Amazing Race

Rob & Jessica LIVE Recap The Amazing Race 23 Finale


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Rob Cesternino (@RobCesternino) is joined tonight by Chief Amazing Race Correspondent Jessica Liese (@HaymakerHattie) to discuss the Season Finale of The Amazing Race 23 “Amazing Crazy Race” which took teams from Indonesia to Japan and then to Alaska to give us our winners Jason and Amy.

Jessica has been at parties with the Amazing Race cast members and may still be nursing a hangover tonight.

Rob points out that his son Dominic was born on the premier night of the Amazing Race 23, so it is a little bittersweet to see this season come to an end.

Patting Backs and Looking Back

Jessica was patting herself on the back last night for correctly predicting Jason and Amy would win the Amazing Race 23. Rob was happy to see them win, although they weren’t the most exciting team. He was regretting his pick of Travis and Nicole. Jessica says both Jason and Amy were really nice and she has no idea who would win a nice-off between them. She also believes that they were the only ones to root for in the finale because editing put a bad spin on the other three teams going into that final episode. Jessica points out that all the teams are using the nickname of Icecababes that Rob coined for the Ally and Ashley.

Given a choice between the two legs, Jessica couldn’t pick her favorite because both sites have been overdone. She believes that the Japanese Game show host has been on the show all the times they have visited and that people on Twitter thought he was the best taskmaster since the German “Pencils Down” taskmaster. Jessica felt it was more human bowling then human Plinko because you had to go straight down the middle rather than bounce off the walls.

Jessica would place Jason and Amy in the upper 3rd in the Pantheon of Amazing Race winners, because they were very good at what they did. She wouldn’t put them at the top because they didn’t pick up speed until the very end. She would call the top 3 winners of all time Meghan and Cheyne (TAR 15), Nat and Kat (TAR 17) and Chip and Kim (TAR 5).

Breaking down the Doctors Breakdown

Rob feels that Travis and Nicole got a terrible edit towards the end. Jessica felt that Travis and Nicole didn’t come out to the finale party because they were doing their own thing at home. Although there were comments about Travis during the finale, there wasn’t too much backlash towards him. Jessica prefers Angry, Yelling Travis over Depressed, besides himself Travis because it makes for better TV. Both Rob and Jessica wonder how many bags of flour the planes were packed with, because Nicole went through 21 of them.

Jessica feels that in order to win the race, you need to have a good dynamic with your teammate. You can’t just go racing with a random person unless you are Marie.

Jason said at the finale party that they had an hour on a half lead on the other teams. Jessica points out that on the Amazing Race you can never assume that teams are in the same place unless you see them in the same frame with the other team.

Jessica believes that Travis and Nicole were dead in the water after Amy stopped helping them with tasks. Although she is unsure if it was intentional, if it was Jason and Amy’s plan to drag Travis and Nicole to the final leg just so they could beat them then the plan was brilliant.

Hugging Robots and Catching Ryan O.

The strategy to box out the Afganimals was personal according to Jessica because no one liked them at the party. Jessica was in shock that the Afganimals didn’t pull a Chester and Ephraim and get stranded at the airport. She called the speed bump that they did not even a speed bump because it was so simple and didn’t really require much skill. She thought it was a very Japan type task. Jessica would have preferred if they ran around trying to capture Ryan O from Survivor and Rob points out that Ryan O is banned from the Survivor Fantasy Football league for whining.

Both Rob and Jessica were impressed with the technology from this episode including the walking vending machine and the robot at the pit stop that gave the teams hugs when they finished the leg. Jessica called it “Japantastic!” She believes that they do have moving vending machines in Japan, but they are part of a hidden camera show where they show the vending machine moving on customers while they are attempting to make a purchase.

Because of the events of this week’s episode, both Rob and Jessica would not have minded the entire Amazing Race taking place in Japan. Rob would be open to the idea of dedicating a RHAP to talking about Japanese game shows.

Giving Helping Hands

Jessica questions Marie’s logic of going on the race with the closest person to her when she was filling out the application, but Rob didn’t think Tim minded because he pointed out that he would have done it for free. Jessica points out how the second place team doesn’t make as much for second place as they do on Survivor.

In Jessica’s blog, she points out when it is and is not appropriate to help other teams. She also points out situations where people on the race have had terrible partners, but have handled it better then Travis did and points to Chuck and Wynonna as an example. Jessica called what happened to Nicole a “Negative Feedback Loop”, and that it kept her from performing on her best game.

Party Time

Jessica points out that everyone at the TAR party was fans of RHAP, and that Jason and Amy were very gracious party hosts. She called the party so extravagant that they could have easily spent the winnings in one place. They had a DJ who played during the commercials and a montage of the outtakes to Green Day’s Good Riddance.

Out of all the TAR 23 teams, 6 and a half were there (Jason and Amy, Marie and Tim, Ephraim, Rowan and Shane, Icecababes, Oklahoma and the Beards). Travis and Nicole and the Afganimals were not there. Jessica believes the Afganimals had a prior arrangement that prevented them from attending. The Baseball Wives were not there either along with Hoskote and Naina.

Jessica was able to rally up some guests for the next season of the Amazing Race, because they were lining up to be on the podcast.

Question Time

Jessica feels that the team that wins the race is the team that doesn’t make any mistakes in the final leg. She feels that Amy’s performance in the final task definitely set them apart for the rest of the leg.

Rob feels that Jason and Amy did receive a winner’s edit by the end of the episode and were not perceived as Team Who from a previous season.

Jessica feels that Season 23 was a good season. She feels that there was one person who made this season really stand out. Rob feels that the Afganimals were characters and he would take them any day over a boring team. Jessica calls it fun for a variety of reasons.

She feels that there is an interesting dynamic between the racers, and she never got to ask the Icacababes about their relationship with the Afganimals. Rob feels that racers have a special bond because they got to do this really cool experience together and not have to actively get each other out verses when teams have to plot and scheme against each other on Big Brother or Survivor.

Jessica felt the relationship between Travis and Nicole and Jason and Amy was good because it was interesting to watch and something to talk about. She didn’t think that it was great strategy though.

Jessica is really glad that the teams did not have to smash the cat figurines; because she has collects them and it would have been crushing to see for her.

The reason that Jessica feels there was less language barriers shown on this race was to remove the impression that Americans have overseas as ugly Americans.

Both Rob and Jessica feel that there will never be another girl/girl winners. Jessica feels they need to refine casting for females and they shouldn’t cast females based on who they are married to or who they cheer for. Rob and Jessica would be happy with a WWE Divas or WNBA team on the Race.

Jessica feels that they are scraping the bottom of the barrel with these memory tasks because the racers take notes on everything that happens on the race. She compares the final task to Fallen Comrades on Survivor because it allows them to look back. Rob thinks the final challenge should be based on Phil Keoghan’s snack choices while Jessica would like to see it based off of audio clips from the locations.

Jessica feels the final leg should be in the middle of nowhere or similar to TAR 9 where that started and ended in the same city.

Jessica points out that not all the racers shown in the promo are in the next season. She was sitting next to a racer who was shown in the preview and his phone started blowing up once he was shown on the promo. Jessica has already made her picks for TAR 24, based on the leaked cast list and has them in an envelope and will unveil them at the Cast Preview podcast. Jessica believes that the Amazing Race 24 cast will be released 2 or 3 weeks before the premiere. She also believes that RHAP might lose a little momenthum because of TAR All-Stars because they do no care what is said about them online, while Rob believes the opposite will happen and people have a renewed interest because of these teams.

Rob will look into making Reality Game Masters 2 Japanese Game show style.

Rob points out that there used to be a big party for all the reality TV shows, but they stopped after Survivor: Vanuatu once Johnny Fairplay started fighting with the producers and got into a fist fight with Jeff Probst’s brother. The last party since Vanuatu was the 10 year anniversary party of Survivor.

During the offseason, Jessica will be planning a wedding taking place on February 3rd. She plans to go on an Amazing Race style honeymoon and gave her fiancée eight locations to pick from. She was planning on incorporating some themes from the Amazing Race in her wedding. The wedding should be before the Amazing Race premiere show.

You can keep in touch with Jessica Liese on Twitter during the off-season @HaymakerHattie. She did not invite any Racers to the wedding, but she did invite President Obama because he sends cards.

The Amazing Race may be over, but it is now Survivor Finale week. Rob will be back with Survivor Know-It-Alls with Stephen Fishbach on Wednesday night. The Survivor Podcast will be back on Thursday when he interviews Shane Powers from Survivor: Panama. Sunday night will be the Blood vs. Water after show with another Know-It-Alls with Stephen. Rob will have interviews with everyone worth talking to from Blood vs. Water on Monday.

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Also take Jessica Liese’s survey to help her shape the future of the Amazing Race podcast at

Special Thanks to Mike Shaheen for this extensive Amazing Race Podcast Recap


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