Amazing Race 19

Wednesday, December 14, 2011
From left: Cindy, Phil (Host) and Ernie 
This season's outcome proves that winning the first leg is an indication that Ernie and Cindy would win the title. Honestly, I was not really happy about the final result because I and my sister rooted for Andy and Tommy who were consistent and definitely, the strongest team all throughout the entire race, winning 6 out of 12 legs including two Ford Mustangs, which made us think this second time around that Ford victories are bad luck especially that last season, our favorite team, Zev and Justin also won two 2012 Ford Focus models, who received the same fate and ended up fourth place in AR 18.

Moreover, I could really say that this season is less amazing than the previous one, however, there were few things that added much excitement to AR 19. In the first race for instance, Kaylani and Lisa encountered a hazard task wherein one of them should perform an indoor bungee jump inside a mall in Taipei, which really is something I would want to try if I was in that race. (This one's mine Pu - FYI, I and my sister always argue which of us would take a particular task if we're the ones racing.. :))

Another task I would not really forget from this season is that specific attempt that requires a team member to cross a tightrope between two San Francisco Towers in Panama City, rising up to 35 stories, one would walk 20 meters across. That. was. just. intense. height. task! A perfect therapy treatment for those who have fear of heights. :)) Well, I would also not forget a particular landmark in Brussels, Belgium, the Atomium monument which I just added on my landmark trip list next to Statue of Liberty. :]

Andy and Tommy, finished up in fourth place
(personal favorite team for this season ;))
The reason why we anticipated the win of Andy and Tommy this season is even that they have such effortless way of racing the entire game, they finished up winning half of the 12 legs. Indeed, they just seemed so relaxed that they raced just for fun without taking in mind that there were other teams competing for the million dollars. There were numerous times that they even helped other teams figuring out some difficult tasks which is something that we would not ever forget from these two - a showcase of charity within the race, which maybe is the reason that they never made into the final race. Anyways, what future teams can significantly learn from them is their keenness to details. There were few times that they actually did not check in first into some of the pit stops but since the teams ahead of them missed to do some important details of the task, they ended up winning those legs. Plus, I think this race was designed for them or just maybe, Andy is a professional snowboarder so all the tasks that required strength, agility and speed are not but a common advantage for these two.

Enough for the preconceptions... Well, the three teams who raced in the final race were Jeremy and Sandy, Ernie and Cindy, and Amani and Marcus. Ernie and Cindy won two legs prior to their win of the title. They were well, not my favorite teams because Cindy tended to be so dramatic during stressful tasks and this couple always was dead serious on winning legs, the exact opposite attitude shown by Andy and Tommy. They actually had a chance to make a good advantage of the express pass they received for winning the first leg but it was utterly useless (other teams must have used it worthily). Surprisingly, Jeremy and Sandy are the least team I have ever imagined making it into the finals because they never won 1st place not until the 11th leg. Plus, they're just common couple who always argued with each other every time one committed mistakes and so on. And most importantly, Jeremy and Sandy are just the most terrible team in navigation that they always got lost heading to a particular destination. My last hopeful winning choice for the final race was Amani and Marcus, who were not really the best team but also won two legs. They got their inspiration from their four kids in which there were times that they could have been eliminated from the race but 'cause of the perseverance and ideal motivation of not quitting any tasks, they made it to the final three. 

Eleven participating teams in Amazing Race Season 19
(Click the image for full view) 
For me, what really inspired me this season of amazing race is the participation of Bill and Cathi, the oldest team who joined the race and finished up in 5th place. They just proved that age does not matter for as long as you have the strong will to never give up on any tasks during the entire race, and that the race itself reflects to our long life journey. I must also quote the final message of Amani when she and Marcus finished up in third place, "I think the big lesson in this is that you're not gonna win at everything but whatever you do, do not quit." (And I literally cried at that point.)

By the way, the final race was not exactly I expected the way it should be because it was not a close one, Ernie and Cindy gained a very wide lead over other teams. But I really liked the flight simulation task where both team members are to perform airplane landing from an altitude of 2,500 feet to complete this task which was really, really awesome. Wish I could go through the same experience, it was just like it was real flight! :))

To sum it all, teams raced 64,372 kilometers in distance, visited 10 countries from 4 continents and well, it hasn't failed to tell the audience why the race is called amazing having all the twists, surprises and challenges laid out. And so we do hope that Amazing Race 20, that is announced to be aired by March or April 2012, will be a little more amazing one than the previous seasons. (I'm gonna miss you Phil!)


Who won the Amazing Race 18? Click here.

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