'The Amazing Race' Season 29 Finale Recap: The (Surprising) Winners are Crowned!
'The Amazing Race' Season 29 Finale Recap: The (Surprising) Winners are Crowned!
Derek Stauffer
Derek Stauffer
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
The Amazing Race is coming to an end for the season. After a return to the stranger team format (which was much more successful than the first go-around but still not fantastic) this weird season of the show is almost over. It is fitting though that none of the teams seem like they really belong in the finale. They might be likable enough (well, they're likable enough if they're not named Brooke) but these aren't the best of the best. Even Team Mom and Dad aren't quite The Amazing Race superstars that everyone pretended they were this season. Yet one of these teams does win and it probably isn't the one you expected to walk away victorious.


Starting with a Pit Stop Crew

The teams head to Chicago for the final leg. It is always vaguely disappointing when The Amazing Race trades in the stunning locales and foreign vistas for the good ole' USA in the finale. The Amazing Race tries to make up for this by jamming the final leg full of challenges. In this case, it starts with a literal race. The teams head to the Chicago Speedway where they must work together to complete a lap around the racetrack as quickly as possible. One member of the team has to change a race-car tire in under 40 seconds and once that is done, the other member must drive that car around the track in under 48 seconds. 

It is a really fun challenge but there does seem to be a little bit of unfairness to it. Since The Amazing Race doesn't really want to endanger the contestants lives, only one team can really race around the track at one time. This means that Brooke and Scott, who arrive first, pretty much stay at first for the entire challenge. It's not exactly what you want in what should be nail-biting competition between three teams but it is the reality. 

Riddle (or Google) Me This!

During the next challenge, things get a little more broken up or at least that appears to be the case due the editing. The teams get their next clue which is very Edward Nygma inspired. (If you're not a huge nerd, that is the real name of Batman's enemy "The Riddler." If you don't know who Batman is, then I'm sorry and you should be studied by science because you're a freak show and a modern marvel.) The teams must solve riddles that correspond to different landmarks in the city. It's a cool challenge and one that the teams should have trouble with but they don't ... at all. It is the age of smart phones and nobodies wanting to be on TV, so all it takes is a friendly (or fame hungry) passerby with access to Google for the teams to work out the riddles. 

The Amazing Race makes it look like it is all jumbled up at this point with the teams being neck and neck. Things are even further thrown into question as Brooke, who has been relatively positive, throws out her first "I can't do it, Scott" of the episode. Brooke starts crying because she doesn't want to let Scott or herself down which is not an improvement over her blaming Scott for EVERYTHING, but it is something. Even though it looks dicey it is all just appearances. The truth is that it is Brooke and Scott's race to lose as they maintain their first place lead.

Brooke and Scott Run Towards Home....

From the riddles, the teams head to Wrigley Field. Whenever this season was filming, baseball obviously wasn't in season, but that doesn't stop The Amazing Race from pretending otherwise. The teams deliver hot dogs to 10 "fans" who are having a "party" in an entirely empty stadium. This whole thing is either the funniest or saddest thing I have ever seen on The Amazing Race and in life. Once the hot dogs are delivered to the sweaty Amazing Race crew/extras, it is on to the traditional final challenge. The teams must recall their entire journey this season. 


While it sounds complicated, this final challenge is probably one of the easier final challenges in the show's history. One member of the team must get inside the Wrigley Field scoreboard where all the Pit Stops are listed. The other member then gets on a one-way radio and tells their partner which position they finished in during that leg of the race. Once all that is done, the teams must do some very, very simple math using their placement numbers to determine a seat section in the stadium where the location of the final Pit Stop is hidden. Trust me, it really is much easier than all that sounds or it might just be because Brooke and Scott make it look incredibly easy.

It is hard to believe but Brooke and Scott absolutely smoke this final challenge. Perhaps the two of them should of communicated by one-way radio all season long because separated by a literal stadium length it is the best they have ever worked together. Brooke and Scott are basically done with the challenge before Tara and Joey even arrive to deliver the sad hot dogs. 

At that point, the season is over. It's not even worth mentioning that when London and Logan arrive at Wrigley, they don't seem to know how one-way radios or binoculars work. There is a new champion of The Amazing Race and it is the one team that nobody, but the themselves, wanted to win. Brooke and Scott come in first and win The Amazing Race. This is the first time that Brooke's crying feels wholly appropriate, in one more ways than one. 

But what did you make of Brooke and Scott's victory? Is this a terrible ending to the season or did they deserve it? Were you surprised that they came on top at the very end? Who did you want to win this season? Who should have won this season? 

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(Image courtesy of CBS)