The Amazing Race Season 31

You're in Our Race Now

By Kim Hollis & David Mumpower

April 22, 2019

JJ = not over it.

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Now that we’ve suffered through the majority of one of the worst Survivor seasons ever, we can celebrate the return (at last!) of The Amazing Race. Oh, wait. There are past Survivor contestants participating? Ick. And Big Brother, too? Ickier.

The good news is that one of our favorite Amazing Race teams ever, Tyler & Korey, have returned for this season, which matches Big Brother versus Survivor versus Amazing Race. David and I have been watching the spectacular Total Drama: Ridonculous Race in preparation. If only the real thing had as fantastic a team as Ennui & Crimson (& Loki). Watch the show on Netflix and you’ll understand.

We begin the race at Hermosa City Beach in Los Angeles, where we hear the welcome voice of Phil Keoghan (seriously, we’re sick to death of Jeff Probst) invite us to enjoy another thrilling season of his superior show.

As the contestants all gather, there’s a bit of back and forth about which of the three shows is the best. I think that Survivor and Amazing Race tend to agree that Big Brother is a bunch of babies who don’t do anything but live in a house. Then again, Big Brother’s Rachel Reilly has been on two seasons of The Amazing Race and performed pretty admirably, placing in the top three both times. She’s still impossibly annoying, though. Also, for some inexplicable reason, she and her partner are wearing Body Glove apparel, which we thought went out in the 1990s.

To start the race, the Racers must dig into a giant octopus sand sculpture to find their first clue. It’s such a cool work of art that it seems a shame for it to be destroyed.

By the way, we’re not going to Google any of these people to find out whether they have negative or positive reputations. We’ve never seen an episode of Big Brother. We have, however, seen more episodes of Survivor than any person alive deserves.

First destination is Tokyo, Japan. Woo hoo! Our dream destination! We were hoping to go there in 2018 but weren’t able to do so. Art & JJ from The Amazing Race are the last to find their clue, but we assume everyone will be on roughly the same flight.

Unfortunately, we have a brief interview with Corrine & Eliza. Their sole purpose seems to being acting catty about other teams. We won’t waste time talking about people who just want to be villains. We have no patience for that, and The Amazing Race has proven to be a really positive, upbeat show over the last few years. They don’t fit.

Once teams land in Tokyo, they must proceed to Shibuya, home to Tokyo’s busiest pedestrian crossing. Then, they have to travel to one of two locations - ACB Lock & Security or Tokyo Tokyo Restaurant. Yes, Tokyo Tokyo Restaurant is apparently a real place that exists… in Tokyo.

The catch? Each location only has a certain number of clues. That adds a bit of an element of danger, and also puts teams on a more individual level.

We quickly see that people who have participated on The Amazing Race previously have an advantage. For example, the Afghanimals, Leo & Jamal, immediately notice that the Big Brother and Survivor contestants are struggling to find their way to either of the two locations. Meanwhile, Leo & Jamal quickly find someone to help them and head off.

Rupert (sigh) & Laura from Survivor do find a kind local to give them directions before the other teams. But the Afghanimals do manage to arrive at the next location – a Roadblock – in first place. The challenge is titled “Who Wants a Sweet New Pair of Shoes?” The challenge is inspired by Japanese game shows, which is NOT good news for our contestants.

In this challenge, you have to find a pair of shoes made of chocolate. The only way to know whether it IS chocolate is to bit the shoe. Gross.

Rachel & Elissa, sisters who both participated on Big Brother, go to Tokyo Tokyo. Unfortunately, there are no clues left. When Tyler is looking for the locksmith shop, Eliza helps him.


As Rupert wanders, apparently still lost, he says, “This is WAY harder than Survivor.”

After several bites of shoe, the Afghanimals complete the Roadblock first. Then, Janelle & Britney (Big Brother) get chocolate on their very first bite.

Next, teams have to travel by taxi to Onarimon Station, and then they’ll go to Shiba Koen to find their next clue.

Victor from Big Brother starts to have sore teeth from biting so hard on the shoes. Maybe… don’t do that?

It’s time for another Road Block, this time called “Who Wants to Climb Mount Fuji?” Also based on a stunt from a Japanese game show, the teammate who did not participate in the chocolate shoe challenge has to complete this one. Basically, they’re climbing a super slippery slope while also wearing a super slippery outfit.


On his 43rd attempt, Victor eats a chocolate shoe.

Rupert & Laura are still lost. Tyler Oakley gets a chocolate sandal on his first try. Whoop whoop!

After a while, Leo realizes he can use his wet hands as suction cups to climb Mount Fuji. “Do it for Pablo!” (Leo’s cat), cousin Jamal shouts.

Colin (of Colin & Christie from Season 5 of The Amazing Race) climbs straight up the mountain no problem. Presumably, these two teams will now race for the Pit Stop, which is located at Atago Jinja Shrine. But in fact, there aren’t even any editing shenanigans. Leo & Jamal win easily in a dominant performance. They win a seven-day cruise in Tahiti. Obviously, Colin & Christie are second.

Tyler & Korey and Nicole & Victor get to Mount Fuji at the same time. Rachel & Elissa aren’t far behind them. Both Korey and Nicole are able to retrieve their clue pretty easily. Rachel has to take Mount Fuji for their team, which should be amusing.

Survivor teams Rupert & Laura and Corinne & Eliza have both gotten to the point where they’re eating shoes. All of them seem super surprised by the difficulty of The Amazing Race. Laura eats her shoe first.

Art & JJ are way, way behind, though. They were last to find their clue and now I feel like they’re well on their way toward elimination. However, Eliza is on her 34th try with no chocolate shoe luck.

Surprisingly, Rachel is fine on Mount Fuji, as is Becca from Team Fun (her partner is Floyd).

Corinne & Eliza are in near last place, with Eliza crying because they might be eliminated. But Art & JJ have only just arrived at the Chocolate Shoe Festival, so it really feels like the villain wannabes will be just fine.

Dummy Survivor Bret (partnered with his Survivor friend Chris), gets to the top of Mount Fuji but doesn’t understand he needs to grab a clue. He slides back down, only to realize that he has to climb back up to retrieve it.

Rupert & Laura are lost again.

Even though she gets to the top, Corinne doesn’t feel like she can get the clue. With Eliza’s encouragement, she grabs hold and unfortunately they are still in the race. To their credit, they do acknowledge that teams they were calling dumb earlier beat them handily.

Rupert & Laura have now been lost for more than two hours.

Art is trying to climb Mount Fuji, but he is having serious issues with his calf cramping, causing him to require some hydration and medical attention. They decide to take a four-hour penalty and skip the challenge, but then they see Rupert & Laura arrive. So we think the Border Patrol Officers are in a lot of trouble, which is actually kind of good for David since he confuses them with Chris & Bret from Survivor.

In fact, Rupert scales Mount Fuji on his first attempt. Thus, Art & JJ are the first team to be eliminated. Honestly, they just had a terrible day all around. They got lost, struggled with directions, and then the Mount Fuji thing was embarrassing. So, an Amazing Race team is first to go, but the remaining ones got through this first leg pretty breezily. We’ll root for a final three of Tyler & Korey, Becca & Floyd, and one of the other two teams, depending how they behave. The Afghanimals can be annoying, but maybe they’ll surprise us.

Join us next week for another exciting, super fun episode!



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