The Amazing Race recap: The Final Frontier

In the season 23 finale, teams chase a rhino and and vending machine in Tokyo, then end up in Alaska. And the winners are....
Ep. 11 | Aired Dec 8, 2013

'I'M THE KING OF THE ZOO!' Jamal finds momentary glory.


Tim and Marie are in second place and amicably resigned to it. "I've never done this, and I'm not looking -- so I'm just gonna hurl myself in this glacier hole and see what happens." Beautifully said, Tim. And this is definitely a metaphor for his continued association with Marie. It works for them, I guess.

Is anyone else compelled to book an outdoor adventure in Alaska? Minus the supply-dropping part, I'd be so into all of this stuff. Especially just sitting around and gaping at the beautiful blue tones of the landscape. The treacherous ice bridge part I could give or take (my own life). It's just gorgeous up there!

But back to misery: Travis is going on and on about how Nicole has "struggled so mightily" in her last four Road Blocks. "Sometimes not being successful is a hard pill to swallow," Travis says gravely -- and again, he's a doctor, so you can trust him. After Nicole finally hits the target, the two share the most glacier-like eye contact in Amazing Race history as they helicopter to the actual glacier. It's almost as terrifying as Nicole losing one of her picks as she climbs up the icy incline. Travis sees an opportunity to melt a little, and takes it. "Wow," he concedes. "I know it's tough if you have one pick." WOW.

Jason asks a taxi driver in the United States if he speaks English, and they're on their way to victory! But first they must do some more dreaded building: a set of totem poles which will spell out the names of all the currencies the teams have encountered in their travels. Amy has written down everything -- things they've smelled, people they've met, smelly people they've met -- except for the currency. D'oh! They sail through the challenge anyway. We're made to think Jason's poles are falling apahhhhht constantly and that Tim and Marie might catch up, but there's not enough time. If it was Amy vs. Marie again, this would be a much different story. Eventually the RoboDocs show up and their interactions are so painful I can't even. I won't.

"You lost it already, Nicole," he says. "Golly!" Nope, I can't. Shouldn't have tried.

And that's it! Boston finishes Strong at North Douglas Island. It was always about teamwork, not the finish line, says Jason as he luxuriously wraps his limbs with strands of the finish line. Just kidding, he was just standing there. "This is definitely the beginning of my happy ending," Amy gushes. Well, congrats to them. They were consistent throughout, and quickest when it counted. They deserve it.

I have had a blast recapping this show -- I'm still not too clear on all those foreign currencies myself, but I do know how to assemble an angklung, which is one thing money can't buy. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go finish my dinner, which is a cobra.

Thank you for reading here each week. See you for season 24!

Check out Phil Keoghan's personal photos from the finale and his thoughts on the final four teams, here.

Happy with the winners? Hungry for Japanese vending machine products? Discuss!

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