The Amazing Race Season 31 Finale Recap and Analysis – “This One is For One Million Dollars”

Amazing Race 31 Cast

Tonight, this fantastic season of The Amazing Race came to an end, crowning a winner. Despite this season involving a battle of contestants from three different reality shows, we ended up with a finale of only Amazing Race teams, all three of which had previously made it to at least the final four, and two of them who had finished in the top three. Still, this finale did not disappoint by any means and was a fitting end to a wonderful season. Let’s get right into our episode recap for the finale leg of The Amazing Race Season 31 – “This One is for One Million Dollars”

To start the finale teams traveled to Leo & Jamal’s worst nightmare of a location, London, England. Each team had their usual roundabout confessional time and each team illustrated some pretty generic and typical thoughts. Colin & Christie spoke about staying focused. Tyler & Korey were hoping for an all Amazing Race finale three (meaning bye-bye to Vic & Nic). Victor & Nicole were unsurprisingly still mad at the Leo & Jamal, who were having flashbacks to England when they were eliminated…twice…in the same country. Yikes. This was like torture from the race producers, sending the Afghanimals back to where they had been eliminated twice before, both times at the final four! However, I also think this was a serious advantage for the Afghanimals, who had been to England at the final four on two other occasions. When the teams took off to their new destination, they all found themselves the same flight to London and the finale was on.

Leo & Jamal’s prior experiences with England  quickly worked to their advantage as they were the only team that knew to book a taxi at the airport rather than find one on the streets. When every other team was scrambling around searching for taxis, Leo & Jamal were in front of a booth, booking a taxi. On their way out they told Tyler & Korey of this neat little trick, who then helped the other teams like the nice gentlemen they are. After that, teams took a helicopter, basically just for show, until they arrived at Dover Castle for their roadblock – ‘Who Can’t Keep A Secret?’

CHRISTIE GETS STUCK IN DOVER CASTLE

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The first task of the day involved deciphering a code based on select words in a famous speech. Leo & Jamal arrived first and chose Leo to do the task. Nicole meanwhile felt aggrieved when Colin told Tyler & Korey that the roadblock was all about deciphering a code. Korey and Christie were working hard to work together without Victor knowing about it. But…Victor definitely knew. Not only was this unnecessarily discrete but also a bit strange as surely Colin & Christie and Tyler & Korey had to know they were each other’s biggest competition at the million dollar prize. Leo got the task on his first try and was sent on his next mission, while Victor knocked it out of the park too and got the clue second. Korey tried to help Christie on his way out the door and it didn’t pay off as Christie took a whole lot longer to finish the task and failed at her first attempt. As the other teams were making their way to the next task, Christie found herself stuck inside Dover Castle.

Leo & Jamal were again first to the next clue box and were able to take a speed boat over to Piccadilly Circus where they went in search of a Golden Queen amidst the city. The queen handed them a golden clue and they were able to start the detour – “Know” or “Row” – memorizing a cab route versus rowing alongside Olympic medalists in a race against the clock. Leo & Jamal wanted to keep their momentum and banked on the rowing task being quick and easy. When they got inside of the boat, it became very apparent that they had no idea how to row. Leo in particular, had a bit of a meltdown in the water and asked to be taken out almost immediately after stepping inside of the boat. So with that, they decided to switch to the cab memorization task.

Nicole & Victor were a little bit behind, but still had a lead over Tyler & Korey. Both teams decided to also go with the “Row” task as Christie finished the castle task. With a tearful cry inside of the helicopter and Colin reassuring her everything was going to be okay, the former Amazing Race 5 contestants were ready to get back going again. 

THE IMPOSSIBLE BECOMES POSSIBLE

Over at the cab task, teams had to memorize 22 different locations and which side of the road they were on. Leo & Jamal appeared to be over it the moment they stepped inside of the car and looked a bit drowsy as the car whipped around. When they made their first attempt, they couldn’t even get two of the twenty-two directions correct. Luckily for them, the other teams were having an equally tough time learning how to row. Nic & Vic had the most natural start, but were also the first to fall into the water. Tyler & Korey meanwhile made their first attempt at the race and actually looked pretty comfortable until they fell into the water thirteen seconds later. Colin & Christie had also found the queen and also decided to do “Row” at this point as Leo & Jamal made their second attempt at the memorization task. This time the Afghanimals got to six before Jamal had a bit of a temper tantrum at Leo for jumping in when it wasn’t his turn.

Nicole & Victor and Tyler & Korey started to get the hang of the rowing task, but neither of them could meet the 1-minute requirement. Tyler & Korey started to get a little nervous watching the competence of Colin & Christie and the BB18 alums at the rowing, and decided to switch to do the memorization task. They said afterward in confessional that this was in an attempt to solidify their place in the final three and well…it paid off. Surprisingly, Nicole & Victor decided to switch to the memorization task too! This was in spite of looking very comfortable with the rowing. Colin & Christie decided to stay and it paid off for them as the TAR 5 contestants ended up getting their clue before Vic & Nic as a result. However, it was Leo & Jamal who received a clue to the pit-stop first, after they were finally able to correctly memorize all 22 directions. Tyler & Korey, with Korey’s memorization skills perfectly in place, were second to get their clue as Victor and Nicole continued to struggle. Leo & Jamal found Phil at the pit-stop BUT when they arrived Phil revealed that there was still one more task to be completed before they could officially check-in. The contestants then had to search around a massive market for eight items. The items ranged from dresses to suitcases to teapots to colourful shoes. Leo & Jamal seemingly had found most of their items except for what Jamal was calling “the magic carpet”. 

Over at the detour, Colin & Christie completed the rowing task, which had previously been dubbed “impossible” by Victor. Victor & Nicole meanwhile had some luck of their own and completed the memorization task. This final task was fantastic in that sent everyone on almost a level playing field again and created a whole lot more intrigue about where the teams might eventually finish. However, the finishing order did ultimately stay unchanged. Leo & Jamal eventually found the carpet and finished in first place, which was really well deserved from the Afghanimals after a strong leg on par with their performances in the first two legs. Not only did this first place finish mark the first time the Afghanimals have been able to make it to the final three, but it also earned them redemption from a country where they had been eliminated twice before!

Not for the first time in the leg, Tyler & Korey tried to help Colin & Christie as best as they could and again…I don’t really understand this. Why would you want to eliminate the weakest…or at least the most inexperienced team left in the race, in place of the strongest team left in the race? Surely this was going to come back and bite them.

Nonetheless, Tyler & Korey finished second and secured a second appearance in the final three as Colin & Christie found themselves in third place, also securing a second appearance in the final three. So after racing a really strong eleven legs, Nicole & Victor were eliminated and sent packing with the Leo & Jamal England curse, out in fourth place. Nicole & Victor were so much fun to watch on this season of The Amazing Race and really ran a fantastic race. It will be so interesting to see how their dynamic changes and evolves now that they are engaged and it will be even more interesting to see if they ever make a return to Reality TV in some capacity, as they both clearly have a knack for it.

But after their elimination, we didn’t even take a breath before heading over to the United States for the final leg, starting with a very interesting selection of Detroit, Michigan as the final destination. So just like the race, let’s not take a breath before getting into the second hour of this amazing Amazing Race finale recap.

LEO & JAMAL’S QUICK START IN DETROIT

Korey and Tyler were excited to be heading to their hometown state of Michigan and all three teams spoke heavily about how much they wanted to win. After arriving in Detroit game faces were on and Leo & Jamal arrived at the roadblock first – “Who’s Good With Numbers?” Again the Afghanimals decided that Leo should do the task based on his love for numbers equaling his love for cats. Tyler & Korey were next to arrive and chose Tyler to do the task, while Colin & Christie found themselves slightly behind and were hoping that Colin’s unrivaled ability in challenges could catch them up. In actuality, the first task was not much of a number task at all and instead was much more about scaling the side of a building and then later much more about turning a lock the right way. Colin discussed his fear of heights and how that would only make things more fun…well that’s one way of looking at things Colin… Leo finished scaling the building first and jogged over to unlock the vault. When he arrived he realized it wasn’t just about having the right numbers, but also turning the vault lock the right way. As he described, you had to go clockwise and then counter-clockwise and then clockwise and then counter-clockwise and so this was not going to be easy. However, Leo seemed to have a bit more of a struggle at the start and this allowed Colin to pull ahead and get the clue first where they were able to make their way to a “Fowling” task – a combination of football and bowling. Really race directors? That’s the best you could come up with in Detroit? Such a crap-shoot competition task? At least this vault task was fun. Surprisingly, Tyler got the vault open next, which was really just so painful to watch the race slip out of Leo & Jamal’s hands in minutes. But their luck wasn’t over yet as Colin & Christie had completely lost their cab driver.

Colin & Christie ran around the streets searching for their taxi and as Tyler & Korey drove away, Colin finally had his first moment of distress in this race. But surprisingly, he was the relaxed one as Christie started berating the driver. Leo meanwhile was still struggling with the vault and as the editors highlighted, was struggling with the very first instruction. Unfortunately for Leo, the pressure of the million dollar prize at the end really seemed to take over him and he was trapped inside of the vault room. At one point he even looked the camera in the eye and said “I give up” before taking a seat on the floor. Unfortunately for the Afghanimals, their dream seemed to be slipping away and this quickly turned into a two-horse race for first…Not like it was anything different before.

Tyler & Korey were first to complete the fowling task and they were then able to make their way to a record store for their third of four tasks on the day. Colin & Christie weren’t too far behind and were very much in the hunt as Leo finally completed the vault task. The task at the record store involved making a split coloured Amazing Race record using heavy-duty machinery. Tyler & Korey failed on their first attempt, only making 2 of the 5 records correctly. This slip up allowed Colin & Christie to pull ahead and actually might have been the key difference on the day. The two front runner teams were neck and neck as Leo & Jamal arrived at the fowling task but it was Colin & Christie who pulled ahead and were able to head to Heart Plaza after completing all five records on their first attempt.

COLIN & CHRISTIE MAKE HISTORY

At Heart Plaza, teams had to assemble a drum set while listening to the White Stripes famous song Seven Nation Army being played by several musicians around the area. This was so loud that they couldn’t even hear themselves yell at each other and was also so loud that every musician around them had noise cancelling headphones in. Tyler & Korey arrived shortly after Colin & Christie and Korey felt confident, saying he’s watched his brothers assemble drum sets many times before. After the weird fowling task, this was another very fun task and something that wasn’t just going to be an easy, two minute, meaningless task. Colin & Christie failed on their first attempt, as did Tyler & Korey. On the second attempt each, they both failed again. It became clear very quickly that all the finest details were going to count and that the judge wasn’t going to settle for anything other than perfection. Finally, on their fourth attempt Colin & Christie completed the task and were able to travel to the pit-stop at Fort Wayne. Tyler & Korey were minutes behind and tried their best to catch the former Amazing Race 5 contestants. But ultimately, they couldn’t pull it off and it was Colin & Christie after fifteen years away and one of the most dominant performances the race has ever seen TWICE. Colin & Christie won The Amazing Race Season 31. Colin even gave Phil a butt-slap in celebration. Unfortunately for Tyler & Korey that meant they would come up short for the second time in race history, although this time they were able to claim second place rather than third. Colin & Christie’s win surely means they now go down in history as one of the best teams to ever race, if not the very best of all. With this win to go along with their second place finish as young adults fifteen years ago, they now solidify their legacy as one of the most dominant teams ever. Tyler & Korey also cemented a bit of legacy of their own and also solidified their place in Amazing Race folklore as one of the most dominant teams ever. Leo & Jamal meanwhile found some positives to take away from their dismal final leg performance, setting all kinds of new records with their third place finale finish. They broke Rachel Reilly’s record for most legs run with 34, most u-turns survived with 3 and even most roadblocks too, although that’s a bit more unsurprising given how many legs they’ve run. So with that, all three teams had something to celebrate, even if it wasn’t what Tyler & Korey or Leo & Jamal had hoped for going in.

CONCLUSION

So that’s it for our final Amazing Race recap of the season. Colin & Christie were deserving winners of the race and all three final-three teams really cemented their individual legacies. Nicole & Victor meanwhile will be a fun team to eventually have back on the race some day and might even make a bigger splash on a return. Although their Winner’s Edit predicted just as much, it was still great to see two people so likable as Colin & Christie are, win the race. This fantastic season has now come to an end and this will probably be our last episode recap until the race returns for another all-star season iteration. In the meantime, be sure to check out all of our other Amazing Race articles and follow @realitytvtms on Twitter for more! Thanks for reading all season long and we will see you sometime very soon for more on Survivor, Big Brother Canada and MasterChef USA.

 

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