to say the least. If the ball is dropped or not caught, then the zipline must start over. It’s really difficult because of the cage on the catcher’s head and the ball costume they wear. 

Mona and Beth try and fail. The mascots give a congratulatory hand in between each try.

After this Detour, teams must travel to Hains Point. In a giant pit of plastic globes, one team member must search through globes to find the 10 countries they have visited. After handing them to their partner, they must put the globes in the correct order in which they have traveled.  

Placing the countries’ geographical location seems more difficult in theory. But Bates and Anthony say it’s easier this time because all they do on flights is read those in-flight magazines about the countries. Again, this makes me happy for no reason except for the sneaking suspicion that I want Bates and Anthony to win.

Luckily, they have a substantial lead, but this ball challenge is time consuming and difficult. Once the countries are in the right place, the earth opens up. Now, teams must race to George Washington’s home: Mount Vernon. 

Considering we don’t even see Max and Katie and Mona and Beth at the same time as Bates and Anthony, Bates and Anthony are now clearly going to win, am I right? Yep. Team #1! And look at all of our old friends! Pam and Winnie! Chuck and Wynona! Team You-Know-Who! Those firefighter guys!

5 continents. 10 countries. 30,000 miles. Bates and Anthony are the official winners. False teeth jokes galore! Max ad Katie come together in second, clearly disappointed. They are going home with cash prizes, Ford Fusions and vacations, though. Oh, and a stronger marriage. Mona and Beth come in third. And I think I might know who is who now.

We get some other interviews from the other losers. And excuse me! Dave and Connor are being interviewed. As if I care about their health. Really, producers, really? What about Bates and Anthony?! Where’s their interview? But my girls Caro and Jen are happy for them and their lifelong friendship. Does anyone else want them to date? Because the next thing we see are fireworks. 

Okay. So that’s the season! What did you think of season 22? Tired of my complaining about mental challenges? Or of producer interventions? Are you excited to see Bates and Anthony win?! Who do you think should have won? Who were you secretly cheering for? Talk in the comments!

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(Image courtesy of CBS)

Emily E. Steck

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV