This finale of The Amazing Race was perhaps the most pantsless one of all time. We had two men drop trou in the middle of a challenge, three women change into bikinis in taxi cabs (I assume four, but we never saw Margie do it), and somewhere, AR4 finalist Jon is laughing. Remember him going the Full Monty to swim to retrieve the rock with the clue in it before chiseling away at it and making every guy watching wince as they expected the worst?
Also tonight, perhaps the best comeback in a Finale since Chris and Alex’s sprint to the finish way back in AR2. Luke had 10 of the 12 surfboards – in fact he actually had 11 of them, just had one in the wrong spot – before Victor even started. That’s how big of a deficit the siblings overcame. Not only did that happen to Luke, but he was also passed by Jamie after the two teams decided to work together to solve the clue after Victor and Tammy took off for the Finish Line.
Luke’s collapse at the final memory challenge reminded me of the end of AR9 when Eric had the game in his hands and just couldn’t get the flags in the right order. Luke was so close – so close – but amazingly enough, he couldn’t get the most recent leg of the journey. To his defense, I saw that logo and did not think of street food; to me they looked like spears. But Victor and Jamie each got that one right – so perhaps it wasn’t as confusing as I thought.
I know many of you have been critical of Luke for his temper and whatnot. Some have called him spoiled, whatever. I personally have not felt the kind of animosity for him as others have – even when he got a bit out of hand. However, unlike seeing Wil get defeated in AR2 (which was awesome and worth watching again), it was not fun watching Luke unravel among those surfboards and barely keep his composure in the cab to the finish. My heart really went out to him. I instantly wrote down – Luke, meet Lena (from AR6 and the infamous haystack Roadblock).
Although without that we would not have had one of the more touching and tender moments in Race history. Luke signing to his mom that he hopes she is proud of him. And on the Mat having Margie have to translate with a broken voice about how Luke feels very luck to have her as his mom.
THAT is what makes reality TV good. THAT is why the Amazing Race wins so many Emmy Awards. You can’t script that moment. It is pure human emotion. It’s not a washed up actor ballroom dancing. It is not a parade of bimbos on a bus with a former rock star. Heck, it isn’t even about the next pop singer. We watch these shows for moments like that. Oh, and of course for runaway cheese and nose flutes.
So, the race is over. I rank this one up there with the best ones – AR1, AR2, AR3, AR5, AR7…and then maybe AR14 is next. Tammy and Victor become the second consecutive set of siblings to win, third overall. Jamie and Cara amazingly tie Dustin and Kandice as the best finish for an all-female team. Margie and Luke become the second highest placement of a parent/child team (behind Ronald/Christina) and the best for a mother/child tandem. Of course, the Bransens and the Weavers tie each of those records, but the less said about that Race the better.
I loved writing these commentaries this season as The Amazing Race is by far my favorite reality show and probably my favorite show on television right now right up there with Lost. I look forward to AR15 and wish it would start next week. Until then, some random thoughts from the Finale.
• Did it seem as if a challenge was missing? I thought I saw a yellow Detour clue in Jamie’s hand at one point. Perhaps they shaved some time because they all chose the same one – perhaps the pig had an option? Or the standings were unaffected so they cut a challenge like they did with the cliff diving Roadblock in All-Stars.
• Why did the other teams not follow Margie/Luke’s lead and carry that pig over their shoulders so they could have better leverage and use their full body to carry? Margie was showing pure Mommy Strength there. I agree with Phil – she is the Bionic Woman. Lindsay Wagner Bionic Woman, not the crappy remake with the British chick.
• I’m just saying, but I do not want to eat two of those pigs. I don’t want my dinner dragged through grass and dropped in the ocean. That would produce a very different kind of swine flu.
• I must say, Tammy is one good-looking woman. She’s actually better looking than the pair of cheerleaders she was with.
• How about those lucky cab drivers that got a peep show as the ladies had to change into their bathing suits? Well, except for the cheerleaders’ driver – his payback was a full day of Jamie yelling at him.
• Hero of the Week – Maui cab dispatcher who gave a great put down of our girl Jamie – She is NOT her personal concierge!
• Thinking back to Tammy/Victor’s meltdown in Romania…if it wasn’t for Brad and Victoria making a terrible flight decision, we may have had our first all-female team winning this season.
• 18-hour flight! Yikes! And the ladies didn’t think to put the bathing suits on during that amount of time?
• I almost called this episode – “Cara, please Pick up the pig!” Jamie is not big on those pep talks is she?
• Kudos to the AR camera crew – those shots of the Jet Ski challenge were awesome.
• Why were Victor and Luke having such trouble with their pants? I am just so confused by that.
• I also almost called the episode – “I don’t remember seeing Jesus on the first leg.” He was busy taking the wheel.
• Lastly, watching Jamie and Luke beat themselves up over that challenge was tough. Remember when you lost something or just couldn’t remember an important fact? Boy is that frustrating. Now picture doing it after a grueling month of international racing, lack of sleep, with a million bucks riding on it while knowing it will one day be shown on National TV!
Destination – Maui, Hawaii
Final Standings to Amazing Race 14: