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THE AMAZING RACE
THE FINALE RECAP
By Sammi Turano


BROOKE & SCOTT TRIUMPH IN THE WINDY CITY

Racing through Chicago, the final three teams drove stock cars, hunted for famous landmarks, and delivered hot dogs. Both team members then had to work together to line up their leg placements for the last challenge of the Race. Brooke & Scott got out to an early lead, which only increased as the leg went on, allowing them a comfortable win.

BACK TO THE U.S.

At the Pit Stop on the previous leg, Phil informed Brooke & Scott, London & Logan and Tara & Joey that they’d be flying to Chicago, Illinois – and that they’d be pampered in Premium Class. At the airport, everyone boarded the same plane and settled into their spacious seats. Army officer Tara said about police sergeant Joey, “The first thing I said to him when we were complete strangers was, ‘I’m here for no other reason but to win.’ And it looks like we have a pretty good chance at that.” Artist/surgical consultant London & Logan said they hadn’t won a leg yet, and this was their chance to do so. “The only reason we’re here is to get first on the last leg. That’s all that matters.” Criminal attorney Brooke admitted that nobody thought she and recruiting manager Scott would’ve made it to the final three. “And I think we have a fighting chance of taking this whole thing home.” They clinked their glasses, and the plane departed for Chicago. Phil explained that once there, teams would make their way to Chicagoland Speedway.

In the bustling metropolis of Chicago, everyone landed and ran for taxis. Brooke went to open their trunk, but realized she didn’t need to, since she and Scott had checked their bags on the plane. Scott said, “As super fans, we know that it’s common for the last teams to check their bags to the final destination – and the other four people didn’t figure it out.” In another taxi, Joey told his driver, “I want you to drive like Mario Andretti, okay? I want you to blow my hair right off my head.”

YOU’VE DONE THE LADLE

Brooke & Scott arrived at Chicagoland Speedway first, and ripped the clue. It said that one team member had to change the tire of a professional stock car in under 40 seconds, and the second member then had to drive one lap around the 1.5-mile track in under 48 seconds. Brooke & Scott headed to the demonstration, and watched a member of the pit crew remove the tire’s lug nuts with an impact wrench, pull off the tire, and then screw on a new one. As Scott got behind the wheel, Tara & Joey arrived and ripped the clue in second place. Tara said she had to drive, because she couldn’t change a tire.

The clock started, and Brooke ran forward with the impact wrench. She tried to get the first lug nut off, but the wrench was set on reverse. She eventually removed the nuts, but her time was already half up. She then tried to slide off the tire, but was pulling it at an awkward angle. She finally got it off, but then returned to the car without any new lug nuts. She shouted in frustration and ran back for them – but her 40 seconds were up. London & Logan then arrived. As Brooke failed on her second attempt, London said that Logan would drive. Brooke was then halfway through her third attempt, but she couldn’t get the tire off. She groaned in frustration again, saying she couldn’t do it. As Tara & Joey and London & Logan got into position to begin, Scott reminded Brooke, “You’ve done the ladle.”

DRIVING IN CIRCLES

Brooke began her fourth attempt, and smoothly removed the lug nuts. Joey then began his first attempt, and also got the nuts off. They both removed their tires, but while Brooke quickly got her new lug nuts back on, Joey fumbled. Brooke raced to sit down and stop her clock – and finished in 36 seconds. Joey made up his lost time, however, and finished just behind her in 37 seconds. As Scott and Tara got ready to drive their laps, London began her first attempt… and finished in 52 seconds. Scott then began his first lap around the track. He said, “You had to be totally comfortable with the speed of the car, because you’re not used to 150, 175 miles per hour.” His instructor talked him through the turns, but he finished in 58 seconds – ten seconds too slow.

Tara then began her first lap, Joey saying, “She’s so lucky!” She concentrated on driving, but finished in 1.06. London then finished her third attempt with the tire in 53 seconds. She was frustrated, mumbling, “Damn it, damn it, damn it.” Scott completed his second lap in 49 seconds – one second over. As Tara began her second lap, London began her fourth attempt with the tire. She smoothly removed the nuts, screwed on the new tire, and sat down… in 39 seconds. Tara then finished her second lap in 49 seconds. Brooke warned Scott, “Forty-nine seconds. You’d better get it this time – she cannot get it.” Scott then began his third lap, while Brooke squeezed her eyes shut and prayed on the sidelines. He finished in 45 seconds. Meanwhile, London hoped that Logan could knock out the lap on his first try.

SOLVING RIDDLES

Scott coasted into Victory Lane, with Brooke running alongside him. As Logan began his first lap, Brooke & Scott popped a bottle of champagne, while confetti rained down around them. They then ripped the clue in first place. It told them to travel to downtown Chicago, and find the Monroe St. Station – one of the few underground stations on the L train. There, a transit worker would hand them their next clue. Logan then finished his first lap in 50 seconds. As Brooke & Scott headed off in their taxi, Tara finished her third lap in 46 seconds. She and Joey headed to Victory Lane, while Logan finished his second lap, also in 46 seconds. Tara & Joey and London & Logan then left in their taxis, Logan saying, “This is where we sneak up and bite everyone in the ass.”

Brooke & Scott arrived at the Monroe St. Station, and headed underground. They began searching the platform for the clue – and walked right past the transit worker. Tara & Joey then arrived, and began searching as well. But Brooke & Scott found the man first, and got the clue. It said they had to solve three riddles to identify three different Chicago landmarks. They then had to travel to each landmark, and collect a postcard with letters on it. When they had all three postcards, they could assemble them to read the name of their next destination. As Tara & Joey found the transit worker and ripped the clue in second place, Brooke & Scott asked a local to help them figure out the riddles. The first one read: “I have a Gothic spire and I’m impervious to fire. I’m 154 feet tall, look no higher.” They figured out it was the Chicago Water Tower. The second riddle said, “I’m tiered like a wedding cake. From me a drink you should not take. To find me look no further than the lake.” They identified that as Buckingham Fountain. Tara & Joey then asked about the third riddle: “I stand in the twin corncobs’ shadow, and control the Kupcinet Bascule for those below. Climb the steps to my operator and you’ll be good to go.” Brooke & Scott learned that that was the operator’s tower on the Wabash Avenue Bridge.

TODAY IS A MILLION DOLLARS

While Tara & Joey began running to Buckingham Fountain, Brooke & Scott figured out a route to all three landmarks on the L train. London & Logan then arrived and ripped the clue in third place. Brooke & Scott exited the subway, and found themselves close to the water tower. They also learned that the Wabash Avenue Bridge was about six blocks away. They entered the water tower, but didn’t see anyone with a postcard. After heading back outside, and found a man dressed in red and yellow, playing chess. He gave them the postcard, and they began running the six blocks to the bridge. Brooke complained that she was exhausted, prompting Scott to say, “A million dollars today. Today is a million dollars!” They arrived at the tower at the end up the bridge, and headed to the top. There, the operator handed them their second postcard.

Tara & Joey arrived at Buckingham Fountain, and got the postcard from a red and yellow-clad bicyclist. Meanwhile, London & Logan collected their first postcard from the bridge operator. Brooke & Scott spotted Buckingham Fountain in the distance. They began running towards it, Scott chanting, “One million,” over and over. Brooke shouted at him to stop because, “It makes me feel bad that I’m not doing better!” Scott told her to push through the pain. They then located the man on the bike, and got their third postcard. Put together, the cards spelled out “City Hall rooftop.” Phil added that teams would have to find a garden, where the city beekeeper would hand them their next clue. Brooke & Scott took off running again, but Brooke was teary, saying, “I feel like I’m letting you down, but I’m going as fast as I can.” Scott insisted that she wasn’t letting him down, and he was just trying to motivate her.

NO PIGGYBACKING

Tara & Joey then arrived at the Wabash Avenue Bridge, and got their second postcard. Having already been to Buckingham Fountain, London & Logan got their third postcard at the water tower. Meanwhile, as Brooke & Scott continued to run, Brooke said she needed a break. But when Scott virtually begged her to get on his back so he could carry her, she said, “No! I don’t want to feel like an invalid!” Tara & Joey then arrived at a building called the Chicago Temple for their last postcard, thinking it was 154 feet tall. But when they got inside, they learned it was only 148 feet. A local directed them towards Michigan Avenue, and they headed off again. Scott & Brooke then arrived at City Hall, and found the beekeeper on the roof. They handed over their three postcards, and got the clue in first place. It told them to travel by taxi to a hot dog stand called Wrigleysville Dogs, and search for their next clue. They ran off, Brooke shouting, “Taxi – yes!”

As Tara & Joey ran down the street to the water tower, Brooke & Scott spotted them out the window and realized they were ahead. Tara & Joey then collected their third postcard. They headed off to City Hall, while London & Logan boarded the subway, also en route there. In a taxi to Wrigleysville Dogs, Brooke once again told Scott she didn’t want to let him down. He said she wasn’t letting him down, and she added, “I don’t want to let me down, either.” At Wrigleysville Dogs, they found the clue. It told them to deliver ten Chicago-style hot dogs to a nearby rooftop overlooking Wrigley Field, and hand them out to the Cubs fans sitting there. Then, Season 19 Race winners Ernie & Cindy would hand them tickets to Wrigley Field. Brooke & Scott donned hot dog vendor’s hats, piled their dogs into a hotbox, and headed off.

REMEMBER THOSE PLACEMENTS

Tara & Joey then got their clue atop city hall, followed by London & Logan. As they latter took off, Logan said, “Hot dog eating contest, please!” Across the street from Wrigley Field, Brooke & Scott found the house with the rooftop seats. They climbed up, and were greeted by the cheering Cubs fans. They passed out their hot dogs, and Ernie handed over tickets to the ballpark. Printed on them were instructions to use the marquee entrance. As London & Logan struggled to find a taxi to Wrigleysville Dogs, Tara & Joey arrived there. They collected their hot dogs and headed to the rooftop. Brooke & Scott then entered Wrigley Field, and ripped the clue. It said that on the scoreboard were the eleven destinations they visited during the Race. With one team member behind the scoreboard, and the other in the press box on the opposite side of the stadium, teams had to post their placement number for each leg, using only a one-way radio to communicate. When the numbers were correct, they could solve an equation to reveal a three-digit number that corresponded to a section of the stadium that contained their final clue.

Brooke & Scott split up, Brooke going to the press box and Scott heading to the scoreboard. Brooke said, “Let’s win this thing.” Meanwhile, London & Logan were still looking for a taxi. They finally found one, and headed for Wrigleysville Dogs. Brooke & Scott then began the final task. Through the one-way radio, Brooke could give Scott directions, but he was unable to reply. Brooke also didn’t notice that the locations were in alphabetical order, rather than leg order. She told Scott that the first number for Alesund, Norway was four. She then caught herself, and said six. Next she told him three, for Athens. Scott couldn’t see exactly where to put the number, so he stuck his hand through the hole to signal to her. Brooke spotted him, and said he was one space too low. He then hung the number correctly. Next was Dar es Salaam, but Brooke couldn’t remember their placement there.

GO, RED SOX!

London & Logan arrived at Wrigleysville Dogs, and collected their hot dogs. Logan joked, “There might be nine when we get there, because I ate one.” They headed off again, knowing they had to make up as much time as possible. Back at Wrigley Field, Brooke talked Scott through the next few locations. Meanwhile, Tara & Joey arrived at the rooftop seats. Brooke was able to see them from the press box, and she warned Scott that they were on their way. Tara & Joey finished handing out their hot dogs, and got the tickets from Ernie. Just as they were leaving, Joey shouted, “Go, Red Sox!” and then scurried away as everyone booed. Brooke & Scott were nearing the bottom of the list. They placed a one for Seoul, a four for Venice, and a six for Zanzibar. Brooke asked to be checked… and they were approved. They met down at home plate, where an usher gave them the equation they had to solve. They had to subtract their placement in Ninh Binh from that in Dar es Salaam, giving them five. Then Panama City minus Venice, which was zero. And finally Athens plus Seoul, which was four. So they had to find section 504.

Joey & Tara then arrived at Wrigley Field and ripped the clue in second place. Brooke & Scott looked through the seats in section 504. As Tara told Joey to put a six next to Panama City, Brooke & Scott continued searching – and found the clue. It told them to make their way to the finish line at Milton Lee Olive Park, where Phil was waiting with the eliminated teams. Brooke & Scott headed off, Brooke saying she was going to cry, and Scott ordering her to focus. London & Logan then arrived at the rooftop, tossed out their hot dogs, and got their tickets. Meanwhile, Tara directed Joey to put a 3 next to Lake Como. As Joey climbed the steps to the scoreboard, he said, “Fenway is so much easier than this – it’s all on the ground floor.” Out on the street, Brooke & Scott jumped in a taxi, Scott saying, “We freakin’ deserve this.”

WE’RE GOING TO WIN!

Tara directed Joey to put a 3 next to Seoul, and they were approved. They arrived at home plate, and figured out the calculations for their section – 534. As London & Logan arrived and headed for the scoreboard, Tara & Joey found the clue. London & Logan then got off to a slow start with the one-way microphone. London looked for which button to push, while Logan wondered if he should just assume the order of the numbers. As Tara & Joey ran to find a taxi, London told Logan to place a 2 next to Seoul. Not being able to see, he placed it next to Zanzibar. She repeated “Seoul,” and he motioned that he didn’t know where that was. London then pulled out her binoculars, but forgot to take off the lens caps. Meanwhile, Brooke & Scott continued to the finish line. Brooke gasped, “We’re going to win!” She then got teary, telling Scott, “You said we would never win.” Scott laughed, “I’m eating those words right now.”

They arrived at Milton Lee Olive Park, and ran to where Phil waited. They jumped on the mat, and Phil said, “After nine countries, seventeen cities and more than 36,000 miles… I’m pleased to tell you that you have won a million dollars, and you are the official winners of the Amazing Race!” Scott said that he and Brooke are very different people, but they were both passionate about standing together at the finish line. “So whatever it took to be here is what we were going to do. We used her skills, we used my skills, and we came out on top.” Brooke added that there were a lot of people she had more in common with, but with whom she wouldn’t have been as successful. “And as much as we bickered or got frustrated together, we shared something that most people never get to share. That’s something that I hold close to my heart, and I know [Scott] feels the same way.”

AN EPIC RIDE

Tara & Joey arrived second, and Phil told them they were team number two. Tara said they were elated at having run a really good race. Joey said, “She picked me. I was left, you know, in the wind.” Phil said that Tara obviously saw the potential in him. Joey added that running the Race with Tara was “an epic ride.” London & Logan then arrived third, and London said they were lucky to have been paired up. “We’re definitely leaving as the opposite of strangers…. We just have a special relationship that I know will continue on into the future.” Logan added that every leg he was more and more impressed by London. “It was just an honor to race with her. I mean, she’s like family at this point.”

The rest of the teams gathered on the mat to hug the final three. Joey reiterated that the Amazing Race was epic, and Tara added that it was one of her proudest accomplishments, aside from serving in the Army and being a mom. Scott said, “I’ve opened myself up to new experiences, I’ve pushed myself to new limits… and I’ve fulfilled a dream of a lifetime.” Brooke added that the Race made her a better and stronger person. “The money is just gravy – the experience is priceless.”

2912 ROUTE MARKERS

(No Roadblocks or Detours)

Order of Finish:Brooke & ScottTara & JoeyLondon & Logan

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