Well, it’s over. The Amazing Race 6 has come to an appropriately exciting end, and while the series remains the best and most intense reality show on television, I think we’re all looking forward to putting this cast of underwhelming characters behind us. I mean, did we really need so many actors, models, and trainers? Hopefully the producers learned their lesson, but considering Survivor couple Rob and Amber will be back for season 7 of the Race, I’m slightly disconcerted. We can only hope their tenure will last as long as fellow reality whore and Big Brother 4 alum Alison Irwin, who bit the dust after episode two of AR5, paving the way for a fantastic season.
But enough editorializing. Let’s recap the Race!Tonight’s shenanigans began before anything had even happened. During the montage of previous episodes, Phil haughtily mocked “Adam’s fear of almost everything he encountered.” He then chugged a Fosters and added “Pussy.”
The four remaining teams were told to grab a train to Xi’an, China (or “Zen”, as Kendra called it). Jon, still frustrated from his Shanghaii taxi experiences, angrily ripped open his clue with a scowl that seemed to say “I’m only moderately rational and friendly today. Oh, who am I kidding? I love you, envelope!” Nevertheless, the two scuttled off to the train station where they learned their trip would be, ahem, 17 HOURS. I’m just hoping that everyone stocked up on deodorant and Air Wicks. Freddy and Kendra arrived at the train station and had immediate difficulties. “Where do we go in? Here?” asked Kendra as she stood in front of what was obviously NOT an entrance (it was a tall fence). The two models bickered annoyingly as Freddy zapped Kendra with his all powerful rays of blandness. Luckily, she deflected the attacks by summoning her ever potent whine shield. Man, these two are really lame. I hope they don’t win the whole thing.
Back at the hotel, Adam and Rebecker faced the daunting task of raising funds for this leg of the race. Turns out horny businessmen love throwing cash at pretty girls because in no time, Rebecca had raised a small fortune. One guy even gave her $100 US. I can move to Shanghaii and beg on the streets, laughed Rebecca. Yeah, seriously, she’d probably be better off moving to Shang… uh… um… what she said. (I HATE when they steal my lines!)
Eventually, everyone wound up on the same train to Xi’an. Ice queen Hayden tried to soften up her image by playing with a baby. Unfortunately, said baby burst into horrified tears upon contact with the racer. Wow, Hayden really does bring misery and fear to everything she encounters. Flash forward to her happily picking up a bouquet of roses — only to have it promptly wilt with the sound of “Wah wah waaaah.” Luckily the baby survived its encounter with Hayden and is now on sale at ChinaTots.com.
Elsewhere on the train, Adam, Rebecca, Kris, and Jon were having a grand ole time bunking in a sleeper cabin. Kris talked about being a raging bitch, to which Adam responded “You as a raging bitch is Rebecca on a good day.” Everyone laughed heartily… except Rebecca. She simply shot Adam her patented “So many questions…” face. Awkward!
Seeing the need to quarantine Hayden from the children, Aaron brought his girlfriend to a window and gazed upon the Chinese countryside. “It’s like Michigan,” he said, referring to the cornfields whizzing by. Later he admitted that “Michigan” was his pet name for “China”.
After many hours, teams arrived in Xi’an and made their way to the next route marker, the Drum Tower. Of course, it didn’t open until the next morning which meant another slumber party in the street. Eventually, a small man showed up and banged a giant drum. They WOULD announce 8 AM that way. In the tower, teams received their next Detour: Spray or Scroll. The choice was to either travel far and paint a car body or search through spools of fabric for small Chinese characters. Everyone opted for “Spray” which meant hopping in a cab and going to a factory. Hayden immediately lost faith in her driver, complaining that “We’re getting taken on a goose chase!” I’ll just assume she meant “wild good chase” unless there actually was an errant goose waddling along on the road ahead.
Amazingly enough, Adam and Rebecca arrived at the factory first, and as they painted away, Adam let us know that he felt like Michael Keaton in Gung Ho. He then added “If only George Wendt were here, then my deepest fantasy would be complete.” Rebecca meanwhile advised her partner to employ “Nice, long strokes.” Giggles were had by all.
The teams had little difficulty getting through the Detour, although Aaron did chide Hayden several times for painting too thickly. He hates excessive coats of paint! Next stop on the race was the Terra Cotta Army, a major archeological find from the 1970s. As Phil explained the origins of these soldier statues, I feared our intrepid host might trip and knock one down, causing a catastrophic domino effect throughout the museum. Luckily, NimblePhil™ was in full effect, and no precious artifacts were destroyed.
We then cut back to the increasingly spastic Hayden as she zipped around like a confused Roomba. After complicating the simple process of receiving a clue at the factory, she then became the passenger from hell for many cabbies. Hayden freaked out dramatically en route to the Terra Cotta Army as she accused the driver of going the wrong way. Hey, wasn’t it just a few episodes ago that Hayden claimed she was “retarded with directions”? I guess maybe she can’t read directions, but when dropped into rural China, she’s like a human compass. Anyway, with the driver not motoring along at the desired speed, Hayden became a rabid wolverine as she implored Adam to “Make him go! Busses are passing us!” Who else wanted one of those busses to ram this woman off the road?
Meanwhile, at the museum, the models arrived looking for their next clue. “Do we have to dig?” asked Kendra, nodding towards the Terra Cotta Army. Yes. After 7,000 years, it is now up to you, Kendra, to dig away at these archeological relics. We don’t need them anymore anyway. They don’t even do anything except stand there and be annoying.
Luckily, before Kendra could take a pick ax to the soldiers, the duo found their clue which directed them to Mount Hua. Jon, meanwhile, busted out the understatement of the week when he declared that there’s a little language barrier between English and Chinese. I would mock Jon, but he’s too nice. And besides, I’d rather conserve my energy for Hayden, who after arriving last at the museum, escalated her taxi hysteria to full scale lunacy. With fire in her eyes and fangs growing out of her gums, Hayden screeched and yelled and roared until Aaron, in exasperation, simply yanked her out of the cab in the middle of nowhere. I was hoping he’d clasp her by the shoulders and shake her, maybe adding “My dear woman, what’s gotten into you?” And then there could be three or four exaggerated slaps back and forth, followed by the sudden appearance of a British cop wielding a billy club who would say “Nigel Bartlesby! What on Earth are you doing?” And I’ll just stop this now before I completely turn this into a BBC America comedy.
Over at Mount Hua, Freddy and Kendra rose to the top of the mountain with the help of a merry gondola. “I feel like Charlie and the Choccolate Factory,” gushed Kendra as she looked out the window. It wasn’t the strongest analogy considering the moment lacked chocolate and a factory, but to her credit, she does say it every time she ascends to any noteworthy altitude. Oddly enough, when visited the Hershey’s factory a few years ago, she said it was like riding a gondola in China. Go figure.
Already at the top of the mountain were Adam and Rebecca, who seemed to be living out their very own Cliffhanger movie. “Jump!” urged Rebecca to Adam as he climbed down from a ledge. And with that, he threw caution to the wind and jumped to safety. Sadly, this wasn’t very dramatic since it was only an 18 inch jump at best. Still, considering his previous jump of six inches warranted an “I love you mom!”, Adam seems to have made remarkable progress.
So what was actually at the top of this mountain? Why, the Roadblock, of course! Teammates were given a key and told to find the corresponding padlock amidst three thousand others. Okay, that’s just cruel. And awesome. Rebecca adopted a very wise attitude to the process, remarking “I have to be very zen-like.” Cut to five seconds later as she yelled “OPEN! OPEN! OPEN!” Unfortunately, the locks did not speak English and remained shut. As for Kendra, she tried to keep a positive outlook on the entire situation by testing out some of her well-received humor. “Some of these locks are from the year 2,” she joked as a rimshot went off in the background. I’m surprised we didn’t see a shot of Freddy doubled over with laughter, just barely wheezing out “Honey, I swear, you could write for Jay Leno.”
Meanwhile, at the bottom of the mountain, Hayden continued her maelstrom of bitchiness as she navigated through a self-imposed maze of shuttle tickets and mountain entrance fees. Somehow she managed to get on the wrong shuttle and have the wrong ticket about twelve different times, ultimately causing Aaron to fling his backpack across the lot. While he picked up his personal items, Hayden berated the locals for having the nerve — THE NERVE — to not speak English in their own country. They are awful little people!
Well, the two finally reached the Roadblock after a brief ride in the gondola (or GON-DOLE-AAH, as Hayden is fond of calling it). Ever the basketcase, Hayden jammed her key into a padlock and ultimately broke it in her ill-advised attempts to pry it out. Okay, let’s try some Padlock/Foxworthy humor. If a key don’t fit in a lock, chances are it’s not a match. If you have to force a key into a lock, chances are it’s not a match. And if you’ve broken your key because you were too dumb to realize it didn’t fit in the lock in the first place, chances are you’re a complete moron. Hey, that was fun. Maybe I can get a show on the WB.
Kris and Jon opened their lock first and made their way to the Pit Stop back in Xi’an. As usual, they won another trip to Mexico or wherever. Freddy and Kendra placed a happy second. “My only promise was final three,” said Freddy, adding “I will now fail you the rest of the way.” Ah, if only that were true…
Up on the mountain, Rebecker and Hayden nearly lost their sanity sorting through the locks (Hayden received a replacement key). With fingers bloody, blistered, and numb, Hayden finally threw in the towel as she and Aaron resolved to take the four hour penalty. Then just as the two dating/actors rose to leave, Rebecca called out triumphantly, “Got it!” Wow. That could not have been planned any better. Part of me wondered if she simply held off until the right moment, just so she could piss off Hayden. Nevertheless, with salt rubbed in their wounds, Hayden and Aaron sadly joined Adam and Rebecca on their trek back to Phil.
Will you marry/stop being bitchy to me?
Mr. Koegan looked terminally bored at the Pit Stop as he eliminated the actors, but then the darndest thing happened. Aaron got down on one knee and proposed to Hayden. The former she-dragon melted into a joyous, emotional wreck as the tender scene unfolded, and even Phil had to break out into a polite smile. Adam, meanwhile, looked more horrified than happy. “Do I have to ask Rebecca to marry me? I know she’s my beard and all, but this is ridiculous!” He then rolled his eyes and made a Z with air snaps.
After the Pit Stop, teams were told to catch a plane to Hawaii for the last leg of the race. That’s right. This was the final sprint to the big prize. With $1 million on the line, Kendra decided to get down and dirty. “We’re not gonna be the nice, sweet people we’ve been,” she warned, kicking the Ethiopian child she had adopted to the curb. She’s right though. They have been awfully nice and sweet – like that time when Kendra accused Senegal of being wretched and prone to over-breeding. Or that time when Freddy threatened to beat someone up because a gate fell on his head. I mean, these guys are so nice, I’m surprised they don’t have their own line of Hallmark cards.
Anyway, teams all battled the language barrier yet again as they snagged cabs to the airport. Rebecca had some fun with the situation by telling her driver that Adam had three testicles (you can find the irony yourself). The cabbie simply smiled and waved as Rebecca laughed. Later that night, when the driver’s wife asked how his day was, he responded “Oh, the usual. Dumb Americans who think I don’t speak English. Got the old ‘three testicle joke’ again. Anyway, pass the Chinese food. Or as we call it, food.” Meanwhile, in the models’ cab, Freddy lamented that “There’s always a bicyclist in front of us.” Interestingly enough, we then cut to a bicyclist who complained “There’s always dumb models behind me.”
From Xi’an International, teams flew to their various layover cities en route to Honolulu. In Osaka, Freddy, Kendra, Adam, and Rebecca came face to face with a Meal Nazi regime. The models tried to bump up their tickets to an earlier flight, and while there were seats available, the flight had no meals. NO MEALS. The horror! As a result, the team was banned from the flight, lest they travel hungry and discomforted. Kendra tried her best to woo over the icy ticketing desk by crying “I have a sick child in Honolulu!” but I think all that did was stir up deep cultural resentment from the airline guy. “You have left your child unattended? The family bond is sacred! The ancestors will think unfavorably upon this. No ticket for you!” Actually, the man was much more polite as he simply said “Don’t cry. Don’t cry.” Ultimately, the two were left with nothing else to do but sit around and maybe nosh on some sushi, or as Kendra calls it, Chinese food.
In a similar situation were Adam and Rebecca who were also denied an earlier flight because no meals were available for them. Man, Osaka is harsh! As the plane took off without them, Adam lectured the ticketing agent by saying “You’re really mean. Really mean. You’re mean. And cold.” He then said “mean” a few more times, added a “poopyhead”, “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!”, and ended with “I want my mommy.”
Eventually, everyone made it to Honolulu (although Adam and Rebecca lagged a good two hours behind everyone else). Teams quickly came upon the Detour which had teams either paddling two miles up a river or searching a clothes rack for an ensemble. Surprisingly enough, Jon and Kris opted to skip the brute force option because… it was going to maybe rain? Jon, you’re awesome, but that’s a lame excuse. Luckily, the big oaf proved all us naysayers wrong by zooming through the Detour at super speeds — and with super smiles. Even the overseeing manager couldn’t help but grin widely at the two lovebirds poking around his factory. His demeanor turned angry, however, as Kris and Jon each walked off with a Hawaiian ensemble. “I’d like to report a shoplifting,” the manager said on the phone before melting into a smile and adding, “A shoplifting of my heart.”
The models meanwhile paddled an outrigger up a two mile course. Kendra accidentally splashed her fiancé, much to his chagrin. I’m surprised he didn’t yell “Whoever splashed me, I will break you. I will BREAK— oh, it’s just you. Never mind.”
After the Detour, teams made their way to a local airport where the Roadblock instructed them to skydive onto a sandbar. Jon, of course, was amped as he placed his parachute over his Hawaiian shirt. Freddy meanwhile babbled about how exciting his first day in Hawaii was. I feared he would bore his tandem instructor into some sort of catatonic state, resulting in tragedy from upon high. Last to reach the Roadblock was Adam, who when falling from the sky sounds amazingly like Dame Edna being shot out of a cannon.
With the final Roadblock completed, teams then returned to Chicago for the final sprint to the finish. Freddy and Kendra snagged the earliest arriving flight, giving them a huge advantage. I became momentarily optimistic that they’d be thwarted when the next clue directed them to Gino’s Pizza. One last eating challenge to level the playing field? Yes. But unfortunately this was the rare normal-sized eating obstacle. Teammates only had to eat two slices each. Yes, I know it was Chicago deep dish pizza, but compared to a pound of caviar, a giant ostrich omelette, and a huge bowl of Hungarian soup, this was like chump change. Of course, the teams didn’t know that as they traveled to the restaurant. “What if it’s the size of a table,” pondered Kendra.
“Then we’ll vomit and keep eating,” responded Freddy.
“YES!” exclaimed Kendra with surprising enthusiasm. Sometimes we forget that she’s a “model”. Yay bulimia! Luckily, she did not disappoint as she gagged and burped at the table. You know that Freddy was secretly wishing she’d boot in the deep dish, if only to achieve cosmic justice. I’m surprised he didn’t egg her on with “Wow, look at the nasty vomit over there. Just kidding. But seriously, try not to think about vomiting, you ole vomit-head.”
Freddy and Kendra finished up their pizza just as Kris and Jon arrived (as evidenced by a patented AR slow-mo shot). A knot formed in my stomach as it became obvious that Frendra would be the clear frontrunners for the big prize. Luckily, while Kris and Jon munched on some Chicago deep dish, the models found the one taxi service that couldn’t find the next route marker – aka the finish line. Flustered, Freddy ran up to some cops and asked them to lead the way to Ping Tong park, or whatever it was called. He then had the balls to say “It’s an emergency!” Um, “emergency” to a cop does not mean “gotta help a random dude win $1 million”. Wow, this guy is a major idiot. Maybe he tripped one too many times on the L.L. Bean runway. Luckily Kendra had some wits about her as she pulled her dim-bulb fiancé away from a potential beating.
Meanwhile, Kris and Jon consumed their pizza and left the restaurant. As the two crammed their way through a revolving door, I couldn’t help wondering “Wow, they do everything together.” Of course, they stepped into a cab that, according to the editing, knew exactly where the park was.
Rebecca and Adam arrived last at the pizza parlor and were immediately high maintenance. “Do you have any soy cheese?” asked Rebecker. Man, they’re really L.A. Amazingly, with the race on the line (theoretically. They were so far behind it wasn’t even an issue), Adam managed to freak out over this task because it involved tomatoes. “I don’t eat tomatoes,” he insisted. Somehow though Rebecca got him to eat the dastardly food. Not sure how she did it exactly, but I think it went something like “Just pretend it’s a penis.”
In the end, it was a near photo finish between the models and the lovebirds. Unfortunately, a random freight train blocked Kris and Jon at the worst possible moment, and the models nabbed first place. Dammit! Well, in all fairness, midway through Phil’s final interview, we could suddenly hear the train passing, which meant Kris and Jon were about five minutes behind (and therefore the train did not prevent them from getting first place). Nevertheless, the two had a sweet moment by the tracks as they hugged and kissed. Later, they actually seemed to be happy that Freddy and Kendra had won. Man, they’re so ni– no, I won’t say it again. I swear… They’re so nice! Sorry, couldn’t help it.
Anyway, Rebecca and Adam arrived third, and as we gazed upon the fallen teams, I couldn’t help wondering “Why does Jonathan have such massive, hairy armpits? And why is he still trying to steal the spotlight?” Later, Freddy and Kendra reveled in their newfound riches, noting that they’re really the perfect people for each other. Yes, they are. Bland, annoying, and dumb. Two peas in a pod. Or at least two saltines on a cheese spread.
The show ended with a rousing preview of next season (three weeks away) and a commercial for the Grammys. I wouldn’t normally mention that except I found it odd that as the announcer promised a tribute to the tsunami victims, CBS played “How Far Is Heaven” by Los Lonely Boys in the background. Uncomfortable…
What did you think of this finale? Did Freddy and Kendra deserve it? Are Kris and Jon not the best reality couple of all time?