Wade on Birmingham

Simply Amazing: French miss


Lyn and Karlyn. Tyler and James. Rob and Kimberly. After four continents, 13 countries and 40,000 miles, one of these teams has won the 10th edition of “The Amazing Race.”

Birmingham duo Karlyn Harris and Lyn Turk have beaten the odds to make it to the Final Three. Would it come down to a footrace, a taxi standoff or an airline waiting list?

amazing race

Karlyn takes a flying leap over Normandy …

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… while Lyn watches from the plane.

Highlights from the 13th leg of the series …

Route: Barcelona, Spain, to finish line (in Garrison, N.Y.)

Terminal condition: Bickering couple Rob and Kimberly head out first to find a church in Barcelona, followed by Team Birmingham and junkie models Tyler and James. The clue points them to the Eiffel Tower. Somehow, Lyn and Karlyn arrive at the airport last, which turns out to be a crucial moment in this last leg.

The moms learn about two flights to Paris. That morning, when the ticket counters open, they and the models can’t get on the earliest flight with Rob and Kim. Karlyn and Lyn book a later flight, one that lands at Orly rather than Charles de Gaulle (where the other two teams are headed).

Headed for a fall: Team Birmingham reaches the Eiffel Tower first, thanks to Orly’s closer proximity. But all teams end up on the same train to Caen.

The Roadblock forces one team member to tandem skydive onto Omaha Beach at Normandy, while the other member rides along in the plane. Not surprisingly, the three teams breeze through the task, ending up on the same train back to Paris. Well, the same train, after Rob and Kim catch up at a transfer point.

Jacket required: The Detour is either deliver a painting on foot or make a jacket using a pattern and dress dummy. All three teams choose the fashion task, where Mlle. Snooty Francostereotype critiques their work.

The clue sends them to New York. The models and Rob and Kim head for Charles de Gaulle, while Lyn and Karlyn head for Orly. Cue sinister music.

Fight or flight: Rob and Kim nab tickets on the earliest morning flight to New York through some smart begging. James and Tyler book tickets on the next flight, but request to be on the waiting list for the early one. They had wisely picked the correct airport, knowing it had international flights.

Over at Orly, Karlyn and Lyn find out the hard way. They ride a cab to Charles de Gaulle, also landing on the wait list.

That airport decision was a costly one. Tyler and James make the early flight, while Team Birmingham goes bust in Paris. The remainder of the race is a two-team battle.

If they can make it there: The two remaining teams speed in cabs to the News Building, then jog down to the East Village. From there, it’s a 56-mile cab ride to the finish line, St. Basil Academy in Garrison. The models manage to pull away from Rob and Kim on the way to the News Building at, of all places, a toll booth; their cabbie had an E-Z Pass, while Rob and Kim’s cabbie had to pay cash.

Not quite the nail biter of a finish as past seasons …

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Win: Tyler and James; place: Rob and Kimberly; show: Lyn and Karlyn.

Pit check: Junkie/models Tyler and James finish first, winning $1 million. Bickering couple Rob and Kimberly arrive second. And single moms Lyn and Karlyn are third, earning $12,000.

Lyn: “This is just a dream come true to finish the actual race, and then to make history as the first female team (to complete the race).” Karlyn: “I have just been around the world, and I have learned that I can do whatever I set my mind to.”

Team Birmingham not only is the first all-female team to complete “The Amazing Race,” but also holds the dubious distinction of being the only team to complete the race without ever winning a leg.

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Pit stop: more “Amazing Race” coverage.

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