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Monday, May 11, 2009

'The Amazing Race' Finale Recap: Skip to My Luau

By Josh Wolk / May 11, 2009

And so the fourteenth season of The Amazing Race ended justly: With Tammy and Victor victorious, and second-place Jaime standing at the mat berating herself…but only because there wasn’t a cabbie in sight to pin the rap on. 

Before I go further, I'd like to present a bit of a teaser: With the Race over, I'll be launching a new column on later this week that I'm very excited about. You want details, you say? Stick around until the end of the column, when all will be made clear. (But I will reveal this one hint now: It will not be a recurring photo gallery of all-time great nose flutists. The editors at rejected that one. They're such noseists.) 

Now back to the Race… 

Let's take stock of our final three. There was Tammy and Victor, who realized early on that they needed to break out of the bossy older sibling/kowtowing younger sibling roles that were causing such tension. And they found a simple solution: Simply pretend the problem was solved, allowing the bossy older brother to continue to be bossy while they both claim he is not. Next stop in the Race? Denialsburg. It's located right next to Shamestown. 

Then there were Margie and Luke. We were set up this season to think of them as inspiring, but then Luke became a bit of a dick. This certainly set up a moral quandary in choosing who to root for. It was like finding out that a post-cancer Lance Armstrong is the one who keeps shortsheeting your bed. And finally, we had Cara and her thoroughly unpleasant friend Jaime. As the finale started, Cara said that from the beginning, she's said, ''Don’t underestimate us.'' From the beginning Jaime, on the other hand, has been saying, ''SPEAK ENGLISH! WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU IDIOTS?'' 

As the episode began, the Race finally exited China and made its way to the last stop: Hawaii, all the better to get the teams stripped down to their swimsuits! Aoooogah! But the Race is a bit like an old Bob Hope special: it tries to be naughty, but doesn't quite get what real naughtiness is. It's kind of cute in its naivete, actually, especially when compared to contemporary skankapaloozas like Rock of Love Bus. On the Race, producers think, ''We're in sunny climes, we've got a couple of cheerleaders, let's get these folks in some hot two-pieces! Yeah! And then…and then…and then we'll have them haul a dead pig around! Meeee-ow!'' Jeez, why not have them put on negligees and then embalm a corpse? While I'm sure that there is a small species of pork-carcass fetishists who dimmed the lights, lit some candles, and got out the lotion at the sight of these fine, fine ladies grimacing under the weight of a dead, fly-covered pig, the rest of us could have thought of far better ways to sex up the show.


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