The Amazing Race Season 23 Finale!

tar finaleThis has been a dry season of The Amazing Race, so I was actually pretty happy for it to be over. I went into the show rooting for Jason and Amy by default – I didn’t really care for any of the other teams. The two-hour finale kicked off with the teams traveling to Tokyo, Japan.

The Afghanimals arrived in Tokyo sightly ahead of the other teams, and lucky for them. The other teams arrived together, and their cab drivers bizarrely refused to separate. That became an issue when teams wanted to hit up separate Detours.

Round One

Return of the Japanese Game Show challenge! Teams that went for “Knock It Down” had to compete in human bowling – giant, inflatable human bowling. In “Call It Up”, teams had to perfectly relay a telephone message. Simple.

The Afghanimals took a few attempts before they realized that shooting straight down the middle was the best way to approach the bowling, but they still finished well ahead of other teams. The doctors and Jason and Amy were at the park, putting on teeny bikinis to use an underwater telephone. The message was “Welcome to Tokyo. Wasabi. Taberu.” Easy. Tim and Marie went for the bowling, and it looked like they took a similar amount of time as the Afghanimals.

Because they got saved last week, the Afghanimals had to complete a strange Speed Bump involving some nets and a fake rhino. Everyone else started the Roadblock, in which one team member had to build an actual roadblock. Nicole and Amy decided to work together, thinking they could get the pieces in faster if they were both lifting them. Leo started next, and then Marie. Marie couldn’t find the model, and was pissed that no one would help her. No one should be helping anyone! This is a race!

tar robotLeo tried to finish first, but his middle piece was on wrong. Nicole and Amy began alternating working on each of their robots, so that they’d get them both right and, more importantly, at the same time. I think it was stupid for them to work together – Marie caught up fast, and they easily could have been the last two standing.

Marie finished first. Credit where credit is due, she arrived pretty late and nailed it. Still super dislike her, though. Jason said it was “frustrating that she came in AS A WOMAN” and got it much faster than the two women working together. Asshole.

Amy found out why her and Nicole’s were wrong and told Nicole, then finished second. She took a minute to help her, which I would not have done. Sharing the secret to getting it right was more than enough. Tim and Marie arrived at the pit stop first, Jason and Amy second.

Nicole finally finished, and Travis was WAY harsh when she did. Why does he have to be such an unsupportive and condescending? It’s easy to be judgmental when you’re watching from the sidelines, pal. The Afghanimals were just a little behind them, and after Travis’s behavior I was hoping they’d make it to the pit stop first.

Unfortunately, it was Travis and Nicole who made the final three. At this point, I might even dislike Travis more than I like Marie. Anyway, the Afghanimals were eliminated.

Round Two

The last leg began with instructions to fly to Alaska. This is when Marie revealed that she made Tim sign a contract agreeing to a 60/40 split before they started the race. Seriously? Man, that girl is something else. Good for her, I guess.

The Roadblock required teams to simulate a supply drop in a tiny plane, hitting a target with a bag of flour. Nicole, Amy and Marie opted to do the challenge. Travis told Nicole “It’s redemption time,” because no pressure. She came really close on her first try,  but no one got it right away. Amy got it on her second attempt. Marie didn’t get it until her 12th attempt, leaving Travis to mope about being let down by his inadequate wife. That guy. He is as bad at being a compassionate person as she is at hitting a target – Nicole got it on attempt #21. In the following helicopter ride, Travis just didn’t speak at all – even worse than his previous straight-up derision.

tar iceThe teams got their next clue by chipping ice. But first they had to walk across a small, rickety, terrifying ladder and then through a super cool ice tunnel. Jason and Amy had found their clue just as Tim and Marie were arriving, and the next step was to kayak down the river.

The final challenge was to create a series of totem poles that spelled out the currencies of countries visited, in order. Both team members could work on it – an improvement from that misstep last season. Amy had written down a lot of notes, but not currency. It didn’t seem like Jason and Amy had been working very long when Tim and Marie arrived. Both teams had made quite a bit of progress when Travis and Nicole arrived.

Jason and Amy finished first and took off for the finish line. Tim and Marie finished next, leaving Travis to kind of work on the challenge, but mostly tell his wife how she blew the last four Roadblocks in a row. I feel sorry for their five children, that they’ll have to watch this. They will not be proud.

Jason and Amy won. They were the least obnoxious team of the three, so I’m pleased. They had a lot of second place finishes, but that just meant they were pretty strong all the way through. At least they’re splitting the money 50/50 and, you know, actually like one another.

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