The Amazing Race ended its 26th season with one of its better episodes. For the most part all the teams were neck in neck the entire time. The Amazing Race stayed true to its name and the final leg became a constant toss up between the four, (but pretty much three), remaining teams. At the end of it, a winning team was crowned and it was probably the one most deserving. 

Dallas, Home of the Cowboys

The teams can barely hide their disappointment that all four teams will be racing in the finale. There is little time to dwell on it and not just because Hayley is constantly screeching at Blair to “go.” They all hop on the same flight and make their way to Dallas and the AT&T Stadium, the home of the second most hated football team in America, as long as “Deflate Gate” continues. 

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In the home of the Dallas Cowboys, the challenge inexplicably involves all the men being shot up through a pulley system up to the top of the stadium and receiving a playbook. Everything else is much more football-related. They all have to receive a pass in the end zone and kick a field goal before they can proceed. All the teams finish pretty rapidly. When Laura and Tyler’s cab driver doesn’t know the next location, Hayley and Blair end up in first place. 

Race on the Range

At the next challenge, Tyler gets to do his favorite thing of dressing up as they need to become literal cowboys now. The teams have to usher cattle into a pen across the field while on horseback. All the blind date couples arrive first and finish quickly. 

Mike and Rochelle continue their season long trend of bad luck. Their taxi needs gas, so they get to the challenge too late. They are eliminated. They probably didn’t have much of a realistic chance of winning but it’s still sad to see them go.

Hayley and Blair Extreme Bickering

The remaining teams have to repel down the Reunion Tower. While descending, they have to spot the marked flags that signal their next destination. Once they’ve found the flags, they must reach the ground and make their way by car to the location.

Hayley and Blair get to the tower first. Hayley doesn’t let a difference of fifty stories keep her from nagging Blair. She stubbornly believes she has spotted the right markers, but she is terribly wrong. It’s nothing but similarly colored poles, not the flags they need to find. As the other teams arrive, Blair and Hayley hop in the car searching toward the wrong area. 

Despite being on opposing teams Jenny and Laura work together and find the correct location. There are ten flags in an empty field, waving in the breeze heralding them in the right direction. Meanwhile, Hayley is yelling at Blair. Apparently Blair needs to pull the location from midair as Hayley squawks at him to “Listen!” Even though Hayley was supposed to find the correct area, this is somehow all Blair’s fault. Fortunately for all our eardrums, Hayley eventually figures out that they’ve been looking for the wrong area and goes back to scale the tower again to find the correct one!

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! Monster Trucks and Selfies!

The other two teams have already sped off to the next spot. Here, they need to drive monster trucks over a mud pit and to their final challenge. Once they’re on the other side they have to post pictures of their selfies from their adventure to a world map. The teams must put the selfies in chronological order from when they visited each location. 

Before they can start their mad selfie posting, they must unlock a combination based on their previous destinations to access the picture. Laura and Tyler struggle with the combination while Jelani and Jenny get it on their first try. Laura and Tyler quickly make up ground once they unlock the combination and start pasting their selfies to the map. They overtake Jelani and Jenny and finish the challenge first. It’s probably a product of clever editing but it looks like Jelani and Jenny are right behind them.

Hayley and Blair are far behind by the time they finally find the monster trucks. Hayley is very concerned with Blair’s car safety. He needs to click it and zip it!

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Laura and Tyler Win!

It’s a race between Jelani and Jenny and Laura and Tyler for who can get the finish first and who can be more condescending to their taxi driver. Laura and Tyler lose one, (they are slightly more polite to their taxi driver), but win the other. They make it to the finish line first. Laura and Tyler win The Amazing Race!

The rest of the episode is about as close to a reunion show as The Amazing Race is going to get. We sum up yet again how much of a failed experiment The Amazing Race has been as a matchmaking service. It’s a total failure. Jeff and Jackie have gotten to know each other on a much more deeper level since being eliminated, No one really knows what that means, but they’re the only blind date couple to make a romantic connection. That’s not a stellar success rate.

It’s good that Laura and Tyler ended up victorious though. They were the easiest team to root for the entire time. They were also the most consistent and are probably one of the better teams to run the race. I’d prefer to see Hayley and Blair win. For no other reason that to see how Hayley would have done so she could still blame Blair for something. They were far from compatible, but no one was more entertaining this season of The Amazing Race.

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Derek Stauffer

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Derek is a Philadelphia based writer and unabashed TV and comic book junkie. The time he doesn’t spend over analyzing all things nerdy he is working on his resume to be the liaison to the Justice League.