You’d think that, after 11 seasons on the air, host Andrew Younghusband would throw up his hands and drive away from Canada’s Worst Driver. After all, instead of slowly improving the way this country’s drivers are, they seem to be getting worse. Then again, Worst Driver is more about entertainment than education, no matter what Cam Woolley, traffic expert and former OPP sergeant; Philippe Létourneau, professional high-performance driving instructor; expert driving instructor Tim Danter; and registered psychotherapist Shyamala Kiru may say. And ratings don’t lie: Season 10 was the most-watched show on Discovery.
Returning Monday to Discovery, Younghusband gamely welcomes nine Canadians and their nominators to the series’ top-secret driving location—not really, it’s Dunnville, Ont.—where they’re put through the paces for the next eight weeks before one is saddled with the dubious title of Canada’s Worst Driver.
This season, challenges will be faster, and all take place in a super-charged Dodge Charger (a beautiful car mistreated by all) in recognition that cars continue to perform at a brisker pace. And in a series first, Younghusband dons a racing suit to introduce higher-speed versions of classic Worst Driver challenges like “Eye of the Needle” and the “Water Tank,” as well as new tests to demonstrate the real-life risks of high-speed driving and its effect on precision and judgment.
As with previous seasons, the producers give viewers a chance to get to know each of the competitors as they drive to Worst Driver‘s track. There’s Renee, who freaks out if she drives over 60 km/h and throws on her four-way flashers to encourage everyone to go around; distracted driver Jordan; lead-footed Tina, who quaffed a vodka cooler and shooter before driving to the show; inadvertent speeder Cameron; angry driver Alex; grandmother Polly; crier Jillian; and siblings Sholom and Shmuel. Yes, Worst Driver is fun to watch, but it’s also damned scary. All of these folks are more focused on texting, eating, drinking and updating their Facebook profiles than they are on the road; what does that say for the people around me on the road every day?
Sure, Worst Driver is about those behind the wheel and loved one’s riding in the backseat or shotgun, but Younghusband is a bona fide star. You can’t help but laugh at his quick wit and expressive face, especially when he’s incredulous at what these competitors do.
It only took me half of Monday’s return to have a grave dislike for Tina. She saw no problem with drinking before hitting the road and confronted Younghusband when he lightly suggested she might have a bad attitude. Still, it is early days, and she may—along with the others—realize the err of her ways and improve. If not? She’ll be Season 11’s Worst Driver.
Canada’s Worst Driver airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on Discovery.