The Amazing Race 19 Finale Scores Season Highs

The Amazing Race 19 Finale Scores Season Highs

Some great news.  The season finale of The Amazing Race 19 scored season highs in just about every important ratings measure it could.  The finale scored a 7.0/10 household rating and share, 11.72 million viewers, a 4.5 adults 25-54 rating and a 3.3 adults 18-49 rating. 

In comparison to last fall’s finale, that’s an 11%, 0.4 drop in the 18-49 demo and a smaller 4% drop in viewers.  For season averages, TAR19 experienced a 12% drop in the demo (2.9 from a 3.3) and a 7% drop in viewers (10.2 million from 10.9 million).  It seems The Good Wife lead-out (which skews very old) has not helped TAR. Should be interesting to see if CBS will make moves at midseason.

The Amazing Race 19 Season Wrap-Up

The Amazing Race 19 Wrap-Up
       
Ten years, 19 seasons.  The Amazing Race may be getting older, but it is certainly not slowing down.  TAR19 was a solid season and a huge improvement from the fun, yet uninspired Unfinished Business.  Though far from perfect and classic, TAR19 had a great set of teams, excellent use of destinations, tricky riddled clues, and best of all, one of the best winners the series has seen. 😉

Good Set of Teams
On paper, none of the teams really stood out.  But as the Race went on, the teams actually delivered quite well.  Early boots like Lisa & Kaylani and Liz & Marie were able to leave their marks in the short time they were in the Race.  First boots Ron & Bill and the shocking Ethan & Jenna made an impact in the first two legs.  Justin & Jennifer and Zac & Laurence stood out for their lack of trying and direction.  Bill & Cathi defied expectations to become one of the stronger, most consistent teams.  Andy & Tommy dominated by default most of the Race, but were still no doubt the team to beat.  And the final three teams each solidified their place in the finals with steady, sometimes bumpy Race.

I’d say this was the best post-All-Stars group of teams since TAR12.  Though definitely not close to the casts of the early TARs, it was still a great, distinct full cast that we’ve missed these last couple of seasons.

Great in Theory…
Now on the other hand, what did look good on paper, ending up falling short.  TAR19 had a couple of great ideas that suffered in execution.

Right of the bat, the Starting Line task in which teams had to figure out their first destination by looking for umbrellas with a set of letters (TAI) to add to the provided WAN and PEI was genius.  It required teams to be at the very least aware of the world and really think.

Or not.  It ended up being a guessing game with teams grabbing an umbrella and taking it to Phil and hoping it was correct.  Trial and error is certainly not what Bertram and Co. had hoped for when designing the task and certainly not what many fans were hoping for either.  Other than Jenna who was shown to actually say “Taipei, Taiwan,” it appeared 2/3 of the teams, at least, did not even know they were going to Taipei until they got into their cars.  A huge disappointment.

And I guess to bookend the season, the Final Task, which looked absolutely epic in the previews, ended up being easier than most Final Tasks we’ve gotten in the past.  At the very least it wasn’t setting up a trailer park front yard.  But the task here wasn’t all that physically nor mentally challenging. The previews made it look like it would challenge TAR12’s Final Task/Road Block as the hardest but really wasn’t even as hard as TAR8’s puzzle.

The Final Task was especially disappointing because…

Where are the clue boxes?  Where are the Pit Stop signs?
The disappearance of the majority of clue boxes on the Race as well as the Pit Stop signs were odd enough to signal, maybe it would all play out in the Final Leg.  Instead, the disappearance of the familiar green boxes can probably be chalked up to TAR cutting costs and saving money from having to transport the extra cargo of a few little green boxes and yellow and red flags.  Or maybe the money went into…

The U-Turn, sponsored by Tablet Computers Everywhere
…buying those four brand new tablets to make the U-Turn more high-tech.  Gone are the sticker pictures, in with the touchscreen U-Turning.  

Non-Hazard
The one new twist this season ended up being half of a Speed Bump.  After continuing the Starting Line challenge (which they need to keep), they decide to throw in a penalty for the last team to complete the task.  That’s fine and when you look back at it, the Hazard/half-Speed Bump where only one person completes the extra task and a task that is fairly easy, is alright considering you don’t necessarily want the last team on the Starting Line task to be essentially eliminated right off the bat.

So a penalty for that team is okay, but the way Phil and TAR were hyping up the Hazard as some game-changing, Race-altering twist, you can’t help but feel let down.

And there was actually also the first ever double elimination on TAR, which after 18 seasons really was a long time coming. 

The Express Pass
On the other hand, the Express Pass has actually been doing okay.  One thing I had realized is that every single team that’s won an Express Pass so far (TAR17’s Jill & Thomas, TAR18’s Gary & Mallory, TAR19’s Ernie & Cindy and even TARAu’s Sam & Renae) have all made it to the final 3.  Interesting coincidence, strong contenders right out of the gate, or TAR luck?  

But even with the Express Pass, I still, still miss the days of the Fast Forward.  And now it seems like the Fast Forward is officially dead on TARUS.  🙁

Use Your Brain!
One of the best tweaks this season is the challenging clue riddles that have been lacking on TAR for a long time.  TAR’s gotten soft the last couple of seasons.  TAR17 seemed to signal a change, but TAR18 was probably the worst offender of uninspired and easy tasks and clues.  TAR was spoon feeding clues to teams instead of having them work for it.  This season, that definitely changed.  From looking up at balls, to tricky sounding clues, to full on riddles and WTF is this? clues, TAR19 stepped it up in terms of challenging the teams mentally.  Especially when TAR’s been going soft on the teams’ physical challenges, the mental challenges are definitely a welcome part of the Race.

Improved Leg Design
In addition to the more mentally challenging clues, Leg design was greatly improved this season with the help of bringing back extra tasks each Leg.  For a couple of seasons, the Legs of TAR were becoming too linear and cut and dry; Pit Stop-Route Marker-Detour/Road Block-Road Block/Detour-Pit Stop.  That was becoming old and boring.  With the return of those extra tasks during a Leg, teams don’t know what to expect (and in turn, the audience doesn’t know what to expect either).  It also allows for more opportunities for slip ups and comebacks, which again, makes the Race more exciting and unpredictable.

Hopes for TAR20
And that brings us to the milestone 20th season of The Amazing Race.  TAR19 started this 10th anniversary year off well and TAR has great momentum going into TAR20.  

With an exciting confirmed team (Vegas!!!), there will definitely be a lot to talk about for TAR20.  But I definitely hope Bert & Co. freshen up the show a little.

The brand new, enlarged U-Turn and Speed Bump signs were nice to see.  It would’ve been even nicer if the on-screen graphics matched the spruced up signs.  TARAu, Israel’s HaMerotz LaMillion and even TAR: Latin America have excellent brand new graphics as well as fancier opening credits.  I’d love for TAR to do some freshening up for their 20th season.  New graphics, glossy opening credits maybe a new remix of the iconic theme song.

I really, really hope they do something to freshen the show up for TAR20.

Overall
But back to TAR19, overall, it was a good, solid season.  With just enough freshness to help elevate above the show’s most recent seasons.  Every leg found a good balance.  The teams were great, what the show lacked in tasks, they made up for in highlighting the destinations and vice versa.  Definitely one of the better seasons in a long time.

Here’s to TAR20!  And again, Happy 10th Anniversary to The Amazing Race.

ALL-TIME RANKINGS
OVERALL SEASONS
1. TAR3
2. TAR5
2. TAR8
4. TAR1
5. TAR11:AS
6. TAR12
7. TAR19
8. TAR17
8. TAR2
8. TAR6
8. TAR4
12. TAR18: UB
13. TAR16
14. TAR14
15. TAR15
16. TAR10
17. TAR13
18. TAR9
*huge gap*
19. TAR7

FINALES
(regardless of winner)
1. TAR3
2. TAR12
3. TAR8
4. TAR5
5. TAR2
6. TAR1
7. TAR16
8. TAR15
9. TAR14
10. TAR6
11. TAR19
12. TAR17
13. TAR11: AS
14. TAR4
15. TAR18
16. TAR9
17. TAR13
18. TAR10
19. TAR7

GROUP of TEAMS
1. TAR3
2. TAR8
3. TAR5
4. TAR1
5. TAR11: AS
6. TAR2
6. TAR12
8. TAR6
8. TAR4
8. TAR19
11. TAR17
12. TAR18
13. TAR16
13. TAR15
13. TAR14
13. TAR13
13. TAR10
13. TAR9
*gap*
19. TAR7

MY ALL-TIME TEAMS
1. Ronald & Christina (TAR12)
2. Teri & Ian (TAR3/AS)
3. Charla & Mirna (TAR5/AS)
4. Kris & Jon (TAR6)
5. Ernie & Cindy (TAR19)
6. Dan & Jordan (TAR16)
7. The Linz Family (TAR8)
8. John Vito & Jill (TAR3/AS)
9. David & Margaretta (TAR1)
10. Linda & Karen (TAR5)
11. Meredith & Gretchen (TAR7)
12. Brian & Ericka (TAR15)
13. Nat & Kat (TAR17)
14. Brook & Claire (TAR17)
15. Erwin & Godwin (TAR10)

NON TOP 3 TEAMS THAT SHOULD HAVE GONE FURTHER
1. Ron & Christina (TAR18)
2. Teri & Ian (TARAS)
3. John Vito & Jill (TAR3)
4. The Gaghan Family (TAR8)
5. Linda & Karen (TAR5)
6. Meredith & Gretchen (TAR7)
7. Charla & Mirna (TAR5)
8. The Paolo Family (TAR8)
9. Gary & Mallory (TAR17)
10. Joseph & Monica (TAR9)
11. Bill & Cathi (TAR19)
12. Jim & Marsha (TAR5)
13. Mel & Mike (TAR14)
14. Toni & Dallas (TAR13)
15. Steve & Allie (TAR16)

MOST DESERVING FINAL 3 TEAM (NON-WINNERS)
1. Brook & Claire (TAR17)
1. Kris & Jon (TAR6)
1. Teri & Ian (TAR3)
1. Charla & Mirna (TARAS)
1. Ronald & Christina (TAR12)
6. Ken & Gerard (TAR3)
7. Kelly & Jon (TAR4)
7. Gary & Mallory (TAR18)
9. Dustin & Kandice (TARAS)
10. Brian & Ericka (TAR15)
11. Eric & Jeremy (TAR9)
12. Nicolas & Donald (TAR12)
13. Frank & Margarita (TAR1)
14. Ken & Tina (TAR13)
15. Jeremy & Sandy (TAR19)

WINNERS (subjective; as a team)
1. Ernie & Cindy (TAR19)
2. Nat & Kat (TAR17)
3. Dan & Jordan (TAR16)
4. The Linz Family (TAR8)
5. Flo & Zach (TAR3)
6. Rob & Brennan (TAR1)
7. Uchenna & Joyce (TAR7)
8. Chris & Alex (TAR2)
8. Chip & Kim (TAR5)
8. Tammy & Victor (TAR14)
11. Kisha & Jen (TAR18)
12. Meghan & Cheyne (TAR15)
13. Tyler & James (TAR10)
14. Freddy & Kendra (TAR6)
15. Nick & Starr (TAR13)
*gap*
16. Reichen & Chip (TAR4)
17. BJ & Tyler (TAR9)
18. TK & Rachel (TAR12)
19. Eric & Danielle (TAR11:AS)

WINNERS (with respect to final 3)
 &nbsp  &nbsp Winning Team
 &nbsp  &nbsp  &nbsp Who I wanted to win
1. Ernie & Cindy
 &nbsp  &nbsp &nbsp Ernie & Cindy (TAR19)
2. Dan & Jordan
 &nbsp  &nbsp &nbsp Dan & Jordan (TAR16)
3. Uchenna & Joyce
 &nbsp  &nbsp &nbsp Uchenna & Joyce (TAR7)
4. The Linz Family
 &nbsp  &nbsp &nbsp The Linz Family (TAR8)
5. Tammy & Victor
 &nbsp &nbsp Tammy & Victor (TAR14)
6. Nat & Kat
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Nat & Kat or Brook & Claire (TAR1)
7. Rob & Brennan
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Rob & Brennan or Frank & Margarita (TAR1)
8. Chris & Alex
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Blake & Paige or Chris & Alex (TAR2)
9. Chip & Kim
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Chip & Kim or Brandon & Nicole (TAR5)
10. Tyler & James
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Tyler & James or Lyn & Karlyn (TAR10)
11. Flo & Zach
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Teri & Ian or Ken & Gerard (TAR3)
12. Kisha & Jen
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Gary & Mallory (TAR18)
13. Meghan & Cheyne
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Brian & Ericka (TAR15)
14. Nick & Starr
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Nick & Starr or Ken & Tina (TAR13)
15. Reichen & Chip
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Kelly & Jon (TAR4)
16. Freddy & Kendra
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Kris & Jon (TAR6)
17. BJ & Tyler
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Eric & Jeremy or Ray & Yolanda (TAR9)
18. Eric & Danielle
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Charla & Mirna or Dustin &Kandice (TAR11:AS)
19. TK & Rachel
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Ronald & Christina or Don & Nicolas (TAR12)
My Final Subjective Team Rankings

Ernie & Cindy Ernie & Cindy – A great, great win.  Definitely my favorite winners ever since I was rooting for them from the very start.  They didn’t run a perfect Race, but they stepped it up when they needed to and Raced their best when it counted.  They were funny and sweet, but not without a fire as well.  They definitely have a spot on my all-time favorite teams list.  A well-deserved and hard fought victory. 
Liz & Marie Liz & Marie – It was a rough start, but they turned out to be a cute, fun and breezy team.  They had two horrible legs, but through it all, they enjoyed the Race, had fun and were more than fun to watch.  It is always refreshing to see teams having fun and enjoying the Race and really appreciating what they were experiencing.  I definitely wished they had gone further in the Race.
Bill & Cathi Bill & Cathi – They definitely played too much into the “old folk fodder” role at the start.  A terrible first leg that should’ve gotten them eliminated if not for the double elimination twist.  They made up for it on the next legs and probably had the most consistent Race of any team this season.  Though they did lack urgency a couple of times, especially in their elimination leg, they Raced well overall and were a fun, fiery team. 
Jeremy & Sandy Jeremy & Sandy – Sandy’s resemblance to TAR12’s Jen was this team’s only similarity to the quintessentially loveable bickering couple.   Jeremy & Sandy weren’t dysfunctional and were in fact nice and sweet.  Sandy’s blowups were merely frustration and Jeremy is probably one of the most level-headed guys ever on TAR.  I wouldn’t have been upset if they had won.  They didn’t Race perfectly either, but they too stepped it up when they needed to.  They weren’t so much boring, as they were invisible part of the Race, but a nice couple nonetheless.
Kaylani & Lisa Kaylani & Lisa – They were fun and had the potential for big blowups.  Plus they were hot.  Which makes their early elimination all the more sad.  With the revelation that Kaylani was actually supposed to Race with Big Brother‘s Rachel, looking back, this team should have definitely done better and made a bigger wave.  The passport drama almost ended their Race before it started, but if they caught that one break, they could have gone very far. 
Amani & Marcus Amani & Marcus – They did just enough to make it to the final 3, but their collapse in the final leg was really representative of their entire Race.  Like Phil’s recap at the start of the finale, Amani & Marcus really did shoot themselves in the foot.  And like how you cannot shoot yourself in the foot in football, you can’t do that on the Race.  Luck was on their side most of the time when they didn’t have that one or two good leg.  Definitely a disappointing Race from them as I had expected a lot more from them.
Ron & Bill Ron & Bill – They barely made an impression other than them being domestic partners, but the way they Raced in their only two legs made it seem like they weren’t long for the Race anyway.
Ethan & Jenna Ethan & Jenna – Probably the most shocking elimination of the season.  What an early exit for the Survivor winners.  Granted, the double elimination came into play and that tricky clue screwed up many teams, but Ethan & Jenna definitely should have Raced better.  They barely made a dent in the Race which again, is surprising considering who they are.
Andy & Tommy Andy & Tommy – A strange team.  At times, likeable and goofy, other times as annoying as TAR9’s Hippies and the Cowboys.  Their so-called dominance of the Race definitely comes with an asterisk with half their wins coming by default thanks to other teams’ mistakes.  But even when they did Race well, any goodwill was negated by how apparently they’re the only team blessed while the other teams rely solely on luck.  Okay.
Laurence & Zac Laurence & Zac – I had high expectations from them at the start, but they ended up being a clumsy team.  Laurence’s bravado and inappropriately condescending attitude towards other teams and especially Zac was not fun to watch at all.  Not to mention their severe lack of direction despite having sailed around the world?!  A big disappointment.
Justin & Jennifer Justin & Jennifer – The entire Race, Jennifer was strangely uninterested in anything.  And that apparent disinterest got them eliminated.  It would’ve been an interesting dynamic to see squabbling siblings, but when one of the team members seems like she doesn’t want to be here, where’s the fun in watching them?
<font face="georgia" size="4"Relive The Amazing Race 19!



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Recap: The Amazing Race 19, Episode 12 – “It’d be like losing it to the ‘C’ students when we’re ‘A+’ students.”

The Amazing Race 19, Episode 12 – Go Out and Get It Done

The Leg


The final leg begins and the final three open their clues telling them to fly to their final destination city, Atlanta, Georgia. They all take the same Delta Airlines flight. Once in Atlanta, Jeremy & Sandy get the first taxi out, followed by Amani & Marcus and Ernie & Cindy.

Teams head to Flight Safety International for their next clue.  Here, teams will pick a flight instructor and learn how to fly a Learjet flight simulator and then complete a successful landing from 2,500 feet to receive their next clue.



All three teams arrive one after the other, but it is Jeremy & Sandy who get it on their first try while Ernie & Cindy and Amani & Marcus fail.  They get the next clue, a riddle telling teams to “Find the former residence known as ‘The Dump’,” referring to the former home of the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell.

Jeremy & Sandy tell their taxi driver to head to an intersection so they can ask people.  Ernie & Cindy safely land their plane and head out.  Their driver doesn’t know The Dump either, so they call information. While Jeremy & Sandy get pointed to an old Home Depot location, Ernie & Cindy get the correct information.

 And Ben, their taxi driver, takes them to the next clue and the Road Block.


In this Road Block, teams will have to use a Remington typewriter, like the one used by Margaret Mitchell, to completely type out their next clue, including knowing to use the lowercase L as the number 1.



Meanwhile, as Marcus continues to collapse at the flight simulator, Jeremy & Sandy finally find the right location after wandering around inside this home store.  Ernie finishes the Road Block and now teams must use the three numbers provided in the clue, “44 – 715 – 74,” and figure out that the numbers correspond to #44 Hank Aaron’s 715th homerun in 1974, breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time record.

Ernie & Cindy head to a hotel to Google it as Jeremy & Sandy arrive at the Road Block.  And after their 12th attempt, Marcus & Amani finally land safely on the ground.

Ernie & Cindy learn that the numbers correspond to Hank Aaron, so they head to Turner Field where they find the cluebox.  It’s the Final Task.



One team member (the one who didn’t do the Road Block?) will get rigged to a giant map and with their partner helping from afar, must map out the Race by threading the rope through hooks attached to each country they’ve had a Pit Stop in.

It’s easier than it looks and Cindy quickly finishes it as she and Ernie get the last clue telling them to head to the Finish Line at Swan House. Jeremy & Sandy appear to catch up at Turner Field, but it’s no use.



The gates open and in run Ernie & Cindy. 



They step on the final Mat of the Race and Phil officially declares them the winners of the The Amazing Race. Phil asks them about what they’ll do with the money and Cindy describes how they want to start an organization that’ll multiply the million and help the needy around the world.

Jeremy & Sandy officially finish in 2nd Place with Amani & Marcus taking 3rd.




Episode Thoughts
Wow.  A very interesting finale. Certainly not the most exciting finale, but also far from the most boring. (Really, nothing will ever be as boring as the TAR10 finale.)

It was a great outcome for me personally, but there were still a few things TAR could’ve done better in this finale. That Final Task, which looked so epic and amazing in the previews fell a little flat. It was surprisingly simple and easy instead of being some intense, challenging Final Task that should’ve rivaled TAR12’s. It’s a nice concept in theory, but it came out being too easy, though still better than putting together a trailer park front yard (TAR18).

The Leg was also pretty simple considering how past final Legs have had more than three Route Markers. Granted, the clues that needed Googling are a step up from spoon feeding the teams, I think maybe they spent a little too much time at the flight simulator and the typing Road Block.

And speaking of, I feel great about myself knowing that the lowercase L is used for the 1 on many typewriters of the past. I guess it helped that we had a typewriter my whole childhood and how I loved using it all the time. I was surprised the teams did not know about the L/1 immediately, and they’re all at least 10 years older than me!

Still, overall, a solid finale helped greatly by the eventual winners.





PIT START
Panama Viejo
Panama City

FINAL DESTINATION CITY
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.

ROUTE MARKER
Flight Safety International
Atlanta

ROAD BLOCK
Margaret Mitchell House & Museum
Atlanta

ROUTE MARKER
Turner Field
Atlanta

FINISH LINE
The Swan House
Atlanta, Georgia



DEPARTURE
Panama Viejo
Panama City

Jeremy & Sandy 12:04am
Ernie & Cindy 12:05am
Amani & Marcus 12:06am

THERE WAS



NO DETOUR



In order of completion
> or < indicates team switched Detours.

Who did the Road Block?
Who gives a damn?
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block

7 Ernie Cindy 6
6 Jeremy Sandy 7
6 Amani Marcus 7


6 Andy Tommy 6
6 Bill Cathi 5
4 Laurence Zac 5
4 Justin Jennifer 4
2 Liz Marie 4
1 Kaylani Lisa 2
2 Ethan Jenna 0
1 Ron Bill 1

FINISH LINE
Swan House
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.

1st Ernie & Cindy +1
2nd Jeremy & Sandy-1
3rd Amani & Marcus =
Ernie & Cindy Ernie & Cindy – They ran mistake free when it counted.  While Jeremy & Sandy made what would’ve been a characteristically Ernie & Cindy mistake, Ernie & Cindy had the right combo of luck, good taxi, and skill to grab the lead and maintain it to the end.  It was a near flawless leg and they stepped it up when they really needed to.
Jeremy & Sandy Jeremy & Sandy Just like one wrong move can cost a team the Race, so can one wrong move cost a team a million dollars.  They were in the lead and with the simple Leg, could’ve floated to the Finish Line, but that one wrong bit of information killed their chances at the win. A solid leg from them outside of that huge waste of time at The Dump, but it was not enough.
Amani & Marcus Amani & Marcus – They ended up like they’ve run the entire Race.  Shooting themselves in the foot and falling behind with no chance to catch up. What a meltdown at the flight simulator. One of the biggest finale collapses ever I think, right in it with the other two teams and then falling so far behind by your own doing. Definitely the story of their Race.
Quotes from Episode 19.12

Sandy: “I have to get on Prilosec when I get home.”
Jeremy: “If we can make it, you can afford all the Prilosec you want.”

Cindy: “It’d be like losing it to the ‘C’ students when we’re ‘A+’ students.”
Ernie: “Well, you’re an ‘A+’ student, I’m more of a ‘B+’ maybe a ‘C’.”



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The Amazing Race, Season 19 - The Amazing Race

Andy & Tommy Reflect on the Race and Defend Their “Luck” and Faith

Andy & Tommy Reflect on the Race and Defend Their “Luck” and Faith

Andy defends his comments at the Buddhist temple to HitFix.

Andy & Tommy tell Reality Wanted about their controversial leg wins.

Reality TV World ask the perfect Andy & Tommy about their not so perfect Race moments.

Andy & Tommy answer fan questions at CBS.com.

Recap: The Amazing Race 19, Episode 11 – “Hi, do you like me as a man?”

The Amazing Race 19, Episode 11 – We Are Charlie Chaplin

The Leg

After sleeping in the Atomium and customizing Mustangs online, teams set out on the penultimate leg of Race 19. Dressing up in costumes provided to them in a box at the Pit Stop, teams must figure out they are dressed up as two characters from the classic comic book series The Adventures of Tintin. They must find out the characters are detectives and named Dupont & Dupond, Jonson & Johnson, or Thomson & Thompson then find and tell Tintin (and Snowy) in exchange for their next clue,

Jeremy & Sandy, Ernie & Cindy, and Amani & Marcus get the correct info from the locals, but Andy & Tommy take one local’s word for it and believe they are Charlie Chaplin.  After sorting that all out, teams follow their clue and take a train to Amsterdam before flying across the Atlantic to Panama City.

Once in Panama, teams must head to Puerto El Corotu to take a boat up the Chagres River to the village of Parara Puru. The drive from the airport to the puerto takes them into the middle of the night. Andy & Tommy and Jeremy & Sandy arrive first and their native boat driver takes them through the treacherous waters in the dark to the village where they must sign up for one of three appointment times the next morning to get tattoos.

Andy & Tommy pass Jeremy & Sandy to get the 7:00am appointment, with the dating couple settling for the 7:20am appointment.  Amani & Marcus and Ernie & Cindy end up with the 7:40am appointment.

After spending the rest of the night in hammocks and mosquito nets, teams get ready for their tattoos.  They must read the tattoos telling them to head to the San Francisco Bay towers back in Panama for their next clue.

Taking the taxis waiting for them on the other end of the river, teams head back to Panama City. Andy & Tommy get to the cluebox (!) first and find the Road Block.


In this Road Block, the team member who hasn’t maxed out on Road Blocks yet must walk a tightrope across the two towers, grab a clue, and head back across.

Andy, Sandy, Cindy, and Amani have to do the Road Block.  The next clue was a riddle, “Success in Suez led him to Panama. His failure inspired others to succeed. Find him beneath a rooster and you’ll find your next clue.”

Teams need to figure out they have to go to Plaza de Franciaand find the Ferdinand de Lesseps statue under the rooster for their next clue. Andy & Tommy head out first.  Jeremy & Sandy are 2nd and their taxi driver knows where to go, so he tells the taxi drivers of the other two teams.


At the plaza, teams find the Detour.
In Filet, teams must head to the El Mercado de Mariscos fish market and deliver all the seafood in their respective bins to stalls with specific orders.
In Sole, teams must head to Salsipuedes Market and find a cobbler where they’ll make a pair of sandals for a customer from one piece of leather and straps.

Andy & Tommy, Jeremy & Sandy, and Ernie & Cindy choose Sole and are neck and neck.  Amani & Marcus choose Filet, but their taxi driver, having talked to his friends again, thought he had to take Amani & Marcus to the same place at the Sole side of the Detour.  They have to run back to their taxi and off to the fish market.

Andy & Tommy finish the Detour first and Amani & Marcus speed through their side of the Detour and they get the next clue telling them to head to the Plaza de la Catedral/Cathedral Square and search among the pollera dancers for the location of the next Pit Stop.  What they don’t know is that the clue is printed on one of the dancer’s dresses and is symbolized on the necklaces of all the dancers.

Andy & Tommy stay in first and get to the dancers, but all they see are the coins with “Balboa” printed on them, so they believe that’s their clue.

The other three teams catch up to each other at the plaza with all of them stumped as to where to go.  Meanwhile, the taxi driver takes Andy & Tommy to the Panama Canal.  One of the guards or officials there tells them there’s a statue of Balboa back in Panama City, so they head back.

Back at the plaza, Ernie & Cindy decide “Balboa” is their next clue so they take off.  Jeremy draws the building on one of the medallions and their driver immediately recognizes it as Panama Viejo. Amani & Marcus take the “Balboa” clue as well.  The three teams head off. Jeremy & Sandy’s taxi driver calls Ernie & Cindy and Amani & Marcus’ drivers and tells them where he’s taking them.

Back, again, to the plaza, Andy & Tommy search and finally find the one dancer’s dress with “Panama Viejo” on it.  They go, but it’s too late.


<BRJeremy & Sandy, Ernie & Cindy, and Amani & Marcus happily arrive within seconds of each other at the Pit Stop and each claim their spot in the final leg of the Race.

That leaves Andy & Tommy in last and eliminated after winning 6 out of the last 11 legs.

Episode Thoughts
Now this was a great episode!  I’m not gonna lie about that ending being one of the best endings ever, but the rest of the episode really was great.

Let’s start at the beginning. I am shocked that none of the teams knew who Tintin was! I grew up watching Tintin everyday and recognized him and Snowy and those two detectives right away. I might not have remembered the their names immediately, but I knew they were from The Adventures of Tintin at least.

Then that crazy nighttime boat ride in the pitch black darkness of it all. That was great and apparently, that drive from Panama City to the river was a couple of hours away at least. Yay for TARAu-esque out of the way Route Markers!

The Road Block was standard TAR and even the Detour really. But they served their purposes as equalizers that would setup the shocking finish.

Looked like Andy & Tommy had ditched their truck taxis from the river once they got to Panama, while the other three teams stayed with them the entire way.  That certainly helped since those taxis were TAR-provided, so they naturally would all know each other. But I do think Jeremy & Sandy’s move of having their driver tell the others after the Road Block was what started that continued taxi alliance to the end.  That final clue with the dress and the medallions has been in line with TAR’s more mental, riddle-infused clues this season. I hope the final leg will have the most mental, riddliest clue ever to cap off the season.

The final three teams arriving at the penultimate Mat together is definitely a first and it was fun to watch. Marcus’ football analogies have gotten pretty old, but his David & Goliath one this week was actually on the money.  The six asterisked wins of Andy & Tommy did seem insurmountable. But again, one mistake could be the end for any team.  As always, taxis are the biggest TAR variables and they were once again here.

Of the four, I like this final 3 and I do hope they can bring a good fight next week.

PIT START
The Atomium
Brussels, Belgium

ROUTE MARKER
Tintin Mural at Stockel metro station
Brussels

CONNECTION
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ROUTE MARKER
Puerto El Corotu/Parara Puru on Chagres River
Panama

ROAD BLOCK
San Francisco Bay Towers
Panama City

ROUTE MARKER
Plaza de Francia – Ferdinand de Lesseps statue

DETOUR
El Mercado de Mariscos
Panama City

Salsipuedes Market
Panama City

ROUTE MARKER
Cathedral Plaza
Panama City

PIT STOP
Panama Viejo
Panama City

DEPATURE
The Atomium
Brussels, Belgium

Andy & Tommy 3:46am
Jeremy & Sandy 4:20am
Ernie & Cindy 4:35am
Amani & Marcus 4:40am

FISH

SOLE


In order of completion
> or < indicates team switched Detours.

Who did the Road Block?
Who wants to walk in rarified air?
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block

6 Ernie Cindy 6
6 Jeremy Sandy 6
6 Amani Marcus 6
6 Andy Tommy 6

6 Bill Cathi 5
4 Laurence Zac 5
4 Justin Jennifer 4
2 Liz Marie 4
1 Kaylani Lisa 2
2 Ethan Jenna 0
1 Ron Bill 1

PIT STOP
Panama Viejo
Panama City

1st Jeremy & Sandy +1
2nd Ernie & Cindy +1
3rd Amani & Marcus +1
Eliminated Andy & Tommy -3

Ernie & Cindy Ernie & Cindy – Well, they made it to the Final 3.  Their solid Race needs to carry over into the final leg for them to be able to win. They can’t allow their late-leg collapses to cost them the million. They certainly have what it takes to beat the other two teams in the final three so as long as they stay mistake-free, they have a million bucks.
Amani & Marcus Amani & Marcus – I guess the comeback kids title works for them.  They’ve been very down and they’ve been very up this Race, but they’re still in it. They did just enough to make it to the Final 3 even though I still wish they had stepped it up more when they’d flounder half the time. But now that they’re in the final leg, it would be the best time to really bring their A-game. They have a great shot as long as they put in the effort.
Jeremy & Sandy Jeremy & Sandy A solid leg and a solid run for them so far.  They were under the radar, but pushed forward when it counted. They’ve got a great shot at the million especially with only two other competitors. Anything can happen, but both Jeremy and Sandy have shown they can get physical when they need to. It’s anyone’s Race at this point.
Andy & Tommy Andy & TommyWoohoo! A very unlucky leg for them.  But they seemed doomed from the start. From Charlie Chaplin to Vasco Núñez de Balboa, Andy & Tommy were just out of it on the mental challenges and that’s not something you can do.  They also got struck with back taxi luck and that will almost certainly kill any team. They had a good run, but the Race is a marathon and leg to leg. They lost this leg. And their shot at a million. (But they got a Mustang at least!)
Quotes from Episode 19.11

Sandy: “Hi, do you like me as a man?”
Jeremy: “Yeah, I like it.”

Marcus: “I dunno, sounds like we’re about to get a crash course in head shrinking.”

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The Amazing Race, Season 19 - The Amazing Race

Bill & Cathi Reflect on Their Time on The Amazing Race

Bill & Cathi Reflect on Their Time on The Amazing Race

Bill & Cathi tell Hit Fix about how their view on the Race would be different had they been eliminated that first leg.

Reality Wanted ask Bill & Cathi about what happened in the Superleg and what they take away from the Race.

Bill & Cathi answer fan questions at CBS.com.

Bill & Cathi’s last Mat Chat with Phil:

Recap: The Amazing Race 19, Episode 10 – “That’s farting like a monster.”

The Amazing Race 19, Episode 10 – Release the Break

The Leg


Amani & Marcus are shocked when Phil hands them their next clue, telling them the next leg starts right now.  The clue tells them to drive themselves to the Ford Proving Ground in Lommel, Belgium.  Ernie & Cindy officially check in 2nd with Jeremy & Sandy in 3rd.  Andy & Tommy and Bill & Cathi get through the Detour finally and finish 4th and 5th with Phil giving Bill & Cathi the good news that they are still Racing (though no non-elimination penalty).

While everyone gets directions, Ernie & Cindy go straight to the Ford Proving Ground first and next to a row of brand new Mustangs, their next clue, the Road Block.


In this Road Block, teams will put the brand new Ford Mustangs through three performance maneuvers.  First, they must drive to 100mph and then brake at a designated spot.  Then, they’ll have to navigate a slolom course in 16 seconds or less and then safely stop the car in a box without hitting the balloon.  Finally, they’ll do a double victory donut to receive their next clue.



Ernie excitedly decides to do the Road Block.  After suiting up, a driver takes the teams on a designated course.  Teams will then take over the wheel to complete the three tasks.  Ernie easily finishes the first task, but has a lot of trouble with the slalom, allowing Jeremy to catch up behind him.  They are neck and neck as they get the next clue telling them to drive to Gent and find the next clue at the Hoofdbrug.

Amani & Marcus and Andy & Tommy arrive together next with Bill & Cathi staying in last place. 


Ernie & Cindy maintain their lead and arrive in Gent first to find the Detour.
In Water, teams must build a floatable raft using the materials provided and then use it to search the waterways for two halves of one clue that together will give them their next destination.
In Waffle, teams must set up a waffle stand and then watch a demonstration to learn how to make 18 waffles exactly like the pros have already set up.  Once the judge gives them the thumbs up, they’ll get their next clue.



They choose Waffle, as do Jeremy & Sandy who arrive not long after them.  As they get to their waffles, Amani & Marcus arrive next and originally choose Waffle, but decide to switch to Water where Andy & Tommy arrive right behind them and end up finishing the raft before them.

Ernie & Cindy get the thumbs up from the judge and they get the clue telling teams to head to De Muur Van Geraardsbergen.  Andy & Tommy are close behind them in 2nd now.

As Amani & Marcus finish their Detour, Bill & Cathi arrive and get started with the raft after deciding to pass on the waffles.  Meanwhile, Sandy is starting to get frustrated when the judge says their waffles are incorrect.  She wants to switch, but they eventually find the mistake and move on.



As Bill & Cathi wrap up their Detour, Ernie & Cindy get to De Muur and open the clue.  Teams will watch as a trainer unleashes a flock of homing pigeons, one of which is carrying their next clue.  They’ll be given an address where they’ll meet with that pigeon to get it and reveal the next Pit Stop.

Andy & Tommy continue to be right behind Ernie & Cindy while Jeremy & Sandy and Amani & Marcus arrive at the pigeons together.  Ernie & Cindy end up getting lost allowing Andy & Tommy to find their pigeon first and the location of the Pit Stop, the Antomium in Brussels.

They head to the Pit Stop and officially win another leg and a pair of customized Ford Mustangs.  Jeremy & Sandy find their pigeon 2nd and then check-in 2nd at the Mat.  Ernie & Cindy are relieved to finish in 3rd.  Amani & Marcus settle for 4th and Bill & Cathi remain stuck in last and now eliminated.




Episode Thoughts
A very nice episode.  Very quick episode too.  It had simple, but good tasks that somehow made the episode go by very quickly.  The Road Block looked like huge fun and the Detour was very straightforward, yet tricky at the same time.  The extra task/Route Marker with the pigeons continues the non-formulaic leg design we’ve had this season.

Still pretty linear though that partly kept Bill & Cathi from really making a move out of last, but an overall solid leg and episode.

Most interesting thing about this ep though was the continued inconsistency with non-elimination legs and its variations.  TAR considers these last two eps as two separate legs.  But it wasn’t necessarily a non-elimination leg since Bill & Cathi were not issued any kind of penalty.  And it wasn’t really a double/TBC-leg since Phil specifically said “the next leg starts right now.”

It is a little confusing.  For TAR18, Phil tells teams they are “still racing” suggesting the leg is not over.  Then again, this brings up the question of what constitutes a leg?  Is it the presence of a Mat?  The lack of a mandatory rest period?  Having a complete set of a Road Block and a Detour?

If these legs are indeed separate, then it should still be a non-elimination leg with a Speed Bump for the last team, only with a zero-hour Pit Stop.  If there is no penalty for the last team, then really these should be considered double-length/super legs. 

Oh well.  Who knows, maybe this is all just more cost-cutting, avoiding having to pay a night of accommodations with one less “mandatory rest period.”

Oh and I just knew the winners of this leg would be winning Fords.  I saw it a mile away. 





PIT START
Parc Elisabeth
Brussels, Belgium

ROAD BLOCK
Ford Proving Grounds
Lommel, Belgium

DETOUR
Burgstraat – Hoofdbrug
Gent, Belgium

ROUTE MARKER
Muur van Geraardsbergen
Geraardsbergen, Belgium

PIT STOP
The Atomium
Brussels, Belgium



DEPATURE
Parc Elisabeth
Brussels, Belgium

Amani & Marcus 1st
Ernie & Cindy 2nd
Jeremy & Sandy3rd
Andy & Tommy 4th
Bill & Cathi 5th

WATER

<
<

WAFFLE


In order of completion
> or < indicates team switched Detours.

Who did the Road Block?
Who wants to play with the Ponies?
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block

6 Ernie Cindy 5
6 Jeremy Sandy 5
5 Amani Marcus 6
5 Andy Tommy 6
6 Bill Cathi 5


4 Laurence Zac 5
4 Justin Jennifer 4
2 Liz Marie 4
1 Kaylani Lisa 2
2 Ethan Jenna 0
1 Ron Bill 1

PIT STOP
The Atomium
Brussels

1st Andy & Tommy +3
2nd Jeremy & Sandy +1
3rd Ernie & Cindy-1
4th Amani & Marcus -3
Eliminated Bill & Cathi =
Ernie & Cindy Ernie & Cindy – Another mistake costs them the leg win and could’ve easily been their downfall.  They’ll need to stay on their toes next leg and if they make it, the last leg if they want to win.  They’ve got everything they need to go all the way, they just have to clean up their Race a little bit.  Also, more fun moments from them as well this leg.
Bill & Cathi Bill & Cathi – Sad to see them go, but it was definitely not unexpected.  Directions were their kryptonite this entire Race and it ended up being what did them in.  They’re a great team and great people, but they absolutely suck at directions.  They also lacked a sense of urgency this leg which was sad to see since they could’ve easily sneaked by into 4th. 
Amani & Marcus Amani & Marcus – An okay leg for them.   But getting lost and getting passed numerous times during the leg will be a concern.  They have a problem maintaining leads.  They can move ahead when starting from behind, but when they start out in front, they fall out of first place and usually never recover until the next leg.  With four teams left, they’ll have to fix that.
Jeremy & Sandy Jeremy & Sandy A little worrisome seeing Sandy wanting to give up on the Detour so easily like that.  Good that they didn’t, but they’ll have to work on that if they want to run for the Finish Line.  They can’t let their frustrations get to them, otherwise they can easily fall apart and lose.
Andy & Tommy Andy & Tommy – Another win from them.  At least this time it wasn’t by default.  They’re in prime position with the momentum, but as shown last week, they aren’t invincible.  So if they can keep the momentum going, they’re the team to beat (unfortunately, if only because that would be very boring).
Quotes from Episode 19.10

Cindy: “That’s farting like a monster.  We’ll call that waffle, ‘Ernie.’ He farts.”



Over 300 real HD episode caps at photobucket.com/TAR1910 (


 


Miss the episode? Watch the full episode for free at CBS.com/amazing.
Or download the episode to keep at:

or
The Amazing Race, Season 19 - The Amazing Race