Farewell, Europe. It’s time for The Amazing Race to bring our teams back home and terrorize the streets, notable landmarks and locals back in the U.S. of A.
The Amazing Race 22: Episode 11 - Part 2
The Amazing Race 22: Episode 11 - Part 2
By Daron Aldridge
May 7, 2013
First part of the finale resulted in us losing 66% of the blonde women left on the Race and frankly, it was overdue. Subpar task performance finally ended the reign of blunders of singers Caroline & Jennifer. Never really a threat to win, they have to be thrilled with a fourth place overall finish. The girls now just get to cheer on their Race boyfriends Bates & Anthony.
Let’s make our final obligatory visit to the Pit Stop city and this time the teams will be waving goodbye to Belfast en route to Washington, D.C.
It’s 5:04 a.m. in Northern Ireland and Max & Katie are out of the gate first per their previous check-in. The teams have to take a ferry, then a train to London and finally, order a pint of ale at the Euston Tap to get a clue for their final city. Max & Katie note that they are nearing the end of the most stressful honeymoon possible and are happy to have the finish line in their sights.
Bates & Anthony are off a minute later and they are determined to finish strong. Second place is not an option for Bates, who lost in the Stanley Cup finals before. The prospect of having to find a bar brightens their mood even more.
In the last position, Mona & Beth are off the mat about 45 minutes later. The Sock ‘er Moms feel like they are representing all the moms in the world and that they have just as much a shot at winning as the other two teams. That is an admirable yet delusional attitude.
All three teams are on the same ferry and actually take the eight-hour boat ride to unwind. They put the Race on hold for a moment and enjoy the ride, knowing that it’s about to be full throttle to the finish line. In London all the teams rush across the street to the pub and get the news that they are heading to D.C. They must figure out that the location of the clue is the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech.
As expected, everyone is on the same flight and knows where they are heading. Max & Katie arrive at the steps first for the clue. They observe a moment of silence and respect for standing on the same spot as MLK did and are given their clue. The moms are right behind them. Cape Fear reads the clue and is sent to 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue to have their picture taken with "President Obama.”
The hockey brothers are in third but not by much. They all have a stunned reaction to the prospect of meeting the President but they should know better than to be fooled by now. I mean you go from a dude dressed up as Dr. Jekyll to the President of the United States, really? It’s not going to be the actual president. But let them live in ignorant bliss. Actually, Super Republican Max doesn’t seem too enthused about the idea of meeting Obama as you would expect but he says he respects the office and that the majority of people voted for him. I don’t think he believes a word he just said. If The Amazing Race was produced by Mark Burnett, then I wouldn't be surprised if the teams are meeting the dude that Burnett used to play Satan in his Bible miniseries.
The newlyweds get in the cab and instruct the drive to go the address provided (1100 Penn Ave.), whereas the other two teams point their drivers to the White House itself (1600 Penn Ave.). This flub could be all that Max & Katie need to keep the lead to victory.
Keeping with the rouse, a “secret service agent” greets Max & Katie and ushers them into the location. Meanwhile up the block, the moms are dropped at 1600. Bates & Anthony, on the other hand, have realized their minor flub and are dropped off at 1100.
The reality of the charade doesn’t set in to Max & Katie even after they are walked through what looks like a food court to a photo store, where they have the picture taken. Their new photo is then superimposed on an image with the President. The clue on the back of the photo instructs them to proceed to the marked car parked at the Tidal Basin. Knock three times on the back window to get a briefcase with their next clue. The newlyweds are off.
While they leave, Mona & Beth’s White House dreams are dashed by a guard that points them to the actual 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. You would hope that these ladies would've realized that the address wasn’t for the actual White House (1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is pretty famous). They should be ashamed of themselves and be taxed without having representation in the U.S. Congress. Oh wait, if they were D.C. residents, they already would be.
Bates & Anthony have gone through the motions of meeting the "president" and are now heading to the Tidal Basin just before Mona & Beth have arrived.
Max & Katie are at the marked car and get the clue. It’s a Roadblock and a Switchback to the Spy Games task. The team member has to say a certain phrase to a correct agent out of the 50 walking the perimeter of the Tidal Basin, who will give them a specific reply. Then they will have to use their memory to crack the code on the case. The code is the order they finished in New Zealand, Indonesia and Vietnam. This is a nice twist on the usual recall Roadblock teams face at the finish. I really don’t know how any of these teams will perform on this task. Each team will have their own phrase and combination, it seems.
Max is the chosen one for his team even though his memory is not as good as Katie’s. The phrase he is saying is “Where can I get a good half smoke with chili?” Before he starts, Team Slapshot is there and Bates is on Roadblock duty for the brothers. His phrase is “I did not dress warm enough for this weather.”
Both guys are making the quick rounds through the dozens of agents but with no luck yet. Meanwhile, the gullibility of the roller derby moms has been shattered as they smile for the digital meeting of the president. They are now heading to the Tidal Basin.
Bates finally approaches an agent and gets the reply he was looking for (“Perhaps you would like to borrow my gloves.”) It is eating Max alive that Bates got the case switch first and he now seems too preoccupied with what Bates is doing than actually working on his own task.
Luckily for the brothers, they kept meticulous notes about different aspects of the legs and it has paid off for them. After a quick mix-up on their placement in New Zealand, Bates has the case open and heading back to his brother. If nothing else, this shows that these burly hockey players are smarter than people have given them credit for…at least at this point. There is still much racing to do before the finish line. The next clue sends teams to the stadium of the Washington Nationals. As the guys are leaving, Mona & Beth have arrived. Beth eagerly steps up for her team. Her phrase is “The cherry blossoms are beautiful here in April.”
Hey, where’s Max? Still circling the Tidal Basin without much progress being made. Let’s just hope that the memory element is not as horrible for him as he suspects or unlocking the case will give him all sorts of fits. The reason he is having such a hard time is that he is gone way past where he needed to be. He should’ve been tipped off by the fact that he no longer saw any other agents walking around.
Beth, on the other hand, is aggressively telling every person about the cherry blossoms. Her energy level is off the charts compared to Max’s downtrodden attempts at this point. Either way, they are coming up with the same result…no clue.
Bates & Anthony have arrived at Nationals Stadium and are ready to play ball. One team member is guided across a highwire above the field. The other is dressed as a giant baseball and must catch a ball the other is dropping to them from above. The location of their next destination (Hains Point) is written on the ball. Anthony is on the highwire and Bates is on the ground. Thanks to obscured vision in the costume and a lack of depth perception, the first attempt is dropped. I have a feeling that this will be the first of many many attempts for them.
Back at the Basin, Beth gets her case switched when the agent replies “I will have to bring my mother next spring.” She is now trying to crack the code. Right after she gets the new case, Max finally finds success when he hears the words “I hear there’s a great place on U Street.” Doing their high school teachers proud, no doubt, both teams successfully follow their notes to open their cases. They are both heading to Bates & Anthony.
At the stadium, the brothers have finally connected on the field with a better percentage than Josh Hamilton has with the Angels this season and are now heading to Hains Point ahead of the others.
Max & Katie are now at the stadium with the new bride above lobbing baseballs at her groom on the ground. The fact that Max can’t catch the ball is good news for the Sock ‘er Moms, who are circumnavigating the stadium looking for the clue box. Once the moms find the clue, Beth is catching and Mona is flying.
At Hains Point, the brothers' fear of a mental challenge is realized with the sight of a colossal adult-size Chuck E. Cheese ball pit filled with inflatable globes. On the globes countries are highlighted, so one person fetches a ball for each of the ten countries they visited and the other person puts them in order. Anthony jumps in the pit to get it started.
As they start the globe task, Max finally catches the ball upon seeing Mona suiting up. The pressure of another team actually helped him make it happen. They are now heading to Hains Point and have a decent chance of passing up the brothers. The guys are making some progress thanks to staring at maps on planes over the last month but Bates is now anxiously staring at the street for other teams as Anthony struggles to find another country. He is swimming in the pit of globes for quite awhile without any luck.
Seventeen attempts later, Beth has caught the ball and the moms are now out of the ballpark but the fact that Max & Katie still haven’t arrived at the location should give encouragement to them and me, as the viewer.
The time gap is enough to let Bates & Anthony successfully recreate the country/globe timeline and get their next clue. Team Slapshot is now heading to the home of George Washington and the finish line. Mount Vernon ho.
As they are driving to what they hope is the finish line, both the other teams are in the tank and sorting the globes – Max and Beth start out in the tank and Katie switches after Max makes little progress. She is exponentially more successful and they are now heading to the finish line, too.
That leaves the Sock ‘er Moms all alone at the task. You know who’s not alone? Bates & Anthony.
Because with little drama, the hockey brothers (and the only team that I think deserves to win) are all smiles as they run up to Phil and past the eliminated teams. They are the official winners of the Amazing Race 22. Bates says that he wouldn’t have wanted to do the Race with anyone else and that they wouldn’t have been as successful with another teammate. I think this is so true. The familial bond of brothers and teammates resulted in them making it through 11 legs with only one real dustup, which happened near the end of the whole Race. That patience with one another is rare.
I applaud them for the way they raced and thank them for being a bright spot on an otherwise dull season with unmemorable or unlikeable teams.
Second goes to Max & Katie, who hit the mat with a sense of confidence in their new marriage. I don’t think that Max likes the taste of the humble pie he’s eating thanks to his bragging that wasn’t backed up with the big win at the end.
Mona & Beth are pleased with the fact that mommies did so well and completed every leg of the Race. They should also relish in the fact that they could say "I told you so" to all the teams that bypassed targeting Bates & Anthony for U-Turns. If someone had followed the Sock ‘er Moms suggestion, then the brothers could’ve easily been eliminated.
Congratulations again to Bates & Anthony. And I will see you all you in the fall for The Amazing Race 23.