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'The Amazing Race' crowns Amy DeJong and Maya Warren new champions


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/20/2014 

The Amazing Race crowned Amy DeJong and Maya Warren the winners of the CBS reality competition's 25th season during Friday night's finale episode.

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The "Food Scientists," nicknamed "The Candy Girls," won The Amazing Race's $1 million grand prize after crossing the twelfth and final leg's finish line at Point Vicente Lighthouse in Los Angeles, CA, in first place.

"Amy and Maya. Eight countries, 20 cities and more than 26,000 miles, you have won the one million dollars and are the official winners of The Amazing Race!" host Phil Keoghan told the girls, who hugged each other and cried.

"The Amazing Race was just an absolutely crazy experience. It's something you can't even really describe. It's something that you can't really understand until you've done it," Amy said following her team's victory.

"I think we were able to show that we're so much more than lab coats and goggles. Look what scientists can do, look what scientists can be -- especially women scientists. Hopefully we've been able to inspire people along the way to go out there and do things that are out of the box," Maya explained.

"When we go back to Madison, Wisconsin, we know people are going to be smiling at us and we hope we'll inspire some people along the way. I hope that we continue to grow and learn and become even better women."

This marks the third time in The Amazing Race history an all-female team has won the Race.

"Married Dentists" Misti Raman and Jim Raman finished in second place.

"Jim and I always set pretty lofty goals even in our personal life at home. We always have, and we really did not make an exception for The Amazing Race. We didn't meet all of them, but you know what? As long as you set them high and you land somewhere in between, we're happy," Misti said. "Outside of getting married to each other and having children, it was the best decision we ever could have made."

"I wish we won a million dollars, but we put on a good performance," Jim noted.

"Married Surfers" Bethany Hamilton and Adam Dirks claimed third place.

"Most of all, I'm so proud of how Adam and I raced the Race together. I'm just really thankful, even more so, for Adam now. I just love him even more than I did three, four weeks ago," Bethany told Phil.

"Bethany continually just surpasses all my expectations. It's been amazing to just see her grow and to see our love growing, because I mean, money is nice, but to know our love is intact and our relationship is stronger, I wouldn't trade it for a million dollars. But a million dollars still would've been a good thing, I'm just saying," Adam joked. "It really is an amazing race and something we'll remember for the rest of our lives."

"We, as a team, are even stronger than we are on our own and that's how we'll continue to live life," Bethany added. "The adventures are only going to continue from here."

"Dating Pro Wrestlers" Brooke Adams and Robbie E. Strauss were eliminated halfway through the final leg and therefore landed in fourth place.

The Amazing Race's finale broadcast began with the teams getting their first set of clues, which instructed them to fly more than 7,000 miles from Manila, Philippines to Los Angeles, CA, and then upon touching down at LAX, hop in a Ford vehicle and use its technology to listen to an audible text message, which would reveal their next clue.

No one was happy to see that Amy and Maya were still in the Race, especially Brooke. They were frustrated a team didn't get eliminated when everyone had worked so hard to make the usual Final 3. Misti and Jim assured Brooke and Robbie the scientists would be the likely team to get ousted in the middle of the leg. Jim thought the odds were against the candy girls.

The teams then had to take their manila envelope holding their film permits to a film LA clerk at Downtown City Hall to receive their next clue.

Brooke and Robbie just followed Adam and Bethany but didn't take the right turn so they got lost. They asked a man for directions and they apparently ended up being incorrect. Misti and Jim had trouble finding their next destination as well, saying they were traveling in the complete wrong direction. Jim called it "a colossal error" and hoped other teams had also struggled with their navigation.

Amy and Maya got to the mayor's office first. Their permits got approved and then they were told to proceed to Southwest Marine Warehouse, where they'd hand over their film permit to the assistant director on the set to receive their next clue. Adam and Bethany got to the office in second place, and then they were followed by Misti and Jim and Brooke and Robbie.

Amy and Maya arrived at the warehouse before any of the other teams. They were soon followed by Adam and Bethany, Misti and Jim, and then Brooke and Robbie.

It then became time for one Racer from each team to complete a Roadblock task. The participants were given the opportunity to learn a stunt and then play the role of a Hollywood action hero. The Racers had to prepare with a stunt coordinator, pick up a satchel and then crash through a plate-glass window from the third story of the building.

Maya opted to take on the task on behalf of her team. She was later joined by Adam and Jim.

Once Brooke and Robbie finally got there and observed a demonstration of the stunt one of them would be attempting, The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan surprised them.

"This is bad news," Robbie told Brooke.

Phil eliminated the team and Brooke looked very disappointed.

"We tried, Phil. We worked hard. We're wrestlers. We didn't give up," Robbie said, expressing how he would've liked to try the stunt.

"I don't even know what to say anymore," Brooke noted with her head down.

"I'm sure a lot of couples say this when they come on the Race, but I gotta say it, if you can get through the Race, you can get through anything. To be able to survive and us still be sitting next to each other smiling and she's letting me put my arm around her -- well almost -- I'd say that's pretty good and we're proud of that," Robbie said with a laugh.

"I'm totally proud," Brooke acknowledged.

The teams finished the Roadblock in the order they had started it and then learned they must run to the U.S. Coast Guard base at the end of Terminal Island and choose one of the red marked response boats at the pier to receive their next clue.

Maya forgot to take off all her gear before leaving the Roadblock, so when she went back to accomplish that, Adam and Bethany jumped in front of them and got to the pier in first place. They were then followed by Amy and Maya, Misti and Jim, and Brooke and Robbie.

At the pier, the teams were instructed to jump onboard a response boat and test their skills in the open ocean via a search and rescue training exercise.

Amy and Maya were behind Adam and Bethany's boat and the girls saw the surfers finish the task. Misti and Jim were right on their heels and everyone acknowledged it was a close race at this point -- except the wrestlers were nowhere to be seen.

Adam and Bethany ripped open their next clue in first place and discovered they must travel by taxi to Conglobal Industries for their next clue. Misti and Jim finished the Coast Guard task in second place. Amy and Maya were therefore in third.

At Conglobal Industries, Adam and Bethany learned there would be another Roadblock and the Racer who did not complete the Hollywood stunt task would be forced to take on this one.

For the Roadblock, the Racers had to find nine specific shipping containers of seemingly thousands which represented the nine cities they had visited during the Race. Each city container had a color-coded number assigned to each team that they must memorize and then write down on a form in the exact order they had traveled to each corresponding city. When they came up with the right combination of numbers, they'd receive their next clue.

Misti and Jim then arrived at Conglobal Industries with Amy and Maya right behind them. Misti and Amy had to complete the Roadblock.

The teams were not allowed to take notes and the hardest part appeared to be finding the correct containers. It was a large maze that required a lot of walking. Bethany admitted her memory wasn't great, and the pressure was clearly on.

The Final 3 teams were tied for first place at this point, so whoever finished the task first would likely determine which team would take home the million dollars.

Amy completed the Roadblock in first place. Amy and Maya therefore received their next set of clues before anyone else and were told to make their way to Point Vicente Lighthouse in Rancho Palos Verdes, which would serve as The Amazing Race's Season 25 finish line.

Meanwhile, Adam comforted Jim by saying the girls' taxi could mess up. Misti and Jim then finished the Roadblock and Adam and Bethany later followed them in third place.

The eight previously-eliminated teams waited at the finish line with Phil for the first team to arrive. That team happened to be -- Amy and Maya!

Maya jumped into Phil's arms as everyone applauded the girls, who were ecstatic and rolling all over each other on the mat.

"We finished in first!" Amy exclaimed.

"We won The Amazing Race! Oh my gosh!" Maya yelled.


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