We're introduced to the teams and to be quite honest, this introduction bit is the weakest part of the show. Last year's intro was much better; this one, not so much. By the time the intros are finished, I'm thinking that someone's got to write better jokes and the family teams - The Siblings and the Mom and Son should spend less time together. I mean I have sisters but I would rather travel 29 countries of the world with someone else. Then again, maybe these folks are much closer to each other than I am to my sisters (Inside joke).
Anyway, Jon says hi to the teams, tells them the prizes (we covered this earlier) and the teams are off and running. The first clue says they must head out to Winsport Olympic Park in Calgary. Hey, that's the place I learned to ski although it was called Paskapoo Ski Hill at the time. Well, the teams try to leave, but Jinder forgets to load his backpack so he blocks the exit, preventing everyone else from leaving. So he loads it up and everyone starts heading down the highway.
After a drive of a couple hours or so, the first two teams to arrive are Cormac and Nicole plus Alain and Audrey. The task is pretty straight forward, jump on the hipline and go to the bottom. There you'll get a clue from an Olympian (sorry, didn't catch the name; I was watching with my family and inlaws and we like to comment on stuff). But if we see more Olympians handing out clues, etc., we'll know that the final test will be.
The two first place teams scream down and are told to grab a flight to Victoria and find the Aero Centre. The kicker is there are three flights leaving one hour apart with only four openings on the first flight. Meanwhile, the Olympians arrive followed by the Rex and Bob, the Old Couple. More screaming and that classic "Mother of Cher" line. These dudes are the ones in this episode that show more personality. In fact, many of the teams are so edited so bland so far that I forget that a couple of them exist. But that's typical of the early episodes with so many teams.
So more teams do the zipline and race to the airport, dealing with Calgary traffic. Been there, done that. It's a race through the airport but the Olympians are first to the counter. On the plane with them are the Mom and Son, The Old Couple and Alain and Audrey. The Siblings are fifth in line. And I don't recall who's on the second or third because of the family again but heck, I love my family. And it's no big deal at this point.
In Victoria, it's a typical Amazing Race roadblock: one of you must jump out of airplane. This would be my task cause Gord hates jumping out of airplanes. Nice to see Jon jumping as he describes that task. Don't see Phil doing that, do we? There's a bit of drama as Natalie starts to feel nauseous just before the jump. And she pukes. And she pukes again in mid-air (that's got to suck) and she pukes again when she hits the ground. That allows Alain and Audrey to jump ahead. They're told to head to the Empress Hotel and find the Arbutus Tree.
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Rex and Cormac have loads of trouble with tea service and then Rex gets worried because some of the later teams have arrived. Bob doesn't look much happier either, especially when Audrey gets done on her second try. It takes Rex 8 tries and Cormac 10, which puts them a little back at the pack. Not much though. So they head out to the base.
The Olympians suit up and start fixing leaks, struggling a bit as the Alain and Audrey show up. Audrey shows smarts by realizing that closing the two doors is fixing two leaks. I was expecting more bickering between these two but so far so good. And quickly, they have five leaks fixed while the girls have only one or two. But the Olympians are Olympians and finish up before the Montrealers. Still, the couple is only a few minutes behind as they race to the pitstop at the Fisgard Lighthouse.
Meanwhile, more teams are struggling with the tea service. Surprisingly, even to me, Mickey gets the tea service done in two tries. He kisses an old lady on the way out and the Dudes are heading to the base. At the base, the Old Couple and Mom and Son work hard to fix the leaks. Some minor struggles but they finish. We got back and forth between the Hotel and the Base as teams finish each task.
But the two big stories are thus:
#1. The Olympians finish first and win the two Express Passes; one to keep, the other to give away. They also get a trip to South America plus $2K to spend. Next are Alain and Audrey, Rex and Bob, Mom and Son, Laura and Jackie, The Siblings, The Hippies, the Twins, Ryan and Rob (who? Oh yeah, the Bartenders from Vancouver. I forgot these guys were even there). Interesting to see three seemingly tough and young male teams at the back of the pack.
#2. The race for last. The Parents and Shahla and Nabeela are left at the Empress. Shawn blows his second try while Nabeela nails it. Shawn manages to finish on the third try but feels it's over. But they catch up to the two Moslem friends at the base. And while it seems neck and neck, the girls drop a major part needed to fill a leak. Shahla has to dunk under the water to get it. She succeeds but that's cold water. So they try filling the leak only to drop it again. Man, someone needs some occupational therapy for their fine motor skills. Meanwhile,the parents are almost done. But since Shahla has to dunk under a second time, the cold becomes too much. She can't go on and take an unexpected penalty. A big surprise in the first leg. And they are out. No surprise there because first leg non-eliminations are extremely rare. I've only seen one in Amazing Race Australia. Maybe Amazing Race Asia, can't remember.
That's it for the first leg. The beginning was a bit slow but picked up in the end. No team made any major clue reading mistakes so hurrah there. Still, it's really tough to keep track of all these teams. But that's typical of the early legs. A decent start, just like Season 1 which, in the end, turned out to be an awesome season. Next week takes place in Tofino.
This used to be place where we'd say see ya next week. But remember, Gord and I will have a video recap up on Wednesday afternoon and more stuff during the rest of the week. Cory Mitic will have his take on the episode on Thursday, and on Friday we'll have an interview with the first eliminated team, Shahla and Nabeela. Stick with Gord and Wayne for some of the best coverage of Season 2 of Amazing Race Canada.