The Amazing Race: "Take Down That Million"
B+

The Amazing Race: "Take Down That Million"

B+

The Amazing Race

"Take Down That Million"

Season 21, Episode 11

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Welcome back! Tonight’s two-hour finale begins with four teams still in the race, and somehow, the Beekman Boys are one of them. In fact, they’re in a better position than usual, as the Twinnies have a Speed Bump to overcome in order to complete the leg. It’s been a few weeks since we checked in with the race, and in the meantime, any sense of fairness has gone completely by the boards. I believe at one point, the Beekmans were at least a week behind Team Sri Lanka, but there have been so many bottlenecks along the way, the race has been equalized to the point of absurdity. But then, this is nothing new. We can complain about it every season until we’re blue in the face, but it’s just never going to change.

Still, despite the ridiculous equalizers, the Twinnies are still in position to finish in the top three, thanks to the incompetent racing of the Beekmans. I have to say, I’ve come full circle on the twins. For the first few weeks, they annoyed the hell out of me. Then I kind of fell in love with them. But I can’t say I was crazy about their constant references to the Beekmans as “the evil gays” over the past couple of weeks, even though it was clear they were joking. On the other hand, it’s not easy to root for terrible racers either, and it’s hard to deny that the Beekmans are one of the weakest teams to ever make the final four.

After an infomercial for the new Ford Escape, in which we learn you can open the hatchback by kicking the bumper (surely the first feature anyone would look for in a new car), teams had to choose between Chow and Plow: making dog food or plowing a field. The twins had to deal with a Speed Bump, which was typically unchallenging. Tying up a woman’s corset may not have been quite as much of a gimme as sitting on a block of ice for 10 minutes, but it was close enough.

The Roadblock entailed searching some caves for three different varieties of mushrooms, and when the twins basically caught up with the Beekmans at this point, I was pretty sure I knew what was coming. But not for the last time tonight I was caught by surprise; although the Sri Lankans finished the task first, they took a wrong turn en route to the Pit Stop, and ended up being Philiminated. In the end, I was sad to see them go, especially since the Beekmans had absolutely no chance of winning the race.

As the second hour begins, it’s pretty clear than Jaymes and James are going to win. They’re the strongest team remaining, and they have a compelling backstory in Jaymes’ father’s illness. The Texas team is likeable enough, but pretty much personality-free, and the Beekmans...get real. They haven’t won a thing yet, and if this were a real race, they’d be long gone by now. As it turns out, though, they do get homefield advantage, in that the final leg takes place in their stomping grounds of New York. After a Houdini-style escape trick from a straightjacket (which everyone accomplishes way too easily), it’s off to a pizza delivery task that would seem to favor the Beekmans...except that their familiarity with New York is offset by their inability to keep the orders straight.

The final roadblock is a welcome variation on the usual memory task. Instead of having to recall which tasks they accomplished in which countries, the teams must remember the different translations of “hello” and “goodbye” that greeted them at each Pit Stop. This takes much, much longer than you might guess, and all three teams are still in it until the end. (Seriously, I would have thought random chance would have settled this thing much sooner than it did.) In the end, we were rewarded with perhaps the most unlikely Amazing Race ending of all time, as the Beekman Boys, who had never won a single leg and probably should have been eliminated a half-dozen times before, cross the finish line first. They needed a lot of help to get there—if Long Hair, Don’t Care hadn’t lost a passport, who knows how this would have turned out—and yet, I couldn’t hate their win, especially after the Monster Trucker admitted they’d changed his mind about same-sex relationships. It may not have been a satisfying ending from a pure racing standpoint, but it was a victory nonetheless.

Stray observations:

  • Jaymes and James lost some valuable time in looking for Leonardo DiCaprio’s final resting place.
  • Lexi: “I hope we don’t have to eat pizza.” WHAT?
  • “Whatever. We suck.” Aw. Gotta love the twinnies.
Filed Under: TV, The Amazing Race

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