Although last week saw the elimination of Rachel & Elissa, who might just be even more fun than the team that calls themselves Team Fun, this week did not disappoint! Drama and intrigue were at the forefront of everything in episode nine of The Amazing Race 31 and the final elimination even ended up being a shocking outcome given the way things started this leg. Let’s get right into our episode recap for TAR31 Episode 9 – titled “Let’s Split!”.
FLIGHT BOOKING MADNESS
For the first time this season, this leg of the race began with a throwback to earlier seasons of The Amazing Race as teams were in charge of booking their own flights. This led to the first two teams from last leg – Tyler & Korey + Chris & Bret having a massive advantage and getting on a flight that was set to leave 2 hours earlier than all the other teams. Nicole & Victor meanwhile were last to arrive at the check-in booth and found themselves scrambling to find a flight. The BB18 duo tried to play it off as though Becca & Floyd cut in line ahead of them, but this was far from the case. However, they got on standby for an even earlier flight than all the other teams had booked, and got lucky, being able to arrive 10 minutes after the first two teams. So all worked out in the end for Nicole & Victor.
When teams arrived in Split, Croatia, they made their way to a beach and had to serve local people drinks, in exchange for a travel gnome. After that, they had to travel to the Marjan Cave Church and use a pulley to serve a loaf of bread to a monk. Sooo….yeah. The less said about these two tasks the better I think…
CHRIS & BRET MAKE THE WRONG DECISION…3 TIMES
As Nicole & Victor were arriving into Croatia, all the other teams were stuck at an airport in Hamburg as their flight became delayed for an hour. Meanwhile, Chris & Bret had gotten the loaf of bread to the monk and were able to make their way to the detour – a choice between: ‘Poetry in Motion’ and ‘Washed In From the Ocean.’ The poetry task involved travelling across the ocean on a VERY bumpy boat, while memorizing a long poem. The other task involved treasure hunting in the ocean, searching for a globet and FIVE(!?!?) ancient coins. Even on paper, one of these tasks sounded very do-able as the other sounded nearly impossible. But surprisingly, both of the first two teams to arrive chose to do the treasure hunting task. Chris & Bret tried to help Tyler & Korey at the detour but the former Amazing Race 28 contestants decided that it was too hard and made the early decision switch. Chris & Bret meanwhile remained hopeful, but after hours of searching decided to switch to the poetry task. But after their first attempt, they decided it would be best to switch back. All of this meant that the Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X duo were certainly not going to claim first place, but they remained in the race as all other teams had not arrived in Croatia at this point. Despite that, this was a real shame for Chris & Bret, especially given that it was their second time in a row where they were right there at the top and had a possible first place finish on hand, but couldn’t seal the deal.
Meanwhile the other teams had finally arrived in Croatia and the race for last place was on. As the three bottom teams finished up their first task, Victor & Nicole were the first to get the clue from the poetry detour, followed shortly after by Tyler & Korey. Despite Nic & Vic taking the lead, their navigation troubles persisted and Tyler & Korey were first to arrive at the Roadblock. The roadblock was pretty unique and involved memorizing a pattern of where soldiers were standing in a formation. The trickiest part of all was that the formation of the soldiers changed every single time they performed, so there was no real consistency or rhythm to get into.
As Chris & Bret struggled to find the coins, Colin & Christie arrived to the scene and felt optimistic about their chances. Leo & Jamal along with Becca & Floyd meanwhile decided to do the poetry task. Chris & Bret told Colin & Christie that they hadn’t found any in two hours and that was all the former TAR 5 contestants needed to hear to switch to the poetry task. Becca & Floyd meanwhile had made up time with Becca’s rapping skills and completed the task by the time Colin & Christie had arrived.
Over at the roadblock, Nicole and Korey finished on their 8th attempt, after working together throughout. They were then able to make their way to the pit stop via a boat. Shockingly back at the detour, Chris & Bret decided to switch again back to the poetry! Unfortunately for them, this really seemed to be the deal-breaker for them, and even though they do have themselves to blame for their poor performance and decision making in this leg, the producers really do owe some blame here too. In my opinion, the race really screwed up here. Tasks aren’t supposed to be impossible to complete. Every single team who did this task ended up leaving. Chris & Bret spent hours there and were never rewarded. This just didn’t seem fair for a team that had arrived at the detour in first place and spent hours trying to find tiny coins in the ocean that just didn’t appear to be there. To be fair, this was always the harder task and the Survivor duo should have recognized that earlier. But still, it was reasonable for them to assume that they could find two more coins – which is all they needed for hours. This task should not have been impossible, but it really seemed like it was.
On a happier note, Tyler & Korey won their fourth leg in a row, narrowly beating out Nic & Vic, who claimed their fourth 2nd place finish of the season. For their win, Tyler & Korey were awarded with a trip to Mexico. But back in the race, the battle for last turned out to be not much of a battle at all. Becca & Floyd cruised into third after Floyd used his marching band experiences to destroy the roadblock in no time. That left Leo & Christie to work together on the final task, as Bret & Chris fell further and further behind. It was reasonably interesting that as soon as Christie arrived, Leo asked Christie if she wanted to work with him. This was an interesting change of pace from wanting her and Colin out of the race the week before and trying to plot their demise through the u-turn board (which by the way is set to return next week…yawn).
In the end, Chris & Bret’s day went from bad to worse and they were eliminated from the race in unsurprising circumstances. So that’s it for our episode recap! But keep on reading for an analysis of who might be most likely to win from here on out and everything else you might need to know about episode nine of The Amazing Race 31.
Overall I thought Split, Croatia turned out to be a beautiful location for The Amazing Race to visit. But the detour task was simply far too lopsided. Even teams who had to go back and forth on the bumpy boat six times had an easier time than Chris & Bret who spent hours searching for FIVE coins in the middle of the ocean. Brutal. The other tasks were fine, although the first two at the beginning were a bit pointless, especially the task at the church with the loaf of bread. The leg does however get bonus points for letting teams book their own flights again, for the first time in a while. For this reason, I give the leg design a 4/10.
MOST LIKELY TO WIN
Tyler & Korey have really stepped their game up since Leg 6 and they have now firmly emerged as the favourites to win. Colin & Christie’s edit as the one’s to beat that nobody can get rid of, remains very favourable. But Tyler & Korey have the momentum heading into Leg 10 and the rest of the season. I think we are on a path toward a very predictable all Amazing Race final three that includes Becca & Floyd, Colin & Christie and the two aforementioned Youtubers and from there I think T & K will get their finale redemption.
WHO FINISHED WHERE? – LEG 9
Tyler & Korey claimed their fourth 1st place finish of the season, while Nicole & Victor also claimed their fourth 2nd place finish as 1st place still remains elusive for them. After the elimination of Chris & Bret, the battle of the CBS Reality Shows has turned into the battle of the remaining Amazing Race teams up against Nic & Vic, who could be in for the long haul or could be eliminated next episode. It’s really hard to tell with them. Nonetheless, here is who finished where on episode nine of The Amazing Race 31.
|Team||Previous Show||Position in Episode 9|
|Tyler & Korey||The Amazing Race||1st|
|Nicole & Victor||Big Brother||2nd|
|Becca & Floyd||The Amazing Race||3rd|
|Colin & Christie||The Amazing Race||4th|
|Leo & Jamal||The Amazing Race||5th|
|Chris & Bret||Survivor||6th – Eliminated|
PREDICTIONS FOR NEXT TIME – LEG 10
Surely Tyler & Korey can’t extend their 1st place streak to five, can they? Perhaps it’s time for Becca & Floyd or Colin & Christie to get back toward the top of the pack. But, the Youtubers have the momentum and so I am going to have to stick with them and say that they will claim their fifth 1st place in a row, which would equal Justin & Diana’s record if they accomplish it. Elsewhere, Leo & Jamal’s struggles might just catch up to them as they potentially become the 7th team to be eliminated.
|Team||Previous Show||Prediction for Episode 10|
|Tyler & Korey||The Amazing Race||1st|
|Colin & Christie||The Amazing Race||2nd|
|Becca & Floyd||The Amazing Race||3rd|
|Nicole & Victor||Big Brother||4th|
|Leo & Jamal||The Amazing Race||5th – Eliminated|
This was another fun episode of The Amazing Race 31 and as it turns out, this season does not need Rachel & Elissa in order to be entertaining. We finally said goodbye to Chris & Bret this leg as the two Survivor castaways had a decent run in the race, but now moving forward the former Amazing Race contestants continue to dominate as our last non-Amazing Race team in Nicole & Victor. Can they hang on, or will they be eliminated next? Find out next week on our next episode recap. Thanks for reading and see you soon!
Be sure to check out the rest of our Amazing Race 31 articles right here.