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The Amazing Race recap: The Only First That Matters

It’s anyone’s game as the Final 3 race through L.A.

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Trae Patton/CBS

The Amazing Race

type:
TV Show
genre:
Reality TV
run date:
03/08/01
performer:
Phil Keoghan
Producer:
Jerry Bruckheimer
broadcaster:
CBS
seasons:
29
Current Status:
In Season

And so season 28 of The Amazing Race ends — not with a bang, but with a selfie. And what other way for the “social media influencers” season to end? The Final 3 comprised often-frontrunners-occasional-underdogs Tyler and Korey, who’ve served as the sort of narrators to the season, always ready with a rapid-fire back-and-forth or a PG-13 pun to make Phil blush; and of course there were the underiest-underdogs-to-ever-underdog Sheri and Cole, who managed to come in last twice and still make it to this 12th leg of the race, slowly growing into the real heart of the group, just happy to have stuck around this long while simultaneously being terrified of nearly everything they’ve had to do; and then…

There are the Dancers. As far as teams to root for go, they were likely not at the top of most fans’ list to grab that No. 1 spot. But as they went ahead and did it anyway, I was glad for their first-place finish to give them a little relationship redemption in what has probably been a slightly tough season for them to watch. Dana and Matt — okay, mostly Dana — haven’t gotten a great wrap, but beneath all the berating, they’ve actually run a good race, and the fact they they’ve managed to do it while having pretty conflicting personalities…well, it makes me wonder what could have been if the Paparazzi had won last season, or Blair and Hayley before them. Plus, I got a little weepy just listening to Teams Alabama and Torey’s excitement at taking second and third, so I might not have even been able to handle if either team had gotten that last and all-important first place.

But this Final Leg just didn’t end up being too much of a nail-biter — and I’d like to officially blame that on TAR for giving them premium seating on the 7,000-mile flight from Shenzhen, China to Los Angeles. What gives?! There’s nothing amazing about making it through a few tricky tasks in L.A. after you’ve had a relaxing 13 hours to sleep and drink free champagne!

Though a little champagne may have been necessary to get through that first ROAD BLOCK: LEAP OF FAITH. The Final 3 teams head straight from their luxurious flight to Angelus Plaza, where they find out that one of them will be jumping from the top of a 170-foot tall skyscraper — not so bad. No, the bad part is that they have to fling themselves off of the building, and then they have a mid-air goal: to grab a clue that’s dangling an indeterminate distance in front of them. From some angles the leap to the clue looked incredibly far, but then Matt and his tall self hopped right out there and nabbed it on the first try.

Sheri, on the other hand, had a slightly harder time psyching herself up for the whole flinging process. For a moment as she sobbed, “I don’t know if I can do it!” looking absolutely paralyzed, it seemed like maybe Sheri had finally met the one task she couldn’t tackle with abandon. But then she ran to the edge, jumped, and sort of held onto her rope like she was going to swing at the clue like Tarzan. It wasn’t her best approach, but after getting over the initial fear, and getting a big hug from Cole down below, she was able to grab the clue on the second try, right about the time Team Torey was bringing up the rear after having trouble finding the clue at the plaza.

Fortunately for Tyler, he once again scores a very cute instructor; unfortunately, it takes him three times to grab the clue. (I very much enjoyed the bit with Korey keeping a positive attitude down below, classifying them as a “two-try team” that needed to be a “one-try team,” but finally coming around to being a “three-try team.”) From there, the teams take a helicopter ride 90 miles up the coast to Santa Barbara where they have to board a dingy and navigate a marina full of hundreds of boats to track down a 1926 fishing boat named Theresa Ann. When Dana and Matt use their taxi driver’s phone to research the boat, they see that it’s usually docked near the maritime museum, and locate the boat quickly…

NEXT: ‘Now we’ve got to look for the Theresa Ann, which we know is a museum’