February 08, 2005

Can't Get Enough of You, Baby

April pointed out on Saturday that this Smash Mouth song, which we were listening to at the time, would be the perfect title for this final Amazing Race 6 post. She was right, but actually, yeah, I have had more than enough of you "baby." This two-hour episode almost broke my resolve to keep counting, there were so freaking many of them.

But first let's take it back to Shanghai. (This spot reserved for the obligatory comment about Bolo completely mangling the name of the next city, Xi'an, China, at the start. We miss you, Bolo.) The remaining four teams set out for the final elimination leg with a pretty strong-looking Hayden and Aaron leading the way, followed by Freddy and Kendra, then Kris and Jon, with Adam and Rebecca once again bringing up the rear. (Insert your own joke here.)

I'm not going to do a point-by-point recap -- go see TVgasm if you missed the show or any portion of it, because I guarantee the recap there will surpass what I could do here -- so I'm going to just touch on some highlights and my favorite moments and lines.

- I thought maybe I was the only one who remembered this movie, but while they were spray-painting the car shell Adam said, "I feel like Michael Keaton in 'Gung Ho.'" It was the first time I had really a warm and fuzzy feeling toward P-boy. (I'm not going to repeat what I called him a few episodes back, because it resulted in some really...um...interesting Web searches.)

- Seeing the Museum of the Terra Cotta Warriors (link may be slow to load) was really something. It almost made me want to go to China -- almost -- and I certainly would have been tempted to linger there a bit longer had I been in the race.

- I didn't keep track of who did which Roadblocks throughout the Race, so maybe Aaron couldn't have done the one that involved the keys and what appeared to be thousands of locks. But, given the state Hayden had worked herself into, having her do it seemed like a mistake right off the bat. I've never seen a team skip a challenge and take a four-hour penalty, but they looked like they had just had enough. Because Rebecca found her lock at just about the last possible moment, that move cost them a spot in the final three. But all was not lost. In a rather unusual Pit Stop moment, Aaron and Hayden edged out Rebecca and Adam to the mat, but then got eliminated. Before we could recover from that, Aaron shocked everyone by taking to one knee and proposing to Hayden. Even Phil welled up a bit when, speechless, she accepted.

- I was really nervous about the ability of my new best friend, Adam, to do the final Roadblock. As Phil so kindly pointed out during the initial recap, Adam's fears had held the team up a number of times along the way. So as soon as he said he was going to do the sky diving, I envisioned a mile-high anxiety attack. Lo and behold, he had this look of utter determination on his face and he leaped out of that plane with nary a "Tell my mother I love her!" (Well, that we saw, as my brother pointed out.)

- What to say about Kendra? Apart from that she's $500,000 richer now, that is. I was disappointed that she and Freddy won, because I think Kris and Jon were the better team in so many ways. But Kendra did have more memorable lines, tonight and throughout. Nothing could ever top her "it's like they choose to live this way" comment (which they also thoughtfully showed again at the outset) but there were a few gems tonight. Such as when she declared that she and Freddy weren't "going to be the nice, sweet people" they had been up to that point. I'm sorry, was she talking about the same Race I was watching? And when she suddenly turned on the waterworks at the airport in Japan to try to get on an earlier flight, wailing "I have a sick child in Honolulu!" For me, the oddest was her sudden new proclivity to cast Freddy as a super hero. As he landed in the water after sky diving, she sang out, "Come to me, Superman!" and referred to him multiple times as her "little hero." But things reached their crescendo at the very end when Freddy declared that "Kendra is the most perfect human soul...for me." Thank you for that clarifier, bud, because I was about to lose my pizza, even though it wasn't deep dish.

Oh, there were many others, but it's time to face that it's over and there's nothing left to do but add up the "babies" and "honeys." Yes, it's the final version of the Official One Ping Only AR6 "Baby" Count™. As I mentioned, there were a whole lot of them, as we had the top three serial offenders in these last two hours. (Rebecca, wisely, chose to not use any endearments on Adam this time out.) So take a deep breath with me and ride out this storm of affection to its thrilling conclusion!

One Ping Only AR6 "Baby" Count: Finale = 128

One Ping Only AR6 "Baby" Count: Season 6 in toto = 554

But wait! There's more! It may not be possible for this number to be surpassed next season -- which starts on March 1 -- but in the preview for AR7, they showed one contestant letting out one big ole "Yeah, baby!" so there is a glimmering chance. Which means...we'll be back!