Teams leave my hometown of Edmonton and fly to Vancouver. They have to find Terry Fox Plaza at BC Place. While teams are on a taxi conga line through the streets of Lotusland, Gino and Jesse's cab runs an orange light, allowing them the chance to get to the clue box first. It's a Roadblock, don't recall the name cause between the time I saw the show (at the Halifax airing using time shift) and wrote this, I made supper, finished a couple loads of laundry, went to a book launch, had beers with some writer friends and applied for Season 4. The task though is quite simple, racers have to ride a bike across a beam. To make it harder, that beam 200 feet above the ground. Too bad Gino didn't know what the task was before the roadblock cause he's afraid heights, kind of like Gord is but is unwilling to admit it. Which pleases Nick to no end once he finds out, about Gino, not Gord.
Still, Gino keeps his eyes forward and does the task. Off to Olympic Plaza in Whistler. Jon describes the connection to the 2010 Winter Olympics and how Canadians help win medals. Nice. And then off camera, someone hands Jon a giant jug of beer and he takes a sip. It's a reminder of what happened after Jon was awarded his gold medal; a short bit but had just the perfect amount of humour and timing to make it one of the best scenes of the episode. Even of the entire season. Great TV.
While the Italian Boys are making their way up the Sea to Sky Highway, Matt quickly makes his bike run and Brent takes his turn. Unlike the other two racers, Brent falls. And falls again. And again...And that's been the story for all the seasons of TAR Canada: three teams may be in the finale but something happens during the leg and it's a two team race to the finish line. Sorry Brent and Sean, you fought a good fight, but even though there's 40 minutes or so in the episode, we all know you're out. Third place ain't that bad. Some nice support from Sean for his little brother although he did quip "Season 4 has started" when Brent finished the roadblock after the 20th attempt.
So at Olympic Plaza teams must are told to find Squamish Lil'Wat Culture Centre. And there is the final memory task which in the end wasn't that hard. To move on, teams must figure out where they went in the race, and using the map and a piece of string, figure out how far they travelled in miles during the entire race and then convert those pesky old miles into kilometres In typical fashion, Gino and Jesse come up with a solid plan and are well on their way by the time Nick and Matt show up. Unfortunately, there's a lack of communication between the brothers. They bicker and snap, allowing the Wrestlers to get the task done before them. First they were first, then a bit of a fight and they are second. Not good on the final leg. Although they aren't that far behind
Off to the Bearfoot Bistro for a filler task. Each team must pop the cork off a champange bottle two different ways: once with a sabre (fun) and another time with the bottom of a champagne (even more fun). Knew about the sabre but not the glass. Although this task doesn't seem to take teams that long to do. The Wrestlers make some great moves, taking a short cut, get to the bistro and finish the task. However, their cabbie is far away. So its Revenge of the Cabotage, while they try to steal Gino and Jesse's taxi. Fortunately for the Italian Boys, Vancouver/Whistler cabbies have a better sense of customer loyalty than Edmonton ones and this guy ain't giving up the fare that originally hired them. See Edmonton taxi drivers, that's what you do!
As a result, Gino and Jesse retake the lead as they head to the Gondola for a trip to the top of the mountain. They do worry about whether they lost their lift tickets but after a moment of panic, they find them. They argue for a bit but in the end, hug it out to get back on track. It helps. Nick and Matt are right behind them. Meanwhile, Brent and Sean are at the cultural centre but get a stroke of luck. The Italian Boys did a bad job of erasing their calculations so it's possible for Brent and Sean to see the final number. No need for measuring and converting for those guys; all they have to do is write down that number and they are outta there. Still, they seem to be too far behind to catch up. And they did enjoy a nice sip of champagne which is something Gord and I would do. We love beer but we're also cultured types. Nothing wrong with a nice glass of champagne, although I always have trouble spelling the word.
At the top of the mountain, it's the other Roadblock. Racers get one ski and have to find its match on the rack of a thousand or so. Tough but if you're patient and you read the clue so you know exactly what you're supposed to do, you'll get it. Obvious at this point that who ever gets this done first will win the leg. So it's back and forth, both Nick and Jesse, who both have to do the task, each try a couple of skies. It's only later when Sean does the task that we learn that the boots the racers were given to wear, match the bindings for the ski. So all you have to do is find the ones with the right height and try to put it on.
In the end, Jesse finds the match first and it's over. Sure, they have to take another gondola to a ski jump training facility and take a jump into the pool off the ski jump but there is no way and no how for the Wrestlers to pass the Italian Boys at this time. Their only hope is that Gino and Jesse get lost after the final roadblock but this is Whistler, not Delhi. Or even Sudbury for that matter. Getting lost isn't that big a deal. Gino and Jesse hit the finish line first and win Season 3. Nick and Matt are second while Brent and Sean. Some nice words at the line from all teams, everyone cheers and looks happy. Not the greatest finale ever but a decent end to what has been the best season of Amazing Race Canada so far. The producers are really getting the hang of this, creating hard tasks, using interesting spots in Canada and around the world, casting some solid teams, being creative with the editing and storytelling. There were a few episodes that I found to be some of the best in the entire TAR canon. Hopefully, they'll only improve for Season 4, which I'm taking to call the Gord and Wayne season. Hey man, a guy can dream can't he? As a kid, I always dreamt I would publish a book and it took until I was almost 40 to have my first novel published. Now I've got nine books out with four more on the way. Never give up on your dream, man, no matter how old you are.
Also, Jon Montgomery really came into his own this season. He was started that in Season 2 but it was in Season 3 where he really hit his stride, surprassing the original host, Phil K, as the best TAR host in the world. Better keep Jon around because he's got a great presence.
That's it for this season. Please note that we will have one more post, our interview with Season 3 winners Gino and Jesse. I'd also like to thank the folks at CTV/Bell Media who once again welcomed Gord and Wayne into the fold and gave us access to photos and the opportunity to interview teams on a weekly basis. They even invited us Toronto to participate in the media race but we just couldn't find the time and the funds to make the trip. That kind of openness really made it easier for us and also shows a desire to connect fans like us to the race. Thanks to teams who retweeted our tweets, read our recaps, watched our videos and for being so nice and open during our interviews. I also know I got some of your names wrong, had trouble figuring out who was who and all that kind of crap so thanks for your patience in that. Also, thanks to our fans (holy crap, we have fans). You tuned into Gord and Wayne HQ every week and we're almost at 25,000 pageviews for Season 3. Pretty neat for something we just decided to so for fun. Thank you all.
I know the next season of Amazing Race (the US version) starts in a couple of days, but I will not be blogging about that nor about the Winter/Spring US season. As some of you know, I write crime novels for a living and I've been contracted to write two novels in the next 12-18 months. Also, be aware that I have two crime novels being published in 2016 so I need to promote those, maybe coming to your town to do an event at a bookstore or pub. If you're a fan of Amazing Race Canada with Gord and Wayne come down and say hi. Hope to see you on the bricks in 2016.