Recap: The Amazing Race 31, Episode 9 – Let’s Split!
I totally forgot The Amazing Race 31 was on this week. I thought it ended last week.
ANYWAY! Teams must fly to Split, Croatia for this 9th Leg.
All teams must hop on a train to Zurich where they will fly out of. Tyler & Korey and Chris & Bret book flights on flights that will get them into Split via Berlin at 11:20am.
Leo & Jamal get to the counter next and there are no more seats on that first flight. They instead book a flight via Hamburg arriving in Split at 12:25pm. Colin & Christie also book tickets for that flight.
Victor & Nicole are at a counter behind Leo & Jamal. Becca & Floyd arrive and stand in front of the next counter. Nicole lays claim to both lines, but Becca doesn’t care and steps forward when the counter opens up. When Leo & Jamal are done, the ticketing agent has to leave and doesn’t accept Nicole & Victor. Nicole is passive aggressive at Team Fun before she and Victor go find something else.
While Becca & Floyd get tickets on the 12:25pm flight, Nicole & Victor have to settle for standby tickets on a flight arriving at 11:30am via Dusseldorf. And they end up getting it.
Upon arrival in Split, teams must make their way to Kasjuni Bacvice Beach where they must serve six glasses of punch to beachgoers and pick up a Travelocity Roaming Gnome to accompany them for this Leg.
Afterwards, teams must deliver a loaf of bread to a monk at Marjan Cave Church.
Chris & Bret move into first place and open the clue to reveal the Detour: Poetry in Motion or Washed In From the Ocean. In Poetry in Motion, teams have to memorize a poem while on a flying tube. In Washed In From the Ocean, teams must use a metal detector to find a goblet and five coins under water while snorkeling.
Chris & Bret and Tyler & Korey choose the snorkeling. Nicole & Victor choose the poem. But it appears neither side of the Detour is easy.
When Chris & Bret begin finding coins and their goblet, Tyler & Korey decide to switch Detours.
Meanwhile, the last flight arrives, one and a half hour late.
Nicole & Victor get the poem right on their 7th attempt and can now make their way to Diocletian’s Palace. Tyler & Korey get it right after them with their 4th attempt. Chris & Bret decide to switch.
Becca & Floyd and Leo & Jamal choose the poem while Colin & Christie choose the snorkeling. Chris & Bret fail their first attempt at the poem and decide to go back to the snorkeling where they have two coins left.
Colin & Christie arrive and start the snorkeling, but when Chris & Bret tell them they’ve been here for hours, they switch. Chris & Bret decide to switch again as well.
Tyler & Korey arrive at Diocletian’s Palace first and find the Road Block: Who’s ready to get their marching orders?
For this Road Block, teams must identify five soldiers with red ribbons after they shield themselves.
Korey and Nicole do the Road Block. They decide to work together, but they still fail for a couple of times until they get the thumbs up on their 8th and 7th attempts.
To make it to the Pit Stop, teams must row themselves in a dinghy to Matejuska Pier. Tyler & Korey claim 1st place and a trip to Mexico. Nicole & Victor take 2nd.
Floyd does the Road Block on his own and gets it, allowing him and Becca to check in as Team #3.
Colin & Christie pass the poetry on their 4th attempt. Leo & Jamal pass on their 11th attempt. Chris & Bret are now in last place.
When Colin & Christie arrive at the Road Block, they realize they don’t have the Roaming Gnome. They have to go all the way back to the Detour location.
But Colin & Christie are able to return to the Road Block before Chris & Bret are even done with the Detour. Christie and Leo decide to work together and they quickly get the thumbs up.
Colin & Christie check in as Team #4 and Leo & Jamal finish as Team #5.
That means Chris & Bret are eliminated.
Lol at that editing at the end.
So I think this has actually been the best designed Leg of the season. But not necessarily the best episode of the season. Perhaps knowing the outcome of the Leg tempered my excitement a little bit. But I do think there were a few negatives that should be pointed out first.
First, they definitely spent too much time with the poem. We really didn’t need to see the teams going through the poem over and over that many times. They really could’ve spared a few more minutes for the Road Block. And speaking of, they definitely needed a drone or something to get more overhead shots to use while teams were doing the task. When the task itself was all about the position of the soldiers, not having those overhead shots of the grid kind of made the whole thing feel awkward. Like in a “I’m missing something” kind of way. And the editing didn’t help either. Nor did teams working together of course.
I think the Road Block was designed to have teams struggling through several attempts. And it would’ve been much more exciting if teams were not allowed to help each other/work together so as to make it even more difficult for them.
But the Leg itself was great on paper. First, we actually had teams needing to book their own flights. So it was very refreshing to see some airport drama. Now, I definitely understand why in recent seasons, the show has moved toward making the logistics easier and more simple. It helps to have all teams Racing together, side by side and not hours apart. Especially as Legs have become more simple and barebones. We don’t want clusters of teams Racing every two hours or something. So providing teams mandatory flights helps in that regard. And of course, the lack of flights on a certain route can force the show to make the arrangements as well.
But the flights ended up not really mattering anyway.
The first two Active Route Info tasks were fine. This Leg definitely was designed in conjunction with the local Split tourism office to promote it as a fun vacation spot, no question. So serving beachgoers drinks to get the Roaming Gnome was fine. And the visit to the church was alright as well. It looks like teams had to walk there too, so that helps exhaust teams.
The Detour was fine and both would seem easy on paper. But certainly, a needle in a haystack task is already difficult. How much more in the water? It was a creative and refreshing take on the typical TAR task.
The poem on the flying tube was a creative take on the memorization task as well. Again, to help promote Split as this fun, youthful getaway. But the task was fine.
The Road Block was also a refreshing take on similar TAR tasks of the past. Like I mentioned above, I would’ve preferred teams not being able to work together. That would’ve made for some exciting moments. What if teams couldn’t get it over and over? That would make for an exciting finish.
And finally, rowing to the Pit Stop is another extra task to help fill out the Leg. In closer Racers, the rowing could’ve also been a nice spot for excitement and tension if needed.
So overall, maybe the best Leg design of the season. But not really the best episode. Editing continues to be messy. And focusing on certain things made the last few minutes predictable and unexciting.
ALSO. Can Phil please stop saying “[1st Place Team] will be the FIRST team to depart [LOCATION] and fly to [LOCATION]”? Because every single time this season, that statement is wrong. Especially as teams all get on the same flight anyway (so they all depart at the same time) or that first place team actually isn’t the first team to leave the country. The show should go back to the way they’ve done it before. “Teams will now fly to [LOCATION].” Something like that.
My Subjective Team Rankings
With Rachel & Elissa gone, it is now Colin & Christie or bust! They must go all the way to the end and win in order for this season to be redeemed. Thank goodness for Chris & Bret sucking so much at the Detour that Colin & Christie were able to survive not holding on to their Roaming Gnome. But thankfully they survived. And hopefully they dominate the Race starting now all the way to the end.
Becca & Floyd. Well then. When there’s less teams, even teams I don’t like will end up this high. lol But I must appreciate them for the line “cutting” at the airport. It was awesome, especially since it was against Nicole & Victor. But at the same time, it didn’t matter. Nicole & Victor still ended up on an earlier flight. And Becca had a good point that there were two lines at the counter. Not one. So Becca & Floyd could stand at the next counter and lucky for them if that ticketing agent finished first. I want to see this competitive Becca & Floyd who don’t care about other teams’ feelings. Not the rapping, fun meter team we usually get.
Leo & Jamal are just horrible. Horrible camwhoring personalities and horrible Racers. At least in TAR23 and TAR24, they could arguably back up their cockiness with a good performance. They absolutely cannot do that here. They’ve been Racing horribly since the first two legs and it’s a miracle how they continue to survive.
Karma for Chris & Bret? If they hadn’t U-Turned Rachel & Elissa, then maybe they might have survived this Leg. But I’m just kidding. Casual TAR fans love throwing around the “karma” word around and it’s horrible. But anyway. Who knows what kind of Detour bad luck the Reillys would’ve ended up with this time. Just a horrible Leg for Chris & Bret and a much-deserved elimination I think. They were strong darkhorse contenders for a little bit, but it all came crashing down.
Tyler & Korey can’t be off our screens soon enough. But honestly, winning another Leg has just ensured they are invited back for All-Stars. YUCK! Cowboys and Globetrotters 2.0! *shudder*
With Nicole & Victor, it was definitely more Nicole whining about the ticketing. But that’s certainly the oft-described version of Big Brother Nicole. Hope they’re next out.
Nicole: “I don’t want to see anybody.”
Mark the Taxi Driver: “You’re all a little crazy, huh?”
Leo: “Shut up, I’m over this, dude.”