The Amazing Race 20, Episode 11 – It’s a Great Place to Become Millionaires
The penultimate leg begins and all four teams get on the same flight to Hiroshima, Japan. At the airport, Brendon & Rachel miss the first bus to the train station while the other three get ahead. But after arguing on the bus, Brendon makes a new friend who helps them buy tickets getting him and Rachel first on the train together with Vanessa & Ralph and Art & JJ. The three teams also make the last ferry of the night, leaving Rachel & Dave behind. But at Miyajima, they find a Route Marker saying they’ll receive their next clue with “the rising sun.” That allows Rachel & Dave to catch up.
In the morning, a farmer pulling a rickshaw hands them their next clue telling teams to find the Atomic Bomb Dome at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. There, teams pay their respects before being handed the next clue by a guard telling teams to take a bullet train to Osaka.
Once in Osaka, teams must head to the TV 8 Studios for their next clue. Brendon & Rachel and Rachel & Dave both choose to take the subway to the TV station while Art & JJ and Vanessa & Ralph take taxis. The taxis are faster, but Vanessa & Ralph are taken to the wrong studio.
That puts Art & JJ in the lead and they grab the next clue to find the Road Block.
In this Road Block, teams will have to participate in a Japanese game show where they will run on a running track while trying to grab three rubber chickens hanging from the ceiling. They must then run to the end and jump on the pads to finish. If they stumble and fall, they’ll have to try again.
Art does the Road Block and finishes before the other three teams arrive at the same time. Brendon finishes first, followed by blonde Rachel. But Vanessa is struggling with her now swollen, sprained ankle from last leg. She fights through it and finishes.
Teams must now head to the Omeda Sky Building and head to the Floating Garden Observatory. After locating the two Sony Windows 7 touchscreen PCs, they will find the two Detour options by pressing Play. In Bingo Shoutout, teams head to a sushi restaurant where they must pick sushi from a conveyor belt, listen to the bingo caller and place the correct sushi (with the correct letter on the flag) onto their bingo cards. When they’ve got bingo, they must yell out “Sushi!” and if correct, they must eat all five pieces before getting their next clue. In Photo Cutout, teams must collect two life sized sumo wrestler cutouts and a camera and take pictures of ten groups of three people with the cutouts to get their next clue.
Rachel & Dave finish the Photo Cutout Detour first and head to the Pit Stop at Osaka Castle to claim their 7th win and a trip to New Zealand. Art & JJ finish the Sushi Detour first as Vanessa & Ralph catch up to Brendon & Rachel before they leave.
At Osaka Castle, Art & JJ and Brendon & Rachel run around the grounds looking for an elusive Phil and they eventually check-in 2nd and 3rd respectively. That leaves Vanessa & Ralph in last and eliminated.
The final leg begins and teams learn their final destination city is Honolulu, Hawaii. Teams must travel on the lone Hawaiian Airlines flight from Osaka to Honolulu, getting all three teams in Hawaii at the same time.
Once in Honolulu, teams need to figure out a riddle that will lead them to the twin towards of Makua and Makai. Rachel & Dave’s taxi driver knows. Art & JJ meanwhile decide to just follow them, but eventually lose sight of them. The taxi dispatchers at the airport, meanwhile, help Brendon & Rachel with the location.
Rachel & Dave open the next clue. Teams must now use an ascender to get to the top of the 45-story tower. At the top, they’ll have to scan the horizon to find a large Race flag which they’ll have to go to for their next clue. But first, they must rappel back down to the ground, face first.
Brendon & Rachel arrive just as Rachel & Dave suit up and the Rachels are happy if either of them wins, as long as it’s not Art & JJ. Meanwhile, the Border Patrol agents ask for help at a hotel and get pointed to the wrong location.
Rachel & Dave stay in the lead with Brendon & Rachel close behind. They head back down the building and over to Sand Island Park where they find the Road Block.
In this Road Block,teams must use a Samurai sword to shave enough ice from a block to fill up 14 quarts. When they’re done, actor Taylor Wily will hand them their next clue.
Dave finishes first and they get the next clue telling them to make their way on foot to the waiting helicopters in the nearby outfield. Art & JJ arrive just as Brendon finishes the Road Block.
But! Brendon & Rachel hop back into their taxi, ask if there’s a nearby stadium. Aloha Stadium is nearby, so they tell the driver to go there. That allows Art & JJ to pass them as they read their clue correctly and get on a helicopter. Brendon & Rachel realize their mistake when Aloha Stadium is closed and they backtrack, losing them about 30 minutes.
Rachel & Dave touch down on the North Shore and get the next clue. One team member must drive a wave runner through the water while the other gets pulled behind on a sled. They must rescue a victim and bring them safely back to shore.
Rachel & Dave finish and get their clue telling them to head to the Coral Kingdom Gate to Hakipu’u Valley. (The clue also states to take all their belongings and release their taxi.) Art & JJ are close behind and after letting out some heavy frustration, Brendon & Rachel trudge on.
Rachel & Dave get let off and they run down to a dock where they find a Race sign that says to take a paddleboard across the fish pond. Meanwhile, Art & JJ get to the Coral Kingdom Gate and follow a marked path. They must be right because they find the 2nd Road Block.
For this Road Block, teams must take part in two traditional Hawaiian games. First, they must use a Papa hōlua or land sled to slide 150 feet down a hill and past a line without falling over. Then teams must play a game of ʻulu maika by picking up a disc-shaped lava rock and roll it 50 feet into a goal.
While Art struggles with the sled, Rachel & Dave get across the pond and stumble upon the Finish Line. They are excited, but Phil breaks the news that they’ve missed a Road Block. So they have to go back and complete it.
Rachel & Dave run up the road and find the marked path where they catch up to Art & JJ at the Road Block. Brendon & Rachel get dropped off half a mile down the road as well.
Rachel moves on to the ulu maika as Art continues to struggle with the sled. She gets the rock in the goal and now Rachel & Dave can officially head to the Finish Line on Secret Island by taking an ATV to the dock.
Back at the Road Block, with Brendon (and JJ’s!!!!) encouragement, Rachel slides past the line. She moves on to the ulu maika, but again grows frustrated when she comes close several times. That allows Art to catch up to her and eventually pass her.
And so Rachel & Dave claim the million dollars (and the record for most wins ever on an American TAR). Art & JJ finish 2nd and Brendon & Rachel are officially 3rd.
Episode Thoughts Well what a finale! While I’m sad at the final outcome, it was probably the most exciting finale in a couple of seasons. Both legs had plenty of lead changes and placement shifts and the final leg especially was pretty much up in the air right up until blonde Rachel finished the Road Block.
For the Japan leg, it was awesome to have more Japanese game show fun. TAR15’s Wasabi Road Block was hilariously awesome and this chicken Road Block was fun as well. The camera side of the Detour was very TARA-like, specifically the Sony-sponsored task requiring teams to use their provided Sony High Definition camcorders to record locals singing. lol It was nice to have that little Hiroshima tribute too.
With the final leg, it was sad to see no memory or mental task. Everything was purely physical. Except for the clues and taxis of course. But overall, it was nice to see all three teams so close to each other, even when teams made big mistakes and all three of them did, We haven’t had that in a while. Though it sucked that the Finish Line mishap ended up being nothing (lol, darn it).
PIT STOP Cheena Vala Fishing Nets Vypin, India
DESTINATION CITY Hiroshima, Japan
ROUTE MARKERS Itsukushima Shrine Miyajima
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Hiroshima
ROAD BLOCK TV 8 Studio Osaka
ROUTE MARKER Floating Garden Observatory, Umeda Sky Building Osaka
PIT STOP Osaka Castle Osaka, Japan
PIT STOP Osaka Castle Osaka, Japan
FINAL DESTINATION CITY Honolulu, Hawaii
ROUTE MARKERS Mauka and Makai Waterfront Towers Honolulu
ROAD BLOCK Sand Island Honolulu
ROUTE MARKER North Shore, Oahu
ROAD BLOCK Coral Kingdom Gate, Hakipu’u Valley Kaneohe
FINISH LINE Secret Island Oahu, Hawaii
DEPARTURE Leg 11 Cheena Vala Fishing Nets Vypin, India
Dave & Rachel 1:10pm
Leg 12 Osaka Castle Osaka, Japan
Dave & Rachel 4:15pm Art & JJ 4:47pm Brendon & Rachel 5:05pm
In order of completion > or < indicates team switched Detours.
Who did the Road Block? Who wants to bring home the chicken? In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block
5Art JJ 4 5Brendon Rachel 5 5Rachel Dave 4 5 Vanessa Ralph 5
After final leg In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block
1st Rachel & Dave = 2nd Art & JJ+1 3rd Brendon & Rachel -1 Eliminated Vanessa & Ralph-1
FINISH LINE Secret Island Oahu, Hawaii
1st Rachel & Dave = 2nd Art & JJ= 3rd Brendon & Rachel =
Brendon & Rachel – Man, what a bummer. Definitely a disappointing final leg. After running the Race pretty calmly and consistently, they save all their volatility and frustration for the final leg. Plus, after making almost no mistakes the entire Race, they make one that played a huge part in them losing. Without misreading the clue, they wouldn’t have gotten frustrated, Rachel would’ve been calm and they could have easily slipped past the other two teams. But in addition to poor taxis, it was their own fault they ended up third. Incredibly sad and disappointing.
Rachel & Dave – These two legs pretty much proved Rachel carried this team. Not army Dave, Rachel. Ever since the first time Dave suddenly started being overbearing towards Rachel, it was her that made their wins that much tolerable. They deserved this win if only because Rachel performed excellently when she had to.
Art & JJ – I’m strangely conflicted on them, especially after this final leg. I still think they’ve been cocky jerks the entire Race, yet you get a scene of JJ… JJ!! encouraging Rachel Reilly at the Road Block. And this was after he called her a “nice lady” last week. I’m now sure they only started trouble and drama just to do it. They’re still cocky jerks, but I don’t hate them as much anymore. Strange.
Vanessa & Ralph – Though not as emotionally moving as Mark’s perseverance through the Bollywood Road Block, Vanessa definitely deserves props for fighting through the pain to finish the Road Block in Japan. Her ankle definitely did not look well so she deserves a lot of credit for pushing through when other teams have quit for much less.
Quotes from Episode 20.11
JJ: “Three teams got on, Big Brother, ourselves and Conan and Kardashian.”