The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business Finale
The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business’ two hour finale aired last night. With four teams left, all likable, it was necessary one of them got eliminated before we could head into the Final Leg. Watching the final episode, I went from the seventh Heaven to the Deepest Pit of Hell several times.
Teams left Switzerland and flew to Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil. The pressure was on the Sisters and the Globetrotters, who finished fourth on their respective season. Understandably, the Globes decided not to share (for once) information with the other teams.
That would have worked if Big Easy had known how to lie decently. Gary asked him if he had gotten a better deal with the plane tickets. Because of the awkward silence that followed, I knew they all teams were going to end up on the same flight.
Worst Taxi Driver – Take One
After landing in Rio, teams had to board a tram and find the apparently world famous steps, called Escadaria Selaron. The trams would leave in thirty minute intervals, so it was crucial all teams got on the same one. When Flight Time and Big Easy got the slowest cab driver in Brazil, they missed the first tram and I thought that would seal their fate. With three strong teams having a half an hour lead, time’s not easy to make up.
Zev and Justin were the first ones to find one of the tiles containing their next clue, with Gary and Mallory and Kisha and Jen right on their tails. Soon everyone was on their way to Largo de Sao Francisco da Prainha.
The first Roadblock of the episode was great: the team member performing it had to learn how to dance the samba and then lead a samba troupe on a parade through the streets. There was so much color, so much movement, so much hilarity in the way Zev looked in his costume.
Mallory, though, looked amazing. As soon as she opted to do the task, I knew she would finish it quickly. The girl won Miss Kentucky – I’m sure at some point contestants have to show off their mad dance skills, right? She made quick work of her dance routine and surpassed Zev, who really struggled. Kisha also passed him and even Flight Time and Big Easy caught up. It was close, but eventually Zev mastered the dance just before Big Easy.
The next thing teams faced was a 15 minute waxing session. That hardly was painful for some teams, but as Mallory noted, ‘I’ve never seen a hairier person than Zev and Justin’. On top of the fact that they got lost and arrived at this task last, I guess those were some of the worst 15 minutes of their lives. Their screams would have been painful to listen to, had it not been for the bored looks on those women’s faces.
Shaken, not stirred
What would turn out to be the Final Detour of the entire Race was a choice between making 100 Caipirinhas (“On the rocks”) and selling enough bikini tops to earn about 60 dollars. The catch was that whoever bought a bikini had to put it on in a portable changing room teams carried with them.
Gary and Mallory, Kisha and Jen and Flight Time and Big Easy all went for the Caipirinhas (side note: I love the sound of this word :D), while Zev and Justin chose to sell bikinis.
This was a bad call and not at all what I would have done. I don’t understand why they thought they would be able to sell bikinis to people who were already wearing bikinis. Then they chose a bad marketing strategy: they pretty much begged everyone, with desperate looks on their faces. They needed to be calm and charming; instead they scared away the possible customers. By the time Gary and Mallory finished making the drinks, they decided to swap Detours and I knew that would be their kiss of death.
‘Welcome to Braziiiiillll!’
In the end, Gary and Mallory arrived first at the Pit Stop, claiming their third first place finish. Soon after came Kisha and Jen and The Globes. After sharing two glasses of Caipirinha, Zev and Justin walked down the beach (‘it could be romantic, if we were a couple’) so that Phil could eliminate them.
I am sad they got eliminated, though I was glad it was them and not Gary and Mallory, who I’ve wanted to be in the Top Three from day one. Or Kisha and Jen, who have been amazing throughout the Race. Or The Globes, who I’ve now forgiven for not being able to spell the name FRANZ.
‘If you’re drowning, you should panic’
Now that we have our Final Three teams and we’re ready to start the last leg of this Race. There’s just one more thing I would like to do before that – pay an homage to the eight teams that didn’t make it this far. It’s basically the same thing as Survivor’s Rites of Passage; I’m often upset nobody has found a clever way to incorporate a similar thing on the Race. So, let’s remember the eliminated teams:
Amanda and Kris: I actually didn’t care for them in the beginning, but when they got eliminated again, because of another U-Turn, I felt sorry for them.
Mel and Mike: Well, at least they got to Race for a second time; not many teams had that privilege. I think they should be proud of themselves.
Jaime and Cara: I’ve always loved this team and I’ve always rooted for them. I really wish they’d gotten farther – they were my pick for The Final Three from the beginning.
Margie and Luke: Though I still like them, they’ve sort of let me down this season. They should have learned from past mistakes, especially Luke.
Ron and Christina: Although they’ve lasted seven legs, I just could not like Ron. He was annoying, constantly hungry and acted like a child.
Jet and Cord: The cowboys…:( what happened with them this season? They started the Race on the wrong foot and didn’t seem much focused at times. Even so, they’re the cowboys – I’ll always be a fan. Top Three from the beginning.
Kent and Vyxsin: What should have happened with these two was that they got eliminated in the first leg in China. After that, the only things they’ve done were becoming annoying and U-Turning one of my favorite teams.
Zev and Justin: It took me a few episodes to like these guys, but in the end I ended up rooting for them. I still don’t get most of their jokes though.
Alright. And now, the Final Leg.
Worst Taxi Driver – Take Two
After travelling 40,000 miles and visiting 9 countries, the three remaining teams flew from Brazil to Miami, Florida. Two funny things happened before the flight: Mallory got carried in a cart and The Globetrotters left their bags at the airport.
When they arrived in Miami, teams had to take a taxi to Rickenbacker Marina. The Globes were the first ones out of the airport, with Kisha and Jen right behind. My favorite team, though, Gary and Mallory struggled to find a taxi. Even when they did find one, it was the worst driver in Florida. Not only did he not know where he was going, but he wouldn’t even call to get directions. As they wandered for what seemed like eternity’s little sister, the other two teams arrived at the location and encountered a Roadblock.
Lots of boats
The teammate performing it had to transport a boat using a forklift truck. As Jen noted, Kisha ‘looked like a pea in a salad’. Meanwhile, Big Easy got in the heat of things and started shouting things like ‘Drop the boat, Kisha!’ in between encouragements for Flight Time. That was as funny as Jen shyly replying ‘I’m coming after you, yeah’.
The Globes actually finished the task about a minute before the sisters and drove to the next location: Jules’ Undersea lodge. There, yet another Roadblock awaited. The person who had not done the previous one obviously had to step in and search the ‘underworld’ for their next clue.
As I’ve already said, teams travelled to 9 countries this season and I’ve seen quite some unusual stuff during this Race. There was a car vending machine in Japan and there were ‘pregnant statues’ needed to be painted in India. Still, this last Roadblock topped them all. I’ve never in my life seen anything weirder than a siren band playing underwater, while other sirens swan around them.
As Jen and Big Easy went underwater, Gary and Mallory finally arrived at the Rickenbacker Marina and nailed the challenge. By this time, I knew they were out of it – a part of me died, most likely. 😦
‘I ain’t doing too good, love’
Big Easy was the first to finish the task, but when he and Flight Time later stopped to get directions, that gave the sisters time to catch up and even pass them. They took the lead and arrived first at the next clue, which instructed them to walk across the ocean to Horseshoe Island and locate their next clue under the tallest tree.
Then teams took a boat ride across the ocean, eventually ending up at the Galway Bay Mobile Home Park. The final task of the Race required teams to recreate a ‘trailerhood’. I have to say it: I was disappointed by the challenge. While it looked hard – with the blowing wind not making it any easier -, I was expecting the usual ‘remember where you’ve eaten in leg one’ type of challenge. Remember last season’s Pit Stop Greeter challenge? I want to see something hard, challenging – it is the last task, after all.
While Gary and Mallory made up that much time they caught up with the other teams here, it came down to Kisha and Jen and The Globetrotters. After a few ‘it doesn’t look quite like the picture in the brochure’ responses from Miss Rose (the judge), Jen and Kisha eventually figured out what they did wrong and got their last clue.
Winners & Losers
The sisters only needed to ride a bike across the Seven Mile Bridge, cross the finish line and win. But The Globes were right behind them and Kisha struggled a bit. I really thought the Globes will pass the girls. Eventually, though the Globes realized they were too far behind to catch them.
So Kisha and Jen won The Amazing Race, marking the second consecutive season in which an all-female team wins. According to Wikipedia, this is the first time an all-female team has won in back to back seasons, across all international versions of the Race. Though I wanted Gary and Mallory to win, the sisters were my second pick, so I’m really happy for them.
Flight Time and Big Easy came in second, with Gary and Mallory checking in third and high fiving pretty much all the other racers. It’s sad that Gary and Mallory lost the Race because of a cab driver – though it’s certainly not the first time this happens.
All in all, this has been an amazing season and I’ve enjoyed it greatly. Yeah, not all the teams I liked the most ended up in the Top Three – but one did. And the winning team is one I love as well. What more could I ask for?
What did you think of the finale? What about this season as a whole?