Dec 12, 2008, Ep 11: Big Group Hugs

The Amazing Race 13 Insider, the Finale: Big Group Hugs

AR13_Ep11Are Nick & Starr gracious winners? Do Ken & Tina see a future together? Who does Dan blame for their horrendous cab mistake? And will we see Toni & Dallas again? The behind-the-scenes recaps inside will bestow the knowledge you seek.

Here we are at the final batch of Insider videos from Season 13 of The Amazing Race. Check out more of Phil’s talks with the final three teams on the mat as well as some immediate post-race thoughts. CBS did make the compilation video Andrew suggested of Team Dandrew’s mistakes, so that is worth checking out. Finally, the last Elimination Station video reunites Terence & Sarah and Kelly & Christy with the other racers before they welcome the final racers to the final Pit Stop.

At the Final Pit Stop

Frat Boys Find a Way: Phil notes that Dan & Andrew got out there quickly but then ended up at places they weren’t supposed to go. What was up with that? They both stumble over an answer but it’s Dan who says they really wanted to run their own race. The original was just too easy and they wanted to do their own thing. Dan readily admits that it was mostly luck that got them there. He continues stumbling over words and says that none of the teams are better than them, but then goes on to say that if they’re as good as them, they’re probably better. I think we all get the gist of it.

Dan explains that they made the decisions when it counted. Phil remembers lecturing them in India about Dan & Andrew’s differing approaches to the race. He thinks maybe that it worked for them after all and both agree the balance helped. A chant of “Dandrew” breaks out and Dan thinks he may have to go home and copyright it.

Andrew didn’t think they had a chance in hell of finishing the race, which earns some laughs from the racers. Andrew was sure that they would struggle and that he wasn’t fit enough for the race. Amazingly, they made it all the way without getting eliminated. Dan knows the others would argue they should have been eliminated at every leg. At this, Terence hides his face in his hands.

Andrew turns to Ken & Tina and Nick & Starr and recalls at the start of the leg they knew they were racing against powerful teams. He wasn’t swayed by that and remembers that both teams had rough spots. It could happen again and things could turn lucky for Dan & Andrew and result in a huge upset. But he finally admits there’s a mile-wide gap between Dan & Andrew and the top two teams. A warm congratulations is extended to the first- and second-place teams.

An Extraordinary Journey: Ken excitedly says that there is a reason it’s called The Amazing Race. All the experiences and all the people they’ve met and raced with are amazing. Ken & Tina both are excited about continuing the friendships formed here. Most of all they just hope they made their families proud. Phil can see that Ken & Tina’s sincere words have made all the racers cry.

Tina tells everyone that it’s been an extraordinary journey. She has really missed the teams that have been eliminated and can’t wait to reconnect. She also thanks the losing teams for their support (I’m sure they were glad to help…) and mentions that even though they didn’t win, they won. Cryptically she says that “if” she and Ken stay together it will all have been worth it. Hmm… Ken wants to thank Phil and the producers for this experience too.

Ken & Tina then turn to Nick & Starr and applaud them for their victory. Tina remembers that Nick & Starr are younger than their own kids and that they just couldn’t ever keep up with them. Ken casually slips in if Nick & Starr would like to trade any of their first-place prizes for Ken & Tina’s Waverunners. Nick responds that from leg 1 they had called Ken & Tina “Mom and Dad” but it was not just words. There were times where they would not have made it without Ken & Tina’s support. Starr agrees and hopes they all keep in touch. A big group hug ensues. Aww…

Phil then asks Ken & Tina to share their thoughts on the other teams. Ken praises Terence & Sarah, who became allies late in the race. He remembers nearly getting into a fistfight with Terence at the beginning of the race, which makes Ken laugh and Terence merely nod uncomfortably. Tina was heartbroken and cried when Mark & Bill were eliminated. Ken can barely remember Arthur and “it’s Anita, right?” and then proves he can remember some other names as he goes down the line of other racers. Ken thinks there should be a reunion, at Nick & Starr’s expense, of course.

Siblings Take It All: Still out of breath, Starr immediately brings up their brother who is serving in Iraq. They haven’t seen him for a year and Portland is where he went to school. It’s too much to handle for Starr as she turns away, trying to find words. Phil encourages the discussion and wants them to tell the other racers about him. Starr tells them about Capt. Jake Spangler who is an MP at TQ in Iraq. Capt. Spangler has been one of their main motivators during the race. She hopes that he can watch this overseas. Nick thinks Capt. Spangler would be very proud, as will all of the family.

Starr gives props to all the teams and admits that all those present really made them work for this win. Nick tells that he was definitely afraid of elimination every single leg. He remembers dwelling on it and that Starr would keep them positive.

Concerning other teams, Nick is still in shock that Mark & Bill were so quickly eliminated. They were a team that Nick & Starr knew from the get-go they wanted to hook up with. Nick admits that it was good to see them go as they were afraid of what damage could be done. Surprisingly, Nick & Starr give compliments to Kelly & Christy! Their athleticism and competitiveness kept Nick & Starr on their toes. They then turn to Terence & Sarah, who became their “arch-enemies,” although Nick isn’t quite sure how that got established. Both freely admit luck helped them win out over Terence & Sarah at the Fast Forward.

Phil wonders how the million-dollar prize will change their lives. Starr tells him that she and Nick plan to move in together in NYC, which will help with their rent situation. Nick is an unemployed actor so this money will be a huge safety net. Other than that, the whole situation is too surreal for them to really answer Phil’s question just yet.

After The Amazing Race

Frat Boys Farewell: Dan is extremely proud of Andrew’s performance in the race, especially in terms of how they raced together. If Dan was having difficulties in tasks, Andrew would always step up and get them going and wouldn’t get upset when Dan would have these problems. He knows their friendship has gotten better because even in the tensest of moments, Andrew would be a rock and not freak out. Andrew would also embrace taking on the majority of the Roadblocks as he enjoyed the challenge. Dan doesn’t always have the greatest of self-confidence so seeing Andrew’s example has been instructional.

For Andrew, it was an experience to finally go to places besides North America. He figured he would get to travel one day but The Amazing Race happened first and provided a fantastic opportunity. After having studied city planning in school, he got to visit some of the major cities around the world. That exposure will help him build a better career since he’s had a chance to actually experience the cities as opposed to just reading about them in books.

Dan’s Favorite Moment: Marching in Russia? Alas, no. Actually it turns out to be the cholita wrestling experience in La Paz, Bolivia. Dan has had a childhood wish to do performance wrestling so finally getting to perform in a crowded arena was a dream come true. The crowd, the costume, and the excitement all made for a cool moment. Even better was that Dan was doing well and could help out his team while Andrew was watching. The whole experience was like one of the life checkboxes.

The Winners Reflect: No longer out of breath, Nick admits he was the pessimist from day one. He stressed to Starr that they could not be the first eliminated but that it was still entirely possible. Of course they ended up in first place that leg. But that next morning, Nick was back to “we could be eliminated this leg.” Nick knew that winning could be a possibility but it never felt like it would happen. There were many moments throughout the race where he felt helpless and that there was nothing that could be done. Yet somehow they made it, whether it was Starr who pulled them through or by Nick’s efforts.

Regardless of their many first-place finishes, Starr discloses the race was not easy by any means. After every leg they would wake up the next day feeling like a train had hit them. The other teams who were always on their backs were constant stress too. Bad luck and good luck were equally present and elimination was always around the corner. The Amazing Race was not easy but they worked hard together and their dynamic balance helped immensely.

Nick is proud that their team was one that never gave up. They maintained a positive outlook and they were always on their game. He feels that they earned this win, and I have to agree with that. Nick continues that the first win he attributed to luck, but after their second win he realized that it wasn’t just luck. He recognizes things could have gone completely different too.

So Close: Tina tells us that they had many ups and downs during the race and that it brings out the best and worst in you. All the emotional and physical stress adds up and she thinks that both of them revealed darker sides. But overall they had more ups than downs. Tina did get to learn a lot of new things about Ken. The ability to travel so much and experience so much as well as seeing his commitment to her and the marriage was wonderful. She believes in him and can’t imagine not being with him.

Tina always wanted the marriage to work yet wanted to see the same commitment from Ken. During the race she got to see all the aspects of his commitment. She knows he has that commitment now. She also knows that his declaration to her in a public forum at the final Pit Stop was tough and shows he meant it. She’s certain their relationship will work out and even though they don’t have the million dollars, they gave it their all.

Ken’s Big Decision: Ken had decided to give the wedding rings to Tina about two days before the end. He hadn’t been certain about it before that as he realizes people don’t change all that much. You have to take stock of the person as is and see if he or she is someone you can live with. He knows they both would have been okay with ending things and going on to different lives. They probably would have been happy that way, but he isn’t a quitter. He recognizes that there was potential in their relationship to have one of the most dynamic marriages around. He loves many of the things she does.

The gesture of the rings was his commitment to her for the rest of his life. If she were to accept then she was agreeing to that as well. He recalls that Tina would always hesitate because of Ken’s “one foot in, one foot out” attitude to their marriage. His action should wipe those doubts away as it meant that he loves her and is there till the end. You know, I actually hope that it works out for them!

Extra Footage from the Race

All in Good Fun: From Tina’s tone, it’s obvious this scene is right after they left from the tree-jumping Detour as she’s lecturing Ken on how to be a better coach. If he’s going to be a coach, he better be a positive coach or he shouldn’t bother being a coach. He then fires back with if she’s going to be a wife, she has to be a better wife, or she shouldn’t be a wife. She grins and tries to turn it around on him being a husband and then they kid back and forth a bit. Ken explains out loud that that was all in fun and there has to be some levity. As he’s saying that, Tina gives him a side glance that tells me she didn’t think it was levity.

Ken tells us that it’s not fun being second place but the taxi driver should probably slow down as the Oregon State Patrol is alive and well. He doesn’t think speeding will make up enough time to risk a ticket that would sidetrack them for 10-15 minutes. He passively instructs the driver to slow down on the next section of road.

Segueing to the just-finished Detour, he thinks that it was a lot of fun. He loves being back in the Pacific Northwest and reminisces about the roads and skiing areas in Oregon he’d visited before. Tina is quiet.

The Wrong Airport: The video starts looking out a taxi windshield that is obviously Russian as the taxi driver has not only the Russian flag on the dashboard but also a little stuffed bear. I’m sure all Russians have these items in their cars. We can now hear Ken & Tina grumbling and that no one was paying any attention. It turns out they’ve headed to the wrong airport. Tina is frantically looking for her Moscow map and Ken tells us what we’ve just figured out. They’re both scared they could be out of the race before it even starts.

Tina finally finds her map and finds the airport that they should have gone to on the map. They’re both wondering how their cab driver could have thought they wanted to go to the other airport. Ken sees how far they’ve gone and is dismayed. Tina tries to retrace their steps from the hotel and the path that was first taken. She figures out that it’s not too bad especially considering there’s no traffic during the early morning hours.

Back on American Soil: Both Nick & Starr are excited to be home but neither can really let it soak in as the final Pit Stop is potentially a few hours away. Starr finds it surreal to be able to read the signs, but the race isn’t over. Nick finds it strange that they’ve literally made it around the globe and gone West Coast to West Coast. They’re both still surprised that they’re in the final leg.

Starr loves to be back on a normal freeway with no horns honking and stopped traffic. Obviously they’re not in Los Angeles, which she realizes too. She can finally appreciate how wonderful things are in the U.S. Nick looks back to look for the other teams but they haven’t seen them yet. They’re paranoid because whenever they’ve been confident in first place, another team would inevitably zip right by them.

Different Point of View: Dan is frustrated. He knows that he’ll blurt things out during the race that sometimes are wrong but sometimes are dead-on. For instance, at the airport he knew that the cab driver could make or break them. But when they chose their taxi driver, neither of them seemed to really care. Dan says that he mentioned something to Andrew when they were choosing a cab but Andrew was unresponsive. Even Andrew’s body language was ignoring Dan and was getting into the cab.

Andrew disagrees. He says that Dan was led to a cab by seemingly the manager of the cab company and that’s how they got there. Dan disagrees with that and says that Andrew spent ten minutes messing around with a cab’s computer trying to find their destination. Dan wanted to move on but Andrew wouldn’t. Dan realizes he wasn’t assertive enough and didn’t put his foot down when he should have. The passive-aggressive fest continues as both blame the other for getting or not getting into another cab. It gets tedious.

Finally Dan says he’s felt guilty about making executive decisions and Andrew having to go with it. He doesn’t want to be the boss and wants to incorporate Andrew into the decision-making process. Dan didn’t want to dominate the team. His reluctance based on past experiences in the race has now cost them lots of time. Then the blaming continues again. Accusations of thick accents and an inability to use the GPS fly. Oy. Is anyone surprised they didn’t win? Is anyone surprised still that they were still in the final leg? Uh, yes.

The Things Champions Do: Apparently Dan & Andrew missed the first bus off the plane while Ken & Tina and Nick & Starr didn’t. Nick & Starr had already finagled seats up in the front of coach and Ken & Tina wiggled their way up to business class near the end of the flight. These actions secured their place in the front of the plane and are, as Dan puts it, “the things champions do.” Dan feels that they didn’t do any of that.

Andrew pipes in that he tried to move to the aisle seat but Dan shoots that down since moving one seat over isn’t the same thing as moving 20 rows up. Dan keeps beating up on his team and says they’re not proactively doing the things they need to be. Dan brings up an idea he had on the plane. They would get to the first leg marker first, wait for the other teams to arrive, then pay the two other cab drivers to leave. The other teams would be screwed as getting a cab in the suburbs isn’t easy. But now they’re getting there last and the whole plan is ruined. Dagnabbit!

Frat Boy Follies: This mysterious video appeared recently which documents the many misadventures of Team Dandrew. In fact, as the first clip reveals, this is CBS’s response to Andrew’s assertion that there should be a compilation video of all their mistakes. Tada!

Here’s a listing of all the glorious moments: Dandrew getting splashed on the side of the road; Dandrew getting on the boat in the pushing-the-boat challenge; cutting their feet up in the stomping-kiwis challenge; inability to put the blowcarts together; inability to pump the gas from the drum; inability to iron clothes (and even Mother Nature mocks them); getting attacked by the color-powder Indians; counting the wrong numbers on the power-line challenge; bickering during their walk up the hill; totally losing their shoes at the cow-costume challenge; YES! The marching of Dan is present!; and finally, taking a cab to the Kazakhstan Pit Stop when they were supposed to go on foot. Yes, they made for quite a blunderiffic team!

Elimination Station

Finale: The opening music stays the same but instead of Acapulco sights, we see the sights of Portland. All the teams have arrived at Portland’s airport and head into town to their hotel. They get settled in and eat some food, and then Terence & Sarah make their surprise entrance. Everyone jumps up and greets them with hugs and cheers. The group tells them that they really were expecting Terence & Sarah to win, which makes the loss even more frustrating for them. Especially if Nick & Starr continue winning over and over. Privately Terence & Sarah comment on Nick & Starr rubbing them the wrong way.

At night, they’re all waiting around a table with a phone on it. Curiously, Kelly & Christy have not arrived yet. Speculation is around who will be calling them. Most are certain it’ll be Dan & Andrew. When the phone rings and a man says hello, everyone says hi but no one knows who it is. They ask and Toni & Dallas reveal it’s them. There’s video of Toni & Dallas sitting inside somewhere, yet it looks like it’s right after Toni & Dallas’ elimination based on their clothes. The group is shocked that it’s Toni & Dallas and they listen in shock at Dallas’ retelling of the passport debacle. Naturally the group wonders what they’re going to do to get out of Russia and Toni tells them she isn’t sure yet and that’s what they’ve got to still figure out.

The talk leads to everyone being in shock that Dan & Andrew are now in the final three. Mark exclaims how nuts it would be if they actually win. Everyone has a good laugh. Dallas asks if everyone will have a drink for him and Toni at the finish line. The group is certain they’ll be there, though, and they’ll make it back in time (that didn’t happen!). No one can believe that happened to them. Mark frankly doesn’t think it’s possible that Toni & Dallas can make it back in time. Sarah believes some magic will happen and Toni & Dallas will make it.

Now we’re at Pittock Mansion, the final Pit Stop for the race. The entire group is waiting on the steps of the mansion. We now see Kelly & Christy, who have finally arrived back in the U.S. from India. They’re certain everyone will be happy to see them. Of course, now that the race is over, they’re right. Cheers and hugs ensue as they rejoin their fellow eliminated racers.

We are now at the giant final Pit Stop mat where the eliminated racers are lined up along the path. Marisa & Brooke want to see Nick & Starr show up. For Sarah, she is pulling to see Ken & Tina win it. Mark is hoping and hoping that it’s Ken & Tina too. Yet the video cuts forward to Nick & Starr racing towards the finish first. Mark finds Nick & Starr to be gracious winners.

Nick wasn’t sure they actually were in first until they rounded the corner and saw only Phil on the mat. He almost broke down and stopped running. Then Ken & Tina are shown running in to secure second place. Ken admits to being disappointed. Finally, Dan & Andrew round the corner to a repeated cry of “Dandrew.” Anita loved seeing Dan & Andrew again as they were the sweetest guys and it was great to see them make it so far. Andrew liked seeing all the teams again, especially since he beat them fair and square.

Ken is happy to have done the race with Tina and to have stuck it out to fight for their marriage. He knows now they’ll be together for a long, long time. For Nick, he can’t imagine doing anything like The Amazing Race and to come out of it as the winner? It’s an out-of-body experience! And that’s that.

It’s been a pleasure recapping these bonus Insider videos for RealityNewsOnline. I hope that if you didn’t have the chance or patience to sit through the many advertisements embedded into the clips, that these recaps served their purpose well!

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