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Review: Limited space and fancy footwork on The Amazing Race

Maybe five seconds. That was the time between Brian and Cynthia stepping onto the mat in Buenos Aires and Dana and Amanda doing the same. But while the former live to race another Leg, the same can’t be said for the latter: the two Newfoundland cops were eliminated from The Amazing Race Canada.

Is it just me, or have the Season 3 challenges been the most difficult in the franchise so far? I don’t recall past teams having such brutal tests thrown at them this early and often; kudos to the producers for upping the ante. The result has been some of the most compelling footage ever captured and the realization that no lead is safe.

Nic and Sabrina were certainly proof of that. The pair, who have been using their knowledge of Spanish to great effect so far, saw Nic’s past as a soccer player amount to exactly nada during the Blind Soccer challenge. He just couldn’t get it together, and after seeing their lead out of the Mentos challenge evaporate, the pair took a two-hour penalty in hopes other teams would stumble along the way. The move paid off, but just barely as they placed eighth, just ahead of Brian and Cynthia and Dana and Amanda. The secret to the soccer challenge was unveiled after Nic and Sabrina had departed the scene: Racers jumped up and down with the ball between their feet rather than kick it, giving everyone more control.

And while Brian and Cynthia outlasted the Newfoundlanders, they’ve got to tighten up their game play and learn some manners. Rebuffing Hamilton at the Mentos challenge means they won’t be getting that extra Express Pass. I’m all for being conniving and picking your place to be friendly on the Race, but being rude to a player with power is just plain stupid.

Here’s how the teams finished this Leg:

  1. Neil and Kristin
  2. Gino and Jesse
  3. Nick and Matt
  4. Dujean and Leilani
  5. Simi and Ope
  6. Brent and Sean
  7. Hamilton and Michaelia
  8. Nic and Sabrina (took two-hour penalty)
  9. Brian and Cynthia
  10. Dana and Amanda (eliminated)

Notes and quotes

  • I always learn something watching The Amazing Race Canada. This week it was that a totem pole stands in Buenos Aires, a gift from Canada carved by Stan Hunt.
  • “Do I have to dance with you like that?!” — Nick’s reaction to the Dance Detour was priceless
  • Brent and Sean took 26 tries to score the soccer challenge. I’d still be there trying. And crying.
  • With the price of gas continuing to climb, that six months of free fuel from Petro Canada is even more valuable.

The Amazing Race airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

Greg David
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Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and partner at TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from countless programs. Survivor winners, Donald Trump, Jerry Bruckheimer ... he has interviewed (literally) hundreds of TV people over the course of his career. He is a past member of the Television Critics Association.
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3 thoughts on “Review: Limited space and fancy footwork on The Amazing Race”

  1. Yeah the challenges seemed harder this year somehow. The dancing and learning Spanish looked like they would take a long time but a lot of the teams were rolling in while Nic & Sabrina were down to less then half an hour on their penalty.

    Talking you way out of a possible Express Pass is dumb but not a rather costly mistake. Hamilton and Michaelia have to give it to someone next episode anyway. There is no real social game on the Race, the only time it might matter is with a U-Turn. But you could get to it first or their could be a stronger team people will target instead of you. Survivor and Big Brother have big social element but alliances have no long-term point in TAR.

    1. I agree about the lack of a social game. I guess I was just a little disappointed that they were so abrupt with Hamilton. He was a victim of their frustration more than anything else.

      1. True. It’s intresting you can really do one of three things with the Express Pass you have to give away:
        A) Give it to another team you like out of friendship and maybe you can help each other on some random task down the line.
        B)Give it to a weak team you feel sorry for. Perhaps hoping on the small chance they use it at a time when a stronger team is having a bad day so the Express Pass contributes to the stronger team’s elimination.
        C) Give it to a strong team that probably won’t really need it but knowing it will probably make them a bigger possibility for getting U-Turned. And maybe the stronger team will help you on a task down the line.

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