Recap: The Amazing Race 30, Episode 12 – It’s Just a Million Dollars, No Pressure (Hour 2)
This is it. Teams fly on China Airlines business class to their final destination, San Francisco.
Once in San Francisco, teams must make their way to AT&T Park and find their next clue next to the statue of Willie Mays.
Teams must now find out the number of Willie Mays’ career home run total: 660. They will then hop into a kayak in McCovey Cove and search home run balls in the water for three with the numbers 6, 6 and 0. Once they show the umpire, they will receive their next clue.
Kristi & Jen ask a local to Google the number while Cody & Jessica and Henry & Evan hop into the water without knowing the number they need. As Lou Seal hurls balls at the teams, Cody & Jessica ask someone up on the pier by the park who checks on their phone. Henry & Evan row closer to hear as well.
Kristi & Jen get their balls first with Cody & Jessica close behind. The next clue is a Road Block: Who brought an extra pair of underwear?
Teams will hop into a RIB boat which will take them to the anchorage for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. For this Road Block, teams will have to pull themselves up in the highest ascender climb ever on The Amazing Race. They will then head inside and bungee jump to receive their next clue.
Cody, Kristi and Henry decide to do the Road Block.
Cody & Jessica maintain their lead and open the next clue which is a rebus: “Golden Gate Cookie Factory.” This refers to the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company in Chinatown.
Here, each team member must make 51 fortune cookies by hand for a total of 102. Kristi & Jen are able to finish first and can now make their way to San Francisco City Hall the USS Hornet Museum in Alameda across the bay.
Cody & Jessica finish next, but Henry & Evan find a taxi first.
At the USS Hornet, it is the Final Task. Teams must first search the ship for 12 pieces of a plane. The team member who did not perform the Road Block must now figure out which six of the 12 pieces will fit on a model airplane. Each piece has two symbols and all 12 Legs must be represented on the six pieces they will use to complete the plane.
All the teams get to the USS Hornet and it’s a neck and neck Race for the Finish Line.
The teams all ask for a check several times, but they all get the thumbs down.
We are told Henry has all 12 stickers correct, but he appears not to ask for a check. Instead, he switches out the tail of the plane and he now has two wrong stickers.
It’s been hours since the teams first arrived at the USS Hornet.
But on Check #10, Jessica gets the thumbs up. She pushes her plane past the line and she and Cody run across the deck of the USS Hornet to the Finish Line where they are officially declared the winners.
Henry & Evan are 2nd and Kristi & Jen finish 3rd.
Well. I’m certainly not jumping up and down for Cody & Jessica winning. But I must say, I don’t know if this is my hometown bias talking. But this was one of the best, most exciting finales in the show’s history.
This was a great Final Leg with good tasks that allowed teams to not get too far ahead of each other. That enabled that Final Task that hasn’t been done in this way since TAR8 with map puzzle right before the Finish Line.
And of course, the first full nighttime finale and in beautiful San Francisco.
First off, I definitely followed along the night of the finale filming and had even considered being a creepy stalker, following teams around from SFO all the way to the Finish Line. And to be completely honest, if this were back around TAR11 or something, I absolutely would have done that. But as much as I still love TAR the franchise, I wasn’t too eager to actually go out and attempt to follow teams around.
Anyway, teams first got a clue in the arrivals lobby at SFO before heading off to AT&T Park. The nod to the great Willie Mays was awesome. That guy on the bike in the episode actually posted his video on Instagram stories the night of the finale. lol And it was interesting to watch teams not just turn around and look at the Willie Mays statue to see the answer to the riddle. It’s right there.
I am even more surprised to see the episode and the teams not actually finding the answer out before hopping into their kayaks? Like WTF? Did they just think they were going to find random balls?
It was fun seeing Lou Seal get a feature too.
Now the missing, unspoiled task was the one at the Bay Bridge. I thought it would be great to have excellent 4K UHD drone shots of teams in the RIB boats speeding under the Bay Bridge at night. I even thought it would be awesome to have a task at the Bay Bridge. Maybe jumping off, though considering the infamy associated with the neighboring Golden Gate Bridge and “jumping off,” I guess that would’ve been pretty morbid.
Anyway, little did I (or anyone else) know that there actually was a task at the Bay Bridge. It was actually excellent. It was a typical ascender task, but with the beautiful San Francisco skyline in the background. The jump inside was also great as never in my 31 years of living on the San Francisco peninsula did I even know the thing was hollow, tbh. lol
The fortune cookies at Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory was very San Francisco. Chinatown and the Chinese American community is such a huge part of San Francisco. And it was definitely something not touched upon in the other three SF Finish Lines.
After the fortune cookies, teams actually had to pick up a clue at City Hall. And pictures from the night of the finale showed the beautiful building lit up in Race Yellow and Red. So it was too bad City Hall only showed up for a second in the episode instead of showing the teams pick up their clue there. City Hall is always stunning, day or night. But seeing it lit up in Race colors would be awesome.
Finally, I actually bet on Yerba Buena or Treasure Island as the Finish Line. But the USS Hornet in Alameda was a great choice. Especially in relation to the Final Task.
The Final Task and the pseudo Road Block was pretty good. The searching through the ship might have been a little too needle in a haystack. But obviously the most challenging part was putting the right pieces on the plane. It was a nice, tricky puzzle that felt very much like TAR12’s infamous final Road Block. Having all the different combinations made the task that much more challenging.
The best part though was having the task right before the Finish Line. I don’t think they’ve done this since TAR8? If they have, then it must not have been an exciting finish enough for me to remember. lol Also, it appears to have taken hours to complete the task, so that is also great.
Anyway, despite the final result, I really loved this Final Leg. It was really was exciting with great tasks. Dare I say, it was the best SF Final Leg?
My Subjective Team Rankings
Oh boy. If the editing was correct and not just manufactured drama, then Henry & Evan should be one million dollars richer tonight. Man. I was really holding out hope they would pull out the win tonight. And they almost did. A few missteps, but even with them, they were able to catch up several times and it appeared they almost had the win.
It was much tougher for Kristi & Jen though. I feel like they were the Nathan Chen of this season. Like, Nathan Chen is no question one of the best figure skaters in the world today. But the overwhelming pressure and expectations got to him during his Free Skates this Olympics. He was able to recover and deliver an amazing Long Program. But on TAR, there is no long program. And the pressure seems to have gotten to Kristi & Jen these last two Legs. It’s too bad because it would’ve been great to see them win as well.
I’m certainly no fan of Cody & Jessica, but I also don’t dislike them. Still I was rooting for the other two teams so their win was a little disappointing. Especially when fans and even the Big Brother mainstream media and some CBS people were crowning them the winner even before the Race started. Oh well.