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'The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business' Season 18 Finale Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted May 9th 2011 10:00AM
'The Amazing Race' season finale - 'This Is Where It Ends'['The Amazing Race' - 'This Is Where It Ends (Brazil and Florida)']

Last night was the two-hour finale of 'The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business.' In that span we went from four contestants to one winner, but who would it be? Based on your votes in our poll last week, you gave the edge to the likable Gary & Mallory, followed by Zev & Justin and Flight Time & Big Easy. These three teams were within 100 votes of each other.

Apparently, none of you thought Kisha and Jen stood a chance, giving them barely a third of the votes the other teams got. It doesn't look like the sisters were very popular.

But they were smooth and shiny by the end of the first leg last night, along with everyone else. Each team had to endure fifteen minutes of a Brazilian wax. This task proved the most brutal on Zev and Justin, who are way hairier than anyone else. I loved Justin's "Kelly Clarkson!" shout-out to 'The 40-Year Old Virgin.'



The best friends proved to be the most impressive and fun of the four remaining teams as a team. Nobody can touch Mallory for sheer joy in every moment. Kisha and Jen were much more quiet than their last time around, which was odd. Maybe they were just so smitten with the Globetrotters they forgot to bicker and have nervous breakdowns.

The eleventh leg sent them to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, which was a huge change from the mountains of Europe. But we still didn't get any of them in bikinis or speedos. It seems like every race there's at least one leg that gets them down into their barely-theres.

They were mostly undressed in the Carnivalé challenge underneath their costumes. And it was here that things started to go awry for Zev and Justin. Because Justin had done one more Road Block, Zev had to tackle this dancing one, and the boy has no rhythm at all.

In fact, both girls who participated (Mallory and Kisha) sailed through it with no problem, while the boys struggled, but none as badly as Zev. They were the first to the task, but fell to third by the end of it.

It must have been some bad navigating or cabs that pushed them into last then as they were last into and out of their horrifying wax session. I was feeling pain just watching that. Especially after some of the other contestants just breezed through it, relatively speaking.

But they were truly doomed when they made the wrong choice at the Detour. Once again, it was an odd Detour in that it seemed one task was virtually impossible. Granted, Zev and Justin are probably a lot more creepy looking to the girls on the beach trying to sell bikinis than Mallory or the sisters would be. Even the charisma of the Globetrotters and their notoriety might have helped them.

The task proved their undoing, and they just had fun with the drinking challenge and took their elimination in stride. Three teams remained and headed for Miami.

I was hoping for the trip down memory lane challenge, but that wasn't to be. Instead, it was a race between only two teams again. Poor Gary and Mallory got the world's worst cab driver, who refused to admit he had no idea where he was going and put them so far behind I was surprised they even caught up at any point.

It's a testament to how strong of a team they are, and how much luck plays a factor. I believe had they had a more competitive driver, they would have been right in the thick of things, and it would have been a lot more intense to see three strong teams duking it out.

Instead, it was the sisters and the Globetrotters neck-and-neck throughout the final leg. In fact, in this case the girls pulled ahead in one instance because they trusted their driver knew where he was going and the Globetrotters stopped for directions.

The tasks were apparently equally challenging for both teams as they seemed to come in and out of them at the same rate, until the girls legitimately got their trailer set up properly and a little bit faster. The boys had to go and look at it to find their mistake.

And then it was a simple bike race, and based on what we saw it looked like if you got to start it first, you were going to win, unless you simply fell over or quit. So it wasn't the most exciting of final moments, as the Globetrotter accepted their loss five miles shy of the Finish Line and just enjoyed a trek across the Seven-Mile Bridge on giant tricycles.

So that was it. Kisha and Jen won the race, and I don't begrudge them at all. I'm just not sure why this pseudo-all-star edition of the 'Race' didn't excite me as much as most prior seasons. Maybe the teams were too nice -- except when they seemed to gang up on the cowboys. What craziness we did get, like Kent, was more annoying than entertaining.

Plus, the challenges seemed to be too easy. I've said it a few times now, but I don't like it when teams go into a challenge and come out of it in the same order. If it happens too many times, either every team is equally great at everything, or those challenges aren't challenging enough.

What did you think of 'The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business'? If not, what do you think went wrong?

'The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business' airs Sundays, 8PM ET on CBS.

[Follow Jason on Twitter.]

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Jana

I stopped watching after Zev and Justin got eliminated. I just didn't care anymore.

May 09 2011 at 4:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
M-D

"Instead, it was the sisters and the Globetrotters neck-and-neck throughout the final leg. In fact, in this case the girls pulled ahead in one instance because they trusted their driver knew where he was going and the Globetrotters stopped for directions."

Actually, no. The Sisters' cabbie waited at the Marina Roadblock site, while the Globetrotters' cabbie seemingly disappeared, causing Flight Time & Big Easy to scramble to find another cab. (They had asked their cabbie to gas up while the Roadblock was in progress, which seemed like a smart idea at the time, but he may have found another fare.) So Jen & Kisha were able to pull ahead after the Roadblock while the 'Trotters were trying to find new wheels.

May 09 2011 at 1:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
orfyyn

The cab driver incident should have been avoided. I can understand using cabs while in other countries, but they had just touched down back in the USA! Why not have cars at the airport and allow the teams to drive themselves to the next challenge? Then, everything would be in their own hands instead of just random luck on getting a terrible cab driver. The show needs much rethinking now that airline flights are limited which is CONSTANTLY allowing the teams to bunch back up even if someone has taken a rightly earned lead.

May 09 2011 at 1:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Saltine

How sad that Mallory and Dad should loose not by their own mistakes but by sone random taxi driver without a clue. After going around the world they should insure on the last leg of the race going for the finish line all 3 teams should be inssured the race is with them not some outsider without a clue.

May 09 2011 at 11:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Saltine's comment
blatinotop4u

Where have you been? Amazing Race has been using taxis since season one. Do you realize how much it cost for them to use vehicles from like Ford, etc.? yes, they might be a sponsor for the episode or season but you might as well bitch about the people who can't swim or dance or speak Spanish that are competing on the show. It's is a competition for a million dollars. You don't give away a million for real easy situations. I don't think you get what the show is about.

May 09 2011 at 1:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to blatinotop4u's comment
M-D

You're missing the bigger point. Yes, it's true that taxis have played a crucial part in TAR since the beginning, but in the final leg, where it SHOULD be about the skill of the individual teams (and where they're usually on home soil), placing their fortunes in the hands of a taxi driver creates an unacceptable random element. Given that Ford shipped a whole fleet of 2012 Focuses over to Austria for the teams to use (and yes, they were US vehicles - note the USA oval decal & Michigan dealer plates on the backs of the cars - not to mention the MyFordTouch system, which isn't available in Europe), I'm sure they could have had three cars standing by at MIA. The finale would have been much more exciting (and a lot closer) if the teams were in control of their own transportation.

For the record, this is the second time in TAR history a taxi race in Miami resulted in a distorted finish - in season 7, Rob & Amber had a distinct lead right up until they got into a cab driven by the only cabbie in the Miami-Dade area who DIDN'T speak Spanish, resulting in Uchenna & Joyce leapfrogging them to the win.

May 09 2011 at 1:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
General Kenobi

Zev and Justin might have had a better time in Brazil were they to realize they don't speak Spanish in that country. It wasn't Justin's poor accent or lack of ability in Spanish that caused those locals to say, "I don't understand you".... Maybe it was the fact that they speak Portuguese, not Spanish...

The race was boring, start to finish. They need to stop babysitting the teams so much. In early seasons there weren't so many mandatory forms of travel. If you wanted to take a bus, great. Walk? Okay. Cab? Fine. Auto-gyro? If you found one... Now, it's walk by foot, travel by cab, take one of two flights, etc.... and that's not nearly as much fun.

If you remember back to, I think season 1 or 2, the Guidos had won a fast forward allowing them to go straight to the pit stop. They chose a train instead of a cab. They ended up a day behind all the other teams as a result... Also, in the first season, a team used a cargo ship as transport across the Mediterranean instead of a passenger liner because it would be faster. That was great and much more entertaining than the race by numbers event this has become. I'm not saying get rid of the catchup spots, as that would make the race boring, but making it more homogenized didn't make it more fun, just more predictable.

May 09 2011 at 11:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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