In this undated photo provided by CBS, host Phil Keoghan, right, greets engaged couple [auth] Cindy Chiang and Ernie Halvorsen, winners of the 19th installment of “The Amazing Race,” in Atlanta. The finale aired Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/CBS, Sonja Flemming) MANDATORY CREDIT
NEW YORK (AP) — “The Amazing Race” took its final three teams on a frantic scramble through Atlanta during Sunday’s conclusion of the CBS competition show.
In the end, it was Ernie Halvorsen and his fiancee Cindy Chiang, both from Chicago, who crossed the finish line at Atlanta’s historic Swan House to win the $1 million prize.
In second place were Californians Jeremy Cline and Sandy Draghi. In third place were former NFL player Marcus Pollard and his wife Amani, from Pine Mountain, Ga.
During this last leg of the round-the-world race, the couples were required to land a jetliner in a flight simulator, find “Gone With the Wind” author Margaret Mitchell’s home, and plot their 40,000-mile odyssey on a giant world map erected high above the parking lot at Turner Field.
But interviewed after the broadcast, the winners said their most unnerving moment was the basic task of getting a cab at Atlanta’s airport.
“Nobody wanted to take us,” Ernie said. “That was the most stressful thing as we saw the other teams departing.”
Finally a driver volunteered, “and we give him all the rest of our money as a tip,” said Cindy.
The episode’s most comic scene: when Jeremy and Sandy went in search of “the Dump,” the name for Mitchell’s famous residence, but instead were delivered by their driver to a huge department store called The Dump, where they wasted precious time prowling its aisles in vain to find the clue that wasn’t there.
“This is so nerve-racking,” said Draghi when they were back on the road. “I have to get on Prilosec when I get home.”