With last week's non-elimination we start the ninth leg with five teams and we're still in Cuba, but not for long. If you've watched our video from last week you've already heard our theory about why there was no airport footage upon arrival and there isn't much footage during the team's departures. Despite leaving at different times all of the teams will be on the same flight out of Havana, Cuba and they're heading home to Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.
Jillian & Emmett leave at 12:53am with Joel & Ashley behind at 2:35, Steph & Kristen at 2:43, Frankie & Amy at 3:17, and finally Rita & Yvette at 4:17am. When Rita & Yvette arrive at the airport the other teams are quite surprised because they figured they were the final four teams. All the teams are once again flying on Air Canada from Havana, Cuba to Toronto, Ontario to Sydney, Nova Scotia where they'll find their next clue on the dash of their 2016 Chevy Malibu. Still not sure why Air Canada isn't a sponsor this season but I guess that's a production issue above my pay grade.
All teams rip open their clues and they're on their way to the Canadian Coast Guard College which sounds like a pretty cool challenge. One of the side challenges for this leg involves an onboard computer system which will track their driving efficiency and the team with the least mileage for this leg will win $5,000 from Chevrolet. That's a nice little side win for the day.
Upon arrival at the college all teams race to the clue box for their next clue to discover that they'll be gearing up and boarding a coast guard vessel to try and save a rescue victim from one of two rescue locations dependant upon the instructions on their boat which will lead them to location one or location two. Once they find the victim one of the team members will need to dive in and retrieve the dummy, oops I mean victim, and then return to shore to receive their next clue. All this while only using nautical terms to direct their coast guard boat.
The first three teams to gear up and hit the boats are Jillian & Emmett, Steph & Kristen, and Frankie & Amy. When Jillian & Emmett veer to port while Steph & Kristen turn to starboard the girls are wondering if they've made a mistake but they need to run their own game and not second guess themselves or they'll be staying behind the whole leg. It probably doesn't help when Frankie & Amy also turn to port but Steph & Kristen are still the first to arrive at the rescue location and Kristen dives in and quickly retrieves her victim then Steph hauls it onto the boat using a mesh retrieval system, followed by Kristen.
Over at the first rescue location Emmett hits the waves and seems to think that hauling the body across the water is extremely hard work. I guess that's no surprise for a guy who thought grinding sugar cane was the hardest work he'd ever done. Apparently those arms are just for show. Amy saves her mother from getting too wet by diving in and hauling back her own victim and then they manage to head back ahead of Jillian & Emmett.
As they return to base, Joel & Ashley and Rita & Yvette have finally geared up and boarded their boats and are now on the water while the first three teams are unloading their victims at the dock. Now they have to carry the dummy off the dock and over to the rescue vehicle to get their next clue and it's one, two, three right after the other.
As they run for the cars, back on the water Rita & Yvette can't decide whether port is left or right but fortunately Joel & Ashley don't have that problem as Joel dives in. While they haul their victim out of the water, Rita & Yvette decide to go where they are and do the same and if they're lucky their clue will match that location. If not, they're going to be even further behind than they already are.
On route to the Highland games Jillian feels she's pretty strong but Emmett points out that the girls could kick her ass. Nice support buddy, that's why you two are just friends. They all arrive at the same time and get the same instructions and then Kristen is first up for the caber toss where they have to flip the caber between the lines and she has no problem with it, followed by Jillian who also stayed inside the lines, but not so much Amy who landed just outside.
Back at the docks Joel & Ashley drop off their victim and get the next clue but when Rita & Yvette haul up their victim they're told they grabbed the wrong body. Oh come on, any body floating in the water should be saved right? I guess not when you're supposed to be following directions. Back they go to repeat the task. This is not going to end well for the twins who also have a Speed Bump ahead and still need to avoid being u-turned. At least they've learned the difference between port and starboard.
Speaking of Speed Bumps, and thanks to some interesting editing, now that the twins have successfully retrieved the right body it's time for theirs. They'll need to each grab a sack filled with holiday letters that they'll need to take to the Christmas Island post office and then stamp every one of those letters with the Christmas Island postmark to get back in the race. It's an easy challenge but it could be time consuming and that's the one thing they don't have.
Flipping the caber next is Steph and she had no problem with it so she and Kristen head off for part two, the farmers walk . . . where they need to each carry two heavy logs around two laps of a course before moving on to part three. The girls are used to doing the farmers walk as it was a training exercise for baseball, but they didn't factor on the pressure that would put on Steph's damaged finger. While Steph takes breaks during the lap, Emmett nails the caber toss and he and Jillian are on their tail. Why am I not surprised that Emmett whines a little when he finds out that the men's logs are heavier than the women's.
Meanwhile, Joel & Ashley have arrived at Feel the Rhythm and are beginning to learn their steps while Amy successfully tosses the caber over at the games. Not to be outdone by her daughter, Frankie flips that caber like a pro and they're off to join the other two teams on the farmers walk where they find Steph and Kristen starting their second lap. Steph has figured out a way to carry those logs without using her hands but that's gotta be hard on her forearms. Frankie & Amy decide it would be easier for them to do one log at a time, thus running four laps instead of two. Whatever works to get you through the challenge.
As Joel keeps practicing, Jillian & Emmett and Steph & Kristen are side by side at part three, the stone throw, where they need to toss a huge stone and hit a target on the ground. Thanks to all that softball training Kristen hits the target, as does Emmett, but Jillian misses the mark and when Steph hits it and Steph & Kristen move back into the lead and must now make their way on foot to the Blackhouse in the Highland village. That's where they'll find the Double U-Turn board and the chance to u-turn another team. With Jillian & Emmett right behind them I'm not sure why they're debating who to u-turn as it seems like a no-brainer but maybe that's not an option since they've u-turned them before.
When Steph & Kristen arrive at the board they decide to u-turn Joel & Ashley, another strong team and at this point in the race those are the ones to knock out so you're racing against weaker teams to the finish line. It may not be a fair choice but it's a logical one. With that out of the way they rip open their next clue and are on their way to the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, an 18th century French fortified town similar to Fort Edmonton Park where they'll find costumed interpreters and their next clue.
As the girls turn to leave Jillian & Emmett arrive and are more than surprised not to have been u-turned again, so they decide to u-turn Rita & Yvette. This has not been the twins leg, not even close. Jillian & Emmett made their decision to ensure that Joel & Ashley didn't u-turn Frankie & Amy because they see them as a really weak team and Jillian & Emmett want them in the finals to race against. Well, at least they had a plan, . . . which almost coincides with Frankie & Amy completing the farmers walk and moving on to the stone throw just as Rita & Yvette arrive at the dance challenge. Their arrival spurs Joel & Ashley to make their first attempt but Joel still needs the practice.
While Joel keeps on practicing, Frankie & Amy complete the stone throw, find the Blackhouse, and are pleased as punch to find they haven't been u-turned. Off they go to Louisbourg, where we find Steph & Kristen and Jillian & Emmett in colonial costumes and opening their next clue. They need to roll six heavy gunpowder barrels up the hill to the gun commander in the field who will then lead them to fire the cannons to receive their next clue. I've fired smaller cannons but those ones are huge.
While the front two teams start rolling barrels, Rita & Yvette make their first attempt at the Highland dance. Nope. A little more practice for the twins as Joel & Ashley find that the third time's the charm and they complete the task. Off they go to the Blackhouse where they find that, yes, they've been u-turned again. They move on to the Highland games to power through them and stay ahead of Rita & Yvette. Joel makes quick work of the caber toss but Ashley . . . not so much.
Meanwhile Frankie & Amy are trying to plot out the most efficient route to Louisbourg in an attempt to win that $5,000.00. So far they're the only team that's been shown focusing on that side challenge so their odds should be good. At least they don't have to make allowances for a damaged finger, which is what Steph & Kristen continue to do to stay in the challenges. That's gotta suck because without that they'd be doing a lot better. At least they've worked out another system to get those gunpowder barrels rolling.
While the girls keep on rollin', Rita & Yvette complete the dance and head off to the Blackhouse and Double U-Turn board while Ashley flips that caber. Joel & Ashley are off to the farmers walk, or should I say the farmers drag because neither one of them is lifting their log. Well, at least they'll have company because the twins just found out they've been u-turned too. As they run for the other side of the Detour, Jillian & Emmett and Steph & Kristen deliver their first two barrels.
Rita had a lot less trouble flipping that caber than Ashley did, but Joel & Ashley are still ahead of them despite dragging one log at a time. On to their next set of logs which they manage to complete just before Yvette tosses her caber. As Joel & Ashley move on to part three, the twins use the same system to drag their logs for the farmers walk but with much less effectiveness.
Back at the Fortress, Steph & Kristen and Jillian & Emmett are on their last set of barrels, and man would that be hard on my back. As they near completion, Frankie & Amy arrive and decide to try two barrels each in an attempt to catch up. Then they try to do three barrels at once which is not their best idea. While they keep trying to cut corners, Joel & Ashley have completed the stone throw and are on their way to the Fortress, leaving Rita & Yvette all alone.
While Steph & Kristen pull out ahead, Jillian is in the back seat having a panic attack about her missing sneaker. Maybe they could turn around and go back, not that that would be of any help for Rita & Yvette who have just completed the stone throw and can finally head to the Fortress. Maybe the twins will claim the sneaker as a conciliatory prize. That's also where they'll find Joel & Ashley just getting started and Frankie & Amy realizing that rolling all their barrels at once was not a great plan. It worked, it just wasn't a great plan.
Somehow Emmett & Jillian got to the lighthouse parking lot ahead of Steph & Kristen and even though she was still complaining about her missing sneaker at least Jillian remembered her backpack, which Emmett had to run back for as Steph & Kristen pulled in. It's a foot race to the Pit Stop and despite a missing shoe Jillian & Emmett are Team Number 1, making Steph & Kristen Team Number 2. That's four wins for Jillian & Emmett who have also won a trip for two to Mexico City. This was the hometown leg they really wanted to win and as Jon sends them off the mat he recommends they get creative to find a shoe for Jillian's foot. Personally I'd just drive back to the Fortress, it's probably still there.
That's also where Frankie & Amy have completed their barrel rolls and Frankie sounds like Kitty from "That 70s Show" when she laughs after firing the cannon. Off they go to the Pit Stop as Rita & Yvette arrive and Joel & Ashley deliver their first two barrels. Frankie & Amy are Team Number 3.
Joel & Ashley deliver their next two barrels just ahead of Rita & Yvette who are slowly catching up. Eventually Joel & Ashley are only a few minutes ahead of Rita & Yvette as they fire the cannon and race for the Pit Stop. In the end Joel & Ashley are Team Number 4 and far enough ahead that they're no longer around when Rita & Yvette are the last team to arrive and this time they have unfortunately been eliminated from the race. Sorry girls, but maybe we can get you to sit in on one of our last videos for the season to ease the pain.
After the twins have gone Jon calls the other four teams back to the mat to reveal that Jillian & Emmett, with a distance of 215 kms, have won the $5,000 from Chevrolet . . . but so have Frankie & Amy who also drove only 215 kms. Nicely done and a good little side win.
Next week the final four teams will be racing through the maritimes to St John's, New Brunswick where a toffee detour finds teams in a sticky situation right before an off course face-off at the golf course, and a blindfolded Roadblock could smell trouble. No, that's not a typo. Wayne and I will be right here to let you know how it all plays out but in the meantime stay tuned for our exit interview with hometown girls Rita & Yvette, and our video review of the episode soon to follow. Until that time.