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The Amazing Race, Dec. 4. – Panama Not Just for Van Halen

Cindy laments that she just ripped through the leather. They have to restart. Amani and Marcus grab their fish and start making the deliveries. It’s more difficult than it looks, as each stand will only accept a certain amount, meaning they have to search for more stands than they figured on.M

Andy and Tommy finish crafting their shoes and receive a clue telling them to head to Cathedral Square where they need to figure out the name of the pit stop is hidden on one of the dancers’ dresses or symbolized on their necklaces. Jeremy and Sandy aren’t having an easy time with the shoes. They never do well with these tasks, but always choose them.

Amani and Marcus are delivering their fish, and she’s getting hungry. Ick. Not me. Ernie and Cindy realize they’re doing the Sole completely wrong, and Jeremy and Sandy aren’t much better off. Amani complains the fish are “slippery little suckers” and that they include “something pokey.” Marcus knows this task was an advantage for them, since there were no other teams there and they didn’t have to worry about vendors already having their fill before they got there. It was still a huge risk, but it definitely seems to be paying off. They always do better on the physical tasks than the tedious ones.

Ernie and Cindy think they’re done, but aren’t. Jeremy and Sandy have the same issue. Amani and Marcus finish and head to Cathedral Square. She knows this cab ride will be a “fishy one.” Andy and Tommy arrive and start inspecting the dancers, trying to look for the pit stop clue. All they get is “Balboa,” and their driver tells them he knows where they’re going. They just want to make finals.

Ernie and Cindy finally finish, as do Jeremy and Sandy. Both teams take off within seconds of each other. They warn the drivers not to share info. Cindy is completely stressing out. Andy and Tommy think they know where they’re going. Amani and Marcus arrive at Cathedral Square, and he thinks they need to dance with them. They see “Balboa” on the medallions. He notices one of the dancers sweating like him, and wipes her sweat off for her.

Andy and Tommy arrive at “Balboa,” and a local tells them they have a statue of Balboa, so they get back in the car and head to the statue. Ernie/Cindy and Jeremy/Sandy arrive, as Marcus and Amani are still trying to figure it out. Amani says they have to do something and can’t keep standing there. Marcus asks why the dancers keep showing him their dresses. Andy and Tommy are realizing the pit stop is not at the statue. They hope everyone else is missing it too.

Ernie and Cindy also think they need to head to Balboa. Jeremy sketches the building that is pictured on the medallions and find they need to go to Panama Viejo. Ernie and Cindy are going to Balboa. Amani and Marcus are asking for the statue of Balboa. Jeremy knows the problem is that they figured it out in front of the cab drivers and that they cab drivers could be sharing info like earlier. In fact, that’s exactly what they’re doing, as they all call each other and compare notes. Andy and Tommy have gone back to the dancers in Cathedral Square. They see Panama Viejo written on the dresses. All four teams are in transit there.

The first team to arrive on Phil’s mat are Jeremy and Sandy. As the winners of this leg, they win a trip for two to Turks and Caicos. Ernie and Cindy arrive next, hugging Jeremy and Sandy. They are team number two and are headed to the finale. Marcus and Amani come running in and celebrate with the others. They are named team number three. Phil Koeghan asks these three if they can beleive they beat out a team that won six legs. Marcus compares it to David and Goliath.

Andy and Tommy arrive on Phil’s mat, and he tells them they have been unbelievable on the race, but are the last team to arrive and are being eliminated. He thought they’d be in the final three for sure, as did they. Andy says you go hard and work this far, and it was the experience of a lifetime, getting to run around the world with Tommy and experience God’s finest creation.

Jeremy and Sandy feel they have come into their stride and that it’s been a great test for their newer relationship. Ernie talks about Cindy being precise and methodical, and thinks they can do it again on the next leg. Amani and Marcus know this is a life lesson for their children, as “I Can’t,” has never been an option for them.

Indeed, it doesn’t seem like it should be the finale without snowboarders Andy and Tommy. However, that proves that this race is one where anyone can win, peaking at the right time. Marcus and Amani had a stay of execution with a non-elimination legs and begun seeing themselves as the Comeback Kids. And truthfully, all the teams struggled with the last task. The only team that did well were surprisingly Jeremy and Sandy, peaking at the right time. While cab drivers have caused a team to lose before by getting lost or having car trouble, this time they caused two of the other teams to win by sharing information, leaving the snowboarders out of it, simply because they were in the lead and had already gone looking for Balboa. Bad luck takes another team out.

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