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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

The Amazing Race, April 22nd – Yup. We didn’t win. Damn.

Eric and Danielle get to the airport first and check for flights to Oakland. I’m not clear on why they fly in to Oakland instead of San Francisco, but I assume there’s a good reason in there somewhere, and I know one of the readers here will surely let me know. Perhaps flights from Honolulu only fly into Oakland. They find a flight that leaves at 11:55 that night and gets in at 6:57 AM. They’re told it’s the fastest way from that airport. The beauty queens secure the same tickets, although Dustin points out they should try to find better flights, because Charla and Mirna certainly will. The cousins do indeed attempt to find better flights, but are told all those other flights are gone, as they were earlier ones. The beauty queens sit by with huge smiles, only missing their sashes and crowns.

As everyone boards the flight, Mirna and Charla talk of every ounce of sweat and energy they have had to make their dream come true. Eric says there’s no settling for second or third. It’s a million dollars or nothing. Dustin says in no time at all one of these team’s lives will change, and she wonders who it will be. They will all make this final push on even ground.

As everyone runs off the flight in Oakland, Mirna pulls Charla along on her “heelies.” Although Eric and Danielle are in the first taxi, the beauty queens get to the Old Mint first as their driver took a shortcut. For this final challenge, it will test how well the teammates know each other after 28 days of racing. The first person from each team will enter the vault assigned to their team, and once inside will answer the questions displayed on the wall. The answers that are chosen will also work into the code they will put into the safe. Once it’s locked, the other teammate will enter and answer the same questions. If they answer the same, the code will be the correct one to open the safe. If not, the second teammate will need to keep trying, but they only have ten minutes before their time expires.

Eric will be the first to answer the questions and Dustin will be the first for her team. The beauty queens think they see eye to eye on this stuff, and Eric says it will be interesting as it depends on communication, and while Danielle talks a lot, it’s a lot of “gossip and stuff.” Dustin is asked which team is least trustworthy, and decides it’s Rob and Amber. Eric thinks it’s Oswald and Danny. As for the best sense of humor, Dustin chooses Uchenna and Joyce, while Eric chooses Charla and Mirna.

The cousins finally arrive at the task, and as Mirna enters the vault first, she says she and Charla are strong mentally and always find a way to defeat whatever odds are placed against them. This is true, but I think it should have been Charla going first, as I think Mirna has a better ability to think quicker on her feet. She should have left Charla to set the code, so that Mirna would have to be the one to figure out which answers Charla chose.

For the least trustworthy, Mirna chooses Rob and Amber, not so surprisingly. Asked to pick the most overrated, Dustin puts down Rob and Amber, as does Eric. For the team they want to stay in touch with the most, Dustin and Eric both choose Uchenna and Joyce. For the best sense of humor, Mirna chooses Kevin and Drew. Dustin changes least trustworthy from Rob and Amber to Joe and Bill. You should never change your original answers for opinion-related things. It should be the first choice.

Once the teammates go into the vault, for least trustworthy, Danielle says the beauty queens, while Kandice says Rob and Amber. See? Dustin shouldn’t have changed her first answer. They’re both wrong right out of the gate. They split on the next one, and both get the third question right. For best sense of humor, Charla chooses Danny and Oswald and is wrong. Danielle and Kandice try their codes and are wrong, as is Charla when she tries. Everyone continually changes their answers trying different codes, but are wrong every time. Eventually Danielle gets it right, and they take off for the finish line at the Botanical Garden.

Kandice and Charla keep trying, but both of them continue to be wrong. Eventually their time runs out, and while we wondered what would happen at the end of the ten minutes, they’re just allowed to leave. I assume it was set up this way out of fear that the teams would never get that right combination. To say the teams are all stressed is an understatement. Charla and Mirna take a spill inside the taxi as their driver hits a huge pothole, and Dustin and Kandice ask for a shortcut and the straightest way. Eric and Danielle keep getting stopped by red lights.

As it probably should be after this final task, the team to run in first is Eric and Danielle, with all of the other teams waiting. Phil tells then that after 28 days and five continents, they are the official winners of The Amazing Race and one million dollars. It’s pointed out that Eric is the first person to get to the final three twice, and he notes he’s standing there with someone he met on the Race. Eric says to come so close last time, and now be first is unbelievable. Danielle says she got into the best shape on this race, as Eric kicked her butt and the race kicked her butt. Such loving words. Eric says she’s a fighter, and he knew if she just ran, she’d be okay. She’s awesome and he’s really proud of her.

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