Previously: We're given a full expedition recap for the remaining four teams. The recap even acknowledges The Moustaches have won almost every stage and remain strong despite John's recurring ankle injury. Team Gay Angst is recapped as the next strongest contender since they're the only team with a stage victory over Moustaches. Their weakness is summed up by their struggles with health and internal conflict. Akbar And The Players are depicted as having gotten stronger as the expedition has progressed. Then, there's Really Limited who have inspired with their performance, as we've been constantly reminded. So, here it is, guys. Which team has what it takes? Who is really worthy of the almighty Ford Explorer?
The remaining four teams have a buffet/potluck dinner together the day before the final stage. Sort of a nice gesture for all involved, having the teams sit at a table together like this. Jeff even calls it "The Final Four Last supper." Our opening THs are AJ, Akbar and Erik. AJ says the team is all healthy and the stage tomorrow is the only one that counts. Akbar talks about his team coming out there with no skillset to prepare for what they'd face. Early Akbarism: "Having gone from rookie to veterans -- we're ready." Erik admits Really Limited is still in shock they're even in the final stage after all the adversity they've been through. The one decent moment we glean from this dinner thing is Gypsy Eric telling the whole table that no matter what happens tomorrow he's glad to have met everyone. That's totally what you tell someone when you don't expect to ever see them again after you drive away in your Ford Explorer headed to the bank. John notes in TH that for however strong The Moustaches have appeared in all of the previous stages it doesn't matter. The other teams only have to win one stage. It's all about tomorrow.
Here we are. The teams have assembled at the starting line at Lake Takerkoust. Dave Salmoni builds up the final stage about as much as you can when it's been mostly camels, kayaks and hiking to this point. This will be a one-day stage. Not surprisingly, there will be no head start given. Salmoni says all teams will leave at the same time since they've all earned the right to be there. Akbar says in TH it's anybody's game because The Moustaches have gotten used to having a few minutes edge on everyone. The real surprise for the final stage is that a team will be eliminated halfway through. It throws everyone for a loop simply because it's just not the norm, but what are you going to do? The teams are given Salmoni's standard, "Remember, be strong. Work together, and never give up," and they're off.