So I did. The nail painter couldn't do the words but this it's close enough. Amazing Race Canada (as well as fans of other versions of the show), will know. Hope you like it.
Hey folks, nothing really new to report here except for this image below. My wife was having a nail-painting party for her friends so Gord and I (and other friends) went out for beer and chicken wings. We had fun but when I came home, the nail painting was still going on. Everyone told me I should get my nails painted — my wife, my kid, her friends — all of them said since I was progressive guy not worried about my masculinity and all that, I should get my nails painted.
So I did. The nail painter couldn't do the words but this it's close enough. Amazing Race Canada (as well as fans of other versions of the show), will know. Hope you like it.
All right you boppers, we're down to the final two teams. I really like that the producers have the typical 11 TAR teams instead of just 9. That's going to add some more fun and hopefully more episodes of the show. Probably why Season 2 starts a week earlier than Season 1.
You may have noticed, we're a little late today. (Or not). That's just because I wanted to wait until the announcement of the big Season 2 exclusive surprise. It was supposed to roll out at noon (EDT) which is 10 am in Edmonton. But it was also a bit late but that's no biggie, stuff happens. Italy was facing Costa Rica in the World Cup and the players from the small Central American country were playing a scrappy game against the big Italians. But since the announcement was late, I decided to just publish my post about the two final teams. I'll do another post once the announcement is made. Or like Gord said on his side, if it's boring I won't.
(Update: the Season 2 Exclusive that was pointed out in various news releases about the race turns out not so big at all. It was only the photo of all the teams, which we already have here. Nevermind.)
And as per usual, I made a prediction about the race and got it wrong. (Note to self: stop doing that). Actually I was kind of close with my prediction with one member of this team, which I'm calling the Fiances. I'm calling them that cause one of the Amazing Race tropes is to have team that wishes to use the race to test their relationship to see if can handle pressure. This rarely works cause a reality show is the worst place to test a relationship. Makes for good TV though.
But one half of this team, Rex Harrington is kind of a big deal, although I believe the Olympians are the biggest celebrities on this race. For years he was a principal dancer for the National Ballet of Canada, now teaches there and has an Order of Canada. He might be the only Amazing Race Contestant with an Order of Canada (although Hal and Joanne of Body Break should get one). He was a judge for You Think You Can Dance Canada garnering the nickname, Sexy Rexy. And at 51, he's the oldest racer this season.
Rex is racing with his fiancé, Bob Hope and yes, that's his real name (Thanks Mom and Dad). They've been together for over 10 years and are said to be a comedic duo that doesn't like to share the spotlight with each other. So they should be fun to watch.
And the final team I'm just calling the Dudes. That's cause they're a couple of dudes. I mean, come on, one of the pair's greatest fears is work. Which is kind of funny when you look at it. Very honest and something at least Gord and I can relate to. Which is why we are artists; why have a "real" job when you can do something you love for a living.
Mickey Henry and Pete Schmalz make up another Amazing Race team trope: the hippie type team that has long hair or beards or tattoos or lives in the woods or plays in a band or snowboards or surfs or all of the above or some combination thereof. This kind of team is always good for some lighthearted moments especially when you have a couple of laid back folks dealing with and getting to the mat faster than some of Type A personality folks.
Despite their fear of work, they do seem to have a good work ethic. They have university degrees (one in Commerce and Accounting no less), built their own Wake Board Park and Mickey's been working on the rigs in Alberta. You can't get a job on those rigs if you don't want to work hard. So this may be a team to watch especially since they're young and athletic.
This team also brings up a weird conservatism I've noticed in Amazing Race. The show, all versions of it, has been one of the leaders in showing positive diversity in their teams, especially with LGBT teams and teams featuring strong women. But they always seem to look at folks like the Dudes, teams with long hair, or beards, or tattoos, as the "weird" team, because they have long hair or beards or tattoos. Maybe it's me and my old punk rock days, but teams like these aren't weird, these are some of the folks I know and hang out with.
Anyway, that's it for the teams. Looks like a good group, should be a fun season. Overall they've done a great job with the type of teams, not just in the diversity side but on the Amazing Race Trope side. You got the Type As, the semi-celebrities, the bickering couples, the old friends, the twins, the best friends, the parent/child, the siblings, lots of marks checked in the team list.
Lots of good looking folks in those teams and a few more semi-celebrities than I like but they're only semi-celebrities. And I'm sure the Olympians could use the money. Most of the teams are young, only one racer over 50, so that's a concern, especially since Gord and I are over 50 and believe we could win this thing. And, as far as I know, there is not a single aboriginal person in any of these groups (Note: I said the same thing last year before I discovered one of the Gay Cowboys was partly aboriginal. Although they didn't last long enough to mention it). You figure with a country like Canada, there would be more of an aboriginal presence on one of its most popular shows. Aboriginal folks are fans of the show, I mean, look at me, I'm a semi-successful aboriginal novelist and one of my hobbies is to write a blog about the show (My literary friends think I'm weird because of it). Then again, maybe one of the teams is like me; someone who is aboriginal but doesn't look like what you'd expect an aboriginal person to look like.
Even so, it's going to be a fun season. See you at the starting line on July 8
Thursday means three more teams announced for Amazing Race Canada. Last season, this was the maximum number of teams they had. For Season 2, we got two more, the final two teams to be announced on Friday, along with some kind of special exclusive. So let's get on with it. I'm trying a bit of a format change so bear with me.
First up is another Francophone team, the Forget brothers from Terrebone, Quebec. This is the ubiquitous Amazing Race twin team although they don't look to be identical twins.
Pierre and Michel Forget co-own a meatpacking company, but were also competitive freestyle skiers back in the day. So they have that competitive spirit and could be physically tough (the meatpacking life is hard. Really. I'm not joking). But finances forced Michel to quit skiing and go to work while his brother continued on to win a World Cup title. So there might be some of that "Mom always liked you best" baggage.
Twins are always a tough team, they have a bond that other teams don't. Although last year's twin team had difficulty in the first leg and became the first team eliminated. So you never know. But what I'm expecting is that they will argue from time to time.
Pierre says he is positive, funny and charming and has no fears. Michel says he is positive, fearless and charming but is afraid of spiders (I think Michel needs to look up the term fearless). And at 42, these guys are, so far, the oldest team in the bunch. 42? That's not really old.
The second batch of teams for Amazing Race Canada teams have been announced. And you Maritimers have something to be happy about because this season now has at least one team from your neck of the woods.
At the moment I'll call this team Maritimer Kings because of their last name. Can't figure out anything interesting at the moment cause it's been a busy morning. Had to get the kid ready for school, gas up the car, cut the lawn and then update the teams. As the race goes on, I'll think of something better. But Jen and Shawn King are so far the oldest team this season at around 40. And they are worried their age will be a hinderance. Kind of a shame that a couple of 40 year olds, at least 12 years younger than Gord and I, think they are old. Still, I love the bit when Shawn notes his wife gets Hangry, hungry and angry. I do that. Must eat!
We'll move further west for Team #5, tentatively called No! Not Siblings! That's because Cormac Foster always gets annoyed when folks confused his teammate mother, Nicole, as his sister. From Winnipeg, this parent/child team hopes to repeat the success of the last season winners, the Timmies. Tough shoes to fill cause the Timmies won through a combination of toughness, luck and excellent gameplay (remember when they U-Turned Body Break? Best move of Season 1). Unfortunately, he's afraid of drowning and she's afraid of heights. And in every single Amazing Race, no matter what edition, there's a water task (usually more) and a height task (usually more). So that could hold them back.
And the final team for today are the Real Siblings, a sister and brother duo from Terrace BC. Sukhi and Jinder Atwal say they will do anything to win the race, although her fear is a fear of taxis, which is probably the worse fear anyone can have on the Amazing Race. Taxi use is key to participation, especially since there are rumours the show will have some international legs. And they could have a tendency to over rush, to run around without completely reading the clue. But hopefully they mean it when they'll do anything, that they'll play hard and tough, make some smart (and sneaky) moves cause that's how Gord and Wayne like to play the game.
So that's more than half of the teams and so far this season looks different from last. For one, there are a lot more women, more in this batch of six than all of last season. Lots of mixed teams and less in the way of regional stereotypes. But still five more teams to go as well as an announcement on Friday for an "Special Season 2 Exclusive". Any guesses on the Special Exclusive? Elimination Station? Jon's Dairy? Leave them in the comments. I'm guessing some kind of play along prize thing. We'll see.
After weeks of speculation, the teams of Season 2 of Amazing Race Canada are being announced. Today, they announced the first threes teams and so far it's an interesting mix. They've also announced that there will be 11 teams this season, two more than last season.
First team I'm going to called The Olympians. Why is obvious. Both are members of Canada's Gold Medal winning women's hockey team: Natalie Spooner and Meaghan Mikkelson. Physically, this is going to be a tough team; Meaghan played the 2014 gold medal game with a broken hand so they are also very determined. And if their personalities match their skills on the ice, they will soon be fan favs. Already my kid saw them and said this was her favourite team.
Next team I'm going to go out on the limb and call them the Bickersons. Their names are Alain Chanoine and Audrey Tousignant-Maurice. He's a stuntman/actor, she's a real estate broker. Based on their bios, this looks to be the A-type personality team that will probably argue about everything. This makes for good TV but only to a point.They look strong physically but if they argue too much, that will hurt them. Good, though, to have Francophone team in the race. And something tells me not to turn your back on this team.
And the third team announce are the Brownies, a name they've given themselves. Shahla Kara and Nabeela Barday are best friends who both were raised in traditional Moslem homes. But don't be fooled; they are also independent women and work to find a balance between their independent lives and their upbringing. This is an interesting team because they will adhere to their religious beliefs while on the race. That means no tasks involving the drinking of alcohol or the eating of any non-halah food. So no whale blubber. And they say they'll take a penalty instead of undermining their beliefs. I'll admit to already liking this team because Shahla is, just like my wife, an occupational therapist. Although Shahla has the weirdest fear, I've ever heard of, a fear of wooden objects such as popsicle sticks in her mouth.
So far these three teams have almost as many women as all the teams on Season 1 so that's a nice change of pace. But we'll see what transpires further in the week.
It's going to be a busy Amazing Race Canada week as they announce the teams for Season 2. We'll do our best to have all the team announcements up as soon as they make them public. We may have a video recap commentary of the teams, depending on our time. Both of us are busy writing and drawing (I'm a writer and Gord's an artist), and as stay at home dads, getting ready for the end of school.
But Gord and I have been in contact with the publicity folks at Amazing Race Canada and CTV/Bellmedia and they will be providing us with lots of cool stuff including photos, news releases and the chance to interview eliminated teams after each episode. We may even get an interview with host Jon Montgomery. So along with our popular video recaps as well as a weekly comments from Cory Mitic, Season 1 second place finisher, we're going to have some cool stuff for Gord and Wayne fans, even more stuff than a lot of the regular media. Unlike some of the regular media, we do this because we are huge fans, just like you, of the show. We do it for fun, not because we have to. So if you're a Gord and Wayne fan, a regular follower of our Amazing Race Canada fanblog, tell your friends and all those other fans of the show.
Today we found out what the teams are fighting for, besides bragging rights. Along with the cash prize of $250K and 10 trips for two wherever Air Canada flies (Business Class, of course), the winning team will also free gas for life from Petro Canada. And they'll need that gas because they'll also win two Chevrolet Silverado pick-ups.
There will also be many pitstop prizes from Air Canada and Scotiabank which will be announced as the first place team steps on the mat for each episode. This shows that Amazing Race Canada has new sponsors in Petro Canada and the Scotiabank. Good news. This kind of reality show is expensive to produce so more big time corporate sponsors reduces the budgetary pressure on the producers. So this, along with great ratings, improves the chances of more seasons of Amazing Race Canada in the future.
It's no secret that I've seen a lot of Amazing Race. I was especially a fan of Amazing Race Australia, which ran for a couple season around 2010 or so. It was a really cool version, mostly because of the down-to-earth attitudes of the Aussies. The teams played hard but they seemed to have fun. They even made trips to Canada as well as visits to countries that the American never went to, like Israel and Cuba. And I'll admit the accents, added another cool dimension to the whole things.
It also introduced their own element: the Salvage Pass. The team that finish first in the leg that had the Salvage Pass were given a choice: take an additional 30 minute headstart in the next leg, or bring back the team that was eliminated in that leg. And you had to make that decision on the mat in front of the team that had just been eliminated. Excellent TV moment.
Although ratings were great for the Australian version, they never went past Season 2. Something to do with budget, I assume. Unlike Season 1 of the Canadian version, the Aussies went around the world, but didn't have an airline sponsor. So it probably cost them a lot to produce.
But then I saw this:
I first thought that this was joke. A parody, especially since it takes a few shots at New Zealand. But nope, it's an actual promo that appeared on Aussie TV last week. No info on air dates but it supposed to air sometime in 2014. And since it won't go to air the same time as the US version (which is very popular Down Under), I'm guessing it could be airing around the same time as Amazing Race Canada. And the Aussie vs Kiwi aspect is very interesting, opening up the possibility of further Vs versions of TAR. Will we see a US vs Canada? US vs The World. Something to think about.
Over here at Gord and Wayne HQ, we're excited by what we're going to offer for coverage of Season 2 of Amazing Race Canada. Last year, during the first season of Amazing Race Canada, we managed to attract thousands of page views to our blog (we continue to get about 100 hits a day even though we're between Season 24 of TAR and Season 2 of TARC.) We also got some media attention for our scoop of the ad-spoiler for the Calgary/Drumheller episode. In case you were unaware, during the Alberta broadcast of that episode, a crawler ad was run before the end of the show stating "this non-elimination leg was brought to you by Blackberry." We blogged and FBed about this heinous situation, attracting the attention of local papers. Also, after I brought the situation to the attention of the folks at Insight Productions (the producers of TARC), a news release was issued blaming the mistake on some master control switcher. I'd like to think our efforts prompted that release, but don't know for sure.
But even before that, our recaps were getting the attention of the producers as well as most of the teams. Some commented, either privately or publicly on social media about our blogs. At times, they were pleased; at other times, not so much. But for the most part, the response was positive from the teams. And what started as a tenacious and unabashed attempt to get on the show for future seasons has taken on a life of its own. We're still tenacious and unabashed, but that's just a natural part of the Gord and Wayne experience. Can't be successful artists and stay-at-home dad if you're not a bit tenacious and unabashed.
So for Season 2, we're taking things up a notch. Not only will we offer our original written views of each episode (and any other news that may come out from them, like the Get Off/Fuck Off controversy), we'll be including our recently added and surprisingly popular video recaps. Who would have thunk that two middle-aged, stay-at-home dads sitting on a couch and talking about a reality show would interest a bunch of people. But we'll be adding a few more fun things. First, we're hoping to get exit interviews from teams that are eliminated. This is a work-in-progress as we try to convince producers and Bell Media PR types to let us interview these teams. But the big news is really cool. I was sitting in Starbucks when I got the confirmation and blurted out an involuntary "Squee!" for all to hear. I hope you'll squee too.
Cory Mitic, half of Team Mitic, the second place finishers in Season 1 of TARC, has agreed to play a role in this blog. Every week, we'll feature a Q and A with Cory asking him what he thought about the most recent episode, his opinion on the teams and who looks good to continue, as well as get an insider's view of the race as it progresses through the season. I mean, it's one thing to recap an episode and comment on the teams from the confines and safety of one's couch, but it's really something else to have commentary from someone who has been through the experience from the beginning to the final leg. Like I said, "Squee!"
Gord and I are looking forward to working with Cory. I've already work with him through this piece, so I know he's a good guy and will provide some great info. We really can't wait.
Soon, the producers will be announcing the teams; Gord and I will have our views on the selections. Hoping to get an interview with a casting director, but we'll see. But whatever happens, we'll see you at the starting line on July 8th.
There I was, minding my own business, waiting for Game of Thrones to start. Despite my joy of a new episode of GoT, I've been a bit sad. For the past few weeks my Sundays have featured great TV. Along with GoT, I also watched Mad Men, Mr. Selfridge and, of course, Amazing Race. But three of those shows ended their seasons and I was left with only one. So there I was, on a Sunday, waiting. I decided to check our race blog and discovered that we had hundreds of views. Why? We haven't written anything in a couple of weeks and were waiting for the announcement of teams for Amazing Race Canada (which starts July 8).
But those rascally producers of the original series threw a wrench into our plans. And the plans of all those spoiler folks who watch for teams racing around the world. The teams for Season 25 of Amazing Race were announced on May 31, the same day the teams actually started racing. The race started in NYC, a nice break from all those recent starts in LA. And a smart move to get announce the teams in order ahead of the bloggers, etc. May 31 is also Phil's birthday.
So quickly here are the teams, the official list from the CBS TAR site. Some you may know from Survivor, some you may know from pro wrestling, some from pro surfing. Some seem to be just folks. Also note the change in date for show, Fridays. Man, that's disappointing. Friday is a dead zone and hopefully, CBS isn't trying to kill of one of it's marquee reality shows by putting it there.
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.