The Amazing Race Season 28 Recap - Episode 12
The Only First That Matters
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
May 31, 2016

Moments later, she told him to shut up and stop talking to her.

Previously on The Amazing Race, the show introduced a gimmick that annoyed us. This season, they had an entire cast of Internet celebrities, and we worried that these people would all try to outshine each other and gain the limelight in such a way that the show would be supremely irritating. To our extremely pleasant surprise, almost everyone in the cast was likable. Some were even lovable. It’s been a delightful season thus far, and we now come to the end.

The one problem is that there is in fact one person in the cast who does bother us, and she did happen to make the Final Three. Dancer Dana has been abrasive and obnoxious on several occasions, though her boyfriend Matt is decent enough that he almost makes up for it. Anyway, the Final Three include the dancers (Dana & Matt), mother/son team Sheri & Cole and our favorites throughout the season, Tyler & Korey. Obviously, you know who we’re rooting for to win the million dollars, but we suspect that a lot of these people got a nice bump to their fan base during the course of the season. There’s a reason that they’ve developed a following.

For the final leg, teams will be racing to Los Angeles, California. Even better, all teams will be pampered in Premium Class on the flight home. Once they arrive, they will need to make their way to Angelus Plaza (which we presume is the home of Wolfram & Hart) for their next clue… assuming they can stay clear of demons, vampires and other various undead.

Upon arrival, everyone races for a cab. Tyler & Korey’s driver gets them out ahead, but seems to drop them off in a weird place that doesn’t look like what Phil had described. This allows Dana & Matt to get to the clue box first. It’s time for a Roadblock, which asks, “Who’s ready to take a leap of faith?” It’s a doozy, too. Teams have to jump from a tall building to grab their clue. If they miss it, they have to rappel to the bottom and then return to the top and jump again. Let’s hope that Cole, who’s afraid of heights, doesn’t decide to take this one for his team.

Dana & Matt agonize a bit over who will do the task, but ultimately decide it will be Matt. Tyler & Korey are still wandering around (yikes), which means that Sheri & Cole are now in second place. Luckily, they decide that Sheri will be the one to jump from the building. Eventually, the guys make their way to the proper Angelus Plaza location and they’re finally off to do the task as well. Their “rappeler” puts stars in Tyler’s eyes.

On his very first try, Matt plucks the clue from the air. It directs them to take a helicopter flight up the coastline to Santa Barbara. Once they arrive, they’ll have to search through a maze of boats for the Theresa Ann, which will have their next clue.

Sheri is up for the jump, which means it’s time for the waterworks. She takes her leap… and misses the clue. She’ll have to go again, which means we’re in for a lot more tears, probably both from her and Cole. Fortunately for her, Tyler misses as well, but at least he takes the positive attitude about things. It’s more time for him to flirt with cute Brandon the rappeler.

So, Dana & Matt are away. Since Sheri and Tyler missed on their first try, the clue is moved closer. Also, Sheri seems to have the jitters out of the way now that she’s tried it once, so her focus is better. She grabs the clue and she and Cole will be headed for their helicopter ride.

Even though Korey says that Tyler will totally get the clue on his second try because he doesn’t want to let Brandon down, he misses again. Yikes. Our favorites are looking to be in bad shape. He does manage to grab it on his third attempt.

While in a car to the pier, Dana & Matt borrow a guy’s phone so they can Google the Theresa Ann. They discover that it is a boat, and Dana muses that it’s going to be difficult to find it amongst all the other watercraft. Meanwhile, Tyler & Korey think that “Theresa Ann” refers to a Real Housewife.

With Dana playing the role of “Dinghy Manager,” she directs Matt to drive near a museum. She may be bossy, but it pays off here, because they pretty much find the Theresa Ann instantly. The gentleman in the boat hands them their next clue, which sends them off to Gibraltar Rock for new instructions. Their only mistake was letting their taxi go, because there’s not a good pickup area where they currently are. They find a kindly soul who calls one for them.

Sheri & Cole believe that the Theresa Ann is a museum rather than being near a museum. Er…

While the mother/son team struggle to find the “museum,” Tyler & Korey figure out in the air that the Theresa Ann is going to be a boat. When their cab drops them off, they ask their driver to stay. Interesting. Eventually, Sheri & Cole realize they’re looking for a boat and they locate it. As they pass Tyler & Korey, they try to mislead them about where the Theresa Ann might be, but it’s halfhearted work at best. They try to steal the guys’ taxi, but she tells them she doesn’t know where Gibraltar Rock is.

Tyler & Korey retrieve their clue from the Theresa Ann, while Sheri & Cole contemplate asking the other taxi driver to call them a cab. However, the guys arrive and get in their cab. They search for the location on a phone while their driver also calls for help. But… their driver doesn’t really seem to understand the directions on the phone. Sheri & Cole’s new driver is willing to Google for the location and appears to be more knowledgeable about the area.

At Gibraltar Rock, teams will have to do a coordinated rock climb to retrieve clue halves. One team member will do a Tyrolean Traverse (hand over hand on a wire), while the other will rappel down a mountainside. Once both clues are retrieved, they can move forward to the next portion of the leg. The catch is that the person doing the Traverse will control the speed of their partner. Matt claims that he takes the Traverse slowly, which makes Dana gasp in shock. She felt as though she was flying down the hill, and even has to yell at Matt to stop so that she can actually get to her clue.

Taxi troubles appear to be Tyler & Korey’s doom. Their driver pulls over, and she doesn’t speak English, so they’re really struggling.

Getting back is a lot slower than the journey out for Dana & Matt, but they reunite with their clue halves as Sheri & Cole arrive at the clue box. The leaders will be racing to the Grassini Family Vineyards, while we’re pretty sure that Cole is about to cry like a baby because of the height he’s about to face while rock climbing.

“If you’re afraid of heights, people, don’t make it to the finale of The Amazing Race,” he says.

Although there are a few moments of confusion, the mother/son team gets through the rock climbing challenge okay. Tyler & Korey arrive, and knowing that they are in third place, they realize that they are going to have to push to the limit.

The dancers are struggling to find the clue at the vineyard, but since we’re at the 46-minute mark of the show, it’s starting to look like they’re a foregone conclusion as winners, anyway. They get the instructions, and Dana will be responsible for the memory/puzzle portion of the Race. She’ll need to spell out nine cities that they’ve visited in order based on the hashtag clue she’s given.

There are a few editing moments where the producers of the show try to convince us that anyone other than Dana & Matt will win The Amazing Race, but she absolutely kills it on the final task. She has no mistakes and blows straight through it. She notes that when they received their first clue and it had a hashtag on it, she knew it was going to play in to the final challenge, so she prepared accordingly. Clearly, this is true. We’ve got to give her a lot of credit here. She’s been extremely focused in this final leg.

Dana cries as she is handed the final clue that directs them to the finish line. Supposedly, Dana & Matt are lost while Cole and Korey do the final challenge (and by the way, both guys are also completely prepared for this one as well), but ultimately, the dancers arrive on the mat in first place. Eighteen cities, 10 countries and more than 27,000 miles, and Dana & Matt have won a million dollars on The Amazing Race. They dance for the crowd in celebration, which draws a lot of cheers.

In case you’re wondering, Sheri & Cole finish in second, and Tyler & Korey come in third thanks to one of their worst legs in the Race.