It's Like Adam Building His First House!
The Amazing Race 4: Finale


It's a plane! "Previously on The Amazing Race - " Philo's voice comes on, but wait, because today we have a very special Previously: this is the finale, so we have a previously of all last twelve legs of this Race. Teams of Racers racing from Dodger Stadium to 38,000 miles across the globe, Philo says, and moments of eliminated Racers are relived. Sookie and Jackson tumble and trip their way out, Chris can't find the correct mask and takes Amanda packing with him, Cindy and Russell squabble and hate and fatally buy the ticket to the wrong town, Father and Freak drive out of the show, Kabung and Kabang take the flight to Loserville, the Hot Mommas lose their way and their chance, the Cordelias make up but lose out, the MillieChuck self-destructs beautifully, and the Sideshow Bobs miss the early flight to victory. Fiacre scandal, queue spats, tire-slashing threats, airport door hold-up, Molest Express Mumbai, "Where're the damned caves?", Koreans no speak English, almost killing a woman in Australia, breaking planks, eating live octopus bits, Chippo's gorgeous sisters in Sepilok, and a handful of reason why Chippo should always take a freezing swim in Korea. Good times, really great times, all. And so here we are, at the final showdown between our three final teams: the Oily "We Made It This Far - Does Anybody Really Care?" Bohunks, the angry DADT, and the ferrety and weaselly Barrs. Philo talks about how the Racers have "conquered greatest fears!" - Sookie on the bridge, the Hot Mommas jumping down a mountain slope - "conquered great challenges!" - Millie the Mole sucks on an inhaler - and calls the Bohunks "a force to be reckoned with!" (haw haw haw, snort), the Barrs "a co-ed team" (ooh-kay), and the DADT "persecuted by adversaries" -fiacre fight, Oily Bohunks accusing the DADT of having a sense of entitlement - "language difficulties" - how do you say "SPEAK ENGLISH!!!" in Korean? - "challenges that are hard to swallow" - octopus, yummy, yummy, yummy, erk... it's all pretty funny, actually. Kudos to the editors and writers for putting together the wittiest and most ironic wordplay in what must be the best opening "Previously" sequences ever.

By the way, this is a very special The Amazing Race finale for me, because this is the first time two of my favorite teams make it this far. In Season One, I supported the Frat Bastards as well as Frankenstein and his Bride Mongie, but only the Frankenstein and Bride made it to the final Three. The Guidos are too much like cartoon characters while the Esquire Lawyers are dull, dull, dull. Ah well. In Season Two, I could only root for the caustic duo Tarable and Wail that quarrel, bicker, and spite each other even as they run a truly excellent and strong race. I still say they deserved to win that season. The Boston Bulldogs are appallingly dull-witted while Team Sparkly White Teeth creeps me out. In Season Three, I liked John Vito and Rambette Girl as well the Zoolander Twins, and none ended up in the Top Three. Flodungka and the Mumbler are painful to watch, the Tubby Sibs are cool but I could never warm up to them, and the Tokens are harmless to watch only when compared to the presence of the toxic Flodungka. But this season? Never mind the lethally dull and clueless Oily Bohunks, the Barrs and the DADT are up there in the Top Three! Two out of three chances that my favorite team wins isn't too bad. Although I have an uneasy feeling that the Bohunks will win - after all, none of the teams I ever rooted for has ever won the Race.

Beach! Islands! Sun and sand. We could only be in Australia. Philo confirms this as he walks down the beach in a lovely greenish shirt that hugs at his body in the lovely seaside breeze. A pity a typhoon doesn't hit and blows that shirt off Philo the Yummy Manboob Man. He reminds audience that the Teams are now at Ellis Beach, the "tropical north coast seaside paradise" of Australia - cue a woman walking on the beach in a bikini, and I wonder how come they never show guys in swimtrunks in these "paradise and beach" montages - where the Teams spend twelve hours resting or doing whatever they need to do before leaving for the ultimate final leg of the Race. Because we have spent quite some time reliving the previous twelve episodes, the show decides to skip any Pit Stop drama like maybe Roseanne and Chippo trying on each other's lipstick and exchanging tips on where to get the best mail order catalogues for sexy lingerie and plunges the audience directly to the race.

It's 1:47 am, and the Oily Bohunks are leaving the Pit Stop. Their Clue tells them to drive 20 miles down to the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park where they will have to participate in some aboriginal tribal ritual involving fire. Uh oh, Mark Burnetto is so going to sue. In his voiceover, Ugly Shorty says that they have come this far because everything went exactly like they planned. If I take into consideration how many times they get lost, overlook important clues, and make bad decisions like jumping into the wrong trains and buses because they don't think, Ugly Shorty is such a transparent blow-hard. Wait, it gets better. "We make the least mistakes," he insists. Cue shot of he struggling to close the back door of their vehicle, the door bouncing back from his first attempt to slam in down, almost hitting him hard in the forehead. It takes three times for him to finally succeed in getting that damn door shut. The least mistakes, huh? If you say so, guys.

The DADT open their clue envelope at 2:14 am. It's time for their usual Gay Agenda Voicover again. They say that people obviously don't expect them to get this far - gee, I don't know, the fact that the last two out of three winners are all able-bodied male teams make not be that good an indication that the DADT will make it this far, I guess. Top Gun says that the DADT is here to prove that not all men are queeny and effeminate nellies. Actually, it's very easy to pooh-pooh them about the straight acting versus nelly thing, I do understand however where they are coming from. With nelly stereotypes permeating everything on American TV and with "nelly" being the current fad on TV (Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, anyone?), I can see why DADT can be annoyed with the portrayal of their family. Even critics within the gay community are divided over the straight-acting/nelly black-and-white stereotyping of the community, some lamenting the community's overriding tendency to idealize the nelly state as the perfect concept of the gay institute while paradoxically treating straight-acting males as ideal sex icons (how many effeminate nellies do you know that are considered sex symbols by the gay community as opposed to the Justin Timberlakes and Vin Diesels?). It will be very easy for a heterosexual armchair viewer like me to say "Pooh! Look at the previous gay teams on TAR - they're capable!" but if I look closer at the Guidos and the Cha-Cha-Chas, guess what? They fit the very stereotype that DADT is hoping to break. Of course, DADT is actually the stereotype of the polar opposite of nellydom - they come off like typical straight-acting, emotionally closed-off gay men. Still, a critique of Gay TV is not what this show is about, just as Mumbai Affirmative Action isn't, so I do wish these guys will chill down a little on the gay agenda thing. It's not convincing to talk about winning a Race just to make a statement because you aren't really making a statement when you're Racing to win a million dollars, unless that statement is "Gay people too can win a million dollars!", and even so, I don't see any rule prohibiting gay people from buying the lottery or hitting Las Vegas. Oh, and they also reveal that Teams get a dollar for this leg of the Race.

The Bohunks have arrived at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park only to learn that the park opens from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. The DADT drives up soon after that. Top Gun has changed those yellow shorts to red ones today. I better look closely to see if Dan is wearing them afterwards.

Speaking of Dan, the Barrs pose artfully for their departure from the Pit Stop at 1:38 am. Roseanne realizes from reading the clue that the other two teams are now probably staring at the closed gates of the park. "We can still catch up!" she tells Dan. Aw, Dan cackles, it must really stink for those boys that the Barrs will be catching up. Roseanne's cozy interview sees her saying that the Barrs have been pretty stupid at the last leg of the race, so "it's surreal" that they actually made it this far. Dan nods and says that their "strictest" competition at this leg of this race with with themselves. I think he's saying that they must try to make the least mistakes this leg so that they can win the money and have the best fancy-schmancy wedding ever. They are both annoyed and amused that they receive only a dollar for the leg of the Race. Maybe the show has to pay off that poor woman in Australia for the way the Bohunks assaulted her like that, so they have to economize as much as possible. What next? Instead of flying, maybe they will have to paddle their way from Australia to America!

Dan talks about being in an even playing field while the three teams huddle with each team member or just hug themselves, looking cold and uncomfortable as they count the minute until 6:00 am. How amusing. Wasn't he complaining only a few legs back about bunching? Then it's 6:00 am and the gates are opened by this really sexy and muscular guy in a really cute loincloth outfit that they should make more Australian men wear. Meanwhile, annoying windpipe music plays as the three teams dash to this clearing where more sexy and muscular men in loincloth and ceremonial gear pose like an United Colors of Benetton catalogue gone Tribal Sexy. If there is a more shallow reason to go back to nature, this is it. Sexy guys with sexy thighs bend over to make fire. Roseanne says that it is good to take a breather to watch the ceremony. Tell me about it. I'm so going to Australia. Then these sexy guys with sexy thighs talk about fire and wave fire around. Everyone looks scared when Chief Sexy Thighs throw the torch across the pond to some trees and set these trees on fire. It's quite dramatic in a really cheesy tourist sideshow way. Then a fellow aboriginie brings a basket containing what looks like sticks. The Teams stare rather stupidly at the sticks, probably wondering what scary things they are expected to do using those sticks. Then Chief Sexy tells them that the sticks are the clue. The Teams make a grab for the sticks, causing the poor guy holding the basket to almost drop the whole thing, heh.

The Clue tells each Team to drive to the General Aviation Terminal Airport. The Bohunks are leading the way, the Barrs stuck in the middle, and poor Chippo is again foaming as he's stuck at the back. Dan talks about everybody being on each other's ass. This is one gay-sounding joke the DADT isn't laughing at though as Chippo grits his teeth and looks like he wants to burst into Hulk form and smash every car in his way. Dan looks at the rear mirror and remarks that Chippo is trying to cut him, but Dan says Chippo won't succeed as Dan is from Jersey. Huh? Maybe people from Jersey will get that remark better. Meanwhile, Chippo voices-over that Dan annoys him because that man is always making jokes when Chippo is trying to be serious. The more Dan makes jokes, the more Chippo is determined to "get an edge" over Dan. Since Dan is in a different vehicle from Chippo, I don't see how Chippo feels annoyed at Dan at this moment - unless Chippo and Dan are telepathic and Dan is taunting Chippo using their telepathic bond or something. Stop using Dan as an excuse, Chippo, admit it: you're just psycho. Top Gun says that he is "petrified" at being stuck in the back seat while Chippo is driving. Of course, with Top Gun's range of facial expression (Botox?), it's really hard to tell. Top Gun adds that it's raining. Honey, you've seen him in the dune buggy yesterday, and you still let him drive today, in the rain. You deserve what you get, so stop complaining.

Chippo decides to cut Dan one more time as they reach a roundabout. "Be careful on this roundabout," Top Gun says. Chippo naturally "Aaarghs!" off Top Gun's caution and makes a turn. The vehicle skids off the road and falls into a ditch. Watching the lunatics in the rear mirror, Roseanne gives an excited shriek, "Oh my God!" Then she looks closely and probably seeing signs of life (no doubt Chippo going berserk on the steering wheel), she laughs and tells Dan to keep driving - "they're okay". Dan is laughing like a nutcase all this while, hooting that he just knows that this is going to "f**king happen". Roseanne manages to stop laughing to tell him to drive slower so that they don't do a TNT like the DADT. Then they both start laughing again when they look at the rear mirror and see the DADT's vehicle back on their tail like that terminator that just won't stop charging on. "Oh my God! They're back behind us!" Roseanne gasps again amidst laughter.

Meanwhile, still cool, still not a hair out of place, Top Gun tells DADT, "We can't do that again."

"Nope," Chippo agrees. And no doubt presses on the gas as he speaks.

All three teams pretty much reach the airport at the same time. The Bohunks dash into the hangar where the clue stand is located, followed closely by the other teams. It's Detour time. A Detour is a choice of two tasks and each Team must perform one of them to advance onto the next stage of the Race. Today's Detour is "wing it" or "wander it". "Wing it" will see the team getting onto a plane, tie an instructor onto their back, and skydive 10,000 feet to a landing patch below. "Wander it" will require the Team to drive to a mangrove swamp, take a boat and paddle and navigate yourself through the swamp, and get to the same landing patch to get the clue. It's a no-brainer here, of course - "wander it" is like an instant exit out of the race. "Good job, bro," Ugly Shorty tells Ugly Hairy as they decide to choose "wing it". I don't know why they are congratulating themselves over choosing the obvious... wait, we are talking about the Bohunks here, so okay, never mind, let's move on. The Barrs and the DADT also choose "wing it". Each team get into a separate airplane which then takes off to the air. Woo-hoo! Roseanne begins to express her fears even as she says that Dan will love everything that gets his adrenaline pumping so he will love to "wing it". Gee, Roseanne whining about this task. I didn't see that one coming.

The Bohunks are talking about how this is the first time they are skydiving. Ugly Hairy looks down from the airplane and says, "Oh my God!" It occurred to me that these guys' vocabulary range seems to be limited to at most two pages of the dictionary, abridged and simplified edition. Top Gun says that after experiencing Chippo's driving, this skydiving thing is easy-peasy. Funny, I'd expect an ex-Air Force guy to be more stoic - don't they ever do parachuting exercises before? Chippo looks very scared though. Look at the bright side - at least he's not the pilot or we will all be scared. Roseanne, meanwhile, is really, really scared because she looked down from the plane.

Roseanne loves to skydive! Ugly Hairy, with a smiley-faced instructor strapped to his back - the guy looks like he's really enjoying himself there, jumps off the plane with a loud "Woo hoo!" Roseanne meanwhile is slowly working herself into a panic attack. She says that her stomach is caught in her throat (er...) and then, she realizes that she can't do this. She can't! Ugly Shorty jumps next. Oh dear, will Roseanne jump or not? In the end, she says that she isn't given a chance to back out. Her instructor all but pushes her out of the plane without much ado. Then she is screaming all the way down. Dan is happy too, especially as he has a guy pinned onto his back as he goes into free-fall. Ah, bliss. Dramatic Vangelis sort of music comes on as this is a Very Dramatic Moment - dum dum dum dum! Chippo gives the camera a thumbs up before he too takes a dive. Then Top Gun follows. The Vangelis rip-off track booms louder into a crescendo as these guys open their parachute thingies and slowly move adrift over ocean and land. It's pretty breathtaking, the scenery. It occurred to me that should I manage to join The Amazing Race, at least I will leave the race with memories of exciting things I've done, unlike Survivor or Big Brother where at the end of the day all I can tell my grandkids is how unpleasant people in general are.

"Unbelievable! Holy cow!" Yup, that's Ugly Hairy, in his usual flat monotone, summarizing his experience most succintly as he lands on the landing patch. Ugly Shorty lands next, and they both high five each other for completing this Detour with all their limbs and teeth still intact. It could be worse - they could somehow miss the landing patch and end up in Papua New Guinea instead. Now that will be sad, isn't it? They receive their next clue, which tells them to fly to Hawaii and get to Kaulana Bay, which Philo explains is the "southernmost point of the United States". The Bohunks are naturally excited to be going back home. They dash to catch a cab to the airport.

The Barrs make their graceful landing with Dan telling nobody in general, "You might want to check her pants. I think she might have taken a leak." Dan, we've seen you pinch a guy's nipples and wear the same pair of underpants for several days now. The last thing you should do is to pretend that you're more classy than your girlfriend. Roseanne admits that she's very scared, but once she's in the air, everything turns awesome. Then they get the clue and they too are running off to flag down a cab.

Chippo lands on the ground. "Where's my boy?" he asks. Aww, that's so sweet. Why did you two break up after the Race? Then Top Gun makes his entrance and they get the clue and run off to get a cab. Everyone's happy that they're going back to the United States. I suggest that if we have a next season, we end the race in Mongolia. That will really be fun to watch.

While the Barrs and the Bohunks ask their cab drivers to take them to the international terminal of the Cairns airport, Chippo asks the cab driver to take the DADT to the domestic terminal instead. He explains that Qantas folks are very accommodating sort that will help you in any way. So in this case, they can get tickets to Hawaii at the domestic terminal, which I presume will have a shorter queue and less hassle or Chippo won't be heading that direction. Oh Chippo, you're so smart. You must come with me when we go visit sexy aboriginies in Australia or go swimming in a river in Korea. We'll use Qantas, naturally.

At the international terminal, the Bohunks are trying to get tickets. Ugly Shorty in the cab has come to the conclusion that they have to go to Sydney to get a flight to Hawaii. So at the airport, when they realize that Qantas' hub is located in Sydney and so they will have more flight options there, their belief that Sydney is The Place To Be is solidified. Roseanne notices that the Bohunks are trying in a not very subtle way to cut the Barrs from seeing or listening to what they are doing, so she and Dan decide to talk to another fellow at a different counter. She learns a crucial information, which she whispers into Dan's ears as she embraces him (so that the Bohunks won't suspect a thing, you see): there is no point, as she puts it, in going to Sydney, because there is no available seats on any flights from Sydney to Honolulu today. The Barrs quickly purchase tickets from Cairns to Honolulu via Tokyo.

Isn't this funny? Last week the Bohunks kept silent when they notice the Barrs miss out on taking their Kodak Easy-Share camera. Today, it's payback time as the Barrs gives it back to the Bohunks even ten times worse. When I consider how it was Roseanne that talked about karma in the first episode, I must say this season's show editors deserve an award for the excellent show they are putting on for us.

The Bohunks, on the other hand, learn also that there are no flights out to Honolulu from Sydney until tomorrow, but they decide to charge ahead to Sydney anyway. Ugly Shorty says that in Sydney there are more flight options after all, and they are confident that they will find an earlier flight out somehow, somewhere. So it's onwards to Sydney, oh Bohunks, onwards ye go! Dan, watching those idiots walk into the departure terminal, says that the Bohunks just jump on the first flight out of Cairns without thinking of the "big picture", which he concludes is most likely a mistake. The Bohunks being on this Race is a mistake anyway, so hey, all the more power to the Bohunks if they mistake themselves out of the Race. I can't be happier.

Meanwhile, the DADT are all smiles as they walk into the international terminal to collect their boarding passes. They meet up with the Barrs and realize that they are all going to board the same flight: from Sydney to Tokyo, where they have then only 45 minutes to catch the connecting flight to Honolulu. Top Gun expresses concern over this short time they have, because they will have to collect their boarding passes at Tokyo for this connecting flight, and when one factor in things like customs clearence and all, 45 minutes may not be enough. If all goes well, they will be in Honolulu at 6:55 am tomorrow.

The Bohunks are now in Sydney. Ugly Shorty is quite petulantly whining into a phone that he wants a flight to Honolulu and he wants it now. Really, he says "now". Good luck, you two. Haw, haw, haw. Meanwhile, Ugly Hairy has been talking to a female airport staff and she must be the one that told Shorty to make the phone call, because when Shorty hangs up, she asks, unnecessarily, "Did you do it?" like how a schoolteacher will check a slow student to see if he has washed his hands after using the toilet. It turns out that Ugly Shorty has been trying to get tickets on the Japanese Airlines to Tokyo and then to Honolulu. There are no more seats left. Gee, maybe because the Barrs and the DADT took the last seats? Haw, haw, guffaw, guffaw! Ugly Hairy says that this failure to get seats on the JAL flight is the "first dagger" on them. Oh, see them wander disconsolately as they walk from counter to counter, phone booth to phone booth, only to learn that there are no tickets out, not through New Zealand, the Polynesian Islands, Timbuktu, or La-la Land. Ugly Shorty voices-over that they spent three hours trying to get a flight, any flight that will get them out of here. Look at the bright side, you two. There's plenty of time to sneak into the toilet and light a bong. You know you want to do it.

Meanwhile, the other two teams are now in Narita Airport, Tokyo. Roseanne voices concern over the 45 minutes they have to get their boarding passes and wonders aloud whether the DADT being at the same flight as them is a good or bad thing. Now they must find where they must go to catch the connecting flight. The DADT asks one Japanese lady, the Barrs ask another. The Barrs must have caught the stupid one, because once they get on the connecting shuttle bus like the lady asked them to, they see, too late, the lady waving at them and asking them to get off. Oops. Meanwhile, the DADT is led to the correct place, the United Airlines counter. The Barrs get off soon after, but Roseanne points out that they still haven't gotten their boarding passes yet. Cut to the DADT getting on a shuttle bus which I presume must be the correct one. Roseanne and Dan are at the wrong terminal and while Dan talks with another female staff, Roseanne says that they made a mistake and they are at the wrong terminal. They will need to catch a shuttle bus to go to the correct terminal. I presume that shuttle bus must the one that has just left carrying the DADT. The Barrs run to catch the bus, but as we have seen, the bus has already left. Oh dear. Nonetheless, the lady Dan talked to is very helpful, as Roseanne explains how the lady actually calls up a special bus to come up and take them to the correct terminal. I won't profess to understand half of what the Japanese are thinking (any country that comes out with lesbian schoolgirl porn cartoons and arcade machines that allow a person to stimulate fisting a woman's vagina is definitely a "WTF?" moment for me), but this is what I call service.

While Roseanne is loudly praying and hoping that they will make the connecting flight in time, Top Gun is working his magic at the counter for the DADT's boarding passes. Chippo sits back on the couch and wearily mutters that Top Gun is "on a roll" and comments that Top Gun's "gorgeous face and his sweet demeanor" are working its magic. Listening to him, I feel quite sorry for him. Chippo, don't be so self-depreciatory on yourself. I find you cute and gorgeous and when you go all king-kong on the road, I think it's sweet. Really! Watching him talk about Top Gun in that tone that suggests how he doesn't know whether to love or hate Top Gun for being so gorgeous and so sweet, I can understand how they have troubles in their relationship that even a million dollars can't smooth over. Come on, Chippo, really, you are gorgeous. Keep that self-esteem pumped up, baby!

The Barrs run up to the counter soon after the DADT walks into the departure hall. The man supervising the whole departure thing stops them. Dan angrily protests that the people they are traveling with made the flight so the Barrs must be allowed to board the flight too. Roseanne sighs and tells him not to be, in her words, a "dick". Dan noticeably struggles to contain some really choice words he must be wanting so badly to unleash on both the supervisor and Roseanne and asks in more pleasant tone to be allowed on the flight because their names are on the boarding list. The airport lady that got them the bus and apparently followed them here then steps up and fires off a rapid stream of Japanese to the man, alternately bowing in respect to Japanese chauvinism and patriarchy when she catches for breath. No luck though. The man is adamant. He tells the Barrs that it is really too close to departure and they have already closed the gates. He tells them that there's a later flight to Honolulu though. Dan tells him that well, the Barrs need to be on this flight. Again, no. Roseanne sits down on the same couch that Chippo just sat earlier and watches as Dan continues arguing with the man. Meanwhile, the Honolulu flight takes off, leaving the Barrs behind. "Throughout the whole race, Chip and Reichen getting on that plane without us was the lowest point for me," Roseanne voices-over sadly.

Top Gun is happy. He says that not only did the Barrs miss the flight, the DADT are seated in business class by mistake thanks to the chaotic bustle on the plane. They drink champagne after a toast to the camera. If they look at their tired faces and unkempt clothes in the mirror, they won't be so smug - they look like rats stowed away in first class.

Back at Heartbreak Airport, Dan and Roseanne sit wearily at opposite seats, facing but not really looking at each other. Then they walk up to each other and embrace. Surprise: no arguments or pushing the blame here. They must be really feeling defeated. Still, Dan jokes weakly that there may be an outbreak of diarrhea on the plane that will prevent the DADT from running. Hah, you think that will stop Chippo? Eeuw, I wish I haven't said that, because the image I have of Chippo running to the finishing line while... let's just say it's just ghastly. Dan says that he is trying to stay positive because there will be equalizers on the Race, right? They finally board the next flight to Honolulu that will land at 8:05 am, as opposed to the DADT landing on 6:55 am.

Hawaii! Palm trees! Sand and beach! At around 6:55 am, the DADT arrive at the Kona International Airport. In the marked vehicle that they take from the airport carpark to make their way to Kaulana Bay, Top Gun says that it feels good to be home. He knows the DADT is ahead of the Barrs, but wonders what happened to the Bohunks. He shrugs, saying that the Bohunks will have found their way here by now. Well, that's possible. If a passing UFO gives the Bohunks a lift, that is. Hey, anything's possible.

Speaking of the Bohunks, there they are, finally getting on that flight from Sydney to Honolulu. Ugly Shorty says that they don't see any of the other two Teams here (gee, I wonder why) so maybe the Bohunks are at the back of the pack. Yeah, maybe. He says that who knows, maybe those two Teams will make a big mistake that will let the Bohunks catch up. Because, remember, the Bohunks made the least mistakes on this race. Hope springs eternal, especially for arrogant simpletons.

Uh oh, Chippo is looking steamed up again behind the wheel. What could be the matter?

Meanwhile, the Barrs are finally at the airport. They are Very Serious Now. Dan drives, very serious. Roseanne is actually studying her map with the grave sobriety of a dowager checking her will to make sure that there's no loophole that will allow her useless family members to get a cent from her after her passing. Top Gun, meanwhile, is complaining that theyare stuck behind the "biggest loser who's ever driven a car" - no, not Chippo, but the slow car in front. Actually, the car in front isn't that slow, but you know how these things are in a race for a million dollars.

Top Gun says that they can't cut the car in front because that loser just won't let them pass.

The Barrs' Very Serious Mood doesn't last too long, thank goodness. Dan is now bitching about Chippo while driving. He says that Chippo, being the most intense guy on the Race, will most likely cut somebody's throat to win. Then he pauses for a moment in thought, before admitting that he'll do that too, that cutting throats to win thing. So he's cool with Chippo. I'm starting to think that this season Bonghammer found his Racers from a pool of anger management school dropouts. Cool!

Finally, the DADT manage to pass the loser's car - with no throat slitting in the process, I sincerely hope - and the two guys are noticeably more relaxed now. Top Gun now tells Chippo to drive as fast as he wants, only that he slows down around corners. It makes sense, if you ask me. They finally spot the Route Marker on Kaulana Bay and quickly get out of their vehicle. It is time for a Roadblock, where only one Team member must perform the task in order to advance onwards in the Race. This time, the Team member must swim and dive under the waters a short distance from the bay, near a tiki marker, to collect a white stone. This member must take the stone back to the beach and use a hammer and chisel to break open the stone and get the clue inside. Top Gun doesn't want to get his pretty and nicely slicked down hair messed-up, so Chippo valiantly strips down to his shorts - hey, what happened to those bulgy bikini thingies? - and grabs the white rock. "He's got it! He's got the rock!" Top Gun says as Chippo gets out of the water. You'd think Top Gun has never seen a rock before. Then Top Gun watches as Chippo starts to work on the stone. Ah, Chippo, the things you do for love.

"Nice," Top Gun says as Chippo manages to make a chip on the stone.

"Ow!" Chippo yells.

Uh oh.

As Chippo starts chipping slowly at the stone, the Barrs are driving towards Kaulana Bay. We're looking for a time constraint for Chip and Reichen. Hopefully they can get delayed a little bit," Dan says to the camera.

Oh dear, Chippo is losing his patience. Looks like the stone isn't being a good boy and split open like it should. Every time he hammers the chisel, the chisel slips and falls onto the stony ground.

If they are allowed to redeem themselves, Dan vows, he and Roseanne will not make any mistakes.

"All! The! Time! Wasted!" Chippo roars as he goes berserk on the poor stone. He is no longer hammering the chisel, he is stabbing the chisel onto the rock and hammering blindly but furiously. He will no doubt be howling like a crazed babboon if he isn't gritting his teeth. Top Gun says that he is tempted to step in but he reasons that he doesn't have to because Chippo is "extremely motivated". Smart man. Chippo is holding a chisel and hammer, and when he's looking like that, I'll be very, very quiet too. Finally, the stone collapses under Chippo's brutal hammerings, revealing a clue that tells them to go to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Top Gun tells Chippo that Chippo did awesome back there and now it's just them not making any more mistakes for the rest of Race. Yes, Chippo, you are awesome, truly. Now stay far, far away from me.

The Barrs smooch a little after Dan agrees to perform the Roadblock. Dan, remembering that he's wearing what is probably his only underwear and saying that he doesn't want them to get wet, wonders whether if it's okay that he gets naked. Roseanne dares him to get naked. And, er... "That's a full moon, baby!" Roseanne hoots. "Be very careful," she calls as Dan swims for the stone. "Don't damage the merchandise!" And when Dan comes out of the water, "That's a big... rock!" And that's a big... blur. As Dan gets to work, Roseanne asks if he wants to put his "panties" back on. He shakes his head and gets to work. "It's like Adam building his first house," Roseanne cackles.

Big rock! Hammer away, big boy!

Side view! Not shy, that boy!

As you can see from the fourth screencap, Dan is not a shy guy at all.

Top Gun announces that he's very good at reading maps because apparently they are headed in the correct direction. Chippo grunts and grits his teeth. Careful, dear, you'll ruin those expensive dental caps.

Finally Dan manages to crack his stone and voila, there is the clue! As he gets dressed, Roseanne runs for their vehicle. Is that Playgirl calling on the mobile?

The DADT finally turns into the Chain of Craters Road and runs down the dirt track to reach the Clue Stand. Now they learn that they must go to the Baldt Anchor of the USS Arizona, one of the warcrafts that sunk in Pearl Harbor in 1941, in Phoenix, Arizona. It's a 2,900 mile trip. In their vehicle, Top Gun brings up the fact that there are two possible airports they can head towards to fly to Arizona - one in Hilo, one in Kona. He asks Chippo to drive to Hilo because Hilo is closer to where they are.

The Barrs soon locate the route marker at the Chain of Craters Road. Roseanne asks Dan to go to the Kona airport, however, because she reasons that while there is only one airline flying out of Hilo to Honolulu, there are several in Kona. So there are more plan Bs available in Kona, so to speak.

The DADTs are fortunate enough to catch the flight that will get them to Phoenix via Honolulu at 8:17 am. The mature lady behind the counter looks really taken by Top Gun as he lays the charm thick on her as he tells her how they need to go to Phoenix really, really quick. Personally, I find Top Gun's polished and somewhat monotonous smoothie charms a little too insincere, but hey, different strokes for different people. I like my guys a little more human and even psychotic, like Big Chippo here. The Barrs are also fortunate enough to catch a flight just in time (they made it just five minutes before the boarding gate closes) to Honolulu. "Woo-hoo!" Roseanne says, "We've made the flight!" Dan and she perform a high-five. However, the Barrs neglect to arrange for a flight to Phoenix beforehand like the DADT did back in Hilo, so they spend some time in Honolulu getting the tickets. They learn that DADT is four rows in front of them. Meanwhile, the DADT are not wasting time at the airport. They begin making enquiries as to where the USS Arizona anchor is located. They manage to find some old coots that actually remember the war, and one guy in particular seems way too excited at being approached by guys with TV cameras. He actually makes up calls and looks up the airport World Wide Web facility to give the DADT the exact location of the Baldt Anchor - 801 West 6th Street Chester. Chippo proudly attributes their successful information fishing trip to just what wonderful people persons the DADT are. Yeah, you're a people person until they put you behind a wheel. Meanwhile, the Barrs make what time they have to fish for information, but none of the persons they talk to come up with the details as exact as what DADT obtained from the helpful old coot.

Both teams are on the same flight to Phoenix. As the Barrs see the DADT approaching where they are seated near the departure gate, Roseanne waves at them. The DADT just look straight ahead. Roseanne says in a half-irked, half-amused manner that the boys don't even look at her, much less wave. Chippo says in his cozy interview that he and Top Gun are focusing everything on the Race right now so while the DADT likes the Barrs, sorry, no chit-chat today. This is silly, if you ask me, because it is not as if by ignoring the Barrs, the DADT will be gaining a ten hour lead over them or something. There's nothing wrong with a little chit-chat as they board the plane, is there? People persons, my ass, Chippo. Meanwhile, as the Barrs board the plane, Dan says that this is their one rare chance to get a million bucks, and he's not letting this chance get away. Ooh.

Voiceovers on the plane: Roseanne says that she and Dan are "fried" but she wants to beat the DADT and show them who's boss. Dan describes the Race as a "roller coaster of emotions" and it is important that they focus because one mistake will cost them the million bucks. Chippo says that he will be racing in an airport like "crazed animals". You know, I like Chippo, but I think I will be really scared if I come across him in a bar and he starts talking like that to me.

Hello, Phoenix. "Taxi! Taxi! Taxi!" The Barrs watch as the DADT get into the first cab, leaving them standing at an empty cab stand. Bummer. Meanwhile, the DADT are teaching the magic word "Go" to their hapless cab driver. Top Gun offers the driver fifty bucks if the man gets them to the Anchor ASAP. Meanwhile, Dan passes a hundred dollars to the Barrs' driver and promises more if Mr Cab Driver, who must now think that his birthday has come early and "Ooh, it's just like in the movies!", can get them there ASAP. The advantage is on the DADT's side though, as they have the exact address to the Anchor. The Barrs don't. The DADT's cab driver offers to take freeway, but Top Gun points out that while the plane was landing at Phoenix, he noticed that the freeway was congested. He suggests that the driver take the longer but less congested route. Lucky for the Barrs, Dan is insisting on them taking the freeway but their driver is aware of the congestion on the freeway, and he is telling Dan why he is not keen on following Dan's instructions. Dan's argument - and the fact that they are not sure where the Baldt Anchor is - cause the precious minutes to tick, tick, tick by.

The DADT gets to the Anchor first and the clue tells them to go to the southeast entrance of the Sun Devil Stadium. Go, go, taxi man! The Barrs are next, and then it's also go, go, taxi man, except that it's also ouch for Dan as he tries to vault over the roadside railing to get to the cab only to slip and bang his jewels against the railing.

Top Gun offers their cab driver another fifty bucks. Cheapskate. Dan offers a hundred to his driver to drive like, well, Chippo and get them to the entrance like now.

The DADT reach the stadium first. Chippo tells the cab driver to turn the cab around so that the cab faces the direction of the exit. Smart, that one. The DADT then runs into the stadium to where the next Clue Stand is. The clue simply tells them, "Happy Valentines Day + White + White". It's a puzzle, Philo says helpfully. The Team must locate section 214 (2/14 - geddit?) and look for Row 33 (Wilford White's shirt number is 33) and Seat 11 (Danny White's number is 11). The numbers could be seen easily as the players' names and their numbers are painted along the wall of the stadium. That is, if you know what you are looking for anyway. The DADT figure out the Valentine part, but hits a brick wall where the rest of the clue is concerned. As the Barrs come closer to catching up, they look at Section 2, Seat 14. Nothing. I would presume they look at Section 14, Seat 2 too. Finally Chippo moves to Section 214 and calls Top Gun over. They start looking randomly around, and finally located the Clue stuck under the correct seat more by luck than anything. Hey, cheaters! Mensa will not be happy with this. Oh well. Anyway, then they are off. Chippo, taking the clue, tells Top Gun that they have to get out of here so that they do not lead the Barrs to this place should the Barrs burst in unannounced. Looks like someone is still smarting over the Ellis Beach Cowboy Show.

The Barrs arrive at the Stadium and run to the Clue Stand. The DADT is meanwhile urging the cab driver to get them to the west parking lot of Papago Park, which is what the clue at the stadium seat asks them to go. At the parking lot, the Team will have to get on mountain bikes and cycle all the way to the Finishing Line and one million dollars. Ooh, one million dollars! That's a lot of cosmestic enhancement treatments for Top Gun with some leftover for Chippo's anger and stress management classes!

The Barrs figure out Section 214 quickly and they also noticed the numbers 33 and 11. For some reason though, Roseanne adds 11 to 214, which gives 225 but certainly not what they are looking for. Nonetheless, she soon realizes that they must go to Row 33, Seat 11, and they pull out their clue triumphantly. It occurred to me that the Barrs should win this thing if only because they actually solved the puzzle instead of hitting around blindly like the DADT did.

The DADT's cab is heading towards the Papago Park.

So is the Barrs'.

Roseanne is optimistic that they can beat the DADT.

Then look, a cab pulls up. Who is it? Who, who, who? Oh, it's the DADT. It's quite anticlimatic. They ride on their bikes as some Dramatic Boom-boom-boom Crescendo-Overkill music comes on. Look, there's the finishing line. Lining at each side of the Mat To The Finishing Line are the eliminated teams and... er, guys and gals, can't you at least look a little less fake in your excitement? Seriously, only the Cordelias are jumping and looking really happy when the DADT cycles up to the start of the Mat To The Finishing Line.

The Barrs get on their mountain bikes. Ah well, you two did a great job nonetheless. Fans of cool, bitchy, and funny people all salute you two!

Team DADT runs up to Philo. They have been dreaming of this moment. They can taste it, and now they can reach out and grasp it -

"Sorry guys! We made it here first sixteen hours ago," Ugly Hairy announces. "What took you so long?"

Kidding, people, just kidding, so settle down.

Philo announces that the DADT is team number one to the collective grumbles of "Great, another alpha male team, bah humbug!" all over the world. Chippo takes the opportunity to launch into his speeck, "The hardest part about this race was to open up to the other people on it." The camera then zooms on Millie the Mole. Hi, Millie! Anyone opened you up yet? I mean that in a non-sexual way, of course. Chippo then continues, saying that he and Top Gun are Americans and more importantly, gay Americans. Um, okay. I think. And then, he goes on to say, their victory is proof that gay people can do anything just like... er, non-gay people, I guess. Does he have a point to make here? Chippo, yes, you and Top Gun are gay. But, what's that got to do with you winning the Race? Then again, maybe he's saying that there are very few accomplished gay people around that make good role models for the community. Is that it, Chippo? Why do I even care? Chippo, take the money, smile, and go take up some driving classes.

Anyway, yeah, so you two won. I'm okay with it, because I like you two. Still, good luck with that second try at being a married couple again, and I hope it works out okay for you two. I'm not sure about Top Gun wanting to be in a soap opera (I can only imagine what the conservative audience will say to that!), but still, best of luck to you two. And especially to you, Chippo. I have a feeling that you will need a lot more luck in this.

Aww, my favorite team, the Barrs! They run up to Philo, along the way Roseanne giving Chippo a half-hearted high five gesture, and then Roseanne bursts into tears when Philo tells them that they're in second place. I feel like crying myself. How hard it is to be so close yet so far away to sweet victory and a million dollars! Dan holds her as she weeps onto his shoulder, telling her that it's alright and he's proud of her for being here with him as the last woman on the Race, and how they have done some many great things along the way. In their cozy interview, Roseanne says that the Race has tested their relationship severely but in the end, she says, "When the chips are down, all you can do is lean on each other." And she puts her head on Dan's shoulder. How nice. And they're getting married next year. Isn't that great?

Hmm, did we forget someone? Oh yes, the Bohunks. Cut to the dark, dark night at the Chain of Craters Road, where out come the Bohunks wearing torchlights on their heads as they step out of the cab. It is 5:30 am. It is raining. It is dark. The Bohunks are wondering where to go in the dark. Seriously, someone hand the editors of this season a big freaking prize, because nothing will top this beautiful scene. Ugly Hairy laughs as he asks, "Are we first?" while he opens the Clue envelope. Hey, that's actually funny! The Clue says, "Chip and Reichen have crossed the finish line. The race is over. Jon and Kelly came in second." Hee, hee, hee! Looks like someone has been Guidoed! Ugly Shorty says in a voice-over that yeah, it sucks to be third because this is not what they have planned to do (oh really?). He then prattles on about how the Race has taught him not to take things like intelligence for granted. Ugly Hairy racks his brain for the three preprogrammed phrases before settling on "It was a blast!" to describe his experience on the Race. Those two, in the dark, wet, alone, abandoned, forgotten, give each other a high-five and walk away into the night. How... appropriate, really.

Back at sunnier and brighter climates, the Cordelias and the Hot Mommas hug the DADT while other teams clap and try their best not to show too much green color on their faces. Top Gun then says in the DADT's cozy interview that the DADT's victory proves that gay people can do what straight people do. A noble sentiment, really, but all this gay affirmative action talk is wildly blown out of proportion here. It's not as if these two guys have found the cure for cancer or something. They just played a near-perfect last leg to win a million dollars, narrowly edging out the Barrs only because they have a little more luck on their side. But if the DADT feel that they are doing something for the community, and I have to agree that in a way, they are helping to make the gay community more visible in the media and hopefully something good will come out of that (and I don't mean Top Gun's soap opera ambitions), hey, good for them. They won the Race, after all. Good job, boys! Top Gun goes on to say that he feels "safe and happy and protected" (how corny) when he's with Chippo. Ahem - mad man driver - ahem! Chippo says that he can't have done this without Top Gun. Then they go home and break up. Hmmmph!

All teams pose for the finish, in which Chuckles look quite constipated and Freak isn't even clapping with the rest of the team. The DADT hold hands high. The Bohunks are not there, of course, invisible from start to end. Then it's a wrap, and the season's over. Except that we didn't get to see that long, sloppy wet kiss that the DADTs give each other because CBS cut it off. I'm not kidding about the kiss, which has been confirmed by the DADT as well as several Teams in post-Race interviews. So in a final exercise of brilliant irony that has been the trademark of a surprisingly ruthless and cutthroat season, the smart editors finally show that while they may let the DADT talk about super homos coming to change the world, heaven forbid they actually show a lovey-dovey kiss and offend the advertisers! So, in a way, DADT is right, thanks to this show that gives them a chance to be right.

And oh yes, a big Screw You Assholes to TCS5 of Singapore for censoring every, and I do mean every, DADT scene that sees them talking about their homosexuality. Thank goodness I get to watch the uncensored episodes on cable TV.

And like they say, that's a wrap. If there's ever a The Amazing Race 5, and let's hope there will be, do come back here and join me for another round of silly people running all over the globe for money, love, and fame. Survivor Pearl Islands is starting in two weeks time, so don't forget to join me!


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