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UW-Madison grad students on ‘Amazing Race’ finale Friday

One way or another, “The Amazing Race” will end soon for Amy DeJong and Maya Warren.

But will the UW-Madison food science graduate students end up victorious on Friday night’s finale? Stay tuned.

The CBS show airs at 7 p.m. Both DeJong and Warren will be in Los Angeles watching — quietly. Mum’s the word for both contestants until after the show has aired.

At stake is a $1 million prize — the reward for besting all competitors while traveling the globe on the 25th edition of the Emmy Award-winning reality show.

Along the way, the pair has competed against 10 other two-person teams in various mental and physical challenges.

Fellow food science graduate students Maddy Levin and Abbey Thiel will be rooting them on at a viewing party Friday night.

“They are some of the smartest people I know, and I knew they would do super well in the race,” Levin says. “I think they will finish first because they both have the ambition to win and the intelligence to make it through the complicated tasks without getting frustrated.”

It wasn’t looking good in last week’s episode. The pair came in last, but in one of those twists reality shows are so fond of, no one was eliminated. That makes this finale the first in which four teams will compete.

“Last episode gave a lot of us quite a scare,” Thiel says. “No matter the results on Friday’s episode, I hope Amy and Maya know that we are extremely proud of how hard they have (run) this race and that it’s been quite the experience following them around the world.”

Win or lose, the pair can be proud.

“They were both pretty amazed at still being in the race after their fourth-place finish last week,” says Rich Hartel, a food science professor they work with.

If emerging as victors, they’ll be in good Badger company. In 2012, Dave and Rachel Brown won the $1 million prize — Dave, an assistant professor of military science at UW-Madison, and Rachel, a UW human ecology graduate.

DeJong and Warren’s team is named — and can be followed on Twitter using the hashtag — #SweetScientists.