SAN FRANCISCO – A brilliant midflight move to first class helped propel brothers Daniel and Jordan Pious to victory in the season finale of “The Amazing Race.”
Although all the contestants were booked in coach, Daniel and Jordan sweet-talked their way into first class during the long flight across the Pacific, which meant they would be able to get off the plane first -- ahead of the coach passengers.
The brothers from Barrington, R.I., stormed off the plane with a lead that they never relinquished and finished easily ahead of Oklahoma cowboy brothers Cord and Jet. Models Brent and Caite finished third.
Daniel and Jordan won the $1 million prize.
Jordan, who is openly gay, is a huge fan of the show and his wealth of knowledge about previous races paid off at the end, especially when he was prepared for the memory game that often stumps contestants. Jordan said several times during the competition how he has often dreamed of winning the race.
"I love my little brother," said Daniel, 24, "and it's so great knowing that I could help him make his No. 1 one dream come true."
Jordan, 22, complimented the bond that he has with his brother, who he called his best friend. "This race just really confirmed for us, the strength of our relationship and the bond that two brothers and best friends can have," Jordan said.
Among the road blocks in the final leg of the race, which was in San Francisco, was that one member of each team had to climb a rope up Coit Tower, the landmark atop Telegraph Hill. And in another high-tech road block, one member had to "direct" the other through a complicated virtual world set up at Industrial Light and Magic, which was filled with "Star Wars" characters.
The finish line was at Candlestick Park, home of the 49ers. It was there that harsh words were exchanged between Caite and the lesbian team of Brandy and Carol. From the beginning of the race around the world, both teams took an extreme disliking of each other. The lesbian team was eliminated in an earlier episode after Brent and Caite forced their rivals to go through a U-turn, which caused them to finish last during an elimination round.
Brandy blasted Caite for the u-turn, saying that she and Brent should have targeted a much stronger team such as the cowboys. Brandy also rejected Caite’s attempt to apologize for the strategic tactic. While the dramatic catfight may have helped TV ratings, it took some of the glamor off the win by Daniel and Jordan.