The Amazing Race – The End – by MelTheHound
Welcome back, race fans. This is it. The end of the line.. almost anyway. First we have to dump one of those pesky teams to get the final four down to three. So, they are heading from Edinburgh to Belfast, Northern Ireland. In case you’ve forgotten who ‘they’ are:
- Newlyweds – Max and Katie
- Hockey Brothers – Bates and Anthony
- Country Singers – Caroline and Jennifer
- Derby Moms -Mona and Beth
That is the order they finished the previous leg in (if you want to see the rest of the cast, check one of the other reviews for the list). Last week, YouTube – Meghan and Joey were eliminated. I was a bit disappointed by that because I kind of grew to like them. My pick to win has been Derby moms all along but at this point, anybody but those pain in the ass newlyweds would suit me just fine. Let’s see how this all played out.
To get to Belfast, they have to take a train out of Edinburgh to get to the ferry that will take them across to Belfast. It doesn’t matter when they left their hotel, they will all be on the same boat, equalized for the next leg of the race. As the teams all stagger into the ferry terminal, dickhead Max asks the Derby moms how they liked finding only two cars at the airport in the last leg when they got to Scotland. This guy has proven himself to be a major tool in every episode and at this point, I really wanted to punch him in the throat. Anyway, they take the boat ride across the water and when they get there, they have to find the warehouse where their transportation is located. Four Ford Fiestas. With those, they have to drive to Belfast.
I didn’t catch the name of the park but the location they are going to will be for a roadblock.. Bog Snorkeling. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? What they have to do, is get dressed up in a wet suit, cannonball into this muddy water (with flippers, mask, snorkel, wet suit) and complete a lap swimming around a 100 yard course. They have to do this in under 4 minutes or they have to start over. Sounds simple, Right? Swim a hundred yards in some muddy (cold) water, in less than 4 minutes.. Katie, Jennifer, Mona, and Anthony do the road block. Let’s make this short and sweet. Katie can’t swim so it takes her forever. Mona gets through it pretty quick, well under the 4 minute mark, Jennifer nearly quits and in fact, is half way out of her wet suit before Caroline convinces her to go try again (she can’t swim either and has to do it at least twice), and Anthony pretty much powers through it.
The next clue tells them to drive back to Belfast and find ‘The Thing With The Ring’ aka The Beacon Of Hope to get their Next clue. The clue is a detour, “Tray it or Spray it”. Spray it requires teams to go to a local skate park where a graffiti artist has begun a painting that the team will finish. He provides them with a simple outline and a picture of what it has to look like. Once they’ve done that to the artist’s satisfaction, they get their next clue. Tray it, requires teams to serve a five course meal to a bunch of stuffed shirts sitting in a tent at the bottom of the dry dock where the Titanic was built. See the tent in the bottom of the picture? See the stairs to get down there? Yeah.. This is a hard one folks and these people are tired and pissed at each other by the end of it.
Hockey, Derby, and Newlyweds do this one. See that little white spec at the left of the picture? That’s where the food is kept. Each team draws a seating chart and the same menu is shown at the door. The teams must load their trays with the proper dishes and shlep them down those 4 flights of stairs, find their customers, serve them, and hope they got it right. What every single team failed to spot for some reason was the actual menu at the entrance to the food hut. Each course was listed starting with the horsedivers. It took some longer than others to figure that out though. The object was to get the head waiter to say “Bon Apitit” (sorry, I can’t speak or spell French). Once he says that, they can go get the next course. Derby moms failed to get the first course correct at least 10 times. Newlyweds, got it right within 2 or 3. Hockey Brothers had to make 6 or 7 trips themselves before getting it right. Another error they all made is in the color of the desert.. Chartreuse which, is a greenish color. So they all have to make at least two trips for that 5th course. You people who work out with a stair master, have nothing on these people after they completed this challenge. Max, Bates, and I think, Mona were the servers and their partners had to fill the trays. At one point, Anthony tripped over a railroad track and spilled his tray. Newlyweds, Hockey, and Derby get out of there in that order.
Now, all of them had to ask for directions to The Thing With The Ring. Including Country when they finally finished the bog challenge. Only problem is, Country asked the one guy in Belfast who, either didn’t know, or was a practical joker. Because, they wound up in some field that was in fact ring like (circular large patch of grass) but I doubt it had anything to do with the beacon of hope. They finally get proper directions, find the detour clue and chose ‘Spray it’. You can see the image they had to complete the right side of the picture.
The next clue takes them to the pit stop.. Ulster Hall. A concert type venue that was probably once something else entirely different. Doesn’t matter. Newlywed and Hockey race for first place as they arrive there about the same time but that is the order they finish. They take spots one and two of the final three and Newlyweds win a trip to the Dominican Republic (Snooki’s home town, and the location of a certain brawl that the NJ crew has become famouse for). Derby moms finish third to take that final spot and knock out the Country singers who finish last. Had they not been directed to the wrong place, the result may have been different. If one of the first three had chosen Spray instead of Tray, they may have taken first and even knocked out the Newlyweds. That’s the way it crumbles though. One bad move cost the Country girls, Caroline and Jennifer, the race. Not following instructions nearly cost the Derby moms the race. Everything counts here, as we’ll see.
Time for part two of this (I really wish that CBS wouldn’t do these two hour finales. It’s a pain in the ass). Okay. Once again, the teams are equalized at London’s Heathrow Airport after they take an 8 hour ferry ride across the Irish Sea. I’ve just figured out what it is about Katie that has been bugging me all along. Not so much bugging me I guess but who she reminds me of… Mr Ed. At any moment, I expect her to winnnie or shout out “Hello Wilbur” (sorry). We’re going to Washington DC kids. Yay! Back home 😀 .
Once they land, they have to go to the Lincoln Memorial and stand on the spot where MLK Jr. made his I Had A Dream speech. It’s engraved right there on the steps. When they find the spot, they will be handed their next clue. All three teams get there within seconds or minutes of each other. The Lincoln memorial is a bit hard to miss if you have a good cab driver who knows the sites. Fortunately, they all did.
The next clue tells them to go to 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue where they will meet up with a service agent and they will have their picture taken with the President. Not really kids. Even I didn’t believe that the current occupant would spend time filming for the race for a photo op. This is a tourist trap type thing where the people are carefully posed to be photoshopped into an image making it appear as though they’ve actually met the President. Okay… What is the address of the whitehouse? I think every 4th grade kid (or sooner) knows this. 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Right? Newlyweds and Hockey get to the proper address. My team, The Derby Moms, go to the whitehouse. They just automatically assumed that’s where they were going since they were going to ‘meet the president’. C’mon people, Every tax paying citizen owns that place. They all get their pictures taken and get their next clue which is on the back of the picture. It tells them to find the marked car near the paddle boat dock at The Tidal Basin and knock three times on the window to get their Next clue.
The next clue is handed to them in a briefcase and it’s a roadblock. Apparently this is what they call a switchback. They’ve done this before or something similar (the Cheese wheels on the sleds in Switzerland was a switchback). There are 50 spies walking around the basin, each has a briefcase. Each team is given a key phrase that they have say to the agents. When the right one is found, they will swap briefcases and the agent will tell them how to open it. Each team has a different phrase because the briefcase they are given has a coded combination. That code can be deciphered by remembering their finishing places in they finished in Indonesia, New Zealand, and Vietnam. In other words, if they finished respectively 1st 5th and 2nd, then the combo to the lock on the case is 152… It could be any one of these 50 guys carrying the case they need. Okay.. Newlyweds get their first, followed by Hockey, and tagging along bringing up the rear, Derby Moms now that they’ve learned where the president lives. Max, Bates, and I think, Mona (again) do this roadblock. Bates gets lucky and finds his spy pretty quick and even though Newlyweds were there first, Hockey is the first to get the next clue (more on that in a second). While Katie is doing a lot of sideline bitching, Max is circling the basin looking for the right spy. I think even while he is still there trying, long after the Hockey brothers left, Derby even catches up to them and also get lucky pretty early. Not lucky enough to snag second place though but Newlyweds are no longer in first.
The next clue tells them to go to the home of the Nats (National’s Stadium). What they are to do there, is one will fly across the stadium on a zip line tossing a ball to the other who is on the field, dressed in this ridiculous mascot’s outfit, like a baseball with a hat on. There are enough lines there for all three teams to do this at once but as it turns out, in the order they arrive, they complete the task, one at a time. It takes each several tries to get it but they do get it done.
These games always come down to the puzzles. The next clue takes them to a park at Haines Point. There, they will have to jump into a pit of balls that are basically simple globes. The object is, to find the ones with the countries they have visited outlined in red and place them in order to reveal their next clue. The rub is, not every globe is marked so they have to find the ones that are. ChuckE-Cheese all over again says Anthony as he jumps into the ball pit. Newlyweds swap out in finding the balls and I honestly don’t remember which Derby mom did this part of it. At one point though, Newlyweds and Derby were there at the same time. Hockey is long gone and on their way to the next stop. The finish line at Mt Vernon, home of the first President, George Washington. The clue was to go to the home of the first president.
Here they are folks. Your winners. Bates and Anthony aka Hockey Brothers. Bates earlier said that he missed out on the Stanley Cup and didn’t want to be the first loser (second place) here in the race. Well, they aren’t. That would be the Newlyweds who took second. Remember, this was their honeymoon. They said if this race didn’t kill their marriage, nothing would. Nice for them and we’ll see. I still think Max is a dickhead though. They won a few trips and a pair of cars. Derby Moms, Mona and Beth did finish as well. For them, they say the prize is the race itself. I had high hopes of them winning but I also said earlier, anybody but the Newlyweds. We heard from Dave and Conner. Dave’s Achilles tendon was blown out and repaired by surgery and he just had the stitches out a few days prior. Country girls, plan on continuing their friendship with the hockey brothers.. I’ll bet they do now that they have the cash.
So. There you have it. Another season of The Amazing Race in the can. I don’t know what I was thinking by volunteering take on another Sunday night show but I’ll see you in less than a month when we begin the storm that is New Jersey. You can watch this episode of TAR here if you like or at CBS.com. I hope you enjoyed the recaps folks. See you next time.
Til then, Peace… MTH
Happy Birthday Cocfarm