The Amazing Race Season 26 Episode 12 Review: “Monster Truck Heroes”

The Amazing Race

After twenty-one days and twelve legs, Season 26 of The Amazing Race finally came to an end last night, also marking the finish of the longest blind date ever for three of the teams. The season has had its highs and its lows, with a good amount of drama and comedy thrown in there for good measure. Despite only one of the blind date couples deciding to pursue a romantic relationship after the race (Jeff and Jackie), the other blind date teams gained something just as valuable: lifelong friendship and, for one of the teams, a million dollars. For the established couples, the race reaffirmed how strong their bond is, even leading to an engagement for Matt and Ashley. Overall, the twist this season was a successful one, as it led to a fantastic season, all culminating in the finale.

For one of the first times, four teams started out running the final leg, which took them to Dallas, Texas. From the start, it was fairly obvious that Mike and Rochelle, the only remaining established couple, wouldn’t see the finish line due to some bad luck. They never even made it to the Speed Bump because of a taxi driver who refused to wait for them after completing the first Roadblock at AT&T Stadium. This was the final nail in their coffin, as they were the last team to make it to the first Detour. By no fault of their own, the race ended for Mike and Rochelle, who, like always, remained positive. Their strong communication and positive attitude got them this far in the race, and if it weren’t for the taxi mishap, they would have had a chance to go all the way.

The other three teams each had the lead at some point during the leg, and in the end, anyone could have gotten to the finish line first. After the Roadblock at AT&T Stadium where Blair was thrilled to get a chance to play on the field, him and Hayley landed in first place, getting to the Detour. They wrangled a cow on horseback and sped off to the next Roadblock, this time with Hayley taking charge of the task. This challenge required her to rappel down Reunion Tower, looking for a clue to find their next location.

For once, Hayley couldn’t blame Blair for things going wrong, as it was her who misled them, taking them to the wrong place. After realizing the mistake, she had to go back and rappel down the tower again, but at this point, it was too late. Their fate was sealed with a third place finish, but the true miracle is that they made it through the race in one piece. The road wasn’t always easy for them, but they proved themselves as true competitors who wouldn’t even let constant bickering stop them from racing their hardest.

By the time they got to the final task of the race, Jelani and Jenny were in first place just ahead of Tyler and Laura, who couldn’t figure out the combination to the lock which would let them start the challenge. They had lost a little time at the initial Roadblock as Jelani struggled to kick a field goal, but they made up that time when Jenny worked with Laura to spot their next clue from Reunion Tower. The two were neck and neck with Tyler and Laura throughout the rest of the leg,  but in the end, they couldn’t complete the ‘Selfie map’ fast enough.

This blind date couple had their issues throughout the race, as Jenny’s Type-A personality clashed with Jelani’s more laid back approach. They both had the competitive nature that the race requires though and were able to work through the differences to form a strong bond of friendship. They came close to winning it all but just couldn’t pull it off.

With the other two teams running into minor struggles during the leg, it left the field wide open for Laura and Tyler to sweep in and take first place. Tyler breezed through the football Roadblock, catching the pass and kicking the field goal on his first try. Despite having a taxi driver who didn’t know where he was going, they made it to where they needed to be the rest of the leg and made up time, thanks to Laura knowing the exact way to go for the final challenge. The ‘Selfie map’ is where they really shined as they worked together to complete the map in the fastest time possible. It came down to that challenge and it easily could have gone either way, but in the end, it was the team who worked best together that won. Laura and Tyler were my personal favorite from the start, and I was thrilled to see them win.

[Photo credit: Michael Prengler/CBS]

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