“The Amazing Race 23” ended with a bang on Sunday night, and with a closing leg that felt like one of the strong ones in the history of the show.
But, before we get to that, let’s at least spend a moment eulogizing the team that finished in fourth place: Leo and Jamal. The Afghanimals have no one to blame here but themselves, making a variety of mistakes (or at least Leo did) during a roadblock in Japan that he really should have excelled at given his physical strength. They were at least a team that shook things up, and tried to keep things interesting. While they weren’t our favorite team for most of the season, we would say that we’d rather have them in the finale than Travis and Nicole.
The biggest standout from the entire episode for us? Getting the return of the supremely entertaining Japanese game show. Only two teams did this challenge, but the entire banter between Tim and Marie and the host was pure GOLD. These two single-handedly destroyed that host’s hope that these crazy kids could find a way to figure it out.
Now that we’ve said all of this, let’s just say that we completely disliked Travis this entire episode. He was terrible to his wife, and you could see it in her eyes that she was depressed to even be there since she knew he was not going to be happy with her. Their holier-than-thou attitude the past few weeks has completely destroyed their likability.
In going to that final leg, the reason that we really liked it was because it felt like it was almost entirely skill-based. Thanks to the remaining teams being in Juneau, there was no traffic. It was all based on completing tasks … and Jason and Amy (shocker!) won. It felt for the past few weeks like they had the inside track, and they were set up well to do this. They each complimented each other well, and each person canceled out the other’s weakness. It’s just a shame that this was so predictable, and that we didn’t have winners that popped off the screen more.
Tim and Marie were the runners-up, and we actually liked them more in the end than Travis and Nicole.
Overall, this was a heck of a season. It was a little bit of a letdown in the end with the winner, and a leg that should have been a little closer, but at least the show tried to make things interesting. Grade: B+.
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