This is it! The final leg of the 16th season of The Amazing Race begins. Brent & Caite get their clue first telling them to fly to the final destination city, San Francisco, California. Once there, teams will make their way to Battery Godfrey in the Presidio, overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, for their next clue.
Jet & Cord set off next and the two teams meet at the airport since ticketing opens at 10:45am. Looks like a TAR-induced Hours of Operation. Dan & Jordan get to catch up, and as the two teams are laying on the floor of the airport, Jordan decides to put his backpack behind Brent & Caite’s right next to where Cord is laying.
When the counter opens, Jordan assumes the spot behind Brent & Caite, cutting in front of Jet & Cord. The cowboys say it’s gloves off now.
On the plane, Dan & Jordan aren’t done making critical moves. They ask a stewardess if they can sit in First Class, which would allow them to leave the plane first, and they do.
Dan & Jordan run out of SFO first and tell their cab driver to get them to the Presidio. Brent & Caite are second and Jet & Cord are last.
The brothers get to the cluebox and open their next clue, revealing a riddle: I was built in 1933. I’m 210 feet tall. My insides are lined with murals painted by 26 different artists. What am I? When you know, go to me to and search for your next clue.
Teams will have to figure out the riddle is talking about Coit Tower on top of Telegraph Hill and it is there where they’ll find their next clue. Dan & Jordan stop at the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge by the gift shop to ask a biker who tells them Coit Tower.
Brent & Caite arrive in the Presidio but their driver has no idea where to go, allowing Jet & Cord to get to the clue first and then pass them on the road. Caite calls their driver a “dumbass” and they are upset he doesn’t speak English.
Dan & Jordan are still out in front and get to Coit Tower to find the Road Block. In this Road Block, teams will have to use an ascender to pull themselves up to the archways of Coit Tower where they will grab their clue before getting lowered back down.
Dan decides to do the Road Block and gets high up before the cowboys arrive and Brent & Caite finally get to the first clue.
Dan grabs the clue and heads back down. Teams will now have to find the Yoda Fountain, a statue of the Yoda from Star Wars located in front of Lucasfilm headquarters back in the Presidio.
As Cord starts climbing, Brent & Caite get some help with the riddle, while Dan & Jordan get to Yoda where a bunch of stormtroopers and a couple of Darth Vaders are waiting to lead them inside the Letterman Digital Arts Center where they’ll get to work with Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light and Magic special effects. One team member will put on a motion capture suit and head into a soundstage. Their teammate will guide them through several levels of a virtual world to their next clue.
Jordan gets into the suit and Dan guides. They try to get the hang of it as Jet & Cord arrive. Jet is the searcher and Cord guides and before Jet is ready to start, Cord decides to try and mess up Dan & Jordan by yelling out random directions.
Brent & Caite get to Coit Tower and Brent ascends and they’re off.
Dan & Jordan finish and get their next clue, but it’s spinning around virtual Jordan. Dan tries to figure out how to see it clearly, but Jordan is now in Jet’s way who can’t move without bumping into Jordan.
Dan figures out that if Jordan spins around, the words slow down as they spin together. Jet slowly steps forward just enough until they get to the next level. Dan gets the whole clue, telling them about Tonga.
Teams will now make their way to the Tonga Room at the Fairmont Hotel, one of the first Tiki bars in the country, where they’ll find their next clue.
Dan & Jordan head back to their taxi and Brent & Caite are just arriving. They decide to have Brent guide and Caite search.
Cord tries to figure out what’s going on with the flying words as Dan & Jordan arrive at the Tonga Room. They find three trunks. Teams will each have to take a trunk and looking at the sticker on top, take them to the Great American Music Hall on foot.
Dan & Jordan get directions and head to the streets as both Jet & Cord and Brent & Caite finish writing down their clues and are just seconds apart. BUT! Brent & Caite left their pouch inside!!
Dan & Jordan are running along the hills of San Francisco and get to the Great American Music Hall while Jet & Cord are just leaving the Fairmont.
Dan & Jordan open their next clue which gives them their final task. Teams will open their trunks and find 11 psychedelic posters, eight of them represent the eliminated teams and three of them the non-elimination legs. Teams must put the posters in the correct elimination/non-elimination order and if correct, will be handed their final clue.
Jordan is so excited because being a huge Amazing Race fan, he knew that most of the seasons featured memory tasks in the final leg. So he had written down the elimination order. They quickly put the posters up and are handed their final clue… another riddle… “Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, to find the finish line, jump over to _______.”
Dan, as he mentioned earlier, being a sports fan knows immediately it is Candlestick Park. They take down their posters before leaving and run outside to try and find a taxi (in downtown San Francisco! Good luck with that!).
The cowboys arrive at the Music Hall and get started.
But it’s all Dan & Jordan and they walk through the Niners helmet and cross the Finish Line to claim the $1 Million grand prize. Dan is so happy to have made his little brother’s ultimate dream come true.
The cowboys finish 2nd. And Brent & Caite finish 3rd. Caite is very happy to have proven that she isn’t dumb, which Carol & Brandy scoff at. Phil tells Caite they aren’t happy and Brandy lets her have it. Kind of. She’s just upset they got U-Turned when they should’ve U-Turned a stronger team, Caite takes the high road and says maybe they should’ve been nicer to people.
Moving on, the teams congratulate each other. For some reason, Mike & Louie and Jeff & Jordan get a chance to speak, but the final word goes to Jordan who says when he and his brother team up, they can do anything.
Episode Thoughts I must say, as a finale, this was a great episode. I think being in San Francisco helped. It was great seeing the city and compared to the TAR2 and TARAS finales in San Francisco, so much better in showing it off.
Ascending the Coit Tower was very cool. The task at Lucasfilm/Industrial Light and Magic was very very cool. Imagine getting your own Star Wars character!
The clue at the end, as well as the riddles, was very interesting and new for an Amazing Race finale too which was good. The show should stop feeding the teams the clues.
What a great coincidence TAR decided to feature the Tonga Room at the Fairmont Hotel. It is currently in danger of being demolished and lost forever as the hotel is planning to replace it with a huge ballroom, and that a Tiki Bar doesn’t fit with the Fairmont’s high-end-ness. Save the Tonga Room!
The final memory task was pretty easy, but it was great to have back. No chips counting this time! And finally the Finish Line at Candlestick Park. Great choice! I hadn’t thought of it before.
Now back in China, Jordan probably didn’t have to cut in line. But Dan & Jordan’s move on the airplane was perfectly fine and a genius move. There’s nothing against asking to sit in First Class as long as they paid for Economy seats. And while it got them out of the airport first, Dan & Jordan maintained their lead pretty convincingly throughout the leg.
The Carol & Brandy vs Caite showdown at Candlestick was pretty boring actually. It could’ve had a lot more sparks, but oh well. Nice for Caite to not get angry back, but really both teams have their faults and annoying traits. Caite even moreso. It was still definitely a first for The Amazing Race. I was expecting to see Joe blow up at Mike & Louie at the Finish Line. Maybe on Elimination Station.
So overall, a good finale, definitely better than a couple we’ve had in recent years.
Leg Twelve Itinerary PIT START Riverside Promenade (Bīnjiāng Dà Dào) Shanghai, China
FINAL DESTINATION/END CITY San Francisco, California
ROUTE MARKER Battery Godfrey Presidio of San Francisco
ROAD BLOCK Coit Tower San Francisco
ROUTE MARKERS Letterman Digital Arts Center/ Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light and Magic Presidio of San Francisco
Tonga Room at the Fairmont Hotel San Francisco
Great American Music Hall San Francisco
FINISH LINE Candlestick Park San Francisco, California
Departure Times Riverside Promenade (Bīnjiāng Dà Dào) Shanghai, China Brent & Caite 2:37am Jet & Cord 3:11am Dan & Jordan 6:00am
Who Did the Detour? In order of completion
There was no Detour this week.
Road Block Count In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block
Order of Finish 1st Dan & Jordan / 2nd Jet & Cord = 3rd Brent & Caite /
My Subjective Team Rankings for Leg 12
Dan & Jordan – Well, they said their plan was to not get eliminated and make it to the final 3. They did. They said they would turn up the heat, give it 150% in the final leg. They did. Dan said he’d make his brother’s dream come true. He did. They stepped it up when they really needed it. The cutting in line wasn’t necessary, but they ran an otherwise very strong final leg. Genius thinking and no mistakes, no time waste.
Jet & Cord – The cowboys have been known to come from behind and with how close they were to Dan & Jordan, they should’ve been able to overtake them, but at Coit Tower and Lucasfilm, tasks they would’ve usually sped through, they didn’t deliver. They had a big shot to pass the brothers and they’ve done more than that in the past. It looks like their Cowboy magic wore off.
Brent & Caite – It was a horrible leg for them and pretty much in line with how they’ve Raced throughout the whole season. They got a bad taxi, but the dumbass comments and hissyfits weren’t going to help. Couple that with the dumb mistake of leaving their money and stuff behind, it just wasn’t a good day for them.