Recap: The Amazing Race 3, Episode 11 (Hour 2) – “They’re Slithering to the Finish Line Like the Rest of Us!”
The Final Leg begins as teams must find the Buddha statue at the Quang Minh Temple in Da Nang. Teams have $250 for this Leg.
Teri & Ian open the clue telling teams to fly to Honolulu, Hawaii. To get there, they must first buy airplane tickets at a travel agency in Da Nang before hopping on a 17-hour train ride to Hanoi from which they will depart for the States.
Ken & Gerard catch up to Teri & Ian at the travel agency. The Oh Brothers describe the experience as a “nightmare” as Ian’s aggressive personality rubs them the wrong way when he tries to secure the tickets. Teri agrees as Ken & Gerard suggest a pow wow where they try to get Ian to calm down, believing the ticket agent is being harassed.
After all the tense moments, they are able to secure the tickets. Flo & Zach, meanwhile, are told there are only Business Class seats left. Flo, who started out the Leg very positive is now feeling very negative and pessimistic. Flo says if they cannot secure seats on the same flights as the other two, she wants Zach to book tickets straight home to New York.
Zach decides to buy Business Class seats and hope they can change to Economy Class once in Hanoi.
All three teams are on the train to Hanoi. Zach asks around and is able to borrow a cell phone. He calls a travel agent, Zoom, who is able to secure seats on a flight that actually gets them into Honolulu earlier. But they must meet a Mr. Huey in Hanoi right before the flight departs from Hanoi in the morning.
Teams arrive in Hanoi at 4:10am. Flo & Zach meet Mr. Huey at the hotel and retrieve their miracle tickets.
All teams are on the same flight from Hanoi to Tokyo. Ken & Gerard are suspicious that Flo & Zach might have better tickets to Hawaii. They head to the JAL office and are able to get tickets on the same flight Flo & Zach are on.
At the transfer desk in Narita, Teri & Ian find out about the earlier flight, but there is only one seat left.
Later that evening, rainy weather delays the early flight. Now, the two flights arrive in Honolulu only 15 minutes apart.
Upon arrival in Honolulu, teams hop into waiting Ford Mustangs (before Ford ever sponsored The Amazing Race) and must drive themselves to Puaena Point which opens at 10am.
Teri & Ian catch up to the other teams as they arrive just in time to meet the kahuna who gives them a blessing and their next clue.
That clue tells teams to fly Kauai and drive themselves to Wailua River State Park. Ken & Gerard and Flo & Zach arrive first when Teri & Ian drive the other way. They all get harnessed up and must follow arrows into the forest to the cluebox.
That clue reveals the Detour where they must decide how to reach the clue behind the Wailua waterfall: Quick Drop or Slow Walk. In Quick Drop, teams will take a zipline to the water, swim to shore and follow the flags to the cluebox. In Slow Walk, teams must walk a long, marked trail.
All the teams take the Quick Drop to the next clue that tells teams to fly to their final destination: Seattle, Washington.
Ken & Gerard and Flo & Zach celebrate thinking Teri & Ian are so far behind that they won’t be on the same flight to Seattle. But they all make it and it’s the Race to the Finish Line.
Upon arrival in Seattle, teams hop into taxis and make their way to Kerry Park. That clue tells teams to abandon their taxis and make their way on foot to the International Fountain at Seattle Center, near the Space Needle.
Teams run through the streets of downtown Seattle and it’s Ken & Gerard who find the cluebox first. Teams must now make their way to Lincoln Park. Teri & Ian are right behind them with Flo & Zach now in last.
The teams struggle to find a taxi. Flo & Zach are first to find a taxi with Teri & Ian next. Ken & Gerard move into last after they have a valet call them a taxi.
Flo & Zach arrive at the park and find the next clue revealing the final Road Block. For this Road Block, teams must choose a totem pole and spin the animals to place them in the correct order they encountered them on the Race: donkey, dolphin, horse, goat, manatee. Once the animals are in the correct order, the totem will open to reveal their final clue.
Zach gets started with Ian right behind. Zach’s totem opens first and the final clue tells teams to find Gas Works Park. Teri & Ian stay close behind them and they leave just as Ken & Gerard arrive.
It is now a taxi Race to the Finish Line. Flo believes Ken & Gerard are far ahead of them, but Zach thinks they still have a chance. The taxis speed through the streets of Seattle.
And it is Flo & Zach who cross the Finish Line first to claim their Amazing Race win. Teri & Ian are officially 2nd place. The teams all hug each other before Ken & Gerard arrive and finish in 3rd.
So, it may not have been a big deal back then. But these days looking back, the multi-city/multi-country Final Legs aren’t the most conducive for competition. It’s almost like three different Legs in one. But I get why TAR did this before. They wanted to pack in as many locations in the Final Leg to make seem more epic.
Anyway, this Final Leg (like pretty much all Final Legs before TAR12) was decided by taxis with one or two Route Markers in the final destination city.
But thankfully, these are three teams who can deliver good television and competition regardless of the tasks.
There was a lot of maneuvering in the beginning of the Leg. The travel agency drama with Teri & Ian and Ken & Gerard was great. And Zach’s maneuvering in the train to secure the tickets was huge. You definitely won’t see that on TAR anymore. Especially as teams don’t book their own flights on the Final Leg.
At the same time, all the ticket maneuvering meant nothing since aside from the Finish Line being in a completely different state from where they were going, the first Route Marker in Hawaii had an Hours of Operation lol So that was two equalizers during this Final Leg.
Aside from that, the Detour and the Road Block were both good on their own. The Detour is a typical early TAR Detour back when teams would actually choose walking down instead of a quick zipline.
The Road Block is of course the very first memory Final Task. And it was good. If only every season had a Final Memory Task like this.
I think it was in TAR11 that Teri & Ian said they were only minutes behind Flo & Zach. I would have LOVED Teri & Ian winning. They’d be one of the best winners of all time. But it did look like a very close Race. And again, it all came down to taxis.
This was an alright finale. But definitely much more exciting and epic when watching it paired with the last Leg as a full two-hour episode. Watching them together really makes for an exciting, climactic finish with all the drama and fierce competition to the end.
A Season Wrap-up next week. But watching TAR3 again and actually recapping and reviewing it, I don’t love it any less than I did before. It is still the gold standard when it comes to casting, tasks and locations.
My Subjective Team Rankings
Teri & Ian are just an iconic TAR team. One of the all-time best personalities and biggest underdogs-turned-contenders. They ran a solid Leg and also had some luck with the equalizers. But they were right in it and almost won.
Like I mentioned last week, I feel like Ken & Gerard really faded these final Legs. They used to be the biggest contenders and then just lost steam. And so their third place finish here is about right considering how they’ve Raced these last couple of Legs.
I was definitely not a fan of Flo & Zach back then. But them winning definitely is a great storyline for TV. It was funny how positive Flo was at the start of the Leg and then she immediately goes back to her downer self at the travel agency when things didn’t go their way. lol But it didn’t matter. They were able to get some luck in Seattle and rode it to a win.
Gerard: “Buddha’s feet to America’s door.”