Onto the race. Teams leave Sudbury and man is there a huge time difference between the first team, Gino and Jesse (9:4something PM) and the final team, Dujean and Leilani (3:4something am). Makes no difference; despite the nice shots of Sudbury during the previous episode and the beginning of this one, one thing is for sure: you ain't getting a flight outta there after 9 pm. Man, Gino and Jesse could have driven to Toronto and still have plenty of time to hang out in the airport before catching the connecting flight to Saskatoon. I'm guessing they probably just headed right back to the pitstop after ripping open their clue to catch a few extra zzz's.
Anyway, all teams land in Saskatoon the next day, at least for the Italian Boys, and don't even get to leave the airport grounds. The producers have devised some kind of evil math task, one so seemingly complicated that there was an extra couple of graphics and explanations from Jon on how it worked. As noted in a recent Alberta election, math is hard. Actually it' s not, you just can't freak out and let it overwhelm you. Surprised the Nick had such a hard time being an elementary teacher and all. Hope he cuts his kids some slack during math since he seemed to have such a hard time on it. The task is so difficult to the teams that Brent and Sean use their Express Pass, and the Dancers and Team Lumsden decide to take a penalty. That's a lot of penalty taking this year and bears wondering if the tasks are too hard that teams or if teams are too lazy. Using the Express Pass made sense since the Designer Bros wanted to come first. And The Dancers were pulling a Rob and Amber, thinking it would take the other teams too long to do the tasks that they would make it up. Gutsy move but it worked out since another team took a penalty after them. May not have been a good move for Neil and Kristine, which she did question.
Next task head to a trampoline park and jump around a bit. There were three tasks on the trampoline park and for the most part, it was pretty easy. I've could have done it easy and Gord, although not as coordinated as me, probably could have just walked through each bit him being so tall and all. The Dancers were quite relieved when they say Team Lumsden arrive, also with a penalty hanging over them. And no doubt Kristine was not pleased when a bunch of other teams showed up after the Italian Boys figured out the secret of the task and enlisted all the teams save for Simi and Ope, to work together and get the task done. Always a difficult decision whether to work with other teams. But great work by Gino and Jesse, they aren't just a physical team, they do have some smarts. Simi and Ope linger back at the airport doing their math homework.
At the trampoline park, most teams get done pretty quick. Although the older dudes in the race, Neil and Brian, have trouble figuring out the first trampoline task. Their problem was trying to continuously jump all of them instead of paused, like Nick did (Or was it Matt? It was late) and get their bearings before jumping to the next trampoline in the set. After trampolining teams get a bottle cap which a clue to find a local brewery. And there, they have to sort through thousands of bottle caps to find 15 caps that match the one given them in the clue (Can the non-driving racer get a beer when their done? I know I'd ask). Brent and Sean stay ahead of the pack, hoping to finish first cause it's Brent (or Sean's?) birthday. Sorry my details are fuzzy cause I was kind of tired as I watched the show. But they are dogged by the other set of brothers, Gino and Jesse, who are steaming through task like a hot knife through butter. Mixed metaphor? Probably. Oh well, who cares. But the ease and quickness through which the Italian Boys get through tasks is getting on the nerves of the Wrestlers. At the back of the pack are Simi and Ope, still on the math. Or at the trampoline Park? I can't remember but back of the pack is the key thing.
After the bottle caps, teams have to head to Wanuskewin Heritage Park for a Detour: Nimitook or Mikwap. In Nimitook, teams have to learn a bit of hoop dancing and then perform to the satisfaction of an elder. Okay, as an indigenous person, I'm really happy there's a showcase of indigenous culture, especially Northern Plains Cree (I'm Swampy Cree but hey neighbours you know). And man I love hoop dancing. When it's done properly by a seasoned dancer, it's amazing to watch. The drums and singing also get me in a deep place inside my being; I always feel powerful emotions when I hear Cree singing and drums. But there have been so many choreography challenges in only the first half of this season that I've lost count. I'm hoping there's no more for the rest of the season. I know producers work hard to figure out tasks but you gotta think outside the box instead of going somewhere and have teams learn a dance.
In Mikwap, teams have to build a teepee based on the example. That's pretty cool cause teepees ain't easy to build, especially if they're going to be picky about the placement of the ropes and poles. Hoop dancing ain't easy either so it's a pretty even task. Brent and Sean are still doggedly in first and decide to try hoop dancing. As noted, it ain't easy so they struggle for a bit, dropping hoops, messing up the transitions from animal to animal. It doesn't help when more teams arrive, especially when the Dancers obviously take the Nimitook side.
Stuff happens: The Cops get lost and Brian gets pissy at Cynthia. She wisely ignores him (nice not punching him Chewy) and finds their way, making him feel guilty for taking his irritation out on her. The frustration continues to mount for the Wrestlers on the Mikwap task, when the elder keeps telling them their sticks are wrong in that wonderful Cree accent. Their situation gets even worse when Gino and Jesse take on the task with calm determination and get their teepee right on their first attempt. The Italian Boys seem to be the bane in the Wrestlers existence and this doesn't help. Gino and Jesse don't seem to realize the Wrestlers have create this rivalry between and that probably pisses off Nick and Matt as well. Simi and Ope are still on the trampoline. No wait, at the brewery. No wait, in the car looking for the Heritage Centre, nevermind they are still at the back of the pack.
Even though Gino and Jesse get the teepee up fast, Brent and Sean finished their dance minutes before and both teams are racing to the pitstop at the lookout, seemingly a long ways away. And the boys are running (all four of them), Gino and Jesse barely breaking a sweat, while Brent and Sean are puking and dry heaving the whole way. In the end, the Designer Bros make it to the mat first. But before Jon can check them in, Brent's got to puke a bit more. Man, don't get any on the mat, Brent some intern is going to have clean that up. I liked the greeter's confused/disgusted reaction to Brent's hurlorama. But I really loved Jon laughing his head off cause that's exactly what I was doing. I know some folks will complain about why Brent and Sean didn't work out to get in shape for the race, or why the producers cast such out of shape dudes. Brent's Festival of Barf on the mat is why. That moment with the reactions was TV gold. Also, kudos to the camera crews who probably had to race alongside the teams through the prairie to the pitstop without puking. That couldn't have been easy.
Once Brent cleans up and Jon stops laughing his face off, they are checked in and they win a trip to Paris and free gas. Despite a really solid leg, Gino and Jesse are second. They are showing they are the team to beat but I'm glad they didn't win three in a row. It's good to see a wide variety of teams winning legs. The Dancers arrive third but have to wait out their two hour penalty. Their gamble paid off cause the only team to arrive during their wait were Neil and Kristine (who switched detours from Mikwap to Nimitook) who also had a penalty. The Dancer's penalty passes and they are checked in. Rest of the teams come in, leaving Team Lumsden hanging out by the pitstop and Simi and Ope struggling a bit on the Detour. But then Ope decides to forget the race, to just be in the moment and revel in being immersed in Plains Cree culture. I guess that's a good thing about being at the back of the pack. Or at least, away from other racers. Instead of always looking around and getting annoyed at what the other racers are doing (Brian and Cynthia; Nick and Matt) which will always cause frustration and slow you down, you can focus on just doing the task. I've interviewed a ton of Amazing Race Canada racers and that's one thing they said they would change if they got the chance to race again: to slow down a bit, keep calm and stay focused on the tasks at hand instead of worrying about what the other teams are doing. It worked this leg for Gino and Jesse, and it work for Simi and Ope. They get the task done while also appreciative some indigenous culture.
So they arrive at the mat a few minutes before Neil and Kristine's penalty is over. So Team Lumsden are out. They'll be missed, I enjoyed their dynamic, especially since Kristine's personality was getting more play in the last couple of legs. We'll have our interview with them up in the next couple of days. Gord is still on holidays so no video recap with beer. Also, if you're keen to know how Gord and Wayne are doing in the recap competition, check out Logan's commentary. After coming in second for a couple weeks, we won this leg again and are still holding onto first place, mostly because I used the work fuck in my post last week.
Next week, off to Kolkata and into chaos and beauty of the Indian subcontinent. Things heat up and not just the weather. I'm predicting two legs in India, not all in Kolkata, with the first official non-elim leg next episode. See ya then.