The Amazing Race season finale recap: Race to the Finish

The final three teams hoof it to New York City, where one wins cars and another wins the million
Ep. 11 | Aired Dec 9, 2012

THE FABULOUS RACE Josh and Brent returned to NYC for the ultimate homecoming: a whole lotta love and $1 million.

Cliff Lipson/CBS

The aforementioned reunion at the airport was rather underwhelming, yes? I guess the group deserved a minute to mourn the disintegration of their Dream Team Alliance.

*Just want to interrupt myself here with this update from the internet rabbit hole I've just slid down: As of Friday, the Beekmans and Abbie-Ryan are at the Beekmans' farm in upstate New York to. Abbie said they just had the "best dinner." I learned this from Twitter, a place that I like to stalk as a means of recap procrastination. You might like to know that happening right now is the Chips' party at "The Martini" in Vegas. Thank you.*

To Coney Island! It took everyone awhile to find the clue at the boardwalk, partially because it wasn't very obvious or very red and yellow -- which is what people were looking for -- and partially because the pressure was on and Racers were starting to freak out. When the Chips were the only team still wandering around, did anyone else have a flashback to their bonkers abacus search in episode one?

How I love a dog in sunglasses!

The Roadblock at the Brooklyn Navy Yard -- "Who's up for an Amazing Escape?" -- took my breath away. The challenge, based on a Harry Houdini classic, required Racers to be strapped into a straightjacket and suspended upside down 15 stories up. Once they figured out how to escape the straightjacket, they'd be plunged into a bungee free fall. Head first! It's a really good thing this challenge came in the finale; no one could afford to wuss out. Trey was scared despite his big muscles. Brent in the straightjacket looked like a tiny baby in a swaddling blanket. Jaymes, apparently a thrill-seeker, was totally jazzed (hands) by the whole thing. Just writing about it makes my hands clammy. I was so impressed that all three boys just went in and got it done-did like that.

The next clue sent everyone to NYC's first pizzeria, Lombardi's, and Lexi said "Omigosh, I hope I don't have to eat pizza!" because that would be so horrible. It's so awful when people make me eat pizza. It turned out the challenge had nothing to do with eating, though. Teams had to memorize three nearby addresses and the corresponding pizza orders and then deliver the pies on foot. The Beekmans had to re-do two of their deliveries when Josh mixed up the orders, and it was then that the Beekmans' bickering reached its apex. These two are self-proclaimed varsity bickerers, and tonight Josh's mistake sent Brent into full on beeyotch mode. Dr. Brent can do passive-aggressive really well! He was right though -- it was funny that Josh made Brent carry all the pizzas the second time around. You guys!

The pizza re-do was resolved quickly, and even though Lexi and Trey maintained their lead, the three teams met up shortly at the U.N. Headquarters shortly for the final Roadblock -- and final challenge -- of the season. "Who has a way with words?" the clue asked, and the memory challenge required Racers to i.d. "hello" and "goodbye" from the nine countries they visited on the race, then pair the words with the corresponding flag by hoisting them up a pulley. The clue stated that if you did the Houdini Roadblock you couldn't do this one, so that meant Lexi, Josh and James went at it while their counterparts looked on.

NEXT: After 3 continents, 9 countries and over 25,000 miles...

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