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December 13, 2014 at 03:55 AM EST

Whoa, whoa, whoa, what is going on here? Phil, did you go to some sort of chi-centering retreat where you listened to a sea shell that told you it was time to fly fast and loose with the ancient TAR rules? Can we expect you in stretch pants and toe-separators next season, instead of sporty Panama hats and full-function cargos? Does tradition mean nothing anymore, Phil?!

The Amazing Race’s Silver Jubilee isn’t just the season that brought about the Save, or the season where there was nearly a death-by-massage; no, the 25th season of the rrrrace around the world saw a true TAR first: four teams are going to the finale. Four teams! A Final 4, and all with the chance to win $1 million. If a different team had been Phil-fathered in, it might have rubbed me the wrong way more than just shocking me. But it’s the Scientists, and damn if they haven’t given this game their all, and with seriously good attitudes. I’m happy to have them as finalists (although slightly concerned Maya’s head might actually explode from sheer pep if they win), but I’m also hoping we get some explanation next leg as to why this season called for a Final 4 after 24 seasons of Final 3s.

Who am I to question the TAR higher-ups, though? After all, they gave us this action-packed, coconut-filled, near-fainting (I will be relieved if Amy just arrives at the Finish Line in one piece) hour of television, and with yet another TAR first ahead—racing directly into the final leg from this 11th leg—the finale’s guaranteed to serve up the same.

Tonight, all four teams started off where we left them in Manila, where they have to travel by jeepney to Rajah Sulayman Park for their next clue.

The Dentists and Scientists are out first, released on what seems to be a highway to track down a jeepney. They quickly hop on one together, but when the Surfers ask if a jeepney can take them to Rajah Sulayman Park, the driver tells them they need to go to the other side of the road, where traffic is moving in the opposite direction. The Wrestlers explain that the jeepneys operate on a loop, so if they got in a jeepney on the side of the street they were on, they would have to make all the stops in the loop, but if they got in on the opposite side, it would be a straight shot. Yes, the Wrestlers explain that—so the Dentists and Scientists, who probably have 16 advanced degrees among them, should really be hanging their heads.

Instead, they cannot get over what a great move they’ve made by taking this jeepney and how far ahead they must be. The clue seems to suggest that they take a jeepney to a certain station where they can transfer to another jeepney to get to the park; but the Surfers and Wrestlers bypass all of that by walking across the street. Jim explains how they’ve made some travel mistakes in the past, but now that they’ve combined their intellect with the “Candy Girls,” they’re back on top… as we see the Surfers start the Detour and the Wrestler breeze through their Speed Bump. It is both dramatically delicious and heart-crushingly sad.

NEXT: Basketball is for lovers…

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Phil Keoghan hosts the globe-trotting adventure series.
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