Do You Believe In Magic?: DAVE & CONNOR WIN BIG IN VEGAS
In Las Vegas, Dave & Connor capped off their incredible comeback by winning The Amazing Race in a closely contested battle against second place country singers Caroline & Jennifer, while Brendon & Rachel took third.VIVA LAS VEGAS
Departing the Pit Stop in first place at 4:31am, father and son Dave & Connor ripped open their clue to discover their final destination: Las Vegas, Nevada. On making the final three, Dave said, “After the first season where I ruptured my Achilles, we never thought we’d see The Amazing Race again. I can’t believe we’re here.” Leaving in second place, Country singers Caroline & Jennifer, who never won a leg in 22 tries, said, “I think it’s time for us to win.” Departing in last place, Rachel screamed with joy when she read that she and Brendon would be flying to Las Vegas where she lived and worked for years. For the newlyweds, there was more at stake than just the million dollars. Brendon promised Rachel they could have a Brenchel baby if they took home the money. Brendon told Rachel, “There’s no excuses, babe. We got this.” “HER DIRTY SIDE”
Landing in Las Vegas just as the nightlife was revving up, Dave & Connor jumped into a waiting Ford Explorer for a ride to an unknown destination, followed closely by Brendon & Rachel and Caroline & Jennifer. Sparks flew between the newlyweds and Country singers as the teams scurried through customs at the airport. Jennifer claimed that Rachel pushed her and tried to muscle to the front of the line, saying, “She’s bringing her dirty side out.” In her Ford Explorer, Rachel denied pushing the Country singers, telling Brendon, “If I did push her, then she would know it because she would be knocked over.” Driving further and further from the bright lights of the Vegas strip into the dark, desolate desert, Dave & Connor began to wonder exactly where they were headed. Eventually, their driver, and Caroline & Jennifer’s driver directly behind them, stopped on the side of the road and instructed them to get out and dig. With only the headlights from the Ford Explorers illuminating their path, each team grabbed a pair of shovels and began digging a hole in the dry, desert soil just as Brendon & Rachel arrived. CLAWS COME OUT
From the moment Brenchel picked up their shovels and started moving dirt right next to Dave & Connor and Caroline & Jennifer, the tension was palpable. Connor snapped at the newlyweds claiming they were shoveling dirt into his and Dave’s already deep hole. Although Brenchel insisted they weren’t aiming at Connor, Caroline quipped, “Rachel, you’re starting to play a little nasty.” When Brendon then accused the Country singers of being mad that Rachel beat them in a footrace through customs, Caroline responded, “The claws are coming out.” After the snippy exchange, Dave & Connor felt their shovels touch something hard and they unearthed a large wooden box that they returned with to their Ford Explorer. Riding away, Connor read on the outside of the box: “Property of David Copperfield. If found, open and return contents to The Lot.” With Brenchel and the Country singers pulling their boxes from the dirt moments later, the three teams wondered what could be inside. Although Rachel still fumed over her fight with Dave & Connor, she was the only person who thought to search in the vehicle for a tool to pry the box open. After Rachel presented Brendon with the car jack, he used a metal rod from the tool to pry open the nailed top of the box to find a large ring of keys. THE MAGIC MAN
Arriving at a parking lot across from the MGM Grand hotel, Dave & Connor exited the Ford Explorer with their wooden box and ripped open the clue to find a Roadblock. In it, one team member had to learn the secrets of a daring escape from master of magic David Copperfield, regarded as the world’s greatest illusionist. First, they would be locked inside a wooden crate. Then, using the set of keys they just dug up in the desert, they had to find the one key that would unlock their shackles. Once freed, they had to look for lock picks outside the crate and use them to release the chains holding them captive. They could then reunite with their partner and the legendary Copperfield would reveal their next clue. Immediately after Connor chose to perform the Roadblock for his team, David Copperfield walked over to greet him and Dave. They erupted in excitement meeting the legendary illusionist. Connor even admitted he had a David Copperfield magic kit as an 8-year old as he selected a pair of Copperfield team members for guidance with the escape. When Connor walked off blindfolded with his Copperfield team, Caroline & Jennifer arrived and promptly freaked out when they met the illusionist. Caroline exclaimed, “You’re so handsome!” Just as Brenchel showed up, Jennifer walked away with her Copperfield team followed closely by Rachel. Moments later, Dave was blindfolded and escorted over to the staging area of the escape where Connor stood in front of a massive, open wooden box resting on a platform. When a Copperfield team member removed Dave’s blindfold, he asked Dave for the set of keys Connor needed for the illusion. Dave realized the keys were in the small wooden box from the desert he held in his hands. After watching Dave’s unsuccessful attempts at gently jiggling the box, Connor told his dad to simply smash it on the ground. After a few throws, the box cracked open and Dave picked up the ring of keys and then watched as Connor stepped inside the large box, sat down, and had handcuffs placed on his wrists and ankles before the top of the box was sealed in place. With large chains circled around the edge of the box and over the top to fully close Connor inside, Dave walked over and handed Connor the ring of keys through a small opening. Then, David Copperfield escorted Dave over to a safe area where they both could watch the escape unfold on a video monitor. THE GREAT ESCAPE
While Caroline & Jennifer struggled to open the box of keys dropping them to last place, because Brenchel opened theirs in the vehicle, Dave and David watched on the monitor as the shackled Connor tried each key on the ring trying to find the one that would open all the cuffs that bound him inside. David explained to Dave that once Connor found the key and unlocked the shackles, he would have to get the lock picks from the jar at the top of the box to pick the front lock. Then, when Connor gave the signal after unlocking the front lock, Dave had to push a series of buttons below the video monitor and the fire crew would get Connor out of the box. Still anxiously watching his son on the monitor, Dave cheered when Connor found the correct key and began unlocking the cuffs around his wrists first and then his ankles. Finally able to stand inside the box, Connor reached over his head and placed his hands inside a glass jar to remove the lock picks he needed. After retrieving the picks, Connor’s hands disappeared back inside the box while Dave still watched on the monitor. As Connor worked to open the locks inside the box, a worker walked up to the outside of the box, and with a torch, lit it on fire to Dave’s amazement and concern. Dave’s worries multiplied when a crane began lifting the now flaming box into the air. With the tension mounting, Dave hoped that Connor could pick the lock in time, so he could be rescued from the fiery box without harm or injury. Finally, Connor got the lock open and shouted for his dad to flip the switches. However, in the instant after Dave flipped them, the box came crashing down in a massive explosion, leaving a panicked Dave to wonder what happened to his son. David Copperfield also looked worried and asked for the fire department to assist. One lone firefighter came running in and Dave turned around to see that it was Connor dressed up having just successfully pulled over an amazing illusion. Dave later said, “I couldn’t believe it!” David Copperfield then handed the father and son their next clue instructing them to travel by taxi to the Neon Boneyard Museum, home to many of the city’s most iconic signs from a bygone era. NEON BONEYARD
As Jennifer and Rachel both completed their illusions and stunned their partners in the process, Dave & Connor maintained their lead heading to the Neon Boneyard Museum. Walking into the outdoor museum, they searched for their clue amid many familiar historic signs of the city, like the Stardust and Sahara, and many more. With the glow of neon surrounding them, Dave & Connor circled around the sprawling grounds of the museum and turned a corner to find their next clue instructing them to unscrew a light bulb from the silver and red question mark sign and take it with them to the Mirage Hotel and Casino. Seeing the question mark sign right behind them, Dave unscrewed a bulb and he and Connor exited the museum just as Brenchel arrived in a taxi with a very slow driver afraid of getting a speeding ticket. FOR THE BABY
Once inside the museum, Brenchel found their clue quickly, but failed to notice the question mark sign behind them. Now, wandering around the grounds, they eventually returned to the cluebox, saw the question mark sign, and unscrewed the bulb just as Caroline & Jennifer pulled up to the museum. When the newlyweds returned to their slow driver, Brendon made an attempt to steal the Country singers’ taxi by offering an extra $25. When the driver hesitated, Brendon told him, “This is for our baby! If we win this Race, we’re going to have a baby.” However, the emotional appeal didn’t work on the driver who turned Brendon down. Jumping back into their cab, Brenchel did their best to encourage and cajole their now flustered driver to go faster, but nothing seemed to work. Eventually, the stress of slow moving took its toll on Rachel who began making faces in the backseat to show her frustration. LIGHT IT UP
When Dave & Connor missed the employee entrance at the Mirage, Caroline & Jennifer, with the help of the taxi driver Brendon couldn’t woo away, leaped into first place, ready to have a light bulb moment. Working 30 stories above the Las Vegas Strip, they had to use a window washing basket to install light bulbs in the letter “I” of the Mirage sign. Once the lights were fully lit and they said the correct number of bulbs used, teams would receive their next clue. Picking up their hardhats and gear (and noticing the other two teams’ gear still there), Caroline & Jennifer pumped themselves up knowing they now were in the lead. Jennifer needed to overcome a growing fear of heights as she and Caroline scaled the side of the Mirage in a window washing basket but they remained positive, even waving to Dave & Connor when they began their ascent. Reaching the top of the Mirage a few minutes ahead of Dave & Connor, Caroline & Jennifer tried not to look down as they leaned over and began screwing light bulbs into the dark letter “I”. Although the Country singers remained steadfast in their desire to keep a lead on the father and son duo, Dave & Connor slowly and methodically crept ahead of Caroline & Jennifer as the two teams battled 30 stories above the ground. As last place Brendon & Rachel fell further behind by missing the cluebox in front of the Mirage before finally starting the task, Dave & Connor screwed in the final light bulb of their “I” and came to a tally of 240 bulbs. When a worker in the basket rejected that guess, they tried 241 and received approval to return to the ground. Seeing Dave & Connor descending, the Country singers knew they had been passed but finished only moments later after also correctly guessing 241. When the two teams reached the bottom, they ripped open their clue sending them to Maverick Helicopters in Henderson. MILLION DOLLAR TAXI RIDE
As Brendon & Rachel completed lighting up the Mirage sign, friends and allies throughout the Race, Dave & Connor and Caroline & Jennifer, now battled each other in taxis trying to be first to Maverick Helicopters. Dave and Connor had a narrow lead until their driver, Henry, made a wrong turn and hit a dead end. In the time it took Henry to turn around, the Caroline and Jennifer flew past them at an intersection with Maverick Helicopters nearly in sight. In the block before the building, Henry made a move for Dave & Connor, passing Caroline & Jennifer’s taxi and dropping the father and son team near the entrance in the lead. Because of their driver, Dave & Connor reached the clue mere seconds ahead of the Country singers as the teams found a Roadblock. In it, one team member had to skydive from a helicopter at 10,000-feet I a futuristic jumpsuit. But first, they had to fly down the strip and spot the sign displaying the name of their landing zone and finish line, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Once they relayed the correct information, they could free fall to their partner. SPOT THE SIGN
With this one task left standing between the two teams and the one million dollar prize, Dave and Caroline suited up next to each other as the anxious Connor and Jennifer were transported to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Jumping into the waiting helicopters mere moments apart, Dave and Caroline headed to the sparkling Vegas strip with no clue how to find the correct sign among the hundreds of all colors and sizes along the boulevard. If either one missed the sign, they would have to circle around for a second time, almost guaranteeing they would lose the Race. Then, past Mandalay Bay and MGM Grand, Dave and Caroline both saw something at Aria, a black and white checkered flag graphic with the words, “The Race ends here, Las Vegas Motor Speedway.” Both racers had their jump approved and the helicopters headed to the speedway, again only seconds apart. Not wanting to let his son down, Dave said he felt so relieved that he spotted the sign. WHO IS IT?
At the Speedway, Connor and Jennifer stood 100 yards away from Phil and the eight eliminated teams all cheering in anticipation to see who would arrive first. High above, Dave and Caroline buckled up, took a deep breath, and took the ultimate leap of faith, each hoping this would end with one million dollars. From the ground, Jennifer and Connor, along with the other teams, gasped with wonderment when they saw the first unknown racer jump leaving a trail of flames and light in the sky that looked like a shooting star. Teams cheered wildly when moments later a second fireball appeared in the sky as they wondered who would land first. Natalie shouted up to the sky, “Who are you?” More gasps and murmurs rippled through the crowd at the speedway when the sparks ended and a parachute opened above, but the small figure was still too high above them to identify. Drifting down along the rows of stadium seats, the figure descended further towards the track as the teams, especially Connor and Jennifer, struggled to make a positive ID. Finally, just as the figure came in for a landing in the grassy infield of the track, Connor asked, “Is that my dad?” Jennifer made the confirming identification that Dave indeed landed first. RECORD SETTERS
Connor immediately darted over to his dad who was being unhooked from the parachute, and the father and son team made the emotional run together across the field to the finish line where the eight eliminated teams cheered with approval. When Dave & Connor stepped onto the finish line mat, Phil awarded the team the one million dollar prize as winners of The Amazing Race. Along with the title, they became the first parent-child team to ever win and Dave became the oldest racer ever to win. Dave said, “I cannot believe this moment. I never imagined this would be possible.” Minutes later, Caroline landed in second place and reunited with Jennifer and ran to the finish line where they gave winners Dave & Connor congratulatory hugs. Caroline told them, “If we weren’t going to win, we’re so happy it’s you guys. We love y’all.” When Phil asked Dave what winning the Race meant to him, Dave began to cry and said, “What a memory to have this with your son.” He also mentioned that three years earlier Connor was undergoing chemotherapy and fighting against life-threatening blood clots, so standing there as winners of The Amazing Race meant the world to him. QUITE A COMEBACK
Meanwhile, tears of a different kind fell on the other end of the speedway where Rachel waited for Brendon to land in third place. Rachel said, “We put everything into this but it’s so hard to watch it fade.” After landing, Brendon apologized to Rachel, gave her a kiss and the newlyweds ran to Phil to claim third place, the same position they ended up in the last time they ran the Race. When Phil asked Rachel how this affected having a baby, Rachel replied, “We’ll just have to wait for Brendon to graduate.” While the Brenchel baby was now on hold, Rachel said of the experience, “The adventures that we shared together from this Race will be something that we tell our kids about when we eventually have little Brenchel babies.” Hugging his son on the mat with tears in his eyes, Dave asked Connor, “Can you believe it?” After winning battles against cancer and Dave triumphing over his torn Achilles tendon, the father/son team succinctly summed up their incredible journey, saying, “Quite a comeback.” 2412 ROUTE MARKERS
Roadblock: In this Roadblock, one team member had to learn the secrets of a daring escape from master of magic David Copperfield, regarded as the world’s greatest illusionist. First, they would be locked inside a wooden crate. Then, using the set of keys they just dug up in the desert, they had to find the one key that would unlock their shackles. Once freed, they had to look for lock picks outside the crate and use them to release the chains holding them captive. They could then reunite with their partner and the legendary Copperfield would reveal their next clue. Performed Roadblock: Connor, Jennifer, Rachel Roadblock: In this Roadblock, one team member had to skydive from a helicopter at 10,000-feet I a futuristic jumpsuit. First, they had to fly down the strip and spot the sign displaying the name of their landing zone and finish line, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Once they relayed the correct information, they could free fall to their partner. Performed Roadblock: Dave, Caroline, Brendon Order of Finish: 1. Dave & Connor 2. Caroline & Jennifer 3. Brendon & Rachel
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