I gotta a bit of time today here at Gord and Wayne HQ so I thought I'd gauge the views of our readers about the teams for Season 5 of Amazing Race Canada Season 5. I know it's early, but heck this stuff is always kind of fun.
Okeedokee, a quick break down of the teams from Season 5 of TAR Canada. Let's talk about the elephant in the room: no team from Saskatchewan again. Again! They will be pissed cause five seasons in and they haven't had a single team in yet. I'm surprised since the casting folks made a special trip to Saskatchewan to entice people to sign up. That said, there hasn't been a team from Canada's North yet either.
As noted on various FB threads, this cast also skews young, two over the age of 50 but the rest 36 and under, most in their 20s. Seems a bit younger than the typical TARC but I haven't done the math yet. That said, I'm not surprised the season seems younger than most. Something in my gut told me it would.
We have three all male teams, two all female, the rest male/female. Five teams are best friends/cousins/biz associates, two parent/child (both from BC coast, though), two couples (one dating, one married), one pair of siblings. Not sure how different the dynamics will be with some teams having quite similar relationships.
A few teams stand out. The funeral directors could be fun with some weird dark humour; I like the couple from Edmonton because I'm from Edmonton; and the best friends Ken and Ryan could be okay but I'm getting a Mickey and Pete vibe from them. They actually note that as well in their bio.
As for the rest, well, considering the strong cast we had for Season 29 of TAR and the one from Season 4 of TARC, they seem a bit bland. But it's early and I'm making a judgement without seeing an episode. I'll let you know what I think later on.
Couple of final things: The question: "If you could be an animal, what kind would you be?" is dumb. Cause humans are frickin' animals already! But picking an extinct one, like the T-Rex that Korey picked, does not bode well. Also, since this is TAR Canada, it would be nice if more than one team would pick a Canadian musical artist for their walk on song. Good work Andrea and Ebonie. Bonus marks to Aaron and Deb for their choice of Stayin' Alive by the Bee Gees. Funny stuff. This is why they could be fun.
As for this year's blog. I'm not sure how much I will write. It's gonna be a busy summer and last year's work on the blog tired me out. Whether I post after an episode will be a week to week decision. For sure, Gord and I will do our video blogs, save for the times I'm away in July for holidays. This year there will be no team interviews. I enjoyed doing those, enjoyed talking and connecting personally with the teams, but it's a lot of work. And I'm not getting paid for this. If someone wants to give me money to do that, let me know.
That's it for now. See you on the starting line.
It's the final leg of Season 4 of Amazing Race Canada and wowee, what a finish. The producers really book ended this season with some great episodes. The first was totally awesome in Yellowknife and Jasper, and then they polished it off with a great one in Montreal. Sure, there were some really solid episodes in between but man, the first and last were top notch. From the beginning in Saint John to the final run on the top of old Mont Royal, you really had no idea who was going to win.
Let's get into it. As noted, teams leave Saint John and has to fly via non-sponsor airline, Air Canada. Those guys flew a lot of legs this year, not sure why they didn't stay as sponsor. Oh well, reasons must. And in Montreal, they have to find Cirque de Soleil HQ (a bit bigger and fancier than Gord and Wayne HQ but I like our coziness). At the Cirque, they have to do three tasks. Use a bungee type apparatus to bounce to a trapeze, balance and roll on a giant ball across a distance, the climb a Chinese pole where they can find the clue. Not that easy. I'm thinking Gord would bounce (he's got more weight and height on me) and I would do the balance and climb.
Teams dash out the airport, grabbing taxis with Joel and Ashley left behind. But not by much. There's not much difference in their arrival time at the Cirque. Emmett gives his cabbie $50 to wait for them. Once inside, all have to dress up in costume. And while everyone looks pretty decent, Joel is by far the most... I don't know the word to use without being mean...interesting. Yeah, let's go with that. Methinks he's got a new style of regalia for the next pow-wow. I don't know Joel, think about it.
Kristen's bouncing but having trouble reaching for the trapeze. Emmett's onboard and boom, he grabs it and moves on. Jillian decides to take the ball roll and unlike the last roadblock of the previous leg, they really read the clue this time. Nothing says she has to stand so she tries to roll it while on her hands and knees on the ball. Doesn't work. She falls. More than once.
Meanwhile Joel, in his new style of mechanic coveralls, bounces and grabs the trapeze bar. Kristen is still struggling. So much so that Steph takes over. Also taking over the balance task from Jillian is Emmett, who has experience with hay bale rolling. Who know that was a thing? But an interesting thing that would make a great task for Season 5 of Amazing Race Canada. So if you're reading this anyone, think about it. Heck, maybe I'll just mention it on twitter like I did with the ladder racing idea. But Emmett's experience on the bales works and he gets it done. Ashley says her dance experience will help her. It does but she falls just as she's about to reach the end. Steph has grabbed the trapeze bar.
Because one team member can't do all the tasks, Jillian has to climb the Chinese poll to get her clue. And rushes up there like a pro, grabbing the clue and sliding down. Ashley is done the ball rolling and Joel is keen to climb. Team Big Brother are excited to be out in first with a clue to head to the old Bank of Montreal building. All they have to do is get to their cabbie who is supposed to wait after being paid $50. But he, the cab and their $50 are long gone. So they have to call a cab. Or try to catch one. And Ashley and Joel are done, quickly followed by Steph and Kristen. A cab does pull up and two teams run for it. But it's for Ashley so there is no cabotage today. The Softballers also flag down a cab and are gone, leaving Team Big Brother stranded at the Cirque in last place, even though they finish the task first.
At the bank, teams have to decipher a bunch of gibberish into an old tyme BMO message using an old tyme code book used by the bank back in the old tyme days. I didn't know banks did that kind of stuff back then. That's a neat bit of history. Once they read the proper message to the teller, he'll give them a key which they'll take to the vault to open a safety deposit box to get their next clue. Obvious sponsor task but like the Hotels.com one, not a pushover. This one will take time and patience. Joel and Ashley are the first to arrive and get on the decoding. Steph and Kristen show up with Jillian and Emmett coming in much later due to the cab situation.
Softballers think they have it; nope they don't. Joel and Ashley think they have it; yes they do. Here's your key, down to the vault get your next clue. Over to the old Expo 67 site for a Roadblock. Can't recall the clue but Joel takes it. Ashley's really happy when she realizes that he'll have to rappel upwards 120 feet in the old Buckminster Fuller designed dome, traverse across it on a line, then rappel down to the ground, grabbing the clue on the way down. They're off, getting there with no problems. Joel gets suited up and started climbing. Tough stuff, hard work, I bet.
Steph and Kristen realize what they did wrong and get the message right. They head to island arriving just as Joel is reaching the top. Steph takes this task, keen to catch up. And she's fast. Joel is working as hard as he can to stay ahead but Steph has youth on her side. She's also a high end athlete so there's that working for her, too. And the injured hand doesn't come in play. Joel grabs the clue first and they are off to St Viatear Bagel. It will be another roadblock where racers will have to load over 2 dozen bagels on three sticks in the proper order and deliver these bagels to a shop in the general vicinity. But they'll have to do this three times in a row, coming back to the bagel shop to get the next order.
Steph finishes rappelling and the Softballers are leaving the dome just as Jillian and Emmett are pulling up. Yep, it seems to happen in every TAR Canada final leg. One team always falls behind, too far to catch up, as the remaining two teams race to the finish. Will Big Brother be that team this year? Let's see.
At the bagel shop, Ashley has to do the roadblock and start piling bagels on the poles for the first delivery. She gets about halfway through when she realizes that she's piled them in the wrong order. So she has to remove all of them and start again. Now Kristen has come in to do her roadblock. Ashley is the first out the door, heading to Chez Vito and gets direction from helpful locals. Kristen is right behind. But Ashley fails to realize that there are four corners in each intersection. And even though she's on the right one, she can't find Chez Vito. She moves away and starts looking around. That allows Kristen to catch, up, find Chez Vito and move ahead. While Kristen is dropping off her bagels, Ashley asks a nice Montreal resident if he knows where Chez Vito is. The camera pulls out and boom, she's right in front of it. That was some excellent camera work there, especially since it was probably on the fly. Excellent work.
So Ashley drops her bagels off just after Kristen. Back to the dome Emmett is flying to get the other roadblock done. Although Kristen made the first delivery, it seems like Ashley is much faster loading the orders on the sticks. she's out first for the second delivery, this one a bit farther away. But Ashley's not an athlete like Kristen, who we can see coming right behind her on the street. Another great bit camera work. Kristen again delivers first and Ashley is started to feel the pain of this roadblock.
Big Brother finally makes it to the bagel shop and Jillian must do the task. So she's in loading bagels fast. And she's out the door, looking for Chez Vito. I think she gets directions but keeps repeating the name so she can remember. But then seems to forget her directions and asks a nice lady for help. But she can't remember the name. She had it just a second ago but it's gone. Jillian says Chez V something and the lady says "I just got a bagel from there." And gives her directions. Jillian is so pleased cause she would hate to screw up this task. But soon she realizes that she's heading back to where she started cause that's where the lady got her bagel. Understandable Jillian's upset, freaks outs only slightly. Emmett's cool,don't worry.
So Jillian loads up on another order, and picks the store Jeans, Jeans, Jeans cause she can remember that.
But the other two teams have already delivered to Jeans, Jeans, Jeans, and are heading to the last place. Kristan finishes the task ahead of Ashley and it's off to the Moment Factory, a multimedia place. Looks really cool as well. And here is the last task of the season, the final memory task. All the locales they visited are on the cool multimedia board along with a bunch of sayings, titles, words that were used in various task in these locales. And some red herrings just to mess them up. And it looks like it's now just a race between the Softballers and Team Enoch as they both arrive not far apart from each other at the Moment Factory.
That scenario becomes more entrenched when Jillian shows up at Jeans, Jeans, Jeans, and her order is wrong. Yep, she loaded the bagels by reading the top of the list, not realizing that those were supposed to be the ones on the top of the poles, not the first ones you put on the pole. Again, she's understandably upset. But she has a plan! A cunning plan! Instead of returning to the shop to fix it, she'll do right there. On the street. Brilliant. So she starts well, pulling a bunch of bagels of one pole. Then a few off the other. Then one bagel falls on the ground. And man, you could not write a more perfect piece of comedic timing that follows. There's a beat as she stares at the fallen bagel. Then another beat. And you know she's dying inside because of that lone fallen bagel. She's blown the task and their chance to win the race. All gone cause of that damn bagel on the ground. Beat. And then fuckitall, toss a bunch of bagels on the ground, along with a few more. Head back to the beginning. As I said, that was just a perfect bit of TV right there. Every finale, the producers always seem to find just one scene, a little bit of stuff, that just makes you go, wow. Awesome. Last year was the handing of the beer jug to Jon in Whistler. This year was Jillian and the Fallen Bagel. Classic.
And now she's very upset, hot, tired and crying because she believes she's let Emmett down. Understandable. But Emmett, man. He's the Fonz out there. So cool. "Ehh. Don't worry about it." And that's one bit I like about Emmett. Through all of Jillian's histrionics, he's been cool. He doesn't freak out. Maybe a bit too cool at times, maybe a bit more emotion and use of his verbal skills, cause he does have them, but just not enough. Or maybe they didn't edit enough of them in. but man, that dude has patience. And yeah, they look to be done. And they believe they are done.
Back at the Moment Factory, both teams are close. But not close enough. It's tough trying to remember. They may have taken notes but like many of these tasks, notes don't seem to be allowed. So there's a lot of second guessing, removing correct things, getting names wrong. The first two teams are still there when Jillian and Emmett show up. And they can hear the other teams and believe they still have a chance cause they were paying attention. And in their first try, the only have one incorrect answer. But which one? Steph and Kristin are in the same boat; only one wrong. So they make a change and boom, they are done. Finished. Head to the Finish Line at the top of Mont Royal. And it looks like Jillian and Emmett are done, too. Not sure how far behind. But you never know. Unfortunately, Joel and Ashley are struggling and maybe they'll be the third left behind. Man, the lead went back and forth on this leg so many times. And so quickly.
And though it looks like Steph and Kristen have fallen behind because their cab took to the bottom of Mont Royal rather than the top (a nice little red herring at the end), they land on the big mat first, winning Season 4 of Amazing Race Canada. And not just being the first female team to win TAR Canada, they are the first women to be part of a TAR Canada winning team. The previous three winners were all-male teams. Jillian and Emmett come in second with Joel and Ashley finishing third.
I'm pleased with the result, although I was pulling for my fellow Cree Joel and Ashley. But Steph and Kristen were one of the toughest teams out there and played a solid race. They had a great story throughout the race, with the lying of the Express Pass, the U-Turning and the sliced finger. And they had some touching and funny moments. Overall, a really good team to watch. As for the season, it was a pretty solid one as well. There were few slow moments, but the cast was really solid this year, no real weak personalities that much. And even though there were some teams that seemed tougher, no one team dominated the entire race. There were also a number of surprises on who went out earlier, some dark horses, drama with Express Passes, U-Turns, lies, injuries and puns. Let's not forget Lowell who brought TAR punning to new level. And Jon is continuing to up his game, getting more comfortable in his role, improvising as well.
And though Gord and I will be interviewing the winners and posting that, and doing our final video blog, I'd like to first thank CTV/Bellmedia for once again treating us so special and giving us access to the teams and casting producer Mike Bickerton for interviews. As well as teams for being good sports and playing along. As well as the producers, and all our fans for tuning in. Before this final episode even aired, Gord and Wayne HQ notched over 25,000 page views of our blog. Which is pretty amazing for a bunch of beer drinking dudes from Edmonton. So thank you all for paying attention. If there is a Season 5, and I'm about 80-90 percent sure there will be, we probably be back here again. Or maybe we'll be on the race. You never know what happens. Thanks for the great season.
We're in the last stretch of Season 4 of Amazing Race Canada and boy has it turned into a very tight race. And man, the producers are really ratcheting up the drama and tasks in the end. I must say that this episode was probably the second best episode of the season. Full of back and forths, teams yelling, some really hard tasks, a few bits of not reading the clues, some good ole fashioned backstabbin, and beer. Unfortunately, nobody went to the beer task. Still, loads and loads of fun.
Teams leave Cape Breton and catch a bus to ride 600 klicks to Saint John, New Brunswick. Two buses and only two teams are allowed on each bus. So the Softballers and Big Brother are on the first bus with Enoch and BC on Bus 2. Previously on the last episode, we saw Jillian leave a shoe behind. And we wondered if it would play a role in this leg. But they find some nice folks who will drive home and grab her a pair of shoes. See, it's nice having the race in Canada cause we'll drive home to get some strangers a pair of shoes. So the shoe problem is solved. Or is it? Jillian says they're a little tight but Emmett says no biggie, they'll stretch. Hmmm.
In Saint John, you gotta find a sponsor's car that has the next clue. So the first two teams, Steph and Kristan, and Jillian and Emmett head in separate directions. But it's the Softballers who find the car and have to head to the Central Market. There it's a sponsor task, most of the time I hate these cause most of the time, they suck as tasks. Remember the DQ birthday party? Or the fill for gas at Petro Canada? Or the buy stuff from the Petro Canada a few minutes from Wayne's house? Okay, maybe you don't remember my house but you remember the task. That said, remember the Mentos one in Paris? That's how you do a sponsorship task. And this one, having to use the sponsor's app to deliver five different fruit baskets to five different hotels in town is more on the Mentos in Paris spectrum of sponsorship tasks. It's not as hard as Mentos in Paris but it's way tougher than DQ Birthday party. Lots of navigation needed.
Steph and Kristen are off, knocking off hotel after hotel. After some time being lost, Big Brother finds the car but by this time, the bus with the other two teams has pulled into town. And these guys waste no time finding the cars. And the Central Market. In fact, they arrive just before Jillian and Emmett. So those buses weren't that spread apart. Or Jillian and Emmett were really lost.
Teams search and find hotels and deliver baskets. Emmett drops one and Jillian screams at him. They get lost and the only way to get to the hotel is to run across the overpass. So Jillian yells at him. Mostly cause her feet hurt cause the shoes those nice people got her are two sizes too small. Ouch. And cause he can't figure out how to get onto that other highway. So maybe the yelling is a bit justified. But really, this is the only interesting dynamic this team has. Without the yelling, they are just as interesting than Ryan and Rob from Season 2. Remember them? Well, not much. This mayhem puts these guys in third place, only ahead of the always directionally challenge Amy and Frankie.
Softballs get done, it's a Detour. The beer one and the taffy one. In the beer, which no one picks, so never mind who cares, no one picked beer. Wayne sad. All that beer and no one even touches it. Wayne more sad. In taffy...come on...someone take beer. Whatever, I hate them all.
Anyway, in the taffy side, teams must head to the molasses factory, follow a recipe and make taffy. Sigh, oh well. All teams follow the recipe. Sort of. Well, the Softballers do and get their taffy done. Probably took them longer than it seemed but they got it done first. Off to the Face-off. Oh well, gotta wait. Amy and Frankie pull up just as the first team leaves. And they don't follow the recipe. Instead of four tablespoons of vinegar, they use four cups of vinegar. Holy shit, that's a lot of vinegar. That'll clean the pots for ya. And your sinuses based on how Amy's reacting. Jillian is on repeat mode, stir Emmett stir. Stir. Stir. So Emmett is a-stirring, winking at the camera as he does. Ashley and Joel aren't stirring so maybe they'll burn theirs. First check and nope, not the right colour, Enoch. More stirring. Or manipulating. Oh wait, save the manipulation for later.
So Jillian and Emmett are done and they are off to the Face-off. Or rather, they are lost. Going the wrong way. Which allows Joel and Ashley to arrive to Face-off against Steph and Kristen. It's a golf task on a par 3 hole on a really nice set of links in New Brunswick. The team that sinks the ball in the least amount of shots wins the Face-off. Other team must battle against the others and whoever's left, gets the play with the old Yield hourglass from various seasons of the US version of TAR. Everyone looks dapper in their golf dudes but Steph and Kristen aren't too sure of Joel and Ashley. Have they ever seen golf course? Well, let this Cree dude tell you something. I learned how to play golf on a native owned golf course so yeah, wondering if an indigenous person knows what golf is, is like wondering if an indigenous person knows how to spell Bingo. Or Casino. Take your pick. This would have been a perfect task for me. Not sure if Gord golfs but heck I can and that's what would count.
And yep, Joel tees off, nice swing and his shot lands just off the green. The Softballers tee shot hits a tree. And it's lost. So it's a drop, an added penalty shot and it's pretty much over by then. Joel and Ashley win the Face-off and it's off to the garden for the Roadblock. And holy smokes what a roadblock it is. One teammate is completely blindfolded and guided around a garden by the other. And only using their senses of touch and smell must memorize a bunch of plants, learn the English names from their teammate and then recall these plants in a test. And when I say a bunch, I'm saying 15, which is a lot of plants to memorize through only those two senses. I'm really wondering how Lowell would have done on this one. Or if Julie would have taken the task instead of him based on the short clue they are given.
Joel assumes the responsibility but Ashley's really happy because she gets to guide her dad around. Joel's not too happy about the task but he's the kind of guy who just hunkers down and gets things done. So we're pretty sure he'll do it, the only unknown factor is how long. Meanwhile, Amy and Frankie are done with the taffy (really, they got it done with the four cups of vinegar or did they have to start again and that part was edited out? I don't know how someone can make a suitable bit of taffy with such a mistake like that so I'm guessing edit.) And while the Softballers hit the same tree again, they get the bounce this time and it lands relatively close to the green. Big Brother hits the sand trap and it's over for them. Softballers win and are off to the garden. Have fun.
Amy and Frankie finally arrive at the Face-off with no golfing experience at all. You can tell cause they're using a driver on a Par 3. So splash, into the ocean. And then so many siwingsandamisses that they're at 18 while Big Brother is stuck on 1. Emmett just wants to go on because the longer it takes for them to get away (golf terminology for their turn), the longer they'll be behind the first two teams. Finally, it's done and Amy and Frankie have to wait.
At the garden, teams are struggling with Steph breaking down cause she can't remember the plants. She tells Kristen this should have been her task cause she's better at memorization. But Kristen says they had no idea it was a tough memory task. She also quietly tells her partner to get it together and there's a break for commercial. And Steph does get it together. Although it probably took her a long time to get this task. This was a very difficult task, one of those that would drive me crazy and I was only watching. Probably Gord would do it for me. It was also one of those tasks that no matter when you arrived, there was always the chance that another team could nail it and pass you. And when all the teams were at the task, you had no idea which team would win. Or rather which team would finish last. Because in this leg, who ever finished last, Jon said, would be eliminated. Not may. But would.
Luckily for the two first teams, Enoch and the Softballers, the other two forgot the most basic rule of Amazing Race. Read the clue. Emmett and Jillian didn't read the clue so instead of memorizing the English names, they focused on the Latin ones. And no one was going to tell them. When Amy and Frankie arrived, instead of reading their clue, they did the task based on what they hearing from Jillian and Emmett, unaware that they were doing the task wrong. Which is another no-no for TAR: never do what another team is doing until you read the clue. And no one else was going to tell them. They would have to find out for themselves. And when they did, all hell broke loose. Jillian started screaming, so much so that I felt sorry for the guy who was guiding her back to the main harder. Amy just started crying, realizing that their mistake could cost them a chance for the final three.
It didn't help that Ashley led them astray, telling Frankie that they learned both the Latin and English versions of the plants. And for me, this was a brilliant move, a simple bit of a mind game, the kind of thing I would have done if given the chance. I probably would have been doing this the whole race so no one would have trusted me the way Frankie trusted Ashley. And while some may say Ashley played a bit of dirty pool by leading Amy and Frankie astray, Amy and Frankie sank themselves by not reading the clue and relying on another team for direction. Maybe in the first leg or two, you can get away with following or listening to another team. But in the last leg before the finale. No way, man. If you do, then it's your own fault.
In the end, Steph and Kristen finish the task and arrive at the mat in first place. They'll be going into the finale. Then it's Ashley and Joel. And I love Joel's celebration when he gets it right. That tells me that it was a really difficult task. They are second and into the finale. And because Amy and Frankie rush to learn both names, Jillian and Emmett finish ahead of them. And they are going to the finale. And though I hate to say it, Amy and Frankie have no one to blame but themselves for coming in last. Read the Clue.
Still, they had a great race. They were the dark horse of the entire race, the goofy and loud team that many thought would be gone in the early legs but hung in there till the second last leg. I'll miss their personalities in the final leg but at least we got to see a lot of them in this season. They were a great team. We'll have an interview with them coming up in the next few days.
Next week, it's the finale of Season 4 of Amazing Race Canada. Teams head to Montreal and it looks like a bunch of crazy tasks with the finish line at the old Expo 67 grounds. At least that's what it seems. Hopefully the finale will be just as fun as this leg and a great ending to a pretty solid season. We'll be here to recap it for you. Hopefully this won't be the end of Amazing Race Canada and that sometime during the After the Race show (a show I have and never will watch), they'll announce Season 5.
Again, I'm a day late but whatever. I could go on and on and on and explain why but what's the point. Nobody cares about my life, everyone's more interested in the race, what happened and possibly, my opinion. Chances are this will be a short recap. Although I must say, this was a great leg, great editing, lots of drama including Double U-Turns, animosity created between teams, racers breaking down, coming back, pushing it to the edge, and the ending wasn't really forgone conclusion halfway through the episode. Well, for the most part. But this leg shows that it's not the international legs that make an Amazing Race season. International legs are great but it's not necessary to have a whole season of international legs to have a good race; it's the tasks and the team dynamics that make a great episode, like this one had.
So Cuba to Cape Breton where they got to grab a Chevy that's got some kind of teen stalking app and the team that travels the least amount of klicks gets five grand. Nice. Out of the airport, Steph and Kristen peel out like a bunch of teenager, or like me when I drove as a teenager. Off to the Coast Guard Training Centre where they have to jump on a zodiac, navigate the waters using nautical terms and rescue a dummy. I could make a Gord joke here but I won't.
It's the Softballers, Big Brother and Frankie and Amy out first. Guess the other two teams got lost. No money for them I'm guessing. Steph and Kristen get to the body first and since they're wearing wetsuits and rescue gear, it's hard to tell one from the other. Who am I kidding, I'm terrible with visual things like recognizing faces, so I'm still having trouble trying to tell them apart. Rita and Yvette are the same cause you know, twins.
Rescue, rescue, rescue. Steph and Kristen are first, followed by Jillian and Emmett followed by Amy and Frankie. Yep, it's the correct dummy so off to the Detour. Something with Highland Dancing, something with Highland games. We all know which one Gord and Wayne will take. No dancing for us. And no dancing for the next three teams, all take games. First one is toss a caber between the two lines. Softballers get it done pretty fast, thought Jillian misses. So Steph and Kristen are off to the Farmer's Carry, which is to lug to big logs twice around a lap. That's tough especially since Steph cut her finger pretty bad in the last leg. I wondered if that would play into this leg, and yep it does. Still, she powers through cause these two women are tough. Heck, all the the racers left, especially the women, are tough. Although Emmett isn't too pleased that the log for the men seems a lot bigger than for the women. Ha, that's pretty much how it works, buddy. The log always seems bigger for the men when it reality it's not. Terrible joke from me aside, Amy and Frankie finish caber and take a different tact with the Farmer's Carry. Instead of carry two, twice around, they take one four times.
Back at the rescue, the two Edmonton area teams finally arrive and are in the water. Joel and Ashley find their dummy while Rita and Yvette can't seem to make heads or tail out of the nautical directions. So instead of reading their clue and doing they own thing, they follow Joel and Ashley and rescue the dummy. Unfortunately, it's the wrong dummy (Insert Wayne joke here) and they have to go back. Yikes! That's gotta hurt, especially when you have to do a Speed Bump somewhere down the road. Joel and Ashley move on, head to the Detour and pick the dance side. That's become their choice this race since Ashley has had a bunch of dance training.
Over at the Farmers' Carry, the top two teams are done and over to the Rock Throw. And they're going for accuracy rather than distance. Hit the chalk mark on the throw, not the bounce or roll. Emmett wisely worries that Softballers skill with softballs with work in their favour. And he's right. Steph and Kristen hit their marks on their first try while Big Brother misses. But not by much. They are only a few seconds behind, a race to the W-Turn. As they run, the Softballers discuss who they'll choose. Or who they won't. Probably a good idea to have that figured out in your head before you even land from Cuba. So they pick Joel and Ashley cause they are a strong team. I would have picked Jillian and Emmett cause they are right behind you in the leg. But their reasoning makes sense. I think if Jillian and Emmett were U-Turned, they probably would have chosen Joel and Ashley. As it is, they pick Rita and Yvette, a team that has a Speed Bump. And their reasoning is that they want Amy and Frankie to stay in the race cause of some type of analogy between sharks and remora fish. Nice analogy but the truth, sharks die faster than remora fish. And when a shark dies, the remora just moves on. So maybe not so much. I would underestimate Amy and Frankie.
Then teams have to race to the Fortress where they have to roll six barrels of gunpowder through the fort, uphill for the most part. Tough tasks in a series of more tough tasks. Especially when you have bad cut on your finger. So that allows Big Brother to move into first. Obviously Steph and Kristen were thinking more long term, stay in the race, rather than short term finish in first. So while I would have u-Turn Big Brother, I don't fault their plan. It makes sense. Soon Amy and Frankie show up at the Fort, happy not to be U-turned. And also come up with a different way of doing the task, all six at once instead two at a time. Not sure if it makes any difference time and effort-wise but thinking differently seems to work for them cause they are still here.
Okay, I've forgotten Rita and Yvette who finish their rescue task, do the Speed Bump, which is carry two bags of letter to the special Xmas Island post office and then stamp all the letters with a postmark. Time consuming but not too bad. Off to the Detour where they choose Dance where Joel and Ashley are still working on it. Both teams fail a couple of times but when their done, they discover they've both been U-Turned. Pissed is a word I would use to describe Ashley's reaction. Joel just says, let's get it done, but yeah, I'd be pissed to be U-Turned twice in a season. Doesn't look good for Rita and Yvette either.
Big Brother finally get the barrels up the hill and before they can go, they get to shoot off a cannon. That would be loads of fun. Emmett wants to enjoy the moment while Jillian just gets on his case to hurry it up so they can race to the pitstop and come first. But her plan to hurry things up backfires when she leaves behind one of her shoes. Really? You go so fast, you leave behind a shoe? Good thing it wasn't a clue or passport cause you need one of those to check in. Still, missing a shoe is going to make things difficult in the next two legs. Wonder if it will play a role in the end cause that would suck for them if it did.
Anway, there's a bit of a race to the mat for first but by a few seconds, it's Jillian and Emmett. They seem happy cause it's their home province but I don't see the excitement that much. I don't mind Jillian and Emmett but they are not one of the most exciting teams to watch on the race. Sure when Jillian was freaking out in the early legs, that made for good TV but without, it's a bit meh. Nice folks, I'm sure but I'm having more fun watching the other teams.
Amy and Frankie power through the rest of the leg, love Frankie's maniacal laugh when the cannon is shot off. Yeah, that's the way to enjoy something and show true enthusiasm. But the best two lines of the episode come when Joel and Ashley finish pushing the barrels and shoot of the cannon. Joel quotes AC/DC or was he paraphrasing the Friendly Giant? Naw, it was AC/DC. It's a great line, a good choice for the Episode title. However, Ashley's line of "I think one of my ovaries burst" after the big boom is much funnier. Big laugh out loud for me and in my opinion, that should have been the Episode title. Much more descriptive and funny.
So while the editing shows it's sort of close between the last two teams, Joel and Ashley come through, surviving another U-Turn. We Cree (and other indigenous people) are tough, doesn't matter what you do to us, U-Turn us, implement policies of forced assimilation and residential schools, we not only survive and come back, we come back stronger than before. Joel and Ashley are a great role model for indigenous folks everywhere.
And though Rita and Yvette are last and eliminated, they were great role models for young women. Many fans, bloggers, etc. had pegged them as one of the first teams to be eliminated, but they proved all those predictions wrong. They were a lot tougher than people thought and represented our hometown of Edmonton very well. I'm not sure Gord and I would have made it that far. Possibly but you never know. Look for our interview with them in the next couple of days.
Next week, the race stays in the Maritimes but it doesn't look easy. See you then.
Time for another poll. Yes, I want you fans to let us here at Gord and Wayne HQ which team will be eliminated next. There are five teams left. So choose one team from the list below. We'll let everyone know the results and see if the fans are any good at predicting outcomes.
Man, it's been two weeks since we've seen an episode of Amazing Race Canada. Sure, we had a recap version last week but that didn't count. I understand why the recap episode, Olympics and all, but I just didn't feel like watching. Anyway, the race is back and so is Gord and Wayne.
Teams leave Kingston and are told to head to Havana, Cuba. Not actually a TAR first as some have suggested in the media, the Aussie version went there in Season 2. But still pretty neat. Cause of laws and such, the US version has never gone there, although with the easing of tensions between the two countries, I predict we'll be seeing it in the US version soon. But while we're still in Kingston, I have to mention the awesome Tragically Hip concert in Kingston on Saturday. A bittersweet moment, the first time I've seen the Hip live (I have my reasons) but also the last time, since lead singer Gord Downie has terminal cancer. And man, what a show. The band was on, solid till the end, and Downie gave it all, despite the cancer and the recent treatment. I admit to a few tears during the show, especially at the end and during my fav Hip song, Wheat Kings. This was a seminal moment in Canada cultural history, up there with Paul Henderson's goal in 1972 against the USSR and coverage of the Terry Fox run. And with almost 12 million Canadians watching, so yeah historical. And since the company that produces TAR Canada was tasked with the production of the final Hip concert, I must tip my hat. They did a great job of producing the TV version of the event. Kudos all around.
So now to the race. Off the Havana, Cuba. Teams must take the train back to TO, grab the new train to Pearson and fly to Cuba. On Air Canada no less. Considering the fact that Air Canada was used in so many legs of this race, I'm wondering why they didn't just sponsor the show again? There's an answer somewhere there. Once teams land in Havana, they have to find the huge fortress (hey, you know me already that I don't take notes). And in that fortress, they have to find the Bluenose. Wait, what? Didn't we do this in Season 1? Sure they did, but this time, as in the immortal words of Patsy, it's only a model. Shhh!
Teams race into the fortress, search high and low and it's a Detour. Sugar or Shake. In Sugar teams have to crush a bunch of sugar cane to make juice - 15 litres! - then each racer must carry two trays with four drinks each to some drinkers a few blocks away, then return to the bar. In Shake, they must Dance. Hey a dance task. We haven't seen many of those this season, at least compared to last season. But there is still plenty of time. So Jillian and Emmett, Steph and Kristen take Sugar while everyone else take shake. Oh you know who I'm talking about. Okay, fine. Rita and Yvette, Joel and Ashley, and Frankie and Amy take dance. I really don't have to tell you which one Gord and I will take, do I? Didn't think so.
Thinks are trucking along as expected: teams are shocked at the complexity of the dance, other teams grunt and grrr their way through the sugar cane crush (great band name!). And for the whatever time this season, some racer (this time Emmett) proclaims that this is the hardest thing they have ever done. Come on, it's hard, I'm sure, but crushing sugar cane is the hardest thing you've ever done!? Ever!? If so, somebody's got to get out more. Anyway, that's my choice of the tagline for the entire race: The Hardest Thing I've Ever Done!
But the event that was plugged last week happens. Jillian and Emmett finish the first part of the task and set out to deliver their drinks. So in a hurry to catch up, Steph grabs a machete to hack away at some sugar cane that's jammed into her machine and instead slices into couple of her fingers. Ow. Ick. Blood! That's gotta hurt, and yeah it does. More blood! Cutaway to a commercial with a teaser that they may be out. But we all know that's not true. Sure, she really hurt herself and yeah that's gotta really sting but we all know that it's a bit of red herring. She'll get her finger fixed and they'll finish the rest of the task and move on. Still, ouch.
Back at the dance, Rita and Yvette nail the task on their first try and in a first for them, they are first in a leg. Good for them. Off to Camara Oscura to find the next clue. But it's not really a clue, it's an optical device with a 360 degree panorama of Havana and they have to find the flag hanging from the hotel where Hemingway wrote A Farewell to Arms. Cool, a novelist reference. I like how the race does this every season, mention a novelist but when do we get Alice Munro as the greeter on the mat? I know, she's not a novelist but as Canada's only winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature (I'm not counting you, Saul Bellow) she'd be great.
Still, Rita and Yvette find the hotel but Jillian and Emmett are right behind. So are Steph and Kristen, who got through the rest of the sugar task once the Steph's wound was taken care of. All teams must find some beach where they will participate in the first (and last?) Face-Off of the season. Beach Volleyball. First team to 15 wins. Loser must play the next team and so on. Final team must wait until the sand from the former TAR US Yield hourglass runs out.
Okay, a bit of a side note here. I see Jillian and Emmett in a regular taxi while Rita and Yvette, and Steph and Kristen are in convertibles from the mid-50s. There is no way I would have taken a regular cab if I had the choice of riding in one of those old cars. No way at all. That would have be fantastic and kudos to the teams who grabbed those cabs. Not sure if it was just random but I would not have made a random choice. Old car for sure.
Rita and Yvette lose their first place standing as Steph and Kristen get to the beach first. They hope it's the Edmonton team ahead of the Maritime one. But no such luck. Time for the two top physical teams to face-off. It's back and forth but unfortunately, it's tough for Steph to hit the ball with her injured hand. So they fall behind and get frustrated with each other. Some sniping on the court. Steph gets a better dressing for her hand and they bounce back. But in the end, their frustrations with each other allows Jillian and Emmett to win. Off the Big Brothers go to the next clue at the Brake shop.
Meanwhile, Joel and Ashley get the dancing done, quickly followed by Frankie and Amy. Both hit the Camara at the same time but Joel and Ashley miss the clue. Frankie and Amy are on it, a race to Hemingway's room. The Enoch team search the vista for awhile, confused. They finally see the flag but they are behind. Frankie and Amy are heading to the beach for some volleyball.
Not surprisingly, Steph and Kristen make quick work of Rita and Yvette. And Rita and Yvette make quick work of Frankie and Amy. Those teams head to the Brake shop where Emmett takes on the task of making three gaskets for an old car. Kind of up his alley, being a farmer and all. He's been around equipment like that, I'm sure. Steph and Kristen arrive but Kristen tells Steph to take on the task. Hold on, doesn't she have an injured hand? Come on, Kristen, that should have been your task. She's struggles and it's a no-brainer why. But Emmett doesn't and soon he's got his three gaskets and off to the pitstop. Team #1 for them.
Back at the volleyball court, it's Enoch vs Vancouver. And Enoch's winning, mostly due to the efforts of dad Joel. He's diving all over the place. But then Frankie and Amy realize that if they stop serving to Joel and target Ashley instead, they'll get some points. And they do. And make the game closer. But only so much so. Joel jumps in a returns a serve meant for Ashley and wins the game. Off they go to the brake shop while Amy and Frankie have to wait on the beach. At least they enjoy the water for a bit. Maybe there was time for a beer?
At the brake shop, Joel takes on the task and yeah, as a mechanic, he's done pretty quick. Hey Gord, maybe you should consider taking your van to Joel. Enoch's not far from your place and you might get a good deal. Just a thought. So Joel and Ashley are Team 2. Steph struggles with the task, grumbles at her partner but gets through it. They are third although they didn't get along this leg. Gonna get tougher in the latter part of the race so you gotta get along. Amy and Frankie finally get to the Roadblock with Frankie jumping in. She, along with Rita, also struggles with the gaskets. But Frankie gets done first and they are fourth. A bit of a cry from Rita, some hugs from her sister and then they get done. Last place. Must be heartbreaking when they were first several hours before.
But Jon stays quiet, lets them talk (yes it's the sign we've all seen) and it's a non-elim. The Edmonton team is still in, Yah!, but they'll have to do a speed bump once the race returns to Canada, Cape Breton to be exact. Since there is no elimination, no interview this week. And sadly, the pub where we would shoot our videos, has shut down for rebranding. Whatever that means. Sigh. So for this week, we'll head back to Gord's gazebo and have that up sometime before Friday. And sorry no photos because the Bell Media Pr site was a bit slowly uploading this week. Or maybe it's my computer or something. Next time.
Whoa, am I late today. I'm a bit like Joel and Ashley who missed the last day train from Toronto to Kingston and was about 12 hours behind everyone else. Like Joel and Ashley, I have my reasons. There was a huge rainstorm last night in Edmonchuk, huge. Although this is a summer for that. So cause of all that rain and the previous storms, one of my downspouts got plug with gunk and there was water splashing all over the place, instead of running into the garden. And in a spot where I knew it would seep into the basement. And it did. So I had to clear the gunk while the storm raged and then sucked up all the water that got into the basement before it spread. Got soaked outside and then got most of the water sucked up, before any damage. But that made me miss the first 20 minutes of the show, so I had to watch it online the next day. Then I had to interview the eliminated team, run to the Druid to do thing video with Gord. And finally, I can start writing. Phew, what a busy past 24 hours, I tell you. Sorry there are no photos cause I wanted to get this up ASAP.
Anyway, enough about me, on with the race. Yes, Joel and Ashley are way behind. And Emmett "grills" Amy and Frankie about who gave them the Express Pass. Let me just say this to Amy and Frankie: I will never do crimes with you guys cause you guys are terrible at lying and keeping a secret. You folded faster than something that folds fast, like me that year I worked at restaurant and had to fold napkins for the dinner service.
But as Gord and I predicted, as soon as everyone on the first two trains arrive in Kingston to get the clue from the maple syrup booth at the market, they are told everything is closed and won't open till 9:30 am. So Joel and Ashley catch up. Not only that, they are one of the first teams to get their car open and head off to the Detour. It's Something with Soccer or Something with Sailing. (You really think I'd have these down even though I'm late? Nope, I'm late, don't have time to worry about these details. Gord's got them.)
In the sailing side, they had to rig a sailboat based on the example. And then they have to sail out to a buoy, grab a clue and get back. In the soccer side, they have to climb into one of those inflatable ball thingys we saw in one of the seasons of Amazing Race: The Original Series. Then complete a series of "soccer" moves and score on the keeper before time runs out. Or before the keeper lays you out. Hmm, full contact soccer? Sounds fun. I think that's what Gord and I would have done. I don't think we're sailors.
At this time I must congratulate the producers on their use of the Wilhelm scream sound effect. I'm a big fan of that scream and always love it when I hear it being used in a movie or a TV show I watch. First time I've heard it used on a TAR show so great stuff. Or maybe they've used it before and I haven't noticed. But then again, my ears are tuned to hear that so I doubt it. So, well played Insight Productions, well played.
Steph and Kristine, Jillian and Emmett, Joel and Ashley, and Julie and Lowell do soccer while Amy and Frankie, and Rita and Yvette do sailing. It takes a bit for Jillian to figure things out but once they do, Emmett is ready to take shot. But he gets nailed but the keeper. Same thing happens to Steph and Kristine. Bam! I love this new sport. Although Emmett complains that they took it easier on the girls but I don't think so. Still, Steph and Kristine get it done and it's off to the infamous Kingston Penitentiary where we find the W-Turn, or rather, the Double U-Turn. S and K think about for a minute but then realize they made a deal with Joel and Ashley not to U-Turn. So it's Jillian and Emmett. Who then U-Turn Joel and Ashley and head off to the do the sailing tasks. And they nail it, passing the other teams that were there.
At the prison, Steph and Kris search high and low for the clue and find it. Other teams do this as well later ; some struggle, some seem to get it faster. Head to Bellevue House for a Roadblock. Since this John A MacDonald's home, they have to dress like him, memorize and then recite one of his speeches. Not overly hard but it takes time. Kristen, I believe, took on this task and got it done on her second attempt. Off to the pitstop for their third first arrival on the mat in a row. Win a trip but turn in the Express Pass you didn't use. Man, that's the sign of a powerful team, finishing first three times in a row and not having to use the Express Pass.
More fun on the water, especially since Julie and Lowell have switched tasks. Rita and Yvette can sail out but have trouble docking. The rudder breaks on Ashley and Joel's boat so they almost capsize before Joel fixes things. Julie focuses so much on getting the clue that she allows the boom of the sail to swing around and nail Lowell in the head, knocking him in the water. Even with him overboard she still sticks with the clue. But Lowell manages to get himself back in the boat just as she frees the clue from the buoy.
Over at John A's pad, Emmett is struggling. And as teams come in and then pass him (nice work Edmonton area teams for nailing this task, especially Yvette. That was you, right Yvette?), he's getting more worried. So Rita and Yvette get their highest placing on a leg, second, with Joel and Ashley glad to have moved from last to third, even getting some satisfaction of passing the team that U-Turned them. Finally, Emmett gets it, just after Amy. And there's some driving but it's a footrace between these two teams to the mat. Obviously, Emmett and Jillian win this race but none of these teams are out. In the end, it's Julie and Lowell, who had trouble with the many visual-related tasks in this leg. And I, Gord and almost all of Canada's TARC fans are said to see them go. They ran a pretty solid race, got farther than many expected, even farther than they expected. I love how they always seemed to have fun during the race, even during hard tasks. And the puns, we loved the puns. We'll have an interview with them up on the blog but it will probably be on Monday since I have some book promo to do in Calgary this weekend.
I'm not sure if there is an new episode next week, I've heard stories of a recap episode. Which makes sense cause of Olympics. But next new leg is a trip to Cuba, somewhere the US race has never been and that TAR Australia visited in Season 2. Should be fun and looks like there is some blood. See you then.
Howdy-do, I'm back from vacation. Saw a bunch of wild animals and jumped off a cliff with my kid. Really, I did jump off a cliff, like an TAR task. Totally awesome. But the main question is did anyone miss me? Huh, anyone? Anyone? Bueller? If ya did, leave me a comment so that I know that I'm not just wasting my time by writing stuff no one reads. Actually, it's not the first time that has happened so I can handle it. But I'm not going to recap the episodes I had to watch after I got back; Gord's done a fine job of that already. It's onto the new.
Teams leave BC and head to Ontario, more specifically, Hamilton. Even more specifically, they have to fly to Vancouver, then to Toronto and grab a cab to Hamilton and find a branch of the banking sponsor. Normally, I bypass these kind of tasks as commercials but you have to give BMO credit on this one. Instead of some lame task at a sponsor's locale, such as fill up with gas, or buy some junk food or attend a 6 am birthday party with ice cream, they actually used a bit a creativity in this task. Sure, teams didn't have to do much but pick up a tablet, but the emotional aspect of getting the next clue from family members was a nice touch. Some nice feels in those scenes, especially from Julie and Lowell, who have left their young kids with Grandma and Grandpa. I got a kid so I get that. And Rita and Yvette who talk about their mom. I got a mom like that so I know how they feel. Good stuff.
But on with the race. Off to the historical aeroplane museum (sorry no notes even though I watched the race at Gord's house). You want more specifics, read his blog; he takes notes. And at the museum, it's a Roadblock where one team member has to suit up, climb aboard an WW2 era trainer and complete a full circle while maintaining speed and altitude. Not that easy. And while there is some excitement in the air as various racers try to complete the task, the real drama is on the ground. Arriving at the Roadblock about third or fourth, Frankie and Amy decide to cash in their Express Pass, assuming that jumping ahead will get them a first place finish. Despite the fact that this is probably the first task of the day and more harder tasks may lay ahead, they're pretty sure, they'll be the the first on the mat at the end of the leg. More on that later.
Anyway, the appearance of the Express Pass has all the teams buzzing cause as far as they knew, no one had the Express Pass. At least that's the story they were told. That's cause the ones with the Express Pass, Steph and Kristen, have lied to everyone about having one. The only ones who know are Amy and Frankie, who got it. And Joel and Ashley, who witnessed the hand off. So as racers try to figure out who might have the Express Pass, Kristen is standing there, trying to look cool and calm but actually feeling very uncomfortable with it all. Getting caught in a lie can do that to a person, but I won't condemn their move. It makes sense not to tell folks you have the Express Pass. Then again, it makes sense to tell teams you do. Still, some fun on the ground while planes circle overhead, especially when Joel and Ashley, who know the truth, show up. But a deal is stuck: they won't tell if Steph and Kristen don't U-Turn them. Solid deal, but I don't think Joel and Ashley are in the Top 2 for U-Turning. We'll see.
For the most part, racers do reasonably well on the plane task. Looks fun but most complete it after a couple of tries. Although Ashley screams her way through the task. But she's an actor, so yeah, bit of a drama queen. And Julie pukes. But she's so polite about in her manner of asking for a barf bag. "Excuse me, I may throw up, is there a some type of vessel of conveyance for such an occurrence?" Okay, I'm putting words in her mouth but she was so calm, so polite, so genteel in her request for a vomit bag that I almost expected her to extend her pinky as she threw up. Classy even in throw up mode. But not very punny in that moment.
Meanwhile, Frankie and Amy are racing ahead for the MEC task. Again another commercial but it's a tough task. Ride a bike for a bit, kayak across the lake (that's tough cause of the whitecaps), and climb a climbing wall to ring a bell. The mom and daughter team do quite well on it and maintain their lead. However, the next task is a Detour. Dry Dock, or Art Rock. In Dry Dock, teams have to do some welding to the standards of judge before moving on. Could be tough, gotta be patient and steady. But heck, in Art Rock, teams have to head to a craft brewery and using stencils and spray paint, duplicate an art piece while a rock band plays. Holy crap, beer, art and music; that's the most perfect Gord and Wayne task of all time. Gord would have done the stencil while I would have drunk beer and asked to sit in with the band.
But Frankie and Amy take Dry Dock and as they keep working on the task and failing, they're starting to think that using the Express Pass early might not have been a great idea. That becomes more apparent as couple more teams, Steph and Kristen, and Emmett and Jillian start to show up. And then get done before them. At this point, we witness one of the best lines of the season, with Steph saying Kristen is a pro, she's been a lesbian since she was 14. Funny stuff and that should have been the title of this week's episode. Not sure what Steph meant, maybe Kristen was an amateur lesbian before turning pro at 14? I don't know. Pretty sure Kristen's not sure either based on a couple of her twitter comments. Regardless, it was hilarious. Even the cabbie thought so. And they are off to the mat to meet Jon.
Over at Art Rock, heck this task even has three letters of my last name, Julie and Lowell, Rita and Yvette, and Joel and Ashley struggle a bit with the stencilling. The Edmonton teams are lucky Gord and I weren't at the viewing party this week (No teams were there either I heard) cause Gord would have ragged on them for this lack of artistic ability. Especially since the team with the blind guy finished the task before them. That's right, the blind guy team finished an art task before the sighted teams. Letting down the Edmonton side, you guys, especially since we're such an artistic city. And you can see.
Anyway, Steph and Kristen come in first, win a prize but instead of saying "You are Team #1", Jon says "You are the first team to arrive." That's either a sign of doing something wrong, which they didn't. Or the leg is an extended one. Which it is. Here's your clue, grab a train to Toronto and connect to another on to Kingston. Off they go, followed by Jillian and Emmett and then Julie and Lowell, who finally make it to the Top 3. Later on, Rita and Yvette also finish the Art Rock task and head to grab the train.
By now, Frankie and Amy have switched Detours. Which is never a good idea so late. But they blow through Art Rock. Nice to see them grab a couple of beers on the way out, beers they still have as they arrive on the mat. I'm pretty sure having an open can of beer in the back of vehicle is ticketing offence, but nice touch for the mat. Unfortunately, they've got a buzz on and the leg isn't over. Racing while tipsy is never a good idea.
Pulling up in last is Joel and Ashley. It was a bad day for the Enoch team. Not only were they the last team out of the airport, one of their cabs got lost and they just could get it together with the art task fast enough. Jon tells them they are the last team to arrive but as we all know, it ain't over. They don't and feel dejected. But if you watch enough Amazing Race Canada and the other versions, you know that if you are eliminated, Jon doesn't linger. If he asks you a question about how you're feeling, etc., then something's up. It's the little things and Team Enoch are pleased they are still in the race.
Next week, off the Kingston where we wonder if all the teams will get on the trains in time (I predict they will). But the big thing is the appearance of the Double U-Turn. Will teams take advantage of it? Guess we'll see next week. Till then. Remember if you missed me, comment. If you didn't, comment. Thanks.
Sorry, I'm a bit late with this blog post. Gord and I hit the River Cree Casino for our first ever TAR Canada viewing party. It was starring Ashley and Joel, who are originally from Enoch, the native band that runs the casino. But since it's just west of Edmonton, Rita and Yvette came along too. Total fun to watch the race with a bunch of fans, and with a couple of teams. We introduced ourselves around to the teams and they were glad to see us. Or at least they said that. Here's a photo to prove we were actually there. Gord looks a bit out of it cause the lady operating his camera seemed confused. Oh well. On with the show.
Teams leave Calgary for Vietnam, more specifically, the Mekong Delta. Surprise location cause before the season started, I was expecting some place in Europe. Vietnam is cool, though. Lots of opportunity for unusual tasks, language difficulties, heat, humidity and jet lag recovery. All these things can add up so teams commit more mistakes than usual. And boy does that happen.
All on the same flight (Hey Air Canada, we missed you) and it's dash out of the airport to find the water taxi but it's late at night so I was pretty sure it was going to be closed till morning, sign up as you arrive. And it was, although in all the excitement, I forgot who was in the lead and who was at the back of the pack. Still, it was fun hearing teams at the viewing party laugh at themselves as they said and did various things. Next task was to get on a water taxi, hit the water market and using a list written in Vietnamese, figure out the 4 things you need to get and bring to the Clue Giver. Sure he had a name but I watched the show in bar with a bunch of people.
Stephane and Antoine figure out the system very quickly and power through. Kelly and Kate are right behind them. I saw a bunch of other teams but they were all wearing silly hats. Maybe traditional hats but some teams looked silly. Joel told me they wore the hats for awhile but it seemed to get hotter while doing so. It was not only hot, he noted but very humid. Dripping with sweat, he said.
So yeah, Stephane and Antoine are done first, and they have to take a public ferry to get to the Roadblock. Kelly and Kate are on the same ferry. At the Roadblock, they have to herd 20 ducks into a pen. Seems pretty basic although Kelly (or Kate, sorry girls can't tell you apart yet. I have very bad visual memory), doesn't like ducks. It's a nightmare come true, she says. That's an unusual nightmare, mine normally involve some dude in my house and I can't move and then there are leprechauns and dancing bears, olive oil and... I digress. Back to the ducks. Kelly or Kate (again sorry, visual memory thingy, feel free to clue me in cause I need it sometimes), is happy they don't have touch the ducks and starts herding those things. Oh yeah, this is definitely a Gord task. As a train conductor at Fort Edmonton this summer, he's good at herding unruly crowds.
Meanwhile, four more teams take the water taxi task to task (say that fast 3 times) and grab the next clue. However, instead of jumping on the public ferry, teams jump back into the water taxi and head across the river. Several classic mistakes made in this moment. First, none of the teams read the clue. And that's the first rule of Amazing Race Canada: Read the Clue. Second rule: Read the Damn Clue! I'm not sure who set off this chain of events but the next mistake is that instead of reading the clue and doing what they were supposed to do, teams just follow another team and do what they do. Another classic mistake. Race your own race; just cause one team is doing one thing one way, it doesn't mean you have to follow them. If you had read the clue Jillian and Emmett, Rita and Yvette, Joel and Ashley, and Anne and Tanya, you wouldn't get that 30 minute penalty. Yep that's coming. You'll see when you jump on the mat.
Steph and Kristen start to follow the other teams in this mistake but then decide "Hey we should read the clue". And discover that bit about the ferry. Turnaround taxi and take us to the ferry. Sure, it might seem like going the long way around but it's the right way around. And it will pay off in the end.
So then we got a bunch of teams at the ducks, some getting them in fast, some forgetting to close the gate (Well done producers showing the number of ducks counting down as they came running out) and one racer, Stephane, being way to helpful. He may have forgotten that it's a race. Or maybe he's a dad and he likes to help people out. Either way, their first place is slowly drifting away as team after team finish the task, a good number of them getting help from Stephane. Antoine is a bit livid on the sidelines seeing this happen. But there's little he can do about it. If you're gonna help, do it like Amy and whomever that other racer, Steph or Kristen, to work together. "I'll help you get your 20 and then you help to get mine." That's how Gord probably would have done it.
So it's Kelly and Kate done first, Or was it Joel and Ashley? Never mind. And they have to carry two of the ducks to a market to get the next clue. More nightmares come true (Really? ducks are your worst nightmare? Oh well). And then Kelly and Kate's speed bump and the nightmare becomes even more intense since they have to carry 20 frogs to another stall. One in each hand will take awhile but at least they don't have to eat them. Other teams are hitting a Detour. Don't recall the titles but one involved dancing, the other involving the collection of 60 coconuts in a sampan, row the sampan down the river and carry them down the path. If you followed Gord and Wayne long enough you'll know we don't do dance tasks. Only if we have too. And the coconuts seemed easier cause we can canoe and carry.
But Ashley and Joel, Rita and Yvette, Kate and Kelly (after transporting nightmarish frogs), Amy and Frankie take the dance task. Ashley's got a lot of experience dancing but dad, not so much. But teams practice and watch, practice and watch. Meanwhile, on the other side of the task we got Jillian and Emmett, and Julie and Lowell. Steph and Kristine watch dance for a second but boom, they're out of there. Same with Anne and Tanya. Jillian and Emmett struggle a bit with Jillian yelling at Emmett wondering why he doesn't listen to her. And here, I try to help a team. Like I did for Matt and Dana for the most recent US versions. Based on how Emmett doesn't listen to Jillian's comments, there's a strong possibility he has trouble processing auditory information. I mean, his ears hear the words but the brain doesn't process them that quickly. And to someone on the other end, that's frustrating cause you're talking and they don't seem to be listening. And then you yell so they do listen but that only frustrates them and then get stressed and their difficulty process auditory information becomes worse. That could be it. When I mentioned it in the blog about Matt and Dana, and then she read it, something clicked and she agreed that could be the problem. The trick is to be patient and wait for them to process. But during a stressful race, that's hard to do. Okay, I'm done with my therapy session.
Wait, we're missing one team. Oh yeah, Stephane and Antoine are back at the ducks. And Stephane seems beat. Arrive first, but now everyone's gone and you're still not done. It's also Vietnam and it's hot. So they decide to take the 4 hour penalty. Which pretty much puts them out of the race because they are the last team at this task. Probably would have been better to keep going cause he may have got it done in less than four hours. But he look beat and ready to quit.
Anyway, Joel and Ashley get the dance task done first and it's off to the pitstop. And Jon says the words you never really want to hear: "You are the xxx team to arrive." That means something happened and you can't check in. Yes, they didn't read the clue about the ferry and have to wait 30 minutes. But luckily, no team arrives and they are in first. Big cheer at the viewing party when this happened. Although Ashley admitted that was a long 30 minutes, especially since her watch was broken. They win a trip to Tokyo.
In second are Steph and Kristen, with Kate and Kelly in third. Good job reading the clues and great job Kelly and Kate from coming up from last in the previous leg and burning through to third. I'm pretty sure that if they didn't have to do the Speed Bump, they would have gotten first. A great leg by these two. Kudos also must go to Anne, who did the majority of the coconut task when Tanya got hit by dehydration and possibly heat stroke. First, she made sure there was a medic to take care of her teammate and then went to complete the task while Tanya recovered. Also, nice job (I'm being sarcastic) to Julie who in her haste to get to the mat, guided Lowell into a pole. Ouch! Sorry Joel, I hope you're okay but it was some nice slapstick. We all laughed at the viewing party, yes we did all of us, but we all felt bad that we did.
Despite Anne's heroics, I'm pretty sure they thought they were out. There they were, sitting out a penalty when Stephane and Antoine comes up. But no doubt a sigh of bittersweet relief when Jon tells them the Quebeckers have a 4 hour penalty. So the Father and Son team, the only remaining all-male team, is out. Sad to see them go but that's how it works.
Next week, teams are in Ho Ch Minh City, Gord may go to the viewing party, but I will be in South Africa for a family holiday. I'm gone for two weeks, which is why there is no interview this week (gotta finish packing), or for the following two weeks. We'll have our video recap tomorrow but nothing from me about TAR Canada until the first week of August. So enjoy the race and I'll see you all when I get back.
Wayne Arthurson is a huge Amazing Race fan, having watched all the US, Asian, Australian and Canadian versions of the show. He's also a dad, the author of the bestselling Leo Desroches crime series and other books available here, as well as a freelance and ghost writer. Plus, he's played drums in various bands.