The Amazing Race Review: What An Ending!

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If your heart did not beat faster during this week’s episode of The Amazing Race, "We Are Charlie Chaplin," then either you don’t like the show or don’t have a pulse. 

What fans of the series were treated to here spanned the gamut of emotions, culminating in one of the most dramatic finishes ever.

Amazing Racers

The first challenge of the leg gave the promise of one filled with twists and turns. Clues that require the teams to talk to the locals and use some problem solving are always far more interesting than any that essentially say: Go here. As expected, one team, Andy and Tommy, were unable to get the clue correct and fell from first to last.

As exciting as the opening challenge was, it was short lived. Any separation the teams created was eliminated by the flight to Panama City, which had all four teams. Why does the race waste such great challenges right before an equalizer like a flight?

The Roadblock in Panama City was incredibly scary and thus awesome to see. However, it did nothing to help any of the trailing teams catch up. Things seemed equally bleak when the first three teams chose the ‘Salt’ option of the ensuing Detour. 

Amani and Marcus breathed life in to the Detour by choosing the other option, only to be driven to the same one as the rest of the teams. Surprisingly and ultimately intelligently, they did not panic and just complete the challenge they were at. They made their driver take them to the ‘Filet’ option and passed Ernie and Cindy and Jeremy and Sandy in the process.

What appeared like it might be a boring episode suddenly became interesting. The leg saved its biggest challenge for last: finding the name of the Pit Stop with their only hint being the destination of some dancers. 

As Andy and Tommy directed their taxi cab to the wrong destination, suddenly anything became possible. Amani and Marcus seemed to have a chance to leap from last in to first, but couldn’t figure out where to go either. When the remaining two teams finished the Detour, my heart started racing.

The teams were so close and yes so far away. Everyone had the Pit Stop in their mental sights but had no idea where to go. Andy and Tommy were hopelessly lost. Ernie and Cindy seemed headed down the same path. Jeremy brilliantly drew a picture of the destination and his cab driver was able to figure out. Amani and Marcus remained at the Pit Stop.

Each team was heading in a different direction, something that must be a The Amazing Race first. With only one team heading in the right direction – and not even remotely being convinced of that anyway – the leg had dissolved in to the biggest mess we’ve ever seen. It was awesome!

Just as quickly as the tension and excitement developed, it evaporated. The cab drivers of Ernie and Cindy, Jeremy and Sandy and Amani and Marcus were all working together and Jeremy and Sandy’s cab driver directed the others where to go. Despite not being able to figure out the clue, Ernie and Cindy and Amani and Marcus were heading to the final leg.

This left Andy and Tommy out of the running despite winning six legs during the course of the race. Afterward, I’m sure they were furious to find out exactly how they lost. Sure, they made a mistake, but Ernie and Cindy and potentially Amani and Marcus (it wasn’t clear) were able to make the same mistake.

It is a mistake The Amazing Race will not let happen again. The rural cab drivers used at the start of the day knew each other and likely talked about what was going on the entire time. They’re just trying to help one another, having no idea that they’re messing with a race. There’s no way the race will be designed with such a potential flaw in the future.

With the clear favorites out of The Amazing Race, the final leg is anyone’s to win. I can’t pick between Ernie and Cindy and Amani and Marcus. What I do believe is that Jeremy and Sandy will not win. If I had to pick, I’d take Amani and Marcus. Picking with my heart for sure.

More from this episode:

  • Interestingly, the addition of Tin Tin to the episode was not a promotional ploy. There’s a Tin Tin movie coming out soon, but we were not subjected to any product placement-like advertisement for the movie.
  • The only good thing about the train ride and plane flight being an equalizer is that no time was wasted showing the travel. Normally, I love that part of the legs, but in this case seeing more of the ending was worth it.
  • The way Phil congratulated the final three teams, didn’t you think it was possible Andy and Tommy were not eliminated and we were going to have a final four?  It would have felt cheap afterward, but they did a great job of building the tension.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.0 / 5.0 (34 Votes)

Well...just watched the finale.
My least favorite couple win.
The episode was a fizzer imho.
Farce. Would Andy and Tommy have won?
We'll never know.
A big win for over achievers though. :-(
Cindy's comments....her parents think she should always be the brightest and best at everything,and winning this proves they are right????
Booooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!! :-D


So comforting to read most other comments feeling the same anger I do.
it is true that only one other team correctly got the clue.
The snowboarders should have made it along with them ,and the others should have had to go back, actually spot a clue for the picture or the writing, and then fastest team back for 3rd place.
Or.....Phil should have allowed Andy and Tommy a 4th spot due to the circumstances.
I don't care who wins now.
I really hope that the Snowboarders and The Cowdy's will be back in a battle of the stars....or a battle of the highest comp leg winners that have not claimed 1st place yet.


FARCE! Cheating cab drivers? Come on, is CBS trying to show that cheating ok? Perhaps producers engineered the outcome of this particular leg of the race? Apparently teams no longer need to reach the pit stop by figuring out the clues and no need to have tickets for the transportation used to reach the destination. The snowboarders were cheated!


Sorry to see the snowboarders out of the race. I think the cabbies should be in it, as they are the ones who got 2 teams to the pit stop! Not interested in the show now, there should have been 4 teams in the finals.


Cant believe the nonsense I'm reading here. No team cheated. They didnt ask their drivers to ring up the other cabbie and ask him where he was going. The drivers did that themselves, trying to be helpful. Helpful (or unhelpful) locals has always been a part of the race. You say the producers shouldn't have allowed it. What were they supposed to do, run the cabs off the road, pull the teams out and send them back to get another cab? Give me a break. Are you honestly saying that if you were one of those teams, heading to the wrong place, and your cabbie rang his colleague and found out where the right place was, you would say "no, damnit, I dont care if we are going to the wrong place, thats where I told you to take us so do it!!!" Yeah, right! Whingers. I understand it sucks when your favourite team goes out, but keep a hold of reality. This program is 99 per cent luck, always has been. If you cant handle that, you're right, you shouldnt watch it! Some other comments were made about Ernie and Cindy cheating at the tattoo task. For Gods sake, pay attention. The last tattoo appointment was 7.40am and that applied to the last two teams that arrived. There were only 3 times, not 4. Also, Jeremy and SAndy DID work out the pitstop location themselves, they sketched the etching of the building and used that to figure out where to go. If you ask me, the only REAL flaw here was not to do with taxi drivers or teams, it was the set up of the challenge. The word "Balboa" should simply not have been on the girls dresses along with the name of the real pitstop location, when the challenge was to find a place name. That was dumb and deliberately misleading. If you want to freak out about something, freak out about that. Sheesh.


Andy and Tommy were robbed. I agree this should have been made a non-elimination round. more cab drivers in the final rounds. These final rounds should be won purely on skill, not by luck.


No one can blame the taxis,they spent all day with a couple of tourist that didn't speak the native language. It was only normal for them to exchange phone numbers to help each other in case they didn't understand the directions. No one can blame them for wanting to do the best job as they could possibly do.
It was a shame what happened to the surfers but the amazing race is a great part about LUCK.
The teams didn't cheated, the taxis didn't cheated, the amazing race rules where not cheated and the producers did not cheated. Life was a bitch to them, as it is to everyone any given point.
Good luck to the three remaining teams cause they all earned the win.


If the contestents believe they should go to point a and order their taxi drivers to go there, is it fair for the taxi drivers to have a conference call with other taxi drivers via cell phone, and take them to a different place which happens to be correct? If so, then the snowboarders's taxi driver should have been in on the call, also. If so, then why not just skip the clue entirely and tell the taxi driver "Just take us where we're supposed to go wherever that is...probably where the camera crews are waiting for us."


TOMMY an ANDY should have been ALLOWED to continue. I was PO'd that they eliminated them when CLEARLY the cab drivers stepped in. Even Cindy said "We were going to Balboa, but the cab driver called Sandy and Jeremy's cab driver and we'll see where hetakes us" THAT is NOT fair!!!! Absent WHO you want to win, IT is cheating! I can see losing passports and someone returning it, not paying the driver and running back, but NOT when you tell someone to take you somewhere and they don't. I was BAFFLED when I saw Tommy and Andy (a truley admirable and competitive team) get eliminated. What upsets me most is that Cindy and Ernie are still in it when they CLEARLY expressed where they wanted to go- it would have given Tommy and Andy a fair shot at making it back (maybe) on time. Had Tommy and Andy been allowed to stay on the show, NO ONE would have been so outraged. Think about it people! NO ONE but the RACERS themselves decide what needs to be done! it IS cheating!


They usually have a top 4 for the final episode, and they've never had thrown a third challenge like that before at the end.Seems fishy to me.

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The Amazing Race Season 19 Episode 11 Quotes

You look like a darn hot man. And that sounded weird.


This leg of the race would be a conference championship in football terms.