Season 26: Episode 12 - Monster Truck Heroes
Posted on May 15, 2015 11:00pm

After a football Roadblock at AT&T Stadium, Mike & Rochelle lost their taxi and were eliminated halfway through the leg. Hayley & Blair dropped from first to third after Hayley failed to spot the clue from Reunion Tower, and ultimately Laura & Tyler won the Race.

In a flashback to the previous leg, Phil told fourth-place Mike & Rochelle that they were still in the Race. He gave them their clue, which told them to fly to Dallas, Texas and make their way to AT&T Stadium. He also warned that he’d be eliminating a team before the Finish Line. At Trujillo Airport, SoCal couple Laura & Tyler met up with medics Hayley & Blair. They knew lawyers Jelani & Jenny were there as well. Then Mike & Rochelle arrived, and everyone realized it was still a four-way race. Jelani said, “That’s the Race. Expect the unexpected.” As everyone boarded the same plane, Blair said, “I feel we’re the team to beat. We’re proud of our performance so far.” Hayley added, “No mistakes. And you’re going to listen, right?” The flight landed in Dallas, and teams sprinted for taxis. Mike & Rochelle got out first, followed closely by Jelani & Jenny. Jenny told their driver, “If we win this race it could change our lives.” Mike & Rochelle arrived at AT&T Stadium and ripped the clue. It was a Roadblock: “Who wants to score?” Mike opted for it, and they headed inside. Approaching the stadium, Jelani said he played football in high school, and was pretty good. Meanwhile, as he changed into a football uniform in the locker room, Mike said being in first place felt amazing. “Fingers crossed.”

Tyler, Jelani and Blair all chose the Roadblock. As everyone piled into the locker room, Mike hoped he could finish as quickly as possible. On the field, his name and face appeared on the Jumbotron. As steam and fire shot into the air, a marching band appeared, followed by men in cowboy hats waving red and yellow flags. Then Mike ran out. He passed Phil, who explained that teams would have to collect playbooks three hundred feet above the gridiron. After returning to the ground, they’d have to catch a touchdown pass and kick a field goal to receive their next clue. Suspended from a harness, Mike was pulled up through the air. He said, “To get shot to the top of the stadium, my adrenaline was at an all-time high. It was insane.” Hovering at a dizzying height above the turf, he retrieved his playbook and was then lowered back to the ground. He said, “I’ll never get to do that again. This was awesome.” Tyler arrived on the field next, calling it a dream come true. He was hoisted to the top of the stadium and got his playbook. As Blair ran onto the field, Mike got in position to catch a touchdown pass. The ball soared through the air – and over his head. Blair then collected his playbook, followed by Jelani. Meanwhile, Mike tried for his second pass, but the ball slid straight through his hands. Then came Tyler’s turn. Running for the end zone, he said he played football as a high school freshman. He caught the ball on his first try and spiked it. Then he got ready to kick the field goal. After Mike caught the ball on his third attempt, Tyler nailed the kick. Sparks shot off on the sidelines, Tyler high-fived the umpire, and he and Laura ripped the clue in first place. It told them to make their way to P2 Ranch and search for their next clue.

Then it was Mike’s turn. He said, “I don’t know where to kick the ball. Guys my size are usually tackling people or laying people out.” Sure enough, when he kicked, the ball just rolled end over end on the ground. Blair then caught his first pass with ease. Hayley said, “He’s played soccer, so he should get the field goal.” Mike had another disastrous kick (complete with his pants falling down). Blair removed his cleat before kicking, but he sent the ball well beneath the goal. Jelani then caught his first touchdown pass. In the locker room, Laura & Tyler celebrated being in the lead. Blair then nailed his second kick. But football veteran Jelani had more trouble, sending the ball flying sideways while Jenny screeched at him from the stands. Outside, Laura & Tyler ran to their taxi, but their driver didn’t know where P2 Ranch was. As Blair finished dressing, Laura & Tyler discovered that the medics’ driver knew where to go. They decided to wait for Hayley & Blair and then follow them. The latter arrived, and were ticked when they realized what the SoCal team was planning. Hayley said, “How shady.”

Inside, both Mike and Jelani missed their kicks. Jenny screamed at Jelani, “Kick higher!” In the parking lot, despite his earlier claim, the medics’ driver seemed unsure of where to go. Laura & Tyler got impatient, Tyler saying, “We’re wasting so much time…. This is so brutal.” Meanwhile, Mike finally made his field goal. As the truck stop couple ran out, Jelani finished as well, and he and Jenny got the clue in last place. In the parking lot, nobody had moved. When Mike & Rochelle arrived, however, they realized their cab hadn’t waited for them. As Jelani & Jenny ran to their taxi, the truck stop couple headed out to the road to find another one. Blair & Hayley finally got moving, but Laura & Tyler had lost faith in their driver, and decided to follow Jelani & Jenny instead. As Mike & Rochelle continued looking for a taxi, Hayley & Blair suspected the mid-leg elimination could be at P2 Ranch. The truck stop couple finally flagged down a cab in the middle of the street. Meanwhile, Hayley & Blair arrived at P2 Ranch, confident they were in first place. They ripped the clue, which told them to work with a cowboy and corral at least six longhorns into a pen. Dressed in Western hats, shirts and boots, the medics approached the cowboys. Blair said, “One thing in my life I’ve never done is ride a horse.” The cattle were released from a pen, and Hayley & Blair started after them on horseback. Blair loped along respectably, but Hayley’s horse had other ideas, wandering off in the opposite direction until a cowgirl came to the rescue.

Laura & Tyler and Jelani & Jenny then arrived and began getting dressed. Tyler said, “I love me a good cowboy outfit.” Out on the road, Rochelle said they put the address into the GPS, and should be there in three minutes. But their driver suddenly stopped, saying, “I need gas now.” The gas light had come on, so they had no choice. Rochelle said, “We have to go the opposite direction of where we need to go to get gas. We’re doomed.” At the ranch, despite his lack of riding experience, Blair cantered ahead and drove the longhorns through a large pool of water. He praised his horse, “Good job, Sunflower!” Hayley then made her way through the water as well, and they corralled the longhorns into a pen. Meanwhile, Jelani & Jenny started the task, Jenny quipping, “This brings me back to my childhood of riding horses in Orange County, the true cowboy way.” Laura & Tyler also began. But as Laura got instructions on mounting the horse, Tyler’s mind was on other things as he whispered, “My cowgirl is pretty hot.” Hayley & Blair then ripped the clue in first place. It told them to make their way to Reunion Tower and search for their next clue. Jelani & Jenny rode along awkwardly but efficiently, driving their cattle into the water. Coming onto the bank, however, Jenny’s horse stumbled and she fell off. But she didn’t let it bother her, saying, “When you fall off a horse, what do you do? You jump right back on.” They quickly drove their cattle into the pen.

Laura & Tyler began riding, but while Tyler cantered off, Laura seemed terrified and kept shouting “Whoa!” Despite her trepidation, however, they hurried through the course and drove the cattle into a pen. Returning to the starting point, Tyler’s horse took off once again, and he said, “It’s like a Ferrari!” Jelani & Jenny and Laura & Tyler ripped the clue and left. Then, finally, Mike & Rochelle arrived. But instead of a clue, they found Phil. He said that all the cattle had been rounded up, and they were eliminated from the Race. Rochelle said, “I’m super proud. There’s nothing to be ashamed of.” They added that many other teams fought, and it made them appreciate their own relationship. Rochelle said, “When we get home it’s a good time to introduce [Mike] to my son. And my son is going to be lucky to know him.” At Reunion Tower in downtown Dallas, Hayley & Blair ripped the clue in first place. It was another Roadblock: “Who has a sharp eye?” Teams had to rappel from the top of the tower, and spot their next clue by the railroad tracks on the way to the ground. Hayley opted for it, and started up the elevator. Meanwhile, Blair said they’d left the airport in last place and were now in first. Hayley began lowering herself down. She looked near the railroad tracks, but couldn’t see anything. Blair cheered her on from below, shouting, “You know where to look, right?” Hayley said, “Oh my God, if he’s yelling at me thinking I’m not doing this right, I’m going to murder him.” She then saw what she thought was the clue on the roof of a nearby parking garage. She asked herself, “You don’t see anything anywhere else that’s obvious, do you?”

Approaching the tower, Jenny clapped with excitement, saying she wanted to drop from it, while Laura & Tyler spotted Hayley in midair. Hayley reached the ground and said she was “pretty confident” she knew where the clue was. Blair said, “I’m confident if you’re confident.” They ran off as Laura and Jenny chose the Roadblock. Watching the medics leave, Tyler said, “Arrgh, I do not want them to win!” But as Hayley pointed their driver towards where she thought the clue was, they came upon a closed gate and were forced to turn around. She ordered Blair to direct the driver. He said he didn’t know where she wanted to go, but that didn’t stop her from snapping at him to help her make decisions. Back at Reunion Tower, Tyler and Jelani figured Haley was bitching at Blair. Tyler even mocked what he assumed she’d said at the football stadium: “Kick it better, Blair!” In the taxi, Hayley continued to snap at her teammate as they U-turned again. Meanwhile, atop the tower, Jenny and Laura got rigged up simultaneously. Jenny said, “Make sure we get to the right place. We’ve got to beat Hayley & Blair.” As they lowered themselves, Laura spotted a row of yellow and red flags in a nearby field. Jenny thought it was too obvious, and wondered if the clue was on top of the parking structure. Meanwhile, Hayley continued to yell at Blair as he tried to figure out where the clue might be. He simply said, “I wasn’t up there with you.”

Laura convinced Jenny that the row of flags was what they wanted. Standing atop a neighboring parking structure, Hayley & Blair looked across to what Hayley thought was the clue. But Blair said, “That’s not it. Those are just red and yellow poles.” Haley said, “Oh my God. Oh, no. Do I have to do it again?” After some debate, they started back to the tower. Laura and Jenny then reached the ground, and their two teams took off in search of the flags. Hayley & Blair rode along in their taxi, Blair saying he wanted to trace the tracks a little. Hayley said she should just do the task again, but when he said, “Whatever you want,” she shouted, “Blair, help me make a decision, we’re a team! For God’s sake!” Meanwhile, the other two teams went different ways at a fork in the road, and Laura & Tyler reached the clue box first. Next to it sat a row of towering monster trucks. Tyler said, “Please tell me I’m going to get to drive a monster truck!” The clue told them to test their memory at the end of the bog pit, and test their driving skills to get there. They ran for the largest truck, Tyler saying, “It’s badass!” As Jelani & Jenny made their way towards the clue, Laura & Tyler plowed through the muddy water and roared out the other side. They then ran to the final task, which Phil said was a giant selfie memory test. Teams had to first unlock a shed, which had a list of four locations they’d encountered along the Race (Buchhandlung from Leg 8 in Namibia, Baan Teelanka from Leg 3 in Thailand, Munttoren from Leg 9 in the Netherlands, and Kanda Myojin from Leg 1 in Japan.) The combination of the lock was the numbers of the legs on which they’d visited those locations. Inside the shed were enlarged copies of over a dozen selfies teams had taken along the route. Laura & Tyler began working out the combination, confident of two of the four numbers.

Jelani & Jenny then arrived, and started off in their monster truck. Jenny said, “We were like, big monster truck heroes. We just felt so badass.” They tore through the mud and emerged on the other side. Back at Reunion Tower, Hayley started down for the second time. Blair said, “We had a big jump on the other teams. Now we’re just trying to stay in it.” Hayley then saw the row of yellow and red flags. She lowered herself to the ground, and she and Blair took off in their taxi. At the sheds, Laura & Tyler were still unsure about Baan Teelanka and Munttoren. Jelani & Jenny began, and quickly figured out Munttoren and Kanda Myojin. In the taxi, Hayley was contrite. “I’m so sorry. We lost a million dollars because of me.” But Blair tried to reassure her, saying they could still have a long day ahead. Jelani & Jenny then got their lock open and began pulling out the selfies. On the back of the shed was a world map, through which ran a red line tracing the racecourse. Teams had to place their selfies on the line in chronological order from right to left. The lawyers started hanging pictures while Laura & Tyler continued to struggle with the combination. Tyler said, “There’s two that we can’t remember, and it’s hurting us.” Laura added, “This could take us all day if we don’t put our heads together.” After finally remembering that Baan Teelanka was in Leg 3, they worked on the last number.

Jelani & Jenny hung their selfies randomly on the wall in order to view them all at once. Finally, Laura got the lock open, and she and Tyler hung their first selfie from Japan. As the lawyers rearranged numerous pictures, Laura brought theirs from the shed one at a time, and Tyler hung them up. Jelani & Jenny began arguing about shifting pictures on their disorganized board. Meanwhile, Laura & Tyler finished first and asked to be judged – but they were incorrect. Hayley & Blair arrived, and seeing the other teams, realized they still had a chance. They climbed into a monster truck, but Hayley seemed over her contrition as she shouted at Blair to buckle his seatbelt. Laura & Tyler realized the only picture they had wrong was one from Los Angeles, which Tyler had put on the left side of the map over California, rather than on the right side in chronological order. He moved it, and they called over the judge. This time they were approved. Driving back to the starting point, they saw Hayley & Blair coming the opposite direction. The SoCal couple was stunned and then overjoyed when they realized they were in first place. As Jelani & Jenny finished their selfies, Laura & Tyler ripped the clue. It told them to make their way to the Finish Line – the Continental Avenue Bridge. They jumped in their taxi, but the driver didn’t know where the bridge was. As Jelani & Jenny drove back through the water, their driver told Laura & Tyler’s that it was the new bridge. The SoCal couple took off as the lawyers ripped the clue and ran for their taxi.

Laura was still in shock, saying, “We’re in first place right now. I can’t… I can’t even….” Tyler said, “You’re sure you saw Blair and Hayley? They weren’t like, ghosts?” They urged their driver along relentlessly, as did Jelani & Jenny. Arriving at the wrong bridge, Tyler said, “We don’t want to go over this bridge, sir. Sorry sir, but we can’t mess this up.” He added, “Jenny and Jelani were still putting up selfies when we left, but anything is possible. This Race isn’t over until you see Phil.” As Phil waited at the Finish Line with the eliminated teams, Laura & Tyler arrived first. Tyler took a selfie video as they ran, shouting, “We’re about to win the Amazing Race!” They jumped on the mat and Phil said, “Five continents, eight countries, more than 35,000 miles – Laura & Tyler… you are the official winners of the Amazing Race!” Tyler picked up Laura and swung her around. Phil said they’d been looking for love, and asked what kind of love they’d found. Tyler said love with the world, and a lasting friendship with each other. He added that when they first left Los Angeles they didn’t know each other, but throughout the course they learned each other’s strengths and weaknesses. “And here we are, winners of the Amazing Race.”

Jelani & Jenny arrived at the mat in second. Jenny said it was so close, and she was proud of Jelani. Jelani said, “You couldn’t have asked for more effort, or more want or desire from either one of us.” Jenny called Jelani a great teammate, saying, “I’m so lucky I got paired up with this wonderful, wonderful guy. And he’s going to make a very lucky girl very, very happy.” Finally the medics arrived, Blair giving Hayley a piggyback ride. Hayley said, “I feel so disappointed in myself. If I would’ve just found the clue, we could’ve had first.” Blair said, “You can’t have regrets on a Race like this,” but Hayley added, “I’m pretty sure this will haunt me the rest of my life.” Phil said it was remarkable that none of the teams knew each other, but they were the top three. “You all came looking for a million dollars, and you all came looking for love.” Blair added, “Still looking.” Phil assumed he wouldn’t be officiating at anyone’s wedding, but Ashley piped up from the sidelines, “I think you’re going to officiate our wedding!” As the teams all mingled and embraced on the mat, Hayley & Blair said they’d run the Race together again if she promised not to yell, and if he promised to listen. Blind-dating couple Jeff & Jackie said they’d been getting to know each other on a deeper level, and it was going well. Jackie said, “We didn’t win, but we definitely won each other. And that’s a beautiful thing.” Tyler said the secret to winning the Race with a complete stranger was to have an open mind. “You’ve got to be really patient, and you’ve got to be willing to take the punches when they come…. It was a lot of give and take, but we did a really good job at that…. And that’s why we won.”

2612 ROUTE MARKERS Roadblock: In this Roadblock, teams were harnessed and pulled to the top of AT&T Stadium, where they collected a football playbook. After returning to the ground, they had to catch a touchdown pass and kick a field goal to receive their next clue. Performed Roadblock: Tyler, Blair, Mike, Jelani Roadblock: In this Roadblock, teams had to rappel from the top of Reunion Tower, and spot their next clue (a row of yellow and red flags) on the way down. Performed Roadblock: Laura, Jenny, Hayley

Order of Finish: 1. Laura & Tyler 2. Jelani & Jenny 3. Hayley & Blair 4. Mike & Rochelle (mid-leg elimination)