'Amazing Race': The Finale -- A New Level of Lame
Thank goodness Alaska is really pretty because, really, what else was there to watch on this final episode? No two-hour special, no two-leg finish between the final three.
The first clue sent the teams packing to the final destination city: Anchorage. Anyone else pining for Season 1, when they went to Alaska and mushed dogs and mucked along in snowshoes and THEN had to make their way to NYC and the finish line? C'mon, even another detour to Hawaii en route to the final in one of the 48 states would have been better than this.
T.K. and Rachel won, if anyone missed, and although they were probably my favorite, that statement must be qualified. They started the leg second and decided that the best way to Anchorage was to ask for the same tickets Ron and Christina had gotten, without doing much homework, only at least this time it worked out on their account. (T.K. even said, out loud, how stunned he was to be on a flight with another team.) All three teams landed in Alaska on equal footing and plowed through tasks that involved fish guts and crabs and helicopters and speed boats -- sorry, but it actually sounds better than it was -- and one of those final Roadblocks that require "Race"-related memory. Rachel's ability to decipher the task (best part of the show, btw) was The Winning Moment. Up until then, Ron and Christina were always a few minutes ahead and looked pretty golden.
Christina started to crumple after Rachel outwitted her at that point (poor Nick was sadly lost while Grandpa Don watched and waited), but her Daddy-O decided to actually be nice. Instead of berating her for clearly having just lost them the million bucks, he kept telling her what a good job she'd done and then, at the finish line, he talked about what a changed person he had become. Then he said something truly bizarreÂ about how now, for the first time, when he says "I love you," he really means it. (Full disclosure: I'm out of my personal TiVo zone this weekend, at the mercy of family with no DVR, and am dying to go back and replay that particular comment to make sure it wasn't some delusion that took place as I realized I'd missed many valuable minutes of the Packers-Giants game for this.)
T.K. capped off the whole pudding-ness of the episode (vanilla, maybe tapioca, definitely not dutch chocolate) by talking about how this proves nice guys can finish first, blah, blah, blah. And, yes, we are sooooo happy that this whole mess didn't end with Nate & Jen in first, but, well, let's hope the casting goes a little better next time around.
-- JENNIFER FREY
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