The Amazing Race “The Only First That Matters” Review (Season 28 Episode 12)

THE AMAZING RACE We're Only Doing Freaky Stuff Today

The 28th season of The Amazing Race came to a merciful end in tonight’s finale episode “The Only First That Matters”. Much like last season, this has been an agonizing series of frustrating legs filled with stupid decisions and vapid contestants. It definitely feels like everybody is mostly competing for more Twitter followers and online recognition rather than going for the million dollars or competing with any real love for this game. The contestants never lacked for enthusiasm or energy, but it felt like they were mugging for the camera more than they were really trying to compete. I know the picture that I chose for the review isn’t from this episode, but it perfectly encapsulates the season for me: A ditzy online personality making a silly face at the camera while being pretty terrible at the actual game.

As for the actual final leg, it was OK. We picked up the action back in China with Phil telling the group where they would go for their final leg. I laughed out loud when Phil said it was Los Angeles. Everybody politely cheered and clapped along like it was a big deal, but haven’t most of the seasons of this show ended there? Thankfully they actually ended up going to Santa Barbara, which was a nice change of pace, but the big Los Angeles reveal was pretty anticlimactic.

The only challenge in Los Angeles city was the Road Block where teams had to leap off a building to grab their clue. When I first saw the tall and athletic Matt leap as far as he could and barely grab it, I wasn’t sure if anybody else could do it. Both Tyler and Sheri barely came close to their clues, so I thought they’d be there for hours. Instead, they just scooted the clue closer until they got it. I guess it’s boring if the final leg has one team in the lead the whole time, but it was almost insulting how close the clue was to Tyler by his third attempt. He basically had to just fall off and slightly extend his arm.

The ride to Santa Barbara was a fun idea, and it was a smart to bring teams to their famous marina and watch teams bump a dingy around all the expensive boats. I’m not entirely clear on why they had to go find that particular boat, though. Was it just that it happened to be named after the museum? It was almost as if they purposefully picked the boat that somebody might have confused with the museum.

After finding the clue they made their way to Gibraltar Rock for yet another height challenge. It was strange to have two height challenges in the same final leg, but they were different enough that I could forgive it. I’ve never heard of this double rappelling activity before either, so it was cool that both members of the team got to be involved.

As frustrating as Dana has been throughout this race, I have to hand it to her for completely crushing that final challenge. I’ve criticized these people for not having a good handle on the game, but props to her for noticing the hashtags that were on the clues and absolutely demolishing that challenge. To be fair, it looked like the rest of the teams did it pretty handily as well, but neither of them seemed to have noticed the hashtags like she did.

In the grand spectrum of annoying team members on The Amazing Race, Dana really doesn’t rank very high. She just happened to be the most annoying person on this particular season, so it does sting a bit to see her win. Although, I’m not sure who I would have rather seen. Tyler and Korey kinda turned into jerks in the last few legs, and Sheri and Cole should have been eliminated twice, so you’ve kinda gotta pick your poison.

My favorites were still team yellow. Go Burnie and Ashley!

Random Thoughts:

– I know this might only bother me, but it’s a pet peeve of mine how they always talk about going all the way around the world when most of these people flew out of the east coast and then flew east to California. Technically you haven’t gone all the way around the world until you go back to the east coast!

– I feel like that fisherman on the Theresa Ann was just like…already sitting there and they just told him they’d give him a hundred bucks to hand some envelopes to some loud and annoying internet personalities.

– Big fan of the string quartet at the finish line!