As The Amazing Race headed into its final leg of Season 27, it seemed that nothing could stop Justin and Diana from winning the whole shebang.
Sure, The Green Team was in last place at the start of Friday’s finale — but considering how the season’s many obstacles (including a record number of U-Turns and last week’s one-hour check-in penalty) barely even fazed them, it seemed Justin and Diana had a lock on the million-dollar prize regardless of what challenges they faced.
So, did Justin and Diana emerge victorious in Friday’s season ender? Well, here’s the answer up front: They did not, and it can all be traced back to a single taxi. Briefly, here are the highlights of the final episode:
* As all Amazing Races do, this one wraps in the United States, where contestants first complete a harrowing FDNY training exercise on Long Island. Justin, Joey and Chris all master the challenge and easily conquer the first memory puzzle, which involves putting the capital of each country they visited in chronological order.
* And here’s the moment that changes the course of the finale: Only one taxi — Kelsey and Joey’s — remains at the FDNY training camp while the duo completes the task. Meanwhile, Justin/Diana and Chris/Logan find themselves stranded on Long Island now that their cabs have prematurely driven off, forcing them to board a bus to Manhattan and hail a taxi once there. (There’s a brief and hilarious moment where Chris and Logan try to commandeer Kelsey and Joey’s cab, but those news reporters are not having it.)
* Although they come close to losing their lead in the final, nerve-wracking minutes — during which contestants need to construct Adirondack chairs and place them in the proper order — Kelsey and Joey ultimately remain in first place throughout the hour, as they fly via helicopter to the Hamptons, drive a Sea-Doo through the ocean, pull up lobster pots from the sea, organize the flags of each country they visited, drive a dune buggy across the beach and, at long last, meet Phil and the already-eliminated Season 27 pairs on the mat.
* Justin and Diana come in second place, just minutes after Kelsey and Joey — my, how the tables have turned! — followed by Chris and Logan in third place… to probably no one’s surprise.
OK, your turn! Were you happy with Kelsey and Joey’s victory? Cast your vote in our poll below, then hit the comments with your thoughts on Season 27!