‘The Amazing Race 20’ finale review: A winner in Hawaii

Who came out on top?

While “The Amazing Race” did not exactly have the most-likable final three in the history of the show Sunday night, there was at least plenty of drama when it came to who ended up coming out on top. After all, we’ve never had a finish quite like this before…

Leg One (Japan)

Before we even get to the final leg in Hawaii, there was something else we had to get through — a leg in Japan that was both fascinating and frustrating at the same time.

First things first, we were frustrated in having to watch yet another equalizer soon after the teams arrived at Hiroshima, though we are glad that it allowed them all to really start to understand what happened to this city in the Civil War. While we wish the show did a better job at really illuminating the massive loss of life here (which was over 150,000 when you consider the effects of the radiation), it was a much-needed moment of reflection on a show that does not often allow for this.

The one major turning point in this leg was really a ridiculous Roadblock that forced one team to take part in a traditional Japanese game show that required some running on a treadmill in order to grab a rubber chicken … and this is especially hard when the team member required to do it thanks to race rules has a bum ankle. Vanessa (of Vanessa & Ralph) were screwed from the get-go thanks to this, and ended up going home because it took them so much longer to complete this.

In the end, we knew these two had little shot at winning — but they at least did bring plenty of drama to the show when it came to their rivalry with Brendon & Rachel.

Leg Two (Hawaii)

We definitely saw an interesting conclusion to this season here — though it was far than what anyone expected (even if the ending was still predictable).

All three teams arrived in Honolulu at the same time, and there were some interesting movement throughout the entire leg. While Rachel & Dave cruised through the early portion of the task, they made a crucial error thanks to (of course) a cab driver. They did not follow their instructions correctly after being led to the wrong place, and in the process arrived to the finish line before even doing the final Roadblock.

What was rather surprising, though, was watching Art & JJ ultimately end up torpedoing their own chances at winning the race thanks to their inability to do the final Roadblock that Rachel & Dave managed to actually pass them. Not only that, but Brendon & Rachel even ended up passing them at first, even if the border patrol agents passed them after the sledding portion was complete.

We were a little sad to see Brendon & Rachel in third place for the season. We actually found ourselves rooting for them through the finale after Mark & Bopper were eliminated, and they are at least more entertaining than the other two teams who arrived at the finish line. Ultimately, we do wish there was some more excitement when it came to the tasks during this leg — there was nothing that brought the leg together, and it felt just like every other leg.

While we were hoping for some sort of exciting conclusion, we really didn’t have one — and with eight first-place victories under their belt, they are officially the most-successful team in “Race” history.

Are you happy that they won?

Photo: CBS

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