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The Amazing Race: Final 3, Alaska, 12/8/13

December 14th, 2013 · No Comments

Season 23 TAR finale begins as the three couples–Marie/Tim, Amy/Jason, and Nicole/Travis–get clues to fly from Tokyo, Japan, to Juneau, Alaska.  Once they arrive, they must go to Douglas Island Harbor and ride in three race-marked speedboats.  The teams are closely bunched as they race to a place called Grizzly Bar.

Nicole/Travis arrive 1st, Jason/Amy 2nd, Tim/Marie 3rd, and find a clue box containing roadblock information.  This turns out to be the only RB on this leg.   Over the course of the race there also hasn’t been much discussion of each teammate doing an equal number.  The challenge is to do a supply drop drill from a bush plane.  The three women choose to do it.

The task is titled, “Flour Power.”  When the plane’s pilot flies over a target along a shoreline, the person performing the drop must lean out the window and drop a sack of flour so it hits the target.  The sack breaks and the flour puffs up, so the mark is easy to see.  This proves to be the most critical portion of the leg.  Amy needs two tries to hit the target, Marie needs twelve, and Nicole, 21.

Next clue is to take an Apache helicopter to do some glacier mountaineering, with a guide’s assistance.  Teams must rappel into a glacial crevasse,  cross on a ladder bridge, and then climb with rope and pickaxes up the other side.  Next comes a hike, spiderman-style, through a glacial tunnel.  At the other end waits an ice wall with clue envelopes frozen inside it.  There’s only one ice ax, so one team member must chisel the envelopes out.  Most are fake.

Once teams find an envelope containing a clue, next task is to hike down to the water and paddle a two-person kayak about a mile to an island, where the teams’ helicopters are waiting to take them back to Juneau.

When helicopters land, teams are directed to take taxis to a place called Blueberry Hill Trailhead.    Dating New England couple Jason/Amy, still in the lead, find sections of totem poles on which letters are painted, along with the traditional Northwestern tribal art.  Teams must assemble the poles into a puzzle that spells the name of the currency in each country they visited, in order.  Teams complain they didn’t keep track of the currency.  (Who thought this up?  First Viking coins open Fords in the Middle East, now American tribal totem poles spell out the names of money.)

The teams bunch up again, but Amy and Jason still finish the totem pole puzzle first.  They get a clue to take a taxi to the “end of North Douglas Hwy. and look for marked driveway.”  They do.  It’s the finish line.  Phil proclaims them the official winners of The Amazing Race.

Rain’s falling and people have their rain gear on as Marie and Tim arrive, taking 2nd place.  Phil asks Marie why she went on the race with her ex.  She says he just happened to be the guy available when she was applying.

Phil then asks Tim why he agreed to Marie’s demand that she’d get 60% if they won.  He says he got to go around the world (on The Amazing Race).  Perhaps now they’ll fight over 60% of Aruba vs. 40% of Hawaii.

The sky’s turning darker as Nicole and Travis arrive to take 3rd place.  Phil invites the other teams to congratulate the final three.  The Afghanimals point out that although they came in one leg shy of the final, they made friends with Ally and Ashley.

Brandon and Adam say they want to do it again–and an indication they’re returning for Season 24, which is announced as being another all-star season.  The next-season promotion teases several dozen possible teams.

Brandon/Adam would be a great choice for a callback but my first choice to rep this season would be the football players, who suffered three delayed flights on one leg and could use a second chance, and the oil-field workers, who are the likely sentimental faves.   We’ll see!

Tags: Amazing Race