Here's a recap of the twelve teams:
Max Altamuro (28) & Elias Theodorou (26),
Dana Hayward (23) & Amanda Johnston (23),
the Perky Police Officers
Brian (46) & Cynthia Boyd (41), the Married Police
Susan Hayre (38) & Sharnjit Gill (39),
the Corrections Officers
Hamilton Elliot (19) a& Michalia Driver (19),
Nic LaMonaca (22) & Sabrina Mercuri (32),
Dujean Wiliams (25) & Leilani Ross (24),
Neil (62) & Kristin Lumsden (31), the Champions
Gino (28) & Jesse Montani (25), the Italians
Simi (21) & Ope Fagbongbe (46),
the New Canadians
Brent (25) & Sean Sweeney (28), the Designers
Nick Foti (35) & Matt Giunta (33), the Flatliners
As the teams arrive via horse-drawn carriage to the starting line each team is introduced: the father/daughter team of Neil & Kristin get the first screen time and it's nice to have an Edmonton connection (even if neither of them is from Edmonton) followed by Dujean & Leilani, exes who admit there's no chance of them getting back together. Gino & Jesse are brothers who reveal that they're always competing against each other and it's time to take on someone else, such as Max & Elias who just started dating 7 months ago. Dana & Amanda look like they could take the brothers down and they're followed by Simi & Ope who emigrated to Canada in 2006. It's nice to know that Simi is happy to be a Canadian, eh. Susan & Sharnjit have worked together for 17 years, while Brent & Sean have put up with each other all their lives. Nic & Sabrina are another dating pair with a lot of languages under their belt and a lot of cuddling, while Nick & Matt are pro wrestlers who met 9 years ago and have been stuck together in the ring since. Speaking of rings Brian & Cynthia are the only married couple this season and lastly we have Hamilton & Michalia who are engaged. Michelle mentions that she met Hamilton as Hannah but it doesn't matter because Hamilton has always felt like a boy and decided to switch genders at 16 and has had his best friends support every step of the way.
With the quick introductions out of the way here come the teams, racing along the promenade to meet Jon who welcomes them and gives his starting speech before sending them off. I like how he emphasizes Rule Number 1, Read The Clue. He also tells them what they'll win if they win the race, which is almost a million dollars in cash and prizes, the largest prize in Canadian television history. There's a long pause and then . . . GO!
All teams race for their bags and their first clue, and must now make their way on foot to Quai 22 to find their next clue. Well that's an easy one . . . so far. Dana & Amanda are the first to the next clue, and now need to find the pair of bicycles that the enclosed combination will unlock, then ride the bike to the ferry terminal to cross the St. Lawrence, where they'll find their new Chevrolet Sonics. Nic & Sabrina are already lost so I guess it's not as easy as it looks.
Most of the teams find the bikes pretty quickly and it's just a matter of luck if you get lock the first time. Apparently Brent & Sean have that kinda luck.
Gino & Jesse are the first on the bikes and off to the ferry, followed by Brent & Sean, one of which immediately starts vomiting after all that emotion. Dana & Amanda are in third place, while Nic & Sabrina are still wandering about until Nick sends them in the right direction. Why, Nick, why?
The next clue sends the teams to Toronto, Ontario on one of two flights leaving one hour apart. Gino & Jesse are the first to the Sonics, and the first to the airport . . . while Nic & Sabrina are on track to be the first team eliminated from Season 3. They eventually make it to the ferry, and the airport, but they're definitely not pleased with their performance so far.
When teams land in Toronto they need to make they're way to the St Lawrence Market, which is older than Canada itself, and find the woman in the blue BMO shirt for their next clue. Since everyone has arrived at night the teams are all back on an even footing the following morning, which is great for Nic and Sabrina.
First thing in the morning and everyone gets their clue. They need to solve the scrambled letters to find Centre Street & Market Street in order to get their next clue and a BMO cash card from the butcher to use for purchases along the race. This is an easy one for me as I love word puzzles.
The next clue sends them to TSN to search for their next clue and so far Gino & Jesse are maintaining a nice lead, with Brent & Sean right behind them, except that they have no idea what TSN stands for. GIno & Jesse arrive at TSN in no time and are first to the Roadblock.
In this Roadblock one team member gets to master what it takes to be a sports broadcaster alongside James Duthie. Jesse takes this challenge, suits up and in he goes. Susan & Sharnjit are the second to TSN, while Brent & Sean have headed off to the Toronto Stock Exchange, or Timmie's Sports Noodle, or wherever. How can two designers not know TSN?
Jesse looks a bit nervous behind the desk and ends up looking at the wrong monitor like a deer in the headlights. It's Susan's turn, and she reveals that she hates public speaking and freezes up almost immediately after saying her first name. A lot of the other teams are all pulling up at the same time, except for Brent & Sean who have now ended up somewhere in suburbia. That's not gonna be good unless Susan keeps freezing on camera.
Back at TSN we find out that Elias can't pronounce one of the player's names, while the others also have problems with simple words as well as the player's names. Names are tough but James' face when the racers mess up is priceless. Neil feels right at home having had his own show at TSN for awhile but even he messes it up only to receive some well intentioned ribbing from James Duthie. I'd probably let Wayne do this one as he's more familiar with sports names than I am. Hamilton chooses to do it, as does Matt. Finally Brent & Sean have clawed their way out of suburbia and have arrived.
Jesse gets the next clue on his 4th Attempt and he and Gino are out of there and on their way to Atlantis at Ontario Place. As they head out Brian gets suited up but fails because of his collar (not really), while Nic makes up for their initial debacle as the second team to complete the Roadblock in record time on his 2nd attempt.
At Atlantis, Gino & Jesse find another Roadblock, a water-based obstacle course where the opposite member of the team needs to traverse a 120 foot cargo net, then cross a plank and dive into the cold water below, swim to a rolling log and make it across before getting their next clue. It's Gino's turn, since Jesse did the last one.
Simi gets the broadcasting task on her 5th attempt, while Brent gets it on his 4th attempt and Hamilton gets it on his 5th. Nic & Sabrina are next to arrive at Atlantis and the second Roadblock and she's not happy about this one. She's not the athletic one. Gino hits the water while Sabrina freezes at the start of the cargo net.
Gino & Jesse get the next clue and they're off to find Center Court at Air Canada Centre, the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Raptors, and also where they'll find Jon and the First Pit Stop for the race. Dana gets her broadcasting task on her 6th attempt, Dujean on his 6th, Matt on his 5th and Brian on his 6th.
Eventually everyone else finishes up at TSN and off they go to the second Roadblock, flipping spots. Sabrina finally made it across the cargo net and dropped off the plank as Ope gets started. Sabrina tells Nic to never speak of this again after completing the task but I would think she'd want to hear about this for years because she actually finished it, while Ope gets stuck at the plank because he can't swim. Guess he'd better learn . . . fast.
Ope faces his fear and leaps off the plank. Simi is so proud of her father at that moment as he begins swimming for the log walk. Way to go Ope. Sean passes Ope on the log, as does Michalia, when he falls in whenever he steps on the end of the log.
Gino & Jesse have arrived at Center Court and are Team Number 1. They have also won 2 Round Trip Tickets to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and two and a half million PetroPoints from PetroCan which they can exchange for gasoline. There are still teams back at TSN, but Nic & Sabrina have managed to become Team Number 2. Nice recovery for those two but look at the size of that backpack on Nic. You could stuff an extra racer in there.
Ope finally finishes the log walk and they're off to find the Pit Stop, where we find Brent & Sean arrive as Team Number 3 and Hamilton & Michalia are Team Number 4. Cynthia is taking her time on the cargo net as Nick passes over her. Meanwhile, Max & Elias are still stuck at TSN with Susan & Sharnjit, until Susan finally nails it on her 10th try and leaves Max & Elias in the dust. Now we find out that Elias has dyslexia and this is definitely not the Roadblock for him. Again and again he gives it his best shot, and on hIs 23rd attempt Elias finally nails it and they're still in this.
Leilani, Amanda, and Cynthia all hit the water one after the other but Leilani and Cynthia struggle on the log walk. Amanda made it look easy and she and Dana are off and running. Cynthia keeps falling and eventually takes a lunge at the end but misses and that's gonna leave a mark.
Simi & Ope are Team Number 5, while Nick & Matt are Team Number 6. Into the water goes Kristin as Cynthia finally makes her way across the log walk. When Kristin gets to the log she just straddles it and pulls herself along, causing Cynthia to just shake her head. Yeah, after the first time I fell off the log that'd be my way to get across. Sharnjit is on the cargo net when Elias & Max arrive.
Dana & Amanda are Team Number 7, Dujean & Leilani are Team Number 8, Brian & Cynthia are Team Number 9 and Neil & Kristin are Team Number 10. Sharnjit finishes the second Roadblock just ahead of Max, who made up a lot of time on that net and it's a race to the Pit Stop.
Susan & Shanrjit are Team Number 11 and next leg they want to drop a 1, and that makes Max & Elias Team Number 12 and they have been eliminated from the race. I think the two straight irons in her bag slowed them down but they took it well. Somebody always has to be the first to go and unfortunately this time it was Max & Elias, but the silver lining is they'll be first up on our exit interviews.
Next week it looks like the teams are heading off to South America in a race for a pair of Express Passes. Tempers will flair, languages will be mangled, and Wayne and I will be right here to give you a review of everything that happens in episode two. Be sure to check out our pre-race interview with Jon Montgomery on our new Guests page and feel free to leave a comment on any of our pages. We love comments, especially good ones.
Coming up in the next day or so will be our exit interview with Max & Elias where we'll find out why she needed two straight irons, and our video review where you can hear Wayne and I banter longer than we did in our CTV interview. This year we'll be filming our videos at the Druid in downtown Edmonton while we enjoy a beverage and some awesome Irish Potato Nachos. Until that time.