Teams leave Penticton (it's crunch time someone says for the millionth time this season). As noted, they are heading for my hometown and get about $780 in the BMO Mastercard. "Wow, that's a lot of money for a trip to Edmonton?" you might be asking. Depends on whether they are taking cabs or driving themselves. Nope, they are taking cabs so almost 800 bucks sounds about right. I'm not kidding either. It's about $75 one way from the airport to my house and I live in a pretty central neighbourhood. I love my city but man, cabs are way too expensive and the system can suck.
Looks like a nice sunny day in Edmonton (when is it not sunny here) and teams have to get to City Hall and interrupt a wedding. No holding their peace, better speak now and get your clue. Would have been more fun to have them wade through that fountain pool before walking into city hall. Doesn't matter how sunny and warm the day is, the darn pool is ice cold. So man, I don't know who arrives first, I got distracted by one of my cats, but teams have to head to the city's waste management facility. Nice of the race to focus on another thing Edmonton does better than anyone: dealing with garbage. Again, I'm not joking, we're the City of Champions when it comes to garbage and recycling. No one in Canada comes close.
So all the cabs are heading out to the eastern part of the city, past all the terrible construction out there (Hey, welcome to Edmonton! Seriously though, some great shots of the city, especially the river valley so green in the late spring.) And in first it's Simi and Ope. And it's a Detour, a blind one at that. Paper. Or Plastic. In paper, they have to stand at a sorting station and sort out all the non paper garbage rushing by until they collect two cans of 13 kilograms. One can must be plastics, one garbage. In Plastic, teams have to take apart six old TVs in the proper manner before moving on. Sure, we know that, so it's easy to decide which one from our nice comfy couches (Paper seems more interesting). But for the teams, they got no reference. Simi and Ope take plastic. Later, so do Nick and Matt. And Gino and Jesse. Brent and Sean take paper.
Lost of shots of breaking TVs and garbage flying by. Only Nick and Matt seem to get their own music though. It's comedy relief music so that can't be good. Not sure how long this took but teams seem to get through with no huge problems. Brent and Sean wisely figure out that roofing tiles are heavy so they get their side of the Detour done before anyone else. And they jump into their cab and head to Ottewell Curling Club. I believe it was their cab. I might have missed something or it wasn't clear. Chances are it's me. Gino and Jesse, those hardworking blue collar boys, finish their task and realize their cab is gone. So they steal Nick and Matt's. Unfortunately, Nick and Matt have also finished (along with Simi and Ope) and they witness the malfeasance. Cabotage!
And yikes, we've never seen the Wrestlers get mad but holy cow, were they steaming? It was obviously their cab but the Italian Boys were not going to get out of it. They knew what they were doing and were fine with assuming the role of the heels for this moment. And man, the cabbie didn't really care who asked him to wait, he just wanted to get out of there. Wish he had more loyalty to his original customer but I don't think he wanted to be in the same vehicle with an angry Wrestler. While all this testosterone is on display, Simi and Ope play it calm and head into the office to call a cab. Wonder why they didn't ask theirs to wait? Maybe he couldn't wait. Then again, it probably wouldn't have made any difference anyway cause someone would just steal it. Which happens not long after. The remaining two teams start walking down the road to meet their cabs and low and behold, one shows up. Nick and Matt make no bones about claiming the vehicle as their own. Now it's time for Ope to get angry. But not for long. The Wrestlers are now the heels in this part of the match.
Over to the curling club, it's a Faceoff. Each team must throw eight rocks and the one with the closet to the centre wins the Faceoff. Basic curling stuff. I've curled many, many times as a kid. Even have a trophy somewhere. Or did I lose it in a move? I'll have to look in box downstairs. So this task would have been relatively easy. Just got to get the weight right. I also know enough about curling to be impressed that Brent and Sean's grandfather represented Nova Scotia in the Brier. That's high end curling man, even in the old days with straw brooms, Player's Filter and beers at the hack.
Once the Italian Boys arrive, it's brothers against brothers. And the Gino and Jesse are cocky, believing that since it's an athletic task, they'll easily beat Brent and Sean. But curling isn't about strength; it's a finesse game. As they find out, tossing a few rocks through the house. Both teams lack style and grace. Still, it comes down to the final shot. The Italian Boys have a rock in the house but then Brent (Or Sean? I can't remember) throws a great take out, winning the Face Off. Guess the curling genes linger in the Sweeney clan. They are off to St. Albert for sponsor task. Yep, that $780 in BMO money will come in handy cause they are taking cabs all over the town. From the airport to downtown, out into the east industrial area near Sherwood Park, then to the southeast in Ottewell and off to the north in St. Albert. That's a heck of a lot of driving.
Meanwhile, Simi and Ope's cab arrives and the Wrestlers are ready to Face Off against their nemeses, Gino and Jesse. I was hoping for a more physical task in the battle of the titans but oh well, it's Canada, we're going to curl! Again, it's a close end but again, the Italian Boys are left behind. Nick and Matt are giggling like little school girls as they head north for the PetroCan. Oh yeah, the task at the Petrocan is that you have to use 250K Petro points to buy a bunch of stuff. Only food items too so load up the cart with milk, pop and chips and let's go find a bush party! I'm actually wondering if they did get to keep some of the goods. Sure, they are empty calories but who cares; it's been a long day in a cab. Brent and Sean get done pretty quickly and head to Fort Edmonton Park. And Gord.
At the Fort, which is a great place that my kid and wife really love. Gord's family too cause they are huge volunteers there. He's their Father Christmas every year. And while Gord loves to put out an image as a grumpy dude, an ogre, he says, he's really not. Once you see him as Father Christmas at the Fort with a bunch of kids, you see what a big softie he is. Of course, he'll still steal your cab and U-Turn the shit out of you on Amazing Race Canada but he might give you a candy cane as recompense.
Nick and Matt are at the Petro Can not reading the clue so they buy a pile of non-foodstuffs and fail in their first try on the easiest task in the entire season of the race. Second time's a charm but man...gotta read the clue. Over at the curling club, Gino and Jesse Face Off against Simi and Ope. No doubt the boys have had some practice and it shows. As Ope says, "they don't have curing in Nigeria." And that shows, too. Some nice pratfalls there. Even so, it's a close end with Simi's final shot deciding the game. But she just slides past the shot rock and through the house. The Italian Boys are gone while Simi and Ope have to wait for the old Yield hourglass to run out. That's okay, Ope. You may have lost the FaceOff but you can star in the Hurry Hard, the story of a father who returns to his homeland of Nigeria to build a curling team featuring his strong-willed daughter to be the first Nigerians to compete in the Winter Olympics. It's the feel good story of the year.
Ope's gonna need that feel good story cause the real one sucks. For the second time, their cab is stolen. I've lost count how many times cabs were stolen in this episode but come on Edmonton cabbies! Where's the damn loyalty to your original customer!? Remember earlier when I said I love Edmonton but the taxi system can suck. You're seeing it at its worse during this leg. If you come to Edmonton, forgo the cab; give Gord and I a buzz and we'll try to help you out.
Over at the Fort, Gord is still looking disappointed at Sean and soon, one of the Italian Boys (still can't tell them apart during tasks) and the Wrestlers as the fail in the Saloon. Simi and Ope finally get a cab, do the Petro Points task and then arrive in Fort Edmonton. I can tell teams were there for a long time cause that is a long trip. Finally, Sean gets it right and the boys in the Saloon get to celebrate. Huzzah. The clue is passed on (by none other than National Treasure Dana Anderson). It's off to the pitstop at the Muttart, which technically isn't downtown as noted by Jon. Close enough though. Also noted is Jon's use of the will instead of maybe prior to the words "be eliminated. No aping the US version with four teams in the finale.
Off the boys go and they are first onto the mat, first into the finale. And a trip to Dubai to boot. Next is Nick and Matt as they gleefully leave the Italian Boys behind. And while it seems to be close, it's not close enough as Gino and Jesse are third. Simi and Ope are last, eliminated from the race. And a great statement about being a Canadian from Ope along with an wonderful comment from Jon about immigrants being a key part of our great nation. Well said Jon. I'll miss Simi and Ope. They were my favs going in mostly because of the father and daughter dynamic. And he called our video recaps heartwarming. Next time you're in Edmonton Ope, we'll take you to the Druid for beers. Simi can come too although she might roll her eyes at a bunch of old dads cracking jokes.
Great to see Edmonton in a leg, see some familiar sites and faces. Sorry about the cabs but hey, the city looked gorgeous that day, which it does almost every day. One more episode and then it's over. The final three teams head to Whistler for some crazy tasks. It's anybody's race now. Can't wait to see it.