In what has been a fantastic season of The Amazing Race so far, this leg of the race was probably the best of all in one of the most exciting, dramatic episodes of the race we’ve seen in a long time. Unfortunately the leg was tainted a bit toward the end as it was revealed to be a non-elimination leg. Let’s get right into the episode recap for this nearly perfect episode of The Amazing Race 31.
At the beginning of the leg, Christie talked about doing the roadblock and living fearlessly. As mentioned before, Christie didn’t do a single roadblock back in season 5 and I’ll bet that she is glad they changed the rules since then as she was able to do a very fun roadblock on this leg of the race.
Before the flight to Switzerland, we had one of the most unique scenes in Amazing Race history. Becca & Floyd sat down with Leo & Jamal at a restaurant to have a beer with them and they discussed a possible ‘no-u-turn’-esque alliance. With Leo & Jamal’s recent 7th and 6th place finishes they were able to convince Team Fun that they were not that strong of a team. It’s almost as though everyone’s forgotten how the Afghanimals won the first two legs of the race! Becca & Floyd declared that Colin & Christie + Nicole & Victor were the two strongest teams. Rachel & Elissa then came into the mix and Becca even bought them a beer to try and make a peace offering and avoid being u-turned by the Reilly sisters again. This was a good attempt by Team Fun, who would have no doubt been feeling the heat from the Reilly sisters and it was good of them to try to form some kind of coalition with Rachel & Elissa to try and avoid a second u-turn of the season.
Rachel & Elissa then tried to steer the ship away from Nicole & Victor to savor their Big Brother alliance, but they landed on Chris & Bret as potential targets instead of Tyler & Korey, which was met quickly by disapproval from the Afghanimals and Team Fun. But this was just so interesting as Jamal said that they were one big team now and they decided to clink their beers together in celebration of a potential Colin & Christie u-turn.
Immediately afterward, Rachel spoke in the car about how she wanted to u-turn Team Fun instead because of how strong of a team they were. This was cut with Becca talking about how she has lost the strong urge to u-turn Rachel & Elissa as payback for earlier in the season. Becca’s words here proved that Rachel & Elissa having this conversation and trying to make peace with Becca & Floyd really helped them out. But Rachel & Elissa, being the Big Brother strategists that they are, decided that the best course of action would be to tell Nicole & Victor that Team Fun was plotting against them, hoping that Nic & Vic would u-turn Team Fun and that they might not even have to do it themselves. When hearing this, I thought it was pretty brilliant and also diabolical, which I like. But the problem with this is idea was that Nicole & Victor are two of the nicest people you’ll ever meet and probably don’t want to u-turn anyone. Nicole is also really good at taking a step back and not letting emotions rule her decisions. So they wanted to discover whether or not what the Reilly sisters were telling them was in fact the truth.
When the teams landed in Zurich, Switzerland, they all found themselves on a train to Grindewald and Rachel & Elissa were already having second thoughts about their plan, which they had enacted before the flight. They became worried that Nic & Vic would tell Team Fun of what they heard and Nicole said in confessional that she didn’t really want to do Rachel & Elissa’s dirty work. Obviously we didn’t see the conversation and it probably occurred off-camera, but I think Rachel & Elissa clearly mismanaged their initial conversations with Nicole & Victor before the flight. I think by telling the BB18 team that they should u-turn Team Fun, that it came across the wrong way. I think they should have perhaps just kept it to “Team Fun told us that they want to u-turn you” and shouldn’t have tried to influence what Nicole & Victor did with that information.
It then went from bad to worse for Rachel & Elissa as they started to bash Victor for wanting to inquire with the other teams about it. The Reilly sisters also didn’t help themselves by really just not having their story straight here. First they were saying they overheard Becca & Floyd talking with several other teams and then they were saying they were the only other team in the area when Becca & Floyd were talking about it with each other. If they had just told the truth of what transpired rather than trying to complicate it, they might have been in a much better spot. Their intentions with Nicole & Victor were good and they were trying to help save their friends, but it came across like they were being devious and diabolical without reason, which really seemed to rub Nicole & Victor the wrong way. The message then got back to the Afghanimals and Team Fun, who were hurt by the news. Leo even said his heart was broken…so this really wasn’t the best execution of what could have been a decent plan from Rachel & Elissa.
On the other side of the train, Colin decided the best course of action would be to “hold hands and feel the love of the universe. Rachel & Elissa were convinced to join (Rachel much more reluctantly), and everyone held hands, felt the love of the universe and took a deep breath to the “bigger picture in life.” Wow. New Colin is something else.
When the teams arrived in Grindewald they virtually had a race! Tasked with a 3-kilometer run (according to Elissa), teams had to find their clue at Gletscherschlucht Glacier Gorge. Tyler & Korey took an early lead and found the clue first as Chris & Bret struggled at the back of the pack with the Reilly sisters. Being a runner myself, I was surprised how much Tyler & Korey actually looked like runners during this segment. They said they had trained by running for The Amazing Race and I guess it was paying off in this moment for them. The teams then began to arrive at their first roadblock “Who Wants To Take The Scenic Route?”. The roadblock was according to Phil a 70-mile per hour free-fall, 400 feet above a river. After this jump, they would then search for their clue in the gorge. Korey was the first to get the clue, followed by Becca, who was scaring a tourist by jumping on the net where the clues were, and Leo, who his race partner Jamal thought was going to die.
Christie who had talked about living fearlessly before the leg and doing the day’s roadblock, really was fearless with this free-fall and got the clue next. Nicole on the other hand was anything but fearless and instantly regretted doing the roadblock. Eventually, Nicole faced her fears and was essentially pushed off the ledge by the instructor.
DETOUR – WATER DOWN OR WATER POWER
Meanwhile, Tyler & Korey were already making their way by helicopter to the detour – ‘Water Down’ or ‘Water Power’. Water Power involved travelling up the world’s steepest funicular while looking for signs, and then solving a map puzzle at the top. Water Down on the other hand involved repelling and zip-lining down a canyon. I instantly thought that the zip-line down the canyon would be the easier one to do, given that it would be over and done with quickly and most teams had that same instinct. However, Leo & Jamal surprisingly got their clue before any other team. Unfortunately for them, they had to wait at the top of the funicular and were only able to make their way back down after waiting what they said was 15-20 minutes.
As more teams started to arrive at the detour, they came to the realization that a u-turn board was not in play. Tyler & Korey easily made their way down to the bottom of the canyon with the help of their tour guide Sebastien, who they were quite smitten with. Becca & Floyd made their way down next and Becca, being very much in her element, leaped down the canyon. Colin & Christie also got the clue with ease as Nicole & Victor + Leo & Jamal fought to try and re-gain ground at Water Power. Once finding their detour clue, teams were able to make their way to Michaelskirche. Despite Leo & Jamal receiving the clue first, it was Tyler & Korey who led the way toward the pit-stop, with Becca & Floyd and Colin & Christie in behind.
A RACE TO THE FINISH
At the other detour with the funicular, Nicole & Victor got the clue on their first try, just as Tyler & Korey who won the leg and for their efforts were rewarded with a “spa-day”. The most intriguing thing then became about who was going to finish in last place. Chris & Bret were right on the heels of Rachel & Elissa and most of the teams were hoping it would be the Survivor castaways who would knock out the former Big Brother players. Chris & Bret had no idea where they were going, but led the way down the road as Elissa & Rachel followed. This created an interesting standoff as both teams struggled to come to a conclusion on what to do – keep on driving, turn around, or ask somebody for directions. Finally, both teams stopped, rushed to a couple of strangers for directions and then made their way back down the road toward the pit-stop. It was then looking like Rachel & Elissa had the advantage, after blocking the path of Chris & Bret, but WAIT! Nicole & Victor were still lost! And by the way, at this point we had still only seen Tyler & Korey finish, so it really was up in the air. The battle for last might actually have included far more teams then we realized and Nicole & Victor were certainly in the mix. Unfortunately for the teams wishing Rachel & Elissa would be gone, Rachel & Elissa survived and shockingly, so did Chris & Bret. Seconds after both teams finished, Nicole & Victor stumbled into the pit-stop and finished in last place. Unfortunately to put a damper on a nearly perfect leg of The Amazing Race, this was a non-elimination leg and the Big Brother contestants were saved.
So that it’s for our recap of this amazing leg of The Amazing Race. But keep on reading to see The Mastermind‘s thoughts on the leg design, who finished where and predictions for next leg of the race.
This leg of the race was truly stunning. It was all outdoors and provided for so many incredible shots of contestants doing amazing things that they would normally never get to do. Several racers said this was the best day of their life, while Nicole said it was the scariest. So The Amazing Race clearly did something right on this leg. This was also the best episode of the season by far, and a three-hour train ride helped to only increase the drama. All the tasks were entertaining to watch, both detours took roughly the same amount of time and the race to the pit-stop also helped to provide loads of entertainment, until it was revealed to be all for nothing. Despite the non-elimination, there were too many fun moments to even count and this was truly a magical leg of the race in a beautiful location. With the non-elimination element in mind, I will give this leg of the race a 9.5/10.
WHO FINISHED WHERE? – LEG 7
Tyler & Korey secured their second 1st place finish in a row, while Nicole & Victor were saved by the grace of the non-elimination leg. Rachel also tied the record for most legs of the race completed and will be looking to beat the record in the next leg of the race, after finishing in 5th this time around. Finally, Colin & Christie’s potential winner’s edit still might be on as they finished in second place in Switzerland.
|Team||Previous Show||Position in Episode 7|
|Tyler & Korey||The Amazing Race||1st|
|Colin & Christie||The Amazing Race||2nd|
|Becca & Floyd||The Amazing Race||3rd|
|Leo & Jamal||The Amazing Race||4th|
|Rachel & Elissa||Big Brother/Amazing Race||5th|
|Chris & Bret||Survivor||6th|
|Nicole & Victor||Big Brother||7th – Non-Elimination Leg|
PREDICTED FINISH FOR NEXT TIME – LEG 8
Nicole & Victor have been on a bit of a downward spiral lately as Leo & Jamal finally climbed out of their slump to finish in fourth. Here are The Mastermind‘s predictions for next leg of the race.
|Team||Previous Show||Prediction for Episode 8|
|Colin & Christie||The Amazing Race||1st|
|Becca & Floyd||The Amazing Race||2nd|
|Tyler & Korey||The Amazing Race||3rd|
|Leo & Jamal||The Amazing Race||4th|
|Nicole & Victor||Big Brother||5th|
|Chris & Bret||Survivor||6th|
|Rachel & Elissa||Big Brother||7th|
On the next leg of the race, I really worry for Rachel & Elissa as we finally will get our group u-turn decision, which could end badly for them after burning so many bridges pre-emptively in this leg. They definitely aren’t the strongest team and it would be a waste of a u-turn for the stronger teams to do it, but sometimes emotions come strongly into play with this kind of thing and it would also be a decision everyone could agree on as they have now burned virtually every team except Colin & Christie. By the way – next leg Rachel will officially overtake the Cowboys and the Globetrotters as the person with the most legs of the race under her belt, if she completes it, which is pretty crazy.
Nicole produced a very funny moment with her fear of heights –
“Do we have to jump?”
“No, just step off the platform.”
“Oh god. That’s just like jumping.”
But that was not the moment of the week, which has to go to the opening conversations of the leg between Leo & Jamal, Team Fun and Rachel & Elissa. Becca bought the Reilly sisters a beer and immediately the Reilly sisters turned around and said in private that they still wanted to u-turn them. This was truly incredible to watch.
This leg of the race had absolutely everything you could ask for. Stunning views, amazing challenges, drama galore, teams neck and neck the whole time and a shock ending with one of the strongest teams finishing in last place. I honestly think this would have been one of the best legs I’ve ever seen of the race had it not been a non-elimination leg. So we wait until next week with the Reilly sisters definitely in trouble. I really hope for Rachel’s sake that she can break the record rather than tie, but they do look in danger heading into the next leg of the race. Stay tuned for that episode recap next week and make sure to check out @realitytvtms on Twitter. See you soon!
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