The core is undoubtedly no more as the alliance will bend-if-not-break in the Season 32 finale. All three remaining teams will embark on their last flight to their final destination…
ROUTE INFO: Proceed to New Orleans, Louisiana
Once teams land in New Orleans, they must make their way to The French Quarter (Phil explains while ‘dancing’).
The teams reflect upon their time on The Race, the bond between themselves and the other two teams within the core alliance as they prepare to battle it out for the $1 million prize. Going into the finale, all three teams have exhibited the ability to win, seeing all three win a leg more than once; it’s only just and not luck that these three are in the finals.
Teams touchdown in New Orleans and have one final airport taxi scramble amidst the taxi rank as they make their way to Louis Armstrong Park. Will & James are the first to arrive at the park and receive their next clue.
ROUTE INFO: Let’s Party!
Teams must make their way on foot into the heart of Mardi Gras on Bourbon Street to collect 50 red and 50 gold beaded necklaces thrown by fellow partygoers from atop the Bourbon balconies.
Hung & Chee are close behind Will & James in second, seeing Riley & Maddison drop down into third and deliver the Stating the Obvious Quote of the Episode: “We want to make sure we show up to the right place.” – Riley
The Beard Bros vacate their astray taxi and begin to run frantically, trying to find Louis Armstrong Park, as Will (who’s been to Bourbon Street pre-Race) & James continue to strengthen their lead and arrive at the beads task. Hung & Chee are again on Will & James’ tails as they arrive at the task (please 2020, you’ve taken so much from us, at least give us one more Hung roar during this Mardi Gras scene).
Riley & Maddison finally find the clue box and sprint (not CITY sprint) their way to Bourbon Street to gain ground on their former allies, noting that it’s only a particular type of bead that will garner the judge’s approval, a note that Hung & Chee failed to pick up on as they were denied their clue from the bead boss. Will & James maintain their lead and receive their next clue.
ROAD BLOCK: Who will be Left Holding the Baby?
Teams will make their way to Cafe Beignet, where one teammate must find a miniature figurine baby inside a King cake, then eat half a dozen beignets with their partner to receive their next clue. En route to the cafe, teams must wear a washboard and play with the band all the way there.
As Will & James make their way to the cafe, Hung & Chee are the next to collect all 100 beads and receive their next clue, with the Beard Bros remaining in third. James hears Hung & Chee’s band marching towards him as Will begins work on the Road Block, while Riley & Maddison complete the beads task.
All three teams are now at the Road Block, with Will, Chee, and Maddison partaking for their teams. Will’s King cake acumen comes into effect as he is the first to find the baby, and he and James begin to inhale beignets. With Will likening the Road Block to the Cinnamon Challenge, the pair struggle to scoff down their pastries, leaving room for Chee and Maddison to gain ground.
Chee has gone through every single rack of cake and is yet to locate the baby; as a bakery-bickering, Will & James manage to complete their beignet binge and receive their next clue.
ROUTE INFO: Proceed to New Orleans Convention Centre
Teams must travel by taxi to the New Orleans Convention Centre and search for their next clue in Hall H.
In a twist of dramatic real-life irony, both side-lined Hung and Riley spot Chee’s baby amidst a sea/table full of King Cakes, with Hung left hopelessly pacing watching her husband struggle with the Road Block.
Further extending their lead, Will & James locate the clue box at the Convention Centre.
ROAD BLOCK: Who Wants to Bridge the Gap?
This Road Block requires teams to climb under the Crescent City Convention Bridge, then swing from a beam 200 feet above the Mississippi River to grab a clue.
A height-fearing James is forced to opt into this task as Will completed the previous Road Block.
Comedy Moment of the Episode:
Will: “You can do it!”
James: “I know I can do it, but it doesn’t mean I want to do it.”
Will: “I didn’t want to fiddle through King Cake.”
James: “Yes, you did, your face lit up when you saw the idea of a King Cake!”
Back at the cafe, Chee apologises to Hung as both he and Maddison’s baby-finding struggles continue. Chee is the first of the Road Blocked to find the baby, seeing the brothers remaining in third. “More chewing, less talking,” exclaims Hung as she and Chee try and make quick work of the beignet.
A nerve-stricken and bridge-bound James begins his ascent towards the clue, while Hung & Chee leave the cafe and the Beard Bros behind. James bravely braces the beam and manages to grab his clue mid-swing.
ROUTE INFO: Let the Good Times Roll!
Both team members must repel to the ground from the bridge and make their way on foot to Mardi Gras World while rolling a 10-foot high ball.
Will & James complete their repel and begin rolling their way to Mardi Gras World, as Hung & Chee arrive at the Road Block. Reliving her Berlin Road Block experience, Hung is apprehensive yet is able to complete the season’s final Road Block as they increase their lead on the Beard Bros.
Speaking of the Beard Bros, Maddison has found the baby as he and Riley ravage their way through half a dozen beignets. Will & James arrive at Mardi Gras World and receive their next clue.
Teams must search through the Mardi Gras World warehouse for a crate containing 32 puzzle pieces of a globe puzzle, which they must correctly place on their 10-foot ball to receive their next and FINAL clue.
It’s Will & James’ season to lose at this point as they have contained their well-deserved lead throughout this leg. The pair quickly locate their crate and begin work on their globe puzzle. Sadly, we’re left Hung roar-less as she and Chee calmly complete their descent and make their way to the warehouse, followed closely by the Beard Bros.
Will & James believe they have their puzzle pieces in place, only to be denied by the judge, forcing them to re-assemble. Hung & Chee approach the warehouse as Will & James begin their re-assembling. Upon their second attempt, Will & James are given the go-ahead and receive their FINAL clue.
ROUTE INFO: Go to the Finish Line | Superdome
Teams must travel by taxi to New Orleans’ Superdome; the first team to find Phil at the finish line will WIN The Amazing Race.
Hung & Chee arrive at the warehouse looking to tighten the gap on leg-leaders, Will & James, but it was all for not as this leg was never in doubt…
The entirety and emotions of The Race wash over Will & James, as the overwhelmed duo are taxi and finish line-bound, with the $1 million prize within reaching distance.
11 countries, 17 cities, more than 33,000 miles…
- Team Number 1 & Season 32 Winners: Will & James
Will & James’s collective super fandom and homework paid off as they deservedly win Season 32. The pair were the driving force behind the alliance, which was a significant factor catapulting them and their allies into the final five and beyond. The duo trained arguably like no other team in TAR history, even citing their cartography crunching in their last task. Ten teams came to race around the world, but Will & James came to conquer it. The pair took strategic elements of teams’ past and not only built upon but perfected them this season, resulting in the ultimate Mardi Gras coup de grâce.
Speaking of building on elements from previous contestants, Will takes a page out of the Boston Rob playbook and proposes to James at the finish line, in a glee-exuding moment (despite being speechless, James indeed said yes)! A TAR-themed wedding is hopefully in the works for the engaged pair; Phil as the MC, a King Cake Wedding Cake, the Manila Medley Band as their Wedding Band; the possibilities are endless.
- Team Number 2: Hung & Chee
The married pair ran an incredibly impressive Race, hardly putting a foot wrong as the team set the bar high from the start, having won the first two legs, ultimately being outdone by a finale-dominant Will & James. Thus it is difficult to find any fault in Hung & Chee’s final chapter. Hung drove the team with her competitive spirit, while Chee was a calming influence who seemed to pick up a myriad of tasks (be it instruments, carnival games, etc.) with ease, producing an incredibly efficient and productive pair.
- Team Number 3: Riley & Maddison
Disappointingly, the duo’s first 3rd place-or-worst leg finish in about half a dozen legs just so happened to be in the finale. The pair never could offset the early taxi or cake mishaps from the beginning of the episode. Riley & Maddison had to be the favourites going into the finale but failed to right their wrongs. The brothers looked defeated at the finish line, knowing that their latter season-long dominance was all-for-not.
Viewers may question the alliance, with producers even trying to negate such strategies in the future, but Season 32 will be remembered rightly for it. Alliances in The Amazing Race have always been a constant; it’s just taken 32 seasons and a newly-engaged duo to own and master it.