Redemption fuels teams as Tammy and Victor win The Amazing Race 14

The Amazing Race 14 pulled the series from its depths of Emmy-winning suckiness into a version of its former self, and although its finale lacked some of the drama from earlier this season, it was a strong end to an even stronger season.

In the end, each team’s Achilles heel hurt them: Jaime and Cara had a cab driver who didn’t know where he was going (prompting the beginning of the most shocking turn of Jaime-related events all season), and Luke went from competitor to three-year-old the second he got frustrated. Victor and Tammy had a few big brother-little sister moments, but Victor’s persistence actually helped them, especially since they weren’t lost.

Victor and Tammy easily crossed the finish line first, followed by Jaime and Cara, and then Margie and Luke, who came from behind to lead the leg but blew it at the final Roadblock.

  • Back in the states, cab drivers were less likely to deal with teams’ bullshit, probably because they could understand what the teams were saying. Margie asked her cab driver to go fast, and he said, “that’s illegal, ma’am. We cannot do that.”
  • Phil explained that teams had “to carry the 145-pound pig 200 yards.” He didn’t explain how exactly all three teams were going to carry Jaime.
  • Jaime started her road to redemption by promising her cab driver “a big tip if we’re not last,” but he seemed to be content watching them change into bikinis in his back seat.
  • Cara struggled carrying the pig–all season! Seriously, though, she kept dropping her end of the pole on which their pig dangled, and Jaime said, “Cara, I don’t understand what the problem is.” I don’t know much about physics, but I think placing the pig–and thus the weight–at the end of a long pole nearest the weakest person makes it harder for that person. Then again, the problem may just have been that her partner is a terrible person.
  • Margie and Luke powered past the other two teams carrying their pig, and arrived at the final challenge first. One team member had to find surfboards with images reflecting a task from each leg of the race and line those up in order. Luke’s biggest problem, though, was keeping his pants on. Margie said he would do great “if he can dig through the surfboards and keep his bathing suit up.”
  • Jaime and Cara had–you guessed it!–cab problems. “It never ceases to amaze me: every taxi driver we get never knows where they’re going,” Jaime said, apparently not aware of the phrase “karma is a mofo.” Speaking of karma, the cab driver called his dispatcher for directions, and she said, “You need to tell your people that I am not their personal concierge, and I don’t have the time to be looking for this place for them.” Snap!
  • Jaime then called the police (what?!) to ask for directions, saying, “We are in a very important race.” Something tells me Jaime dials 911 instead of using Google.
  • Victor also had trouble with his bathing suit, so Tammy screamed, “Victor, just take your pants off.” Luke had already done that, so they both ran around with black bikini Speedos under their t-shirts.
  • After all of her shenanigans, Jaime apologized to her cab driver, and I had to pause the episode and breathe into a paper bag. “I’m sorry that I yell,” she said, addressing the cab driver by name, “but this is very stressful for me.” After that genuine honesty and an apology, I sat quietly and waited for the earth to collapse upon itself.
  • The downfall of one of the stronger teams became clear the second Margie said, “Luke’s feeling very frustrated,” and yelled to him, “Don’t give up. Keep trying!” Luke was just swapping random surfboards, and saying, “I don’t know, I don’t know.” The same thing happened when he tried to spell “Chekhov,” and pretty much any time he gets frustrated: He starts stomping around like a child instead of focusing, and that just makes things worse.
  • Victor caught up quickly and completed the task before Luke, but the big surprise was Jaime who, in full redemption mode, caught up remarkably fast and finished before Luke. And then, because Luke helped her, she turned every one of her surfboards around to show Luke so he could fix his mistake. Cara did have to remind her to do that, but Jaime immediately admitted she wouldn’t have finished without his help. What is going on? I want to make more pig jokes and I just can’t.
  • “Think positive now, think positive now,” Margie told Luke as he broke down and cried in the cab. Jaime cried, too, maybe because she realized she would no longer have any reason to yell at strangers.
  • A lot of the teams from this season clap really weirdly.
  • After “three continents, nine countries, 40,000 miles,” plus Victor’s 75 mile detour in Transylvania, Tammy and Victor won the $1 million. In addition to reflecting on her relationship with her brother, Tammy observed, “I have no pants on.” Their parents will be proud.
  • “That experience was worth more than a million,” Margie said to Luke in the cab, and Luke replied, “I love you.” They came in third place, an impressive showing for a mother-son team, never mind Luke’s deafness.
  • Jaime and Cara actually finished second, and Cara said Jaime is “blaming herself.” Phil asked, “Was it the pig?”, and Jaime replied, “No, it was me.” (I’m out of pig jokes, sorry.) Even after losing Jaime took responsibility–truly an amazing race.

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.