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The Amazing Race season finale recap: 'All or Nothing'

After eight countries, 20 cities, and more than 26,000 miles, a deserving winner is crowned.

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The Amazing Race

The Amazing Race

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

There’s simply nothing like a good underdog story, and practically out of nowhere, that is what the 25th season of The Amazing Race delivered. In the beginning, the Scientists didn’t exactly seem like underdogs—they were kind of more of a non-entity. The two #SweetScientists seemed more destined to become one of those teams on the final mat that you’re positive were never even on the show in the first place (hey, remember Miami’s most successful realtors?). For the first half of this season, Maya was just the little one with a lot of energy and Amy was the one with the running style that no one could quite decide if it was inappropriate to mock or not.

But then we found out that Maya was, in fact, an unabashed spazz, and Amy had gotten so excited about training for the race that she had injured her hip (in what is seeming like a potentially irreparable way…sorry, Ames, but at least is was worth it, girl). Sure, when compared to the shiny Dentists, or the angelic Surfers, the Scientists didn’t seem like Race behemoths, but throughout each leg, there was nothing that could hold the Scientists back. They may not have been the biggest (they were not the biggest), and they may not have been the strongest (they were not the strongest), but dammit, they’re smart! And only the third all-female team to win The Amazing Race, ever.

Yes, this was truly a victory of the minds: Maya and Amy have two big ol’ brains and they know how to use ’em. Though I’ve rooted for the Surfers as the most appropriate next-in-line for the TAR crown all season, I realized before the finale, that any one of the Final 4 teams would be deserving. The Dentists have won more legs than any other team, the Scientists are encouraging, patient players, and the fact that the Wrestlers are even still there at all is some sort of Phil-sponsored miracle. Or as they would say: “We’re wrestlers—we don’t give up.”

Okay, but the Wrestlers do kind of tend to give up, whereas the Scientists never even consider it. When Amy almost died with a string of coconuts around her neck, she kept pushing until she made it to the Pit Stop. When Maya should have, by all means, flown straight off of that high wire by even the smallest gust of wind…well, she didn’t. So, I’m happy for the Candy Girls, and I think you all will be too, because you’re such a sensible, lovely bunch. (No, I wasn’t blushing at the kindness on the comment board last week, you were!)

So let’s get into how the Brains beat the Brawn, and the other Brawn, and the Beautiful Souls: After finding out that they would be the first ever fourth-place finishers in a final TAR leg, the Scientists set out from Manila to Los Angeles with the secret manila envelope that Phil delivered to every team in the last leg. When Maya and Amy arrive at the Manila airport and the other teams see that they’re still in the game, they respond accordingly to the personalities they’ve established thus far:

Adam: “It’s kind of frustrating that they weren’t eliminated.” (The meanest thing he’s said to date.)

Mrs. Wrestler: “It’s disgusting.”

NEXT: Talking cars, candy window, and lost Wrestlers…