It’s all led up to this moment. The Amazing Race season 34 might be coming to an end — but the final leg from Iceland to the U.S. comes with plenty of challenges.
“If you’re looking for the perfect 360-degree view of downtown Nashville then this might be it. 300 feet above the Cumberland River,” Phil Keoghan says in Us Weekly‘s exclusive sneak peek of the finale, which airs on Wednesday, December 7. “The teams will have no time to take in the view — they have to climb up here to get a clue — a guitar pic — before rappelling down to their partner.”
In the video, Claire Rehfuss and Derek Xiao are currently in first place as they prepare to take on the clip and rappel challenge.
“We are the first time to get to the bridge. Luis and Michelle are right behind us, but this is an opportunity for us to get a bit of a lead,” Claire, 24, explains to the cameras while her boyfriend, 25, is strapped into his harness. “The pressure is so high. All the teams are really neck and neck right now.”
Luis Colón, for his part, called the competition a “close race” while getting ready for the upcoming climb with wife Michelle Burgos, adding, “Everybody is five minutes within each other. It’s going to be a good battle. It looks like it is going to be a race to the top.”
While Emily Bushnell and Molly Sinert arrive last at the scene to join their fellow contestants, their third-place ranking isn’t a cause for concern.
“Emily has rappelled already for the castle challenge,” Molly says. “She also rock climbs and rappels on her own at home so she is no stranger to doing this.”
Ahead of the season, Claire and Derek offered some insight into their intense game plan for The Amazing Race.
“Her parents gave us, like, a whole Amazing Race bootcamp,” the AI engineer told Us in September about their commitment to the show. “They taught us how to drive stick shift. We had a rented car. They would literally blindfold us, put us in the back of their truck, drive us off to a random location, and then give us a map and be like, ‘OK, now you guys need to make your way back home.’”
Derek added: “I am a very studious person so The Amazing Race, this is a game that almost is fully in your hands. Other than, like, a taxi every now and then, you can do tangible things to study for it. There’s no house vote. There’s no politick-ing. It’s really, like, can you speak some of the languages?”
The reality TV couple also gushed about how they “complement each other” when it comes to working together. “Derek’s weirdly good at a lot of things. If you watch Big Brother, he would be very good at random challenges,” the product manager shared at the time.
In response, Derek weighed in on their various strengths and weaknesses, saying, “The joke I always make was me and Claire only had one bag and I carried it. So, I always told people, ‘I carried the bag, but Claire carried me.’ I think it was my physical endurance on some of the challenges. But then Claire has one of the best memories of anyone I know. She has great attention to detail and there are so many challenges where it literally is just attention to detail.”
The Amazing Race airs on CBS Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m.