And the final leg of The Amazing Race 17 begins with a completely unnecessary and unwanted use of Katy Perry as Jill & Thomas find out the final destination city is Los Angeles. Once there, teams will need to get themselves to Pier J at the Port of Long Beach for their next clue.
The teams all meet up at Incheon International Airport to wait for the Korean Air ticketing to open and they joke around about Thomas being the last man standing. As the teams fly off to LA, we get treated tortured with more Katy Perry for the LA glamour shots before the teams get running out of LAX.
Nat & Kat are first to get a taxi followed by Jill & Thomas and then Brook & Claire.
At the pier, teams will have to take a small elevator up to the top of one of the gantry cranes, get a clue strapped on to them and then do a bungee swing. When they get themselves back onto solid ground, they can open their next clue.
Nat is afraid of heights, so she takes a little time to calm herself down as the other two teams get onto the platform.
When all three are set and ready to go, they let them swing one by one. First up is Nat & Kat. They swing then get lowered onto a floater and back onto shore. They open their clue telling them to take a helicopter to a surprise destination.
Jill & Thomas are right behind and Claire holds Brook’s hand as she goes bananas.
Again, the teams are let go one by one as they each take their own helicopter ride from Long Beach to their surprise destination of… the Rose Bowl.
Nat & Kat grab a letter A and open the clue to find the Road Block.
In this Road Block, teams will decorate three sections of a float for the Tournament of Roses Parade. If they’ve decorated the float to the floral director’s specifications, the 2009 Rose Queen will hand them their next clue.
Nat decides to do the Road Block and she gets started. Thomas and Brook follow.
Nat believes she has finished, but the floral director points out that Nat did not fill the little tubes with water for the roses. Nat has to go back and fill all of them up and stick them back into float. By now, both Thomas and Brook are at the same spot, but Nat easily fixes her mistake and she and Kat are off.
Their next clue contains three clues:
1. I am Sancho Panza’s master.
2. I am the place to hear The Symphony in the Glen
3. Monroe’s Year of the Itch
Teams use the answers to those clues to find the next location.
Nat & Kat head to the line of taxis outside the gate and look for a driver with an iPhone so they can Google. They end up taking any taxi as Jill & Thomas come running out and jump into a taxi as well.
Nat & Kat call information and hope to ask them to help out with figuring out the clues, having information Google the answers. Jill & Thomas meanwhile ask their driver to contact a friend with a computer or internet but he doesn’t seem to understand at all.
Brook & Claire continue to bring up the rear, but they immediately decide to go to a hotel who’ll have internet.
Nat & Kat get help figuring out their next destination is Quixote Studios at Griffith Park, Stage 7. There they find the final task, Hats Entertainment.
Teams will have to look at a video wall of 48 past Pit Stop greeters, all wearing hats and identify the 11 Pit Stop greeters from this season. After identifying the correct greeters with their corresponding leg, legendary Bob Eubanks will hand them their next clue.
Nat & Kat get started, taking out their notebook of notes from the entire Race.
Meanwhile, Brook & Claire quickly get all their answers at the hotel and are off to the Studios while Jill & Thomas reach the highest levels of frustration with their taxi driver and then the places they stop to get help.
For Nat & Kat, all the help they need is a quick look at their notes and the finish the final task. Bob Eubanks hands them their next clue and it tells them to head to the Finish Line at Greystone Mansion.
The doctors leave and Brook & Claire arrive and get started on the final task, which they seem to finish pretty quick. Nat & Kat are stuck in traffic, so Brook & Claire seemingly have a chance to catch up.
But as we see the eliminated teams ready to welcome the winners, it is Nat & Kat that come running into the mansion’s grounds. They know they are first and Phil doesn’t even finish telling them before they start celebrating.
Nat & Kat are officially the first all-female team to win the American Amazing Race. Brook & Claire officially finish 2nd while Jill & Thomas are a distant 3rd.
The teams all congratulate the final 3. We get a final word from Chad & Stephanie (!?) and also a “Can we do it again?!” from Mallory *wink*wink* before the usual group applause and goodbye for the season.
But wait! Phil says here’s a preview of next season’s Amazing Race. And that is saved for another post.
The excitement was there, but mainly because getting the first all female American winners was getting closer and closer to a reality.
Funny how TAR finally got away from having the Starting Line in Los Angeles but ended up having the Finish Line there. Can we have a several season ban from Southern California please?
Aside from the lackluster Final Destination City, the tasks weren’t all that inspired either. While it was cute having Bob Eubanks and giving a nod to the Rose Bowl and the Rose Parade, the Road Block was too simple for a final leg.
The leg design didn’t help much either as it seemed like they literally held the teams until all three of them were at the location. Namely, at the crane when they had to do the bungee swing. Starting there, if it wasn’t for Jill & Thomas’ taxi driver, there wouldn’t have been any placement shifts from the order they left the airport and that is certainly not exciting, despite TAR Editing’s usual work.
It was almost like the leg came down to who could Google the fastest.
The Final Task was at least more challenging than last season’s, but I guess it is wrong to expect a TAR12-level Final Task. Even a TAR14-level task that at least required teams to think.
Turns out that Fake Bear Shopping in a Field was just a random Fern after all.
It wasn’t one of the more exciting finales, but again, it was basically carried by the anticipation that finally, an all-female team was going to win The Amazing Race and that actually was enough.