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Amazing Race 15, Finale Commentary – Let’s Raid Wayne Newton’s Fridge!


So, the 15th Race is over and I am sure everyone is shocked, shocked at how it ended. For the third consecutive race, the dominant, young, co-ed team has won the whole thing. Meghan & Cheyne won seven legs – and came in second three times out of the five they lost. Tammy and Victor won 5 of 11 legs in Race 14, and Nick and Starr won 7 of their 11 on Race 13. That’s 19 wins out of 34 legs by the three winners. You have to go back to TK and Rachel’s win in Race 12 to have a season that was hotly-contested.

Am I happy Meghan and Cheyne won? Meh. I guess. They surely earned it over the course of the season, and I would much rather have them win than the Shut Up Twins. (Damn, last episode and I came up with a nickname for Sam and Dan!) Funny how things turn out, I found myself rooting for Brian and Ericka – and convinced myself mid-episode that they had won, based on how happy they looked in their confessionals.

There’s not much to analyze in this episode – one last airport equalizer wiped out any lead for Meghan and Cheyne. Brian and Ericka held a lead after the Roadblock, but lost it immediately. The Shut Up Twins held it on the way to the poker room challenge after Meghan and Cheyne couldn’t figure out that Monte Carlo is in Monaco. But the blonde and bland couple sure can count better, and they cruised all the way to the end.

The interesting thing though is that it was awfully dramatic – a credit to the production team. I gasped every time Ericka just missed those flowers and felt the let down once she lost her composure and forced Brian to trade places. I got VERY nervous when the boys figured out the Monaco clue and were the only ones headed there. And you have to give credit where credit is due when you can make chip counting as dramatic as the seventh game of the World Series.

Not a lot of strategy involved – just the luck of the cabs, plus knowing some basic facts (Monte Carlo, not Venice, is in Monaco; Wayne Newton is Mr. Las Vegas), along with understanding how to actually count. The proper strategy with any tedious counting task is to take your time, be meticulous and, in this case, use the highest denominations first. Of course, that is easy to say for me as I watch on my comfy couch, less easy for tired, smelly teams that have traveled across the world for a little over a month. But still, it is your last task before racing for an actual million dollars, might as well do it correctly.

That being said, let’s do some extra Route Markers this week, as there were lots of fun little things in the episode.


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