Amazing Race
The Nine Best Episodes Ever

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The Nine Best Episodes Ever

Of course, Frank and Margarita didn't realize that the know-nothing L.A. boys had beaten them going through the city, so when they didn't see their disliked rivals at the train station, they figured they were well ahead. Margarita, in particular, was sure it was in the bag, and all the way from 52nd Street to Shea Stadium, she marveled at the fact that they had actually won -- and, no doubt, fantasized about how much easier that million dollars was going to make everything for them and their daughter. Meanwhile, the triumphant music followed Rob and Brennan off the train, up the path, and to the finish line, where the rest of the teams were waiting to greet them -- not a surprise now, but a surprise then. This wasn't a nail-biter of a finale; there was no footrace, because Frank and Margarita were an entire train behind, and suffered quite a blow when they realized they hadn't won after all. But it was somehow satisfying, not because a couple of hunky dudes sharing a Hollywood apartment were going to win anybody's version of Queen For A Day (oh, quiet), but because they'd outrun everybody and outplayed everybody, and they deserved it.

Oh -- and as congratulations went out to the winners and to Frank and Margarita for their second-place finish, we abruptly leapt to the whistling winds of the icy Alaskan landscape where the "villainous" Team Guido learned, via a note, that it was all over. You're just not going to get a better ending than that. ["Six years later, that '…meanwhile' cut to an Alaskan mountain range reigns unchallenged as the best in reality-TV history." -- Sars]

Season Two, Episode Five: "Welcome To The World Of Being Human"

Race seems to have special relationships with two countries: one is India, and the other is Thailand. The India episodes are well known for their often jarring images of extreme poverty, but the Thailand episodes are more varied. While plenty of use has been made of pretty parts of Thailand, this episode is basically a day in the city.

Starting at the airport, where the always wacky Blake came up with yet another wacky plan -- this time, to bribe the ticket agent with a statue of a rhino (just...don't ask) -- the leg moved on to Bangkok, where one of the race's most egregious instances of cheating occurred when the producers inexplicably allowed Wil and Tara and Chris and Alex to ignore a clue instructing them to travel by bus, instead taking a van-type taxi they declared was "a mini-bus." But things really kick off when the darling Danny and Oswald adopt a young woman who ditches school to take them around town: she is the now-famous Fern; first among Ferns, she is the one true Fern.

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Amazing Race

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