The Amazing Race's Social Media Star Season, tl;dr: #AmazingRace #LosAngeles #Meh
Racers throw themselves off of buildings and heave themselves over chasms in their final pursuit of the million dollars, but the most amazing feat of all is that they actually manage to make that stuff look pretty boring.
California, Here We Come
Phil gathers the final three teams at the mat in Shenzhen to inform them that the final exotic locale on their itinerary is Los Angeles, which we're given to understand is a major metropolitan area in someplace called California, wherever that is.
Once racers have landed and located the random old folks' home (yes, really) where the first cluebox lives, the show wastes no time in throwing a Roadblock at the teams: "Who's ready to take a leap of faith?" In other words, who's ready to hook themselves up to safety wires and jump off the roof of a building to snag a clue out of midair? Dana agonizes about the Roadblock for a minute, wondering if she should take this one in case the next one is incredibly physical, but in the end, Matt takes it and snags the clue with no difficulty.
Tyler and Korey spend way too much time hunting for the cluebox and get knocked back to third place, although their safety guy, Brandon, is ridiculously hot, so it's hard for them to be completely devastated. Meanwhile, Sheri has offered to take this one for the team, since her fear of heights is marginally less paralyzing than Cole's. But once she's rigged up and standing on the edge of the building, her fear gets a bit more paralyzing, and we cut to commercial on a classic "I don't think I can do this."
Jumping To Conclusions
Sheri gets it together enough to take the jump, but she falls short, enabling Tyler to make a grab for the clue, but he, too, misses it on his first shot, and Sheri gets hers on the second try. Tyler finally snags the clue on his third try, and Korey jokingly accuses him of dragging his feet a little so that he can have more quality time with Brandon.
Next up: a short chopper ride to Santa Barbara, where teams are directed to look for "Theresa Ann." Dana and Matt borrow their driver's phone to discern that it's a historic boat. Meanwhile, Tyler and Korey wonder aloud if Teresa Ann is a Real Housewife, and Sheri and Cole have conflated "Theresa Ann, docked near the Maritime Museum" with "Theresa Ann Museum."
The dancers find the boat, but they also apparently failed to watch last season, because they've let their cab go, and finding another one is a dicey proposition in this relatively quiet area of Santa Barbara. While Dana and Matt have been relatively invisible (and therefore, I'm guessing, fairly functional in the relationship department) lo these past few legs, the Dana who earned them their meager few minutes of screen time is starting to reemerge as they commence the ten-minute wait for a new cab; thus, we get our second consecutive "I don't think I can do this" commercial break ("this" now being "stand around for ten minutes waiting for their ride").
While Sheri and Cole agonize over the erstwhile Theresa Ann, Tyler and Korey are able to make up a little bit of time; they spot Sheri and Cole shortly after they've found their clue and there's a small kerfuffle as Cole badgers Sheri to pretend they've just gotten the clue from some other boat. Tyler and Korey are not fooled, though; everyone gets their clue and it's on to the next thing.
Dana and Matt unwrap a clue at Gibraltar Rock, which requires both team members to perform some sort of "synchronized mountaineering." One team member rappels; one team member is suspended over a gorge, and the speed at which one team member moves dictates the speed of the other team member's movement. There's a little yelling from Dana, but as with the leap of faith, they're basically flawless at it.
Naturally, Cole is far from thrilled to discover the nature of this task, although he seems to take it in stride -- if he's terrified, you wouldn't know it as he kind of beasts his way across the gorge. They're finishing up just as Tyler and Korey roll up (are you sensing a theme yet?). Korey thinks they've probably made up time, but they're still eating everyone's dust.
Elsewhere on the course, Dana and Matt find the vineyard that's the site of the next clue, but the clue itself proves elusive. Will they find the clue? Probably right after the commercial, if we've learned anything from this show. (No word on whether they think they can do this.)
Yup, about ten seconds later, there it is. This Roadblock is a word puzzle based on hashtags that were included in each clue. (You can definitely picture the boardroom meeting that led to this one: "What else can we do to drive this social media theme home?" "How about these newfangled hashtag things the kids are always talking about?" "Capital idea! Promote this guy!") Fortunately, Dana took detailed notes, so she rocks it.
Apparently, this is also the last thing the dancers have to do before they reach the finish line, so naturally, the editors try to make it seem like Dana and Matt can't find the finish line in the time it'll take Korey or Cole to work out the Roadblock (which is a stretch, since Dana's done before either of them even gets there). This is quite possibly the most transparent editing trick that has ever been tried. Dana and Matt, you are the winners of The Amazing Race. "We'd rather be passionate than boring," says Matt, over a montage of the three or four times we saw them this season. They show off a few dance moves to cap off their victory.
Sheri and Cole, in second place, and Tyler and Korey, bringing up the rear, also learned a lot about themselves and each other, I guess.
Okay, this show usually does go out with a whimper rather than a bang, but this may well be the whimperiest whimper in twenty-eight seasons. Absolutely no suspense, no order-switching, a team with basically no story shows up to collect the million...that means pretty much no reason to watch any of this. Pick your favorite team, pretend that one of them won, and enjoy your hiatus.