The Amazing Race: An amazingly nice finish

By on Dec 13, 2012 in Recaps |

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The season finale of The Amazing Race aired Sunday night, and Alex and I were riveted. We were rooting for Josh and Brent — partners, goat farmers, and subjects of the lifestyle show The Fabulous Beekman Boys — not just because they’re gay (though that’s a plus) but because they’re kind, moral people.

That said, there wasn’t anyone in the final four teams whom we disliked: Chippendales James and Jaymes were charming and, bleach job aside, good-looking; twins Natalie and Nadiya were always good for a laugh; and Troy and Lexi were milquetoast and innocuous.

But that changed in the first hour of the two-part finale.

The latter three teams formed “the Dream Team” — an alliance against Josh and Brent. That alliance was mean, first of all — because the Beekman Boys had never done anything cutthroat or unsportsmanlike — and also fairly foolish — because, as far as I know, there can only be one winning team in the end.

Then, once it became clear that Josh and Brent stood a fighting chance, either Nadiya or Natalie said something to the effect of, “We never thought the gays would pose a threat.”

Excuse me. I don’t know the rationale behind such a statement, i.e. whether it was intentionally homophobic. Let’s hope that she meant that the Beekman Boys weren’t much of a threat because they were Josh and Brent, not because they’re gay. And frankly, even the term “the gays” is irritating. It’s tantamount to saying “the blacks” or “the handicaps” in terms of reductiveness. And it implies that gayness is the most defining and/or interesting aspect of us, which it often isn’t. Anyway, LGBT people get to use the term “the gays” to refer to ourselves; not straight people. Or, should I say, not the straights?

In any case, that diss was careless at best and offensive at worst, so we were happy to see the twins go down in flames in the first hour, having been edged out by the gays themselves.

We were thrilled that the second hour took the three remaining teams to our home of New York City. The challenges were all exciting: a Houdini escape hundreds of feet in the air, a Lombardi’s pizza delivery right around my office, and — best of all — a flag/language quiz at the United Nations.

And — spoiler alert! — that last challenge required more brains than brawn, which helped sealed the deal for a terrifically gratifying Beekman victory. I wouldn’t have minded so much if the Chippendales had won, especially if they really would have donated their winnings to their parents’ medical care as they vowed they would. (At least they got Ford Escapes for their families. Hey, did you know that you could just kick your foot to open the tailgate? If not, the two-hour finale of The Amazing Race told you about 17 times.) But the Beekman Boys said that their winnings would help them finally pay off the mortgage on their farm so that Josh didn’t need a day job in the city.

And since I want as much quality time possible with my own gay — who, incidentally, would pose a huge threat on The Amazing Race, especially with geography-based challenges — that’s cause for a huge, Fabulous celebration.