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It’s hard to believe, but the biggest race around the world has come to an end. Another season of The Amazing Race is in the bag, and we have to say that our winners are not who we thought they’d be at the start of this thing.

As the final leg of the series travelled back to Chicago for some good old fashioned ballpark dogs, stadium shenanigans, car racing and lots and lots of running around on foot to identify famed Chi-Town landmarks, it was bickering strangers-turned-frenemies Brooke and Scott who somehow took — and stayed — in the lead to win a million bucks.

That left #TeamMomandDad and #TeamLoLo in second and third place respectively, making for one weird as heck finale. Still, we’re happy for Brooke and Scott because they managed to overcome so much in order to make it to this point.

And so in their honour, here are five things we learned from watching their tumultuous season, and what it takes to win The Amazing Race.

Conquer all fears

It’s no secret that Scott had a crippling fear of heights. He was in tears more than once as he was forced to jump off of ledges, bungee jump and climb towers in order to keep himself and his partner in this race. But rather than buckle he persevered, knowing that it wasn’t just money on the line, but his own sense of pride. This guy was no quitter, and he proved it every step of the way — especially when things got hard.

Here’s how to win ‘The Amazing Race’
CBS

Invoke some positive vibes

Oh Brooke… it’s hard to know where to start when it came to her constant meltdowns. She was in tears more than Scott, and she yelled at pretty much anyone who crossed her path. The problem was, that when things got difficult, Brooke would get all up in her own head and talk herself out of things. By the end of the race though you could begin to see a small shift in that negative thinking. In the cup flip challenge last week she kept assuring Scott that she had it, and by Thursday night’s Pit Stop challenge at the race track she managed to change that tire despite a few hiccups. And it was all thanks to a more positive outlook on the race, and, to be honest, life in general.

Here’s how to win ‘The Amazing Race’
CBS

Learn to communicate

One of the first things Brooke said to Scott on this race, when she had a freakout, was that being told to calm down only makes her worse. We can relate to that, and we’ve got to say good on her for recognizing it. Sure, this pair fought almost all the time, to the point that we as viewers and the other teams racing with them got used to it, but during those brawls they also learned how to communicate a little more effectively and it led to better teamwork in the end.

Here’s how to win ‘The Amazing Race’
CBS

You do you

Perhaps it seems shady, but Brooke and Scott were quick to take help from the other teams, and not so quick to offer it back up. That definitely didn’t sit well with some of the other teams (here’s looking at you, Liz and Michael), but at the end of the day this was a race for a million bucks, and being the good guy doesn’t always ensure a first-place victory. Just ask #TeamFun, who, if you went by good intentions and positive vibes alone, should have had this thing in the bag.

Here’s how to win ‘The Amazing Race’
CBS

Have faith in yourselves

Here’s the most basic but also most important tip of the whole thing: even if others think you can’t do it, you should always have faith in yourself. If there was ever a team to embody that saying it’s Brooke and Scott. Given their meltdowns, fights and general inclination to run around in a million directions before figuring their stuff out, they seemed liked one of the least likely teams, right from the start, to cross that finish line first. But they always had faith in themselves, and knew that if they got into the right mind frame they could do it. And so, when one team member faltered the other picked up the slack, reminding each other why they were there, and what they had to do in order to achieve their goal of winning.

Here’s how to win ‘The Amazing Race’
CBS

And really, you can’t help but be happy for a team who managed to do all that.

Now, with another twisty season of The Amazing Race behind us, all we can do is wait for our very own Canadian iteration, a.k.a. The Amazing Race Canada to return to TV screens on July 4. We hope the Canadian teams have been paying attention to this American version, because it sounds like there’s a heck of a season in store.