TV Recap

Nice Guys Finish First

On ''The Amazing Race,'' married parents Chip and Kim play tough in the final leg and edge out the hotties and the Goddies

CASHING IN Chip and Kim will take home $1 million
Image credit: Chip and Kim: Tony Esparza
CASHING IN Chip and Kim will take home $1 million

''The Amazing Race'': Chip and Kim win it all

First it was scarab and now vertigo? I just don't understand. I really don't. I can't forgive the Blue Lagoon couple, Brandon and Nicole, for their total lack of vocabulary skills. Wait, actually, I shouldn't be surprised -- this is the team that would be shocked to find out that birds fly and that there is running water in Africa. But they didn't win anyway, so it doesn't matter. Last night was all about Chip and Kim and more adrenaline than should be legally allowed in one's system, namely, my own.

We'll get to the married ones in a bit, but for now, let us remember the fallen.

Ever the positive force this season, the matching-fashion Bowling Moms, Linda and Karen, finally faltered. But was it really their fault? I think not. I'm pointing my finger at the producers. Why must they have the physically demanding tasks at the end of the race? That's just not right. Eating an ostrich egg is not as hard as making yourself ascend. Granted, I've never done either, but I'm assuming. Last week we saw Linda struggle up a ladder in New Zealand, and this week it was Karen climbing 150 feet. That is pure madness, but did those moms work it! And even as their minuscule lead over Colin and Christie faded away, their ''go get 'em'' attitude never waned. Once again we heard Linda yell, ''Your kids are going to be so proud of you!'' Damn right they are. I'm proud of them as well, especially for being the first female team to make it to the tenth leg of the race. What an inspiration for us all!

Some may also say the Godels were inspiring for all their religious fervor. I, however, am not one of those souls. I guess they'd damn me to hell. But it's not my fault that God wasn't on their side. I think He got annoyed with two naïve twits asking for divine assistance every five seconds in their selfish quest to win a million bucks. There are more important things in life than a million dollars, Nicole. And she's a model, so what does she have to worry about? Come to think of it, God may not have been pleased with her gratuitously sexy stretch while looking for the giant clam. That and all the ill will they wished on the other teams. (''That's what you get, Chip!'')

Colin and Christie really gave it their all on the final leg. And who could blame them? They were insanely competitive, having previously finished first six times. You could see the fire in their eyes, wanting to win. Hell, Christie even cried a few times over it. One could argue that they lost the race when they headed toward the wrong flag, or maybe it was flipping the kayak over, but as we saw, those setbacks didn't really matter. Maybe they lost because, as Colin said, they were ''ignorant Americans,'' but I don't think that's it either, because they were, by far, the smartest team. What it all came down to was not double-checking their flight out of Calgary to see if it was delayed and then checking their luggage through on their backup flight. That surprised me, since Colin is such a perfectionist. How could both Colin and Christie and the Godels forget the FAA rule that says you must be on the same plane as your bags? Ah well, at least we didn't see any government regulations broken. A bit surprisingly, Colin and Christie were gracious runners-up, wishing the married couple well.

How Chip and Kim managed to win the whole thing is still freaking me out. They did say they were going to be vicious the final leg, and were they ever! First by lying to Brandon and saying they were at the wrong flag and then hmm, well, I guess that was it, but it was pretty vicious, no? And look at what happened to the married duo as they got to Lookout Mountain in Canada. Chip was gasping for air walking up that 1000-foot summit to the continental divide. For once, Kim was waiting for her man. And yes, Chip asked for God's help getting up the mountain, but at least they didn't market themselves as ''Married Christians.''

Where was I going there? I got sidetracked. God was speaking to me. Well, Chip and Kim finally got their win, even after they flipped over their luge, twice. Turns out that arriving last at the airport was a blessing, since they found out that the flight the others were on had been delayed. Proving their smarts, they booked themselves on the next earliest flight and, at the hotel, pretended to the Godels and Colin and Christie that they would all be on the same plane. Genius! Pure genius. I love how they sneaked off to head back to the airport. Even though they later got stuck in the maze for a bit, that little bit of airport sneakiness was enough to ensure their win.

As the teams ran for the finish, I was in hysterics. I was screaming for the cops to pull over Colin and Christie's scofflaw town-car driver. I was screaming for the Godels to find a church, pull in, and pray. But I grasped my hands and let out a yelp, followed by a series of ''Oh my God!''s, when I saw Chip and Kim's minivan pull up! Then, as frequently happens in my life, I started crying. How could I not? Chip and Kim ran an amazing race, and both of them were crying. How great was that? That, my friends, is true love.

My negative side makes me wonder: Will the victory -- and the money -- hurt Chip and Kim's relationship? (Hey, last season's winners, Chip and Reichen, broke up soon after their victory.) And I'm also nervous about how long CBS is going to make us wait for the next season. The Amazing Race was scheduled to run on Saturdays starting in October, but it's been indefinitely postponed. CBS should have learned from tonight's episode that a little delay can kill you.

What do you think? Did the best team win? Who are you going to miss the most?

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Originally posted Sep 22, 2004