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Review: Is The Amazing Race Canada too difficult?

Almost every week of this season, I’ve remarked at how difficult The Amazing Race Canada challenges have been. It’s made for some pretty compelling footage, but after this week and last I have to wonder: did the producers make things too hard?

For the second week in a row—this time in Saskatoon—more than one team chose to take penalties rather than stick with the challenge at hand. And in the case of Neil and Kristin, it meant they were eliminated. I may make a similar decision in the heat of the moment—after frustration or thirst has set in—but from the safety of my couch I’d rather keep going rather than rely on other teams to stumble along the way.

One need only look as far as Ope and Simi for proof of that. Rather than team up with the other pairs at the airport to work out the 25-hour flight formula, they figured it out themselves. Rather than get frustrated with each other, they played cheerleader. The result? They came in second-to-last place and continue, proving to the other Racers that they’re a team to contend with.

Amazing_Race1

Meanwhile, birthday boy Brent and his brother Sean celebrated the big day with a first-place spot. The siblings smartly played their Express Pass to skip the flight-time challenge and dry-heaved their way to the mat in front of Jon Montgomery. This was Brent and Sean’s first-ever top spot, though not for lack of trying. They gamely soldier on, scoring consistent Top 5 finishes.

As for Gino and Jesse, the Race‘s strongest duo to date blew through this Leg’s tests with flying colours and placed second to Brent and Sean.

Here’s how the teams finished this Leg:

  1. Brent and Sean (used the Express Pass)
  2. Gino and Jesse
  3. Dujean and Leilani (penalty)
  4. Brian and Cynthia
  5. Nick and Matt
  6. Simi and Ope
  7. Neil and Kristin (penalty, eliminated)

Notes and quotes

  • “I gotta take off my shoes to count past 10.” — Brian
  • I wanted to hear more of Ope’s story about wanting to be a pilot.
  • Cynthia and Brian’s plan to have more fun sure backfired, didn’t it?

The Amazing Race Canada 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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One thought on “Review: Is The Amazing Race Canada too difficult?”

  1. Lat week wasn’t the big penalty episode, it was two weeks ago with The Face Off- Sami & Ope/ Neil & Kristen not counting the penalty Nic & Sabrina had to take because it was unsafe to do the horse Detour after dark when they were U-Turned. Counting the two at the Face Off, the soccer one, and tonight, we have 5 official penalties across 4 teams so far.

    At this point I have to wonder if some of the tasks are too hard. Kristen wasn’t wrong in saying you can use a penalty as strategy. Dujean & Leilani got 3rd place with or without the penalty after all. I love how Jon was clearly about to fall over laughing at the Gagging & Wipeout Brothers.

    On the one hand I respect Sami & Ope for doing the math alone, on the other it seems rather stubborn and reckless. Luckily they didn’t take another penalty this leg or they would be out. Strategically they gained nothing except maybe bragging rights at home now. I think it was just pride. They need to pick it up if they want to last longer.

    I enjoyed the reunion. Ribbing Hamilton about the passport and Sabrina always struggling was funny. I also loved how everyone else froze when Dana casually let it drop they were still in the Top 3 of the fan poll. I guess that province is really happy they finally got a team on the show. And irony with Neil ribbing Nic for the soccer penalty.

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