Close Finish On The Amazing Race Finale

Apparently getting along with your partner really does help on a race around the world. TK and Rachel, the exceedingly calm hippie couple kept their cool and walked away with a million dollars on last night’s Amazing Race finale. To their credit, the other teams who rounded out the top three, Don and Nick and Ron and Christina, also seemed to realize that screaming at your teammate while riding a donkey in Mumbai isn’t exactly helpful.

Last night’s finale took the remaining three teams back to the states. TK and Rachel, Donald and Nick and Ron and Christina flew from Tapai to Anchorage, Alaska. As is the case with most Amazing Race finales, the final tasks are less taxing and more about adventure and local culture than previous legs in the race.

All three teams traveled to Alaska on the same plane, giving an even playing field upon which one team could jump ahead to win the million dollar prize. Don and Nick, the grandfather/grandson team ended up in third place kind of early, as Nick misread the clue and didn’t pick up a bag of gear that was required for the fish gutting challenge. Everybody had pretty much caught up with each other, however, by the time they got to the final challenge, a confusing task that required matching a very specific group of tools used throughout the race with the cities in which they appeared. Rachel was the first one to get the correct combination, ultimately propelling her and TK to the finish line and the one million dollar prize. TK and Rachel were followed closely by Ron and Christina and a little later by Nick and Don.

As a fan of The Amazing Race, I’ve got to take a minute to talk about how much I hate CBS. This was season 12 of the racing competition, so obviously it’s doing alright in the ratings. It also consistently beats out fan and critical favorite, Project Runway, for the Reality/Competition Emmy. Despite its ratings, fans and awards, CBS consistently treats The Amazing Race like crap. For the past few seasons, the network has decided air it on Sunday nights during football season where it is consistently pre-empted for games.

Despite the fact that this happens consistently, CBS doesn’t adjust its schedule accordingly, leading to DVR’d recordings consisting mainly of 60 Minutes, or even worse, the entire episode of The Amazing Race gets recorded, only to be cut off right before elimination. Then last night, the night of the big finale, CBS pits TAR against one of the biggest football games of the season—Green Bay vs. The Giants—the winner of which plays the Patriots in the Super Bowl (incidentally, The Giants won). How is a poor reality show supposed to survive with that kind of scheduling? While no premiere date has been released, season 13 of The Amazing Race is no doubt underway. Hopefully next season CBS will give this successful show the respect it deserves.