The racers head back to the States. But this is the finale, so they end it with some flash in Vegas. The teams all book the same flight to Vegas, so everyone starts off on the same foot. Hot guy Dan reveals his team's strategy: "At this point, it's Operation Beat Meghan and Cheyne and Operation Don't Yell at Each Other." The Americas are still miffed that the hot guys stole their taxi. "They stabbed us in the back," Mr. America says. "Watch over the shoulder for us, we're coming for 'em."
Things get tense when the groups meet at the airport. "You want to kill us," Dan says. "Please blame your taxi driver." "It wasn't our fault," Sam adds. Way to blame it on the cabbie whom you bribed, guys.
Upon landing in Sin City, the teams hightail it to the Graceland Wedding Chapel to get the first clue from the King. Everyone rushes into the chapel to find a couple getting married. The racers then stop and take a break to serenade the couple by singing "Amazing Grace" with the Elvis impersonator and then run off with their clues.
For this roadblock, teams go to Mandalay Bay, where they must rappel from the roof face-first 600 feet down the side of the building. With the help of a cab driver's shortcut, the Americas steal the lead and get there first. Mrs. America straps up and can't wait to do some scary rappelling. "It's exciting for me to disprove the stereotypes about a Miss America and what she would and would not do," she says. The beauty queen has a fun time climbing. "I feel like Spider-Woman," she says. She looks like one too, as she's the first to to reach the ground. Cheyne arrives next. He's not so thrilled with heights, so he rappels with his eyes shut most of the time. Sam takes this challenge for the hot guys and enjoys the climb. "Step aside, Tom Cruise. Step aside," he says.
LOVE IS IN THE AIR
The Americas reach the next destination, The Mirage, first. There, the teams go on the set of Cirque du Soleil's Beatles-themed show Love. Using bungee cords, one team member must launch the other in the air slingshot-style to get a bouquet of flowers dangling from the ceiling. Once they give the bouquet to the flower child, they get their next clue.
Although the Americas get there first, they have a hard time catching the bouquet. The beautiful blonds and the hot guys show up and the blonds are the first to snatch a bouquet. The frustrated Americas switch up their strategy and the Mr. gets into the cord. When the hot guys get the second bouquet, Mrs. America has a mini-breakdown. "I can't take this!" she says, "God, why?" The Mrs. can't get her hubbie high enough, so they switch again and she goes back in the bungee cord.
DO YOU KNOW THE WAY TO MONACO?
The first-place beautiful blonds don't know the answer to the next clue: "What's the most famous casino in the country of Monaco?" They ask another cabbie, who tells them that it's the Venetian. They ask another random person, who says it's the Bellagio. They decide to go to the Venetian, but luckily the knowledgeable workers there tell them the right answer. But the couple loses a lot of time tracking down the right hotel-casino.
The second-place hot guys start off following the beautiful blonds' taxi, but then for some reason, they decide to call Mandalay Bay and ask someone there. It turns out to be a good call, since the Mandalay Bay official gives them the answer. These Vegas hotel workers sure do know their stuff. The Americas, who finally make it out of the slingshot, are up on their geography and instantly guess the Monte Carlo.
PUT ON YOUR POKER FACE
At the Monte Carlo, each poker table is piled high with poker chips of varying denominations. Teams have to count 1 million in chips and bring them into the dealer, who will verify the number and give them a whopping $1 million chip and the next clue.
Sam and Dan are the first to get there. It takes about two seconds before the brotherly bickering starts. Despite the holdup at Mandalay Bay, the Americas arrive second. Everyone's shocked that the beautiful blonds are MIA. The beautiful blonds eventually show, but they don't let their delay hinder them any further—even though the other teams already have counted out hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of chips. Working slow, steady and calmly gets the beautiful blonds to finish first with the correct amount. The bros and the Americas turn in the wrong sum and have to start again.
WHO THE HECK IS MR. VEGAS?
The next clue sends the racers to the MGM Grand's high roller suite, No. 88, where Mr. Las Vegas himself, Wayne Newton, waits to tell them where to find the finish line. The beautiful blonds arrive first and give Mr. Vegas a hug. In turn, Newton reveals that the finish line is his house. The hot guys get to the suite second and seemed starstruck at the sight of Newton, but they don't know his name. Awkward.
Newton's pad, a sprawling ranch called Casa de Shenandoah, looks as big as a hotel-casino on the Strip. The beautiful blonds initially have the lead, but they can't find the right entryway to the manse. They get out of the cab to try an entrance, but it's locked. The hot guys are gaining on them.
In front of the mansion, all of the eliminated teams line the path to Phil, who waits to crown the season's winners. The first team to run the path to glory is...the beautiful blonds."This is not real! I can't even feel my body," Meghan says. The hot guys come in second and the Americas take third.
Although they didn't take home the cool mil, the third-place couple get choked up about their race. Mrs. America says she hopes her family will watch the race and realize how great the Mr. is, since the fam isn't too thrilled that the African American pageant winner married a white man. "I hope that they fully accept him as who he is. I think it’s really important that people just step back and evaluate the character of a person as opposed to…what's on the exterior," she says. "This was just a part of our journey and I’m just really grateful I had him to do it with and I’m really glad that I have him in my life to learn from."
They didn't win, but the hot guys are happy they got to share their story and make their family proud. Although there was frequent fighting during the race, the sibs say it doesn't matter. "That's what brothers are. We bicker. We pick at each other, but we know it’s not gonna matter," Sam says. "At the end of the day we’re still brothers. We still love each other."
Meghan proved to be the fiercest competitor—tackling the bales of hay roadblock and countless others—and Cheyne smartly pays homage to his honey. "I'm unbelievably proud of Meghan. Every single step of the way she really gave it her all. She’s an amazingly strong and intelligent woman and I’m so happy she's mine." We're guessing the million dollars doesn't hurt, either.
RECENT RACER'S RECAP by Kelly Crabb
Kelly Crabb competed in Season 13 of The Amazing Race, taking 6th place with her best friend, Christy. Coined as "America's Divorcee," this freelance writer and travel enthusiast lives life to its fullest in Houston, Texas and remains "bitchy with a heart of gold." This is her take on the show:
Well, the finale of Season 15 of The Amazing Race was predictable and anti-climactic, yet delightful. Cheyne and Meghan are winners of the 1st place, million dollar prize, with brothers Sam and Dan taking the 2nd place, $50,000 prize. Brian and Erika are third place finalists, taking home the $10,000 prize. I am proud of all three teams.
I knew Meghan and Cheyne would win! That had such a great lead for a good portion of the Race. Maybe they’ll get hitched and Cheyne will become Meghan’s huzzzzzzzzzzzzzzband, because they seem very happy together. Sam and Dan proved that siblings fight, but at the end of the day, you still have to love your family. Bi-racial couple Brian and Erika proved that love bears all things, including haters.
There was definitely a division between the top 5 and bottom 6 teams. All in all, I think everyone was pretty accurately depicted on the show.
Saturday night, cast members, former racers, other reality stars and pre-partied at NYC’s Essex on the Lower East Side and then everyone went out and danced at Retreat. Sunday night, the finale viewing party took place at SoHo House, which is pretty impressive, since it is usually members only. Last year’s Finale party for Season 14 was definitely more impressive. CBS and Sponsors Marriott and MS bucked up with a red carpet style event with an open bar, lots of food and media presence. This year’s parties were organized by Race Fans and Reality Expert, Murtz Jaffer.
So another season of The Amazing Race concludes and we can now anxiously wait to see more fascinating places and cultures all over the world. Casting for Season 16 closed in the fall we can expect to watch it premiere in February.