I spoke with local "Amazing Racers" Margie and Luke Adams this afternoon:
Although a $1 million prize slipped out of their grasp at the very end, Colorado Springs’ Luke and Margie Adams say competing on “The Amazing Race” was reward enough.
The mother-and-son team, who recently moved from Monument to Colorado Springs, finished third on the CBS reality show, which aired its season finale Sunday night.
“To actually make it to the final three far exceeds what I hoped to accomplish on the show,” Luke Adams —the show’s first deaf contestant — said through an interpreter.
Eleven teams began the race, which traveled through nine countries. Teams were eliminated at each stop, until the final three rushed to the finish line in Maui, Hawaii.
The final challenge required one member of each team to sort through a giant pile of surfboards to find 11 bearing pictures representing previous legs of the race. Although the Adamses began the task with a sizeable lead, Luke couldn’t find the final picture and siblings Tammy and Victor Jih passed them to win the race.
“I thought I had it in the bag,” Luke Adams, 23, said. “I thought it would be really easy.”
If someone else had to win, though, Margie Adams said she was glad it was the Jihs. The final three teams (former cheerleaders Cara Rosenthal and Jaime Edmondson took second) had become friends on the very first leg of the race in Switzerland, where they split a pizza after the filming finished.
“I think along the way, we all really helped each other,” she said. “We really have a sincere friendship with those two teams.”
Things weren’t so friendly with another team, sisters LaKisha and Jennifer Hoffman. The Adamses had several shouting matches and one shoving incident with the sisters. They’ve since patched things up, Margie Adams said, but, Luke said, at least it made for good TV.
The breathtaking pace of the race, covering 40,000 miles in 22 days, didn’t leave much time for sightseeing. The one chance they had to catch their breath and take in the views was on a boat trip through Thailand.“
That was really the only opportunity we had in the whole race to sit back,” Margie Adams, 51, said.
Luke Adams’ deafness was never a major obstacle during the race, they said. Even the show’s host, Phil Keoghan, learned some sign language, as did Rosenthal and Edmondson, while other contestants wrote messages to communicate.
“I thought it was so cool that people were willing to learn to communicate,” Luke Adams said.
Now that the final episode has aired, it’s a bit of a letdown, Luke Adams said.
“For me, it’s a little bit sad,” he said. “I was teasing my friends: ‘Maybe I’m going to be eliminated this week.’ I really enjoyed messing with my friends.”
“We had a large group of deaf people who came every week and watched the show with us,” Margie Adams said. “It was the highlight of our week.”
For taking third, the Adamses won $10,000, plus they won three trips along the way for winning stages. They’re planning to split those up.
“We’re definitely not going together,” Margie Adams said. “I think our traveling days together... it’s going to be awhile."