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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 14, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 50
A fabulous finish: Gay couple wins The Amazing Race down the stretch
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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A fabulous finish: Gay couple wins The Amazing Race down the stretch

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Call it a Gay miracle. Life partners Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge, who manage a goat farm in upstate New York, dashed to the victory mat at Gotham Hall in midtown Manhattan to claim first place on the Emmy-winning series The Amazing Race. They celebrated by kissing on the lips and embracing on the nationally televised show.

Nicknamed the 'Beekman Boys,' they were seen as the weakest of the four remaining teams when the two-hour season finale aired December 9. Kilmer-Purcell and Ridge, who've been together for over 14 years, earned a $1 million prize for their victory.

The last episode began in Mallorca, Spain, with the four teams instructed to make their way to the Loire Valley, France, via Barcelona. Sri Lankan twins Natalie and Nadiya spearheaded a three-team alliance with Chippendales dancers Jaymes (also Gay) and James, plus Texas natives Trey and Lexi. A plan was hatched to eliminate the Gay men from the competition, allowing the newly formed 'dream team' to sweep the top three spots in the ultimate finale.

But it all backfired when the Sri Lankan girls completed the last task - having to search for three types of mushrooms in a dark French cave - before the Beekmans, and then got bad directions to the Chateau de Chenonceau, the final pit stop of that leg. Both teams were battling for the last spot in the final three, and it was the Gay boys who narrowly beat them to the mat.

Trey and Lexi (a football star and cheerleader, respectively, from the University of Texas), the Chippendales, and the Beekman Boys started the final leg by flying from Paris to New York City, where they were immediately given clues to proceed to Coney Island. Then, they continued to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where one member of each team was suspended upside-down 15 stories high in a straitjacket and had to get themselves free and descend to the ground from a bungee jump. After a pizza-delivery challenge at the famous Lombardi's, the teams were handed their final task to complete, which involved remembering proper 'hellos' and 'goodbyes' from the various nations they visited throughout the competition. Kilmer-Purcell was done first, allowing him and Ridge to proceed to the finish line.

CHANGING PERCEPTIONS
This marked the second time a same-sex pair won The Amazing Race. Reichen Lehmkuhl and Chip Arndt earned the show's third-season crown, but divorced soon after their triumph. Arndt recently became the first openly Gay man to cast an electoral vote in Florida, supporting President Obama in this year's election.

Fellow competitor Rob French, one-half of the 'Monster Truck' team and a big macho type, said after the race that Kilmer-Purcell and Ridge had altered his view of Gay people. 'The Beekman Boys changed my life dramatically,' he said. 'Opened my eyes to see that, 'Hey, look, it's not for me to judge anybody's lifestyle or what they do.'

The Amazing Race will return next spring for its 22nd season. You can watch the Beekman Boys' win on the series' website, www.cbs.com/shows/amazing_race.

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