Heading into its Season 31 finale on Wednesday, The Amazing Race had teed up quite the underdog story.
Big Brother veterans Nicole Franzel and Victor Arroyo cracked the final four in last week’s episode, making them the only non-Amazing Race duo left in the competition. And in the preceding weeks, they’d survived some drama with the Reilly sisters, narrowly avoided going home thanks to a non-elimination leg, managed to score standby plane tickets when all of the other flights were booked up and, most recently, prevailed after getting U-Turned by the Afghanimals.
Did Nicole and Victor eke out one last miracle in Wednesday’s finale, even up against tough competition? Before we reveal the results, let’s break down the events of the episode:
* First up is the race’s 11th leg, which in two previous seasons has been the leg where Leo and Jamal have been eliminated. This time, though, they breeze through the first Roadblock, which involves decoding a World War II message at England’s Dover Castle. Leo is the first to complete it, followed by Victor, Korey and, later, Christie. (All of the Amazing Race teams decide to form an alliance for these final legs, conspicuously helping each other while leaving Nicole and Victor to their own devices. It’s a tad painful to watch.)
* This leg’s Detour proves to be the great equalizer, with three teams (all but Colin and Christie) opting to switch challenges halfway through their initial attempts. Eventually, they all succeed and make their way to the Pit Stop… where Phil gives them another clue, asking each team to collect an assortment of items from a crowded London marketplace before they can check in. Unfortunately for Nicole and Victor, they’re the last duo to arrive at the Pit Stop and aren’t able to complete their shopping before the other three teams, leading to their elimination. (Editor’s note: Sniff.)
* Back in the United States for the final leg, teams are tasked with: rappelling down a Detroit skyscraper (and collecting numbers for a bank vault combination lock along the way); playing a game of fowling (why, yes, that is a football-bowling hybrid); making five vinyl records; and assembling a drum kit while dozens of musicians play “Seven Nation Army” very loudly, feet away from them.
* Leo is ultimately stymied by the bank vault lock for a looong time, which ends up putting him and Jamal well behind the other two teams. The race essentially gets narrowed down to Tyler and Korey versus Colin and Christie, all of whom struggle with the detail-heavy drum assembly in different ways.
But the first team to the finish line is… Colin and Christie! (Talk about redemption, eh?) They’re followed by Tyler and Korey in second place and, eventually, Leo and Jamal in third.
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