Yes, it's the final episode of Amazing Race Canada and let's just get into the recap. Previously on Amazing Race Canada, the final three teams were decided in St. John's NFLD. We got the Brothers, Cory and Jody leaving first, followed by the Sisters, Celina and Vanessa, with the Timmies, heading out in third. Not surprising, since it did mention in the teaser from last week, they're all going to Toronto, the final destination city. They have to find some lady wearing a maple leaf ballcap to get their next clue. Not surprisingly, all teams get on the same flight to Hogtown.
Unfortunately, when you can only use one airline and its service to smaller cities is limited, you have to expect this kind of thing. These airport catch-up points have deflected some of the drama in Amazing Race Canada because no matter how hard you work to get ahead, everyone seems to catch up with you at the airport. Maybe this will spark Air Canada to expand their regional network in order to make the race more exciting. But the airline surprises the teams by given them free upgrades which means they get bigger seats and a meal. I remember the old days when you got the free food when you sat with the peons.
Anyway, teams rush around Pearson and pretty much find the lady with the hat at the same time. And they're told to find the L Building, which according to Jon, is one of many buildings under construction in Toronto. So off they go, grabbing cabs, racing through city to get there when it really makes no difference. Everyone arrives around the same time for the Roadblock. It's pretty simple really. Go to the top and rappel down, face first. Nice to see Jon do this while describing the task because it makes him come alive. It also gives a unique take on an Amazing Race host because none of the English language hosts, even Phil himself, did this kind of stuff. If there is a second season of Amazing Race Canada (and I'm pretty sure there will be), I hope the producers continue strapping Jon in and make him do a task while he describing it. Great TV that.
So up they go, Tim Jr., Jody and Vanessa, to the 44th floor. Tim Jr. looks pretty pumped, Jody is worried about the suction on his legs holding while Vanessa keeps hassling the safety dudes about the equipment and repeating her mantra: "Oh my God, Oh my God..."
But they all head down, literally and despite the scream of joy from Tim Jr., he only gets there a few seconds before Jody who's only a few seconds ahead of Vanessa. Read the clue and then head off the Cadbury factory to waste a bunch of perfectly good chocolate.
That's pretty much what this task is, even though it's really a search for a golden bar which they then must take to Sir Toppham Hatt who will give them a golden key to open a golden safe which will have their next clue. Wow. As a writer, I really appreciate the work that went into developing this task. The girls show some smarts and ask some dudes on the street for the address and thus get there first. Because Vanessa is wearing nail polish, she has to wear gloves. It hampers her efforts to open the bars. I love the bit where she tries to take them off and some foreman shouts off camera to put them back on. Priceless. So is Celina's line asking her sister why the heck is she wearing nail polish anyway on the Amazing Race? Thank you Celina for saying what we were all shouting at the TV.
The boys (all of them) finally get the address and find the factory. And for a bunch of time, they all rip open packages, tossing the chocolates aside. Nobody eats but there's some nice banter between the Sisters and the Brothers. The boys say they've been opening chocolate long before the girls were born. And Vanessa retorts "I was born chocolate", which shuts the boys right down. I mean, what do you say to that. "Touche" of course because that was on piece of great improv.
All teams are having problems especially Tim Sr. who, if you remember, has Parkinsons. Couldn't have been a fun task for him. But his boy comes through find the golden bar and go to Sir Toppham Hatt's office, find out they are useful engines and get the key of gold, open the safe of gold and grab the clue. Which tells them to head to the 287 hectare Toronto Zoo and find their next clue. Where in the zoo? Nope, not gonna tell ya, just stroll along the 10 kilometers of trails and find it. Nasty bit of business. But the Timmies are way ahead with the Brothers and Sisters still ripping open chocolate bars.
The Timmies are so far ahead that they arrive at the zoo, 40 kilometers away, while the other teams are still wasting chocolate. Tim Jr. comes up with a brilliant idea of going to the Panda place first because there are signs and ads about it everywhere. However, they don't see the clue box outside the front of the pavilion so they continue on without going in. Tim Jr. comes up with a brilliant idea of going to the Grizzly place next because there are signs and ads about it everywhere. However, they don't see the clue box outside the front of the pavilion so they continue on without going in. Tim Jr. comes up with a brilliant... and they continue walking for the next 90 minutes.
While this is going on, the Sisters finally get their gold bar and are off. Some time later, not sure how much, the Brothers find theirs and they are off. As Jody predicted, rush hour has hit so the girls are stuck in traffic. The boys somehow miss the traffic jam and despite the lead the Sisters have, they both arrive at the zoo at the same time.
Both teams come up with a brilliant idea of going to the Panda place first because there are signs and ads about it everywhere. However, they don't see the clue box outside the front of the pavilion so instead of walking away to see Grizzlys, they go into the panda pavilion and lo and behold, there's the clue box. "Our brains are good so I knew they were at the koalas," says Celina (or Vanessa, can't remember). But the girls do have good brains because they had the smarts to ask their cab to wait. I have no idea why the Brothers didn't; it's basic Amazing Race technique to ask your cab to wait. So they gotta run around and find them while the girls are heading to the Evergreen Brick Works.
At Evergreen, there's the final task. A roadblock in which the racer's memory is tested. It seems on every clue to a province, there was flag for that province. And every greeter hanging with Jon as he faked pointed in a reverse angle shot, sported the provincial or territorial flower. Match the flag and the flower to the provinces and territories the race visited and you'll get your next clue to the finish line. Kudos for my twitter bud, @CraigDrebit, for predicting that. I didn't see the flowers, mostly because I was taking notes. But he did. And I assume that my buddy Gord, who's an artist with a great visual memory, would have as well. So this would have been his task cause he's too tall for the rappelling thing.
But Celina didn't recall the flowers and can't figure it out. She's still working when Cory jumps in and joins the task. He remembers the flags, but the flowers may be tricky. Celina asks Cory if knows the flowers, as if he's going to tell her. I mean, he's no Tim Jr. and won't fall for that trick. So they work on it while the Timmies are still searching the zoo, getting tired and cranky. Finally, they decide to go into the panda place and there is the clue. Forehead slapping time. They head out to the Brick Works, pretty sure they are in last place.
Vanessa thinks the Timmies are way ahead, probably already at the finish line with Jon and the old gang. Jody correctly notes the Timmies could be behind them. But the look on his face when they finally arrive, shows that Jody didn't really believe his own words. And now we're in for a great race, all teams working on the map, Cory with 8 attempts but only half done; Celina with 11 attempts and still stuck with only one right. Gonna be a long task, Cory notes.
But not for Tim Sr. or as Cory calls him, The Old Trapper. Tim Sr. noticed the flower on the greeting during the first leg, probably while they were waiting out their penalty. So they decided to take notes. Unfortunately, Tim Sr. either didn't have his notes or wasn't allowed to use them. But since he did notice and wrote it down, he's only two away after his first attempt and then completely done by his second. So the Old Trapper is off, grabbing the Young Trapper on the way out. The final clue directs them to Olympic Island in Lake Ontario.
However, they have to find a cab (last leg and they are still not asking cabs to wait? How expensive are cabs in Toronto, really?). But they make great time and get on the ferry with 8 minutes to spare. Coming behind them, not sure how far because of the editing, are Cory and Jody, cause Cory took a chance, threw down some guesses and got lucky. I'm guessing that eight minutes was the longest eight minutes in the Timmies' life.
But no one comes, the Ferry crosses over and after some running, the Timmies are the first ever winners of Amazing Race Canada. Nicely done. As noted in my previous post, I was leaning towards them. And it's good to know that Tim Sr. can pay off his mortgage and get his life in financial shape so he's ready when Parkinson's hits him harder. Really glad for him because it's not a nice disease.
Sometime later, running neck and neck are the Brothers and the Sisters. Even though Cory got done before Celina, they probably had to wait for the ferry long enough for the girls to catch up. But the boys win the foot race and come second. The Sisters are third, very respectable considering there were a lot of stronger looking teams in the race.
In the end, Amazing Race Canada was a great show, a few blips in the production but overall well done for the first time in Canada. An excellent showcase of the Canadian landscape and no doubt, some fantastic ratings. There is the possibility that the finale could become the Canadian TV show with the largest audience in the history of Canadian TV. Regardless, I have no doubt there will be a second Season of Amazing Race Canada.
Thank you all for following Gord and I in our Amazing Race Canada blog adventures. Be advised that we'll continue blogging for the US Amazing Race so hopefully we'll see you next week. But you know what? It's just not the same anymore. I'll watch and enjoy Phil and his racers run around the world but I'll be pining for the return of the Canadian version.
You'll for sure see us here blogging next season but maybe you'll see us on the race instead cause we'll apply again. If we don't get selected, we'll cry and call for our mommies. But if we do get selected, please feel free to make fun of us and/or criticize us if we do something stupid or whatever, especially if you're one of the teams from Season 1. You guys made great TV and though we acted like armchair QB's and made fun of you, we appreciate the effort all of you have made and the humour you have shown in response to this blog and our tweets.
See ya next week but in our hearts we want it to be Amazing Race Canada Season 2 already.
Update: Barely hours after the airing of Amazing Race Canada, CTV has ordered Season Two. Auditions will open later in the Fall.