Haida Gwaii has become a hot spot to film Canadian television shows. First it was the Season 2 premiere of Jonny Harris’ Still Standing that visited the community; on Tuesday, The Amazing Race Canada teams blew through the area, soaking up culture and striving to arrive on the mat in first place. (Eagle-eyed fans of Still Standing recognized Desi Collinson and Ben Davidson in the episode.)
Perhaps it was the mysticism of the place that caused several teams to do the unthinkable: they helped each other out. The first Road Block challenge—to listen to the stories of six totem poles, then identify them and the artist to carved them—saw Ashley tell Amy and Kate the correct pole order and then Jillian, Julie, Rita and Amy all work together. (Learning the stories of the totems, though edited down for TV, was still fascinating and I wish there had been more time devoted to it.) Steph and Kristen had already shot ahead to the puzzle test in the forest, where once again Jillian and Emmett took a few extra minutes to aid their competitors instructing them in how the pieces fit together. I couldn’t help but be impressed by the team play, especially at this later stage in the game. I’d expect a little sharing off the top, but not so much as the end winds into sight.
This Leg of the Race was all Steph and Kristen, who vowed they’d land on the mat in front of Jon Montgomery. They made good on their word, never relinquishing the lead and only seeing other teams when they were leaving for the next stage. I admit I was cheering for them all along; they’re strong physically and mentally and are nothing but supportive of each other. (As an aside, those shots from and of the sea plane gliding over the water and land were some of the show’s most stunning ever.)
As for the rest of the teams? They were in a figurative—and literal—log jam for the bulk of the Leg, with just Kelly and Kate the last team leaving the puzzle challenge in dead last. But The Amazing Race Canada has a way of equalizing things, and that happened during the second Road Block where the team member that didn’t complete the totem pole task had to operate a small tug boat and move rafts of marked logs—Beachcombers-style—to a dispatcher. That meant Lowell and his limited sight was behind the wheel of one boat while Kelly and her fear of operating machinery controlled the other.
Unfortunately, Kelly and Kate couldn’t recreate their luck last week and arrived on the mat last, where they were eliminated. Buy hey, they came in first place during one Leg and scored a trip for two to Los Angeles.
Here’s how the teams finished this Leg:
- Steph and Kristen (won trip for two to New York City)
- Jillian and Emmett
- Frankie and Amy
- Joel and Ashley
- Rita and Yvette
- Julie and Lowell
- Kelly and Kate (eliminated)
The Amazing Race Canada airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CTV.
Images courtesy of CTV