Recap: The Amazing Race 34, Episode 12 – “The Only Leg That Matters”
The Final Three teams fly to the final destination city: Nashville. They will start the Leg in Lynchburg, just outside of the city, in front of the Jack Daniels Distillery.
The first clue tells teams to properly label and box 30 bottles of whiskey. One team member will label the bottles while their teammate will pack. Emily & Molly gain a lead when Michelle and Claire do not put on the labels properly. Derek & Claire leave in 2nd with Luis & Michelle now in a very close last.
The next clue directs teams to drive to the Korean Veterans Memorial Bridge in Nashville. Emily & Molly missed the marked parking at the bridge, allowing Derek & Claire and Luis & Michelle to get to the clue first.
The clue here at the bridge reveals a Road Block. For this Road Block, teams will climb up to the top of the bridge to retrieve a guitar pick before rappelling down. Derek chooses to do the Road Block while Michelle and Emily are required to perform it.
Derek quickly makes it up to the top first while Emily is able to arrive 2nd before Michelle who had started before her.
On the guitar pick is “Gibson Garage,” the location of the next clue. Derek & Claire arrive first and Caroline & Jennifer hand them the next clue telling teams to deliver three Gibson guitars (two acoustic and one electric) to different honky tonks on Broadway. Once delivered, they will be given two tickets to the Nashville Municipal Auditorium.
Derek & Claire maintain their lead and get started while Emily & Molly need to stop and ask for directions. Luis & Michelle arrive in 2nd. Emily & Molly have to try and catch up. Emily fights through the pain in her knee.
At the auditorium, teams must use a floor piano to bring the Amazing Race theme to life using photos from the Race. If teams put the photo notes in correct chronological order within 11 seconds, they will be given the final clue.
All teams are now at the auditorium. Derek & Claire get the correct notes first and can now make their way to the Finish Line at the Mother Church of Country Music, the Ryman. Emily & Molly are next to finish and hurry to try and catch up.
It’s a footrace to the Finish Line. And Derek & Claire are the first to cross it. Phil officially declares them the winners of season 34. Emily & Molly are in 2nd place with Luis & Michelle finishing in 3rd.
A very strong finale. It’s great that after the debacle of TAR32’s finale, both TAR33 and TAR34 have had good Final Legs. Even in the COVID Era. Not the result I was rooting for, but it’s alright.
It was refreshingly different to have an entire task as the cold open. Of course, it helped that the Leg started right at that Route Marker. But it was a good way to establish some immediate excitement for the Final Leg.
The Road Block at the bridge was much better than expected. Usually, things like climbing and rappelling would be a first come, first served task. But no line here. All three teams were able to climb and rappel at the same time, if needed. And especially on a Final Leg, that’s a very good thing. Thank you TARUS!
Meh at Caroline & Jennifer cameo. Never really a fan of theirs. 🙄lol
As for the guitar task itself, it certainly fits for this Nashville location. And having to navigate on foot is good to get teams frantic and running around. Google Maps definitely has changed the way the Race is run. It kind of sucks since it makes it a bit easier for teams instead of having to truly navigate themselves using verbal directions or maps. But it’s 2022. Nothing can be done about that.
The Final Task was very creative and a fun twist to a memory task. The funniest part is how it was centered around the theme song and this season was probably the one that treated the theme song/opening credits the worst in the show’s history. Lol Granted, the opening credits for this season were also the worst in the show’s history, so not having to watch it every week was a good thing. But it’s nice to have a wonderful focus on what has become one of the most memorable theme songs on TV today.
The task itself had a mix of challenges. Memory, speed and strategy come into play. And I think it was a good task. It also helped to have all teams here at the same time. So at the very least, there is some kind of tension and excitement. Unlike other seasons where it is far more obvious what the final placement is early in the episode.
Overall, definitely one of the better finales and Final Legs. And a good way to end this season.
Quick Team Thoughts
More detailed team thoughts in my Season Wrap-up. But the final three teams were all very good. Again, I was rooting for Emily & Molly the most of course. And it’s too bad that their two mistakes (if we are to believe the show’s editing) cost them what looked like a likely million dollar win. It seems like Emily & Molly’s two mistakes were the only factors that decided the final placements. So the fact that they finished 2nd, despite that and despite them having to run the last half of the Leg on Emily’s knee is amazing.
Now though, it makes me think this was a linear Leg if that’s the case. Lol
Anyway it’s a deserved win for Derek & Claire as well. And I certainly prefer them than the last BB team that won TAR. Luis & Michelle, meanwhile, trailed the entire Leg. But they didn’t stop fighting and that is always great to see.