Food scientists Amy DeJong and Maya Warren from Madison, Wisconsin, bagged the grand prize of $1M in silver anniversary of the race

December 29, 2014 6:07 pm

MANILA, Philippines – The team least expected to conquer The Amazing Race (TAR) US, turned out to be the big winners in the silver anniversary of the race, which recently concluded. Food scientists Amy DeJong and Maya Warren from Madison, Wisconsin, bagged the grand prize of $1M after eight countries, 20 cities and 26,000 miles.

Amy DeJong (left) and Maya Warren from Madison, Wisconsin, bag the grand prize of $1M

Although they didn’t win a special prize in any of the Pit Stops and even faced elimination in the 11th leg, Amy and Maya eventually came out as the winning team in the race that ended in the final Pit Stop in Los Angeles.

Their win easily reminded everyone about TAR 21 underdogs Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge, goat farmers from New York. They didn’t win any leg and even did a Speed Bump after a non-elimination leg. But ultimately, they took home the $1M prize.

The “Sweet Scientists” who are both taking their doctorate in food science at the University of Wisconsin, were surprised and thrilled with their TAR 25 victory. Although not the strongest team, Amy and Maya are the third all-girl team to win TAR. The first two pairs are Nat (Natalie Strand) and Kat (Katherine Chang) in Season 17; followed by sisters Kisha and Jen Hoffman in TAR All-Stars in Season 18.

In TAR 25, married dentists Jim and Misti Raman, a strong couple from Columbia, South Carolina who won five legs, arrived second. Married surfers Adam Dirks and Bethany Hamilton from Princeville, Hawaii, finished third, despite the latter’s disability. (Her left arm was bitten by a shark when she was only 13.) They also won special prizes in three legs.

Throughout the race, Bethany amazed other teams when she didn’t buckle in every challenge. “Bethany is like the Terminator,” Brooke Adams said. “She has one arm and she destroys every challenge.”
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For the first time, four teams raced to the final Pit Stop. Dating professional wrestlers Robbie Strauss (Woodbridge, New Jersey) and Brooke Adams (from Houston, Texas) were included. However, TAR host Phil Keoghan eliminated them in the LA warehouse, before they were supposed to complete a stunt.

The Philippines was the Pit Stop in the 10th and 11th legs of TAR 25. After the 10th leg Pit Stop in the rice paddies of Naic, Cavite, the next episode showed teams maneuvering a pedicab or playing basketball against locals in the streets of Malate, riding the jeepney which traverses the streets of Manila, delivering bunot and walis tingting at the crowded Divisoria Market.

However, what the teams initially thought as the Pit Stop at the historic Fort Santiago in Intramuros, turned out to be a continuation of the race. No one was eliminated.

It was the second time the race included the Philippines in its itinerary. The first one was in TAR 5, won by married couple Chip and Kim McAllister in 2004. While TAR 5 previously covered the scenic El Nido in Palawan, TAR 25 featured the everyday life of the urban poor people in the Philippines — little children sitting or playing in the streets, a family riding a pedicab, people peddling goods in the market, catching fish which is a daily routine to earn money.

TAR 25 featured first-time destinations like the US Virgin Islands, Malta and the Shetland Island of Scotland.

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