Last week in Stratford, Ont., Zainab and Monica were once again saved from elimination when it was revealed the Leg wasn’t over and that teams were headed to Toronto. That also meant that I—along with fellow journalists and social media influencers—would continue our travels as well.
Shortly after Taylor and Courtney landed on the mat in first place, we headed for the production vehicle and hit the highway for Canada’s largest city. Humidity and rain showers threatened as they, and we departed. Teams were tasked with, once they’d arrived in Toronto, visiting the observation deck at city hall to locate a flag marking the location of the next clue. (Behind the curtain: we skipped the observation deck, a personal bummer, and set up shop in Yonge-Dundas Square to see who would arrive first. We heard several teams were slowed down by weather and traffic.) Taylor and Courtney saw the flag right away, Adam and Courtney ended up at Queen’s Quay, and Phil and Martina arrived at city hall and quickly spotted the flag.
In the Road Block, teams had to pack a pile of kitschy items into the back of a Chevrolet Spark and then back another Spark into a parking space. Taylor took on the test. Because they were in the lead, Taylor took some time to figure out which things should go into the car first. Martina felt rushed and quickly fell behind. Nancy and Mellisa, meanwhile, managed to shake Dylan and Kwame at city hall. Taylor knocked over one cone backing up and had to re-do the task. He was still done way in advance and he and Taylor left Yonge-Dundas Square in first. (Behind the curtain: As I just typed, Taylor and Courtney were done and gone quickly. Editing made it look like it was far closer than it really was. Also? There was a super-fan yelling while the Road Block was happening. I’m surprised I couldn’t hear her during the broadcast.)
The next stop? One of the most unique bookstores in the world. The Monkey’s Paw bookstore features the Biblio-Mat, a machine that vends odd books. I’ve used it and was given a book on the history of hanging in England. Anyway, the Racers had to use public transit to get there while our production vehicle drove us over. The Monkey’s Paw was also the location of a Double U-Turn.
Back at Yonge-Dundas Square, Martina and Phil completed the task, followed by Nancy and Mel, an impressive Dylan and Kwame (the super-fan gave them directions), Adam and Courtney and Leanne and Mar. Zainab and Monica ran right past the square and into the building next door, delaying their arrival.
Taylor and Courtney used the Biblio-Mat and received the Detour locations. In Latte Art, Racers had to make two lattes at Versus Coffee and then produce the same intricate foam art that the barista did. In Walk the Park, Racers ventured to El Convento Rico, a Latin nightclub, to vogue their way to their next clue. (Behind the curtain: we were camped out here. This compact, sweaty little club was jam-packed with dancers and audience members. It was a blast to see the excitement as teams arrived and the support the audience gave them during the challenges.)
Martina and Phil opted for Latte Art. (Behind the curtain: we were in The Monkey’s Paw when Phil and Martina arrived. I was secretly hoping to make it on TV—we were asked to act like customers—but were left on the cutting-room floor.) Nancy and Mel, meanwhile, were again shadowed by Kwame and Dylan as they sprinted to the bookstore and then to the club. Courtney and Adam, worried about their own safety, U-Turned Monica and Zainab.
Taylor and Courtney nailed the routine in their first try (the energy in the club was electric when they finished) and departed first, followed by Leanne and Mar. (We left after the cheerleaders too, for our final destination.) Mel and Nancy vogued to success next, followed by Dylan and Kwame and Kwame’s Hammer pants. That left Adam and Courtney and Zainab and Monica fighting to complete the routine first. Of course, Monica and Zainab still had to make the lattes.
The North York Harvest Food Bank was the next stop for the Racers, where they teamed with Dempster’s to prep and pack boxes of baked goods for shipment across the region to families in need. Taylor and Courtney kept their heads, stayed organized and filled the boxes before anyone else had arrived. They departed for Ireland Park, steps from the ferry to Billy Bishop Airport, and the Pit Stop. Mar and Leanne misread the clipboard and began collecting boxes of baked goods instead of bags. It wasn’t until they asked Mel and Nancy what they were doing that the cheerleaders realized their mistake and got back on track. That lost them a higher ranking to Mel and Nancy, who completed the Leg in second place.
Taylor and Courtney, who led this Leg and the last one, landed on the mat in front of Jon Montgomery and Season 5 winners Sam and Paul. (Behind the curtain: check out the video of that happening above. Sorry, the sound is a little bad, we weren’t allowed to be very close. Also? Every team we watched arrive did it from behind the cameras and lights and had to re-do the run down the pier.)
As expected, Zainab and Monica’s luck ran out during this Leg and they couldn’t come back from being U-Turned by Adam and Courtney. They were eliminated from the Race.
Once again, a big thank you to Bell Media, Insight Productions and CTV’s public relations team for inviting me along on this fun and very full day. It was a thrill to watch filming and get the opportunity to stand on the mat at the end of the Leg.
Who do you think can win it all this season? Let me know in the comments below!
Here’s how the teams finished this Leg of the Race:
- Taylor and Courtney (trip for two to Hong Kong)
- Mel and Nancy
- Martina and Phil
- Leanne and Mar
- Dylan and Kwame
- Courtney and Adam
- Zainab and Monica (eliminated)
The Amazing Race Canada airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. MT on CTV.
Club images courtesy of Bell Media.