In an anticlimactic conclusion, with Nick & Vicki several hours behind everybody the whole time, The Amazing Race 17 Episode 11 narrowed the teams down to the final three: Jill & Thomas, Brook & Claire, and Nat & Kat. Two of these teams are all female teams, leading to the belief that finally an female team can win the race (at least in the US version… Zabrina & Joe Jer won The Amazing Race Asia Season 1). For a change, we have strong female teams. I’d argue that both of these teams are better than Jill & Thomas, who don’t seem like much of a team, still seemingly unable to admit that Jill is actually part of the team after all this time.
Teams depart in the order in which they arrived.
First: Jill & Thomas – 3:57AM
Second: Brook & Claire – 4:23AM
Third: Nat & Kat – 4:27AM
As if the pink outfits Brook & Claire weren’t ridiculous enough, for the final leg of the race, they break out the cheetah pants. If nothing else, they will be remembered for their style, of sorts.
Teams will now fly more than 6000 miles to their final destination city, Los Angeles, CA. All three teams should be fairly familiar with the area, as they either live or at one point lived in CA. With everybody leaving at roughly the same time, they are all on the same direct flight. Once there, they will travel to the Port of Long Beach.
Upon arrival at the port, they are welcomed to the drop zone. They will be using this cargo port’s cranes for a 150 foot bungee jump. Nat already cried just from riding a gondola, so leaping toward the water attached to a rope is probably not going to set well with her. Neither Brook nor Jill are happy to see this either. Much ado about nothing. Unlike some of the quitters from previous seasons, everybody just sucks it up and jumps, in spite of the panic, crying, and very loud yelling.
They will now be taking a helicopter to a surprise destination, the Rose Bowl. The road block is to decorate three sections of a float, which is deceptively difficult, or so Phil tells us.
Road block (in order of arrival): Nat, Thomas, Brook
Jill & Thomas have been working the road blocks so that the last one was saved for him. They realize that, considering the task, that was probably not the best strategy. Nat doesn’t consider herself very crafty, but she does stuff like this on occasion. Brook, meanwhile, is jumping up and down at the opportunity to do this. This is all moot. Everybody finishes in the order in which they arrived.
Teams must now figure out the answers to the three questions provided, and then make their way to that location. The trick is going to be to find someone with a computer. For some reason, Thomas grabs the phone from Jill, not wanting her to talk. Apparently her asking these questions is too much for her to handle. Turns out that nobody at the dispatch office has a computer, and for that matter, their cab driver speaks less English than most of the foreign drivers they have dealt with. Nat & Kat figure out the riddle, but now they need an address. Brook & Claire just drive to a hotel. Seems like a better idea because they can do the work themselves. They are able to figure out the answers. Meanwhile, Jill & Thomas decided to ditch their cab driver, who thinks his GPS is a computer. After wandering around for a while, they hop back in the same cab, clueless what they’re supposed to be doing.
Connecting with a dispatcher with a clue, Nat & Kat figure it out first. The final task takes place at Quixote Studio, where they will look at TV screens of 48 people wearing hats. 11 of those people were the greeters who welcomed them into the pit stop. I’m not sure I would have been paying close enough attention. Not only must they remember the greeters, but then they must put them in the correct order. Nat & Kat wisely wrote down all the legs, so they pull out their notebooks. This will help them keeping the legs in the right order, although it won’t help with identifying the greeters.
On their first attempt, Nat & Kat correctly identify all the greeters. Since nobody else has even shown up yet, it’s pretty safe to say we are looking at the winners, whether they try to throw us off with traffic or not. Brook & Claire arrive and solve their puzzle, completely in love with Bob Eubanks.
Greystone Mansion is the finish line. The first female team to win The Amazing Race and The Amazing Race 17 winners are Nat Strand & Kat Chang. Well deserved victory. Nat is happy to have demonstrated that people with diabetes can be active. Brook & Claire finish in second place, having laughed their way around the world. That puts Jill & Thomas in third place.
The Amazing Race 18 will be back in February for an all star season, or at least a second chance season (hard to call some of these teams all stars). Joining the 21st century, the season will be the first to air in HD.