The Amazing Race Season 21 Finale Review – “A Victory For Nice”


The Amazing Race

The Amazing Race wrapped up last night with a two-hour finale. This season, overall, was pretty average to me. There were a couple teams to root for, but I didn’t think any of the personalities were especially likable and memorable. (The most memorable team is “Twinniiiiiieeee!” and for all the wrong reasons.) The challenges this season weren’t that memorable either, and the “alliance” of three and heavy cooperation took a lot of the competitive spirit out of the race.

That said, I enjoyed the finale. I was never really sure who was going to win, and the final moments had me on the edge of my seat. Click through for a recap!

Penultimate Leg – Spain to France

beekmanWhen the final four teams touched down in France, they had to take part in some brief product placement before locating their next clue near a statue of a dog.

From the beginning of the leg, the twins were obsessed with getting the Beekman Boys out, despite the fact that the other two teams are clearly bigger threats. It was fun to see Josh pull out his French speaking skills in front of everyone, but by doing it in a group it didn’t give them any advantage.

Speed Bump – Corseted

twinnie speed bump

Lacing it up

Lacing up a corset? Really, guys? That was literally a challenge we used for a recent charity event (an awesome one for the local AIDS non-profit, based on The Amazing Race) that I helped plan. So a Halifax charity event is on a par with the real show. Awesome for us, weak for them. The twins didn’t fall too far behind completing the task, but the other teams had already left for the next location, caravan-style.

Detour – Chow or Plow

trey and lexie plow

Pony Express

In the first Detour option, teams would have to make and serve a meal for a pack of hungry hunting dogs. In the second option, teams had to till a field. Since I have, quite unfortunately, seen the film War Horse, I’m aware that tilling a field is not exactly easy. (OK, it was not easy with a racing horse.)  So I would have fed some puppies.

Originally, all three leading teams decided together to go “Chow” and feed the dogs, but once in the car Trey and Lexie decided to finally get competitive and head to “Plow” instead. Later, the Chippendales drove by the plowing and decided to go for that as well. The twins and their enemies the Beekman Boys ended up at “Chow” together.

Trey and Lexie were the first team to complete a Detour, followed closely by the Chippendales.

The Beekman Boys were good at josh and brent dog foodchatting while they worked and tried to mess with Twinnies’ minds, but the twins mostly just bickered with each other. As if I needed another reason to HATE the twins, when the Beekmans received their clue one said “The gays bloody beat us.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME. I hate them like poison.

Roadblock – Who’s a Funghi?

In this Roadblock, one team member had to collect thirty mushrooms – three types, ten each – in a giant, awesome cave.

Lexie got through the challenge on her first try, which was pretty impressive – the cave was dark and confusing. The Chippendale also did well, getting it right on his second try. I wasn’t surprised that these teams would both be in the final leg. It was close, but the Chippendales managed to make up some ground and nab the first place finish. It was nice that that one guy got the car for his mom. Trey and Lexie came in second place.

Unfortunately, the Beekman Boys are notoriously bad with directions (did that even come up before this episode) and they seemed to get lost on the way to the Roadblock, which gave the twins a chance to catch up. I could only hope they their idiocy would prevent them from completing the Roadblock quickly.

Team Twinnie got the clue on their first try, leaving the Beekman Boys in the dust. Sigh. I’ve really come to hate the twins. The Beekman Boys also got it on their first try, but they were about ten minutes behind the twins. There was a lot of implied drama – the twins weren’t sure they were going the right way, the Beekmans hit construction – but I was sure the twins would still arrive first.

I WAS WRONG! The twins really did go the wrong way, and once again The Beekman Boys managed to squeak through. Team Twinnie was eliminated before the final leg! Sorry, bitches, but “the gays” did beat you. Congratulations, you’re the worst. Instead of a montage of them being “fun”, could we get one of them stealing money and saying “the gays”?

Final Leg – France to New York

The final three teams took off for the final leg of the race, which would lead them back to good old New York City. The Beekmans are from New York, so that would give them an advantage, but the other two teams were obviously stronger. The Chips pulled the pro move and dumped their bags before getting on the plane.

Everyone touched down in NYC at the same time and it was a race to Coney Island. There everyone searched for the typical red and yellow marker, but it wasn’t that simple. A sign for “The Amazing Houdini” had a clue painted into the poster. Lexie was the first one to realize what the clue was, followed quickly by the Beekman Boys. The Chippendales were down on the beach, still looking for the marker.

Roadblock – Houdini Escape

In a word? Awesome. I have bungee jumped, and this kind of crazy activity is just the kind of thing I’d want to do on The Amazing Race. Get held up high in the air, escape from a straightjacket, and then plummet towards the earth? So. Cool. Also, I am super flexible and pretty sure I could get out of the straight jacket quickly.

Trey went first, and he overcame his fear of heights and slayed the challenge. He was so fast! Brent went next and was also quick, but the Chippendales were right on their tails.

Teams were instructed to head to Lombardi’s, the famous “first pizzeria in New York”, to which Lexie said “I hope I don’t have to eat pizza.” What? Girlfriend, have you seen what people on this show have had to eat? Pizza is ain’t no thang.

Deliver Ten Pizzas

Unfortunately, the teams weren’t eating. They had to memorize three locations and deliver ten pizzas to them on foot. It was a challenge that would be easy to screw up, which meant anyone could take the lead. The Beekmans went with a strategy – one would memorize the orders, the other the addresses. They also know New York, and knew what order to visit the addresses in. But for all that, they screwed up the deliveries. Trey and Lexie did it right, putting them way in the lead – they had their next clue before the Chippendales had even begun.

Sigh. The fact that Trey and Lexie didn’t recognize the symbol for the UN is precisely why I can’t root for them. I mean…guys. Please.

The Beekmans made their corrections quickly enough, but the error resulted in some of the first bickering we’ve seen from them. At least they immediately recognized the UN symbol. The Chippendales delivered the pizzas on their first try, and also had to ask for help with the next clue. Some people are cut out to be pizza delivery people, others diplomats. That’s just life.

Roadblock – UN

At the United Nations, one team member had to match up the greetings they received at the pit stops with the correct flags. When they had everything right, they could raise the UN flag which would lower their clue.

Lexie, Josh and James did the challenge. Lexie seemed frustrated, and things didn’t get better when she smacked herself in the head. Remember when she cut her finger? Lexie breaks down easily. It was a really difficult task, and Josh employed the best strategy – completing the ones he knew and then trying every possible combination for the others. It’s all about keeping  a clear head and focusing on what you have and haven’t tried yet, and Josh excelled at that. They finished first.

The Chippendales also stayed calm, and they came from behind to finish second. I like both these teams. I was rooting for the Beekmans because I’ve liked them all along and they’re the ultimate underdogs, but I wouldn’t have been completely  disappointed with the Chips winning.

That said, it warmed my little heart to see Josh and Brent run to the finish line. Good for them! OK, so they were far from the best team. They narrowly escaped elimination many times. They never won a leg – until the one that really mattered. But they didn’t have an “alliance” helping them complete tasks all along, and they were the best at the final challenge and I think they deserved this win.

The Chippendales were very classy when they came in second, and I do like them. I’m glad they came in second. We didn’t see Lexie finish the challenge, but they too were gracious. They’re very young and not well-traveled, so they should be proud of their third place finish.

This wasn’t the most exciting season, but the final episode was pretty thrilling and I’m pleased with the results. What do you guys think?