It usually takes me a couple of legs of The Amazing Race Canada before I decide which teams I like and have the best chance of winning. Thanks to Bell Media, I had an edge going into this Heroes Edition because I got to interview the teams before they headed out on the Race. (Check those interviews out here, here and here.)
As a result, when Tuesday finally rolled around for the first episode of this season, I was expecting big things from former Canadian Air Force pilots Chewy and Happy, Toronto Argos cheerleaders Leanne and Marielle and RCMP officers Taylor and Courtney. No disrespect to the others; it was just my gut feeling. And, as it turned out, my gut was dead wrong in one case.
Things had started out so swimmingly for all of the teams. This Heroes Edition version of The Amazing Race Canada spotlights those who give of themselves for the better of others, so expect plenty of inspirational speeches and tales of hardship and triumph. Jon Montgomery, who has become the voice of the summer months in this country despite competing in the Winter Games, gamely took his pride of place in front of the 10 teams participating this year. After introducing all of the teams and their stories, they assembled in front of Jon at Hatley Castle in Victoria, B.C., and were poised for the finger drop.
Martina and Phil were the first to depart the castle in their Chevy, headed to a mainland ferry before driving to Squamish, B.C. In second were Happy and Chewy, followed by Courtney and Taylor and everyone else … except for Kwame and Dylan, who literally missed the boat and suffered a two-hour setback. You’d think that would be an insurmountable feat, but not on The Amazing Race Canada. With nine other teams in the running, there was plenty of time for a rookie mistake.
Once the ferries docked, the teams drove to Squamish and hopped on board gondolas to collect their next clue. The Amazing Race Canada camera crews always do a stellar job capturing the beauty of this country, and this episode was no exception. The stunning mountain peaks, roaring rivers and twisting roads made me long for an excuse to head west. Happy and Chewy were the first to arrive at the gondola, followed by Nancy and Mellisa, Leanne and Marielle, Todd and Anna, Courtney and Taylor and Martina and Phil. Zainab and Monica were hopelessly lost in Vancouver as Kwame and Dylan drove off their ferry.
The first Road Block of the season tasked players with pulling themselves along ropes high above a canyon floor to retrieve a stuffed beaver from its spot hooked to the rope. Chewy went first, and just missed snagging the little beast before continuing on his bungee cord course to the bottom of the canyon. He would have to try again. Nancy grabbed the beaver on her first try and she and Mellisa vacated the scene in favour of the Squamish Days Festival. Leanne succeeded next, as did Todd, Taylor, Phil and Dylan. Adam and Akash missed on their first tries too but the trio all grabbed the beaver on their second tries.
The second Road Block took place at the Festival site, where the other team member had to make like a lumberjack and climb a massive 80-foot pole to retrieve the next clue card. Two height-related challenges in the same episode? Interesting choice by the producers. As an aside, it was great to see two all-female teams leading the first leg of the Race. (Quote of the night: “I’ve got slivers in my crotch!”) Mellisa and Nancy were unstoppable as they departed for Darrell Bay and the next clue to fish for regulation-sized crab. Trouble was, they didn’t realize the buoys were attached to the crab traps and paddled their tandem board right on by, leaving Leanne and Marielle to take the lead.
All teams headed for the Brittania Mine Museum (where several features and TV shows, including The X-Files, have filmed) to seek out Mill No. 3, and the first Pit Stop of Season 6. Argos cheerleaders Leanne and Marielle made it to the mat first, scoring a trip for two to Tokyo. Nancy and Mellisa were steps behind, followed by Todd and Anna, Dylan and Kwame and Taylor and Courtney. The five-team scramble to haul in the right sized crab meant Happy and Chewy were in last place on the drive to the Mine Museum. Zainab and Monica, Martina and Phil and Adam and Courtney all hit the mat within seconds of each other, leaving Joseph and Akash and Chewy and Happy in a footrace for the final spot. Chewy was steps behind his partner, but too late to save them from elimination.
What are your thoughts regarding the teams racing this season? Let me know in the comments below!
Here’s how the teams finished this Leg of the Race:
- Leanne and Marielle (trip for two to Tokyo)
- Nancy and Mellisa
- Todd and Anna
- Dylan and Kwame
- Taylor and Courtney
- Zainab and Monica
- Martina and Phil
- Adam and Courtney
- Joseph and Akash
- Chewy and Happy (eliminated)
The Amazing Race Canada airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. MT on CTV.
Images courtesy of Bell Media.