The Amazing Race Finale Recap: Which Team Was First to the Finish Line?

The Amazing Race Season 26 Finale

It seems everything is bigger in Texas, including Friday’s season finale of The Amazing Race, which featured four couples racing to the finish line instead of the usual three. (Something that’s becoming a trend, if these last two seasons are any indication.)

The last leg of Season 26 wrapped things up in Dallas, and before I go any further with this recap, I’m going to cut right to the chase and tell you who won. Ready?

The first team to arrive at the finish line with Phil was… Laura and Tyler! Take that, Blind Date skeptics!

In fact, Lady Luck ditched Mike and Rochelle — the only pre-existing couple left in the race — pretty much immediately after they scored a second chance into the finale. After completing the first challenge at Dallas’ AT&T Stadium, which required one teammate to catch a touchdown pass and kick an extra point, Mike and Rochelle returned to find their cab driver had abandoned them. They hopped into a new taxi shortly thereafter…. only to have their next driver run out of gas mere miles from the next activity. By the time Mike and Rochelle made their way to P2 Ranch, where the other teams had been corraling longhorns into a pen, they were met with nothing more than Phil’s surprise elimination. Better luck next time, Team #TruckStopLove.

As for Blair and Hayley, who somehow steamrolled past all the other teams in recent weeks, there’s something oddly poetic about their ultimate downfall. During the next roadblock, in which teammates had to spot a clue from atop Reunion Tower, Hayley spied what she thought was a yellow-and-red clue box on the top level of a parking deck, only to later realize that she had completely missed the actual clue: a series of Amazing Race flags blowing in the breeze. In true Hayley fashion, the girl blamed Blair for her inability to spot the flags (“Help direct me, Blair! Blair, make a decision for me, please!”), and even though her second trip to Reunion Tower was successful, her mistake would ultimately put her and her teammate in third place. (I swear I’m trying not to be too gleeful about this, but Hayley makes that hard.)

In the end, it was Laura and Tyler vs. Jenny and Jelani as they unlocked a storage unit to reveal large prints of the selfies they’d taken throughout the race. (Finally, those selfies have a point!) Laura and Tyler were briefly stumped by a padlock combination, while Jenny and Jelani struggled to put their pictures in the right order — but in the end, it all came down to which taxi driver could get his team to Continental Avenue Bridge the fastest. (Reminder: Laura and Tyler’s.)

All told, The Amazing Race‘s blind date twist was a success — competitively speaking, at least. Romantically speaking? The only randomly matched pair that actually did go on to date was Jeff and Jackie: a duo that I really can’t wait to catch up with next season.

OK, your turn. Were you happy with the winner of The Amazing Race? Cast your vote in the poll below, then hit the comments with your thoughts on the finale.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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53 Comments
  1. Eli Edwards says:

    So refreshing to have a nice/competitive/deserving team win1

    • Emma says:

      Yes, I was glad they were the ones to win. When Tyler was groaning at the tower “aagh I don’t want them to win” referring to the Bickersons, I was like I’m right there with ya man! Thank goodness Hayley didn’t see the flags. But then when Tyler and Laura couldn’t figure out their lock combination I thought they were done for. Thank goodness they finally got it and then nailed the selfies. Yay!

      • Eli Edwards says:

        I thought it was funny that Hayley ultimately led to their downfall

        • Emma says:

          I’m sure she’ll still find a way to blame Blair for it somehow. LOL. She was certifiable. I wonder if after she watched herself on the show if she realized how insane she was acting, or if she watched it and still believed it was all Blair’s fault for not listening. LOL.

  2. Beth says:

    So glad they won! They had the most fun with the least arguing.

  3. Riley says:

    Love, love, love me some TeamSoCal. So happy Laura & Tyler won. Mike & Rochelle were fun to watch but they were not among the most competitive teams. Jenny & Jeilani were a little too blah for me and Hayley & Blair drove me around the bend. Had Hayley won I would’ve been truly disappointed. So in a nutshell, I’m a happy gal! Love to see a team that’s had fun win it all :)

  4. They were my team from the start. I just wish they’d fallen in love, as well.

  5. Trudy Benson says:

    Any of the last 3 teams but the blonde bitching bitch. Kept waiting for her partner to stuff a sock in her mouth. He was such a gentleman to take all she spit out. Poor guy.

    • Emma says:

      He was truly a saint for putting up with that as well as he did.

    • Rochelle says:

      I agree, if there was no money involved he would have seen all Her RED flagsvto stay away

    • The Beach says:

      I was hoping Blair would push her into a canal in Amsterdam. I really liked him but she was so horrid that I just couldn’t root for their team.

      • Michelle says:

        I haven’t read all the comments yet, but does no one remember when Blair completely left Hayley in the mud on her own on the very first challenge? The other blind date teams were helping their teammates throughout the challenge, and he just completely left her struggling on her own. I noticed that at the very end, they risked being the last team to finish, it was VERY close, and if he had held back to help pull her along, it wouldn’t have even been close, they no doubt would have been safe. I didn’t like him from that moment. He continued being somewhat of a jerk for a while longer, as Hayley started to go mental. Then he suddenly becomes a “gentleman” because he isn’t strangling Hayley? lol. Yes, he’s a good guy for tolerating her, finding humor in his situation, and surviving, but he’ll always be that guy who never lended one helping hand to her in that very first episode ;-) I knew their “relationship” was doomed from that very moment.

    • green earth says:

      Well said . that bitch was not only bitchy and mean her screechy voice drove me nuts I had to turn the TV volume down.

  6. liti says:

    We didn’t care as long as it wasn’t Jenny and Jalani. She was so hard to like. He w as fine, but she was just not a nice person.

  7. albean99 says:

    I was so happy that Laura & Tyler won. I was just so sure it would be Blair & Hayley because she was on my last nerve all season. It was even sweeter because she blew it.

  8. Mike Q says:

    Blair deserved the money just for dealing with Hayley for a month.

  9. Emma says:

    Thank gawd that insane screaming banshee Hayley didn’t win, that would have been the most disappointing ending the Amazing Race ever!

  10. Emma says:

    I can’t believe Jeff and Jackie dated after he was yelling at her “you’re so effing annoying, shut the eff up”. Does she not have one shred of self esteem or what?!? I just don’t understand.

  11. Marisa says:

    Loved that Laura and Tyler won, and wish wish wish I could sit next to Jenny and Hayley as they watch what unmitigated, unhinged, screaming-banshee witches they were all the way through.

  12. Rochelle says:

    I think the blind date idea was one of the best so far, it’s on my top 5!

  13. Rochelle says:

    I think the wining couple had the most fun and even though they fell behind it
    Always seem to figure things out and make up for it.
    Great season

  14. Steph says:

    Why the hell would you spoil who wins in the title? This is one of the first results when you google “the amazing race”

    • Stupid TVLine says:

      Yup, I agree. I wanted to check if this was a one or two hour finale, and it ended up getting spoiled by your stupid article title! Seriously, can’t you be more considerate than this?

    • at says:

      My thoughts exactly. I never comment on articles and I’m so enraged that I’ve have to say something.

      I’ve been watching all these weeks just to have some idiot writer ruin it all.

  15. Mike says:

    I am glad Laura and Tyler won. They were a great team from the start. Who is not glad that the downfall of Blair and Hayley was totally Hayley’s fault! Though I felt sorry for Blair.
    That was a very enjoyable season to watch as a viewer and I was happy with the winners, but actually I would of been okay with any of the three final teams winning. I was rooting for Laura and Tyler.

  16. nick says:

    all I know is I had to mute the tv, rather than listen to those screechy girls

  17. Diz says:

    It was a fun finale. I was cheering for Blair but didn’t mind who won. I was one to first groin about the blind date concept, but it turned out to be ok.

  18. PFitzDC says:

    My top choice was Matt & Ashley, but Laura & Tyler were always my second choice, and first among the finalists….

  19. I may be in the minority (definitely am here) but I enjoyed Hayley and Blair. The gave the show much needed comic relief. I think it’s very telling that they both said they would do TAR again and would want to be each others partner. It’s all in the edit.

    • Billko says:

      I agree! I got the sense that she was playing a character and Blair was in on the joke as well.

      It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall in Hayley’s life post-race and see how she handles the comments.

      • Michelle says:

        I really hated them for a while. Blair was a jerk on the first challenge completely ditching Hayley in the mud, and then he REALLY wasn’t listening to Hayley (this honestly was a problem, ha ha), and then she just went psycho crazy complaining and yelling all the time. But by the end, I was actually kind of rooting for them. I thought it would be hilarious if they won after all that bickering on the show, and everyone else joking about them, and not wanting them to win ;-) But if they couldn’t win, I do find SOME humor in Hayley being right all the time, then it was ultimately her being wrong that lost them a chance at winning ;-)

  20. AngelWasHere says:

    I hate to be that person, but I didn’t like this season at all! The whole blind date thing failed miserably. Only one couple worked out and I’m not even sure if they make a good couple. All the blind daters just became unpleasant for me with maybe the exception of Laura and Tyler.

    I was hoping Mike and Rochelle would win since they were the only real couple left in the finale. Plus the most down the earth of them all. Once they left I became completely uninterested. A bunch of paired up strangers going for a million dollars that they will split up later. I’ll be surprised if any of them will stay friends. They were so poorly paired.

    I really hope they go back to the norm next season. No more dumb themes please.

  21. Donna Casada says:

    The truck drivers seemed to play the game the most fairly yet just kept ending up with bad luck. ( ie, multiple cab issues) and yet they never seemed to be frustrated by it. Other teams seemed to rejoice in their bad luck at times.

  22. Erin says:

    Seriously laura & tyler won the poll votes?! they don’t deserve it at all! They are bragging, sneaking, cunning & talked trash bout other teams behind their back while pretending to be friends with them to gather info!

    • Lily says:

      Exactly what I was thinking! Hayley and Blair deserve to win (even though I can’t stand Hayley sometimes). Hayley and Blair were actually starting to get along and they actually put effort into their interpersonal relationship –> The point of a blind date, duh. Laura and Tyler were so sneaky, like I remember the time when they had Jenny’s map and they didn’t even return it back to her, and then they were going to follow around Hayley and Blair’s car because their cab driver was crappy, I mean, I get it, but they just don’t play fair or play nice and backstabbing other teams doesn’t make you deserving of a win.

  23. liz collier says:

    OMG… That poor man (Blair ) deserved to win a metal just for putting up with that horrible Haley. How proud her family must be (not). How proud Blair’s family should be of him…what a class act he is! ! That girl is every mother’s worse nightmare for a daughter in law. I hope she learns from this, when she watches herself on the show. Horrible girl. Big mouth, verbally abusive. .just a very rude person. MEN RUN FOR YOUR LIVES IF YOU EVER ENCOUNTER HER!!

    • Michelle says:

      My mom would not want me to be with a man who doesn’t help me through my struggles. Blair was the only guy to completely ditch his partner on the very first mud challenge. Hayley has yelling issues, but that very first impression of him has stuck for me =P I agree he eventually got things under control in regards to how to handle and deal with Hayley, but that doesn’t make him a class act, just a problem solver ;-)

      • Ash says:

        You seem fixated on that first challenge they had just met and he seemed awkward about helping her oh well it was one thing no one cares. He never yelled at her and all she did was yell and berate and belittle him. She was way more of a problem. She even yelled at him in the finale to help her find the flags when she was the only one on top of the building! That makes zero sense she is nuts

        • Michelle says:

          Not fixated on that one moment, just that was the first moment I noticed of Blair’s “imperfections”, of which everyone seems to have forgotten. In the beginning of the season, he did NOT listen to Hayley, which started the downward spiral of her mental state ;-) lol. I just find it interesting that because Hayley went nuts, and Blair didn’t kill her, that he’s now a saint, even though he was a jerk to her in the beginning. I didn’t interpret his behavior as awkward. It seemed like he didn’t have an instant liking to her and then when they did the challenge, he was annoyed or disappointed that she was holding him back (but she wouldn’t have held him back as much if he had helped her). Anyway, I’m not excusing Hayley’s behavior ;-) just pointing out that Blair isn’t perfect either. They both have issues.

        • green earth says:

          Well said. That annoying screechy voice yelling and screaming constantly was extreme verbal abuse. Don’t know how the guy could stand her that long.

  24. at says:

    Can you guys PLEASE stop posting spoilers in your search engine headlines?!

    You guys ruined the show just while I was simply try and Google info about Texas.

    You’d think you’d know better, being a site dedicated to TV!

  25. Sondra says:

    I am very glad that Laura and Tyler won! I hope they become more than friends! They were so cute! If not, I have two beautiful daughters!

  26. Connie Jean says:

    Blair and Haley were hilarious.
    Typical Doctor and Nurse relationship, only Haley got a chance to speak. Blair leaves Haley alone to battle in the mud, then totally ignores her directions and misleads them at several turns. Eventually he learns to LISTEN, cutting the bickering and putting them in the lead for several legs.
    Even tho Haleys screeching voice made me want to smack her, I hated that she lost sight of the flag in the end. She was a total hoot to watch.
    There’s something very important to gain by the knowledge that strangers did better than couples. Could be an important lesson in relationships! !

  27. joan says:

    We have watched Amazing Race since beginning. Great family night. Shows so many wonderful strengths. Families need to watch together. We were so glad with winners. I hope Hayley watched and really thinks how an attitude problem Looks to the rest of the world.

  28. joan says:

    Love love this show our family night watch. So glad for winners. Our favorite. Hope our poor Hayley and people like her, see how they look to the world. Sad for such a sweet looking lady.

  29. Tuna says:

    Mike and Rochelle are from Kalkaska Michigan and I’m in traverse city right next city over. I really wanted them to win. They did an awesome job they should all keep their heads up and congratulations to the winners