The "tied to the mat" teams of Brett & Holly and Jody & Cory are next to leave and are pretty much right behind Jet & Dave, which leaves Vanessa & Celina coming out in fourth as they all race to the airport to book their flights. There's not really a lot of flights going from Quebec City to Iqaluit so it's really no surprise that all teams end up on the same one. Sure it levels the playing field but as a competitor with a huge lead you kinda like to keep that to yourself. So much for momentum.
On the other hand, there's a lot to be said for luck as Tim & Tim round the corner having come in last on their second non-elimination leg. The fact that they should have been eliminated twice now has Jet & Dave thinking they're zombies. There's just no getting rid of them, and I'm okay with that because the father and son team have been another fun team to watch. Rather than playing up Tim Sr's Parkinsons the producers have taken the high road and play up the family bonding instead. Well done.
All teams finally arrive on the frozen tundra that is our great white north to find their next clue is written in Inuktitut, the native Inuit language that apparently needs to be translated because none of the teams happen to speak it, let alone read it. Eventually all teams get the clue translated to find that they need to locate Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park for their next clue. The park is only one kilometer away and most teams head out on foot but TeamTims decide to grab a cab hoping to gain an advantage, which they are going to need as they have an upcoming Speed Bump. That would have been great had they not picked the only cab driver in town with a weak bladder. "There's no time for a bathroom!" TeamTims is outta there.
Even though the sisters manage to locate the park first (a feat in and of itself considering their directional abilities) Jody & Cory are the first to the clue box and the next clue directing them to find two Inuit Female Throat Singers along the Sylvia Grinnell River. After watching the singers complete their song they are handed their next clue . . . this week's Detour: Harpoon Hunter or Igloo Builder.
In Harpoon Hunter one team member must drag the other team member in a sled across one kilometer of snow and ice to a target area where each member must then throw a harpoon at a very large target, then they switch places and the one who rode out gets to pull the sled with the other team member in it back to the starting line to get their next clue.
In Igloo Builder, as self explanatory as it seems, team members must construct a traditional igloo out of 13 kilogram (about 30 pound) pre-cut blocks of compacted snow and ice. There's an Inuit elder there to show them how to carve the blocks and an example igloo but no clues as to how to assemble the finished product. Once they have an igloo that the elder feels could make it through the night he'll give them their next clue.
Jody & Cory quickly decide to do Harpoon Hunter, followed by Vanessa & Celina who figure there's no way they can lift 30 pounds of snow. Jet & Dave decide to try their hand as Igloo Builders and are followed by Brett & Holly who feel it's more of a mental challenge than a strength challenge. Surprise! It's both. Anyone who has ever built a snow fort with their kids knows exactly how many things can go wrong in this scenario. As much fun as it might be to build an igloo I'm pretty sure Wayne and I would have gone with the Harpoon Hunter. I mean, how often do you get to throw a harpoon?
It's no surprise that Vanessa and Celina are having trouble with the sled. If this were a traditional sled like they use on a dog team it might have been easier but these were like big steel shovels plowing through the snow. TeamTims have also gone with the Harpoon Hunter and easily pass by the sisters as Celina struggles to keep her sled moving. Tim & Tim pull up from behind to close the gap on this leg's lead team of Jody & Cory.
Meanwhile Jet & Dave have discovered that building an igloo is a lot harder than it looks. Brett & Holly aren't doing any better as far as they're concerned but at least they have managed to get a second row started and on to their third when Jet & Dave decide they "suck" as igloo builders and switch tasks. Off they go to become Harpoon Hunters, which is what I would have thought they'd choose at the start.
Tim and Tim are just completing their harpoon throws as Vanessa and Celina eventually catch up to them only to be left alone at the targets. Jody & Cory have completed the Detour and have their next clue directing them across Frobisher Bay via snowmobile to locate the original Hudson's Bay Company building, while Tim & Tim run into their Speed Bump.
Watching Vanessa toss a harpoon gets to be pretty funny as the producers keep cutting back to Brett & Holly who stick to the igloo building even though Holly can't lift the blocks of snow into place while holding the others from falling. Holly, true to form, moans about how hard it is but she keeps at it while Brett keeps asking if she wants to switch and then tells her they're so close. Make up your mind buddy. As Jet & Dave arrive at the targets Vanessa is just about ready to give up when her last throw actually sticks, much to her surprise, and now she gets to pull Celina in the sled. Run Vanessa, run.
Eventually Brett & Holly decide to switch but it's probably a little too late for that. They were so close too, but apparently had missed the concept of packing in loose snow to hold the blocks in place. While they race across to the other side of the Detour, Jody & Cory have arrived at the Hudson's Bay Company building for this leg's Roadblock. One team member must consume a full serving of Muktuk, which consists of 10 tiny little pieces of whale skin and blubber (the end result of a successful Harpoon Hunt). The pieces are actually about the size of a maki roll at any sushi restaurant and considered a delicacy by the local Inuit. Jody & Cory, first to arrive, beg to differ.
Jet & Dave have sped through the Harpoon Hunter Detour and race after Vanessa & Celina for their next clue while Tim & Tim start their Speed Bump. TeamTims gets to lead a team of sled dogs across Frobisher Bay to a food drop, collect the food and return to complete their Speed Bump for arriving last on the sixth leg. This looked like a lot more fun and a lot easier than dragging the sled.
After completing the Roadblock Jody & Cory are off on another one kilometer hike to the top of a nearby peak for the next Pit Stop. They can see Jon but it's a long walk, the air is thin, and it's been a hard leg for all the teams. It was nice to see when Jody struggled in the snow that his brother reached out to help him as they ascended together.
Tim & Tim easily finish their Speed Bump and pass Vanessa & Celina on the snowmobiles as they race to the Roadblock. Throughout the race these two teams have been maintaining a friendly rivalry (sometimes less than friendly) as they continue to arrive one after the other at both tasks and the mat. Personally I prefer TeamTims to arrive first but sometimes they are their own worst enemy.
With everyone else racing here and there we finally return to see Holly struggling almost as much with the harpoon throw as she did with the igloo. Brett keeps trying to build up her confidence for the next throw, and then the next one, and then the next one, and then . . . you get the idea. Holly kept at it again and again until finally, on her 28th attempt she hits the target and their back in the race. Sort of.
I'm really proud of Jody & Cory's performance on this leg as they've managed to maintain their lead and arrive first to the Pit Stop to be awarded two tickets to anywhere Air Canada flies in the Caribbean. They've been a strong team all along but have had a few missed breaks and made a few errors but this leg more than made up for it.
Tim Sr just devours the Muktuk at the Roadblock while Celina gags ever time she puts a piece in her mouth. Suck it up princess. TeamTims leave the sisters at the Roadblock and are off to the Pit Stop behind Jody & Cory. As Celina finally gags down on the last piece of muktuk, Jet & Dave arrive and Jet digs in. He makes a comment how this is so against his strict diet regime but Dave just tells him how good it is and to keep chewing.
Tim & Tim are the second team to arrive at the Pit Stop after starting in last place and overcoming the Speed Bump and we get a little look at how proud Tim Jr. is of his dad. It's good to see a father and son who can keep such a good bond, even during the stress of being on the Amazing Race.
Jet manages to chomp down all 10 pieces and he and Dave hurry after the sisters in an attempt to overtake them during the one kilometer walk to the Pit Stop. Pretty easy to do when Vanessa, the youngest contestant in the race, has slowed down so much during the walk up the mountain. It's not that steep but it's been a long day. Having her sister berate her for it certainly doesn't make her any faster and Jet & Dave manage to pass them just before the peak to arrive third at the mat. That brings the sisters in as the fourth team to arrive.
Having completed the Detour, Brett and Holly made it to the Roadblock where Brett managed to eat a piece of muktuk per second and raved how hungry he was. Unfortunately he wasn't hungry enough because they were the last team to arrive and they were eliminated.
I know there are a lot of people out there who seem to have painted Brett & Holly as the villains, and if you read any comments on other blogs a lot of people are just downright nasty but it's totally uncalled for. Holly may not do so well outside of her own comfort zone but that's part of what the race is about. Most people don't do well outside their comfort zone, some don't even leave their house if it means unplugging from their electronic umbilical. Brett has stood by his wife through every little breakdown regardless of how it placed them in the race. He's been supportive, caring, nurturing and a damn good husband. I'd like to see any of these people who are so mean to them, especially to Holly, be even a third as supportive of their spouse during anything like this. I'm sure that my future running mate Wayne and I would certainly try to be as supportive of our wives, but there may be some yelling during that support. After 20 years of marriage that can happen, but Brett never yelled once at Holly and I commend him for it.
Next week the teams are all of to the east coast with a visit to Nova Scotia where Vanessa & Celina grind some gears and Dave finally losses his patience with his best bud Jet. And yet, through all that, I'll bet they still have fun and carry on. See you next week.