BY: Derrik J. Lang
LOS ANGELES – Daniel and Jordan Pious slid into first place to win “The Amazing Race.”
The distinctly different siblings from Barrington, R.I., crossed the finish line first in San Francisco to take home the CBS reality series’ $1 million grand prize.
The brothers snaked to an early lead at the final leg’s start, skipping cowboy brothers Jet and Cord McCoy from Tupelo, Okla., in line at the airport then slipping into the front of the plane.
“There’s a million bucks at the other end, and I’m going after it,” hissed Jordan.
After the trek from Shanghai to the City by the Bay, the teams were tasked with ascending up the Coit Tower, navigating a virtual maze at visual effects company Industrial Light and Magic, lugging a giant trunk through the streets of San Francisco and assembling a puzzle of the previously eliminated teams from the around-the-world competition’s 16th season.
The pairs of brothers battled for the top spot, while dating models Caite Upton from Lexington, S.C., and Brent Horne from Columbia, S.C., lingered in third place. At the finish line, the former Miss Teen South Carolina, who infamously flubbed a 2007 pageant question, and her boyfriend were confronted by another team they targeted earlier in the race.
“You purposely whacked us,” yelled racer Brandy Snow, who refused to clap for them.
The resilient Pious brothers were ultimately able to stay ahead of the bull-riding McCoy brothers, despite Cord’s best efforts to confuse Daniel as the men guided their siblings through a virtual world with the aid of motion-capture technology. The McCoys, who went from last to first place on the show’s eighth leg, lamented their close finish at the mat.
“We can walk out of here with our heads held high,” said Jet, “and look people straight in the face.”
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