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CTV renews The Amazing Race Canada for a fifth season

From a media release:

Race on, Canada! As announced this afternoon by host Jon Montgomery, CTV confirmed it has renewed a new instalment of Canada’s #1 summer series THE AMAZING RACE CANADA. The announcement sets the stage for a fifth adrenaline-pumping season during Canada’s historic 150thanniversary in 2017, with plans to celebrate and showcase the country like never before.

CTV also confirmed today that casting for the upcoming fifth season is now open. Fans of the competition series can get set to grab their camera and their partner, and prep their auditions for the extraordinary opportunity to embark on a truly once-in-a-lifetime adventure. The deadline for submission is Thursday, December 1 at 11:59 PM ET. For all casting details and updates, including instructions on how to submit an audition video, fans can visit CTV.ca/TheAmazingRaceCanada, the CTV Facebook page, and follow @AmazingRaceCDA.

CTV renews Season 5 of Canada’s #1 summer series THE AMAZING RACE CANADA.

Spanning the corners of the country and beyond, Season 4 of THE AMAZING RACE CANADA averaged 1.9 million viewers, with a season high of 2.1 million Canadians catching Steph Leclair and Kristen McKenzie’s race to the mat to claim the title and grand prize in the Season 4 finale in September.

In anticipation of the new season, and the discovery of a new batch of Racers, fans can watch the craziest, funniest, and most-memorable audition videos from the series on THE AMAZING RACE CANADA AUDITIONS, available now on Bell FibeTV1, channel 1. Hosted by fan-favourite competitors Gino & Jesse (Season 3), Natalie & Meaghan (Season 2), Alain & Audrey (Season 2), and Brent & Sean (Season 3) the show delivers commercial-free clips of the most entertaining auditions from Seasons 2 and 3. To relive all of the series’ high-stakes thrills and excitement, viewers can also find all four past seasons of THE AMAZING RACE CANADA available now on CraveTV.


Amazing Race Canada winners Steph and Kristen plan their future

After travelling around it, Steph LeClair and Kristen McKenzie are on top of the world. The couple, who captured The Amazing Race Canada title during a wild final Leg in Montreal on Tuesday, were all smiles during a spate of media interviews on Wednesday.

As they explained during the After the Race special, they plan to pay off Steph’s legal school debt, travel for nine months and perhaps put a downpayment on a property. Here’s what they told us about their experience.

The Montreal leg … congratulations to the producers for coming up with a wide range of physical and mental challenges for the final three teams to do. The bagel challenge was deceivingly difficult.
Kristen McKenzie: Yeah, physical, mental and navigation. They’re all very different beasts and that was a real combo.

How hard has it been to keep your win quiet?
KM: It’s been so hard, especially because my sister and I are so close. That was the most difficult for me and challenging.

Steph LeClair: She was So. Mad.

KM: She was. She was like, ‘Really?! You couldn’t tell me?’ But I wanted to experience it with her and have it be a surprise for everyone. It was a fun moment last night. I think it was harder when we first got back because we had all of these amazing things that we wanted to tell all the people that we love.

SL: We ended the Race at the end of May, so it wasn’t too bad. But the summer has been tough because everyone’s, ‘OK, you made it on. What happened? Just tell us.’

You said last night on the after show that Steph is going to pay off her school debt, nine months of travelling and maybe buy a property?
SL: Well, travel for sure. And for sure debt. It’s especially great to pay that off because, being in this with Kirsten, I felt like it was a bit of a burden on me. I don’t want money to ever be an issue between us so it’s a relief to do that. And travelling, 100 per cent. And then coming back and figuring out what we want to do and where we want to end up. If the time is right, maybe buy something.

KM: We’ll definitely save some. We didn’t have this money before. We have it now. We can work for the rest of our lives and this as an opportunity that we can’t waste. I’ve never travelled before and I got bit by the travel bug on the Race, but it’s not really travelling because you can’t really take it in, although we tried as much as possible. We’re so grateful and feel so lucky; we want to make the most of it and create memories and not just get stuff.


Are there some countries on your must-travel list that were some of the places you visited during a Leg of The Amazing Race Canada?
SL: Our list is probably 15 pages long. We’d definitely love to travel within Canada. The first time we went to the west coast was on the Race. We loved Haida Gwaii and I’ve never been to Vancouver. Jasper… I’d go back in a heartbeat. And the east coast. We’d love to stay in Canada, but we’d love to go back to Vietnam.

KM: Yeah. Havana was awesome too, although you didn’t have the best time… [Laughs.]

SL: We took our very first vacation to an all-inclusive in Cuba, and then that happened [Steph cut her finger on a machete and has the scar to show for it] and I don’t know if I want to go back to Cuba!

Coming from a softball background, teamwork came into play during The Amazing Race Canada. Even when you did get frustrated with each other, it didn’t last long. That was part of your game plan, I assume?
KM: Our experience being high-level athletes helped a lot because we really understood that, ‘You’re a team, and if you’re not acting like a team it’s going to do you no good. It’s only going to make things worse.’

SL: It’s hard because it’s so stressful. But you have to really learn to take it in, get a grip and move on. We definitely had moments, but at the same time, we had to reign it in.

KM: I think our biggest asset was our communication and the way we treated each other and supported each other. I felt supported the entire time.

This, I think, has been the most evenly-matched set of teams this show has ever had. You were battling it out with Jillian and Emmett all season, and Joel and Ashley were right in the mix too. Those teams really drove you all season long.
KM: We called it very early on. Jill and Emmett were very good at several of the things that Steph and I were good at, so we viewed them as a threat. Joel and Ashley were good at a lot of things that we weren’t, like dancing. I mean, we tried to U-Turn them both…

SL: … and that didn’t work!

KM: And then we ended up in the finale together. Frankie and Amy were sneaky good too. People underestimated them, but we didn’t.

SL: They flew just under the radar enough to chip away and were in the thick of things.

Are you friendly with the other teams? Have you kept in touch?
SL: Yeah, we actually have a group chat going on all the time. It was really fun to see everyone again last night. We went to an after party after the finale. It was so fun to see everyone.

KM: Brandon and Anthony watched the first episode at our place, so we’re good buddies with them. Frankie and Amy watched at our place when they were kicked off because they were in Toronto. We visited Antoine in Montreal and Jill came too. There are no hard feelings anywhere.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.


And The Amazing Race Canada winners are…

After 10 legs, thousands of miles and a pile of product placement, Steph and Kristen emerged as the winners of Season 4 of The Amazing Race Canada, landing in front of host Jon Montgomery on Mont Royal, the first-ever all-female team to take the title.

The couple nabbed cars, a trip around the world, $250,000 and the Season 4 title.

Arriving in second place were Emmett and Jillian, with Joel and Ashley in third. It was truly a nail-biter of a finish with all three pairs swapping first-place positions all Leg long, and I credit the show’s producers for making that way. By mixing physical tests (the Cirque do Soleil and the Biodome) with mental ones (delivering bagels and remembering key points from the season), no one squad was given an unfair advantage. The result? A truly dramatic ending in Montreal.

Cab drivers leaving with $50 extra in their pockets, mixed up directions and nonsense words were just part of the wildness in the season-ender and, really, anyone could have won. This has easily been the most-evenly matched seasons of The Amazing Race Canada I’ve seen.

Kristen and Steph’s win wasn’t an easy one, but by the time they’d left the Moment Factory—and successfully remembering key phrases from the Legs—the only thing that could have stopped them was a lost cab. It almost happened, but they’d built enough of a lead that Jillian and Emmett couldn’t catch them.

Kudos to the former Big Brother Canada competitors for not giving up. It would have been so easy for Jillian to just shut down after she got her bakery directions mixed up and dropped bagels on the sidewalk, but she didn’t. And credit to Emmett for not freaking out because he certainly could have.

Congratulations to the “First Nations Sensations,” Joel and Ashley, for running a great final Leg as well. If not for the Memory Moments challenge, they very well could have taken the title.

Here’s how the teams finished the final Leg:

  1. Steph and Kristen (winners)
  2. Jillian and Emmett
  3. Joel and Ashley

What did you think of this season of The Amazing Race Canada? Comment below or on Twitter @tv_eh.


Comments and queries for the week of September 9

Who will win The Amazing Race Canada?

Even though Steph and Kristen seem like the likely winners, I am reminded of the hockey ladies who seemed the winners in their season only to fall short. Although it is reality TV, it is somewhat boring to see the same team win all the time. I agree that it was hard to see Frankie and Amy receive the wrong info from Ashley. I do not hold it against her as it would have betrayed her teammate, her father, who has done a lot to get them along in the race. —Jennifer

I just finished watching this episode of The Amazing Race Canada. I think Steph and Kristen may have a good chance of winning . They tend to be able to keep their cool under difficult circumstances. Joel and Ashley did well tonight, although I was disappointed to hear Ashley give wrong the information to Frankie and Amy. I felt sorry for Emmett … Jillian comes across as such a b**ch. I wonder if she is proud of the way she acts and sounds as she watches herself, especially in this episode? I would be happy to see Steph and Kristen or Ashley and Joel win. —Joyce

Wild Archaeology is must-see TV

When I was doing my bachelor’s degree in Canadian Studies at Brandon University a decade ago, I took a couple of electives in Aboriginal Archaeology and Anthropology (they have a whole department dedicated to it) and I really enjoyed the courses. I’m definitely going to have to check out this series. —Alicia

Production underway on The Beaverton

This is going to be terrible. The Beaverton is some of the most cringeworthy satire to grace the web; I can only imagine how terrible a live-action version will be. —Eric


Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? Email greg.david@tv-eh.com or @tv_eh.


The Amazing Race Canada sets up its season finale

This episode could easily have been called, “Meltdown in the Maritimes,” as all four teams were on the brink of emotional breakdowns at least once during Tuesday’s Leg of The Amazing Race Canada. It makes sense, though. It’s been a long Race full of drama and frayed nerves, and to be so close to the finale must be stressful.

Once again, the devil was in the details for teams, especially Jillian and Emmett and Frankie and Amy, who failed to understand they needed to learn just the English names of 15 plants at Kingsbrae Garden and not the Latin too. I certainly don’t blame Ashley for convincing Frankie they needed to know both; it’s the Leg before the last one and all bets are off. Still, I felt badly watching the mother-daughter team slouch back to the garden as Joel completed the task in his 10th try. That Road Block was a very interesting one and revealed something Lowell lives with every day. Being blindfolded caused every team member with their eyes covered to freak out, realizing they’d have to trust their senses of touch and smell to guide them to victory. I wonder if Lowell would have aced that challenge if he’d made it that far and chosen to try it?


I’ve only ever driven through New Brunswick on my way to and from Prince Edward Island, but thanks to The Amazing Race Canada, I’d love to visit. Touring the Moosehead Brewery and dropping by Crosby Molasses would be two items on my To Do list, as well as chowing down on some seafood. Speaking of molasses, I was convinced Frankie and Amy’s miscue of dumping four cups of vinegar instead of four tablespoons into their taffy would ruin the recipe. It threw off the cooking time but the pair weren’t far behind the other teams. And, despite losing the golf challenge, they were still in it when they arrived at the garden Road Block.

Steph and Kristen landed at the Pit Stop in first place, scoring a spot in the Final Four and a trip for two to Australia in the process. The girls have battled Jillian and Emmett for tops almost every week and have shown a lot of love and respect for each other. They’re the ones to beat. Joel and Ashley placed second and might be the dark horse of the competition. Joel is sneaky good at several things and, paired with a certain amount of luck and cool-headedness, he and his daughter could certainly run away with the title.

Jillian and Emmett, who completed the plant challenge ahead of Frankie and Amy, could certainly win too, thanks to smart racing and physical skills. As long as Jillian keeps a cool head, they could pocket the grand prize.

Alas, this Leg was the last for Frankie and Amy, and I felt awful when Amy was frustrated and trying her best, knowing it was the end of the road. Still, they made it a lot further than I expected and proved to be worthy adversaries. If it hadn’t been for Ashley’s head games, they might very well be in the finale rather than Jillian and Emmett.

Who do you think will win Season 4 of The Amazing Race Canada in Montreal? Comment below or @tv_eh.

Here’s how the teams finished this leg of the Race:

  1. Steph and Kristen (trip for two to Sydney)
  2. Joel and Ashley
  3. Jillian and Emmett
  4. Frankie and Amy (eliminated)

The Amazing Race Canada season finale airs next Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on CTV.