The Amazing Race 31 Episode 4 – “I Took Out A Polar Bear”

Amazing Race 31 Cast

On Episode 4 of The Amazing Race 31, teams stayed in Ho Chi Minh City. This proved to be a good decision from the production team as Vietnam continued to provide compelling tasks and dramatic moments. Let’s get right into our recap for Episode 4 of TAR31 – aptly named despite the hot sun – “I Took Out A Polar Bear.”

The episode started off in rather chaotic fashion. After a bit more Corinne & Eliza banter and Colin & Christie claiming they were fine not finishing first at this stage in the race, all teams made their way to a place called Snow Town. When they arrived, there was absolutely nothing there for them until the brink of dawn, creating a chaotic sprint (and sled) to get their first clue. The only thing that separated them at this early stage was surprisingly sweetheart Britney’s ruthlessness. Britney pushed over what looked like Elissa with her sled, and then when she made her way down the hill, she completely took out the giant snow bear with her clue. So that was strange.


This was a bit of a chaotic start but we got going sooner rather than later as teams started off with a roadblock – “Drive Yourself Crazy” – motorcycle driving in a very tight area. It was the Afghanimals and Rachel & Elissa to arrive to the roadblock first after avoiding a massive scramble for cabs. Both teams made quick work of it and were able to get ahead while many of the other teams continued to search for taxis back in Snow Town. In 31 seasons of The Amazing Race, I can’t remember another time where so many teams had this big of an issue getting a taxi. Only four of the teams managed to get them right away despite every team exiting Snow Town around the same time. The editing might have made it look more catastrophic and long than it actually was, but it really just seemed so abnormal to have that many teams searching. One of those, Colin & Christie, had to beg a taxi driver to let them in and soon after they did were able to get back on the right track toward the top of the pack. But Janelle & Britney along with Tyler & Korey in particular had a nightmare finding a method of transportation. Even Bret & Chris, who had to complete their speed bump – making snowballs while the giant polar bear taunted them – were able to get a cab before these two teams.

So by the team all the teams did finally find their way to first roadblock, Rachel/Elissa and Leo/Jamal were already on the detour. This could have easily turned into a two-horse race from there, but interestingly enough there was another twist in the tale.

Victor the challenge best had no trouble at all and completed the roadblock on what seemed like his first attempt. While Colin, who apparently rides dirt bikes with his eleven year old back home, also nailed the driving task. While this was happening, Eliza was just getting started and Corinne was trying to convince the former Survivor Vanuatu contestant that she was fearless…even though Eliza was quivering and shaking as she was saying it. Come on Eliza…it’s not like it was skydiving! Eventually it was just down to Tyler & Eliza for last place and in that battle, there was only ever going to be one winner.


More and more teams started to make their way to the detour and suddenly Leo & Jamal’s lead had evaporated. The detour was a choice between – “Irritation” or “Irrigation” – Paddling along a river of hooligans or making a bamboo wheel. Although the tasks looked fairly even, it seemed as though the only two teams to pick the wheel building task – Leo & Jamal + Rachel & Elissa, had a torrid time with the task. They both would have likely been better off picking the paddling task, simply for the high standard that the judge seemed to have on the task. Both tasks could have easily been equal in length, but it didn’t turn out that way as both Leo & Jamal and Rachel & Elissa had their checks turned down several times before eventually getting it right. This allowed Nicole & Victor and Colin & Christie to pull ahead simply by the choice of the task and those two ended up being our top two teams on the day. Although Nicole & Victor had the slight edge coming out of the task, they instantly started to work with Colin & Christie and that allowed the Amazing Race Season 5 veterans to pull ahead and claim their first first place of the season. Nicole & Victor came in next for their third 2nd place finish in a row and surprisingly, Bret & Chris were able to use their raw strength in the paddling task to take them up to third! This was massive after their struggles in the last leg in Vietnam and considering they had to complete an extra task.

Leo & Jamal then finally finished the detour but had to settle for 6th after uncharacteristically getting lost on the way to the pit-stop. Team Fun finished 4th, with Tyler & Korey making up for their early taxi trouble with a fifth place finish. Janelle & Britney arrived in 7th after taxi troubles of their own and then it was just down to Rachel & Elissa, who continued to mess up their wheel, and Corinne & Eliza who were making up ground after Eliza’s struggle with the roadblock. Ultimately it was Rachel & Elissa to find their way to the finish line before the Survivor veterans. This made for a very awkward end to the episode when the very kind Rachel & Elissa were very complimentary to a very bitter and crude Corinne & Eliza. Corinne was just typical stone-cold Corinne, but Eliza also had a complete meltdown and really helped to feed into Corinne’s…Corinne-ness. On occasion, mean people can make for entertaining television….just ask Russell Hantz. But this was all just a bit unnecessary from the former Survivor players. Rachel & Elissa were saying how much they respected Corinne & Eliza, as Corinne & Eliza stormed off to talk about how much they hated them and how they were going to block Rachel & Elissa on social media…with Rachel & Elissa standing just ten feet away! We ultimately said goodbye to Corinne & Eliza, who although had their fun moments, were a bit out of their depth on The Amazing Race and weren’t able to really make a positive mark on the show. Rachel & Elissa survived another week but will need to step up their game if they are to continue to survive and make it as far as Rachel did in her previous two appearances on the race with her husband Brendon.

Now, onto our predictions for next week and further discussions about this episode of TAR31, from the episode’s best moment to analyzing the design of the leg. Keep on reading!


Britney & Janelle TAR31.jpg

The best moment of this week has to be Britney taking out the man in the polar bear suit at the beginning of the leg. Corinne & Eliza’s bitter exit will likely live long in the memory, but Britney’s lack of control on her toboggan will certainly be the most gif-worthy moment of this episode for years to come. The way she reacted afterward where it was almost like she didn’t really care that she could have just seriously injured the man and then was basically just like “alright, on to the next!”. I was surprised the bear still even had the energy to taunt Bret & Chris after suffering a broken leg like that. Britney’s horrible control on a sled has to be this week’s moment of the week!


Staying in Vietnam was a good decision. It might have been cool to explore a different city other than Ho Chi Minh, but the tasks were really well thought-out this time around and the detour in particular was really compelling. The two detour tasks appeared to be fairly equal in the length of time it should take a team to complete it, although the teams who did the wheel task both struggled a lot more than they would have had they chosen to paddle. The roadblock was also simple, easy to watch and didn’t take up too much time before the more important part of the episode, which was the detour. Finally, the chaotic nature of Ho Chi Minh allowed for slip-ups, taxi troubles and constant shifts in the finishing order of the teams, providing for much entertainment. Overall, I’ll give this leg of the race a 7.5/10. In the future if the race is going to stay in the same nation, I’d probably prefer they at least explore a new city, even if the tasks they’re prepared to do seem really awesome. 


Chris & Bret had an awesome leg in comparison to their other three, finishing in third place despite having to complete an extra task. Colin & Christie were back on top after a fifteen year absence away from the first place spot on the podium and Nicole & Victor remained consistent with another 2nd place finish. Here is the finishing order of the teams from Episode 4 of the race.

Team Previous Show Position in Episode 4
Colin & Christie The Amazing Race 1st
Nicole & Victor Big Brother 2nd
Chris & Bret  Survivor 3rd
Becca & Floyd The Amazing Race 4th
Tyler & Korey The Amazing Race 5th
Leo & Jamal The Amazing Race 6th
Janelle & Britney Big Brother 7th
Rachel & Elissa Big Brother/Amazing Race 8th
Corinne & Eliza Survivor 9th – Eliminated


Rachel & Elissa have been on a downward spiral after arriving in Vietnam and judging by the previews, next week it doesn’t look like things get a whole lot better for them. However the previews are never exactly what they seem and for that reason I think they will be perfectly fine to survive, even if they are at the back of the pack again next leg. The Amazing Race teams should be set to dominate again, but perhaps this is the time when Nicole & Victor finally claim a first place finish. Who do you think will finish where next leg? Let me know @realitytvtms on Twitter.

Team Previous Show Predicted Finish – Episode 5
Nicole & Victor  Big Brother 1st
Colin & Christie The Amazing Race 2nd
Becca & Floyd The Amazing Race 3rd
Tyler & Korey The Amazing Race 4th
Leo & Jamal The Amazing Race 5th
Chris & Bret Survivor 6th
Rachel & Elissa Big Brother/Amazing Race 7th
Janelle & Britney Big Brother 8th


Vietnam proved once again to be a great place for The Amazing Race to visit and the detour in particular was a combination of two really intriguing tasks. Corinne & Eliza had a meltdown that would only be expected of them upon their elimination from the race, while Rachel & Elissa struggled to hang on after a strong start. The race is wide open and still anyone’s to win. Leo & Jamal will be hoping to climb back up the pack soon but the other Amazing Race teams and Victor & Nicole continue to hold the momentum as the race travels to Dubai next week. Hope you enjoyed this episode recap, thanks for reading and see you soon!

To see where some of these former TAR teams rank on our list of the best Amazing Race teams, see Top 28 Amazing Race Teams After 28 Seasons.

For earlier Episode Recaps check out…

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