Surviving penalties, Speed Bumps, a missed flight, and an alliance determined to eliminate them, goat farmers Josh & Brent defied all odds to win The Amazing Race.
Departing the Pit Stop in first place at 9:32am, dating couple Trey & Lexi ripped open their clue instructing them to fly to Barcelona, Spain, and then catch a train to the Loire Valley in France. Upon their arrival, they would find their next clue on an all-new Ford Escape. With a spot in the final three on the line, twins Natalie & Nadiya, who faced a Speed Bump, goat farmers Josh & Brent, Chippendales Jaymes & James, and Trey & Lexi all flew to Barcelona and then boarded a train together bound for the Loire Valley. Trying to enlist help from their "dream team", Natalie & Nadiya had a secret meeting with the Chippendales and Trey & Lexi about how the twins could beat Josh & Brent and stay in the Race. Unaware that the goat farmers were listening from an adjacent train car, the twins complained, "It sucks. The Beekmans are here taking up a spot and we want it way more than them." Jaymes reminded the worried twins, "Just remember six heads are better than two." Entering the train car, Josh & Brent broke up the conspiring alliance and created a very awkward situation. After overhearing an official alliance had been working against them, Josh later said, "It was incredibly demoralizing to think these people that are so nice and really friendly are actively working to get you out of the Race. It's almost like high school all over again." Instead of letting the discovery bring them down, Josh & Brent chose to use it as motivation, vowing to try even harder when they arrived in France. Pulling into the station at St. Pierre des Corps, France, the four teams ran from the train to find the Ford Escapes along with their next clue. Teams now had to pick up eight empty crates from a nearby café and then, using the hands-free lift gate, kick open the lift gate to load their Ford Escape. Once their cargo was inside, they had to kick the lift gate closed. Finally, they had to drive to Chateau de Villandry, home to the world's largest ornamental garden, and find the stone dog.
After all four teams loaded their Ford Escapes with the empty crates, the alliance of Trey & Lexi, the twins, and the Chippendales all asked a local for directions to the chateau while Josh & Brent sat comfortably in their car waiting. Brent explained, "There's no need for us to fret about how to get there. We might as well just stay in a pack." On the road to the chateau, the Beekman boys stuck to their plan and tailed the three teams the entire way. At one point, when the "dream team" stopped to confer about directions, the twins shouted to the Chippendales about the Beekmans, "We gotta lose these guys!" Overhearing the twins, Brent said, "We'll just let them stew in their nerves."
RACE HEATS UP
Arriving at Chateau de Villandry together, the four teams ran throughout the grounds looking for the stone dog statue. Not knowing any French, the twins and Lexi tried to communicate with a groundskeeper by asking, "Woof?" Then, because he speaks French, Josh walked up and asked, "La chienne?" The other three teams couldn't believe their ears. James commented, "Just another card up the sleeve. You just don't know with those guys." After the groundskeeper pointed in the correct direction, the four teams engaged in a footrace to the stone dog statue where Josh once again surprised and impressed the other teams. After nursing a hurt ankle from Amsterdam through Mallorca, Josh still managed to keep up with the pack prompting Jaymes to joke, "Apparently he's got a bionic ankle now." Reaching the stone dog, the Chippendales, Trey & Lexi, and Josh & Brent ripped open their clue instructing them to find the site of Leonardo da Vinci's final resting place, Chateau de Amboise, while twins Natalie & Nadiya had to face their Speed Bump. Watching everyone run to their cars, Natalie and Nadiya had to go into the chateau to lace up a woman's corset. The twins begged their alliance for help shouting, "Please lose them. Don't let them follow you." Running alongside the "dream team," Brent snapped, "You don't have to lose us, guys. Play nice. Don't listen to these bitches." Caught in the middle, Trey laughed, "This is getting crazy." The twins continued to shout, "Don't let them ride on your coattails! They're just using you guys! This guy's [Josh] faking his ankle!" Now even more motivated and upset, Brent told the twins, "Have fun at the Speed Bump!" While the twins laced up the corset, their fears were realized. The Chippendales and Trey & Lexi teamed up with French speaking Josh & Brent to drive to Chateau de Amboise. Brent later said, "It was very interesting how quickly the alliance broke down." With Josh & Brent leading the way, the caravan of cars had to stop when the goat farmers drove them in a circle giving the twins, who finished their Speed Bump, a chance to catch up. After getting directions from a local, the trio of teams decided Trey & Lexi should now lead the group the rest of the way to the chateau.
Arriving at Chateau de Amboise together, the three teams walked into a small, ornate chapel on the castle grounds and found their next clue, a Detour asking teams to choose between Chow and Plow. Chow required teams to make the daily meal for a pack of hungry French hunting hounds. They had to cut, sort, and weigh various types of meat to create a well-balanced meal for the canines and then serve it up in the feeding area. Plow required teams to use a traditional horse and plow and till four furrows of a field. With a drive to both Detour choices at Chateau de Cheverny and only two available plowing lanes at a time, teams carefully weighed their options. The Chippendales knew they wanted to plow and made their intentions very clear to Josh & Brent in hopes that the goat farmers wouldn't choose the same. While they felt better suited for plowing, the goat farmers didn't want to be left out if another team also chose to plow so they instead decided to Chow with Trey & Lexi who initially agreed to wait for Josh & Brent so they could drive together to the castle. However, the dating couple decided to drive on their own when they felt the goat farmers took too long to get their car. Lexi said, "We want that number one and we need to be a little more aggressive."
PLOW AND CHOW
Arriving at Chateau de Cheverny in first place, Trey & Lexi wanted to "stick to [their] country roots" deciding to plow the field instead of making dog chow. Running into the muddy field, the dating couple chose a sturdy, brown horse and a traditional metal plow. As Lexi led the horse from the front, Trey tried to steer the heavy plow in a straight line as it dug up the earth beneath him, but he shouted for Lexi to stop the horse when he veered off course. Returning the plow to the furrow, Trey held on when the horse began walking again, saying, "This is definitely a Texas kind of challenge." Since the Chippendales and goat farmers couldn't find the marked parking, twins Natalie & Nadiya arrived in second place and squealed with delight when they saw the last two cars parking behind them. Seeing Trey & Lexi in the field, the twins decided Chow would be easier and ran to the dog feeding area followed closely by Josh & Brent while Jaymes & James took the second plowing lane in the field. While chopping meat for the hungry dogs only a table away from Josh & Brent, the twins began a candid and amusing conversation with the goat farmers telling them they "use their knife for a living stabbing people in the back." When Brent told them they were the evil twins, they agreed, adding, "We've always been evil. We've never been nice."
TRYING TO DISTRACT
Trey & Lexi and Jaymes & James, having both completed the plowing, set off on their drive to Caves des Roches in a battle for first place. Meanwhile, Josh & Brent continued to engage the twins in conversation hoping to distract them while also strategically picking big cuts of meat with no bones in them to allow them to push through the task more quickly. Josh brought up the topic of alliances, calling them out for conspiring against him and Brent. He then upped the ante, asking why they would want to get rid of a weak team like themselves instead of racing against them in the final three. The twins insisted that Josh & Brent weren't weak and then ended the conversation, saying, "These guys can cut and talk at the same time. We cannot." The strategy employed by Josh & Brent proved fruitful as the goat farmers completed cutting their two buckets of meat ahead of the twins. After spreading out the meat in a row and then weighing out 20kg of dry food to surround the beef, Josh & Brent finished their feast for the hounds that promptly swarmed the tasty food. Finding themselves in last place again, twins Natalie & Nadiya slowly finished their meal for the hounds, worrying, "We're so far behind!"
Arriving at Caves des Roches in first place, dating couple Trey & Lexi ripped open their clue to find a Roadblock. In it, one team member had to search the subterranean farm for champignons – French mushrooms. First, they had to examine three distinct types of mushroom and then, relying on memory, they had to search the dark maze of tunnels to find ten of each variety. After retrieving the crates they had packed earlier in the leg from the car, Lexi studied the three types of mushrooms she needed before running into the dimly lit, cool cave. In the twists and turns of each corridor, Lexi stumbled upon rows of small blocks where different kinds of mushrooms grew. She later said, "There were a ton of different mushrooms down there. Very easy to confuse." Finally, when she turned a corner, Lexi found the first of the three types she needed, a small, brown mushroom. As she was gathering the ten brown mushrooms, the lights in the cave shut off, making her task that much more difficult.
NEW SET OF WHEELS
As Chippendale Jaymes entered the cave with his basket, Lexi collected her last 10 mushrooms but then struggled to find the exit through its labyrinth. However, after circling around the many corridors, she stumbled upon a different set of mushrooms that she now felt should replace a group she had in her basket. Slightly unsure, Lexi picked the newly discovered mushrooms, saying, "If these are wrong, it's definitely gonna be disappointing." In the time it took Lexi to replace the ten mushrooms and find the cave's exit, Jaymes already reached the judge back above ground, but he rejected the Chippendale's haul. Running up behind Jaymes, Lexi knew she picked the correct three types after comparing them to the example and excitedly turned her basket over to the judge who rewarded her with the clue. Opening it with Trey, she discovered she had to find the Pit Stop at Chateau de Chenonceau. As the dating couple sped off with first place in their sights, Jaymes returned from his second trip into the cave, this time with the correct mushroom variety. Because Trey & Lexi got lost and drove to the wrong castle, Chippendales Jaymes & James stepped onto the mat at Chateau de Chenonceau in first place. The stunned pair cheered and hugged each other when they learned they each won an all-new redesigned Ford Escape. James said, "Momma needed some wheels bad. I can't wait to see the look on her face." In addition, the Chippendales earned a spot in the final three along with second place Trey & Lexi.
In an incredibly tight race for the last spot in the final three, twins Natalie & Nadiya arrived at Caves des Roches ahead of Josh & Brent because the goat farmers got lost on the way. However, the twins wasted their lead by running together into the cave before finding the clue. By the time the twins realized their mistake and ran out, Brent already had his basket and entered the cave ahead of Natalie. However, in the dark cave, the pressure got to Brent who started to frantically search while Natalie calmly found the three mushroom types. With Brent looking for the exit, Josh watched the twins drive off and said, "I hope they're going the wrong way." When Brent finally ran out of the cave and exchanged the mushrooms for his clue, Josh told him the twins left about ten minutes earlier.