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

The Amazing Race, Dec. 9 – “You Just Can’t Quit”

The sisters finally get done chopping and start laying it out for the dogs. Trey and Lexi land at the caves and find a Roadblock. One person from each team will need to examine three different types of mushrooms, then will need to find ten of each variety in the caves. Lexi is taking this one. She needs those crates they grabbed at the beginning of the leg. The cave looks enormous to her and is dark and a little scary. She finds it easy to get the mushrooms confused.

James2 arrive next and Jaymes decides he's a fun guy and should do this challenge. The Beekmans aren't sure if they are going the right way, while the Sisters finish with the dog food and take off for the next clue. The Beekmans realize they are indeed going the wrong way.

Lexi changes her mind mid-course about which mushrooms she needs. Jaymes looks to catch up to her, but can't find her. Lexi is now second-guessing herself again about what mushrooms she has. It's so dark in there, Lexi walks into a wall. Jaymes gets his mushrooms wrong and has to go back as Lexi finally makes her way out. She gets it right and is excited. “Holy moly. It's the most rewarding thing I've ever done.”

Trey and Lexi get a clue to make their way to Chateau de Chenonceau, the pit stop for this leg of the Race. They ask for directions, and the local uses Lexi's hair to help explain where they should go.

Jaymes makes his way back up there again, and this time he passes with his 'shrooms. James kicks the liftgate open as they leave, and Jaymes tells him to make sure he shows that off to his mom when they win it. Lexi and Trey think they're at the right castle, but have it wrong. James2 need better directions as well.

The Beekmans reach the Roadblock and Brent decides to do it. The sisters get there as well but can't find the right entrance. The other two teams are both arriving at the pit stop, and it's James2 who are the first to arrive. They are team number one. As the winners of this leg, they have each won the all new Escape. James can't wait to give it to his mom. Trey and Lexi are team number two. Trey is hoping they don't do anything too stupid on the final leg. He knows there's a million dollars at stake and knows they all want it.

Brent sees the Sisters are there so gets very frantic trying to find the right mushrooms. He is looking under everything, as Natalie/Nadiya ends up right behind him. She is the first one to run out of the cave while Brent gets lost. She gets her 'shrooms approved, and they take off for the pit stop. Josh hopes they're going the wrong way. Brent gets his 'shrooms approved as well, and they take off, ten minutes after the Sisters.

The Sisters are worried about going the wrong direction. The Beekmans stop and ask directions, and figure there is no way they're going to beat them unless Natalie and Nadiya start having navigation issues. Meanwhile the Sisters are stopping for directions. They're arguing, which isn't good. They aren't sure, as the Beekmans aren't sure either, and both teams run into Detour signs.

The first of the two teams to arrive on the mat are the Beekmans, who are told they are team number three. They are ecstatic, as they were thinking they were out. Josh mentions they are gaining momentum and confidence, just when they need it. Brent says “it's in here,” pointing to his head, “not here,” pointing to his bicep.

Natalie and Nadiya land on Phil's mat and are told they are the last team to arrive and are eliminated. They say it sucks. Even though they made it this far, there is a million dollars on the line, and they completely blew it. They know the Beekmans have some tricks up their sleeves. If they can take anything away from the Race, it's to harness energy into a more positive reaction instead of getting crazy. They know having each other is more important. If they did indeed learned that, they learned a lot.

The first team to leave on this final leg are the Chippendales. But first, they celebrate and look at the cars they've just won. They leave at 1:33 AM. Their clue tells them to fly to New York City. Also included is a postcard with the words, “Wish you were here,” and they know they need to figure out where that is, wondering if it's somewhere in Coney Island. They're right about that. It's actually the Coney Island Boardwalk, and the clue is hidden in the sign. Jaymes calls it a long road to get to this point, and the million is so close they can reach out and grab it.

Trey and Lexi leave eleven minutes later. She says the amount they have learned on this Race is a real laundry list. They didn't even know what customs were before. They've learned a lot about communication and have learned to love each other even more. Jaymes mentions the heat is on whether the third team is the Sisters or the Beekmans, as both teams are from New York. The Chippendales have to make sure they're on top of their game.

The Beekmans are the last to depart at 3:06 AM. They're excited to see they're going to New York. Josh has been working in the city while Brent tends to the farm. Winning the million dollars will help them pay off their mortgage so that they can live together again. This would also mean they've won one of the biggest challenges of their lives, and they've taken on some big challenges.

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