The Amazing Race Season 29 Recap
We're Going to Victory Lane
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
June 5, 2017

He's smiling because he'll never have to hear her whine 'I can't do it!' again.

Previously on The Amazing Race, the worst-case scenario happened. Brooke & Scott finished in first, which would be bad enough on its own except for the fact that we narrowed our teams down to three, and Matt & Redmond were the team eliminated. So, we’re faced with a finale of Brooke crying and saying, “I can’t do it, Scott!” Even worse, we’re faced with a finale where Brooke & Scott might win.

The other two teams racing for a million dollars include Tara & Joey and Logan & London. Tara & Joey have been among our favorites the entire season up to last week, when they suddenly turned heel on gamers. We still like them, but that dismissal of something they don’t understand is so very Baby Boomer (though both of them are actually Gen X-ers).

London & Logan have been a pleasant team if not super notable. They’ve always gotten along well and simply seem to be enjoying themselves on this trip around the world. The fact that they’re in the final three is kind of impressive given that they’re not particularly competitive (the other two teams, especially Brooke & Scott, are hyper-competitive, with Brooke & Scott being type-A personalities to the extreme and Tara & Joey being the first team to ever use the U-Turn twice in a single season).

And so, with our teams in place for this last leg of The Amazing Race, they’ll all be headed off to Chicago, which David frequently jokes is Kim’s hometown (it’s not – she’s from about two and a half hours south of the Windy City). The teams are flying premium class, and they toast to their combined successes and hopeful futures.

Phil jokes that this leg will begin with a pit stop once they land in Chicago. No, it’s not the end of the race, though an all out sprint from the airport to the finish line is something they ought to try at some point. Instead, teams will proceed to Chicagoland Speedway, where one member of the team will have to change a stock car tire in 40 seconds or less, while the other person must drive a lap in 48 seconds or less.

Right off the plane, Brooke & Scott are in the lead (of course). They note that they checked their backpacks so they wouldn’t have to carry them at the end of the race. As “superfans,” they know that any little advantage will be to their benefit.

Brooke does tire duty, while Scott will be the driver for their team. Although she initially says, “Love it!” to the lugnut drill, it’s not long before Brooke gets frustrated. She totally misses it on her first try, and then she curses through the second attempt.

Joey and London are handling tire duty for their teams, and both are just arriving as Brooke starts her litany of “I can’t do it!” On her fourth attempt she gets it, while Joey seems like a pit crew natural as he finishes his tire on the first shot.

“Drive like a bat out of hell, dude,” Brooke tells Scott. Meanwhile, London on her first attempt is a bit slow and forgets to drop her drill (Joey yells at her to put it down). Scott misses his time by ten seconds on the first try. Joey thinks Tara is super lucky to be able to drive a racecar super fast. She’s slower than Scott by several seconds, though. London misses her time once again.

On his second lap, Scott misses the time by one second. Brooke cries. London gets her tire attached by the fourth try, and Tara misses her lap by a second, just like Scott. Speaking of Scott, it’s his third attempt and he finishes the lap in 45 seconds. So, Brooke & Scott are headed to #VictoryLane and popping some champagne.

Now, they have to go to Downtown Chicago and find the Monroe Street Station, one of the few below ground stops on the El. Once they get there they have to find a CTA employee who holds their next clue.

Logan’s first attempt is two seconds too slow. Tara gets herself and Joey to #VictoryLane with a 46-second finish, followed by Logan, who has the exact same time.

After walking right past the worker initially, Brooke eventually notices that the CTA worker’s hat has the Amazing Race colors and realizes he has their clue. Next up, the teams must solve three riddles that will eventually lead them to three landmarks. At those landmarks, they’ll collect postcards that give them a clue as to their next destination (the rooftop of City Hall).

The three riddles are as follows:
I have a gothic spire.
And I’m impervious to fire.
I’m 154 feet tall, look no hire.

I am tiered like a wedding cake.
From me, a drink you should not take.
To find me, look no further than the lake.

I stand in the twin corncobs’ shadow.
And control the Kupcinet bascule for thos below
Climb the steps to my operator, and you’ll be good to go.

Brooke & Scott approach a woman sitting on a bench and ask her if she knows Chicago landmarks. Instead, they wind up with a phone that allows them to do some internet searching. For the first one, I do a Google search for “154 foot tall gothic spire in Chicago,” and the answer is the water tower (which may not sound like a big deal but it’s actually quite well-known).

The second one is a little harder to find results for, but if you search for “wedding cake tiered landmark Chicago lake,” you eventually might find that it’s Buckingham Fountain. Scott figures that one out right away, to his credit.
For the third clue, a simple search for “Kupcinet bascule” yields an answer of Wabash Avenue Bridge.

Tara & Joey and Brooke & Scott get their answers at the same time. The former team just takes off, while Brooke & Scott look at a map and plot out their strategy. London & Logan are just happy to be there and thrilled to have a new clue in their hands.

Brooke & Scott find the water tower quickly, and have already asked directions to the bridge. They go in the building, but there is no postcard to be found, which starts up the Brooke swear machine. They exit the building and Scott immediately notices a couple of guys who are playing chess happen to be in Amazing Race colors. He runs over to them and collects their first postcard.

The Wabash Avenue Bridge is “six blocks this way,” which causes Brooke to say she wants to die. Scott keeps her motivated by saying, “C’mon Brooke! A million dollars today!” They find the bridge operator, who hands them their second postcard.

We haven’t seen either of the other teams even find a postcard yet.

Brooke says she might not be able to run to the fountain, but Scott again asks, “Do you want a million dollars?” That’s all the motivation she needs.

At last, Tara & Joey have arrived at Buckingham Fountain, and observe a guy on a bike with the Amazing Race colors. He hands them their postcard and they are off to the Wabash Avenue Bridge, which Logan & London have just left.

Brooke & Scott have arrived near the fountain, and he continues chanting, “One million, one million” as they run the final bit of distance to get there. They now know that their next destination is the City Hall rooftop, where Michael, the city beekeeper is hanging out in a secret garden. Michael also happens to have their next clues.

Now is the time when Brooke cries. We know that’s not unusual or anything, but we guess we have to point it out.

London & Logan actually manage to find their three postcards ahead of Tara & Joey somehow, but we figure it’s pretty close. With the running the teams are having to do, Brooke & Scott’s decision to check their bags is looking pretty sharp right now. The other two are winded and tired.

Scott asks Brooke to jump on his back and she cries some more. We’re not sure if she’s insulted or irritated or worried about disappointing him or some combination of the three. The sounds she makes are shrill enough to make the hair stand up on the back of your neck.

Tara & Joey are in the total wrong place as they try to locate the water tower, so they seem to be in some dire straits. A nice woman tells them where to go, though, so there’s still some hope.

At the top of city hall, Brooke & Scott receive their next clue, which send them to Wrigleyville Dogs. Once they arrive, they’ll need to pick up 10 hot dogs, which they’ll then deliver to a rooftop area overlooking Wrigley Field, home of the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs. Those words just sound wrong, sort of like “Amazing Race winners Brooke & Scott.” Where’s a goat when you need it?

As they take a taxi to Wrigleyville, Brooke & Scott notice that Tara & Joey are still running down the road. The race leaders now know that they are most likely in first place. Donning their hot dog hats, the two of them must deliver hot dogs to people sitting at that rooftop area. They’ll then be handed tickets to Wrigley Field by former race winners Ernie & Cindy, natives of Chicago.

Even though London & Logan found their three postcards first, Tara & Joey get to city hall ahead of them. For some reason, they’re on the El, but maybe it’s just because of the order they found their clues.

Brooke & Scott have delivered their hot dogs and are now on their way to Wrigley Field. Logan & London tell their cab driver they need to go to Wrigleyville Dogs. He says he needs an address, but they don’t have one. He tells them to get a different cab. Harsh.

For their next challenge at Wrigley Field, the teams must split into two. One will man the hand-operated scoreboard, and the other will talk to them on a radio. They have to know which place they finished in for each leg – and the legs are not in the order in which they were run, adding an element of difficulty.

Once they have all of their “scores” correct, they’ll be able to solve an equation that reveals a three-digit number representing an aisle in the ballpark where they’ll find their next clue.

Scott hopes that Brooke doesn’t get frustrated because he can’t talk back to her. She initially calls out the wrong number, not realizing that the legs are in alphabetical order rather than race order. She gets out her binoculars and soon recognizes her error.

The two of them are pretty impressive together, but the challenge doesn’t make for very good recapping.

I think you’re starting to see where this is going, though.

Anyway, Tara & Joey arrive at the rooftop to distribute hot dogs. Brooke strategically notices that they are in hot pursuit, and informs Scott that it’s time to step it up. After they hand out hot dogs and get their tickets, Joey humorously yells, “Go RED SAWX!” The crowd boos him.

With all of their scores in place, Brooke asks if the usher can check their work. Since there’s less than ten minutes left, I think we know what’s about to happen. She and Scott are meeting at home plate to get their next clue. Their clue gives them the aisle number 504, which they’re searching for before Tara & Joey even get started on the scoreboard.

Brooke & Scott get that final clue, which sends them to Milton Lee State Park and the last Pit Stop of the 29th season of The Amazing Race. “Oh my god, I’m going to cry,” says Brooke. Of course she is.

They flag a taxi. “We freakin’ deserve this,” says Scott. Ugh.

The editors try to make it look like Tara & Joey might be in contention, but we figure the separation is probably a good 45 minutes.

“Hold my hand. We’re gonna do this together!” Yes, Brooke & Scott are the champions of The Amazing Race. Brooke cries. Sigh.

Scott says, “I picked the right partner!” Gag.

Tara & Joey finish in second, which of course means that Logan & London take third place. (Frankly, they’re happy that they’re done.) All three teams are full of smiles, which is nice to see.

Despite CBS’s despicable treatment of The Amazing Race this year, they did renew the show. So, we’ll be back to recap the 30th season at some point. We just have no idea when. We won’t be surprised if it’s Summer 2018.