There's been a lot of talk, not just on Amazing Race Canada feeds, but in the regular media, about Joanne's use of language in the most recent leg. In case you don't remember (and how could you not because it was an awesome leg), Bodybreak had been U-Turned by the Timmies and in turn, they U-Turned the Docs. So both had to do the other side of the Brawn or Beauty detour.
Surprising everyone, including themselves, the Docs did the Brawn side in one go. Bodybreak had some trouble with the Brawn and were working on the Beauty. As the Docs ran by heading to the pitstop, Brett wished them luck. Under her breath, but still heard by the cameras, Joanne said something that was bleeped by the censors.
Like many, I was shocked, but pleasantly so. Hal and Jo are Canadian icons and rightly so (can you instantly imagine the intro and music in your head? I can.). But their image is one of healthy living and to some that's synonymous with clean cut living. So to have Joanne drop an F-bomb on the show seemed to be totally opposite to that image. I thought it was fine. It showed that Bodybreak were still normal folks who can get frustrated and lash out. Although an under-the-breath fuck off isn't really lashing. Personally, I would have told Brett to fuck off a few episodes ago but then again, I'm an ex-punk rocker turned crime novelist who's been criticized by some mystery fans for having too much profanity in his books. Go figure, it's okay to kill someone but not to call them bad names as you do it.
Anyway, at first Joanne initially claimed she said "get off" and that the producers bleeped it to make it seem like she said "fuck off". Hal backed her up, saying that he didn't know when the word "get" was bad. Today, they backtracked from that, admitting that Joanne did tell Brett to "fuck off" but only because she was tired, frustrated and Brett had been a bit of a dick in the previous leg.
It's great that they did this but I understand why they first claimed Joanne didn't use profanity. Despite its iconic stature, the Body Break brand hasn't been as prevalent as it was before. But it's been invigorated by their appearance and awesome gameplay inAmazing Race Canada. They also acted the way most great couples act: with respect towards and support for each other, especially during difficult circumstances. Sure, they bickered very slightly when lost in Yellowknife but that is typical of many long term couples travelling together.
So their first instincts was to protect that brand and the new interest in it, by denying that Joanne said what she actually said. You have to remember that it wasn't until 1999 that Hal and Joanne officially admitted they were an actual married couple. Not sure why but they (or their producers or sponsors) had their reasons.
But Joanne's use of profanity tells us one thing: that it's not healthy to keep your feelings in. Every once and awhile (not all the time, mind you) you gotta let your frustrations come out in order to say fuck off to someone who's being a dick. How's that for a Body Break episode?
Please noe: my buddy Gord is in Winnipeg helping his family (along with a bit of vacation) so he should h
Wayne Arthurson is a huge Amazing Race fan, having watched all the US, Asian, Australian and Canadian versions of the show. He's also a dad, the author of the bestselling Leo Desroches crime series and other books available here, as well as a freelance and ghost writer. Plus, he's played drums in various bands.