The Amazing Race Recap:
Season Finale Part I
By Daron Aldridge
December 10, 2012
This is it…sort of. I guess, technically, this is the first part of “it” because the producers decided to wring an extra hour out of this season’s finale.
As Phil gives us a recap of the four remaining teams and their positives and negatives, it is unusual to me that there is no reference to the twins’ sticky fingers act of thievery. Maybe they are hopeful that we, the audience, will forget. Well, I, admittedly, will not let you forget.
So here we go again as the teams likely leave Spain.
Off of the mat in first at 9:32 a.m. is Team Longhorn Trey & Lexi. Their clue instructs them to fly to Barcelona and then take the train to Loire Valley, France. The next clue will be waiting for them on the window of a piece of product placement. Since neither BOP nor I are getting compensated for such placement, I elect to not mention this manufacturer.
Wisely, Trey explains that despite the alliance with Team Beefcake and Team Despicable, this is a race for a million dollars and they will do what they need to in order to win.
Almost 15 minutes later, Jaymes & James are anxiously waiting to rip into their clue. We know that Jaymes (blond with a “y”) is on the Race to help his sick dad but his counterpart has been quiet when familial motivations is brought up. The other James from Jaymes & James explains that he is just a mama’s boy and wants to help his mother retire from a life of helping special needs kids. Wow…if both these stories are true; how can you not root for them?
At 10:27 a.m., Team Beekman leaves the mat in an unfamiliar place: not last. The promise of visiting France excites Josh; so he can dust off his bilingualism. They are also motivated to get to the final three to show that people shouldn’t have underestimated them. If anything, I overestimated their abilities before the season started and felt they would go this far. I am glad that I don’t have money riding on this show because this is one of the very few instances when I have correctly predicted how a team would fare sight unseen.
Finally, the Speed Bump-pending Team Despicable takes up time on my TV. The twins explain that since they are in an alliance with Trey & Lexi and Jaymes & James, these other teams will do what they can to help him get to the finals in place of Team Beekman. The twins conclude that they “want it more” than Josh & Brent. Even after running nearly all the legs of the Race, Natalie & Nadiya don’t quite seem to grasp the true intent of the Amazing Race. There is only ONE team that will get the million dollars, plus all the U-Turns have likely been played, so I am not sure what magical powers the others will be able to use on the Beekmans to the favor of the twins.
As expected, all the teams have hopped on the same plane and the same train. On the train, the brain trust alliance of teams that don’t have Josh & Brent on them are openly discussing working together. Of course, this collection of teams that are clearly not as smart as they think they are fails to realize that Josh & Brent are sitting in a train car about 15 feet away. Team Beekman explains that they are choosing to not let this formerly secret alliance demoralize them but rather motivate them even more. All the awkwardness is now behind us (for the moment), as they arrive in France.
In an example of pushing product placement to the next ludicrous level, the teams have to specifically use the nifty new “hands-free” gate opening feature of their SUV from a certain car sponsor. It will crack me up if a team is penalized for not performing this task that is nothing more than a showcase of a vehicle the show was paid to feature. Anyway, the teams have to pick up eight empty crates from a coffee vendor and drive to the Chateau de Villandry and find a stone dog statue on the grounds of the huge garden.