The Amazing Race: Monster Truck Heroes
May 16, 2015 1:29 PM - Season 26, Episode 12 - Subscribe

4 teams raced from Peru to Dallas, Texas, and 3 made it to the Finish Line.

This episode featured a small marching band of drummers, flag bearers, clear evidence of who had been a cheerleader in a past life (Jenny and Laura), “strategic waiting”, relying on following other contestants, getting lost, the expected faux Texas accents, a selfie memory order task, football, cattle drives (assisted, sadly), monster trucks, nice boots, and lovely horses.

See you next season!
posted by julen (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So...I have binged the previous 25 seasons within the past year or so, and this was the first time I saw an Amazing Race finale live(-ish). So maybe that's why this finale seemed so anticlimactic. Aren't the finales usually 2 hours long? There just seemed to be so few things to do after landing in Dallas, and of the things they had to do, most required very little skill. And then, of course, there was no payoff to the blind date conceit whatsoever, so the final mat was just not interesting to watch because I'm not sure any of these people are ever going to speak to each other again. The whole blind date thing bothered me less than I thought it would in the beginning, but I got more annoyed with it toward the end when I found myself watching almost exclusively people who didn't care about each other interact. Mostly it just got boring.

As julen implied, the show was picked up for next year, so at least this season won't be the very end of the series.
posted by joan cusack the second at 10:55 PM on May 16, 2015

If the truck stop couple couldn't win, I'm glad it was Team SoCal. I couldn't stand Jenny, and I didn't think Blair and Hayley should be rewarded for being so dysfunctional.

Yeah, it felt like this was really all just about the transportation, and very little about the actual tasks.

I found this season more entertaining than I expected, but I'm very glad to never again have to hear Phil ask whether anyone has found love yet.
posted by olinerd at 4:22 AM on May 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

So we finally got to see a payoff for the selfie business, although it got much less screen time as the season went along.

I kind of felt like Hayley got her come-uppance after nagging Blair to listen to her -- when it came down to brass tacks, it was her screw-up that cost them the win.
posted by briank at 7:26 AM on May 17, 2015 [5 favorites]

I was really disappointed at the final challenge. I like seeing the teams struggle with that one, and selfies were just so boring compared to previous seasons. It was an uninspired race in the end, to me - too many nonelimination legs, a lot of couples who couldn't give a damn about each other, etc. I'll definitely be watching the next season but there's not a whole lot excitement about it after this round.
posted by erratic meatsack at 12:45 PM on May 17, 2015

It looked like Hayley and Blair were really, really late to the mat, because it appeared to be late afternoon. I wonder if they really struggled at the last challenge.

But once it was clear that the first two teams had finished, wouldn't the producers just come up to them and say "That's it -- just go to the finish line"?
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 1:59 PM on May 17, 2015

This was one of the worst finales - I agree. No one paid attention to the selfies all season, so we couldn't play along, and we couldn't play along anyway because we didn't get a good view of the selfies on the finale. I enjoy a good totally-missing-the-cluebox/flags, but the show got lucky that happened. Also, I didn't like that the cattle roundup was done as a group. The only challenge was riding the horse, when the challenge should have been herding.

It was the best possible outcome amongst the final 3, but enh.
posted by julen at 3:02 PM on May 17, 2015

I think the selfies challenge wasn't presented well to the viewers, but there was an element of it, as a challenge itself, that I really liked. The "remember stuff from previous legs" challenge on the final leg has become pretty standard by now; teams should know to expect it. What I liked about this was (at least as far as I could tell) the challenge included multiple selfies from within the same leg, which also had to be placed in the correct chronological order. It looked like they were ordering ~25 selfies. I don't recall the race memory challenge on the final leg of any previous seasons using more than one item per leg. Like I said, it wasn't well presented to the viewers, but I applaud the increase in difficulty there.

And then, of course, there was no payoff to the blind date conceit whatsoever

I disagree here: I think there was a payoff, just not in the "will they find love" way that the show had intended. I found it fascinating that all three final teams were blind date teams, meaning partners who had just met at the start of the race did just as well or better than partners who had a long history together.

Given that, I'd almost like to see a couple of teams per season in the future with two people thrown together at the start of the race. My only reservation there would be that, while I imagine in this season the producers tried to match blind dates with an eye towards compatibility in the hopes that they would "find love," I'd worry that they'd deliberately throw incompatible people on a team together to create drama (imagine a Real World-style gimmick of a very openly gay person and a rabid homophobe together, for example).
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:18 PM on May 18, 2015

The finales are really rarely exciting. I don't know if it's because they have to work so hard to quarantine things because of spoilers or not, but this one was particularly linear.
posted by PussKillian at 5:20 PM on May 18, 2015

It was better than 2 seasons ago with the David Copperfield finale where there was almost no room to get ahead of the other teams. Although this one did come down to cab luck more than the actual challenges.

Actually, so many of these finales seem to have at least one team drop out solely because of bad cab drivers. I wonder why they don't just let them drive once they are back in the states? We have Ford Foci here too.

I imagine the selfie challenge was pitched as having a row of pictures with two people slowly falling in love. I actually liked the idea of putting two strangers together and having them run the race, if only as a one-off experiment. But it was obvious from the start that they weren't actually looking for romance and it made Phil look kind of pathetic to keep asking them about it.

I'm glad for Blair's sake that it was Hayley that screwed up and lost the race for them. I assume they'll be back for all-stars at some point. She enrages the home viewer in exactly the right way for reality TV.
posted by Gary at 9:11 PM on May 18, 2015

I'm glad Laura and Tyler won - they were my favorite of the final four teams. Mike and Rochelle bugged me at the beginning but they grew on me toward the end and I would have been okay with them winning too. I was just meh on Jenny and Jelani and Hayley really bugged me - I felt bad for Blair!

If there is another all-star/unfinished business season, Jonathan and Harley need to be on it. They were my favorites and I'd have loved to see how they would have done had they not had terrible luck with flights in Thailand.
posted by SisterHavana at 11:41 PM on May 18, 2015

Postscript: Mike has met Rochelle's son and they get along great. This makes me happy.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:19 PM on May 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

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