The first episode of a new season of The Amazing Race Canada is always tough, because you’re just getting to know the teams, figure out who seems to work well together and decide who to cheer for. That first hour shows the competitors adjusting to the team dynamic as well, sussing out their strong and weak points.
But the producers offered the Season 4 contestants no mercy, throwing them into a terrifying Road Block—crawling under a cable car hundreds of feet in the air—that cued tears for more than one competitor and a bunch of penalties for the rest. Not every team took a penalty for deciding not to participate, but inclement weather on Jasper’s SkyTram meant those that didn’t complete the test or leave with a penalty hanging over them were forced to wait for a determined amount of time before moving to the next stage. It had all started so swimmingly: the 10 teams bolted into the trees around Yellowknife’s legislature at the top of the hour, seeking the translation to a First Nations greeting.
Former Big Brother Canada players Jillian and Emmett broke the code first and departed for the airport, where they quickly devolved into a bickering twosome. Jillian’s yelling and crying from the back seat clearly frustrated Emmett, though they still managed to land spots in the first airplane to Jasper. And though she groused at him the entire Leg, the pair still landed in first place at Pyramid Lake, scoring a trip for two to London, England. Jillian and Emmett are certainly strong players who boast strength for physical challenges (Emmett aced crawling under the SkyTram car in his first shot), but a lack of patience getting to locations could derail them.
Dating couple Steph and Kristen scored second place thanks to physical prowess (Kristen turned a hand slip on the tram into a success thanks to well-placed feet), confidence and support that should serve them well down the stretch.
Husband and wife Julie and Lowell are an inspiration already. Lowell has just a pinhole of sight remaining, and it’s going too, and Julie is determined he sees as much of Canada and the world as he can before he loses his sight completely. How can you not cheer for them?
As for the rest of the teams, it’s really too soon to tell which ones will be in the hunt for the $250,000 prize, cars and title, but it won’t be Anthony and Brandon, the two friends from Windsor, Ont., who opted to skip the SkyTram challenge just before the rest of the teams were halted due to weather. If the weather had held, the move would likely have paid off. Instead, they could only watch helplessly as slower teams completed the leg, leaving them up for elimination.
Would you have gambled like Brandon and Anthony did, hoping other teams would finish behind them? Comment below.
Here’s how the teams finished:
- Jillian and Emmett
- Steph and Kristen
- Stéphane and Antoine
- Joel and Ashley
- Julie and Lowell
- Frankie and Amy
- Rita and Yvette
- Anne and Tanya
- Kelly and Kate (four-hour penalty)
- Anthony and Brandon (four-hour penalty, eliminated)
The Amazing Race Canada airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.