As we move into the last week of summer holidays it's nice to get back into a routine, especially one as much fun as this. At the end of the seventh leg the six remaining teams were all in Normandy where they had a chance to reflect on real heroes and real costs, but today it's back to the races. With the Olympians once again leading the pack after winning their fifth leg they are the first to leave Normandy at 2:26am and are making their way to Paris, France (not Texas) via train.
There are two trains making their way to Paris one hour apart and you definitely want to be on the first one. After they arrive in Paris they need to make their way to the Arc de Triomphe and avoid the Double U-Turn ahead. Michel & Pierre and Mickey & Pete are also on the first train. Meeting up at the train station Alain & Audrey have a chat with the Twins and agree not to U-Turn each other. Good luck with that when you're down to six teams and no alliances.
Everyone's surprised to see Ryan & Rob at the station and learn that last week was a non-elimination leg. Once on the first train Pierre& Michel discuss who to u-turn and Pierre wants to u-turn Alain & Audrey, despite agreeing not to only minutes before. The first train arrives and all three teams head to the Arc de Triomphe.
Mickey and Pete are the first to the clue box and get the next clue; Make your way to the Place du Canada and find the next clue. Why are the getting a cab? The second train arrives and the last three teams make a dash for the Arc.
The Olympians get to the Detour first. Haute Couture, where teams become fashion students at a fashion design school or Plat du Jour, where teams must find chalkboards at three cafés, buy items and deliver them to patrons, reciting the items upon delivery. Both of these are pretty easy tasks but with only three items the Plat du Jour should go quicker. The Olympians decide to serve lunch, as do the Twins.
Mickey & Pete have somehow gotten lost outside Paris, while the Twins and Olympians are lost amongst the cafés. The second set of teams get to the Detour and all choose Plat du Jour.
Mickey and Pete have found Place des Canada rather than Place du Canada and are now at least two hours behind everyone. What the hell were they thinking? Why on earth did they ever leave Paris? Apparently the Dudes forgot Rule Number One: Read The Clue. Nowhere in the clue did it say to get back in a cab, train, bus or whatever.
Back in Paris Pierre & Michel and Natalie & Meaghan are both on their last item. The girls get it first and are now on their way to the Centre Pompidou where they'll find the Double U-Turn. Hope they get there first, because as much as the Twins want to target Alain & Audrey, the Olympians are a definite target.
Everyone seems to have a problem finding the chalkboards, because they're all looking for a chalkboard with the colors rather than an item on a chalkboard with the colors beside it. Simple mistake to make if you're not paying attention. The Twins have finished and they're off behind Natalie & Meaghan.
Sukhi & Jinder can't agree on a method to remember the order as they run down the streets. Meanwhile Alain & Audrey have switched tasks and are now making a dress. It's an easy task and I'm not sure why others wouldn't do it, although it does require a little more attention to detail.
Mickey & Pete finally arrive back in Paris and the girls have found the U-Turn and decided not to use it. Nice. They intend to play an aboveboard game and not cause any undue stress to the other teams. I'm okay with that and if I were first to the board I'd likely do the same because it doesn't put a target on you. However, Pierre & Michel decide to use the U-Turn and U-Turn Alain & Audrey.
Mickey & Pete are finally on the cafe task, as are Sukhi & Jinder and Ryan & Rob. When Ryan sees the tsunami siblings he asks them if they've found any of the items and Jinder says he hasn't, while holding two items in his hands and then running off. Jinder is coming off about as honest as Pierre & Michel.
Alain & Audrey are having almost as much trouble with dress designing as they did finding chalkboards. I guess it's a lost art but I expected better from Audrey. Sukhi spills the coffee and has to go back to fill the order.
The Olympians have found the Roadblock, time to make a piece of art using Mentos candy. Mmm, yummy. Time consuming, but easy enough to do. Obviously this would be my task, assuming I didn't eat all the Mentos while doing it.
Sukhi & Jinder complete their cafe tasks and are off, with Ryan & Rob right behind them. It's a race to the U-Turn board. Jinder & Sukhi got there first and u-turned Ryan & Rob, who were not happy as they headed off to the other side of the detour. Further along the leg, Pierre & Michel have arrived at the Roadblock and join the Olympians in creating their masterpiece.
Alain & Audrey have completed the task and find they've been u-turned by the twins. They can't believe that Pierre & Michel would turn against them but apparently they missed the whole point of the race. When Mickey & Pete arrive at the board they discover nobody targeted them and they move on. Ryan & Rob start on their dress, complete with upside down sleeves as Alain & Audrey hunt the cafés. They had no problem getting the items and reciting the food but they spilled the coffee and had to repeat it.
Natalie feels she's got the Mentos masterpiece but she messed up the first time, went back and changed some colors and she and Meaghan are off to La Pont de l'Archevéche, the love lock bridge. Once there they must search for Jon at the Pit Stop.
Natalie takes some Mentos to go as Sukhi starts her masterpiece and Michel continues on his. Jinder and Pierre bond over their u-turn choices and have a little laugh at the others expense.
Ryan & Rob have completed their dress and have now arrived at their Speed Bump and must learn to play an accordion and play Eau Claire de la Lune before a crowd of Parisians. Alain & Audrey have completed their lunch service as Mickey & Pete arrive at the Mentos challenge, which Michel has failed on the first attempt. Back to the original.
Meanwhile, back on the streets of Paris, Ryan & Rob have memorized the song and completed the speed bump. Time to move on.
Sukhi has been working on her masterpiece for 2hrs and 23 minutes when Michel asks for his to be checked. Wrong again. Here come Alain & Audrey and you can feel the ice in the air as Audrey gets started on the Roadblock.
Natalie and Meaghan are once again Team Number 1, six wins out of eight, and have won another trip to anywhere in Europe Air Canada flies and another $3000 on their card. They're gonna have one helluva vacation when the race is over.
Ryan & Rob have arrived at the Mentos challenge as Sukhi asks for an inspection, passing Pierre & Michel as she & Jinder head to the pit stop. After five hours Michel is still wrong, but so is Audrey, and Pete. Audrey and Pete decide to work together and them Pete is done, so he and Mickey are off.
Sukhi and Jinder are team number 2, their best finish so far. They're a fun team to watch and I'm impressed with their performance but they are definitely starting to acquire a target.
After 3hrs and 40 minutes Audrey's done. It's down to either Ryan & Rob, who arrived last or Pierre & Michel who arrived second. Rob gets a check but it's wrong, as is Michel's next check. It's not looking good for the Twins.
Mickey & Pete are Team Number 3, and Alain & Audrey are Team Number 4. At the mat Alain gets down on one knee and proposes to Audrey and she says "Yes." No surprise there, but a nice tender moment. He's obviously been carrying that ring around since the start of the race, just waiting for the right moment. This was it. Jon sends them off to enjoy the city of love.
Back at the Mentos masterpiece Rob and Michel are still counting colors as they race to complete their masterpieces. Rob asks for another check and Rob has completed his masterpiece and they're off, leaving Pierre & Michel in the sugar coated dust. Ryan and Rob are Team Number 5.
After 7hrs and 52 minutes, Michel finally gets it right and they're off to find Jon. They are the last team to arrive and have been eliminated from the race. They ran a good race but apparently karma caught up to them and has sent them on their way.
Next week teams return home as they fly to Montreal for a car race, a cheesy challenge, and a nude modelling task. Look for our upcoming exit interview with Pierre & Michel in the next few days and another video recap from Wayne and I where we discuss the errors in the Twins ways, the Olympians return to the podium, and what happened to Mickey & Pete. See you real soon.
As we move into the last week of summer holidays it's nice to get back into a routine, especially one as much fun as this. At the end of the seventh leg the six remaining teams were all in Normandy where they had a chance to reflect on real heroes and real costs, but today it's back to the races. With the Olympians once again leading the pack after winning their fifth leg they are the first to leave Normandy at 2:26am and are making their way to Paris, France (not Texas) via train.
Trying to run my reviews from the road takes a lot more planning than I had originally thought. Especially when you have to consider where everyone else wants to go and what everyone else wants to do. Hard enough completing a task with one teammate, but add in two more and the complexity multiplies. Yeah, my review is a little late again but better late than never.
Six teams remain as they start the seventh leg of the race from Winnipeg, the birthplace of both Jon Montgomery and myself, and all teams are now on their way to Normandy, France. As this is a commemorative episode, honouring those who died on foreign soil, I am pretty sure of one thing . . . nobody is being eliminated today, no matter how badly they perform. I'm sure this episode will have more resonance with Wayne because he's an army brat but it's important for everyone to remember the sacrifices that were made and are still being made.
Pierre & Michel are the first to depart at 6:13 am with everyone else right behind them, most closely Alain & Audrey who pick now to chat the brothers up. They're not buying it, after six legs of silent treatment. The times don't really matter though because they'll all be on the same flight to France via Toronto. I mean, seriously, how many Winnipeggers fly to France on a regular basis? At the airport we find that Jinder thinks Spanish will help him get by in France. Good luck with that, even the Dudes know better. Quick exit at the airport and cut right to the roads of France as teams make their way to the region of Normandy.
Having a levelled playing field upon arrival has allowed Natalie & Meaghan to slip back into first place as they arrive at the Bolard Calvados distillery and this leg's Roadblock, where one team member must locate a numbered barrel from the fermenting room and return to the distilling room to dilute a 100% proof Apple Brandy down to its industry standard 40% proof before receiving the next clue. Seems like a no brainer until you add in the density differences and watch the master at work. Miss one little detail and it's back to the mixing board, your spoiled attempt tossed aside. What a waste of perfectly good Brandy, but such was the case for Meaghan's first attempt, just as the Twins arrived.
Pierre is on it and should have a better grasp of the solution since he's the one in charge of wastewater issues at their plant. Pete steps up for the Dudes, and Jinder figures he can handle this without breaking a sweat. Meaghan's second attempt is tossed aside while Pierre studies the example carefully. Love when Michel says "He's gonna get it, he's smart, smarter than me." At least I think it was Michel, I'm as confused as Sukhi and Mickey as to who's who until the editors add the name.
I'm pretty sure either Wayne or I could have done this one on the first or second attempt. We're both pretty sharp, pay attention to detail, and I've made my own whiskey and wines over the years so I'm pretty sure we'd be fine here. Meaghan's fourth attempt gets tossed as Pete works out the numbers, incorrectly and loses his first attempt . . . and second. Alain & Audrey have finally arrived while Ryan & Rob are vacationing in Spain.
Audrey intends to take her time on this because there's a lot of steps to it, while Jinder, whom we discover has a science degree in organic chemistry and micro biology, . . . well, he also failed his first attempt. Pierre's first attempt, patient and slow, was successful and the Twins steal first place from the Olympians. Meaghan was not impressed . . . toss goes the fifth attempt.
The Twins are on their way to the picturesque village (aren't they all?) of Le Molay-Littry where they need to find their next clue in the public square outside the town hall. Meanwhile, Ryan & Rob have finally found the distillery and Jinder has diluted his Brandy correctly on his second attempt. Cue the loud screaming and jumping for joy as Audrey plugs her ears.
Pierre & Michel have found the town hall and it's time for a little Detour; Show It or Tell It. In Show It, teams need to locate a Percheron horse farm and then groom and French braid a selected horse's mane to the breeders satisfaction. In Tell It, teams must travel to the medieval town of Bayeux, the home of the Bayuex Tapestry which tells the story of William the Conqueror, then rearrange the panels of the tapestry into their correct order based on the plaques provided which detail the events. The brothers decide to Show It.
Never work with children or animals when doing a task. Wayne and I would likely have chosen Tell It. I've seen reproductions of the tapestry in art history classes and recreated sections of it so I'm familiar with the work. Wayne's a storyteller and this would be a natural fit for both of us . . . and no horses would be harmed during the completion of this task.
Back at the distillery Meaghan finally figured out her mistake and it's about time. Her sixth attempt is correct and they're off and running. Jinder & Sukhi have arrived at the town hall and also chose Show It and are off to the horse farm where we find Pierre & Michel speaking English to a French horse. Why?
Audrey's patience made her first attempt the winner and she and Alain move on, leaving the Dudes and the Bartenders in their wake. They may even be able to pass Sukhi & Jinder who have gotten themselves lost on the way to the horse farm. They keep switching drivers in an attempt to discover who can read the map better. Apparently neither one. The Olympians choose a Tell It, while Alain & Audrey decide to Show It.
Pete's sixth, seventh and eighth attempt are all wrong for pretty much the same reason as Meaghan's earlier attempts. Ryan figured out the trick on his first attempt and he and Rob move ahead of the Dudes, but then he points out to Pete that the weights are different sizes. I can understand being helpful and all, but when you're down to the final two that's not the best strategy. Pete nails his ninth attempt.
At the tapestry the girls have set up the ones they're sure of and only missed one on their first try, but at least they know which one is wrong. Back at the stables the brothers have realized that French braids are harder than French accents and decide to switch. Just as the girls complain that the tapestry task is hard, they get it on their third attempt and are heading out before the brothers arrive.
The girls are now heading for the beaches of Asnelle, where teams will take part in the local sport of land sailing. They need to complete 10 laps to receive their next clue but with no one else on the track it should be an easy ride. The Dudes and Bartenders hit the town hall at the same time and both choose to Show It. Ryan finally realizes the error in his ways, but it's a little late for that.
Alain & Audrey arrive at the horses and are quickly joined by Sukhi & Jinder, who's worried the horse is going to bite him. Pierre & Michel arrive at the tapestry and still believe they are team number one. They're wrong. Mickey & Pete have picked up their French girlfriend and we learn that Mickey had to take cosmetology in high school. Good thing.
Pierre & Michel complete the tapestry pretty quickly and when one says "We're smart" the other replied with, "The only thing that we're smart was to leave the horses." Damn straight. They're off to the beach. Back at the farm Sukhi just raced through the braiding which put a burn on for Audrey to hurry up and both headed to Asnelle, leaving the Dudes behind. Ryan & Rob returned to their Tour de France.
Natalie & Meaghan are happy to be back in first and racing their land sailers across the beach. Ten easy laps. They're now on their way to the Bėny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery just as Pierre & Michel arrive. The brothers are a little pissed to have dropped back into second, but probably not as much as Ryan & Rob who just found the farm. The brothers make short work of the ten laps. Meanwhile, Alain & Audrey have lost the beach . . . where Mickey & Pete are racing against Sukhi & Jinder.
Time for the tissues as the Olympians arrive at the Bėny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery and reflect amongst the 2,049 headstones marking the final resting place of those who gave their all. Some teams will have a more personal connection, but everyone will cry to some extent. Not just the teams either, as a lot of viewers will also well up with tears. It's an emotional scene and well edited and scored for that purpose.
The next clue has teams deliver a poppy to the soldier waiting by the Remembrance and Renewal statue in front of the Juno Beach Centre. Once delivered he sends them down to the beach where they will meet Jon and his honoured guest, D-Day veteran Jim Parks. Jon's a little choked up as he delivers his welcome and says how special it is to be with a real hero. He's right. Even though many people consider Olympic athletes and sports stars and actors to be their heroes, the real heroes are those who have made the sacrifices to allow others to achieve their goals.
Natalie & Meaghan are Team Number 1 and have also won a flight to any Air Canada European destination and an additional $3,000 on their card. The girls both gave Jim a big hug and thank you for all he did. Pierre & Michel are Team Number 2 and honoured to meet Jim on the beach.
Ryan & Rob are still lost but make the most of it by pseudo-pitching their own travel show "Lost in France with Ryan & Rob". Alain & Audrey have completed their laps before the bartenders get anywhere near. Back at the cemetery the Dudes reflect as they walk amongst the headstones, passing Sukhi & Jinder who have also taken a moment to step out of the race. Mickey & Pete are Team Number 3 and Sukhi & Jinder are Team Number 4.
Ryan & Rob are still wandering about aimlessly. Alain & Audrey are Team Number 5 and Jim gets an encore hug from Audrey. The sun has finally set by the time Ryan & Rob arrive at the mat, only to find that they caught a break as this was a non-elimination leg. Told ya.
Next week teams continue to Paris for music, coffee, and a Mentos masterpiece. Apparently there may even be a few words between the Forget brothers and the lovebirds. I'm looking forward to it. I'm also late for our video review but at least next week things will be back on schedule. See you real soon
It's amazing how a short little holiday can mess up your blogging schedule, but better late than never. I'm actually writing this review across the harbor from the dreaded Tea Task from episode one.
Seven teams remain and Alain & Audrey are first off at 11:48am. The teams are "goin' to Winnipeg" and once there they need to find the Golden Boy for their next clue. Too bad Nicole & Cormac were eliminated last leg because they'd know (as would I) that the Golden Boy stands atop the Manitoba Legislature Building.
Even though Ryan & Rob are in 2nd place, Rob's face still shows no emotion. The Olympians have dropped to 3rd but have no intention of staying there, and they're followed by Sukhi & Jinder who started their life in Canada in Winnipeg. The Twins and Dudes have no connection to Winnipeg but it's no surprise that Rex knows the city well thanks to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
Everyone is going to be on the same flight to Winnipeg via Vancouver and arrive at 11:10pm, only to find they're all bunking in for the night and waiting for the building to open at 6:00am. As the sun shines off the Golden Boy's side all teams race in for the next clue. They're off to the Royal Canadian Mint, which has produced coins for 72 different countries. Teams need to match 10 international coins to their flags easy enough if you have a good memory.
Sukhi doesn't trust that their cabbie knows where he's going and since they didn't arrive with the first group she could be right. Alain & Audrey, the Twins, the Dudes and the Olympians have arrived and Natalie & Meaghan split the coins into five each in an effort to minimize memorization. Good idea as the four teams head back out to the flags.
The Olympians missed something the first time, but corrected for it and we're first to get the next clue . . . Back to Winnipeg to the windiest intersection in Canada, Portage and Main, and the next clue. The girls are back in first and heading out as Sukhi & Jinder are last to arrive and need to make up some time.
The Tsunami Siblings may have Fallen behind but they whirled through that task and were the second ones out. Not sure I'd have jumped back in with the same cabbie but waiting for a replacement would likely be worse. With the girls stuck in traffic by a train, Sukhi & Jinder will be right behind them.
Alain & Audrey are out third, with Rex & Bob right behind. The girls are still stuck at the train crossing, which isn't really a surprise around Winnipeg. Pierre & Michel are fifth out of the mint.
Natalie & Meaghan find the next clue. Time for a Detour, Puck It or Pinch It. In Puck It the teams need to work together to stick handle a puck down the ice at the MTS Centre and score five goals before getting their next clue from the Jets mascot. In Pinch It teams need to locate St Ivan Sikkorsky Orthodox Cathedral to prepare 74 perfectly pinched perogies.
I'm thinking the girls would pick the hockey task (kinda a no brainer), but there's a catch . . . being first to arrive they could choose to take the Fast Forward, which could take them directly to the Pit Stop. No surprise they stick with the task, but I'm not even sure they considered the Fast Forward. Interesting. Wayne would probably prefer the hockey task and even though I haven't been on skates in almost 40 years I'd probably agree with him.
Mickey & Pete are the sixth team to leave the mint. Ryan & Rob are now the only team left behind and I could almost swear I saw a frown for a moment there.
Sukhi & Jinder get the Detour and figure that the Olympians would have taken the Fast Forward so they decide to Puck It. A good strategy on their part to avoid having to backtrack, but wrong. When Alain & Audrey arrive they make the same decision as Sukhi & Jinder, figuring the Olympians are too smart not to take the Fast Forward. Surprise.
The girls love their Winnipeg Jets look as they hit the ice and listen to the coach, who looks pretty surprised to have the Olympians on his ice. No surprise they race through the first four shots just as Sukhi & Jinder (neither of which can skate) arrive, but the dreaded 5 hole messes them up. Maybe they messed up just to watch Sulhi.
Meanwhile, Ryan & Rob have completed their coin match and Rex & Bob have arrived at the Detour clue and are the first team to choose Pinch It.
When Audrey sees that the girls decided to skip the Fast Forward she grabs Alain and they're off to the Cube. Back on the ice, the Olympians are at shot 19 and still no 5 spot. Nor at 21 or 25 or . . . well, at least Jinder is amused.
Out on the streets Alain & Audrey need to search a six square block area for seven faded vintage billboards, known as Ghost Signs. Then they need to fill in the missing words on their sheet and return it to the police officer at the Cube. Done correctly they can then proceed to the Pit Stop.
Ryan & Rob also decide to Pinch It, where they'll meet up with Rex & Bob who look "absolutely gorgeous" in their hair caps and aprons. Sure they do. Back on the ice shot 31 misses again for the Olympians. Shoulda taken the Fast Forward.
It doesn't help when Michel's first shot is at the 5 hole and it's in. Uh oh. I believe Wayne and I both warned against this. Natalie's 46th shot still goes to the right. Pierre & Michel hit all five spots in 11 shots and they're done. The girls are not impressed.
The Twins are now on their way to Whiskey Dix to search for their next clue and have moved into first place. Moving into second place are the Dudes with the 5 hole on their ninth shot. The Olympians miss their 56th but finally get the shot on 57, grab the next clue and make a run for Whiskey Dix just two blocks away.
Good move by the girls because while the other two teams took a cab, they arrived first at the clue box . . . Roadblock, one team member will have to dress like a rock star, memorize the lyrics of a rock and roll tune, and perform the song correctly in front of a crowd of Winnipeg music lovers. Natalie, Mickey and Michel decide to perform the Roadblock, but Michel feels it's way too hard for him.
Back at the pierogi task Rex & Bob find they only managed 30 of the 74 correctly. Back to the dough, boys. On the ice Sukhi & Jinder have finished up with only 39 shots and beat the Olympians speed, but they're still in fifth place.
Michel convinces his brother there's no way he can complete this Roadblock so they decide to use their Express Pass. The Twins are now on their way to the soon to be opened Canadian Museum for Human Rights, where they will find the Pit Stop for this leg of the race. I wondered what that building was last year while in Winnipeg, now I know.
Alain & Audrey finally completed their Fast Forward and it looks like a footrace to the Pit Stop, but Pirre & Michel beat them to it and are Team Number 1. The Twins also won a trip to Los Cabos, Mexico and $3000 on their card. At least they were nice enough to thank Natalie & Meaghan for the Express Pass.
Alain & Audrey are Team Number 2, a little disappointed but a good place to be. Better than on stage with Mickey who forgot the words to his tune, or under the watchful eye of Helen who informed Ryan & Rob they only made 37 correctly.
Sukhi & Jinder arrive and Jinder just owns the stage, until he forgets the lyrics. Time for Natalie to take to the stage but she also fails her first attempt, and second, and third. To be fair, so did Mickey and Jinder.
Rex & Bob complete their pierogis and are off to Whiskey Dix, but not soon enough to see Mickey rule the stage. Jinder also performed well and he and Sukhi were off. Natalie's fifth attempt also nailed it and off they raced before Rex & Bob arrived.
Rex chose to do the Roadblock but was a bit surprised when he had to perform a rock song. Good thing he can dance.
Mickey & Pete are Team Number 3, and Suk hi & Jinder are Team Number 4. Dropping into Team Number 5 were Natalie & Meaghan who fell way below their expectations (and ours). Again, should have taken the Fast Forward.
Ryan & Rob have arrived as Rex fails his third attempt. Maybe it's the pink mesh top. Rob looks a lot better in costume and finally looks like he's having a good time. He should be because he nailed it in one attempt. He must have motivated Rex because his sixth attempt worked.
Ryan & Rob are Team Number 6 and, despite their delusions of being in third place, Rex & Bob were the last team to arrive and have been eliminated from the race. Rex got to say his farewell with the ballerina and then he and Bob walked down into the Winnipeg sunset.
Next week the remaining six teams are off to Normandy, France to horse around, dilute their chances, and face Canadian history. Meanwhile, I'll still be on vacation so my review may be late again, but I'll do my best to get it done on time. Until then, watch for our exit interview, Cory Mitic's thoughts, and a special video review.
Episode Five of Amazing Race Canada Season 2 was a prime example of how the race can change in an instant. You had all these teams at one task, the leading teams, the back of the pack teams and one mistake, or great move, would decide it. For some teams, like Alain and Audrey, and Sukhi and Jinder, it was a move to the positive. Nobody, even Sukhi herself, expect her to finish the biathlon task so fast. And Alain's five perfect shots in the first try propelled them to their first leg win, and the first time another team besides the Olympians won a leg.
But it was Cormac and Nicole who made one simple decision that took them out. As noted in our exit interview, they did not read the Roadblock clue: Who has a steady hand? Because it was Cormac who is known for the steady in their family. But Nicole took on the task and it took her more than 20 attempts to finish. And strong team, a team that many thought could make it to the Final 3, was out. So here's what they had to say about that leg and their experiences on Amazing Race Canada.
G & W - What did you think of Mickey and Pete hitting on your mom in front of you?
Cormac - That was happening all through the race, that's just the first time the viewers see it. I had to fend off those guys quite a few times, it was pretty funny though, they are really great guys.
G & W - How did you feel going into the biathlon challenge?
Nicole - I believed I could do it, the biking was no problem for me but I believed I would get those targets. But I had no idea the targets would be so difficult to hit.
Cormac - I'm the one with the steady hand--
Nicole - —Yeah the joke in our house is that Cormac should be a surgeon because he's the one with steady hands, but we didn't read the question on the Roadblock.
Cormac - The question said 'Who has a steady hand?' and for some reason, I couldn't tell you why, we didn't answer the question.
G & W - Did you, and are you, second guessing yourself about that task, thinking Cormac should have done it?
Nicole - We have no idea what would have happened either way, if Cormac would have done it or not. We're proud of the way we ran the race, we just know that was a game changer for us. Who knows what would have happened if we made a different decision. We ran the race we wanted to, which was to be ourselves, run it with integrity and no matter what, finish what you start and run to the mat every time. And we did that.
G & W - How long were you at that Roadblock?
Nicole - Cormac is the better one to ask that because I had no concept of time.
Cormac - I was standing there, looking at my watch frequently, and we were there for two hours with the other teams. And then Mickey and Pete left and we were there for almost four hours after they left.
Nicole - All I know is that the camera on my bike stopped filming and at that point, I knew I had been there for a very long time if I outlasted the camera.
G & W - Where does that idea of never giving up come from within you?
Nicole - I was raised by a single mom myself and she demonstrated to me that you never quit, a very strong, independent woman and I have that as well. My whole life I have said you can do anything, don't give up, and I try to instil in Cormac that same thing. But the Biatholon challenge truly gave me a chance to demonstrate it. So as a parent you can say lots of things but to be able to show him that I was not going to quit, I thought this was a great opportunity, my actions would speak way louder than our words. We weren't going to take a penalty, we weren't on the race to take penalties and we were going to finish what we started and I was going to prove that to him. And though I wasn't going to quit, I did wonder what happens when it gets dark and Cormac said 'I guess they'll turn on some lights for you because we're not leaving till we're done'.
G & W - There were lots of shots of 'I love you' , 'I'm proud of you' but as a parent I know that happens but there are also other parts. So in race, maybe we didn't see, were you guys were butting heads or getting on each other's nerves?
Cormac- You know, we don't really fight or argue in that sense. And in the race it was the same way. The only time we were opposing each other's opinions was simple things like directions but we never fought.
Nicole - We have our own opinions, we are strongly opinionated, and we really don't fight. And going into the race, some people asked, 'Are you afraid of how they are going to depict you on the race?' and I alway said no because we are comfortable with who we are and comfortable with our relationship. So we actually don't fight, the race showed us who we really are. We actually hug, he does give me a kiss in front of his friends, we tell each other how proud we are of each other and how much we love each other so what you saw is true to our relationship. And we're hoping that can be an inspiration for other families out there, in parent/child relationship on how positive they can be.
G & W - Would you consider doing Amazing Race Canada All-Stars if it came up?
Cormac - In a heartbeat. If they called us tonight or tomorrow, we would say yes. I would drop school, anything.
Nicole - Even if they said the outcome would be the same, I would go tomorrow. It was the most fun experience of my life. We're both very competitive, we love travel, we were built for this show. Our experience was a little too short--
Cormac- —We were doing so well, just one decision, one challenge just cut that.
G & W - You were competing against some tough teams and with Cormac being the youngest competitor ever on Amazing Race Canada, did you feel intimidated or did you not worry about that?
Cormac - We didn't feel intimidated at all, we actually thought our youth was a benefit to us.
Nicole - Our story is our relationship but there is a lot that the other teams didn't know about me and my athletic career, I did track competitively, I played volleyball and what not. But we never discussed that but we both know how athletic we are and the strength that we have in the physicality department. So we weren't intimidated at all.
G & W - Cormac's at that age where he's looking to move with his life, so Nicole, did the race make it easier for you to let go and let him start his life.
Nicole _ I've been pretty confident about his ability to be on his own for some time, but I will say that this race has opened up my eyes to see just how strong he is. He is strong, not only physically but he has mental and emotional strength, and a supportive attitude that I don't know if I would have seen if we hadn't gone on the race. But yeah, I want him to spread his wings, I want him to travel, to go to school in different place and really explore what's out there. I'm so excited about what's in store for him.
G & W - Going into the race overall, what were you feeling?
Nicole - As I said earlier, we were built for this race and we knew that going in. We knew where each other's strength's would be, we knew when someone would have to step up. I felt very confident with Cormac, I knew whatever challenges he was going to take on, he was going to succeed at. We actually never thought we would hear Jon say 'You have been eliminated'.
Cormac - We expected we would be running to the final mat with the final three and that's what we expected.
Nicole - And I'm sure all teams do but we really, I mean in our heart of hearts, we never even had a conversation of Jon saying anything like 'You've been eliminated.'
G & W - While the episode was running and you were shooting, the hashtag #nevergiveupnicole was trending, what did you think about that?
Cormac - It was amazing to see how much me and my mom really inspired Canada and the support we have from Canadians.
Nicole - I didn't expect that at all. I didn't expect the outpouring of support from all of Canada, and actually the world because we got a message from Indonesia a moment ago. I mean, I just thought people would think we were cute, but I am so proud to be Canadians, so proud of Canadians and all the support they've given us. We want to be an inspiration to people and whatever we can do to spread some positivity and promote family and communication and positive relationship, we're all for.
G & W - You've done the race, you've had all the experiences, has that changed you live your life or are you just going to go back your regular lives.
Nicole - Life is not going to be the same at all. We're looking for the next adventure. I'm looking definitely pursue some passions I have, maybe media and television, I would love to get into any of that. I've wanted to pursue that but never been able to do that--
Cormac - —Working with tourism and Canada, anything like that.
Nicole - Anything to do with Canada and television, we're totally into that. We're hoping to being an inspiration and motivational for people around relationships and their families. And you know, I don't want to go back to the norm. We're trying to find all these different things to keep that going because we've realized life is way too short to be okay with life. We want to really have fun in life and explore the world and do that together.
It's rather unfortunate there are no teams named Calvin & Hobbes, but there are still eight teams remaining as everyone is about to race back to Canada. Odds are we're not going to find out "Who Designs These Torture Tests" (this week's episode title) but it would be fun to know.
Natalie & Meaghan are the first to leave the Fourth Pit Stop along the waterfront in Macau at 8:45am and receive the first clue for this leg, . . . Fly to the Yukon, then drive your brand new Chevy Silverado to Sky High Ranch and enjoy breakfast with the ranch hands
Following close behind after last weeks big improvement are Ryan & Rob, then Rex & Bob, Cormac & Nicole, Pierre & Michel (who are counting on getting the Express Pass), Mickey & Pete, Alain & Audrey, and finally Sushi & Jinder who came in last on the non-elimination leg. They're gonna need to step it up this leg to get past both their Speed Bump and last place finish, or it's "Sayonara, Tsunami Siblings." My recommendation, stop asking for help and focus on the task
As soon as they get to the airport the Olympians hand the Express Pass over to the Twins. What the heck are they thinking? Big mistake. You never give the Express Pass to another strong team, that's just asking for trouble, even if they promise never to U-Turn you. All teams are on the same flight (no surprise there) and fly 12,000 kms from China to the Yukon Territory, then drive themselves to the Sky High Ranch for the night and they'll get their next clue in the morning
Morning comes, the breakfast bell is rung, and everyone gets the clue . . . Detour; Ride A Sled or Make Your Bed. In Ride A Sled, teams must choose three dogs from a dog board, then run 1.5 kms down a trail to Fish Lake where they will find a pile of harnesses to search through for their three dog's harnesses, harness their dogs, attach them to a sled and off they go for three laps each to get their next clue. Easy enough if you get the right dogs, but animals can be hit or miss.
In Make Your Bed, teams need to grab two heavy backpacks and make their way into the forest to a campsite where they will find a locked chest and a key frozen in a block of ice. Using another campsite as reference they need to empty their packs and set up their campsite as well as make a fire to melt the ice and unlock their chest. Once their site matches the model correctly they'll receive their next clue. Being detail oriented I'm pretty sure Wayne & I would do this one.
Mickey & Pete, Rex & Bob, Cormac & Nicole choose to Make A Bed, while Pierre & Michel and Natalie & Meaghan choose to Ride A Sled, as do Sukhi & Jinder and Ryan & Rob. I've lost track of Alain & Audrey in the crowd, but Cormac has decided that this is not a user-friendly tent. At least he didn't make the same mistake as the Olympians and the Twins who both only grabbed two dogs names instead of three and now need to race back. This is what happens when you fail to read the clue.
The girls get the third name and head back but the Twins decide to switch and avoid running back, figuring that building the campsite will be easier. Meanwhile Mickey & Pete admit that they usually set up their campsites drunk so this one should be a lot easier. Mickey even invites Nicole to stay in their tent tonight and Cormac's like "That's my Mom." I'm pretty sure he was kidding Cormac.
Rex and Bob can't agree on what colour the front of the tent is and need to run back and check. Bob was right, unfortunately the Twins have now arrived and have no trouble setting up their tent. As usual, this irks Rex. Then again, what doesn't irk Rex?
Sukhi & Jinder are torturing their poor sled dogs as Natalie & Meaghan grab their third harness. When the siblings realize that Ryan & Rob are already hooking up their dogs they race over to ask for help and see how they did it, rather than going to check the example. Not the best idea, since the boys could have it wrong, but it seems to be the way Sukhi & Jinder continue to operate. They're driving the bartenders crazy but at least they figured it out. Audrey (found them) looks almost as confused as Sukhi as she examines her harness.
Back at camp, Mickey & Pete have their key but they've missed something in the set-up. Cormac & Nicole and Rex & Bob also failed the first inspection.
Audrey almost lost a dog but managed to catch it before it ran off, meanwhile the Siblings and Olympians are on the track. The Bartenders however have completed their six laps and received their next clue . . . Take a drive up Grey Mountain and search for your next clue. They've managed to move into first place and are finally showing a smidge of personality.
Rex & Bob fail their second inspection, but Mickey and Pete get theirs and off they go to Grey Mountain and move into second place. Sukhi & Jinder have completed their laps and are now off to find their Speed Bump as the Olympians complete their laps, leaving Alain & Audrey alone at the track.
To complete their Speed a Bump, Sukhi & Jinder need to hitch up a 20 foot cargo trailer to their SIlverado (insert Chevy ad here) and then drive it 12.5 kms down the road, where they must back it into place without hitting any of the marked cones. Yeah, good luck with that. Although Sukhi had no problem backing up to get the trailer, dropping it off should prove interesting.
In search of Grey Mountain, neither Mickey & Pete, nor Ryan & Rob have a clue where they're going, but at least the Bartenders have stopped someone and asked for directions.
Cormac & Ncole complete their site on their third attempt and move into fifth place, while the Twins have it on their first attempt and are now in sixth. They may end up using that Express Pass sooner than they thought. It's not looking good for Rex & Bob, but then again Alain & Audrey are still riding their sled so it's still a toss up for last place.
Alain & Audrey manage to complete their laps before Rex & Bob so we now know who's in last place, at least for the moment. Things change quickly during the race. While the Olympians stopped for directions, Alain & Audrey drove on by but I'm guessing they'll need to get the same directions as everyone else, unless the girls just let them follow along behind . . . which they do. That's three big mistakes this leg.
The Bartenders are the first to the Roadblock; Yukon Biathalon. One team member needs to jump on a fat tired bike and make a gruelling 1 km trip through the woods then back to the firing range where they'll have five rounds of ammunition to shoot out five targets 50 meters away. If they miss any of the targets they'll need to repeat the bike trip again before receiving more ammunition to shoot out the remaining targets. On the upside, they don't reset the targets. Ryan decides to do it for the Bartenders.
Rex & Bob finally complete their campsite and if they're really lucky they may be able to catch up and pass Sukhi & Jinder, who just completed their Speed Bump. Nicole, Alain and Natalie all choose the Roadblock for their teams, as Sukhi & Jinder and Rex & Bob search for Grey Mountain. Speaking of which, the Dudes have finally stopped for directions while the Twins are still arguing over stopping and wasting time.
Ryan missed three of his shots, while Natalie missed one. Nicole missed all five and had to head back out on the bike but Alain hit all five targets and just like that went from the back of the pack to the lead and received their next clue . . . Drive yourself to the Red Trail off Chadburn Lake Road and follow the marked trail to find the next clue.
The Twins finally stopped to grab a map, while the Dudes have arrived . . . only to have Pete miss all five shots. (And all this time I thought the other dude was Pete). Natalie completes her last shot on her second attempt while Ryan finishes his shots on his third. So much for that lead they had on the girls.
Alain & Audrey have found the trail and get the next clue . . . Portage your canoe to the Yukon River, then canoe 1.5 kms downriver through Miles Canyon to find Jon at the Pit Stop. This could be a big game changer for Alain & Audrey.
Sukhi, who has never handled a gun before in her life, hit four of the five targets on her first attempt. I may have to stop picking on Sukhi. Not only did she complete the Speed Bump without too much trouble but she's a damn good shot. Pierre's first attempt hits two targets, Pete's third misses everythiing, as does Nicole's sixth. Rex managed to ht two of the targets and as he headed back into the woods he hollers this week's episode title. C'mon, it's not that hard to hit a big gaping hole 50 meters away with a rifle (says the guy swilling beer while sitting on his couch).
Sukhi hits her last target and she and Jinder are outta there. Back on the portage trail, Audrey is having some issues, but this is not the time for issues. Especially now that the Olympians and the Bartenders have arrived. Ryan & Rob pass the girls as they have some issues carrying the canoe and the Bartenders are second into the water and catching up to Alain & Audrey.
Not fast enough though, boys. Alain & Audrey were far enough ahead that Alain could get piggy-backed to the mat and hear Jon say that they were Team Number 1. They also won two tickets to any sun destination that Air Canada Rouge flies to and $3,000 on their Scotiabank Amex card. Nicely done and, as I said, a big game changer for the lovebirds.
Ryan & Rob were close, but not close enough as they were Team Number 2, thus ending Natalie & Meaghan's winning streak, who arrived as Team Number 3. Back at the Biathalon, the Twins complete their targets and they're off. Meanwhile Pete's seventh attempt hit three targets, while Nicole's seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth attempt were still miles off the mark. She's determined not to go home today, but those 10 kms through the woods must be killing her.
On the river, Sukhi & Jinder aren't sure if they're going downriver or upriver as they decide to switch directions just as the twins enter the water. Rex is on his fifth attempt and nails his last two targets, while Pete's eighth attempt finishes off his. Nicole misses again. Definitely should have let Cormac do this one.
Sukhi & Jinder somehow managed to make it in as Team Number 4, a big improvement over last week. That's stepping it up. Can't say the same for Cormac & Nicole who's 13th attempt finally hits one target. Pierre & Michel are Team Number 5.
Rex & Bob have arrived at the canoes and are just behind the Dudes as they head off to the Pit Stop. Nicole's determination may be helping her as she heads off on her 21st km through the woods, and then hits two more targets. Only two more to go.
Mickey & Pete are Team Number 6, while Rex & Bob are starting to spin in the river. Unfortunately it's not enough for Cormac & Nicole to catch up, as Rex & Bob arrive to be Team Number 7. Nicole finally gets her last two targets, after 22 kms through the woods and over 100 rounds of ammo.
This was a tough task for Nicole but they ran to the finish like true competitors to be the last team to arrive and unfortunately they were eliminated from the race. When Jon asked her what kept her motivated Nicole said she always taught Cormac never to give up and she couldn't give up, and she never did. It almost brought a tear to my eye. That's good parenting and I'm sorry to see them go, especially Nicole.
Next week the teams are off to Winnipeg for a little karaoke competition and an attempt to beat the Olympians at their own game in a hockey shoot out. Sure they show the girls getting stuck in traffic by a really long train, but I'm sure that's just a teaser to get us all worked up. Everyone who's ever driven through Winnipeg has been stuck by a really long train. It's too bad that Cormac & Nicole are out because they'd have an advantage in their home town, but I guess that's not to be.
Of corse between now and the sixth leg you can look forward to our video recap of tonight's episode sometime in the next 24 hours. Our exit interview with Cormac & Nicole, and the thoughts from last year's second place racer Cory Mitic on tonight's tasks and the infamous Express Pass handoff, will follow later in the week. Enjoy your summer and feel free to leave comments. Also, check out the Facebook group The Amazing Race 24/7 to chat with other fans about tonight's episode, the Australian season, and anything else Amazing Race related. See you real soon.
Gordon L Gale
Gordon L Gale is a Freelance Illustrator, a Graphic Designer, a Dad and (according to his children) an Ogre.