Recap: The Amazing Race 15, Episode 12 – “That finish line, I’m going to run like there’s no common sense in my brain.”

Episode 15.12 – Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound!
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And here we go.  The final leg of The Amazing Race 15.  Meghan & Cheyne leave the Pit Stop first and find out the End City is Las Vegas, Nevada.  There, they will head to the Graceland Wedding Chapel where ‘the King’ will hand them their next clue.  

At the airport, Meghan & Cheyne and Sam & Dan are shocked to see Brian & Ericka as they had expected the Globetrotters to be the third team.  All of them get on the same flight through London and arrive back on American soil and ready to go.

Katy Perry plays, AGAIN!  And the teams run out of the airport with Brian & Ericka in a taxi first.  But the taxis are one after the other and all of them get to the wedding chapel together.  They enter and Elvis is serenading a couple with “Amazing Grace.”  He finishes the song before he begins handing them their clues.  Sam and Meghan get a hand on the first clue but Sam grabs it, then Ericka goes for the 2nd clue but Cheyne grabs that one.

The clue tells them to go to Mandalay Bay.  Brian & Ericka’s taxi takes a shortcut and they get there first.  They find the Road Block, “Who’s ready to climb down the mountain?”  For this Road Block, teams will have to do a face-first rappel down the side of the hotel.  Since Brian is afraid of heights, it’s Ericka’s Road Block.

She gets out on the 62nd floor and gets strapped up and ready to go as Meghan & Cheyne arrive at the hotel.  Ericka is halfway down as Cheyne steps over the side.  Sam & Dan finally arrive as Ericka arrives on solid ground.

Brian & Ericka get the next clue… “This desert only has one mirage.  Go to it.”  They leave for The Mirage hotel.   Brian thinks the karma is finally going to pay off for them as Ericka gives him a big kiss and head out for the taxi.  Ericka lets out a big yell of excitement in the taxi as Sam steps out over the edge and just flies down the side of the building.  Cheyne gets to the bottom and they run off.

Sam & Dan aren’t too far behind and now all teams are on the road towards the Mirage.  The editors get creative with the split screen now with THREE! boxes and Brian & Ericka arriving at the Mirage and find their next clue.

Teams have the chance to join Cirque du Soleil as one team member will be strapped into a bungee cord as the other team member hoists them up to bounce high enough to grab a bouquet of flowers hanging from the ceiling.  They will then hand the bouquet to the flowerchild who will hand them their next clue.  

Ericka chooses to get hoisted up in the air and they are ready to start as Meghan & Cheyne arrive.  That gets Ericka frustrated and then Brian is frustrated as Ericka’s bounces get her just inches away from the bouquet.  Meghan begins and seems to be having an easier time, which gets Ericka and tells Brian he needs to do this since he’s taller.  Sam & Dan arrive and get suited up.

Meghan & Cheyne get their clue which asks “What is the most famous casino in the country of Monaco?”   Teams will have to figure out that casino is the Monte Carlo.  They ask a taxi driver who tells them it is The Venetian and they go.  Sam & Dan easily get the bouquet and it’s go time for Brian & Ericka.  Brian is rigged up and Ericka can hardly pull him down to bounce him up.  They have to switch back.

Sam & Dan catch up to Meghan & Cheyne outside and they end up following them, neither not sure of where they are going.  Still inside, Ericka’s frustration is growing as she can’t seem to push herself enough in her bounce to reach the bouquet.  She gets a hold of some of it, but still can’t get the whole thing.

Sam & Dan make a call and find out they have to go to the Monte Carlo so they turn off while Meghan & Cheyne keep on it in the wrong direction.  One last push off for Ericka and she finally grabs the bouquet.  They get the clue and they know immediately the answer is Monte Carlo.

Sam & Dan are there and find the next clue.  Though labeled a Road Block on-screen, this final task has both team members going to a table full of chips and counting out one million dollars worth.  When they think they have the million dollars, they will have the dealer check and once he or she confirms, they will be handed a special Amazing Race chip and their next clue. 

They head to a table and discover the red chips are the highest denomination of $1000.  They begin collecting those.

Meghan & Cheyne get to the Venetian, but nothing’s there.  The valet tells them Monte Carlo, they go inside, the concierge tells them Monte Carlo.  They go to the Monte Carlo.

Dan starts spazzing out again and Sam is trying to calmly find a good way to make the counting more efficient.  Brian & Ericka arrive at the Monte Carlo and are shocked to see only the brothers there, and are determined to beat ’em out of there.  But Meghan & Cheyne arrive and now all three teams are furiously counting the chips.  

They’re all close and they all end up finishing.  Now it’s up to the dealer to see if any or all of them are correct… Meghan & Cheyne are the only ones who have their million and they get their next clue.  Teams must now Race to the MGM Grand and find the High Rollers Suite where they’ll meet Mr. Las Vegas himself, Wayne Newton who will tell them the location of the Finish Line.  

Meghan & Cheyne are in a good position as they get into their taxi, but Sam & Dan and Brian & Ericka let their stacks get checked a 2nd time.  Sam & Dan are correct and get their next clue, but Brian & Ericka are wrong again.  Ericka’s frustration returns.

Meghan & Cheyne arrive at the suite and there is Wayne Newton himself.  He tells them the Finish Line is his house… that’s all he’s going to give.  They get back on the elevator to go down as Sam & Dan are coming up.  They get to the suite and forget what his name is before he tells them and they are off as well.

Brian & Ericka are still at the Monte Carlo as Meghan & Cheyne and Sam & Dan are looking for Wayne Newton’s home.  Meghan & Cheyne’s taxi driver says they’re at his Ranch, they get out but the gates are locked, though eventually they find the right entrance and find Phil at the Finish Line.

For the first time the teams are all on one side as they greet the winners of The Amazing Race 15, Meghan & Cheyne.  Sam & Dan officially check in 2nd and Brian & Ericka run in 3rd.

Meghan & Cheyne are happy with each other and know they have each other for the rest of their lives.  Sam & Dan are happy to show their families and everyone their story and it doesn’t who they are.  Ericka hopes her family has seen a side of Brian they haven’t had an opportunity to see and that they can finally accept him.

It was a very exciting leg.  Though not the outcome I was personally rooting for, it was exciting throughout and the first leg that allowed for multiple place changes throughout.  

The tasks weren’t especially the most interesting and as a final task, the chip counting pales in comparison to previous final tasks, especially considering last season’s exciting final task and TAR12’s epic final task.  I do prefer the final tasks that not just require Race memory, but something that looks back on their amazing adventure.  The chips felt like a task that could’ve been on any regular leg of the Race.  The rappelling is something we’ve seen before of course.

The Cirque du Soleil task was fun though and really the whole leg was one huge Travelocity ad for Las Vegas.  Nice cameo by Wayne Newton and I guess the Las Vegas promo pays the bills or in this case, save TAR some cash for filming in the city.

The clues proved to be tricky enough which is definitely a positive change for the final leg.  Things like that allow for those game changing moments of clarity.  I’d like to see a final leg that still has teams thinking.

All in all an exciting final leg and a great finish to a good season.

Leg Twelve Itinerary
Střelecký Ostrov
Prague, Czech Republic

Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.

Graceland Wedding Chapel
Las Vegas, Nevada

The Mirage
Las Vegas, Nevada

Monte Carlo Resort and Casino
Las Vegas, Nevada

Suite 88 at the MGM Grand
Las Vegas, Nevada

Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino
Las Vegas, Nevada

Casa de Shenandoah
Wayne Newton’s Home
Las Vegas, Nevada

Leg 12 Departure Times
Střelecký Ostrov
Prague, Czech Republic

Meghan & Cheyne 11:10am
Sam & Dan 12:08pm
Brian & Ericka 3:15pm

Who Did the Detour?

There was no Detour in this Leg of the Race

Road Block Count

In order of completion; Italics indicate who did this week’s Road Block
Who’s ready to go down the mountain?
6 Brian Ericka 6
5 Meghan Cheyne 6
6 Sam Dan 6

6 Herbert Nathaniel 5
4 Gary Matt 5
2 Maria Tiffany 4
1 Mika Canaan 5
3 Lance Keri 2
2 Zev Justin 2
1 Marcy Ronald 2
1 Garrett Jessica 1
0 Eric Lisa 0

Leg 12 Order of Finish
1st Meghan & Cheyne
2nd Sam & Dan
3rd Brian & Ericka

My Team Rankings for Leg 12

Brian & Ericka Brian & Ericka – They were able to have a shot and they made it there on their own, but Ericka’s frustrations and her decision to switch (which ended up pointless) could’ve cost them the Race.  They would’ve probably been able to maintain a good lead or at least a head start going into the final task if they had just kept on it at Cirque du Soleil.  But it looks like karma took a day off which ended up being unlucky for them.
Sam & Dan Sam & Dan – The story for them the entire Race was their short tempers with each other.  They easily and quickly grow frustrated and unlike Brian & Ericka where Brian can be the cooler head to calm his partner down, the brothers both hype themselves and then the other up which is definitely not helpful when a clear head is needed to win the Race.  
Meghan & Cheyne Meghan & Cheyne -   It’s no surprise they were able to pull out the win even with a couple of missteps during the Leg.  They stayed calm which can go a long way especially as everyone else around you crumbles.  It was their Race to lose, though not exciting and very predictable, it was a well deserved win.
Quotes from Episode 15.12
Ericka: “That finish line, I’m going to run like there’s no common sense in my brain.”

Episode Caps

Almost 1000 episode caps from the final Leg now online at xangatheamazingracecaps2

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