The Amazing Race Season 31: 5 Observations from Leg 2

The Amazing Race continued its 31st season on Wednesday night. Ten teams left Tokyo, Jamal and headed to Laos as the race towards winning $1 million continued. The duos from Big BrotherSurvivor, and The Amazing Race faced some challenges in last week’s episode and this week’s episode gave them an early surprise.

Each leg teams encounter unexpected twists or face some crazy challenges along the way. This week’s episode started off without any major hiccups but there’s a great equalizer on The Amazing Race that appeared on Thursday’s episode. It wasn’t the most memorable episode but most episodes early on during a The Amazing Race season lay the groundwork for later on rather than provide memorable moments. This is mainly due to lack of serious drama between teams since the teams aren’t overtired and are still running on the excitement of being on the race.

A warning: this article contains events that happened during the second episode of season 31. If you don’t want spoilers, then I suggest watching this week’s episode before reading further.

WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD

5. The Amazing Race Double U-Turn

Suprise! The second leg of the race provided an opportunity for the teams to utilize the u-turn. This is quite early and an easy way to make enemies on the young race. Usually, teams use the opportunity later in the race when either they are enemies with another race team or need to use it out of necessity.

Rachel and Elissa took too much time to decide and ultimately picked “Team Fun” (Becca and Floyd). Their logic was that “Team Fun” offered to help the sister team but then went off with another team to find their clue in Japan. It’s a bold move by the sister team to u-turn them.

Then, “The Afhganimals” u-turned Tyler and Corey, but “Team Fun” put them up since they were already were u-turned and it’s less blood. It was another veteran move by “The Afhganimals” to have another already u-turned team to select a team that needed to do two detours.

The two teams, “The Afhganimals” and “Team Fun” worked together on the one detour challenge, which ended up being beneficial. It wouldn’t surprise me if these two continue this alliance moving forward. Both teams are high energy and low drama.

There’s going to be at least one more double U-turn on this season. However, there’s going to be an added twist to that double U-turn. Unlike what usually happens, both U-turned teams survived and advanced to the next leg of the race.

4. Cultural Lessons

The great thing about The Amazing Race is the cultural challenges and lessons it teaches teams and viewers at home. In this case, the detours included learning the local language’s alphabet or heading to the market to prepare and cook a meal. Both of the detour options provided different challenges and opportunities to learn.

Both detours required teams to play close attention. The alphabet challenge required teams to recite certain words in front of school kids. Tyler and Corey took a little bit but breezed through the challenge after only needing to go to the classroom twice. It took them a bit at their second challenge

At the other challenge, “Team Fun” kept positive to crush the food prep detour before heading to the second detour. This positive mental attitude is key to the team’s success when things get crazier and tougher.

3. Is a Rachel and Elissa feud developing?

During the detour, Rachel and Elissa didn’t pass their food prep on the first challenge. Elissa said something to Rachel that caused her to essentially say “seriously”? While the incident was minor and the team figured out what they did wrong without any more drama, more flareups like this could lead to a bigger feud.

The Amazing Race fans know Rachel’s filled with drama and can be a hot head when things aren’t going well. It appears though that racing with her sister has led to fewer tense moments than what racing with Brendan provided. Sisters know their fellow sisters best so it’s not shocking that they aren’t yelling at much. However, when the stress picks up and things become more intense, it wouldn’t shock me if further flare-ups don’t end as fast and could cause major issues on the leg.

2. The Luck of The Taxi (and Elephant)

As The Amazing Race fans know, it takes skill to do well on the show. However, it takes a bit of luck like finding the clue right in front of you and getting a good taxi driver. There’s been plenty of legs that teams were eliminated due to issues with their taxi or car. A tire may blow out or their driver could be slower than their grandma on the highway.

This week’s The Amazing Race episode showed this a few times. Victor and Nicole passed “The Afghanimals” late in the episodes as both teams battled for positions. However, “The Afghanimals” used their loudness to confuse them and try to throw them off but Victor stayed on course. Yet, “The Afghanimals” tactics could cause major confusion for others later this season.

Other teams struggled to communicate well with their taxi driver. It’s tough to know the local language and not all drivers move the most aggressive.

Teams were close together on Wednesday’s episode. Making up time and passing other teams can be achieved by having a driver who knows shortcuts and can drive fast.

In the roadblock, teams had to learn the local words used to ride an elephant. Most teams had no trouble riding their elephants. The animals aren’t the fastest but they moved effectively on land and through the water.

However, Rupert struggled to move his elephant well. It appears, just like with taxi drivers, it’s key to know the language. Each roadblock participant was given words to effectively communicate and ride the elephant, but it appears that Rupert missed out on that. It’s the second week in a row Rupert struggled around a roadblock. Last week it took him and his partner four hours to find a clue box in the Japanese park.

Unlike last week though, Rupert and Laura were eliminated from The Amazing Race. It was great seeing a Survivor fan favorite like Rupert on The Amazing Race. However, it shouldn’t be shocking that they didn’t last long on the show.

1. The Amazing Race Quiet, Slow Moments Are Rare (But Awesome)

Twice during the second leg of The Amazing Race Season 31, teams took place in quiet moments. This forced them to all slow down and be silent. This doesn’t happen much on The Amazing Race but it’s great to see the racers have to essentially stop and slow down.

The Amazing Race is fast-paced and racers rarely stop. In this leg, one person from each team got to experience an elephant ride and enjoy million dollar views. Likewise, all participants took part in a cultural/religious ritual by giving money to the local monks at sunrise

Hopefully, there are more moments like this on The Amazing Race Season 31. They provide insight into the local culture and it’s worth seeing as a fewer even if they aren’t the most memorable or comical moment from the episode.

What did you think of tonight’s The Amazing Race Season 31 episode? Let us know in the comments section below and stay tuned to IroniqMedia for all your television show and entertainment coverage.

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