The Amazing Race 31: Episode 4: I Took Out a Polar Bear

In which Kemper and Blurry Denzel watch these two blonde-ish women paddle a giant basket, I guess?

Kemperboyd: we get a second leg in Vietnam this week, giving us more of a taste of the country outside of just being in a city, despite just being in a city

Blurry Denzel: I enjoyed the extra time spent here

KB: the race really does well when it doesn’t travel too much. I like at least 2 legs that stay put. Or at least in mainland europe take trains to other countries.

BD: The show has been on for 30 seasons now and I think a part of that is that they don’t burnout the places they can go too quickly

Route Marker

KB: We start off in Ho Chi Minh City and I was surprised to see the gap between Team Fun and Chris & Bret was only about 2 hours.

BD: But the gap between them and second place Nicole and Victor was almost an hour. So a pretty dominant win.

KB: true and we did predict that the gap between 2nd and last would be about the same as 1st & 2nd.

But it really shows you how editing can skew your perception of time.

BD: The gap doesn’t play off because it is nighttime and most places are closed.

KB: this is the other way the race bunches people, for our casuals, in the old days when teams booked their own tickets and could find advantages in taking risks with flights, often production would have the first task of a leg be somewhere that opens 3 hours after the last predicted flight would land.

BD: The teams had to sled down the bottom of a hill past a Polar Bear to get their next clue.

KBL this task is really just who can get a cab after it. Clearly some of the teams at the back of the packs kept their cabs and teams like Team Fun couldn’t as they were waiting 3 hours for it to open. Except for Chris & Bret having to make lots of uniform snowballs and for no reason take them to the next task

BD: This feels lazy on TARs part.

KB: Speed bumps are often properly rubbish. To me it made more sense to give them an additional culture task at the detour.

BD: Timing wise I think they caught a break here. Can we talk about Britney during this first clue?

KB: Just fantastic work from Britney.

BD: She straight up pushes Rachel out of her way after so got her sled.

KB: She’s been doing fantastic work sprinting full speed in the background of shots

BD: Janelle and Britney don’t seem like the types to stop and think or discuss things.

KB: She then clears out the Polar Bear giving out the clues with her sled.

BD: You are correct though. This first part of the episode was all about getting a cab. This includes drama between the Reillys and Corinne and Eliza

KB: The Reillys were right, there is etiquette on the race and it’s that if someone hails a cab or pays one to stay, you cannot take it.

BD: Absolutely. Smart on their part.

KB: Eliza then spend their whole cab ride after bitching about the fact that Rachel would have stolen their cab. Which they have no evidence is the case.

BD: I feel like we were missing previous footage or something because this was more than just being about a cab

KB: If there was more to it would we not have seen it?

BD: It could also just be preconceived notions.

KBL I just had a massive rant about how I don’t think Survivor editors use every good thing and now I’m arguing the opposite.

BD: I cosign the Survivor opinion.

KB: but I just feel like on a race that apart from this one team has been really good natured, if there was a feud, we would have seen it.

Road Block

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BD: Leo and Jamal win the cab game and are the first to arrive to the roadblock, where you had to ride a motorbike around a course while staying in the lines.

KB: So we are onto the Road Block, which is to take a moped driving test. A truly realistic Vietnamese cultural experience.

BD: I would not be the teammate to do this challenge.

I can’t even stay in the lines while coloring

KB: I think Victor was right though, the bigger racers seemed to do better in it. Due to centre of balance.

BD: Agreed. But Elissa did say she has major balance

KB: My favourite thing about Team Fun is that Becca is their alpha racer. Every team had their more physical racer do this task and for Team Fun it was Becca.

BD: They are a team that knows their roles and strengths which is why they will do better now that they aren’t strangers racing.

KB: Just very nice to see a female/male team where the woman is the one who dominates

BD: It is a nice shift from what we usually get and I welcome more of it.

KB: The task is challenging, Jamal and Elissa both take around 5 attempts to get it but are out of there before the 3rd team arrives

BD: They had a huge lead that they blow later due to a curious decision that we’ll get to in a sec.

KB: Chris & Bret make up huge time on this task

BD: They finished their gruelling task and get a cab before Tyler and Korey and Janelle and Britney.

BD: Colin and Christie had a leg Team Fun had last week where the tasks seemed right in their comfort zone

KB: absolutely.

BD: Victor is really good at different types of activities. Similar to his Big Brother run.

KB: The moped task is not good for Eliza at all. She really struggles and is overtaken by every other team.

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BD: Like we saw in the first episode, Eliza panics quickly. I was surprised how quickly it was decided she was doing this task but I guess Corinne doesn’t do any type of driving tasks

KB: She kept saying “it’s so scary” and I really don’t think it was. She spiralled very badly the moment it wasn’t simple.

BD: Contrast that with Janelle who is crashing all over the place and is right back at it again. Just wild confidence.

KB: Eliza got it on her 10th attempt which isn’t even that bad. Considering it took Elissa 7. If she hadn’t spent so much time freaking out they could have been out much quicker.

BD: Absolutely. Also it was weird to see Corinne playing the role of comforter.


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KB: So the Detour is Irrigation or Irritation, which is a good pun but doesn’t really describe the second half of the detour at all.

BD: Maybe they thought more teams would fall in the water

KB: In Irrigation teams had to make a water wheel to irrigate the fields and in Irritation they had to row a bamboo basket boat down a river, getting out to go over a bridge and retrieve a basket and 5 fish.

This to me was a simple and obvious choice. There is no good reason not to be in that boat.

BD: The first task is extremely detail oriented. The building part is simple but you have to be precise. The second task is more physical but if you can get the hang of it, it’s really easy.

KB: If there is a task like the boat one that you can just muscle through you should do it. Unless you are incapable of physical activity, when there is a super old team really

BD: I was surprised when the first two teams chose Irrigation. Especially with TAR veterans making that choice.

KB: Me too. Especially the Afghanimals, it bites both hard. Leo & Jamal do everything properly, but it still takes them from 1st to 6th

BD: Rachel and Elissa really struggle with this one and I think some of that is not taking enough notes when looking at the sample.

Leo and Jamal didn’t seem to account for how long pouring water would take

KB: Every team who chooses the basket boat challenge finishes before Leo & Jamal except Corinne & Eliza.

BD: All the teams except Corinne and Eliza blazed through that challenge. Colin and Christie even makes a mistake and still killed it.

KB: they got there so late everyone else had finished, so didn’t see how they did it. With one sitting and the other standing so they could copy it.

BD: They mistook the showboating experts for a how to. I think if they get it right quicker they easily beat the Reillys.

KB: if Eliza sat down and let Corinne paddle it’s much closer at least. I think there was some production shenanigans holding Rachel & Elissa on the mat until they arrived.

Pit Stop

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BD: Colin and Christie win the leg after outrunning Nicole.

KB: Basically yeah, big TAR fail for Victor not grabbing her pack.

BD: They finish in second again. It will be interesting to see how they do long term as Nicole will do more roadblocks in the backend.

KB: Can we expect the classic “we only need to win one leg” story from them. when they win the final leg?

BD: Perhaps. I was thinking that same thing. They will hover near the top the whole time, I suspect.

KB: that or they have one enormous disaster when there aren’t enough teams around for them to come 6th

BD: Chris and Bret finished third which I did not see coming at all.

KB: Chris smashed the rowing and the moped.

BD: Really great leg for them. I’m still sceptical but props to them on this one.

KB: let’s get to the most important thing to talk about. Corinne & Eliza arriving at the mat right as Rachel Rielly is talking about how blessed she is for them to still be in the race

BD: What a moment!!

KB: it produced my favourite quote of the season so far when Corinne just says passive aggressively, “I guess we’re not blessed”.

BD: That was a great line. And the Reillys never leave the mat either, good move by production

KB: Eliza threw in “we’re not hashtag blessed”.

BD: So much mocking. They go even harder in the confessional about how “fake” Rachel is.

Eliza looked like she could’ve murdered everyone around her as they get eliminated before finally breaking down off the mat.

KB: My read was that Rachel was being sincere. She’s played a lot of reality tv games and I think she can separate how she feels about people in the game with her view of them out of it. At least enough to act like a decent person on camera.

BD: I have the same read about Rachel.

KB: But Corinne & Eliza cannot be those people who thank someone for their slightly disingenuous words and move on. Eliza literally storms off to the side to cry and bitch about being beaten by someone who frankly should have been 4 places ahead had they not screwed up monumentally at the Detour.

BD: I have a soft spot for Eliza. I loved both her Survivor appearances, she is great on Twitter and lovely in person. I root for her. It was tough to see her eliminated, seeing how much this meant to her. This was not a great look for her though. I was a little disappointed.

KB: It made me really change my opinion on her. This whole season, they were not great at the Race. And that’s not a criticism, it’s a weird show that takes a lot of different skills.

But she her constant spiralling over cabs, her lack of confidence when things weren’t going her way and then her very mean meltdown with Corinne at the end, made her unsavoury

BD: They definitely had high expectations for themselves going into the race with their traveling experiences. I’m sure they studied and really prepared before the race but it’s a different beast once you are actually on the course. This was a bad showing. I wouldn’t go as far as my opinion on Eliza changing but that moment was uncalled for. The Reillys didn’t deserve that.

KB: Something that Corinne said really stuck with me and I think it’s why the Amazing Race isn’t the show for them. “we gave it everything we had, when you know you’ve given it all you have and it isn’t enough, that’s the lowest of the low feeling”. It’s a terrible lesson, because the lesson should be, look we gave it everything we had, it wasn’t enough, but it’s ok.

BD: I just don’t think you will get that with those two in the moment, maybe after reflection later on.

KB: I don’t think you’ll get that with Corinne on reflection.

BD: I can relate. While I wouldn’t bash a team unnecessarily or while I would put on a smile, this would eat at me for awhile especially if I thought I was good enough to win.

See I’ve never really thought about being the best. I’m not that person. I see myself as capable and average. I’m never surprised when I lose.

BD: Maybe the issue is that both teammates feel the same way to an extreme. Like if we were teammates, maybe my insane competitive drive with your more calm perspective would be more of a working balance

KB: The best team balance each other and these two just do not do that. They feed each other’s negative attributes

BD: I have enough optimism for the both of us but I do need to be reminded that this isn’t life of death.

KB: I’d say let’s apply but I have very bad joints for someone my age and I’m legally not allowed to compete in US reality tv.

BD: I did like Corinne’s quote about not being a positive person to put a good spin on things. It was strangely the most endearing thing I’ve gotten from her.
Anyway, this was another solid episode

KB: Really good. A lot of solid drama and funny lines. Britney saying Janelle did everything, all she did was take out a Polar Bear

BD: No one has better lines than Britney. Only a few in all of reality competition can be on her level. I’m worried about them though. Who is going home I’m assuming two weeks from now?

KB: Yeah, next out I’m going to say Chris and Bret again, I think the next two will be them and Britney & Janelle in some order

BD: I’m always wrong so I’ll say Janelle and Britney to hopefully keep the streak alive

Wrap Up

KB: Any wrap up thoughts?

BD: Losing Corinne and Eliza wasn’t small but I think the cast cam cover for them and keep giving us great TV that I’m looking forward to.

Music recommendation of the week. Ari Lennox just dropped her debut. Look for her to be a name in the R&B/soul department for the next few years

KB: I’d like everyone to know that Arsenal Women won the Women’s Super League today, beating Man City 1-0 to end their unbeaten season. They are a top bunch of women and I got to shake the top scorer’s hand after the game and say congrats. It made me feel like a kid. The Women’s World Cup starts beginning of June, tune in, hopefully the USA crash and burn and England bring it home!

BD: I was with you until that horrible take at the end.

KB: It’s Coming Home.

BD: There are a few times I’m super loud into my country. This is one of those times. USA all the way

KB: I look forward to arguing with you very much. Your team is weirdly old and stale etc etc

BD: I’m looking forward to it too. Speaking of looking forward, Survivor: South Africa starts this week.

KB: Assistant Dragon Slayer and I have a preview post coming soon to PRP (maybe before this comes to PRP).

BD: I will enjoy that and this upcoming season. A recommendation for anyone looking for summer TV. And Lauren is winning on Wednesday!