Well, that’s it!
Another season of The Amazing Race has come to a close and we now know which team is a million dollars richer. Before I talk about who won, I want to say something about this season as a whole.
This season, The Amazing Race tried a few things that I didn’t care for. Specifically, I didn’t like the head-to-head challenges that ended some of the legs. To me, those were terribly unfair and they pretty much went against everything that made The Amazing Race such an enjoyable show. I sincerely hope that twist will not show up during the next season of the race.
Other than that, I really enjoyed this latest Race. After a few weak seasons that were marred by gimmicks (like when they tried to turn the Amazing Race into a dating show and Phil was reduced to asking the teams if they were feeling any sparks while racing around the world), this season featured interesting racers, challenging roadblocks and detours, and a host of close finishes. For once, all four of the final teams felt like they had a right to be in the finale. With the exception of the head-to-head competitions, this was a good, strong season and it reminded me of why I like this show so much in the first place. It’s not just that the Race takes teams to some of the most interesting and beautiful places on Earth. It’s not just that it’s always interesting to see who can handle traveling and who is going to have a complete meltdown. I love this show because, until Phil eliminates them, no one is ever out of the race. A team can easily go from the back of the pack to coming in first. By that some token, just because a team starts a leg in first place, that doesn’t mean they’re going to escape elimination when they reach the pit stop. Unlike so many other “reality” competition show, The Race is a genuine challenge.
Now, as for what happened tonight…
I was sorry to see Alex and Conor eliminated at the end of the first hour. That team had really grown on me and, as Conor put it, they didn’t even make it to the pit stop before Phil had to show up and eliminate them. At the same time, Alex and Conor’s weakness was always that they miss important details. They did well in the race and fought hard but ultimately, someone had to be eliminated.
With Alex and Conor gone, our final three were:
Kristi and Jen
Evan and Henry
Cody and Jessica
From the minute that the teams arrived in San Francisco, I felt that Cody and Jessica would win. They were both obviously determined to come in first and they worked well together as a team. As strong as Kristi and Jen had been throughout every other leg in the race, things fell apart for them once they arrived in San Francisco. Physically and mentally exhausted, they fell behind the other two teams and never really caught up.
What surprised me was how strong Henry and Evan turned out to be. They nearly won the race. In fact, they would have won if Henry hadn’t second guessed himself during the final challenge. Henry had his little airplane built but instead of asking for it to be checked, he over thought and switched out the right part for the wrong part. I can only imagine what Evan said when she saw that replay.
(For all the bragging that Evan did about how analytical she and Henry were, this was a case where it would have been better if Henry had just followed his instinct. At least he finally told Evan to stop yelling at him.)
In the end, Jessica was the first one to finish correctly building her plane and then she and Cody ran across the finish line. Jessica was excited. Cody has his usual expression on his face. They were followed by Henry and Evan, neither one of whom seemed to be happy about coming in second. In fact, that was probably the most subdued Amazing Race finish line that I’ve ever seen. As usual, Phil was excited but none of the other teams seemed to be that happy about seeing either Cody and Jessica or Henry and Evan step up to the mat. Instead, it seemed that they saved most of their applause for third-place finishers, Kristi and Jen.
So, with this victory, Cody and Jessica have both won $500,000 (assuming that they evenly split the million dollars). That’s the same amount of money that Paul didn’t win during the two times that he played Big Brother. As Cody and Jessica stepped up to the mat, I couldn’t help but remember what Christmas said to Jessica when they were in the Big Brother House together. “Is Cody really worth giving up $500,000 over?”
Anyway, that’s it for this season! I enjoyed watching and I enjoyed writing about it! Thank you everyone for reading and Survivor coverage starts next week!