My Random Thoughts:
- The opening recap of the entire race was pretty much a 3-minute segment saying “Remember that Nick and Chad are both bad people.” The nifty little lingo that Phil used saying teams ‘sank, crashed, and clashed’ all showed video clips featuring Chad. And after seeing the watermelon smash one more time (seriously, I never get tired of it, do you?), we wrapped up Phil’s recap with the trademark eyebrow…now with a ‘ding!’ sound effect.
- Thomas scoffed at the idea of an all-girl team winning the Race, talking about how he wasn’t interested at all in history. As I mentioned at the end of last week’s recap, all of the Girl Power/history/2 women have never won the race/etc… going on, there is no way that Jill and Thomas were winning. Plus, we see it all again repeatedly before the first break?
- After all of the history reminders, we then heard the girls talking about how they have to beat Thomas. Not Thomas and Jill…just Thomas. Like the fact that this potential history-making moment puts the spotlight on him as the only one left with a penis, and therefore he is the bad guy. For the record, Thomas is the bad guy for reasons that extend (pardon the pun) well beyond possessing a penis, but I get the feeling that if either of the women teams could have added Jill as a third member, they would have done it. And I bet Thomas would have been fine with it.
-“We brought the cheetah pants”, said Brook and Claire as they showed up in the Seoul airport in spotted hot pants. But why even wear them…and talk about how you saved them for the final leg…if you’re just going to change out of them and wear long pants when you get to L.A.? If there’s any place that you’re not going to look out of place wearing cheetah hot pants, it’s Los Angeles.- We saw a lot of drama (including an ominous music commercial break) about Nat being scared of heights and maybe not being able to do the Bungee swing off of the crane, but there was no way she wasn’t going to do it. After Kat gave up 22 years of vegetarianism earlier in the Race, Nat was obviously going to do it.
- I’m sorry, but I laughed, and laughed hard, when Brook was freaking out after the Bungee drop. The spastic convulsions were just too over the top to not find ridiculously hilarious.
- 2 questions about the helicopter ride. First, if Nat is so afraid of heights, then how was the helicopter ride so exciting and unbelievable to her? Even before getting on the chopper, she said "I'm so excited to go on a helicopter", so it wasn't even cryptic. Second, why were all the teams so seemingly mind-blown over the ride? You just travelled the entire world performing amazing challenges, and a helicopter ride over L.A. is the thing that astounds everyone?
- At the Rose Bowl Roadblock, Thomas declared "this is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this." WHAT? There's something Thomas has never done? And he's admitting it? You mean between all of the rappelling, sleeping in railway cars, and every other Notre Dame-y thing that Thomas has done in his life, he's never done arts and crafts? NOW I know why we saw him bragging about everything all season...long-term-planned editing for the ultimate comeuppance in the final leg.
- Speaking of the Rose Bowl Roadblock, thank GOD Brook did it...only because we would have heard "C'Mon Claire!" about 200 times during the Roadblock. Speaking of the “C’Mon Claire!” count, tonight was a record-low 4 times, but I noticed how it's sounding the same every time, which makes me wonder the TAR editors just kept repeating the same soundbyte. If so, I think it should be a ringtone. You know how you can customize ringtones for certain people? Imagine if that was your ringtone for that annoying friend, your ex-wife, or maybe an old boyfriend who loves to eat ham.
- Another laugh-inducing moment was Thomas trying to explain to his cab driver how he needed to use the internet and the cab driver constantly talking about his GPS. Come on, tell me you weren't laughing.
- Bob Eubanks? I love a celebrity appearance in the final leg. This is a close second to Wayne Newton's Vegas appearance a couple of seasons ago. (On a side note, this past year in Las Vegas, we were in the Monte Carlo poker room and one of the pit bosses was telling us the story of the day they filmed that finale there, and how the poker-chip-counting challenge was done.)
- I always love when the final challenge is a mind-blowing complicated memory challenge, and this one might have been the best one yet. I loved the way this one worked, with the teams having to pick the greeters from each leg. Most teams now write down everything from each leg, but it was a nice swerve having something that seems like it’s unimportant, but right in your face, being what determines if you win a million dollars or not.
- I give a lot of credit to Nat and Kat for their win. They were a very deserving team, and when you really think about it, they could actually be the best team to ever run the Race. Think about it...they were calm, they were cool, they never argued (not even once), they were incredibly supportive of each other, and you could even make the argument that the two of them were perfect partners. When you are afraid of heights, you need that supportive partner instead of someone yelling at you, and these two were smart, athletic, and willing to do what they needed to in order to win.
Well, that does it for another season…and I have to say, it was a pretty decent season. From watermelons in the face (still the highlight of the season by far) to Oman proposals, it was memorable. And we don’t have to wait long for next season, as TAR 18 will premiere in February.
They didn't mention on the show tonight as they had originally planned, but as I reported here last week, Season 18 will be an All-Star season, featuring 11 teams from past seasons. Well, actually, it's being referred to as a "Second Chance" season, but that's just semantics. Click the link if you want to see who the teams are, or avoid it if you don’t want to be spoiled on the cast list. (Hint: Mallory's "Can we do it again?" in the closing moments probably wasn't a coincidence)
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