The Amazing Race Season 31
Knock the Newbie Out of Us
By Kim Hollis & David Mumpower
April 30, 2019
Previously on The Amazing Race, Survivor, Big Brother and prior Amazing Race contestants joined the show. Rupert missed Survivor so much that he and Laura tried to take a left turn and go back to the Pearl Islands, but they caught a break when the Border Agents, Art & JJ, just flat out gave up.
Our winners of the first leg, Leo & Jamal, leave first. Their clue instructs them to go almost 2,500 miles to Laos. Once they arrive, they will go by tuk-tuk to the location of their first clue. The Amazing Race doesn’t spell out the name of the spot, and we can’t quite make it out.
Also, there is a double U-Turn during this leg.
Colin & Christie talk about how much better he is now than during their original appearance on the race. He meditates now, which helps him control his combustible anger. He had some pretty terrible moments during his first Amazing Race season, so we hope he’s not just holding it all in until he erupts.
Obviously, since Laos is 2,500 miles away, there will be bunching. There is absolutely no reason to think there will be separate flights. Nonetheless, Rachel & Elissa get annoyed with Team Fun (Becca & Floyd) when they run off and leave them behind after they agree to team up.
In Laos, the teams are instructed to give alms to the monks. They pick up baskets and wait for the signal that the monks will arrive shortly. Everyone agrees that this experience is moving and special. We all stay bunched, though, until they get their next clue. It sends the teams to the big tree by the Mekong River.
Rachel & Elissa are first to arrive, and they choose to U-Turn Becca & Floyd, which is pretty dumb at this early stage of the race. It feels like they’re just U-Turning ateam for the sake of U-Turning. A lot can happen, and even with having to perform both Detour tasks, the chances that they’ll set up a team for vengeance rather than departure are strong.
On the other hand, it’s a lesson for Becca & Floyd to just go along with the other teams when they want to work together, even if it’s just pretending. Becca & Floyd U-Turn Tyler & Korey (NO!), mainly because they’re not totally sure who else is behind them.
For the Detour, the choices are ABC or BBQ. ABC involves learning the letters of the Laotian alphabet, which seems fairly tough, while BBQ involves assembling the perfect barbecue in an exact match fashion.
Initially, Tyler & Korey are the only ones at alphabet (because they have to do both tasks). BBQ is easy, though. Team Fun and the Afghanimals are breezing through, even with the language barrier.
Tyler & Korey miss the alphabet challenge on their first try, which allows Corinne & Eliza to give it a shot. They miss as well. Rupert & Laura have chosen this task as well.
On a second attempt, both Tyler & Korey and Corinne & Eliza get it right. The guys head over to BBQ, while the women go to the next challenge, which involves riding elephants.
Despite being pretty easy, Leo & Jamal get BBQ wrong on their first try. Nicole & Victor and Team Fun are right behind them, meaning that Becca & Floyd are now off to learn the alphabet.
Karma strikes as Rachel & Elissa don’t tie their fish properly for the BBQ task. Rupert & Laura can’t get the alphabet right. Other than stealing someone’s shoes in Survivor, Rupert’s not much good at anything. Team Fun, on the other hand, has NO trouble with the alphabet, and the “Funometer” gets turned up to “funstoppable.”
Despite being way behind with the BBQ task, Tyler & Korey don’t panic. They get it complete and start going toward the elephants. Eliza & Corinne are lost, which allows Leo & Jamal to get past them (and other teams, too).
For this Roadblock, one team member will ride an elephant using only Laotian commands that a trainer will teach them. They’ll trek through some water and into a jungle, where they’ll find a musician who’ll give them their next clue.
During the tuk tuk ride to the elephant sanctuary, Tyler & Korey somehow manage to pass Rupert & Laura. The Survivor contestants can’t even manage to find a driver who can go at a decent speed. “They did BOTH Detours and passed us.” – the moment when Rupert realized he and Laura would not win The Amazing Race.
None of the teams have any real trouble with their elephants (Corinne initially struggles to get hers moving, causing a backlog with some other teams) until we get to Rupert, who says that elephants are his spirit animal.
“Is that music?” Nicole asks when they get to the musicians in the forest.
After the elephant “race,” Leo & Jamal and Nicole & Victor are together at the front of the line. “You’ve already got your clue?” Rupert asks plaintively. He hasn’t even “boarded” his spirit animal.
The next clue sends teams to a boat that will take them to the Pitstop at Prince Phetsarath’s Palace. The last team to check in may be eliminated. We assume if Tyler & Korey finish in last, the producers will do what they can to keep them in. But we don’t think that’s going to happen.
“This is insanity thinking I can control this elephant,” says Rupert.
For the record, we’re very proud that we haven’t made any Simpsons/Stampy jokes.
Chris has named his own elephant Bret after his partner. How flattering!
Over at the boat area for the Pitstop, Leo & Jamal lie to Nicole & Victor about being in the right place, though to his credit Victor realizes their mistake pretty quickly.
Despite what could have been a footrace, Leo & Jamal get up the stairs quickly, while Nicole wonders why they keep having to climb stairs at Pitstops. Leo & Jamal win $2,500 apiece. Most of the other teams are so close that they’re on the Pitstop mat together.
There are two teams at the end, and even with sneaky editing, it’s obvious that Rupert & Laura just had no idea what to do with The Amazing Race. Here’s hoping we don’t see him again.