When The Twins were finally ousted from The Amazing Race, I felt like 2012 was officially a good year. That’s how much they annoyed me. And when The Beekman Brothers (aka The Gay Farmers, aka Josh & Brent) eventually won this race, I was in complete shock. How, as helpless as they were for long stretches of the race, was that possible?

Was it fair? An entire race of heavy-lifting and synchronized swimming and tennis and then suddenly in the last two weeks they had to repair farm equipment and translate ‘hello’ and ‘good-bye’ greetings. These guys might be the luckiest team I’ve ever seen Race.

I keep scratchig my head trying to remember, why were Abbie & Ryan held back before the U-Turn incident? I want to say “they should’ve won” but if they really did something stupid, I want to be sure.

Either way …Josh & Brent were completely likeable the entire time, seemed completely harmless, befriended my faves, Abbie & Ryan, when they all raced together and waited for each other, and I guess I’ll still watch next season because no major injustice was done. I wonder if Abbie & Ryan will be invited out to Josh & Brent’s farm for a weekend get-away?

I was rooting for The Chippendales because they had the most fun and were the funniest guys on the race. I look for them to return in some Amazing Race All-Stars season …they were that fun. They almost had it, by which I mean, they were almost able to identify all the worldwide greetings in the final challenge, which involved identifying the country, their ‘hello’s’ and ‘goodbye’s’ and raising flags.

There are lessons to be learned from this season, for sure. First, if CBS allows you to take notes and journal your experience, write down everything …even what color Phil’s shirts were at the finish line. Make a note of what type of transportation you’re taking at various stages of the race …rickshaw, cab, bike, sled …if you can’t remember each thing, and what it was called, you might be screwed. Remember what you ate, who you saw, and the names of everything. The Amazing Race proves season after season it’s not just about ones ability to “not fight” and “catch a plane”, it’s about figuring out the big riddle of that particular season. The Amazing Race doesn’t win Emmy after Emmy for catering to the lowest common denominator.

Second, don’t take big risks …in the case of this season, don’t tempt fate and try and make a connection with no time to spare just to gain an hour. Race calm, steady, focus on not getting lost, and take less risks. Rarely can a team get so far behind that all teams ahead of them get on another plane and that it’s flight delays that screw them. Almost always, and in fact it might be always, it’s the Detours and Road Blocks that trip people up. Now, you can’t ever predict you’ll be any good at a particular Detour or Road Block so maybe you think an extra 45-minutes will make all the difference, but if you’re not smart enough to figure out time-zones, stuff a mattress, jump a river using stick like a pole vault, or learn a dance routine, you can’t win. It’s not about connecting flights. Slow, and steady, and have confidence in your brain, fine motor skills, and ability to find your way around a confusing city where nobody speaks English.

Third, and this shouldn’t even be a lesson anymore …screw everyone. Unlike most reality shows, there’s less inter-team interaction on The Amazing Race than most shows where you need alliances and such. Be friendly, sure, but don’t “help” anyone. Yes, you’ll spend hours talking to everyone in airports and train stations, or while sleeping outside waithing for a bull-racing stadium to open, so don’t make yourself an enemy, but also, don’t “work with” another team unless you’re really confused and they’re too stupid to politely say, “go to hell.” And if someone asks you, “hey, did you find the clue box?” …well, based on your lead and where you are in the leg of the race, you’ll know what to do. I think I’d say something like, “aw, man, don’t make me tell you ‘yes’ or ‘no’ …it’s a race …but you’re not far.”

Something like that.

The Beekman Brothers (aka Gay Farmers) are a great example …there wasn’t a single point in the entire race where they dominated, but they stayed steady, didn’t make enemies, and won. Amazing, right? Imagine if they had been better at the swimming?

My one last observation, and this might be controversial, but watching them Race was my argument FOR gay marriage. Put any two people together, day in and day out, and you’ll have arguments and challenges and it cracked me up the way Brent made a mistake during the finale and Josh would not let him live it down …”you had one job, get the orders right …one job …and you couldn’t even do it.” It was hilarious. If you don’t let gay people get married, hey, they might live a long life without ever getting henpecked to death. Why shouldn’t they have all the “fun” us straight married folks get to have every single day dealing with a husband or wife who chews too loud or always leaves clothes on the floor or laughs a lttle too loud while watching The Nanny or tells long pointless stories when I’m trying to read or …you get the point. Or maybe you don’t …but I think my point is, people are people and love is love …and hate is hate. If two people love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together and race around the world on a crazy adventure, who cares their gender?

I don’t think I made a very good argument, but oh well. The Amazing Race was amazing again. Every season I think, well, maybe I won’t watch …I’ve been there, done that. But every season it pulls me right back in better than almost any other reality TV show, and it’s probably because there isn’t the drama and personal sparring …it’s just a race of stamina, brains, and a little bit of inventiveness and with each new team, you see a different approach and sensibility, and you get that intra-team interaction and dynamic which makes it so much better than if people raced on their own.

Thanks for following along all season. I’ll be back again when TAR starts up again. You and I can still hang out talking about the next 3 hours of Survivor, and then in January, I’ll be talking about American Idol all …season …long. Woo hoo!

See you soon around the ‘bean.

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