Here we go again with the second leg of The Amazing Race Canada. Starting up where we left off at Quail's Gate Winery in Kelowna, BC, Kristen and Darren are first out of the block and on their way by air to Vancouver followed closely by the other teams. Those Alberta cowboys better step it up.
Four teams make the first flight leaving the other four Teams at least 90 minutes behind. The Doctors show their planning skills by getting to the next clue first for the Road Block, while the Hippies make a few minor mistakes which costs them their lead.
Following the speed skating Road Block at the Richmond Oval it's a race to Vancouver's Chinatown where teams get to test either their memory or their navigation skills. The traditional cutting back and forth between challenges and teams adds to the excitement here but sometimes you miss who's where in the order of teams.
Obviously if we were one of the teams we'd have chosen the "draw it" challenge since it's a mix of art and writing and I'm pretty sure we'd have nailed it. I'm also pretty sure Wayne and I would make a terrible dancing dragon.
From Chinatown the teams race down to the docks where they get an eagles eye view of the second pit stop on the roof of the Vancouver Convention Centre. It's no surprise who comes in first but it's a little disappointing who comes in last.
The second episode played out pretty traditionally with the usual cliffhanger cuts for commercials and then repeating the scene to its uneventful conclusion. There was no backstabbing, no cattiness, and no major mistakes made by any of the teams . . . but there were a number of minor mistakes which added up.
Overall, despite their competitiveness, these teams are just too damn nice. We have yet to see any of the traditional alliances being made and broken, nobody stands out as the bad guys, and everyone is playing fair. Then again, it's still early.
Next week they're off to Alberta. Let the line dancing begin.
I purposefully went out of my way to not see any preshow sneak peeks to avoid prejudging the teams prior to the premiere and then ended up sidetracked by my life to the point that my review is uncharacteristically delayed. It won't happen again. I promise.
Anyone who is a huge fan of TAR was probably glued to their seats for the first episode of the Canadian version. We've been waiting for this for so long and always assumed that the American version didn't allow Canadians to race against them because a) we'd have an advantage with a Canadian passport because everyone loves Canadians, and b) we're just too damn nice. I guess we'll see how that works racing against other Canadians without the need of a passport.
Opening with Canadian host Jon Montgomery at the Niagara Falls starting line we get a quick introduction to the teams. They certainly played better on film than in their initial bios. Jon comes across a little stiff in his deliverance as he emulates Phil but he seems to be enjoying himself and I'm sure his delivery will loosen up as the race progresses.
The teams raced to the Butterfly Conservatory to grab their next clue(s). Remember that part as it's important. Why would anyone be afraid of butterflies? After that it's off to the airport where the teams have a chance to interact before their flight to Kelowna.
Their next clue is basically a stall to allow those teams from the later flight to catch up. I hate when production doEd this but I'm sure those teams on the second flight appreciate it.
Jet skiing across Lake Okanagan in search of a diving platform looks easy but it's a big lake so some teams are likely to get lost. Add to that the fear of breathing underwater as they search for Ogopogo and I wonder who's gonna crack. It's an easy task though as long as you don't get lost, or panic underwater.
task completed and off they go to Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park where teams get to challenge their fear of heights climbing over the edge of a trestle bridge and along a 12" wide support to their next clue. They're wired in so the only challenge is not falling off before you get the clue. It doesn't help that the support is only secured at one end and shakes the further you move along. Add to that the obligatory cliff-hanging cuts that TAR is so well known for and the reveal of who's still way behind and you can pretty much predict who's coming in first.
From here it's a quick race to Quail's Gate Winery (one of my favorites) and a jump to the mat. This is where those earlier mistakes catch up to the teams who made them. It's no surprise who wins the first leg as they're in their own backyard, but I was surprised by the second team . . . and Hal and Joanne did great despite being the oldest team racing. They'd have still been the oldest even if Wayne and I were racing against them.
I wasn't really impressed with Vanessa and Celina's reaction to their unexpected luck but that'll bite them later in the race. The last two teams almost tied to the mat but another penalty flips their order and it's "goodbye twins". No worries, they probably just went back to the winery to have a few shots before being put up in a nice resort for the duration.
Overall I've been pretty impressed with the team selection so far. Their interaction with each other doesn't come across as too phoney and so far nobody stands out as the bad guys.
Next episode the teams are off to Vancouver and Chinatown. Not sure what's urban jungle about that but I'm looking forward to it. Stay tuned for my next review . . . on time.
Gordon L Gale
Gordon L Gale is a Freelance Illustrator, a Graphic Designer, a Dad and (according to his children) an Ogre.