The Amazing Race Season 31
By Kim Hollis & David Mumpower
June 5, 2019
Previously on The Amazing Race, two episodes aired. One team was eliminated. It’s everything that’s wrong with the show summarized in two sentences. Also, Rachel & Elissa are still in the Race.
Having won the previous leg, Tyler & Korey leave first, though bunching is the trend of the season. And… yes, they are flying 3,500 miles to Zurich, Switzerland. Their first clue will be from Gletscherschluct Glacier Gorge. We’re just going to call it Grindelwald.
For some reason, Christie is wearing a jaguar tooth, which represents “living fearlessly.” Note that this phrase is the title of the episode, so it’s bound to be significant to the point that we’re 80 percent confident she and Colin will be going home tonight. She says that she will need to do the Roadblock for this leg, so it’s a good reminder for her to take courage or some blah blah blah. Colin just sits there all zen through the whole weird discussion.
Nicole & Victor have a conversation about Switzerland, which to them is apparently the same place as Sweden. Also, people speak Swiss because they’re in Switzerland, right? No. Archer taught us that the languages spoken in Switzerland are German, Italian, French, and Romansh. Maybe the Big Brother couple is being silly. We hope so, but fear they are not.
Rachel informs us that she is now on her 31st leg of The Amazing Race, which means she is tied for the most legs ever on the show – even with the cowboys and the Globetrotters. She has just devalued a record like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Hopefully the record stays solid at 31 legs and no more. You can do it, Rachel!
Team Fun and the Afghanimals are talking trash about the sisters as they run up to them, so the Amazing Race teams fake liking them. They want to potentially U-Turn Victor & Nicole or Colin & Christie, but the girls are in an alliance with the other Big Brother duo. Everyone’s duplicitous, though, because Rachel has no problem U-Turning Team Fun again. Becca thinks they’ve made peace. They’re all drinking, so it’s probably the liquor speaking anyway.
Of course, Rachel takes things a step further by informing Victor & Nicole that Team Fun wants to U-Turn them. Rachel’s advice to them is to get to the U-Turn first and use the U-Turn on Team Fun instead. Victor & Nicole rightfully know that Rachel & Elissa just want them to do their dirty work, and also question them on the story since it’s phenomenally fishy in the first place. Rachel’s talents at lying are roughly the same as her puzzle solving. She starts stumbling over her words, changing her story, and forgetting what she said two sentences ago.
“We’re going back to the other car,” Victor says, dismissing them.
In a different car, the teams from The Amazing Race talk about Rachel & Elissa as well. The Afghanimals tell Team Fun that they should in no way consider bygones to be bygones with the sisters, and Tyler notes that nothing they say is trustworthy.
Over in Victor & Nicole’s “other car,” they’re also discussing the Reilly sisters, but with Colin & Christie and Bret & Chris. Colin talks about how they should just hold hands and breathe and love.
The odds of this being the episode where Colin hulks out just increased by a factor of three.
The group takes Colin’s lead, though, holding hands in a circle and taking a meditative moment. Well, everyone does except for Rachel, who smirks and sneers throughout his calming words.
Once the train arrives in Grindelwald, the teams must RUN to the next clue box. Some of them are better than others, like Tyler & Korey, who say they’ve been training for this for weeks. Leo & Jamal aren’t far behind. Once they arrive at the clue box, they reach a Roadblock that asks, “Who wants to take the scenic route?”
Teams have to jump into a terrifying glacial gorge over a rushing river. We’re guessing this is where “Living Fearlessly” is about to come in. Both of us are saying, “Oh, hell no!” We wouldn’t blame anyone for hestitating.
In the footrace, Bret & Chris are about even with Rachel & Elissa because Bret struggles. Chris even carries his bag to try to even things out, but they’re still effectively last.
Korey is the first to jump, and although he screams loudly, he also pumps his fist. Next, teams have to fly by helicopter to Grimsel Pas. Becca goes for Team Fun. “I love this life!” she hollers.
Today’s leg has particularly stunning vistas and landscapes. While Tyler & Korey are flying, they remind themselves to look for a clue box. Leo jumps for the Afghanimals. Despite the foreshadowing that might indicate otherwise, Christie has no trouble with the jump.
Nicole, on the other hand, is terrified and crying. The gentleman at the gorge talks her through the entire thing, while Bret yells an encouragement. However, she says she can’t do it, so the guy in charge tells her she’ll have to go to the back of the line.
Instead, she high fives the guy and then steps off the platform. “I think I died and came back to life,” she tells Victor.
Tyler & Korey have arrived at the next clue box, which tells them their Detour Choices are Water Power or Water Down. For Water Power, teams have to ride the world’s steepest funicular. Along the funicular’s route, they have to look out for the names of eight water basins and how much water they hold. When they get to the end, they have to figure out where the names and numbers go on a map. If they miss, they have to ride again.
Water Down involves “canyoning.” Once they go 150 feet down, they’ll retrieve their clue. This task seems substantially easier but certainly scarier. Tyler & Korey choose Water Down, and their guide is a super tall hunky guy named Sebastian, with whom they both fall in love.
Various other teams are completing the gorge jump, and what you need to know here is that Chris & Bret are in last place. C’mon, Team Survivor! Don’t let Big Brother get the best of you!
While Nicole & Victor wait for their helicopter, Rachel & Elissa walk up. Nicole hugs Rachel, but Victor makes a face. “She’s a lot nicer than I am,” he says
With Sebastian by their side, Tyler & Korey are super motivated. When Tyler compliments Korey’s booty, Sebastian asks, “Are you guys together?” At this point, Tyler’s response is effectively, “So you’re saying there’s a chance!” Who will Sebastian choose? Stay tuned!
Because she’s a rock-climbing instructor, Becca loves this challenge, too.
For some reason, Leo & Jamal choose the funicular. I think it’s actually because Jamal is struggling physically at the moment. The run from the train station took a lot out of him, so much so that we’re not sure he’s paying good attention to the sign. Leo is getting his water basins by using mnemonic devices, though.
Miraculously, they do get it on their first try. They get the clue for the Pit Stop, which is located at a church known as Michaelskirche.
Basically, we know Tyler & Korey and the Afghanimals are likely in the running for first place, while the last place teams are the Reilly sisters and Bret & Chris.
Surprisingly, the Rock Down task is pretty long. Leo & Jamal have to wait for the funicular to return and then take the 15 minute ride back to the bottom. Tyler & Korey have retrieved their clue from the bottom of the water (with Tyler face planting more or less). We think first place will come down to whether the Rock Down challenge is closer or the funicular is.
Colin is naked, so Tyler tells Korey to keep his eyes on the road.
Terror on the Funicular could be the title of Nicole’s scariest horror movie experience. She hates the thing, and tells Victor not to hold her hand or talk to her as they track the names of the water basins.
At Rock Down, Bret is realizing it might not have been his best choice. He’s scared of heights and breathing so hard we think he might be having a panic attack. He’s down before he knows it, but there a few more scary moments to go in this task.
When they arrive at the top of the funicular, Nicole whines about having to run, but they do get their map right on the first try. We believe they’re safely ahead of the Reilly sisters and the Survivor bros, but it’s hard to say.
First place (again!) goes to Tyler & Korey, who win a spa day to allow them to relax and rejuvenate for the next leg of the race. It might not seem like a lot, but we actually think this is a great idea and a practical award that helps a team in the challenges to come.
The remaining spots don’t matter much, as we know bunching will be a thing in the next leg. Last place DOES matter, though, assuming it’s an elimination leg. Both teams in last place have managed non-eliminations previously, so we hope Phil sends one of them home. Obviously, we’d prefer it to be Rachel & Elissa, who are barely ahead of Bret & Chris.
“Why are we always in last place?” asks Elissa. “If you had run a little bit faster, we would have gotten at least fifth.” Sheesh.
Neither team knows where they’re going, but Elissa is determined to stay on the tail of Bret & Chris either way. Nicole & Victor are lost as well, and a kindly motorcyclist gives them directions.
A noteworthy stat about this leg is that Amazing Race teams finish first through fourth.
Rachel & Elissa and Bret & Chris arrive at the Pit Stop at the same time. Unfortunately, that means Victor & Nicole, who were lost, finish last. They argue with Rachel & Elissa on the mat over the whole U-Turn thing, which makes absolutely no sense. Rachel is her bitchy self, which makes Nicole break down. Although they are the last team to arrive, Phil tells them that they get to stay, almost certainly because there is now drama between them and the Reilly sisters.
On the plus side, Rachel & Elissa are utterly devastated by this turn of events. Bret & Chris have been enjoying the meltdown of the Big Brother alliance throughout the entire conversation.
We quite enjoy Nicole & Victor, so we’re okay with this particular series of events. Hopefully, they’ll have a chance to U-Turn their new enemies.
In fact… upcoming previews indicate there will be an Amazing Race first – a “U-Turn Vote.”
Enjoy your upcoming extra task, Reilly sisters!