Twenty-two strangers landed the chance of a lifetime to travel around the world. Some became fast friends, while others will remember this experience as, “That time I was on The Amazing Race with old What’s-His-Name.” Eleven teams were cut down to three finalists in 12 weeks.
But there can only be one winner.
Had you told me that the dude who is fiercely scared of heights and the girl who whines about everything would be standing on the red carpet of glory beside Phil at the end of this adventure, I would have first rolled my eyes and then followed that up with a devilish grin. It’s true Scott and Brooke are vocally the most annoying of all the teams, but the pendulum swings wide. As many times as I wished for one of the challenges to include zipping Brooke’s mouth permanently shut, I couldn’t help but secretly adore her love/hate relationship with Scott. The unlikely duo turned out to be highly entertaining.
Kudos to Scott for figuring out Brooke’s personality so early in the game. Calm, soothing tones can go a long way. Just don’t encourage her or invite her to hop on your back because SHE WILL CUT YOU.
The game is pretty even when all three teams reach Chicago from South Korea. I guess that’s what happens when everyone is well rested, refreshed, and still buzzing from their morning mimosas, thanks to an isolation pod in premium first class. Everyone scrambles to find taxis and head to the Chicagoland Speedway.
Brooke and Scott gate-check their backpacks so they can travel minimally. This seems to give them an edge, because they arrive at the track considerably before the others. Brooke is trained on how to change a tire in under 40 seconds. Then she proceeds to freak out when she caaaannn’t dooooooooo iiiiiitttttttt.
Scott calmly praises her from his position in the driver’s seat of the race car. He reminds her that she “did the ladle,” and this seems to inspire something deep inside. She succeeds on her third try, and Scott takes off around the track, hoping to make it a full lap in under 48 seconds. He doesn’t.
Meanwhile, Joey is killing his pit time. He manhandles the tire and dominates the challenge. Tara follows Scott on the track and is more than 10 seconds too slow. Brooke and Joey become nervous when Team LoLo arrives, but London has just as much trouble with the tire as Brooke did.
On Scott’s third time around, he finally beats the mark. He and Brooke celebrate on Victory Lane with champagne as I yell at my television for them to “GET BACK IN THE RACE, PEOPLE!”
Tara makes it in her third attempt just as London crushes her tire challenge. Logan takes to the track and defeats the time in two attempts. The underdogs are still in third place, but they are not out of the race.
Everyone heads to Monroe Street Station in downtown Chicago to look for their next clue. Brooke and Scott pass the guy in a construction hat with clearly marked yellow and red stickers. Finally, they figure it out, and he hands them a clue with three riddles, each leading to an iconic city landmark. Players must collect a postcard at each spot.
Brooke and Scott immediately befriend a local who has a smartphone. After a few “Stop yelling at me!” declarations, the stranger helps them figure out the landmarks. They must go to the Chicago Water Tower, Buckingham Fountain, and the Wabash Avenue Bridge. Joey and Tara arrive, immediately find the clue, and then scurry off to strategize while Brooke and Scott stare at a map in the subway.
(Recap continues on page 2)