Nick and Starr Spangler win 'The Amazing Race's thirteenth edition
By John Bracchitta, 12/08/2008
The "Brother and Sister" team of Nick and Starr Spangler were revealed to be The Amazing Race's thirteenth-season winners during last night's finale broadcast of the CBS reality series.
"I'm proud of [Starr] as a person, as a competitor, and as a racer," Nick said following he and his sister's victory. "She's been unbelievable on this race."
Nick, a 22-year-old actor from New York City, and Starr, a 21-year-old former NFL cheerleader from Fort Worth, TX, were the first team to reach the race's finish line in Portland, OR and claim the $1 million grand prize.
"More than the million dollars, more than being the winners of The Amazing Race, I love the experiences that I've gone through with my sister, and I've loved seeing her succeed so greatly," Nick added.
The "Separated Couple" team of Ken and Tina Greene finished the race in second place. Upon arriving at the Pit Stop, Ken took out he and Tina's wedding rings -- which they had not worn since they had separated -- and proposed starting their marriage over again to "do it right this time."
"People do change, and so much today people do throw marriages away so quickly without really working hard at them, and I think I've tried to hold onto the fact that, at Kenny's core, he is a great person and he has many wonderful qualities," Tina said. I think he showed me on the race that I'm important to him, that our marriage is important to him."
"This had not been an easy relationship, it has never been smooth," Ken added. "If we want to be married we want it to be a great marriage, and so there's gonna be work... We've had enough tough times, its time to move in and have good times."
The "Fraternity Brothers" team of Andrew Lappitt and Dan Honig were the third and final team to finish the race after suffering through yet another litany of mistakes and bad fortune while racing.
"When we started this race we thought we had no chance in hell to make the Final 3 and before you knew it we were here and we'd finished the course," Andrew said later.
"We're the ambassadors of the college frat guys. I think any frat guy watching would be proud of our performance, not many people say that they did this well -- especially beer-guzzling idiots like us," Dan added.
The Amazing Race 13's eleventh and final episode began with the three remaining teams leaving VDNKh Park, a memorial park in Moscow, Russia that had served as the Pit Stop of the race's tenth leg.
Following the mandatory rest period between the legs, Nick and Starr were the first team to depart from the Pit Stop for the race's final leg at 10:56PM.
Upon leaving, Nick and Starr were given a clue instructing them to take a taxi to the local airport and fly over 5,000 miles to Portland Oregon. Once they arrived in Portland, they were told to make their way to the Tilikum Children's camp and retreat center to receive their next clue.
"Nick and I are definitely sleep deprived, we're tired," Starr said. "It's been a long race, but I think adrenaline will carry us through this race.
Andrew and Dan were the second team to leave the Pit Stop at 2:28AM. Ken and Tina left the Pit Stop in third place at 3:30AM.
While Nick and Starr were the first team to arrive at the airport, all three teams ended up arriving in time to catch the same 7:05AM flight to Portland, OR that connected in Frankfurt, Germany.
After arriving in Portland, the three teams ran out of the airport in search of taxis to travel to the camp, with Nick and Starr leaving the airport first, Ken and Tina leaving in second, and Andrew and Dan leaving in third.
Andrew and Dan quickly suffered yet another misfortune en route to the camp as their taxi driver got lost. As they trailed Nick and Starr, Ken lamented that Nick and Starr had managed to catch so many breaks throughout the competition's ten legs.
"I'm telling you, Nick and Starr have a horseshoe stuck in their rear ends," he told Tina.
However, Nick and Starr's run of good luck hit a temporary snag when their cab driver missed a turn while heading to the camp allowing Ken and Tina to jump into the lead and arrive at the camp first. Upon their arrival, Ken and Tina received a clue that informed them that it was time for the leg's two Detour options: "High and Dry" or "Low and wet."
"High and Dry" required each team to go to a forest obstacle course, climb up a 30-foot-tree, and then walk across a 40-foot-log before jumping off of it towards a beam to get two separate halves of their next clue. If either contestant fell off of any part of the course, they would have to restart their turn over.
"Low and Wet" required each team to walk across an 850-foot-bridge made up of logs floating on a lake towards a piece of land containing their next clue.
All three teams chose "High and Dry," with Nick and Starr arriving at the camp in second place and Andrew and Dan arriving in third place.
Ken, who went first for his team, had no trouble competing the tree course as Nick followed slightly behind him. Starr also had little trouble getting through the course either, however Tina's fear of heights and some difficulty with her helmet slowed her significantly and dropped her team into second place behind Nick and Starr.
After finishing the Detour, Nick and Star received their next clue, which instructed them to travel to the Bridge of the Gods and ride a 2,000-foot zip line to a small island that contained their next clue.
As he and Tina raced to the bridge behind Nick and Starr's taxi, Ken noted that the competition had essentially become a "two man race." While still en route to the camp with their lost taxi driver, a disappointed Andrew essentially echoed Ken's comments.
"If we win today, it would be the biggest win in the history of The Amazing Race," he said in a dejected tone.
Meanwhile, Nick and Starr's taxi driver missed another turn as they traveled to the bridge, which allowed Ken and Tina to be the first team to reach zip line location and narrowly move back into first place.
Ken and Tina maintained their lead as they rode the zip lines. After competing the zip line, they received their next clue, which told them they had to solve a memory board consisting of the show's Route Info, Roadblock, Detour and Pit Stop symbols.
As each team revealed a symbol on the board for each of the race's ten previous legs, they would have to find a corresponding picture relating to the symbol in one of 150 clue boxes placed in a nearby field. Once a team found all ten correct images, they would receive their next clue.
"This is gonna take forever," Tina said as Nick and Starr completed the zip line and began the challenge in second.
While both teams struggled with the challenge, Nick and Starr were able to regain their lead and finish the challenge slightly ahead of Ken ant Tina. Upon finishing, the team received a clue which instructed them to travel to downtown Portland and find their next clue near a green dinosaur in a building across the street from the Portland Building.
Nick and Starr arrived at the building and were the first to find the clue by the dinosaur, which told them to travel on foot to Alder Street where they would receive their next clue from a Russian food cart. As they left for Alder Street, Nick and Starr were careful to avoid being seen by Ken and Tina, who had arrived at the Portland Building but were having trouble finding the dinosaur.
The brother and sister made their way to the Russian food court where they received their next clue that only had the phrase "the magic is in the hole," the motto of their next destination: a local doughnut shop named Voodoo Doughnuts.
After repeatedly shouting the phrase to pedestrians in an attempt to gain some context of the phrase, Nick and Starr were able to make sense of the clue and head to the doughnut shop while still maintaining their lead.
Upon arriving at the doughnut shop, the team received instructions to the race's finish line where Phil and the competition's previously eliminated teams -- minus Toni and Dallas Imbimbo, who were delayed in Russia due to Dallas' lost passport -- met them.
"23 days, five continents, and almost 43,000 miles," Phil said to the team. "Nick and Starr, you are the official winners of The Amazing Race!"