This season was almost perfect in my eyes, at least. After a bit of a recap of the last leg, I'll be reflecting back on a very satisfying season of The Amazing Race.
Now, where were we leave off? Japan? Ah, yes, that's it! Domo arigato! We were at the Pit Stop where Phil announced there would be no more eliminations in the race. However, since Ray and Yolanda came in last on the leg, they lost all of their money and possessions...in Tokyo (a very expensive city) with only the clothes they had on their backs and their passports.
BJ and Tyler only had a two-minute headstart against Jeremy and Eric, but made sure to stop at Ray and Yolanda's car to leave them some money and "stuff." I don't believe Jeremy and Eric left anything at all. While the flight tickets are paid for by the production staff, nothing else is. So, they had to beg.
And, beg they did. They went to restaurants, Ray wore a white sign dangling from his neck which read "yen." While he made more of an effort than I ever thought he would, even a humble and gracious one, it was Yolanda who brought in the bucks. The Japanese businessmen in one restaurant thought she looked like Janet Jackson and she had them handing over the money with ease.
All three teams caught up to each other at the airport and were on the same flight heading to Anchorage, Alaska. None of the teams seemed to be too happy about that situation, but the Frat Boys (Eric and Jeremy) seemed outright disgusted.
Once in Alaska, the teams had to drive thirty miles to Mirror Lake where they faced a Detour (a choice of two tasks relating to the local area). This one was Drill It or Deliver It. In Drill It, teams had to drill ten holes in the lake's ice with an auger, then drag an ice-fishing shack over to their area, setting it up to be approved by a local. In Deliver It, teams would have had to fly supplies 150 miles while doing the navigation for the pilot. Scratch that. All teams had to do Drill It because bad weather grounded all the planes.
Eric and Jeremy finished the task first and received a clue directing them to a chalet in Kincaid Park where they had to don snowshoes and follow an intricate map to find the next clue. BJ and Tyler weren't all that far behind, but walked right by all the snowshoes! Argh! Not once, not twice, but at least three times! A sidenote: When I Googled "Kincaid Park," the information I found starts with "Don't throw snowballs at the moose." Heh.
So...where my favorites, BJ and Tyler, far behind? And, what of Ray and Yolanda? Did they throw snowballs at the moose? Did a polar bear think they were salmon heading upstream? Well, the latter team was way behind, but in the end it didn't matter. All three teams made it on the same flight to Denver.
They first had to head to Golden, Colorado to find hidden clues in what looked like a dilapidated chicken farm. First Eric/Jeremy, then BJ/Tyler. Alas, Ray and Yolanda lost any chance of winning right then and there. Between getting lost and having trouble finding, they were too far behind too close to the end of the race to catch up.
The race would end where it began, in the Red Rocks Amphitheater (Denver). But there was a Roadblock before the Pit Stop. At Red Rocks, one member of each team was confronted with a field containing 285 flags. That team member had to select the 9 flags which represent the countries through which they had traveled. The racer had to take them one by one to a stand where they had to be placed in the correct chronological order. The other team member couldn't help physically, but could shout out advice.
Eric and Jeremy got there first with what seemed like a huge lead, but they really had no clue. BJ and Tyler arrived and, while they had some difficulty, they nailed it in the nick of time and ran their way to the Pit Stop to win the million dollars! Woohoo! As Eric and Jeremy said, "We didn't know the last one would be about brains." I love it!
This team has been my favorite since about the second show. Watching them deal with the people in the various countries was refreshing compared the the "Ugly American" persona we've seen in some teams other seasons. In a lot of countries, they knew at least bits and pieces of the language. They obviously were out to have fun and an adventure, as well as trying for the million dollars. They entertained me without going for that idea of nastiness is "good TV" -- can you say Jonathan Baker?
All in all, this was one of the best seasons in a long time. Even the villains this time around weren't once that had folks up in arms thinking they should be arrested. Amazing Race -- thank you for a fun, entertaining, exciting and truly amazing race.
And, for BJ and Tyler, TTOW! Well done!
If anyone out there reading this is interested, the CBS website has the information for applying to be on The Amazing Race 11. Where was this show before I wrecked my knees? Also, if you missed it, Ray proposed to Yolanda on The Early Show:
Ray shocked Yolanda by proposing, live, on his knees, in the plaza Thursday.
"I think the race was, I mean, it was a once in a lifetime experience," Ray said, "and I mean, you got to hang out with hippies and frat boys but, most of all, sharing the race with Yolanda. It was something that was special. I would have not been here if it wasn't for you and you're like everything I've dreamed of my whole life. Will you marry me?"
With onlookers cheering wildly, she said yes, tears streaming down her face.