Wednesday, September 22, 2004

That was, without question, the MOST SATISFYING Amazing Race finale EVER. In the past the winner has been a clothespin vote for me, where I was rooting for the persons I disliked the least rather than the persons I loved most. Not so here in the stunning conclusion to Season 5. Well, OK, I was definitely rooting for Colin and Christie not to win, but more specifically I was hoping that Chip and Kim would win, and by god they did!!! Two of the most gripping hours of TV I’ve seen in a long time.

From Manila, to Canada, to Texas this was a very physical leg. I would have been spent after the ocean swimming alone, but they had rock climbing, kayaking, snow shoeing, and lugeing to boot! I’m really curious to know how the producers structure this show. For instance, are all elements and legs planned BEFORE contestants are chosen, and then locked in? As in, no switching tasks or elements mid-race? I would imagine so, for logistical purposes if nothing else. Such as, that maze is not something you could just slap dash together in a few hours—it took time to plan and construct, and wasn’t a choice made on knowing that your final racers are particularly good with logic puzzles or aren’t good at multi-staged tasks, etc. I ask because an end-run that physical definitely catered to C&C Music Factory and the God Squad rather than Chip and Kim.

BUT IT DIDN’T MATTER. It would seem that, as James pointed out, God does not in fact love Brandon; rather he loves those who love everybody, namely the fabulous Mr. and Mrs. Winners McChiperton. Honestly, as they crashed and crashed on the luge my heart sank, sure that they were done. Where’s the fork? Put it in ‘em. But everything happens for a reason (such as Christie talking about karma?!?!?!!? that was rich beyond words) and their late finish in the Canada tasks put them in the unique position of knowing about a flight delay that the other 2 teams didn’t anticipate. It also meant they didn’t have time to pack up their gear (ostensibly to make them lighter and quicker for the final run), book it on one airline, try to take a flight on another airline, and miss a critical quicker connection as a result. (Btw, getting pissy about an FAA regulation, as Americans, IN THE U.S., post 9/11? Reality check, people—no pun intended—it is just. a. GAME. Bigger things happened in the world every day as you’ve been racing and whether or not you win this million is not going to—nor should it—sway the procedures of the Federal Aviation Administration or the U.S. airline industry. Of all the places where you should know how to behave and what is influencing culture and policy, on your home turf is it. Badly done.) I give kudos to C&C for trying to plan ahead with the cab, ensuring that they got a guy who would drive fast when they told him and was on board for the whole “we’re racing” concept, but in the end it wasn’t enough.

When that mini-van pulled in as the clear front car I yelled so loudly a car alarm went off outside. No, not really. But close. The best man and woman finally, FINALLY won. They weren’t perfect, and it bothered me that in each of the final four teams there was one “go-to” partner and one lump (Kim, I’m looking at you) but they are clearly good, smart people very much on their journey together who NEVER lost their cool with each other and raced every second, never gave up, and came in as a team. I really couldn’t be happier about this. It’s great to have a woman win, too, who isn’t Flo. All I’m sayin’.

Added bonus…I “watched” the whole thing with Miss Kristin. Thanks to the wonders of IM we chatted throughout the 2 episodes, totally in synch with our hopes for Chip and Kim and unmitigated joy at the final result. Some excerpts of said convo follow.

knm1976 (9:28:51 PM): why isn't brandon wearing goggles?
AnneCAVU1 (9:29:33 PM): because he is an IDIOT

knm1976 (9:30:30 PM): They don't know vertigo?!!
AnneCAVU1 (9:30:32 PM): no smarties in this game
knm1976 (9:30:36 PM): god!!!!!!
knm1976 (9:30:43 PM): I'm always amazed
AnneCAVU1 (9:30:43 PM): i'm gonna make TAR flash cards
AnneCAVU1 (9:31:02 PM): "team"
AnneCAVU1 (9:31:04 PM): "race"
AnneCAVU1 (9:31:06 PM): "scarab"
AnneCAVU1 (9:31:09 PM): "vertigo"
knm1976 (9:31:18 PM): and the filipino flag
AnneCAVU1 (9:31:30 PM): yep

AnneCAVU1 (10:03:00 PM): i love chips maple leaf hat
knm1976 (10:03:16 PM): Brandon has one too
knm1976 (10:03:20 PM): they all do
AnneCAVU1 (10:03:42 PM): not extremely intense colin and christie
AnneCAVU1 (10:03:51 PM): they have intensely extreme personal gear

knm1976 (10:04:08 PM): Picture WHO?
AnneCAVU1 (10:04:12 PM): JEEBUS

But mostly it was us saying things like this:

knm1976 (10:29:43 PM): shit
knm1976 (10:30:02 PM): yayayayyay
AnneCAVU1 (10:30:05 PM): !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
AnneCAVU1 (10:30:08 PM): oh billy
knm1976 (10:30:09 PM): This ep rocks
AnneCAVU1 (10:30:28 PM): omg

And this:

AnneCAVU1 (10:47:23 PM): GO
AnneCAVU1 (10:47:24 PM): run
AnneCAVU1 (10:47:26 PM): do it
knm1976 (10:47:29 PM): oh my god
AnneCAVU1 (10:47:53 PM): shiiiit
AnneCAVU1 (10:47:55 PM): not good
AnneCAVU1 (10:48:08 PM): that maze is insane
knm1976 (10:48:11 PM): shiyt
knm1976 (10:48:25 PM): damn
knm1976 (10:48:26 PM): damn
AnneCAVU1 (10:48:35 PM): cringe
AnneCAVU1 (10:48:40 PM): ha
knm1976 (10:48:41 PM): ha
AnneCAVU1 (10:48:45 PM): i love how clouds equals god
AnneCAVU1 (10:48:49 PM): i'll remember that
knm1976 (10:49:06 PM): shit
AnneCAVU1 (10:49:11 PM): split up!
knm1976 (10:49:15 PM): seriously
AnneCAVU1 (10:49:36 PM): i'm DYING
knm1976 (10:49:40 PM): yay
AnneCAVU1 (10:49:52 PM): heh...booby
knm1976 (10:50:04 PM): whew
AnneCAVU1 (10:50:05 PM): phew
knm1976 (10:50:28 PM): yayayyayayayyayayyaya!!!!!!!!!!!
AnneCAVU1 (10:50:31 PM): !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
AnneCAVU1 (10:50:42 PM): oh man

And finally, where you stand with Kristin:

AnneCAVU1 (10:46:41 PM): girl that’s you as a cabbie
knm1976 (10:46:48 PM): that's right, and honest too!
AnneCAVU1 (10:46:52 PM): how fast do you drive? hello kitty speed.
knm1976 (10:46:56 PM): ha
AnneCAVU1 (10:47:15 PM): speeding ticket please
knm1976 (10:47:16 PM): I would be like, I don't know that place, I can't take you.

When does Season 6 air???

UPDATE: Colin proposed to Christie this morning on CBS' The Early Show. How original. And not creepy. They deserve each other.


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