Sunday, December 10, 2006

From Spain to New York (E13 - Season Finale)

Teams set out from the last pit stop looking for a local church that has been under construction for the past 124 years. Once there, they had to search the park for their next clue. In the dark, teams had problems finding & searching the right park but all teams eventually located the clue, a black & white of the Eiffel Tower. Teams raced for the airport, where they had to wait until the ticket counters opened at 4am. Rob & Kim got the first flight out at 6am but there was only one seat left, which left the models & Bama to scramble for another flight: the models via Air France @ 7:05am & Bama via Iberia at 7:25am. The saving grace for Bama was that they landed in Orly, which was closer to the Eiffel Tower than the Charles de Gaulle airport, and after a quick taxi ride, they reached the clue box on the third level of the Eiffel Tower first.

Next, teams raced to the train station to take a train to Caen, where they had to locate the airport. All teams were on the 12:25pm train. Once at the Caen Airport, teams found themselves up against a RoadBlock - Who's ready to storm the beach? One team member had to tandem skydive 13,000 ft to Omaha Beach while their partner was taken into an aerial nosedive. Then both team members had to make their way to the Bayeux train station: one on their own by taxi and the other being driven after landing at the beach. Rob bitched and moaned because Kim volunteered to take on the challenge before they found out it was skydiving. But Lynn's face when the pilot took her into the nosedive was priceless!

Once at the train station, teams then had to take a train back into Paris, find the Place de la Concorde and search for their clue. All the teams bought tickets on the 5:23pm train. Trying to think ahead, Rob & Kim decided to go to the local Post Office to change some of their USD to Euros. While they were away from the station, another train pulled in for Caen at 5:10pm. Rob & Kim had a mini panic attack when they got back and both the other teams were gone. Luckily for them, they caught up at Caen for their connecting train to Paris. Once in Paris, the models had problems getting a taxi, while Bama and Rob & Kim raced off for the next clue.

Teams found themselves with a choice as the route marker revealed a Detour. In this Detour, teams had a choice between Art and Fashion. In Art, teams had to pick up a painting and transport it through the streets of Paris to a specific artist in order to get their next clue. In Fashion, teams had to Anatomy Fashions, where they had to create a jacket by cutting & pinning the pieces together in order to get their next clue. Drawing on their "fitting" experience, the models excelled and finished the task before the other teams, who found the designer's "no" to be annoying.

The teams then raced to the airport to catch flights to their final destination..... NEW YORK!! Bama hoped that their luck would hold with Orlay Airport but found out that there were no flights to New York from there and the ticketing agents couldn't help them reserve anything for the other airport. After arriving at the airport first, the models find that the earliest flight is at 8:25am but it's already full. They put themselves on the waitlist but booked seats for a 9:35am flight with another airline. After laying on a sob story, Rob & Kim were able to get tickets for the 8:25am Air France flight. The next morning, Bama & the models wait impatiently to find out if they can get seats on the same flight. Unfortunately for Bama, the models manage to get tickets and join Rob & Kim on the flight. Bama is out of the race before they even get back to the US.

Once in New York, the models and Rob & Kim race to find the Daily News building and the giant globe housed inside. Due to the lack of an EZ pass, the models' taxi zips passed Rob & Kim at the toll. Once they found the building and their next clue, the teams had to locate a sculpture, The Alamo, in the East Village and the young woman in a yellow cap to receive their next and final clue. After some running around, the models reached the sculpture first. Their final clue/task: convince a NY cabbie to drive them to Garrison in Putnam County. Once there, they had to find St. Basil Academy, where they would find their Final Pit Stop. Without much suspense, the models raced to the mat first and won both the race & the million dollars. In a mini twist, Phil had a cell phone that they were allowed to use to call their family members at home to tell them the good news right away.

It was a close race up until the end. The three teams jockeyed for position throughout the entire leg. Each team came in first to one of the clue boxes at least once but in the end it was travel arrangements that spelled the downfall for the two teams that didn't win. Through no fault of their own, too. It could have just as easily been the models who got the taxi that didn't have a toll pass.

Congratulations, Tyler & James!

Monday, December 04, 2006

On the Finale of the Amazing Race....

While trying to confirm whether or not the season finale would be an hour or two hours long, I came across two previews for next Sunday's episode:

Warning!! Spoilers following!!

From the CBS official AR10 website:

Next on the Amazing Race
Sunday, December 10, 8pm ET/PT

One team gets left behind at the train station.
Could this be the end of the race for this duo?

One team struggles to find a route marker. Will
they be able to catch up?

Teams battle it out in the final city. Who will
win "The Amazing Race" and take home the million dollar prize?

From the CTV AR10 website:

Sunday Dec. 10 @ 8pm ET - Race to the Finish -
The final three teams dash to the finish, with the winning pair claiming the $1
million first-place prize.

The duos begin in Alaska and race a team of sled dogs to reach a clue. Next, one member of each team dives into frigid water to claim a clue that tells them to fly to New York City. The final destination is in Flushing Meadows.

I'm not sure how accurate the CTV one is since it kind of reminds me of a previous season.... The one where one team was still in Alaska when the winning team crossed the finish line. Maybe season 1? Yeah, definitely Season 1. It was Team Guido who was still finishing tasks from the previous leg while the other two teams (Rob & Brennan and Frank & Margarita) started on the tasks for the final leg. I can still picture them being tossed up into the air to find their next clue. Now THAT was a great season! Hmmm, wonder if Rob & Brennan will be in the All-Star Season?

Return of the Racers Blog - Amazing Race 10 Blog Mention

I usually post a little excerpt here from the Return of the Racers' Blog on the official Amazing Race site. The blurb this week is rather exciting (not meaning to toot our own horn or anything but it's pretty freaking cool!)

Chip A.
11/24/06 2:55pm

From Gus, Canada
Comment: “Hey Chip, Feel free to stop by our personal Blog on the Amazing Race anytime. We like to give highlights of what has happened, give our “Canadian” insite, and preview other items. It would be an honour to have you comment on any of the posts!

Response: Wow! Thanks Gus for the offer and we love Canada..or at least I love Canada. Vancouver and Montreal and Quebec City are my favorites…Toronto is wonderful too.

As for posting on your site, please feel free to take my comments from this site what you may, if CBS says no I will let you know but for now I don’t see that it can hurt and maybe will help build a bigger fan base in Canada so eventually some Canucks will be allowed to compete. I frankly only have limited time to blog here…so cut and paste away and please feel free to have you readers ask questions on this site = increased traffic for all!

Nice email Gus!

For Gus' blog, head to the sidebar, you'll find all the authors' projects listed there. And if you're here via the official Amazing Race site, please leave us a comment we'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

From Morocco to Spain (E12)

Starting with the models leaving at sunrise, teams race off to Casablanca to locate a local open air market. Everyone seems to be gunning to get the marked for elmination BQs out this leg since they don't see Bama as a threat for the final three. The BQs have noticed the cold shoulder but are happy to have each other. Teams were apprehensive about driving on the winding mountain road because there were no safety guard rails. Along the drive, Kim mistook the goats along the roadside for dogs and then for lambs.

Arriving in Casablanca, teams get help from locals to locate the market. Running into the market, the models find the clue in a small grassy courtyard. The clue is a Roadblock - Who has a tase for the unusual? In this Roadblock, one team member has to locate the Bouchier and get just under a pound of camel meat. They then have to find Cafe 11 then prepare the meat (grind it, season it, skewer it & give to Mohamed to grill) and then eat it to get their next clue. According the the models, it's "like a really good burger". With the help of their guide, the BQs jump passed Rob & Kim and Bama and are just finishing the task when they arrive to search for the clue. None of the teams are happy to see the girls there already. Rob & Kim and Bama had problems find the clue box but seemed to power through the task once they finally did. Karlynn & Rob were feeling the pressure of coming in behind the BQs and heckled Lynn & Kim to eat faster. "Took you long enough" Karlynn to Lynn when she finished. After eating all their camel meat, teams were told to catch a flight to Barcelona, Spain!

At the airport, all teams booked a 4:30pm flight through a travel agency. At the counter, the BQs asked the boys: "If it's a foot race to the mat, could you pretend to trip to let us get to the mat first? Wouldn't you rather have us in the final three than Rob & Kim?" The models didn't reply to them from what I saw but as they were walking away, they said no way. Once in Barcelona, teams raced to catch a taxi to take them to the Parc del Laberinf d'Horta. Unfortunately it was closed and wouldn't reopen until 10am the next day. All teams raced through the high hedge maze to its center to receive their next clue, a Detour. Bama was the first team out of the maze but the BQs, who'd ordered a taxi, and Rob & Kim were the only ones who caught a taxi right away.

For this Detour, teams had a choice between Lug it and Lob it. In Lug it, the models & the BQs had to take a taxi to a local street 4 miles away and find the bridge located along it. Once there, they had to choose a giant costume and put it on. From there, they had to search for a lady in a giant costume at the Carrer de Sant Felip Neri. Both teams arrived at approximately the same time and received their clue minutes apart. In Lob it, Bama and Rob & Kim had to travel 9 miles to the town square and search through a pile of tomatoes for a tiny clue hidden inside one of the tomatoes while locals pelted them with tomatoes. Apparently the tomatoes really hurt on impact because Kim started freaking out, screaming & crying at Rob that she wanted to quit and do the other task. After finding out that the other location was 20 miles away, Rob vetoed that plan and they found their clue shortly after. Teams were then directed to the next Pit Stop.

Teams then raced towards the Palau Nacional of Mont Juic to locate the fountain where the final three would be decided. Keeping in mind that the BQs were marked for elimination, teams raced aggressively for the mat & Phil. On the way to their taxi to head for the pit stop, Karlynn apologized to Lynn for being so moody: "I don't deal with stress well." Rob & Kim were the first team to arrive at the mat where Rob promptly gushed & cried to Phil that "it would just mean a lot to me to win." Bama was next and Phil congratulated them on being the first all female team to make the final three in the history of the Amazing Race (like Rebecca's been pointing out all along). After arriving virtually in each other's pockets, the models raced up the stairs to come in third while the BQs, after following some bad directions, came in last.

Yes, people, it has finally happened. The BQs are gone. For all those that thought I'd be dancing around my apartment after seeing this, you might be surprised. I'm actually a little sorry to see them go. They made the race interesting. I may not have liked their raceplay but they engaged me in an otherwise boring season. Though, I was a little stunned that they'd ask the boys to let them come in first if they tied for the mat. They know that they're a strong team so, why would they think the other teams would want them in the final three. I doubt that if the shoe had been on the other foot, they'd have let the models hit the mat first.

Here's the order I think the teams will hit the final mat:
1st - the models
2nd - Bama
3rd - Rob & Kim

Bama had it right when they said that their ability to stay calm was their strength. The other teams are too emotional and by "other teams" I mean Rob & Kim. The models make dumb decisions. If they think things through, they could win it. But it's almost inevitable that Rob & Kim will freak out at each other and that if they have to drive themselves anywhere, Rob will either get lost or break the car.

So, put it on your calendars, folks! Season Finale next week on Sunday; it's normally two hours so be prepared. Depending on schedules, I'll probably be watching with Gus, one of my co-contributors.