|Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am|
After five continents and almost 40,000 miles, siblings Nick & Starr narrowly won a hotly contested race over second place separated couple Ken & Tina. Unsurprisingly, frat boys Andrew & Dan finished a distant third.
THE RACE IS ON
Departing the Pit Stop in first place at 10:56pm, siblings Nick & Starr opened their clue instructing them to fly over 5,000 miles to their final destination city of Portland, Oregon. When they landed, they had to make their way to the Tilikum adventure camp to find their next clue.
At the airport, the siblings found a 7:05am flight on Lufthansa, which connected through Frankfurt, to be their best option. Soon, frat boys Andrew & Dan and separated couple Ken & Tina also booked tickets on the same flight. Boarding the plane, Dan remarked, "This is it. The Moscow miracle brought us here. This is the Stanley Cup, the World Series, the Super Bowl all rolled into one."
Landing in Portland, siblings Nick & Starr led the pack out of the airport followed closely by separated couple Ken & Tina. However, frat boys Andrew & Dan continued their bumbling ways by choosing a taxi driver who didn't know where the adventure camp was located. Dan remarked, "This might have been a huge mistake getting in this cab. Utterly ridiculous."
INTO THE WOODS
When Nick & Starr's taxi driver took a wrong turn, Ken & Tina pulled into the Tilikum parking lot in first place. Opening their clue, the separated couple discovered their choices for the last Detour of the race; High and Dry or Low and Wet. In High and Dry, both team members had to climb thirty feet up a tree, traverse a 40-foot log, and then leap through the air to retrieve one half of their next clue. If either team member fell off the log without nabbing a clue, they had to start over from the beginning. In Low and Wet, teams had to walk 850 feet across a floating log bridge over the water to a clue waiting on shore.
As Ken & Tina began to put on gear for a climb up above the forest floor, Nick & Starr arrived at Tilikum hot on the separated couple's heels. Tina's fear of heights was second only to her concern of being passed by the speedy siblings. Ken had already reached the log 30-feet above the ground when Nick began his ascent. Nick gained some ground by scrambling up the tree, but Ken's agility in walking across the log kept him ahead. As Tina looked on with fear and concern, Ken leapt off the log without any hesitation and grabbed his half of the clue from a bar suspended in mid-air. A worried Tina noted, "It seems so far to jump."
LONG WAY DOWN
With Ken and Nick holding their halves of the clue safely on the ground, Tina maintained a slim lead over Starr as both women began climbing their trees. However, Tina soon became fixated on her helmet falling off, allowing Starr to reach the log ahead of her. A nervous Starr slowly walked along the log as Tina finally made it to the top while sniping with Ken, who offered up help from below. Although somewhat wobbly, Starr reached the end of the log and jumped off to grab the bar and the other half of her team's clue. As Starr returned to the ground, Tina nervously inched along the log with Ken cheering her on.
On the ground, Nick & Starr ripped open their clue instructing them to travel to the Bridge of the Gods and take a ride on a zipline 2,000-feet to an island below. As the siblings ran back to their taxi, Tina reached the end of the log and hesitated before her jump. Ken insisted that "it's not going to help to wait." After composing herself, Tina leapt and grabbed the bar successfully before returning to the ground where she scolded Ken for "yelling at her all the time."
With frat boys Andrew & Dan arriving at Tilikum after the lead teams departed, the race now boiled down to the former alliance members Nick & Starr and Ken & Tina. While the siblings arrived at the bridge first, their driver went right past it as Ken & Tina again regained the lead. Running onto the bridge, Ken tried to calm Tina down as she again needed to face her fear of heights. In a change of strategy, Tina stepped into the harness first and pushed away from the bridge. Instead of terror, Tina experienced exhilaration as she enjoyed the slow, easy descent to the island below along with the gorgeous view of the lush, green forest.
When Ken joined Tina on the island, the couple opened their clue to encounter a task challenging their memory of the events they completed in the first ten legs of the race. Working together, teams had to choose a game board with ten game pieces, each representing a leg of the race. Then, beginning with the first leg of the race and working in chronological order, teams had to remove a game piece revealing a symbol underneath. The symbols represented Route Info, Roadblock, Detour, or Pit Stop. Teams then had to enter a field containing 150 clueboxes, each containing a picture. Teams had to search for the correct picture of the task, denoted by the symbol they revealed, which they had completed for the leg of the race the game piece number represented. When they entered the correct piece in the game board, a green light would turn on.
Removing the first game piece, Ken & Tina found a Route Marker symbol. To solve the piece they would need to find a picture of the coffee cart in Salvador, Brazil that they had encountered in the first leg of the race. In the sea of clueboxes, the couple didn't spot any pictures relating to the first leg until they stumbled onto the cargo net from the Detour. Putting this picture onto their game board didn't result in the green light turning on, so they headed back to the field of clueboxes in search of the correct picture.
As Nick & Starr arrived on the island, Ken & Tina found the coffee cart picture and began the hunt for the boat Detour from the second leg. Before the siblings could even find the leg one game piece, Ken & Tina had snagged the boat and moved on to the fighting Cholitas Roadblock from leg three. The separated couple began to lose time, however, on the fourth leg puzzle when they mistook the Pit Stop in New Zealand for a Route Marker, the Gordian knot. This mistake allowed Nick & Starr to catch up as the two teams went head to head into the eighth leg, the Pit Stop in Kazakhstan. The siblings initially thought leg eight was the first Pit Stop in Russia, allowing Ken & Tina to again take the lead, but Nick & Starr pulled even by the final tenth leg puzzle piece, a Roadblock. The two teams quickly searched cluebox after cluebox until the siblings uncovered a picture of Stalin and ran to their game board where the last green light turned on for them. Opening their next clue, Nick & Starr learned that they needed to travel to downtown Portland, find the Portland Building and a green dinosaur located across the street in the Standard Plaza.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
Pulling away in their taxi, Nick & Starr spotted Ken & Tina running to the cluebox, having completed their game board as well. The separated couple soon caught up to the siblings on the expressway to downtown Portland. After an exchange of passes in the tense ride, Nick & Starr stayed ahead but, once the taxis reached downtown, they took separate paths to the Portland Building. Ken & Tina's taxi driver turned directly into traffic while Nick & Starr arrived smoothly at the building by continuing straight ahead. Exiting their taxi, the siblings immediately spotted the green dinosaur in a window on the second floor of the Standard building across the street. Opening their clue, Nick & Starr discovered they had to travel on foot to Alder Street and search among food carts for the country from their last Pit Stop, Russia.
Tearing out of the Standard Building on foot, the siblings narrowly avoided being spotted by Ken & Tina who were pulling up to the Portland Building across the street. This move gave the siblings a small cushion of time as the separated couple walked around the Portland Building before finally asking a security guard to direct them to the green dinosaur.
Arriving at the Russian food cart in the Alder Street cart pod, Nick & Starr opened their next clue instructing them to find the place where "the magic is in the hole." Asking a local, the siblings figured out that the clue was a slogan for a shop called Voodoo Doughnut. Still traveling on foot, Starr began to tire as she and her brother maintained a slight lead on the determined and athletic Ken & Tina.
THE LONG DRIVE
Even with Starr pleading for Nick to slow down, the siblings arrived at Voodoo Doughnut in first place where they received the final clue of the race instructing them to take a taxi to the finish line at Pittock Mansion. On the streets of Portland, Nick & Starr frantically searched for a taxi as Ken & Tina closed in on Voodoo Doughnuts. As the siblings used their whistle in hopes of flagging a taxi, Ken & Tina opened their clue at Voodoo Doughnuts and began their search for a cab worth one million dollars. The two teams walked along separate streets unaware of each other's situation, and knowing that any mistake here would be their last. Eventually, both teams found taxis within moments of each other hoping they held the inside track to winning the race. With fingers crossed and prayers said, the two teams awaited their fate as their taxis sped toward the mansion.
Pulling into Pittock Mansion amid the cheers from the eliminated racers, minus mother and son Toni & Dallas who were still stranded in Moscow, Nick & Starr ran to the finish line where Phil congratulated the siblings and officially named them winners of THE AMAZING RACE. On his kid sister, Nick commented, "I'm proud of my sister as a person, as a competitor, and as a racer. She's been unbelievable on this race. More than a million dollars, more than being the winners of THE AMAZING RACE, I love the experience that I've gone through with my sister and I've loved seeing her succeed so greatly."
Finishing the race in second place, Ken surprised a tearful Tina when he brought out their wedding rings that they hadn't worn the entire race and placed them back on their fingers, asking her to start their marriage over. After accepting, Tina commented, "People do change. So much today people just throw marriages away so quickly, without really working hard at them. I've tried to hold onto the fact that, at Kenny's core, he is a great person and he has so many wonderful qualities. I think he's shown me on the race that I'm important to him; our marriage is important to him." Ken added, "This has not been an easy relationship. It's never been smooth. If we're gonna be married, we want it to be a great marriage so there's going to be work. It could be amazing and we're going to make it amazing."
Arriving in third place, frat boys Andrew & Dan acknowledged they got outrun by "two far superior teams", but still claimed some sense of pride in running the entire race. Dan remarked, "We're the ambassadors of the college frat guys. I think any frat guy watching would be proud of our performance. Not many people can say they did this well, especially beer guzzling idiots like us."
Co-winner Starr ended with thoughts on her brother, noting, "Nick and I have a wonderful dynamic between the two of us and we work so well together. We have a bond that is really unshakable, so no matter what happened on this race, we were always together and we were always positive, and we finished it with an even better relationship than we went into it with."
1311 ROUTE MARKERS
Detour: A Detour is a choice between two tasks, each with its pros and cons. In this Detour, teams had to choose between High and Dry or Low and Wet. In High and Dry, both team members had to climb thirty feet up a tree, traverse a 40-foot log, and then leap through the air to retrieve one half of their next clue. If either team member fell off the log without nabbing a clue, they had to start over from the beginning. In Low and Wet, teams had to walk 850 feet across a floating log bridge over the water to a clue waiting on shore.
High and Dry: NICK/STARR, ANDREW/DAN, and KEN/TINA
Low and Wet:
Order of Finish:
1. Nick & Starr
2. Ken & Tina
3. Andrew & Dan