Amazing Race Canada: History and hysterics in Newfoundland and Labrador

We’re over halfway through The Amazing Race Canada and at this juncture, any team could win. I know that seems obvious but there is usually a duo able to distance themselves from the rest of the group by this point. You could argue that siblings Adam and Andrea are that team, but the Fast Pass the week before really helped with that.

As for the weakest team? That goes to Andrea and Ebonie, who were saved from going home a second time after last week’s non-elimination Leg. This is the first time I can remember one team saved twice, and it really took some of the drama out of the Race for me. Lousy teams are supposed to be cut, not given the opportunity to stick around. Ebonie and Andrea were in tough on Tuesday, battling their way through a set of challenges in a unique and beautiful part of the country I’ve had the pleasure of visiting: Newfoundland and Labrador. I was hoping Labrador would figure into this week’s episode. Sadly, it was not meant to be.

Yes, the Race was here earlier this season but, clearly, the producers saw the area as being ripe for more tests of wits and physicality. And, would the confusion that wreaked havoc at the Double U-Turn board impact relationships between any teams? At first blush, Ebonie had nothing to say to Korey and Ivana when they explained the U-Turn move. That put a fire under Ivana’s butt to fight even harder. Meanwhile, Adam and Andrea apologized for not doing what they were supposed to, and things seemed to be OK between the squads; Ebonie and Andrea vowed to worry about themselves and not on alliances. A smart move.

Sam and Paul were first off the plane in Deer Lake, Nfld., and on the road to Corner Brook to find a—sponsor alert!—Bank of Montreal branch. Once there, producers played with the teams’ emotions by having family members and friends (and pets) deliver the next clue via video. The location? Gros Morne National Park. Kenneth and Ryan were the first to depart, followed by Sam and Paul. Sam, who had been waiting to hear whether or not he’d gotten into medical school, found out from his parents that he did, leading to a truly emotional moment for him and Paul.

The Detours hearkened back to moments in Canadian history, choosing between paddling a dory down the coastline to find a clue hidden in a lobster trap and then return to the beach, or reconstruct the tale of a Norse family tree after listening to tales told be recreators. No offense, but the recreators were horrible. Most teams chose to paddle (I would have too.) and chaos ensued … for some. Paul, who has boating experience, took charge and he and Sam were off. Kenneth and Ryan … not so much. (“Put it in the thingie … use the thingie.”) Andrea and Adam were the first to complete the family tree and departed in second place. (Call me immature, but I laughed out loud at Korey’s pee break and how Ivana handled it.)

Andrea and Ebonie, meanwhile, had to contend with a Speed Bump after their last-place finish last week. Their test, to score 25 points hitting an archery target, was difficult for Ebonie at first but Andrea was a natural. It didn’t take long for them to accumulate the points and depart the archery area.

The Face-Off made its first appearance of this season, pitting teams against one another head-to-head. In Newfoundland that meant five-pin bowling—a Canadian invention—with the winning team departing and the losers waiting to challenge the next pair to arrive. The Face-Off is brilliant, dramatic and a potential soul-crusher. It’s also very much a game of patience, as teams wait for others to arrive. It was Sam and Paul vs. Adam and Andrea in Game 1: Sam and Paul won and moved on. Game 2 was Adam and Andrea vs. Team Give’r: Andrea and Adam won. Game 3 put Team Give’r vs. Karen and Bert: Team Give’r triumphed after Bert guttered his final three balls. Game 4 saw Bert and Karen take on Korey and Ivana: Bert and Karen won. In Game 5, Korey and Ivana faced off against Ebonie and Andrea: Korey and Ivana won, leaving Ebonie and Andrea to stew and wait out a timer before they could advance.

At this Leg’s Road Block, one team member had to do perhaps the most difficult thing of all: perform pre-written jokes on-stage in front of an audience at Swirsky’s. (I would have taken the penalty.) Sam totally killed it in his first try and the dating couple departed in first place. Memorization proved to be difficult for the remaining teams, though Kenneth pulled it off and leapfrogged over Adam and Andrea into second place; the brother and sister placed third.

Sam and Paul were the first to arrive at the Pit Stop at the Bay of Islands lookout and landed a trip to Rio de Janeiro in addition to their top spot for the Leg. It went down to the wire for Korey and Ivana and Ebonie and Andrea, but the luck ran out for the business partners and they were eliminated from the Race.

What did you think? Which challenges would you have picked? Did you wish Labrador had been visited too? Let me know in the comments below.

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

  1. Sam and Paul (trip to Rio)
  2. Team Give’r
  3. Adam and Andrea
  4. Karen and Bert
  5. Ivana and Korey
  6. Ebonie and Andrea (eliminated)

The Amazing Race Canada airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

 

 

Greg David
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Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and owner of 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 hundreds of television series from Canada, the U.S. and internationally. He is a podcaster, public speaker, weekly radio guest and educator, and past member of the Television Critics Association.
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3 thoughts on “Amazing Race Canada: History and hysterics in Newfoundland and Labrador”

  1. Stand up challenge was different even if canned jokes. The Stop sign shot on Bert was good.
    Sam & Paul might be getting a winners edit. Nice couple moments out of the sponsorship task. Sam & Paul setup for a winner edit perhaps?
    Viking gods Detour was cool.
    The fall and redemption of cocky Bert was good.
    Korey’s never going to live it down. They even named the episode after him!
    Hoping they don’t nerf next week’s international leg by being the last non-elim/Keep on Racing.

    Totally disagree with Face Offs. Leg design is still off. If Andrea and Ebonie had taken an extra 3 hours at the target they’d have still been OK as Korey & Ivana would be forced to wait at the Face Off, thus the Face Off guaranteed they stick around until at least the Roadblock. They said themselves in not so many words the Speed Bump didn’t matter at all because of this. They also can’t go more the 2 at a time in the order they arrived at the Face Off. Another reason it lacks tension, maybe 2 matches at once would have created some excitement.

    And they all won in the order they arrived anyway. Seriously they should cut Face Offs next year.

    I don’t know if last year was really good or this year’s just so-so but if you look at most of the fan boards and other recaps/podcasts in reality forums, the spark isn’t there this time. Not totally sure why. It’s not horrible but I find myself a lot less connected to the teams and less excited for the episodes.

  2. Regarding teams being saved twice . . .

    in season 1, Tims Sr and Jr won the whole season after coming in last in 2 non-elimination legs.
    in season 2, Ryan and Rob were saved twice by non-elim and came in third in the final.

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