The Amazing Race Season 31
I Took Out a Polar Bear
By Kim Hollis & David Mumpower
May 22, 2019
Previously on The Amazing Race, it was a non-elimination leg. Chris & Bret from Survivor finished in last place, but Phil kindly informed them that they would be given another chance. Honestly, if we thought they were going to engineer a non-elimination for a Survivor team, we would have counted on Rupert & Laura. Clearly the show’s producers find them as annoying as we do.
Anyway, we’re all hanging out in Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City, where the winners of the previous leg, Becca & Floyd, are first to depart. Their clue directs them to Snow Town, Saigon. It’s kind of an adorable little snowy amusement park area with an icy slide covered in flurries. Phil makes a big deal out of the fact that teams must make their way through significant traffic. Still, by the time Snow Town opens, all of the teams are bunched anyway.
“It seems idiotic that at the very least, we couldn’t be better at this than Big Brother.” – Corinne, trying to give herself a pep talk
As all teams are running up an escalator to get to their next clue, Bret tells Chris, “Don’t injure yourself.” Chris falls, and Bret says, “See?” That’s the kind of support that lands you in last place!
As he sleds down the hill, Floyd screams like he might be barreling down the K12. It’s really just a baby bunny hill, but they don’t call themselves Team Fun for nothing.
One of Janelle or Britney actually sleds straight into the polar bear holding their clue, knocking him off his feet. And thus we have our episode title, “I Took Out a Polar Bear.”
The bear’s clues point teams to their next destination, College Transportation Central. Of course, before they can move forward, Chris & Bret have to perform a Speed Bump because they arrived last in the previous leg. They must fill a cooler with a designated number of snowballs (the bear is the judge) and take them to College Transportation Central.
The non-snowball collecting teams are battling over cabs, especially Rachel & Elissa and Corinne & Eliza. Actually, the latter Survivor team tries to steal the Big Brother duo’s cab, but the sisters catch on quickly enough to stop the villain wannabes. Afterward, Corinne & Eliza bitch about how much they hate the Big Brother sisters. I mean, most people agree (at least about Rachel, anyway), but it’s not like the Survivor women are winning any popularity contests.
Over at their Speed Bump, Chris & Bret are having to make their snowballs the EXACT right size, because the judge is super critical. “It was a very picky polar bear,” the guys say.
After the dust has settled, a few teams are still struggling to find a taxi. Colin & Christie, Becca & Floyd, Tyler & Corry, and Janelle & Britney can’t get anyone to stop. Meanwhile, Corinne & Eliza’s cab driver has no idea where he’s going, and Eliza’s ugly American emerges.
Leo & Jamal are just fine with their cab driver, though, because they get to the next clue box, manned by a polar bear under a beach umbrella, ahead of the other teams. Is there some sort of Vietnamese polar bear society we’re unaware of?
The Roadblock challenges one team member with the question, “Who is going to drive themselves crazy?” As Phil ominously pointed out previously, motorbikes and scooters dominate the streets of Ho Chi Minh City. The selected team member much drive around a complex scooter course while staying in the lines. As Jamal says, a lot of this task relies on the rider’s body weight.
Of the teams that are still seeking cabs, Team Fun just gets on the phone and calls one to come get them. Chris & Bret have completed the snowball challenge and have joined the taxi fray. Colin & Christie and Team Fun are on their way, leaving Tyler & Korey and Janelle & Britney as the only two teams still struggling.
The first person to complete the motor bike challenge is Jamal, who figures out that he was going the wrong direction and also that he needed to lean to keep himself within the lines. The next clue sends them to Bình Qu?i Village
The Survivor team of Chris & Bret arrives to give their cooler of snowballs to the poor, melting polar bear (“How could anyone NOT believe in climate change at this point?” – Detective Pikachu). Corinne tells Eliza she HAS to do the scooter challenge, because she’s the only one who knows how to drive or something.
Victor finishes the race (he and Nicole are actually quite delightful), while Eliza jabbers about her fear of the machines.
Back at the lost cabs, Janelle & Britney finally find one, while Tyler & Korey continue to struggle. When they finally do get their taxi, their driver tells them that there are 100 million people and 100 million motorbikes. It’s actually 92 million and 45 million respectively, but still.
Chris stalls his motorbike, while Colin – who actually owns a dirt bike, gets it done on his first attempt. It’s hard to believe this is the same guy from the early seasons of The Amazing Race. He’s either in a much better place OR he’s going to blow a gasket. There is no in between.
Leo & Jamal have arrived at the Detour, which asks them to choose Irritation or Irrigation. For Irritation, teams have to row a round raft, carrying it across and over bridges along the way, until they find and retrieve a fish basket. Irrigation has the teams build a wheel that pumps water from the river and delivers it to a bucket. Both seem hard, but the Afghanimals choose Irrigation, as do Rachel & Elissa.
At long last, Tyler & Korey have finally gotten to the motorbike location. Janelle crashes into some other bikes, and she also falls onto the ground.
Colin & Christie and Nicole & Victor choose Irritation, which so far feels like the correct option despite the boat people splashing them with water. Leo & Jamal think that they’ve finished their fountain, but they’re told they need to actually use it to fill a bucket.
Oops – initially Colin & Christie don’t get all their fish, but they realize their mistake fast and return to grab all five of them. Nicole & Victor get it right, though.
Afghanimals have slowly figured out how to make the water flow for their wheel. Rachel & Elissa’s wheel is simply not built correctly. Janelle makes it past the bike task, followed soon by Tyler.
Eliza is all alone at the scooter task, and she shouts out encouraging words to Tyler & Korey, but she has no comfort with this task and breaks down in tears. Corinne grumpily notes to the camera that they’re in last, but she hugs Eliza and stays positive. It does seem grim for the Survivor villain hopefuls, though.
Bret & Chris seem awfully awkward in their boat since they’re such big guys. And although Leo & Jamal have started to fill their water container, they still have a long way to go.
Eliza finally finishes the scooter test, and the crowd hanging around the area cheers for her. It’s a needed boost, because she’s feeling desolate about putting her team into last place.
After retrieving their fish (and their baskets), Colin & Christie and Nicole & Victor are in a dead heat for the race to the Pit Stop at Tam Vu Park.
Janelle & Brittney choose Irritation and start their task just as the Afghanimals complete Irrigation. Sisters Rachel & Elissa still are struggling with the wheel, which makes Rachel freak out and start insisting they should switch tasks. Elissa (remarkably) calms her down (and wisely so – they stand to lose if they swap at this point).
The next set of teams to finish the fish task are Becca & Floyd and Chris & Bret. In the two-team race to the Pit Stop happening ahead of these two groups, Nicole gets tired and can’t quite keep up the pace of Victor, Colin and Christie. The latter duo finishes in first, winning a trip to the Dominican Republic.
At the fish basket task, Janelle & Brittney fall behind Tyler & Korey, but they’re all super nice to each other while it’s happening. Korey slices his finger on the basket, but he’s not deterred.
While Rachel & Elissa continue to work on the wheel, Corinne & Eliza have arrived. They choose the boat challenge, but because there are no other teams left to mimic, they think they have to stand up and balance in the boat. Naturally, this slows them down and allows Rachel & Elissa some extra time to complete their task.
Third place goes to Chris & Bret, who had a great showing during this leg. It seems like forever ago that they were doing their speed bump, but in fact they started out in last place. Team Fun comes in right behind them. They dance.
Eliza & Corinne tip their boat and fall into the water, but still manage to grab their fish. At this point, last place will come down to whether Eliza & Corinne can get their boat to the fishmonger before Elissa & Rachel fill their water container.
Up in fifth and sixth are Tyler & Korey and Leo & Jamal. The Afghanimals somehow managed to get lost after finishing the water wheel challenge. Janelle & Brittney are seventh and barely factored into the episode other than Janelle’s many bike crashes.
Elissa & Rachel see that they are ahead of Corinne & Eliza by JUST a hair. The sisters beat them by a minute or so, and as they talk about how blessed they are, the last place Survivor villains overhear them. “I guess we are not hashtag blessed,” says Eliza bitterly.
On the plus side, either elimination here would have been a win, although Rachel’s whining hasn’t been as predominant as in past seasons. On the other hand, Corinne & Eliza have behaved poorly throughout the Race, and it doesn’t end after Phil sends them home.
Corinne talks about how poorly they did, surviving only four legs. Rachel tries to be a good sport and says that she and Elissa respect them as competitors and women, which causes Eliza to roll her eyes.
“I have no interest in hearing from them or speaking to them ever again,” says Eliza. She and Corinne stalk away, leaving Phil, Elissa, and Rachel all looking a bit stunned. Eliza sobs once they’ve attained some distance.
“I don’t know. I’m not a positive person. I don’t know how to spin this,” says Corinne.
“I hate them so much. I don’t ever want to see their faces,” Eliza responds.
Closing out the ugliness, Corinne notes that they won’t be attending any after parties or speaking to any of the other competitors.
There’s no sugarcoating it. They’re the sorest of sore losers. We’re quite certain they came in thinking they’d dominate in some sort of evil fashion, leaving their mark as they did so. Instead, they just look petty.
So, if you’re keeping track, that leaves just one Survivor team still in the Race. Otherwise, we have four Amazing Race teams (plus one half if you include Rachel) and three Big Brother teams.