Phil Keoghan blogs 'The Amazing Race' finale: episode 12

Philkeoghan_l_2Another season in the can. I think season 14 was definitely one of thebest we’ve ever done. Ranks right up there with some of my otherpersonal favorites – seasons 1, 3, 5, and 7 to name a few. We had anextraordinary final three heading into Sunday night. We had a feistyall-female team in Cara and Jaime and who had what it took topotentially claim the first victory for the women; we had the Team thatyou may call this season’s “underdogs;” and lastly Tammy and Victor,who may just have a bit more practical skills than I ever gave themcredit for.

I was at the finale party in NY last night and Victor actually called my bluff and wanted to challenge me to a tire changing contest. However, he did admit that they struggled driving a stick shift and that he had bruises all over his legs from being a bit uncoordinated – if you think back, the propeller Roadblock wasn’t exactly a whirling success.

In addition to the season 14 cast, we also had some past familiar faces at the party last night including former Racers Tom and Terry, Sarah and Terence, Kelly and Christy, Nate and Jennifer, and even Drew from Season 1 showed up. Really fantastic to see all those guys coming out to show their support for this group of globe trotters.

Seeing as this is my last blog entry for this season, I thought I would review some of my favorite moments from Season 14:

·    Cannonball Cheese Wheels: If you ever hear the line "Watch out for the cheese," you know you have a great season on your hands.

·    Big Brother Doesn’t Always Know Best: While in Romania, Victor insisted they were going in the right direction. He was wrong. Turned out to be a game changer for the winners as Victor learned it’s a Team sport and not a dictatorship.

·    Mat Meltdown:  Who was to blame? Even several weeks following the infamous meltdown, we’re still debating who was in the wrong.

·    Most expensive potty break ever: Kisha and Jen work so hard as a team to battle back through a challenging leg and with a spot in the final three on the line, Jen makes a quick bathroom Pitstop.

·    Last night’s Roadblock: Love the moment when all three teams are running neck-and-neck. Great finale episode last night.   

As I’ve stated before, I really love when teams’ relationships grow on the Race and I honestly feel like Tammy and Victor’s matured right in front of us. They learned to feed off of each other, communicate with one another, and most importantly listen to each other. And I believe they’re probably walking away from the Race with a better relationship than when we started.  I have a lot of respect for those guys.

As far as their strength in the game, they were like the NY Giants two season’s ago…they got hot down the stretch and everything started clicking for them. They ran one heck of a race in the final couple of legs. Don’t get me wrong, we knew they were a strong team when we first saw them, but I think most of us thought their relationship may trip them up along the way.

Luke and Margie were definitely one of my favorite Teams we’ve ever had on the show. Their relationship is truly compelling and whether or not they were your favorites, you have to give both of them a ton of credit. Not sure they were on anyone’s final three lists at the start of the season. Margie – or as I call her, “Bionic Woman” – is as competitive and strong willed a human being as I’ve ever been around. And Luke, who was probably the biggest Race fan ever, never let any obstacle get in his way and clearly never will.

Cara and Jaime definitely played a strong game. When we first saw this team we knew they were strong enough physically and mentally to make a serious run at the million dollars. They were also relentless in their pursuit of becoming the first all-female team to win the Race but came up just a bit short. I’m sure Cara was a great cheerleader on the field, but she is definitely an all-star off the field. She always maintained her cool throughout a very hectic race and was always supportive of her friend and teammate. 

Just want to say thanks to everyone for tuning in this season and for coming out to support me on my Ride Across America. It’s been a crazy couple of months. I am going home now (via airplane) in a much wider and more comfortable seat to gear up for season 15.

More ‘Amazing Race’:

‘The Amazing Race’ recap: episode 12

Comments (109 total) Add your comment
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  • jason

    Great season and thanks for the blog Phil.

  • tickles

    Phil, I hope you read this and can tell me why there is no reunion episode or 2 hour finale for the Amazing Race? I, for one would love to hear from the racers more about the challenges they face and what it is like to be a part of the Amazing Race. Heck, Survivor get basically a 4 hour finale every season. Why are the Amazing Race fans always getting shortchanged? Last I heard it is your show that wins the dang Emmys!!
    (Are you reading this CBS?)
    Keep up the good work. You are great!!

  • Pamela

    Really bummed that Margie & Luke got tripped up by the final piece of the final task. Their winning would have truly been the BEST.TAR.EVAH! Another young, athletic couple winning? Not so much.

  • Adam

    It was heartbreaking to see Luke lose in the final challenge. They deserved the win, and it’s too bad.
    If there’s an All-Star Race again, they will definitely be there.
    http://tvdonewright.com/2009/05/11/tv-tonight-monday-may-11th-2009/

  • Steve

    Good to see the best team win in Victor/Tammi. You could tell Phil’s love for Margie and it’s well deserved, but I couldn’t stomach seeing Luke whine, er, win. And taxi karma was fitting for the cheerleaders.
    Dunno if I’d rank it above the best seasons ever. You get an A in the casting department – interesting teams without being bickering couple or model heavy. But this race gets an F in the planning. Too many U-Turns or Yields at the very end and too long in China for having a team that speaks Mandarin! AND NO MORE GROSS FOOD CHALLENGES. EVER. OK?!?!
    I did love the rolling cheese, though, and the cream pies – that just all came at the start.
    But a good year overall – as always, love the scenery and the race itself. And the characters were interesting – just plan a bit better. Still love the race, though! Thanks for a good season!

  • Lene

    Fantastic season! Thanks for the blogs. One suggestion to take TAR from perfect to beyond: a reunion show a la Survivor. It’d be great to see you interview the teams, relive some things, call certain people on their… erm… cool. Please? For next season? See you then!

  • WayBeyondSoccerMom

    I can’t tell you how terrific it has been to read your blog weekly, knowing your grueling bike riding schedule. Thanks for all your insight.

  • kristin

    I agree with tickles, why has there never been a reunion show? We would love to have these guys raked over the coals over some of their decisions! Even the cast of Big Brother have a finale/reunion (why, I have no idea!). Come on Phil, hook us up!

  • kristin

    Oh, I forgot to say: Phil I love you dearly but you need to take some blog pointers from Probst and make fun of the racers more. Especially when they deserve it!

  • James

    Great finale! Tami/Victor – aside from the Transylvania meltdown – ran the best race overall. They don’t really need the money, but they deserved the win.
    Margie is wonder woman, but Luke was pretty much just dead weight, making her do everything. I thought he would redeem himself at the end (and almost did#, but he gets way too frustrated too easily.
    And speaking of which, how awesome was that taxi dispatcher? #I am NOT your personal concierge!# Loved it!
    Good teams, great sights and the ending challenge was GREAT, but the disgusting food challenge and unfair U-Turn in Russia to go with poor planning/mega-bunching keeps it from being among the elites either for good #Chip/Kim win – hooray!# or heartbreaking #Freddy and Kendra?? Boo Train!).

  • rbk

    Sucks that the lawyers who garnered an unfair advantage in China win it. Didn’t want to see that at all.

  • Teresa

    I am so sad that the season is over, but was cheering Victor and Tammy on! They were my choice to win after jen and Kisha got the boot. Tho I haven’t commented on any of your blogs, I really enjoyed reading them each Monday! See ya next season!

  • RBlues

    Yes, Phil, why is there NO reunion show?

  • AA

    Thanks for your blogs Phil–enjoyed what insight you could provide while on your ride! And count me in as someone who would love a reunion show. Maybe you don’t have them because too many people are no longer “couples” by the time the race ends its airing?

  • D

    Soooo very sad that Luke frusrated himself toward the end. I felt for him soooooo much, wanted him and Margie to win it soo bad. They truly had the fighting spirit to win! I DO NOT agree that Luke was dead weight, he was a team player…Luke and Margie, WE LOVE YOU BOTH!!

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