'The Amazing Race' finale: "Brothers" Greg Franklin and John Franklin win Season 35
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/14/2023
The Amazing Race crowned "Brothers" Greg Franklin and John Franklin the winners of Season 35 during the finale episode that aired Wednesday night on CBS.
"Eight countries, 19 cities, more than 23,000 miles -- Greg and John, you are the official winners of The Amazing Race and you have won the one million dollars!" The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan announced to the team at the finish line in Seattle, WA.
"As a younger brother, Greg is just such himself, and he has all of his own strengths," John told Phil at the finish line.
"This was really a great way for him to highlight that and see that he is his own person. He doesn't have to be following his big brother, and he blew that out of the water during this race. I could not have done this without him, and I couldn't have asked for a better partner... I'm so elated that we did the Race."
And Greg said The Amazing Race reiterated "how much of a best friend John is" to him.
"I'm incredibly grateful for the rest of my life that I get to do even more adventures with this man next to me," Greg added. "The outcome, we couldn't have asked for anything more."
The Amazing Race finale broadcast featured the Final 3 teams flying from Dublin, Ireland to Seattle.
All three teams arrived in Seattle on the same plane, which created a level playing field for the final leg.
While in Seattle, one Racer at a time had to walk around the roof of the Space Needle, 500 feet above Seattle, and then head to the Chihuly Garden and Glass House.
Each team then had to complete a series of three "Seattle Scramble" challenges, which were inspired by Seattle's art and music scene.
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The teams were required to be a roadie for a grunge band at a "Battle of the Bands" show, swing from a high trapeze, and blow molten glass into shape. Because it was a "Scramble," they could complete the tasks in any order.
After the "Scramble," the teams were asked to compete in the final challenge of Season 35: a memory game.
The season's Roadblocks and Detours were displayed on kayaks, and teams were instructed to lay them out in chronological order, exactly as they had encountered them during the Race.
Once teams correctly lined up the kayaks, they would receive their final clue to the finish line.
Joel and Garrett started the final challenge in first place, and Greg and John began the big task in second place.
"Joel and Garrett were almost done when we showed up to the challenge," John said.
But Greg boasted about how his brother has a "crazy" good memory, and so they didn't count themselves out.
Once Joel and Garrett thought they had finished the final challenge, there was something wrong -- and they couldn't figure out the issue.
In the end, Greg and John finished the final task in first place, and so they raced to the finish line at Clise mansion before the other two teams.
Joel and Garrett headed to the finish line in second place, and it appeared to be a pretty close race because both teams had to stop and ask locals for directions.
Greg and John then ran to the mat and were greeted by Phil in first place. Phil said that was the "most excited" he's ever seen a winning team run to the mat.
"We saw another car, and so we thought, 'We need to sprint there!'" Greg explained.
Joel and Garrett then crossed the finish line in second place "about 120 seconds" after Greg and John.
"We ran the entire race without yelling at each other, without getting ticked off, without calling each other names," Joel stated proudly. "I've got a lot of friends... and family, but there's no one else I could've raced this Race with."
Garrett also commended Joel for pushing him along the way, adding, "I'm just grateful for him... I couldn't ask for anything more -- except for first place... This experience has really deepened and strengthened our friendship."
And finally, Rob and Corey finished Season 35 of The Amazing Race in third place.
"I'm really proud of the person you've become," Rob told his son. "I'm very happy, thank you... We will always cherish these memories."