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HOME > The Amazing Race > The Amazing Race 20

'The Amazing Race' crowns Dave Brown and Rachel Brown winners


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/07/2012 

The Amazing Race crowned Rachel Brown and Dave Brown the champions of its twentieth season during Sunday night's two-hour finale broadcast of the CBS reality competition.

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"I have a newfound appreciation for who my partner is -- who my life partner is. 'Operation Amazing Race' was a complete success. The eighth victory and setting a new record is just the epitome of success," Dave said after he and Rachel finished the final leg in first place.

"I feel like this race has really brought us together, and I couldn't be any more grateful. To have done it together is priceless. It's such a wonderful thing," Rachel added.

The "Married Couple" team was the first team to cross the twentieth season of The Amazing Race's finish line in Honolulu, HI, claiming the $1 million grand prize.

"Border Patrol Agents and Friends" Art Velez and J.J. Carrell finished second.

"It was a spectacular journey, and because we didn't win, it doesn't diminish it. It's not easy standing here, but right now it's a little bitter sweet. We ran our Race and we're proud of it, and we won and lost together. Not bad for a couple old guys huh?" J.J. joked.

"Engaged Couple" and former Big Brother houseguests Brendon Villegas and Rachel Reilly finished third.

"I think The Amazing Race has tested our relationship in ways that I didn't think were possible. Even when we go at it with each other and want to strangle each other, at the core of both of us is an immense love for the other," Brendon explained.

"It was just an amazing adventure and experience that I will never forget. And I will cherish it for the rest of my life," Rachel R. said.

"Dating Divorcees" Vanessa Macias and Ralph Kelley finished in fourth place mid-episode, and therefore, were ineligible to compete in the final twelfth leg of the Race.

The two-part eleventh episode of The Amazing Race's twentieth season began where last week's broadcast left off, with the Race's four teams meeting with host Phil Keoghan and leaving the course's tenth Pit Stop.

Since they had been the team to finish in first place at the Race's tenth Pit Stop, Rachel B. and Dave were the first team to depart from the Cheena Vala Fishing Nets in Cochin, India at 1:51PM.

Upon opening their departure clues, the teams were instructed to fly nearly 4,000 to Hiroshima, Japan. Once they arrived, they had to make their way to Miyajima Island, where they must search the grounds for their next clue.

The teams soon learned that 8:10AM the next morning was the only available flight, so they were all going to be on the same one.

The teams quickly purchased bus tickets. Rachel R. and Brendon struggled to figure out where they could buy the tickets, while the other teams waited on the bus and made run of their poor racing skills. Rachel R. and Brendon missed the bus that everyone else was on and they bickered because Rachel was angry he didn't listen to her and wanted to do things his way when it was the wrong way.

The teams then bought train tickets and the first available train was 10:20am. Rachel B. and Dave missed the train the other three teams got on. Once off the train, the teams purchased tickets for the ferry leaving at 6:10pm.

Rachel B. and Dave didn't make the ferry in time and learned the next ferry didn't depart until 6:20 am the following morning. Dave was really frustrated because he realized stalling for one minute earlier in the leg cost them a million dollars.

Upon arriving at Miyajima Island, the teams learned their next clue would "come with the rising sun," meaning Rachel B. and Dave had a chance to stay in the Race and continue competing right alongside their competitors.

The teams' next set of clues then instructed them to make their way to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park where they'd have to find the Atomic Bomb Dome. All the teams got there around the same time and offered a moment of silence for the lives lost and destruction that was a result of an atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima.

All the teams then learned they had to travel by a high-speed bullet train to the city of Osaka, and once there, make their way to the TV 8 Studio where they'd find their next clue.

Three teams took the subway, believing it was the quickest mode of transportation, while Art and J.J. took a cab instead. Brendon and Rachel R. and Rachel B. and Dave worked together to find the studio and went to the wrong location at first. Vanessa and Ralph had a similar problem because their cab driver brought them to the wrong place.

Art and J.J. were the first team to arrive at the studio, and they were then followed by Vanessa and Ralph, Brendon and Rachel R., and Rachel B. and Dave.

Once at the studio, the teams learned it was time to complete a Roadblock task. The Roadblock task required one member from each team to participate in a "bring the chicken home Japanese game" in which they had to sprint on a giant running track while jumping up and grabbing three rubber chickens from the ceiling one at a time. If they could run to the finish after collecting all three chickens, the game show host would give them their next clue.

Art opted to do the Roadblock for his team. He was later joined by Vanessa, Brendon, and Rachel B.

It took Art numerous attempts to complete the task and J.J. found his struggle hilarious. Brendon ended up doing very well in the task, but Vanessa struggled because not only was it a challenging task, but she also suffered from a sprained ankle.

Art and J.J. were the first team to complete the Roadblock task, and they were then followed by Brendon and Rachel R., Rachel B. and Dave, and Vanessa and Ralph. Vanessa and Ralph were close to quitting the task because Vanessa kept hurting herself and Ralph didn't think it was worth it.

However, Vanessa was desperate to finish so she kept at it and finally succeeding, avoiding a time penalty they would've received otherwise at the end of the leg.

The next set of clues instructed the teams to make their way to the roof of the Umeda Sky Building and look for a pair of Windows 7 touch screen PC's. A double tap of the finger would reveal which side of the Detour they wanted to choose.

Art and J.J. were the first team to make it onto the roof. They were soon followed by Rachel B. and Dave, Brendon and Rachel R. and Vanessa and Ralph.

Once the teams retrieved their next set of clues at the fort, it then became time for them to complete one of two Detour tasks: "Photo Cut-Out" or "Bingo Shutout."

"Bingo Shutout" required the teams to pick up sushi off a conveyor belt and place it on a bingo card. As the chef called out names of sushi, they had to correctly identify the pieces of sushi with a letter attached to it and match them to a name on the board. Once the teams had the correct five pieces in either a vertical, horizontal or diagonal row just like in bingo, they could yell out "sushi" and then eat all five pieces to receive their next clue.

"Photo Cut-Out" required the teams to pick up a camera and two lifesize cutouts of sumo wrestlers and then convince locals to pose for a photo. Once they took 10 different photos, they had to deliver them to the photographer to receive their next clue.

Art and J.J., Brendon and Rachel R. and Vanessa and Ralph opted to take on the "Bingo Shutout" task, while Rachel B. and Dave tested their luck with the "Photo Cut-Out" task.

Both tasks didn't seem to be very difficult, although Rachel B. and Dave breezed through their task and were the first team to complete the Detour and receive their next set of clues, which instructed the team to make their way to Osaka Castle -- which would serve as the Pit Stop for the eleventh and penultimate leg of the Race's twentieth edition.

Vanessa and Ralph caught up to Brendon and Rachel R. who were having trouble with the task, and Rachel R. was growing very frustrated due to Brendon's poor listening skills.

Art and J.J. then finished the sushi Detour task, and they were soon followed by Brendon and Rachel R. and Vanessa and Ralph.

Still maintaining their lead, Rachel B. and Dave were the first team to arrive at the Pit Stop mat and meet Phil in first place. For finishing the eleventh leg before any of the other teams, the pair won a trip for two to New Zealand and learned they had seven first-place victories -- tying the record for the most wins during a single The Amazing Race season.

Rachel B. and Dave acknowledged the fact they needed just one more first-place win to beat the current The Amazing Race record and win the grand prize.

Art and J.J. couldn't find the Pit Stop at first although they were circling the area, and Brendon and Rachel R. struggled to find it as well. Both teams saw each other and became very flustered, especially Art and J.J. who had arrived there before them and should've finished in second place already.

However, Art and J.J. managed to find Phil eventually and still finish the leg in second place. Brendon and Rachel R. subsequently secured third place and then Vanessa and Ralph arrived at the Pit Stop mat together in fourth -- and last -- place.

"Vanessa and Ralph, I'm sorry to tell you that you are the last team to arrive..." Phil told the disappointed team.

"We figured," said Ralph of their fourth-place ending to the Race.

"... and that you've been eliminated from the Race. But Vanessa, you should be extremely proud of yourself today because you really dug deep and you never gave up," Phil explained.

"She's been a trooper, so I would never want to do this with anyone else," Ralph noted. "This has been a wonderful experience for me. We've had our [share of problems] and I think we're a lot closer because of it."

"From here on out, it's smooth sailing unless there are rubber chickens," Vanessa joked.

The second half of The Amazing Race's finale broadcast then began with the Race's Final 3 teams leaving the course's eleventh Pit Stop at Osaka Castle.

Since they were the team to come in first place during that leg, Rachel B. and Dave took off first for the final twelfth leg at 4:25PM. The couple had gained a lot of momentum and hit the ground running with optimism. Following Rachel B. and Dave was Art and J.J. at 4:47PM and then Brendon and Rachel R. 5:05PM.

The teams were instructed to take their final flight to Honolulu, HI, and upon landing, figure out that they were searching for the Twin Towers known as Mauka and Makai. All the teams got booked for the same 12-hour flight and hoped to rest up before continuing on with the rest of the leg.

Rachel B. and Dave grabbed the first cab, and Art and J.J. and Brendon and Rachel R. were right behind them. Art and J.J. had their driver blindly follow Rachel B. and Dave, but Dave and Rachel B. asked their cab driver to lose the guys and he was successful in doing so.

Upon arriving at the twin towers, the teams learned they must make their way up to the top of the 45-story tower, and then once at the top, scour their horizon to spot their next destination. Afterwards, they had to rappel face-forward back to the ground.

Rachel B. and Dave were the first team to arrive at the Twin Towers and they were soon followed by Brendon and Rachel R. and Art and J.J.

Meanwhile, Art and J.J. were still stuck in their cab without a clue as to where they were going. They asked their cab driver to stop at a hotel or something so they could figure out where they should be headed.

Art and J.J. ended up stopping and asking locals where Mauka and Makai were, and the people told them they were statues of a man on a boogie board and a seal at the beach. However, they had no idea they were given the wrong information until they arrived and discovered the statues had different names. They finally got the right location from a woman they stopped to ask.

Rachel B. and Dave were the first team to complete the ascending and rappelling task, and they were soon followed by Rachel R. and Brendon and finally Art and J.J. -- who was terrified of the task because he didn't like heights or risky thrill-seeking opportunities. All the teams knew they were looking for a park next, which they had viewed from the top of the towers.

Rachel B. and Dave were the first team to find the clue box in the park. They were then followed by Rachel R. and Brendon and Art and J.J.

Once at the park, the teams learned it was time to complete a Roadblock task. The Roadblock task required one member from each team to shave enough ice using a samurai sword to completely fill a bucket to a line of just about 16 quarts, and upon completion, they'd receive their next clue.

Dave opted to do the Roadblock for his team. He was later joined by Brendon and J.J. The task was easy yet physically draining.

Rachel B. and Dave were the first team to finish the Roadblock task and were soon followed by Brendon and Rachel R. and Art and J.J.

The team's next set of clues instructed them to make their way on foot to two helicopters waiting in an outfield of a baseball field.

Brendon and Rachel, however, didn't follow the rules' specific instructions because they chose to take a cab to the helicopters when they were supposed to walk on foot. On their way there, Brendon noticed their mistake and the couple beat themselves up about it but knew they had to just fix it and move on.

The teams enjoyed the beautiful views below them along with a little relaxation time in the helicopters and then upon landing, received their next clue. Rachel B. and Dave got there first and were soon followed by Art and J.J. and Brendon and Rachel R.

The teams learned they must rescue a distress swimmer, as one team member had to drive a wave-runner through the turbulent surf, the other team member had to be towed on a sled. Once they scooped up their victim, they had to negotiate their way back through the waters to get safely back on shore. Upon completion of the task, they'd receive their next clue.

The leg tested Rachel R. and Brendon's relationship, as they bickered and argued on their way to the helicopters. Rachel R. felt Brendon was attacking her and blaming her for their mistakes, while Brendon was apparently just asking her to hustle and run rather than walk slowly.

The teams ended up completing the task in the same order which they had started it.

After finishing the rescue-swimmer task before any of the other teams, Rachel B. and Dave -- still keeping their lead -- were instructed to make their way to Coral Kingdom Gate to Hakipu'u Valley and follow a marked path to their next clue. Once the teams arrived at the gate, they were instructed to take all their belongings with them and release their taxis.

However, Art and J.J. managed to pass Rachel B. and Dave and get to the coral kingdom in first place because Rachel B. and Dave had made the fatal mistake of failing to follow the marked path.

Rachel B. and Dave went straight to a task -- which required both members of each team to ride a stand-up paddleboard across a fishpond to the marked dock and then race to the Pit Stop -- instead of going to the correct Roadblock task that was next to complete in the leg.

After riding their paddleboards too soon in the leg, Rachel B. and Dave made a mad dash to the finish line at the final Pit Stop and were convinced they had finished the Race in first place considering they didn't see any other teams before them. However, Phil had some bad news to share with the excited team in front of all the twentieth season's previously-eliminated Racers.

"Rachel and Dave, you are the first team to arrive. However, you have not completed the Roadblock and you must complete the Roadblock before I can check you in at the finish line," Phil told them.

The couple then turned around and rushed back to complete what they had never started.

Meanwhile, Art was attempting to complete the Roadblock task at Hakipu'u Valley. For the task, one member from each team was required to take a ride 150 feet down a hill by surfing down it on a Hawaiian sled at 60mph and then pick up a disc-shaped lava rock to participate in a game in which they had to roll the rock to hit a target. Once the target was hit successfully, the teams would receive their last and final clue.

By the time Rachel B. and Dave arrived at the correct Roadblock task location after realizing their error, Art and J.J. were still attempting to complete the task and Rachel R. and Brendon were just finishing up the with the rescue-swimmer task. Art and J.J. were overjoyed to see Rachel B. and Dave appear, because it gave them the proof they needed to know they were still in the game.

Then, much to Art and J.J.'s surprise, Rachel B. flew through the sled task which Art had tried but failed to complete numerous times. Dave was proud of Rachel B., while J.J. was extremely angry, shocked and in disbelief that the money was so easily slipping through their fingers. Art tried to complete the task 17 times while Rachel B. and Dave were present.

Rachel B. and Dave then finished the Roadblock task in first place fair and square. They rushed to the Pit Stop after receiving their final clue instructing them to make their way to a secret island. They hopped on ATV's and got on their way.

Meanwhile, Rachel R. and Brendon arrived at the Hawaiian games Roadblock task and saw Art and J.J. still there. Rachel R. nailed the sledding part of the task in only two tries and rushed off to do the "bowling portion" of the task. J.J. just watched Art struggling and the other teams passing them from a distance and couldn't believe how things had played out for them.

Art eventually finished the first half of the Roadblock task in what appeared to be 18 attempts.

During that time, Rachel B. and Dave met Phil again to finally claim their The Amazing Race victory -- again. Everyone cheered the team on and they couldn't have been happier about how they ran, not only the last leg, but their entire Race.

"Rachel and Dave, five continents, nine countries, 22 cities, and more than 36,000 miles. Rachel and Dave, you are the winners of the one million dollars and the official winners of The Amazing Race. Congratulations. You guys are now the official record holders of the most number of wins on The Amazing Race -- eight legs of The Amazing Race these guys won," Phil told them.

"This Race has been just amazing. I can't even tell you what this has done for our relationship, because when Dave was gone for a year, it was so hard. I really didn't even know if we'd make it because it was so hard when he was over there [in Iraq]. We didn't even have any communication. It was the worst year ever. It's been awesome to spend a month together," Rachel B. said in tears.

Art and J.J. then finished the Roadblock task and arrived at the Pit Stop mat as the second-place team. They congratulated Rachel B. and Dave and then accepted their fate.

"To experience what we experienced, it is worth more than a million dollars, it's priceless," J.J. said afterwards.

Rachel R. and Brendon then arrived and met Phil and their fellow Racers in third -- and last -- place. They clearly weren't happy but accepted their loss graciously.

"Did you get everything you wanted out of this Race?" Phil asked them.

"It was a cool experience for Brendon and I to do together as a couple," Rachel R. said.

"What about the other teams? Have you guys managed to make amends?" Phil asked.

"As soon as the Race is done and things are over, I think everyone doesn't really give a crap anymore. So I'm really proud to be a part of it and even if we didn't win, I feel like I got an amazing experience. So thank you guys," Brendon explained.



(Photo credit CBS)


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