The Amazing Race 31, Episode 8: You’re the Apple in My Eye

We finally saw the U Turn Vote and it happened the way we thought it would and destroyed the team we thought it would be. It was another good week of a superb season of the Amazing Race


Kemperboyd: Hey Bro!

Blurry Denzel: More than any other week I have no recollection of what the tasks were on TAR.

KB: They were all stupid and easy.

BD: This whole leg took a morning to complete,

KB: not quite a morning, it took the time it takes most people to get ready for work

BD: That’s a more accurate statement

KB: This was an episode all about the U-Turn vote, a first for TAR. let’s jump into the action shall we?

The teams set off, race to the Ballenberg Community Hall, where they all had to wait til 7 am for it to open. There was a cat

BD: So great to see Tyler and Korey comment how Leo would die seeing the cat followed by a full sprinting Leo going to pet the cat. The Pablo storyline being dropped is one of the few mistakes TAR has made this season

KB: And you know if you see a strange cat on the road the thing they like most is being run at full pelt!

BD: Exactly

KB: Although near my mum’s house there is a cat who likes to walk with me at night. He’s a good cat.

BD: Most cats are hesitant around me, which is fair tbh. Like who the fuck am I?

KB: cats like me, but that’s cos I stay still and let them come to me. I am a cat person.

BD: Based on my history, I’m a goldfish person

KB: Scout loves you!

BD: True. I love Scout too.

We get a Phil appearance

U Turn Vote

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KB: Phil is there to tell everyone that this is DUHN DUHN DUHN a U Turn Vote!

BD: Before we get to the mechanics of how they did the vote, how do you feel about having a U Turn vote?

KB: I like the vote, it needed to be done in a better way. Write it down and turn it around,simple, that fixes it. They even knew to do this in Survivor Maryland in the newest season. They made everyone vote out someone immediately and they wrote it down.

BD: It’s a new wrinkle for TAR I can get behind. I did like there were still two teams getting U Turned rather than one. Though even that I would’ve done differently

KB: I always prefer a double U Turn, a single one usually dooms the team who gets it. How would you have done it?

BD: I would have done two separate votes

KB: I like that

BD: or have each team vote for two, that way everyone is voting for someone who sticks around.

As for how the vote turned out, I think it was a mistake not to pick Nicole and Victor

KB: They even expressed their surprise about not being U Turned

BD: The team doing the speed bump is an obvious choice

KB: I think considering how short the leg was it was a mistake. But I still think the correct game play would be to put up Tyler & Corey v Colin & Christie.

BD: I think a vote is more of a situation where you can go after a strong team. It’s not all on you. I agree with those two teams. They’ve been the best this season so far. Instead Colin and Christie are one of teams, as foreshadowed last week but Tyler and Korey get no votes against them.

KB: I do understand Chris & Bret’s instinct to lay it on the weakest team who they have no connection with.

BD: Before I thought the “O’Reilly” thing was a joke but now I wonder if they legit think that’s Rachel and Elissa’s last name

KB: I don’t know I think Chris showed he could call them the Reillys just didn’t want to

BD: I think getting a strong team out would be great for Chris and Bret. Only three teams can make the finals

KB: Move up that ladder. Rachel and Elissa will always be a weaker team

BD: They’ve been improving but I just don’t see it. Bret especially can’t keep up with other teams. That will have an impact.

KB: I agree

BD: So the two teams U Turned are Colin and Christie and Rachel and Elissa

KB: There is an issue between Nicole and Victor about who to vote for. Nicole tries to pretend she doesn’t want to make the decision but she 100% does and wants to vote for the Reillys.

BD: That’s on brand for Nicole

KB: Victor takes Nicole saying “I don’t know” literally and votes for Leo and Jamal, who did not get U Turned. The Afghanimals don’t seem to take it personally.

BD: They brush it off but they won’t forget. Also it was interesting to see their convo with the Reillys earlier. They felt betrayed by people they saw as friends

KB: I just don’t see how it could have been a betrayal

BD: Me either. The Reillys even protected them in the retell of the story

KB: During the very simple speed bump of folding the flags, Nicole complains massively to Victor about his mistake

BD: I didn’t even realize what they were doing it was so unimportant.

KB: it can’t have taken more than 10 minutes

BD: Yeah, they didn’t lose much time on the detours are were positioned better than the two U Turned teams


KB: The Detour was:
Make Hay or Cow Festival

Not a pun in sight

BD: The producers even phoned it in on the naming. The only thing of note here may be Rachel and Elissa forgetting their clue. And cows of course

KB: They kept called their cow a girl but it’s name was Oliver. I was very confused.

Becca unsurprisingly has been a landscaper so knows how to cut hay with a scythe

BD: There is no physical task she can’t crush. I like Tyler and Korey commenting on her success on that task. We saw actual brief Colin frustration with their cow

KB: Is this cow broken?

BD: I very much enjoyed Colin and Christie this episode. What a turnaround from most boring team in the beginning to now.

KB: I did at one point think “damn, Christie is unbelievably beautiful”

BD: I know, right. I liked when she shut down conversation between them and the Reillys. Those are your competitors and go for the kill, girl

KB: yep and was like “nope” to the ask for the clue

BD: How can they forget the clue? Amazing Race 101. Always have your clue

KB: I know!


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Post Detour the Roadblock is to William Tell an apple with a crossbow. It took Becca a surprisingly long time to get that

BD: She actually is human after all. Leo and Jamal get massively lost

KB: in a leg like this it nearly cost them. The Uturning of the Reillys saved them

BD: Colin was super excited to be shooting a crossbow

KB: Yeah, the weird psycho holding a crossbow that’s good.

BD: Bret did well on the task. Them and Tyler and Korey are the first ones on to the pit stop.

KB: This stupid leg was so short there was supposed to be a choice between running up the hill and a funicular but the funicular opened at 9am

BD: 10AM I believe. I think they got there at 9.

KB: Either way that is bad planning by TAR. This leg was badly planned.


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BD: Tyler and Korey end up with their third straight 1st place finish. Looking more and more like the team we predicted to take it all preseason.

KB: They are such a strong team. They now hold the record for first place finishes I believe.

BD: I didn’t know that. Congrats to them. Chris and Bret get second place. Colin and Christie doing both detours end up in third, looking great.

KB: fantastic finish for them again. I think we are at a point where any team could win, maybe except Chris & Bret

BD: I would drop the maybe

KB: We are down to Leo and Jamal and the Reillys at the roadblock. Whoever hits the apple first moves on. Rachel did not know how to hold or shoot that thing

BD: I was rooting for the Reillys at this point, mostly to get a smug Rachel next leg. It was not meant to be though!

KB: Yeah, me too but I felt it had been very foreshadowed that we weren’t getting a double survival.

BD: So on the leg where Rachel gets the record for most legs ran, she and Elissa get eliminated as there are no more non elims this season

KB: I don’t see why we needed telling or why the teams should be told

BD: It is not as impressive of a record as others but I’m happy for Rachel

KB: It is pretty impressive. She has  got to the final leg twice and now made it to final 6

BD: Oh it is impressive but then you told me about the first place record

KB: lots of records this season. The Afghanimals could break Rachel’s record.

BD: Rachel didn’t seem popular around these parts but I love her. Sometimes it was a love to hate thing but I definitely liked her on my TV. Elissa made for a good partner with her annoyance at Rachel’s antics!

KB: Brendan is better for the race and worse for Rachel’s calm! I have always enjoyed Rachel. I don’t want to hang out with her and always enjoy rooting against her but she’s the prefect villain. she’s not really mean in a bad way.

BD: I kind of want her to complete the trifecta, though she would be awful at Survivor!

KB: pre-merge boot easy

I’d be happy to see a Survivor v BB v TAR season of Survivor. Becca would be on that Survivor season

BD: I may have to fantasy cast that in the comments.

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Last Thoughts

BD: Next week Nicole and Victor get into with Team Fun, so they’re dead to me now

KB: I’m British so I agree with Nicole, a queue is a queue

but I’m also from London so I believe commuting is a sport, a skill and a way of life. Position yourself properly or get on last.

BD: Becca would be on that Survivor season

BD: It’s also a NY way of traveling

KB: this is a game Nicole. PLay like it

BD: Who is going home next week?

KB: I’ve said Chris and Bret a lot but I think we might lose the Afghanimals. You?

BD: They have making so many mistakes lately. I don’t fully understand what happened. I also think they go.

KB: But they also have been making other blunders in previous legs

BD: This may be the worst of the three times they’ve ran.

KB: I agree. I think the strength of this competition is going to prove too much for them

BD: We are getting near the end. I’m going to miss this show

KB: Me too, this is the best season of Amazing Race in a long while!

Other Things

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BD: I want to touch on one Survivor related thing before we go. Julia Carter posted an essay on her experience on season 38 that is a must read

KB: We’ve discussed this a little and it brings up some really important issues that we in the community discuss but I feel are ignored by a large amount of the podcasters and interviewers. The fact that Survivor is a game that punishes any social interaction outside of the positive. That standing up for what is right can make you a huge target. it rewards the status quo and rewards the dominant social hegemony

BD: I absolutely agree.

KB: You got any music for us this week?

BD: So I spent a night earlier this week up until 4AM on a Spotify deep dive. I’m annoyed with myself that I haven’t discovered this artist earlier. She’s fucking great. Her name is Asiahn and you should check her out. Happy Pride


KB: Happy Pride to you too, today I wore dungarees (overalls to you Americans)  over a football (soccer) shirt (jersey). So I’m living my gay life out here. I have also been relistenng to a lot of Tegan & Sara.

BD: The World Cup is going on. I’m rarely “America, fuck yeah” but this is one of those times


BD: 20 years ago when the women’s national team beat China in the final on that Brandi Chastain shot is still one of my top ten sports moments ever

Best of luck to your squad, I hope to see you guys later on.

KB: I hope a team knocks you lot out surprisingly early and we get to avoid you

BD: Also, everyone go see Booksmart

KB: I saw it on Travis’ recommendation and it is very good

BD: They need to make all the money