This season seems to have just raced by as here we are at the two hour finale. Only four teams remain, thanks to the well timed non-elimination leg that gave the Afghanimals another shot. Jason & Amy, Tim & Marie, Travis & Nicole and Leo & Jamal each have a 25% chance of winning Season 23 but if the Internet rumours are to be believed it's likely down to either Jason & Amy or Travis & Nicole. Of course, internet rumours have been wrong before, much like Wayne's non-elimination leg bets, . . . but he won last weeks pool.
Having finally come in first on the last leg Jason & Amy are the first to leave at 1:25am and the clue says they're off to Tokyo, Japan to Gotojuki Temple to find their next clue. With a departure so early in the morning it's pretty much a given that everyone is likely to be on the same flight but Tokyo can be really confusing for anyone and the pressure of being in the final four will only increase that. Tim & Marie and Travis & Nicole leave around the same time and Leo & Jamal are the last to depart at 3:19am.
Nicole feels the final three should not include the Afghanimals, but they've managed to find a different flight that gets them in 15 minutes earlier than the other teams, . . . if they're lucky. Leo & Jamal arrive in Tokyo at 6:12am while the second flight arrived at 6:17am. Not a big lead, but hopefully enough as the others are all looking for a taxi. Marie was smart enough to research the address beforehand but the Japanese need for correctness has the three cabs waiting for each other. Guess they shouldn't have been hanging out together at the front of the airport. That 5 minute lead is getting bigger by the minute.
The Afghanimals arrive first at the Temple for the Detour: Knock It Down; compete in a Japanese game show of human bowling and knock down all the pins . . . or . . . Call It Up; make a call from inside an aquarium phone booth. The three cab drivers don't seem to know where they're going which gave Leo & Jamal an even bigger lead when they arrived to Knock It Down. Travis & Nicole are the only team to choose Call It Up, but since Jason & Amy are there as well they decide to try that one. Tim & Marie have also arrived at the wrong side but decide to head to the game show. This is allowing Leo & Jamal to keep bowling without any other team interruption. The Afghanimals finally get all the pins and get the next clue and they've gone from worst to first.
Amy drops into the tank but doesn't have enough breath to make the call. That allows Travis to catch up to her, but he took a little longer in the tank. They both get the next clue and they're off. Meanwhile, Tim & Marie have found the game show. It was funny that the game show host didn't know what it meant to be "broke up," but I doubt Marie really broke Tim's heart. She's just not that lovable. Even the gameshow audience doesn't seem to like her.
Marie figures she can carom off the wall and she's right . . . "Strike." They're off and running, hoping they're ahead of the Afghanimals. Not yet they're not, but they could be as Leo & Jamal have reached their SpeedBump; they need to join a zoo crew and catch the escaped rhino from the zoo before they can move on.
Meanwhile Travis & Nicole have arrived at the Roadblock: build a robot. When Jason & Amy arrive right behind them, the girls decide to work together to get it done faster. While they were doing that, the Afghanimals finished their SpeedBump and they were back in the race and caught up with the others. Bringing up the rear, here comes Tim & Marie. When Marie is asking where the model is, everyone ignores her, while Amy and Nicole are struggling together to build two robots. It's still anyone's race at this point, but Marie is faster than all of them . . . as long as she's right. What looked like a mental challenge is turning out to be a little more physical than she thought.
Travis and Jason are getting a little stressed watching Nicole and Amy fall behind but everyone's still pretty close. They both figure they'd have been done by now, and maybe they would be, but then perhaps they should have done the task instead of moaning about it. Leo thinks he's got it, but Amy noticed that his middle section was wrong. Unfortunately she didn't notice the error on her own robot. Leo calls it again, but it's still wrong. Amy and Nicole have one piece that needs to flip on both robots but neither one is seeing it. Believe it or not, Marie was right and she finishes first and then thanks everyone for not helping her.
She was 20 minutes behind the first teams and now she and Tim are off to find a roaming vending machine wandering about in the downtown core. Amy finally figures out her error and they fix their robot and move on, but she goes back to help Nicole again. It's getting too close for Amy to keep saving Nicole. I admire her loyalty to her alliance but I'm pretty sure Nicole would have been long gone already. Leo is wrong again but he keeps at it.
Having found the vending machine, Tim & Marie are now off on foot to the Pit Stop. Amy bids Nicole farewell and finally leaves in search of the roaming vending machine while Tim & Marie arrive at the Pit Stop to be Team #1. They also receive a trip to Aruba for 5 nights and Marie figures with two trips won they'll put both into a hat and trust to fate who goes where since they're not likely to go together. Sure they're not.
Leo finally figures out what he did wrong but not fast enough as Nicole finally completes her robot. Back in the cab Travis feels the need to berate his wife for her inability to build things. Dude needs to cut the girl some slack.
Jason & Amy are Team #2 and that's okay because it's the next leg that really counts. Travis & Nicole get the clue from the roaming vending machine just ahead of Leo & Jamal but both teams need to ask directions and . . . it's Travis & Nicole for Team #3. Leo & Jamal are the last to arrive and have been eliminated but they've had a great experience and, if the rumours are true, they'll be back.
On to our second and final hour with the final three teams. Over 35,000,000 people live in and around Tokyo and now Tim & Marie get to bid them all farewell as they depart first at 6:08am to fly to Juneau, Alaska. Once again, all teams are likely on the same flight. Jason & Amy leave at 6:15am and feel they're the best team to ever run the race, but that's only because they haven't raced against Wayne and I. With everyone's alliances done all teams book their flight for Juneau and they all think they're going to be the winning team.
Arriving in Juneau, everyone races out to find a cab, but Travis & Nicole are the first for the cab and to find the marked boat, followed closely by Jason & Amy, who slips on the dock but gets back up in a hurry. Tim & Marie are right behind them and all three teams are now in a race for the clue box for the Roadblock; simulate a supply drop from a small plane 150 feet above the ground and hit a target with a bag of flour. All three girls choose to do the Roadblock again.
Nicole's first attempt just missed, Amy's was off and so was Marie's. Nicole's second attempt was worse, but Amy nailed it and got the next clue . . . "Put Yourself On Ice" ride in a helicopter to the glacier to get your next clue. Marie's second attempt missed as did Nicole's third, and Marie's, and Nicole's, and . . .
Jason & Amy arrive at the glacier and choose their guide to rappel down one side of the glacier into the crevasse then walk across the ladder bridge and up the other side. Marie finally hits her target while Nicole tries again and Travis throws a pity party. Of course, she is on her 15th attempt. Tim & Marie are off to the helicopter while Travis keeps waiting for Nicole to make her mark. Realistically, they should have been out a few legs back but the race isn't over yet.
Amy makes her way across the ladder bridge and starts her way up. Tim & Marie arrive while Nicole is on her 20th attempt. Jason & Amy head into the ice tunnel to find their next clue and Nicole finally hits the bullseye. Travis does not look impressed.
Jason & Amy are almost through the tunnel, Marie is starting up the other side, and Travis & Nicole have just arrived on the glacier. Jason & Amy finally get to the ice wall to search for their next clue, but it's not as easy as it looks because their first few are "try again." Tim & Marie are catching up . . . I hate these types of challenges . . . but Amy finds her clue before they get there. Amy & Jason are off again, maintaining their lead, as they search by kayak for the marked island and their next clue.
Nicole slips on her ascent out of the crevasse and drops one of her picks and now needs to climb up with just one, but she makes it. Tim & Marie exit the ice tunnel and begin searching for clues, with the same luck as Amy, but they're done before Travis & Nicole have entered the ice tunnel.
Jason & Amy have found the marked island 1 mile away and must now take a helicopter back to Juneau for their next clue. Tim & Marie have also found the island and are close behind them.
Jason & Amy arrive in Juneau, grab a cab and they're off for Blueberry Hills Trailhead. Once there they need to build a wall of totem poles spelling out the currency they used on each leg of the race, unfortunately they don't remember the currencies and that has slowed them down enough for Tim & Marie to catch up. Uh oh.
On the upside, Tim & Marie seem almost as forgetful. It's only been thirty days for them, how hard can it be to remember what currency they used where? I'd probably still be carrying some of that unused currency with me, unless the producers retrieve any unused cash when you leave the country (which would make sense since they can use it again next season).
While the first two teams struggle with their totem poles, Travis & Nicole have returned to Juneau and are now back in this. Jason & Amy are getting close, but so are Tim & Marie. Travis meanwhile is harping on Nicole as Jason & Amy complete the task, receive their next clue and quietly slip out ahead of Tim & Marie, who have also completed their totem poles.
It's a race to the finish line and the team to win the 23rd Season of Amazing Race is my favourite team this season, Jason & Amy. After six second place finishes, this is the leg they needed to finish before everyone else. The beginning of Amy's "Happily Ever After."
Tim & Marie are Team #2. When Phil asks why Marie chose to run the race with Tim, it was because he was beside her when she found out it was the last day to apply. Why was he beside her? I thought they were exes. Maybe they're closer than they let on. I guess we'll find out if they return for another shot.
Travis & Nicole bring up the end as Team #3. With five kids at home this was probably an added pressure on them, especially on Nicole, but they raced well right from the start. Travis had high expectations of his wife, and sometimes he seemed pretty negative on her, but they still came in ahead of eight other teams and he's gotta feel good about that.
So that's it. Another season of Amazing Race and another set of reviews by yours truly. I hope you've enjoyed reading the blog posts and I hope you keep doing so because I'm sure Wayne and I will find something else to review while we wait for the next season of Amazing Race Canada. In the meantime, be sure to check out my review of Survivor: Blood vs Water on Wednesday night.