Reality TV

The Amazing Race – Season 21 Episode 12 – Winner – FINALE – Recap

Welcome to the last recap of the season. The Amazing Race Season 21 is officially over, and the million-dollar winners have been crowned. What a great finale this was.

If you want to read up about the first half of this two-hour season finale, go here.

Finally, the teams are going back to the United States. Their last destination will be New York, New York!

Jaymes and James, the winners of the previous leg, depart first at 1:33 a.m. Trey and Lexi leave  at 1:44 a.m., and Josh and Brent leave at 3:06 a.m. Josh and Brent have been living in New York for twenty years. Potential home field advantage? The Chippendales decide not to bring their bags with them.

The flight equalizes the teams, so all three teams arrive in New York at the same time. Playing field reset. They get a postcard of Coney Island but when they’re there, none of the teams can find the clue box. There’s a poster for The Amazing Houdini, and that’s what they’re supposed to be looking for, but they keep walking by it. On the poster, there are clues that say “Race to the Brooklyn Navy Yard” and “Clinton Avenue Gate.” Trey and Lexi finally figure it out first, followed a minute after by the Beekmans. That is so clever. Gosh, I love this show.

After running laps around the whole park, Jaymes and James finally get it. And they’re off!


Roadblock: Who’s up for an Amazing Escape?

Oh, definitely not me. I’d be terrified of this task. What’s The Amazing Race without at least one high heights related challenge? (The premiere episode’s first task was height-related.) One team member is suspended with a bungee cord upside down from a crane 15 stories high and must escape Houdini-style, aka escape from a straitjacket. Then, they’re released, and they bungee away.

Trey is terrified of heights but he does it anyway because Lexi doesn’t want to. Brent isn’t afraid of heights, though.  Jaymes thinks this is the coolest thing ever.


Task: Pizza Delivery

They go to the first pizzeria in New York, which the teams figure out is Lombardi’s. The teams must memorize ten pizza orders and deliver those orders to ten different locations on foot.

Trey and Lexi and the Beekman boys start on the challenge while the Chippendales are behind and are nowhere to be found.

Josh and Brent deliver the wrong pizzas to a location! OH NO.  Therefore their next order is wrong too because they mixed them up.

Trey and Lexi get it all right and are off to their next location. Josh and Brent are told that two of their orders were incorrect, but they go back and fix it. Soon after, the Chippendales complete the task.

When they complete the task, they’re given a logo for the United Nations! THAT’S SO COOL.


Roadblock: Hello Goodbye

The teammate who completed the first task cannot complete this task. Over the course of the race, greeters at the finish mats told the teams “hello” and “goodbye” as they checked in. Now, they must figure out what the “hello” and “goodbye” words are in the nine different languages of the nine United Nations countries that they visited. They must tie those “hello” and “goodbye” flags and match them to the flags of the actual countries and raise those flags. Then, they raise the final United Nations flag to get the clue to their final destination.

Wow, this is an extremely difficult task. Which means that I LOVE IT! It requires memory, patience, and strength for pulling the flags up and down. Above all, it requires perseverance, which is something that every final task should include. How are they supposed to remember how to say “goodbye” in Bangladeshi? I feel like the twins might have been the best at this task, but they’re not in the Race anymore. I feel like the Beekman boys would do well at this as well because they’ve always seemed to be smart and articulate. We’ll see!

At least they’re told when they get flags incorrect so they don’t go through everything and have to redo all of it.

Lexi is FREAKING OUT. She’s crying. All of the teams go with the process of elimination method, because to a certain point, you honestly have no idea what “selamat tinggal” is supposed to be. After two and a half hours, the teams are still going at it. WOW. Resilience right here. Josh and James both have one left, and Lexi is far behind.

JOSH GETS IT ALL RIGHT AND THE BEEKMAN BOYS GET THEIR NEXT CLUE! They go to their last location at Gotham Hall. James figures it out too! The camera cross cuts between the two teams in their cars, and it pans along the smiling eliminated teams waiting at the pitstop…


Pitstop: Gotham Hall

And… OH MY GOD, THE BEEKMANS WON. THEY DID IT! Are you kidding me? They kiss. Oh my god, I think I’m tearing up a bit. I honestly can’t believe it. I love a good underdog story. Jaymes and James finish in second, and Trey and Lexi come in third. What a shocking ending.

Also, let me just say “great job” to the TAR editing team. They have foreshadowed like crazy, and they truly made a good story of this season. Josh and Brent were displayed many, many times as the underdogs, really nice guys who help other teams and treat everyone they meet with respect. They were almost eliminated so many times; they came in last in episode 5 but were saved by the non-elimination leg as well as second-to-last in episode 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 AND 11. Their highest rank ever was third, and that was when there were only four teams.

“Nice guys do finish first sometime,” Josh says. TRUE. DAT.

So, there  you have it. Josh and Brent are the $1 million winners. I do love it when underdogs win at anything, and I’m not going to say that any of the three other teams deserved it. (But,  you all can discuss that in comments!) Plus, Trey and Lexi, Jaymes and James, and Natalie and Nadiya all won first place in legs at least twice so they get some prizes. Ideally, I would have liked to see one of those latter three teams win because they have been more consistent all season long. But, whatever.

Here’s the final (actual final) order of finish:

  1. Josh and Brent (WINNERS!)
  2. Jaymes and James
  3. Trey and Lexi

How shocked were you all? Props to all five of you in the world who predicted the Beekman boys’ victory. Do you think they deserved to win? Are you happy with the results? How difficult did that last challenge seem?  And how good did that pizza at Lombardi’s look? Yum. I’m hungry. I’m going to eat a snack.

Thank you all for watching along with me this season. What a great season it’s been! It  has been a pleasure watching one of my favorite shows and then typing away on this blog. The 22nd season of The Amazing Race will premiere on Sunday, February 17, so I guess I’ll see you all then!

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