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The Amazing Race season finale recap: Hollywood Ending

With history on the line, the final three teams head to Los Angeles for the big finish

Posted on

Amazing Race 17 Finale
John P. Filo/CBS(3)

The Amazing Race

TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Phil Keoghan
Jerry Bruckheimer
Current Status:
In Season

Niceness is extremely underrated. Sadly, in our debased modern age, the word “nice” has come to indicate blandly inoffensive normality. (Saying that someone is “nice” is sort of like saying, “Well, they breathe. Oh! And they have opposable thumbs.”) But “nice” doesn’t have to equal “boring.” Sometimes, it’s actually pretty cool to be the person who always says “Please” and “Thank you,” the person who can maintain a healthy and happy perspective on life even in the midst of extreme tension. It’s easy (and fun, and fashionable) to be a douchebag, but it takes real inner strength to be a nice person. Especially because nice people almost always finish last.

But not today, viewers! All hail Nat and Kat, the sweet-tempered pair ‘o docs who cheerfully grinned their way across the world and were rewarded for their labor with a cool million dollars. As reality show personalities, they had less zazz than their competitors, but I can’t be the only person who watched their happy victory hugs and thought to myself, “Wow, those people seem really, really cool.” Aren’t doctors supposed to be all tense and prone to emotional breakdowns? Has Grey’s Anatomy been lying to us? (And don’t say that anesthesiologists aren’t real doctors: Have you been to med school?)

The final leg of the race got off to an early start in Seoul, as Jill and Thomas departed for the airport around 4 AM. The Amazing Race doesn’t tend to play the “Villain” card like other reality shows, but the Prince of Darkness was the de facto bad guy…because, well, he’s a guy. He didn’t help matters by proudly saying stuff like, “We’re gonna keep that streak of no all-female teams winning. I could care less about history!” (I know some people don’t like Thomas, but man, wouldn’t you want to hang out with someone who said things like “I could care less about history”?) Brook and Claire, for their part, had their eyes on the prize: “We need to beat Thomas. He’s just so hungry. We need to be more hungry than Thomas. And I’m starving!” Me too! Team QVC broke out some Cheetah pants for the last leg, which from what I understand is the girl version of wearing rocketship underpants.

And so the final three teams were off to Los Angeles, my friends! La-La-Land! Hollywood! The Dream Factory! The Traffic Kingdom! Cherish the glamour, the incredible music stations on the radio, the freakishly good-looking people pretending not to notice you noticing them, the ever-present smog hovering over the freeways! “I’d rather be in L.A. traffic than Bangladesh traffic,” said Brook. Nat and Kat got a little bit ahead of the other two teams, as they raced to the Port of Long Beach for their first competition.

NEXT: I could fly higher than an eagle, ’cause you are the wind beneath my wings