Recap: The Amazing Race 29, Episode 12 – We’re Going To Victory Lane”
Teams enjoy Premium Class on Korean Air en route to their Final Destination city, Chicago, Illinois. Once in Chicago, teams must make their way to Chicagoland Speedway for their next clue.
Brooke & Scott arrive first and find a Double Road Block their first task of the Final Leg. One team member must change a tire in 40 seconds while the other team member must drive a lap around the track in 48 seconds. Brooke decides to change the tire with Scott in the driver’s seat.
Tara & Joey and then London & Logan arrive next. Tara and Logan get behind the wheel while Joey and London join the pit crew.
It takes each team a couple attempts for each task, but Brooke & Scott maintain their small lead. Tara & Joey are 2nd and London & Logan are 3rd as they head to their next Route Marker at the Monroe Street station of the Chicago L train.
The next clue is with a metro worker with Race colors on his helmet. This clue gives teams three riddles which will lead them to three Chicago landmarks: the Chicago Water Tower, Buckingham Fountain and the Wabash Avenue Bridge. At each of these landmarks, teams will collect a postcard and when combined will reveal the next clue is on the Chicago City Hall rooftop.
Tara & Joey heading to an incorrect landmark allow Brooke & Scott to stay in the lead as they head to City Hall and receive their next clue from the city beekeeper Michael. Teams will now have to make their way to Wrigleyville Dogs.
Teams must now deliver ten hot dogs to Cubs fans on a Wrigley Field Rooftop. Once delivered, TAR19 winners Ernie & Cindy will give them tickets to Wrigley Field.
And inside the ballpark, teams will find their Final Double Road Block Task. One team member will sit in the press box and help their partner fill the manual scoreboard with their Leg placements matched with the Pit Stop locations by using a one-way radio.
Brooke is in the press box while Scott places the numbers on the scoreboard. They finish with no problems and can run to home plate where they are given three equations using their Leg placements that will reveal a section of the ballpark where they will find the next clue.
Brooke & Scott are on their way to a win as they open the final clue telling them to head to the Finish Line at Milton Lee Olive Park. Tara & Joey are just finishing the Final Task when Brooke & Scott cross the Finish Line and are officially declared winners of The Amazing Race.
Tara & Joey are 2nd and London & Logan are a distant 3rd.
So a pretty typical, maybe a little above-average finale compared to recent seasons. I do think it started fast and quick then really slowed down and ended in a very anticlimactic way.
It was good Leg with the lack of taxis and plenty of moving around on foot. The tasks were all good individually, but together it was very indicative of one of contemporary TAR’s biggest problems: Leg design. Elements of the Leg were good, but the Leg itself and maybe even more so the editing kind of sucked the life out of what could’ve been a truly great Final Leg.
Still, it was certainly better than TAR6’s half-Chicago pizza eating Final Leg.
The TAR race cars looked great and at the very least the cars, the Victory Lane set-up and the nice graphics at Wrigley Field showed effort on the part of TAR.
That first task at the Speedway (totally a TARPHDME-style Double Road Block lol) was fine, but it took up quite a bit of the episode. It was exciting since the teams were all there and not making each attempt. But I do question the first come, first served task on the Final Leg. That basically set-up the rest of the Leg and each team’s placement when really the Final Leg should be encouraging more of that side-by-side competition.
The riddles/landmarks Route Info task was good mostly because it got teams to run around and possibly tire them out.
The hot dogs task helped maximize Wrigley Field as a location and great to see Ernie & Cindy.
The Final Double Road Block is interesting. I think it looks excellent on paper. And it’s a task that is unique to each team. Each team will have different answers so there’s no copying. It is a nice, fresh creative task. But I don’t know that it was any exciting. Maybe because only one team was ever there at a time and the editing was just slow the last half of the episode.
Interesting decision to use some classic TAR scores during this episode, some haven’t heard on the show in years. And not only that, the original mix of the theme song playing in the end credits bumper. I don’t know if that’s supposed to imply that this was some sort of classic TAR season or evoke memories of such. Because it didn’t. Nice try. But let’s not get overboard here.
Overall, a slightly above-average finale. Nothing too special, but certainly not downright horrible like many other finales.
My Subjective Team Rankings
So like I mentioned last week, I really wasn’t rooting for any team specifically to win. I’d be okay with any of them three winning. And not because I particularly loved all of them, nor did I dislike all of them. Maybe it’s a little more indifference at the three teams.
Tara & Joey weren’t on their A game this Leg. They’ve done very well on many of the Legs this season, but this wasn’t one of them. They left the speedway in 2nd, but I think they did have a chance to catch up. Didn’t work out for them though.
Brooke & Scott got a big advantage at the start with a great taxi to the speedway and maintained that lead through the rest of the Leg. No mistakes, despite Brooke’s “I can’t do it!” whining again, even in this Final Leg. But they otherwise ran a great Final Leg, took the lead and kept it. That’s really all you need to do on a Leg designed like this.
London & Logan were out of it right from the start. Arriving last at the first task and then not hustling or having a sense of urgency certainly cost them. I do think they Raced this Leg like they’ve Raced the entire season. A little bit of a lack of urgency and maybe being too laid back and positive.
Scott: “Today is a million dollars.”
Brooke: “I don’t want to feel like I’m invalid!”
Scott/B>: “You’re not an invalid, we talked about this!”
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