August 24, 2009 06:06 PM by Candace Young
Seven families left Wrigley’s Field in Chicago to head down Route 66 at the start of the Great American Road Trip on NBC. Now remaining in the finale are the Cootes, who won a majority of the challenges along the way, and the underdog DiSalvatores. Tonight, one family will reach the end of the road in Los Angeles, and the other will win $100,000â€¦
The show begins with the DiSalvatores still hot under the collar from the Cootes trash talk. The families are in Pomona, California, where host Reno Collier tells them the end of the road will be in Los Angeles. The Cootes and DiSalvatores each get a cube to begin with – there are pictures on the cubes, which provide clues as to where the next cube will be found. They must locate four cubes in all. The first cube depicts airport scenes.
The DiSalvatores have an argument over who is going to drive, but finally get on the road with Silvio at the wheel. The Cootes are approaching the airport and feeling supremely confident. Inside the airport, the DiSalvatores go crazy to see that Amy’s mom is the one holding their cube! Jen Cootes’ mother has their cube too!
Next, the families are headed to Universal Studios – with mothers in tow! Jen Cootes thinks that having her mother with them is a distraction, and orders her family to get it together and figure out where they’re going! In the DiSalvatore RV, Amy is showing her mother her scrapbook of the trip. Upon their arrival at Universal, both families are taken on a VIP behind the scenes tour – all the while looking for the third cubes!
Back in their RV’s with three cubes, the families head to Hollywood! They anticipate that when the fourth cube is found it will form a picture. During a food break, the Cootes family laments being in the finale with the DiSalvatores who dislike them. The families are presented with the final two cubes poolside in California by Reno.
The Cootes put the four cubes together and see the completed photo of the Santa Monica Pier. The DiSalvatores are also headed there, with Silvio commenting that he wants to annihilate the Cootes! They hold a family pep rally in the RV, and later, Silvio tells the cameras that he is keeping the truth of their financial difficulties away from his family.
The RV’s head along the Pacific Coast Highway and the families admire the ocean. Soon the kids spot the rollercoaster on the pier. Reno Collier greets them and welcomes them to the End of the Road Challenge! He reminds them that the winner gets $100,000, free gas for a year to take road trips of their own, as well as four round-trip tickets from Southwest Airlines.
The challenge is like solving a puzzle. The families must put the photo cubes together on a huge map to recreate their trip down Route 66. When they finish, and think they have it right, they ring a bell. Reno tells them to go! The Cootes get off to a good start, while the DiSalvatores get confused and begin arguing. The Cootes are soon into trouble as well, when they discover some of the pictures are fakes – they are of places they didn’t actually go! The DiSalvatores encounter the same difficulty. Suddenly, the Cootes think they are done – they ring their bell – only to hear a buzzer – it’s wrong!
Chaos ensues for the Cootes family who are actively telling one another to shut up. The DiSalvatores have decided to defer to the eldest son who memorized their scrapbook of the road trip. It works – the DiSalvatores win the End of the Road Challenge with only a moment to spare! Reno Collier congratulates them. Silvio is extraordinarily proud of his family. The Cootes come over and offer the DiSalvatores congratulations as well, saying they worked hard. The DiSalvatores get their big, fat check and Reno signs off for the Great American Road Trip!
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Photos Courtesy: NBC