The Amazing Race 23: Episode 11, Part 1

By Daron Aldridge

December 9, 2013

At least they can hang out with the ice bunnies.

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Settle in kiddos, because it’s time for the whopping two-hour finale of the Amazing Race 23. Last week, we got bad news and bad news. The first bad news is that we endured our last non-elimination of the season and the other bad news is that the team that survived because of said non-elimination was Leo & Jamal.

You know I am no fan of these wild and crazy guys but I really don’t like the possibility that they will survive into the final three. The worst case scenario for me would be the Afghanimals and Tim & Marie occupying two-thirds of the final three. And the fall from grace (at least in likability) of Travis & Nicole doesn’t exactly make me clamor for them to claim victory, either.

Heading into this episode, my last set of rankings holds strong as the teams actually finished the non-elimination leg in the order of their rankings. Nothing cataclysmic happened with them, so I stand by my assertion that the teams stack up like this:

1. Jason & Amy
2. Tim & Marie
3. Travis & Nicole
4. Leo & Jamal

Well, let’s dive into Part 1 of the finale recap. Phil schools us on the expansive island network that makes up Indonesia (more than 17,000, if you are interested) and picks up with Jason & Amy finally leaving from a first place finish.




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It’s 1:25 a.m. and the daters are being directed to Tokyo and the Gotokuji Temple, which is occupied with thousands of ceramic cat statues. Otherwise known as a crazy cat lady nirvana.

With an ever elusive first place finish in their pocket, Jason finally acknowledges that they really only needed one first place and that is the one at the end. True story, big guy. I just hope that you can pull out that victory, as you are the only team I can 100% root for at this point.

The New Englanders head to a travel agency and find out that there are two flights that arrive in Tokyo only ten minutes apart. The one that arrives at 6:10 a.m. has no seats available and instead of trying for standby, they want everyone to fly together. This will keep them in each other’s sights. A fairly solid plan and not shocking at all since the co-dependent alliance with the doctors and daters has been on full display the last couple legs - even more so than what the Ice girls and Afghanimals had.

Surprisingly, the next two teams leave the Pitstop an hour later, which shows how miserable Tim & Marie and Travis & Nicole performed during last week’s makeup Detour.

When they convene at the travel agency, the three teams make a tenuous agreement that they will work together to ensure that Leo & Jamal are sent home. Once again, Travis & Nicole play the sanctimonious card that they want the cousins gone because they lie and play dirty. I wish that we could pause and let them see the play back on how pathetic Nicole was at previous Roadblock where she melted down and tried to copy Leo’s work. And Travis’ increasingly short fuse with Nicole’s inability on tasks isn’t putting him in a great light, either.


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