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Amazing Race 17 Finale – Nice Guys…Er…Ladies, Finish First


First, this Finale. This wasn’t a homerun, but it was a solid double, perhaps even a triple. There were some good tasks, but after they all landed in Los Angeles, KNat got the first cab out of LAX (not LA X – in that airport, perhaps Andie/Jenna win) and never really looked back. QVC tried to keep up, but it was clear that KNat grabbed a really big lead early on and were never really in danger of losing. Midway through the episode, we lost one of the teams due to a series of hilarious problems, so it was just all about KNat’s victory lap.

Let me also say that has there ever been a more underused compelling plot line in the history of reality programming than Nat’s diabetes? In my opinion that is yet another testament to Nat since she never harped on it. The show mentioned it from time to time, along with her crippling fear of heights and Kat’s vegetarianism, but it was almost as if it was an afterthought.

Upon landing in LA, the tasks were kind of fun. Crazy bungee jumping, decorating a Rose Bowl float, a faux-game show with Bob Eubanks, and then deal with LA traffic. Along the way, teams have to actually solve a clue:

1 – I am Sancho Panza’s Master
2 – I am the place to hear the Symphony in the Glen
3 – Monroe’s Year of the Itch.

Sorry, but none of these six people ever heard of Don Quixote? Or at least the Man of La Mancha? Not even Thomas, He of The Superior Notre Dame Education? The whole race basically came down to who can solve this question properly. In other words, who could find the Internet first. Not sure how much I like the teams being allowed to jump on the internet, but I see no way of really preventing them from doing it. With Smart Phones, it’s just too darn easy to do.

Unless you are Jill and Thomas. Instead of finding the internet, you have access to GPS. That was just so strange that they just couldn’t find a place to log on. Why they didn’t do the QVC method? They came from the same place, just go to a hotel! Or call LA tourism like KNat did. At the bare minimum, get out of that cab and find a new one. That’s certainly risky, but at that point, they had to take a risk.

And for all those Thomas haters out there – when all was lost and they knew it, what did he do? He kissed his lady on the cheek. No yelling, no berating. Of all the bickering couples and annoying boyfriends the show has ever seen, graded on a scale of 10 being Jonathan and 1 being Jon (Both AR6), he’s about a 4. That’s not too bad.

I think there were so many ways that the show did a good job this season contrasting KNat with QVC, and this episode especially now that we see they were the top two teams. At the bungee jump, KNat were quietly stoic about doing it and overcoming Nat’s fears. QVC screamed like banshees. QVC were decked out in leopard shorts, and I would be hard pressed to tell you anything KNat wore the entire race (other than Kat’s wacky headband). QVC went high class at the hotel, while Nat broke out the million dollar smile and charm to schmooze her way to the info over the phone. KNat methodically scoured their ample notes to remember the final quiz, while QVC bounded in and gushed over Bob Eubanks. One team used quiet strength and grace, the other used over-the-top enthusiasm. Both were successful, and both were easy to root for.


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