The Amazing Race Season 31
Chugga Chugga Choo Choo!
By Kim Hollis & David Mumpower
June 26, 2019
Previously on The Amazing Race, the last remaining Survivor team returned to their early bumbling ways at the worst possible time. With zero non-elimination legs remaining (we hear angels playing harps when we type that), the men failed to find coins using a metal detector, which tells you everything about their skill level.
Out of the remaining players, the big story is that Nicole & Victor, by which we mean Nicole, have made a lot of enemies in a short amount of time. The Afghanimals in particular were offended when their name came up during an ill-conceived U-Turn vote. To a larger point, the Big Brother couple is the only non-Amazing Race team remaining on The Amazing Race. This statement shows just how big of a learning curve the competition has.
Tonight’s leg starts in Split, Croatia, where Tyler & Korey start in first place for a fourth leg in a row. They decide to bring their Travelocity gnome with them. Well, that’s what they say, but then the gnome isn’t with them when they open their clue. Should we file a Missing Persons Report?
Teams will now head to Kampen, The Netherlands, where they’ll start the leg by finding a marked bicycle. Only two minutes divide first place from second place.
By the way, something hysterical happens that has no impact on the game, but we’ve wondered how often it comes up. Tyler & Korey’s destination is around the block, yet Nicole & Victor beat them there. What went wrong? Their cabbie, in an attempt to get a larger fare, drove them around town for a while before circling back. It’s enterprising but uncool.
There will be no bunching this leg, as the first two teams fly out of Split before the other teams even start the leg at 10 a.m. First flight lands in Amsterdam at 8 p.m. Team Fun will arrive at around 9:30 p.m. Christie & Colin and the Afghanimals will get to Amsterdam two hours after them.
BUT… none of that matters, because there is apparently bunching in the morning that is significant enough that the editors don’t even bother to show it. We’re annoyed that we even went through this exercise. Bikes don’t unlock until 9 a.m., so all teams are getting their clues at the same time.
Groups must ride their bikes to Jachthaven. Oh, by the way, they are tandem bikes. Teams have a tough time mastering the driving technique, though eventually Tyler & Korey come to a good method with Korey doing all the pedaling.
It’s Nicole’s birthday, and she hopes that they can stay in the Race as her present. Seems ominous, especially to those of us who watch Top Chef. The Birthday Curse is a well-known phenomenon on that show that virtually guarantees elimination on that episode.
The first task is a Detour, where teams will choose between “High” or “Dry.” High involves hoisting a cow on a rope up to the top of a tower. The task has to be completed in 40 seconds or less. For Dry they have to vault across a ditch and then get two cheeses and a dozen eggs. After that, they’ll have to vault back across the water somehow with the produce.
For some reason, Nic & Vic choose Dry. Seems ominous. After the worst possible attempt, the people watching tell her that it was “Not the Dutch way.”
Team Fun is lost, which opens some opportunities for the other four teams. Eventually, Nicole is able to vault the river, sort of. Victor does the vault with the eggs and the cheese since he actually knows how to vault. They’re ahead for now and on their way to the market.
Tyler & Korey and Colin & Christie will be first to hoist their cows. Both of them master the task in 40 seconds.
The next clue cautions that a U-Turn is ahead, and Phil informs us that it’s a surprise double U-Turn. Both Tyler & Korey and Christie & Colin decide that it’s best to let other teams handle the dirty work. They’re far enough in the lead at this point that there’s just no reason to create friction with another group.
The Afghanimals once again remind us that Nic & Vic previously voted for them in the U-Turn. Seems ominous.
Team Fun is still lost.
Having passed up the U-Turn, the two lead teams are headed to a boat rental place, where we’re sure they’ll head to a Roadblock task.
At long last, Team Fun has gotten to the cow portion of the Detour. Nicole & Victor are rushing to the U-Turn area. “No one better U-Turn me on my birthday, “ says Nicole. Seems ominous.
We cut to commercial. Also seems ominous.
In fact, Leo & Jamal arrive at the U-Turn first and they do choose to U-Turn Nicole & Victor. Oddly, this doesn’t seem ominous because Jamal wishes her a happy birthday and does a happy dance.
Victor just doesn’t understand. After all, they only voted to U-Turn the Afghanimals that one time - the only time it happened in the game prior to this U-Turn! The Big Brother duo does what they have to do – U-Turning Becca & Floyd, who are just getting to the cow-hoisting task. This leg seems like a foregone conclusion if the time they were lost is any indication.
Now, Tyler & Korey are lost, though at least they pause to ask for directions.
Christie & Colin get to the boat rental places, and their clue… sends them to the next Pit Stop, located at Bovenwijde Lake! Whoa! They do have to create a boat train by stopping at locations along the way to pick up additional boats.
Along the way, the Afghanimals get excited about cats, dogs, goats, and other animals along the way.
“I want to go back and find that cat,” says Leo, who is our kindred feline-loving spirit.
Arriving at the U-Turn, Becca & Floyd realize that they must go do the “Dry” task, which was super duper hard for Nicole. The Big Brother couple does drive right past the cows, though, so it might be reasonably close.
During the “Dry” task, we note pretty quickly that Becca & Floyd don’t check to ensure that their eggs are okay. Seems ominous.
In fact, the very first egg they hand over to the gentleman at the market is cracked. When he informs them of this fact, Becca tells him that she “wants to throw the egg at his face.” Over the last few legs, Team Fun has seriously started to grate on our nerves, and this is just one small example of why.
For their part, while they are boating, Tyler & Korey come across a boat full of shirtless men. They’re as happy as Leo with a kitten!
As they pull their first boat for the train to link it, Jamal gets it right in the groin. He is no longer happy dancing.
On their first effort with the cow hoisting, Nicole is completely useless and they become the only team to miss the 40-second mark. Becca & Floyd carefully check their eggs on their second attempt, so they’re now racing to the market.
The Afghanimals drive past their second boat, which allows Christie & Colin to get in the lead. Meanwhile, Tyler & Korey are terrible, terrible boat drivers. They keep hitting other people in the canal.
On their second attempt, Nicole actually tries and they get the cow to the top of the tower within the allotted time. Becca & Floyd have also received their clue from the guy at the market, who does seem concerned that Becca might throw something at him.
With Leo & Jamal looking for boat number two, Christie & Colin finish in first place and win $7,500 apiece. They also knock Tyler & Korey out of the top spot for the first time in quite some time.
If editing is telling the truth, Nicole & Victor are ever so slightly ahead of Becca & Floyd. The Afghanimals have realized that something is wrong, but they are arguing about the correct solution. Leo is correct that they need to re-enter, as the canals are one way. A local yells at Tyler & Korey that they’re idiots, but they do eventually find their second boat and will now be on their way to the Pit Stop.
Leo & Jamal are now stuck with a motor that won’t work, a matter made worse by the fact that Nicole & Victor have arrived and entered the canal area. A kindly local stops and helps them remove some of the vegetation that was clogging the motor, and another one gives them directions. Becca & Floyd also are at the boat rental area.
As they drive by a vote full of singing people, Tyler & Korey appreciate their circumstances. They’re thrilled to take second place. Nicole & Victor see the Afghanimals and realize that the race is truly close at this point. Leo & Jamal find their second boat, and editing would indicate that it’s Nic & Vic and then Team Fun after them.
Even though they ask for directions, Nicole & Victor seem to get lost on the way to the lake. Leo & Jamal do finally finish the leg in first place. Team Fun may have found a shortcut, but it doesn’t matter. Nicole & Victor are far enough ahead that they beat Becca & Floyd. DOESN’T seem ominous! But then again, we did most recently say that Becca & Floyd’s circumstances were the ominous ones.
And so it is that Team Fun is eliminated from The Amazing Race. Becca thinks there will be a non-elimination, but Phil already told the teams that there would be no more of those (angels sing). Becca is sad, but Phil points out to them that perhaps their destiny was to meet each other and become Funstoppable.