As another season of The Amazing Race was coming to a close I wasn’t sure how to react. I know that I missed the days of the winner being undetermined until the last minutes. Remember all the taxi paying debacles of the past? The last few years it has always felt like one team takes the lead early on and no one can catch up. Here a fatal mistake (thinking a random home furnishing superstore would be stop on the race) cost one team the million. Also, the team everyone feared (home field advantage) ended up taking themselves out of the race on the first task. Click through to see how the Season Finale of The Amazing Race 19 ended.
The day starts with everyone feeling the shock and relief that Tommy and Andy were thwarted in Panama. I will interject here, since I wasn’t around to recap last week, that the previous episode was crazy. Just for the fact that Tommy and Andy were leading the entire day and then, because they were the first to the dancing ladies, went off on a wild goose chase. Team OCD and Team Ex-NFL should thank Team Who. Jeremy and Sandy led them to the Pit Stop and the others would have been as lost as Team Snowboarders if not for that. I was sad to see them go and know that they would have been great this leg. I’m sure they will enjoy their many trips, cash, and 2012 Ford Mustangs. Anywho, back to the finale.
The teams find out they are headed to Atlanta and immediately Sandy is dogging on the city. I thought she had a thing against Georgia when really she was just upset because Marcus and Amani are from Atlanta. She was convinced they would easily win the race because of their insider knowledge. Don’t count your fried chicken before it comes out of the frier though. After landing at ATL Ernie and Cindy make sure to find a cab with GPS while other teams just hop in any old cab. They all get to the Fight Simulator school at roughly the same time. They have to complete a simulation, do all the correct maneuvers and say the right thing at the right time. Jeremy is apparently a secret pilot because he and Sandy are able to complete the task in one try. They get a ten minute jump on Cindy and Ernie. This is where Marcus and Amani drop the ball in the endzone or some other football analogy. Throughout the rest of the hour we have to watch in horror as they fail again and again to successfully land the plane. I was ready to have Phil walk on the “plane” and tell them to just give up.
So the other two teams that are still in it have trouble with the clue indicating a place called “The Dump.” Jeremy and Sandy squander their lead when they believe some rando they found in a parking lot that The Dump referred to an old Home Depot. That right they should have been a red flag. 90% of the locations have some sort of historic or cultural significance if the clue is obscure like that. Maybe I’m on the outside looking in, but I think Cindy and Ernie’s idea of calling a friend was good. I wasn’t really sure who they were on the phone with, but it was a much better idea than driving to a random location. Ernie and Cindy are told to go to Margaret Mitchell’s house.
ROADBLOCK At the house where “Gone With the Wind” was written one team member must type out their next clue on a old school typewriter. The twist being the number 1 key is missing and they have to figure out the lowercase l is what they use. I thought it was really clever. Cindy was pretty upset that she didn’t take the challenge. She is a much better typer and can do a million words a minute according to Ernie. My question is why would you pick Ernie at all? You have to know that you’re completing a task in the house of a writer. What is the likelihood that it would be a physical task? It’s obviously going to be a puzzle or something similar. Ernie completes the task and they leave before Team Who can join them. Jeremy and Sandy finally find a woman with a smartphone and they realize their mistake. Sandy types quickly and they are out the door.
The next clue contains numbers. Once everyone googles the numbers (seriously, I’d be finding a computer all the time for these types of clues. Google always knows.) they realize they need to go to Turner Field. There they have one of the coolest end of the race/remember where you’ve been challenges. Once team member (did it have to be the one that hadn’t done 7 tasks?) was in a harness 50 feet in the air in front of a giant map. They had to place a cord through a carabiner linking each country they’d been to in the proper order. While Cindy seemed to have a bit of a tough time with maneuvering around the map she completed the task quickly. All that was left was the Pit Stop. Jeremy and Sandy also did the task quickly even though they initially missed Indonesia. Luckily all they had to do was pull the cord and link it in.
THE PIT STOP The editors tried their best to invoke some semblance of a race at the end.
Ernie and Cindy seemed to be driving in circles as the GPS voice kept repeating the dreaded “recalculating” (my favorite part of those mayhem commercials.) while Jeremy and Sandy seemed to find the place easily. It was all for show though. Cindy and Ernie came bursting through the gates and they are the winners of The Amazing Race 19. I thought I was going to be really mad but I found myself being OK with it. They were really annoying at times but you can’t say they didn’t deserve it. They did really well most legs and were near the top of the pack throughout the race. Besides, how can you be mad when they are going to set up a foundation to benefit the people they met on the race, or people like them, with the million.
All in all it was decent season. I wasn’t happy with all the non-elimination rounds, but they did keep two of my favorite teams (Old People & Ex-NFL) in the race longer. They had some really fun challenges even if the end was anti-climatic. Here’s hoping season 20 is bigger and better than ever!
What do you think? Did the right team win? Were you disappointed Amani and Marcus were out of the race from the beginning? Would you be benevolent enough to start a foundation with cash and not buy at least one Land Rover for yourself? COMMENT! The next season is a LONG ways away.