|Posted on Dec 8, 2013 11:00pm|
JASON & AMY WIN THE AMAZING RACE
From Tokyo to the top of a glacier in Alaska, dating couple Jason & Amy won when it mattered most while exes Tim & Marie took second place, and married ER doctors Nicole & Travis faded into third.
A TEAM OF SIX
At 1:25am, dating couple Jason & Amy ripped open their clue instructing them to fly to Tokyo, Japan. Once they landed, they had to make their way to the Gotokuji Temple, filled with hundreds of ceramic cat statues, a popular Japanese lucky charm that invites happiness. Meeting up at a travel agency, Jason & Amy, married ER doctors Nicole & Travis, and exes Tim & Marie all booked seats on a flight through Singapore and Bangkok landing in Tokyo at 6:20am and discussed how they could make the final three together. Wanting to engineer the elimination of cousins Leo & Jamal, Nicole suggested that the three teams all work together in this leg “as a team of six instead of a team of two.” While Amy nodded in agreement, Travis hoped the Afghanimals would help them out by taking a risky flight that backfired.
Cousins Leo & Jamal initially traveled on the same itinerary as the other three teams, but in the connecting city of Singapore the cousins, worried about their impending Speed Bump, snuck away from the other teams and bought tickets for a flight to Hong Kong that would arrive in Tokyo at 6:10am, 10 minutes earlier. Waiting at the gate for their flight to Bangkok, the other three teams wondered what happened to the Afghanimals. Initially Amy was confident the cousins would appear just before take off, but sitting on the plane she realized that wasn’t the case. Boarding the flight to Hong Kong with Leo, Jamal predicted, “Going to be number one.”
Landing in Tokyo at 6:12am, cousins Leo & Jamal jumped into a taxi with no delay and no drama, unsure of how big a lead they now held over the other teams. Touching down five minutes later, Nicole & Travis, Jason & Amy, and Tim & Marie discovered the perils of trying to work as a team of six with only two available taxis outside the terminal. To make matters worse, neither driver knew directions to Gotokuji Temple. Not wanting to be left behind, Marie announced she would share the address to the temple (a piece of information the others didn’t have) if someone would get her a taxi. Annoyed at Marie withholding information, Jason & Amy and Nicole & Travis tried to leave, but their drivers told them they were waiting for the third taxi to arrive. Just before the cab appeared, Tim laughed at how quickly the supposed alliance tried to ditch him and Marie only to be foiled by the drivers assuming they were a group of six. Now on the way to the temple, Jason said, “It’s going to be a long day.”
Entering Gotokuji Temple in first place, cousins Leo & Jamal walked past hundreds of white ceramic cats, asking them for good luck before opening their clue to find a Detour having to choose between Knock It Down and Call It Up. Knock It Down required teams to compete in a Japanese game show called Human Bowling Ball. Both team members had to become the ball and try to knock over all the pins. Once they scored a strike, the game show host would hand them their next clue. Call It Up required teams to become immersed in a popular art installation that makes use of Japan’s obsolete phone booths. One team member had to jump into a phone booth filled with water and hundreds of goldfish, make a call, and run over to tell their partner what they heard. When the judge heard the correct information from the partner she would hand them their next clue. As the Afghanimals headed to Tokyo Media City to compete on a Japanese game show, the caravan of taxis with the other teams arrived at Gotokuji Temple. After reading the clue Jason & Amy and Tim & Marie both wanted to Knock It Down, while separately, out of earshot, Nicole & Travis wanted to Call It Up at Kinuta Park. Because Nicole & Travis’ taxi led the group of three drivers that still insisted on staying together, the married ER doctors made certain their driver would take them to the park instead of the media city. Tired of being slowed down by the group dynamics, both Jason & Amy and Tim & Marie knew that this arrangement needed to end soon.
KNOCK IT DOWN
After picking up four large bowling pins at the entrance to Tokyo Media Center, cousins Leo & Jamal entered and walked onto the set of a Japanese game show where the familiar host from the wasabi game (AR15) and rubber chicken game (AR20) explained the rules. After the cousins put on crazy hats and bright pink kimonos, they scaled a steep ramp hoisting an inflatable round raft with them. In this first attempt, the cousins tried a curve technique, but when Jamal slid down the ramp on his raft after a helpful push from Leo, he only knocked down a few pins. On the second try, Leo tried pushing off a side wall before hitting the pins, but this strategy didn’t yield a greater success than Jamal’s. After more failures between the cousins by riding the raft down the far left and right walls, Jamal finally tried straight down the middle, and this time he hit a strike knocking all the pins down. Before making their way to Shinjuku Chuo Koen, the Afghanimals decided to fold up their costumes so the teams wouldn’t realize they had already been there. The caravan of three taxis led by Nicole & Travis arrived at the entrance to Kinuta Park, the location for Call It Up. The married ER doctors got out of their taxi with Jason & Amy and both teams began to discreetly search for the telephone booth. The two teams didn’t want to tip off Tim & Marie, who sat watching in their car because only two teams could perform the task at a time. Still thinking everyone agreed to their original plan, Tim & Marie finally got out of their cab to ask a local woman for directions to Media Center and then left the park, essentially ditching the teams who were trying to ditch them.
CALL IT UP
Running further into the park, Nicole & Travis and Jason & Amy came to a clearing and spotted a pair of telephone booths filled entirely with water and hundreds of goldfish. Travis and Amy each took their costumes into a changing room and emerged in bright orange speedos and a matching goldfish swim cap (complete with “gills”) and goggles. Amy said, “I feel like I’m in Finding Nemo.” Climbing into the booth from the top, Amy and Travis submerged fully into the cold water, picked up the receiver handle of the phone, dialed a number and listened to a message: Welcome to Tokyo. Wasabi tabeyou (meaning “Let’s eat wasabi”). Exiting the phone booths and running to their partners, Amy and Travis relayed the message correctly to Jason and Nicole who then ran across the park to a woman holding a bunch of balloons and correctly recited it to her. Both teams received their clues and jumped into taxis heading to Shinjuku Chuo Koen. Arriving at Media Center in last place, exes Tim & Marie put on their kimonos and silly hats as they shared their rocky dating history with the inquisitive host. On Marie’s first attempt, Tim pushed her so hard she went flying off her raft when she hit a bump. On Tim’s first try he only hit one pin, earning the scorn of the host who made fun of his feeble attempt. With more failure, Marie changed the strategy for the team hoping for better results. Marie leveraged her foot against the wall at the top of the ramp and pushed Tim at an angle with all her might, bouncing him off the wall and directly into all of the pins for a strike. When the exes took off their costumes, they noticed the Afghanimals’ kimonos neatly folded and wondered if the cousins missed their flight.
Arriving at Shinjuku Chuo Koen in first place, cousins Leo & Jamal had to perform their Speed Bump before continuing on with the Race. This Speed Bump required them to become an apprentice zookeeper and capture an escaped “rhino” from a local zoo, a real drill done in Tokyo. After putting on bright green vests and white safety helmets, Leo & Jamal joined their crew of nearly a dozen zookeepers carrying large white nets and laughed as they began chasing the escaped “rhino,” two men in a rhino costume. Running towards the charging animal, the cousins tried tying their nets around it until the other zookeepers called them back, instructing the Afghanimals to follow their lead. Doing an orchestrated dance with the rhino, moving their nets forward and back in an attempt to tame it, Leo shouted for the lead zookeeper to shoot the tranquilizer gun. After a tranquilizer dart hit the rhino, the zookeepers moved in, tied their nets to the animal’s legs, lifted the nets over its body, and tamed the wild beast.
Just as the Afghanimals neared finishing their Speed Bump, Nicole & Travis and Jason & Amy arrived at the fountain in Shinjuku Chuo Koen to find a Roadblock. One third of the world’s robots are made and used in Japan. This Roadblock gave teams the opportunity to build a robot. When the engineer approved the work, she would hand them their next clue. Nicole and Amy each ran to their workstations that contained all of the pieces, large colored pipes that they would need to construct their life-sized robot. The women then ran over to a pedestal near the fountain where they studied a miniature model, only several inches tall, of the robot before beginning their construction. Cheering his wife on, Travis suggested that Nicole team up with Amy to make the process go faster. They both agreed as Amy told Jay, “I got this. It’s like building Legos.” In third place, Leo ran over to his workstation as Jamal noted Amy and Nicole working together, saying, “Dumb and dumber is helping each other out.” While the women struggled to slide the tubes together to form the robot’s body, Leo, in between running back and forth to check his work at the model, quickly assembled his pieces, feeling confident about his work. Trying to motivate his partner, Jamal shouted, “Just focus. You smell the money? Because I smell it.”
COME FROM BEHIND
When exes Tim & Marie arrived at Shinjuku Chuo Koen, the reality hit home that they were in last place when they saw the other teams there. Running to her workstation, Marie couldn’t find the model, expecting to see one the size she had to build. When she asked Nicole and Amy they didn’t respond to her question and Marie felt the snub was intentional. Once Leo helped her out and pointed out the model at the fountain, Marie attacked the challenge with incredible determination and skill. Watching Nicole and Amy struggle with the pieces, Jason and Travis marveled at how Marie used the ground as leverage to slide pieces together. Marie knew she had an advantage when she realized the construction required mental and physical strength. In almost no time, Marie caught up to and passed the other three teams. After making a few adjustments to the saxophone playing robot while it rested on the ground, Marie raised it up once she completed construction, another smart move to prevent it from falling apart. The engineer inspected Marie’s work and approved, handing her and Tim their clue instructing them to find a roaming vending machine in Shibuya Crossing. As Marie ran off, she shouted to Nicole and Amy, “Thanks for not helping me, guys!”
“SHE’S JUST WEAK”
Nicole and Amy couldn’t figure out the mistake they made after being rejected several times by the engineer. Growing increasingly frustrated, especially after seeing Marie’s performance, Travis and Jason wondered if they made a mistake in having their partners do the Roadblock. Travis complained, “Nicole kills us. She’s just weak.” Taking another look at the model, Amy suddenly realized what she and Nicole did wrong. The women used the longer pipe for the robot’s hips when they should have used it for its shoulders. This meant they both had to entirely demolish their robot and rebuild with the proper hips and shoulders. Since Amy spotted the mistake and had a better understanding of how to rebuild, she took the lead as Nicole tried to digest what she needed to do. Within minutes Amy had a totally reconstructed robot while Nicole floundered with pieces scattered everywhere. After Amy got her clue, she ran over to Nicole and walked her through the process as a nervous Jason bit his tongue. Amy felt confident in spending the additional time helping her friend because she knew exactly what was wrong with Leo’s robot and noticed he still hadn’t fixed it. Seeing Amy now sliding pieces of pipe together with Nicole, Jason shouted for her to hurry. Just as Leo realized his mistake (the buttons were on its back instead of chest, requiring a substantial rebuild), Amy left Nicole to finish her robot alone. Seeing Leo take his robot apart, Travis tried to “motivate” Nicole to finish hers up, shouting, “It’s not rocket science. Come on.” Travis added that Nicole showed him she wasn’t the same as him, someone he could depend on. Just as Travis shouted for Nicole to be confident and decisive, she asked the engineer to inspect her robot and got her clue. In the taxi, Travis expressed even more dismay at Nicole’s performance, saying, “It’s actually sad. You got to learn to do stuff.” Now in last place, Leo continued to rebuild his robot, disappointed he didn’t see his mistake sooner. Jamal walked over to the model and pointed an accusatory finger, saying, “Damn you, robot. You were what made us fall.” Once Leo reconstructed his robot and received the clue from the engineer, he apologized to his partner who told him not to worry about it.
After finding the vending machine in Shibuya Crossing, exes Tim & Marie ran to the Pit Stop at Konno Hachimangu Shrine to win the leg and a spot in the final three. For their victory, Tim & Marie won a trip for two from Travelocity to Aruba. Joining the exes on the mat, dating couple Jason & Amy congratulated the winners of the leg and celebrated their own berth in the final three after a second place finish. The top two teams got a surprise when the married ER doctors showed up on the mat to claim the last spot in the final three. The three teams high-fived each other, thrilled that their plan to eliminate Leo & Jamal paid off, and now they looked forward to racing each other for one million dollars. Arriving at the shrine in last place, cousins Leo & Jamal were eliminated from the Race, falling just short of the final three. While sad, Leo called this one of the best experiences of his life, something he would never trade for anything.
OFF TO ALASKA
Departing the Pit Stop at 6:08am, exes Tim & Marie ripped open their clue to find out the final destination: Juneau, Alaska. When they landed, they had to make their way to Douglas Island Harbor and take a marked boat to Grizzly Bar. Jumping in a taxi, Marie revealed she made Tim sign an agreement that all prizes won on the Race would be split 60/40 in Marie’s favor. Tim conceded that Marie did most of the legwork to actually get them racing and called the experience itself immeasurable. Jason & Amy and Nicole & Travis, allies from the beginning, knew that they wouldn’t be racing together in the final leg. Jason called him and Amy one of the best teams ever to run the Race, compiling six second place finishes and tying a record. Now with a victory in their sights, Amy said she had no regrets about helping Nicole because the married ER doctors don’t do well without the assistance. For their part, Nicole & Travis still expected to be the team coming in first place, believing they didn’t need an alliance with Jason & Amy.
Landing in Juneau, Alaska on an overcast, drizzly day, the three teams jostled in a scrappy battle for taxis to Douglas Island Harbor. The incredibly tight race continued on the high-speed boats as the teams tried to encourage their drivers to overtake each other. Travis wanted separation from the two teams behind him because he worried they always follow him and Nicole to the clue. The married ER doctors pulled up to the shore at Grizzly Bar first, but Jason & Amy and Tim & Marie docked close behind. The three teams ripped open their clue to find a Roadblock. Bush planes are an essential part of survival in remote regions of Alaska. In this Roadblock, one team member had to simulate a supply drop. Flying at 60mph and at least 150 feet above ground, they had to drop a bag of flour on a target. Once they hit the target, the pilot would hand them their next clue. In the crucial first task of the leg, it was truly ladies choice as Nicole, Amy, and Marie all jumped into the single engine bush planes and buckled up while the nervous men waited below. As Nicole circled around for her first drop, Travis said he told her it was redemption time, but redemption would have to wait. After the pilot opened the window, Nicole leaned out and dropped the bag of flour that landed just past the target, in contrast to Amy and Marie, whose first tries landed too short. While Nicole’s second attempt landed even further past the target, Amy hit a near perfect bull’s eye as Jason erupted in excitement. After her plane touched down with an exuberant Amy inside, she opened her clue with Jason, instructing the dating couple to travel by helicopter to the Norris Glacier where they would take part in an Alaskan ice expedition. When they landed, they had to choose a mountain guide and make their way to the base of the glacier. Once there, they had to look for their next clue frozen in the ice and use an ice ax to chip it out.
HARD PILL TO SWALLOW
After Marie hit the target on her 12th attempt, Travis remained alone on Grizzly Bar, becoming increasingly disappointed once again with Nicole’s performance at the Roadblock. Watching his wife’s failures add up, Travis said, “Sometimes not being very successful is a hard pill to swallow.” His frustration intensified when Nicole began missing the mark in an erratic way, sometimes too short, sometimes too long. Even from high above, Nicole was as disappointed in herself as she knew Travis was in her. Trying to put her anxiety aside, Nicole focused and finally hit the target on her 22nd try. When she reunited with Travis on the ground, she quickly apologized and hoped for a chance to catch up, prompting a scowl from her husband.
Landing on the glacier in first place, Jason & Amy exited their helicopter, chose a mountain guide, and put crampons over their shoes for a better grip. Getting harnessed up, Jason led the way, descending onto a narrow metal bridge that spanned a crevasse. Seeing bright blue water below, Jason maintained his balanced as he walked across the ladder to the other side of the crevasse, picked up a pair of ice axes, and crawled his way back to the top of the glacier. Safely back on top, Jason shouted encouragement and advice to Amy throughout her walk across the ladder and climb up the crevasse, yelling, “Look at you! You’re an ice climber!” As Tim & Marie landed on the glacier, Jason & Amy continued their trek on the glacier until they arrived at an ice tunnel. Using extreme caution, the excited couple entered the upward sloping tunnel that shimmered in a deep, vibrant blue. With sheer ice walls surrounding them and pure, crystal clear water rushing below, the couple relied on a guide rope and their crampons for support as they climbed through the tunnel back into sunlight. Just as Nicole & Travis landed on the glacier, Jason & Amy walked further along the glacier until they reached a giant ice wall. Once there, Jason picked up an ice ax, and began chipping away to reveal a yellow and black clue. Turning it over, the couple saw the words: Try Again. Having a whole wall to choose from, Amy began pointing out clues for Jason to chip out, but each one said Try Again. With Tim & Marie gaining ground navigating through the ice tunnel, Jason & Amy didn’t panic as the Try Again clues piled up at their feet. Finally, the dating couple found a clue instructing them to hike to the shore and paddle a tandem kayak to the marked island.
As Jason & Amy kayaked with Tim & Marie closing in, third place Nicole & Travis’s day only got worse. Travis had few problems walking across the ladder over the crevasse and climbing back up the glacier. However, Nicole was a different story entirely. With Travis shouting guidance from above, Nicole slowly inched across the ladder using a rope to keep her balance. Reaching the other side, she grabbed both ice picks lodged into the glacier but she lost her footing and dropped one of the picks into the crevasse below. Now faced with climbing out of the crevasse using only one ice pick to grab onto, Nicole fell a second time when she tried to gain her balance. Wanting to cry, Nicole instead focused her thoughts and slowly climbed the crevasse as an impressed Travis watched from above. After paddling the mile course in their kayaks without a break, Jason & Amy docked at the marked island and ripped open their clue instructing them to take a helicopter back to Juneau and make their way to Blue Berry Hills Trail Head. After Jason & Amy set off in their helicopter, Tim & Marie reached shore in their kayak as Tim said, “We gotta chase a team and that’s it. We have no option but to beat Jay and Amy.” Just as the dating couple’s helicopter landed in Juneau, Jason said, “Second place is not good enough today. We’re going home with a win.”
Arriving at Blue Berry Hills Trail Head in first place, Jason & Amy discovered they had to “raise some money.” Totem poles have been an important part of Native American history for centuries. Teams had to build a wall of them by spelling out the names of the currencies from each of the countries they visited, arranging them chronologically. Once their money was in order they would receive their final clue to race to the finish line. The overwhelmed dating couple tried to sort through the many pieces and partial letters of the totem poles, trying to put each one together to form a currency they saw somewhere on the Race. While they remembered the peso and krone right off the bat, others didn’t come so easy. To make matters worse, the always diligent and observant Amy took notes on everything except currencies. When Tim & Marie arrived, Jason & Amy got rattled as they still couldn’t remember some currency names and had problems finding the correct letters for the ones they did know. Trying to lift a heavy totem up a metal pole to slide in place, Jason’s hands slipped, sending the totem crashing on his head. This led a chain reaction of more pieces falling around them as the order they created fell apart. With Tim & Marie knowing every currency except Abu Dhabi, the dating couple had to pick up their game. And they did. In a tight battle that went back and forth between the exes and the dating couple, Jason & Amy finished seven of nine currencies, needing only Abu Dhabi and Indonesia. As Tim & Marie still made progress, Jason & Amy lifted up their last two, rupiah and dirham, and received their clue sending them to the finish line at the end of North Douglas Highway. After Tim & Marie completed their totem poles in second place, third place Travis made his feelings known to Nicole every step of the way from kayaking to building the totem poles. In the kayak, Travis barked at Nicole to stop paddling because she wasn’t in sync with him, yelling, “You’re just randomly going.” At the totem poles, Travis felt like he was doing all the work, asking Nicole, “What are you doing?” He went further, telling her, “This is what it’s been like the last four Roadblocks.”
Taking a taxi to the end of North Douglas Highway, dating couple Jason & Amy ran through a wooded trail that ended at a clearing where the eight eliminated teams and Phil stood waiting. When the dating couple stepped onto the finish line, Phil officially declared them the winners of The Amazing Race and the one million dollar prize. A stunned Amy said, “Now that we completed the Race, we’ve experienced so many highs and lows. I really do feel like we can undertake anything.” Jason added, “Couldn’t have worked out any better. Taking it back home to Boston. Boston Strong.” Finishing in second place, Marie defended her 60/40 agreement with Tim because he was so terrible preparing for the Race. Tim didn’t care about the arrangement because he got to see the coast of Norway and castles of Portugal, adding, “No amount of money is worth it.” Calling The Amazing Race a roller coaster, Marie said, “In some weird friend kind of way of course we love each other. We’re always going to be in each other’s lives.” In third place, an emotional Nicole apologized to Travis for her performance, telling him, “I know I disappointed you. I tried. I did try.” Nicole told Phil that Travis gets down on her, expecting her to be perfect. Travis replied that he’s only disappointed because he has such high expectations that she sometimes doesn’t meet. Ultimately Nicole felt it was important for her children to see that in life sometimes things go well and sometimes they don’t. But they should always work through it and never give up. As teams celebrated at the finish line, the Afghanimals and NHL ice crew members reunited, calling each other “best friends for life.” Childhood friends Brandon & Adam described the Race as “one of the most incredible experiences you could have.” Co-winner Amy ended by adding, “This is definitely the beginning of my happily ever after.”
2311 ROUTE MARKERS
Roadblock: A Roadblock is a task that only one person may perform. One third of the world’s robots are made and used in Japan. This Roadblock gave teams the opportunity to build a robot. When the engineer approved the work, she would hand them their next clue.
Performed Roadblock: Amy, Nicole, Leo, Marie
Detour: A Detour is a choice between two tasks. In this Detour, teams had to choose between Knock It Down and Call It Up. Knock It Down required teams to compete in a Japanese game show called Human Bowling Ball. Both team members had to become the ball and try to knock over all the pins. Once they scored a strike, the game show host would hand them their next clue. Call It Up required teams to become immersed in a popular art installation that makes use of Japan’s obsolete phone booths. One team member had to jump into a phone booth filled with water and hundreds of goldfish, make a call, and run over to tell their partner what they heard. When the judge heard the correct information from the partner she would hand them their next clue.
Knock It Down: Tim/Marie, Leo/Jamal
Call It Up: Jason/Amy, Nicole/Travis Speed Bump: After arriving last in the previous leg, Leo & Jamal had to complete an extra task called a Speed Bump. This Speed Bump required them to become an apprentice zookeeper and capture an escaped “rhino” from a local zoo, a real drill done in Tokyo. Order of Finish: 1. Tim & Marie 2. Jason & Amy 3. Nicole & Travis 4. Leo & Jamal
2312 ROUTE MARKERS Roadblock: A Roadblock is a task that only one person can perform. Bush planes are an essential part of survival in remote regions of Alaska. In this Roadblock, one team member had to simulate a supply drop. Flying at 60mph and at least 150 feet above ground, they had to drop a bag of flour on a target. Once they hit the target, the pilot would hand them their next clue.
Performed Roadblock: Nicole, Amy, Marie
Order of Finish: 1. Jason & Amy 2. Tim & Marie 3. Nicole & Travis