The Amazing Race 31 promised the goods the moment that they announced the central twist for this season — it’s a CBS reality showdown! In the aftermath of that, the producers just had to make sure that they delivered something that lived up to the billing … and we can at least guarantee that we got that in the form of Rachel Reilly.
Within the first fifteen or so minutes, Rachel delivered arguably one of the greatest lines in Amazing Race history while having an argument with Nicole & Victor — “Nicole, your brand is watching.” At first, Rachel & Elissa were trying to go to them with a warning about a possible U-Turn coming their way, but then they changed their story and started acting a little frantic. Rachel freaked out, Nicole and Victor got upset, and come the time that the teams actually arrived in Switzerland, there was no guarantee that these people would ever be working together again.
The first task in the country was the classic Amazing Race staple of “jump off of some really high place.” It’s never the most exciting Roadblock when we get it because 99% of the time, everyone tasked with it is going to be doing it within a similar amount of time. There’s always one person who looks like they aren’t going to do it (in this case Nicole), but they all do. Most of the drama came after the fact.
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Most of the drama in this episode race-wise actually came courtesy of the Detour — it was all about which one they chose. One, finding clues while traveling up and down the mountain, was more memory-based and all about attention to detail. The other one, canyon-diving and maneuvering through the wilderness, was probably faster if you had any energy left. Remember, earlier on in this episode teams were forced to jog for miles and that was draining … especially in the Swiss altitude.
Interestingly, it was the Afghanimals who seemed to make the right choice, even though these two have long been the master of making the wrong choice. They actually chose to pay attention to detail (not exactly their strong suit), but they figured it out! They actually finished the Detour in first place to the surprise of everyone … but then they were stuck waiting for their cart to come back to make it back down the mountain. They were able to at least get themselves some stability and confidence with this.
The ultimate first-place finishers were Tyler & Korey this time around, which shouldn’t come as a shock given that they handled the opening jog the best and did the athletic Detour without too many problems. (Also, they didn’t have to wait around at the end of it.)
The biggest problem with episode 7 was simply one of the Race not doing a whole lot to actually offer chances for the order to change. The teams that were strong at the start were able to hold position because the tasks were so straight-forward. That makes for a less-than-exciting leg, even if the Swiss scenery was beautiful … or at least it was.
Here’s what was crazy
As predictable as a lot of the episode was, there actually was something unpredictable near the end — Nicole & Victor got lost. This was your drama tonight. That caused them to finish in last, even behind Rachel & Elissa and Bret & Chris (who were behind), but it was a Non-Elimination leg!
Basically, the appeal moving forward is going to be seeing Rachel & Elissa battle it out with Nicole & Victor. Also, clearly, Rachel & Elissa aren’t making a whole lot of friends this season.
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What did you think about The Amazing Race season 31 episode 2? Be sure to get some more thoughts in the comments, and also be sure to come back for more news. (Photo: CBS.)