The Amazing Race crowned "Dating Co-Workers and News Anchors" Kelsey Gerckens and Joey Buttitta the winners of the series' 27th season during Friday night's finale broadcast on CBS.
Kelsey and Joey from Santa Barbara, CA, crossed the finish line together in first place and won $1 million on the twelfth leg after conquering five continents, 10 countries and more than 34,000 miles.
Kelsey and Joey said they'll be moving in together now that the Race is done, and Joey intends to pay off the mortgage on his parents' house with some of their prize money.
"For the two of us to experience what we've experienced, this is the best thing ever," Joey said after The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan dubbed them victorious.
"To leave here wanting to still be close to each other, I think it just shows how strong our relationship is and how in love we are," Kelsey explained.
Second place went to "Engaged Couple and Amazing Race Super Fans" Justin Scheman and Diana Bishop, while "Dating Paparazzi Business Partners" Logan Fazio and Chris Gordon finished in third.
Season 27's final episode began with Chris and Logan leaving the eleventh Pit Stop at Nam Van Lake, home to Macau's famous Dragon Boat Race, in first place at 3:54AM. They were followed by Kelsey and Joey at 3:55AM and then Justin and Diana at 5:37AM. Diana told him not to get cocky because he had lived in New York for 20 years.
The teams were instructed to fly to Long Island, NY, and all three teams ended up on the same flight.
Kelsey and Joey and Logan and Chris agreed Justin and Diana might screw up the final leg because they'd be so confident racing in their territory.
Upon landing, the teams had to make their way to Randalls Island, a training facility. Justin had proposed to Diana at Randalls Island, so he said it was destiny the Race ended there.
Justin and Diana got to Randalls Island first and tried to pay their cab driver to wait for them, however, he was asking for 100 more dollars they weren't willing to cough up. Justin and Diana therefore paid for just their trip alone -- with no tip -- and then the guy took off. Chris and Logan got there next, and Kelsey and Joey arrived at the Roadblock in third place.
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For the Roadblock, one member from each team had to take on an actual firefighting training exercise. After climbing a ladder into a burning building, they must search the suffocating smoke-filled rooms for a victim trapped inside. If the Racers could rescue their victims, they'd move on to a memory exercise in which the names of countries' capitals were written on firefighters' helmets and they had to place them in order of where they had visited first to last.
Justin opted to take on the Roadblock task on behalf of his team. He was later joined by Chris and Joey.
Chris kept repeating he was winded after climbing the ladder, and he ended up lining up the helmets incorrectly.
Justin and Diana finished the Roadblock task in first place, followed by Kelsey and Joey in second place and then Chris and Logan.
The teams then proceeded to the location of the final race of the Triple Crown, which was the Belmont Stakes. Justin and Diana searched for a cab driver who knew where he was going or at least had a vehicle or phone GPS with him. Two cab drivers denied them a ride, and so the "Green Team" ran off looking for another one. Meanwhile, Chris and Logan's taxi left them.
Chris and Logan then stole Kelsey and Joey's cab as Kelsey was running after it screaming that it was their driver and they hadn't even paid him the fare yet for their previous ride. Completely frustrated and furious, Kelsey and Joey kicked the "Paparazzi" out and took over. Kelsey and Joey were unapologetic because it was their cab to begin with.
Logan didn't understand why Chris made them get out, saying it wasn't the time for Chris to act like a gentleman because it was perfectly acceptable to take the cab. Chris insisted the driver wouldn't take them to their next destination. Logan was angry Chris allowed the "Reporters" to intimidate him, and Chris acknowledged they were in trouble. Likewise, Justin vented how they should've kept their cab earlier on.
Justin and Diana then hopped on a bus. They traveled to Manhattan hoping to find another cab there, and Justin said it was "worst case scenario."
Chris had the same gameplan, but he and Logan bickered over the circumstance. Chris argued he thought their cab was nearby and that's why he hopped out, while Logan accused him of failing to admit the truth. Chris told Logan he asked Kelsey and Joey's cab driver to take them twice but he wouldn't. Logan said they needed to be more persistent, and Chris just gave in and said, "Sorry... we're now screwed."
Once Kelsey and Joey arrived at the race track in first place, they learned they must fly to The Hamptons via helicopter. Kelsey and Joey saw three helicopters waiting for them, so they had a feeling they were in first place. Chris and Logan got to the track in second place, and Chris dropped his boots before hopping in the helicopter. Justin and Diana got there in third place and knew they were last.
The teams' were then instructed to make their way to Shinnecock East County Park. Once there, they picked out jetskis to ride. The teams got to the jetskis in the same order they had left the race track, and Chris and Logan realized a third clue was still in the box.
After pulling up to a fisherman's boat, the teams had to help a fisherman yank up seven lobster cages and replace them with new ones. Afterward, in another memory task, they had to arrange nine country flags in the order they had visited them starting at the top of the pole.
Chris and Joey agreed pulling up the lobster pots was the most physically-demanding task of the season. They needed incredible strength and endurance to finish the job.
Once it became time to organize the flags, Kelsey and Joey had studied hard and were completely prepared. They had actually studied the flags, unlike Chris and Logan, who were a little confused and therefore struggled. Chris and Logan got it wrong on their first attempt, but so did Kelsey and Joey -- even though Joey mentioned Chris and Logan weren't the brightest crayons in the box.
Kelsey and Joey realized there was an extra flag they had thrown at the bottom, so once they just took it off the pole, they finished the task in first place and headed to the beach where dune buggies awaited them. The teams had to drive the dune buggies down the beach to their next clue.
Justin and Diana finished the task in second place, so Chris and Logan fell into last place.
It then became time to assemble six Adirondack chairs on the beach. Once built, the teams had to complete another memory challenge, which required them to arrange images from the Race in chronological order. The images were right on the chairs themselves.
Once again, Kelsey and Joey brought their "A-Game," but Justin and Diana weren't far behind them. Kelsey and Joey grew worried when they saw Justin and Diana arrive, and Diana said building was her "forte."
Justin was confident Diana would build her share of chairs must faster than Kelsey could. Although it didn't become clear if that was true, Kelsey had to take one apart and redo it, and then they didn't have their chairs aligned. After that, something else was wrong. All this time, Justin and Diana were creeping up on them and trying to rattle their cages.
While Justin and Diana had one crooked chair, Kelsey and Joey finished their chairs and ran to the nearby Pit Stop, finishing in first place and winning $1 million.
Justin and Diana made it to the Pit Stop in second place, kicking themselves about the "one stupid mistake" they had made in not paying their original cab driver more money to stay and wait for them at the firefighter task.
It made it worse for the couple knowing exactly the one thing that held them back, and Justin said he might not ever get over it. Still, it was a "dream come true" for them to compete on the Race and they won some amazing prizes along the way.
Chris and Logan then met Phil on the finish line in third place. They joked around about needing therapy so much because of their ridiculous fighting, but it never gets bad enough where they want to break up.
"We have a lot to work on. Less arguing and more enjoyment time," Logan noted.