All posts by 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.

Amazing Racers put the “fun” in Fundy

And just like that, we’re down to the final three teams on The Amazing Race Canada. After thousands of miles and millions of footsteps, Olympians Meaghan and Natalie, best buds Mickey and Pete and co-workers Ryan and Rob will face off in Sunday’s season finale in Ottawa where one team will claim the grand prize.

Unfortunately, not in the running for the cash, cars and other baubles are siblings Sukhi and Jinder, who arrived on the mat in last place on the windy coast of New Brunswick and were eliminated.

“We feel so blessed that we got to do 11 Legs,” Jinder told host Jon Montgomery. “Now that we’ve done this race, I don’t want our lives to be any less extraordinary.” I really have to acknowledge how the pair evolved throughout the season. In the beginning, they were plagued by nerves and missed easy clues and got lost often, but as the Legs continued they became stronger and more cohesive. Sadly, a case of one red traffic light may have been the reason they were cut.

After placing first in Prince Edward Island, Sukhi and Jinder were the first to depart from Charlottetown. Their haste to get out of town and across the Confederation Bridge led to driving through a red light … and into a 15-minute penalty. They could only watch as Meaghan and Natalie and Mickey and Pete drove past and into the lead. The Olympians and the best friends arrived at and completed the Dairy Queen serving challenge and got to the Detour card location within seconds of each other. Both teams–and, as it turned out, all four–chose the Flag It task, a horribly complex thing where maritime flags denoting different nautical messages had to be hoisted up a flag pole in a certain order.

The difficulty of the test–so many flags looked exactly the same–meant that all four teams ended up in the muck surrounding the Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy at the same time, struggling to figure out why they weren’t given the green light to advance to rock climbing and, eventually, the mat. Meaghan and Natalie were the first to realize what they had done wrong and sprinted off to another first-place finish. Mickey and Pete were next, followed by Ryan and Rob and Sukhi and Jinder. The co-workers’ few seconds head start meant the difference between them placing third and advancing to Sunday’s finale.

At this point it looks like Meaghan and Natalie may have this whole thing sewn up. But, as evidenced in The Amazing Race franchise, one small slip can mean the difference between champs and chumps.

The Amazing Race Canada season finale airs Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on CTV followed by an After the Race special.

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CBC’s new app decides Canada’s Smartest Person

I am not Canada’s Smartest Person. Heck, I’m not even the smartest in the room. That’s what I gleaned from CBC’s special sneak peek at the app to be used by viewers during the network’s upcoming fall game show.

On Tuesday, journalists were invited down to CBC’s headquarters to test their skills in three of the areas of intelligence that will be the showcase of the series. While the 32 finalists who made the cut to be part of the TV show battle it out on-screen and in front of host Jessi Cruickshank, viewers at home can participate via Android and iOS app, or the show’s website. Available for download on Monday, Sept. 22–a week before the series return–the app tests Canadians’ skills in the arenas of Math & Logic Intelligence, Visual & Spatial Intelligence, Body & Kinesthetic Intelligence, Linguistics Intelligence, Musical Intelligence and Interpersonal Intelligence.

Cruikshank, series creator Robert Cohen and Paul Mcgrath, executive producer of interactive for CBC, guided critics through three of the six tests; I walked out of there pretty humbled. The first, which tasked those in the room kitted out with iPads to make as many words consisting of at least three letters out of the source word “protein”, netted me a horrible 17 out of 100. I was under the room average of 28/100. Yes, I write for a living. I fared better in the next challenge testing logic, nabbing an 89/100 (against 58/100 as the room average) for being able to place a bunch of animated pipe in order to allow water to flow through them. And despite listening to people’s answers for a living, I fell short (39/100) when it came to differentiating which musical instruments were slowly being removed from a piece of music, though the room was even worse (35/100).

Cohen says that–once Canada’s Smartest Person airs and data through the website and apps starts to roll in–those participating will be able to see how they rank against friends and family. But it doesn’t stop there; data will be gathered so you can see how you fared against members of the opposite sex or those on the opposite side of the country. There will be daily challenges available outside of the broadcasts for those who just can’t get enough of testing themselves and others.

Or, in my case, establishing just how much I am not Canada’s Smartest Person.

Canada’s Smartest Person returns Sunday, Sept. 28, at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. in Newfoundland) on CBC. The app is available for download on Android and iOS devices on Monday, Sept. 22.

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CBC reveals Canada’s Smartest Person participants

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From a media release:

-From doctors to teachers, an electrician to a fighter pilot, CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON will show the nation a new way to look at ‘smart’-

-Tune-in to the special two-hour season premiere on Sunday, Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT)-

CBC’s new competition series CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON has narrowed down the field to 32 remarkable Canadians who will put themselves to the test, squaring off every episode for their chance to take home the title of “Canada’s Smartest Person.” Each week, Jessi Cruickshank, along with co-host Jeff Douglas, will guide viewers through the hour-long competition series, which explores how Canadians are smart, based on the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. In each episode four competitors go head-to-head in a series of entertaining and revealing challenges that test six areas of intelligence: linguistic, physical, musical, visual, social and logical, with one winner advancing to the championship finale. Then, in the climactic season finale, the eight weekly finalists will battle it out to claim the title of CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON. Audiences can join the fun and take on every challenge from home by downloading the CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON app or playing along online at cbc.ca/smarterstperson.

Hailing from the east to the west coast and everywhere in between, this diverse group of Canadians range from 16 to 71 years old and includes an artist, scientist, fire fighter and musician to name a few, each demonstrating that intelligence is about much more than IQ.

Introducing the competitors who will compete for the chance to become CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON:

· Yahaya Baruwa, 26, author and entrepreneur from Toronto, ON

· Alisia Bonnick, 20, novelist and psychology student from Stouffville,ON

· Max Cameron, 31, fighter pilot from Calgary, AB

· Brian Charbonneau, 33, drag artist and screenwriter from Sainte-Geneviève, QC

· Alea Ciecko, 23, psychiatric nursing student from Winnipeg, MB

· Mith Das, 29, copywriter from Toronto, ON

· Daryl Dillman, 24, orthopedic surgery resident from Cole Harbour, N.S.

· JP Doiron, 30, cheese salesman from North Rustico, P.E.I.

· Brent Hayden, 30, Olympian, private swim coach, and photographer from Vancouver, B.C

· Dipna Horra, 39, audio-visual artist from Ottawa, ON

· Jennifer Hurd, 21, doctorate student from Ottawa, ON

· Cat Jahnke, 33, musician from Winnipeg, MB

· Rhiannon Jones, 30, stay-at-home mom from Chilliwack, B.C.

· Kaveh Kavoosi, 27, doctor from Aurora, ON

· Roselyn Kelada-Sedra, 30, actor and law student from Toronto, ON

· Kate LaFrance, 28, middle school teacher from Fredericton, N.B.

· Braden Lauer, 22, law student from Vancouver, B.C.

· Victoria Leenders-Cheng, 33, magazine editor from Montreal, QC

· Kiel Lemmen, 31, high school teacher from Port Coquitlam, B.C.

· Johnny MacRae, 27, poet from North Vancouver, B.C.

· Melanie Martin, 40, physicist and associate professor of physics and, radiology from Winnipeg, MB

· George Millar, 71, teacher from Edmonton, AB

· Nader Nadernejad, 16, high school student from Peterborough, ON

· Nick Nickerson, 49, retired naval communicator and cryptographer from Merrickville,ON

· Norm Odjick, 42, Algonquin Nation tribal council director general from Anishinabeg, QC

· Lisa Preston, 39, radio host from Mississauga, ON

· Mary Rose, 39, Ayurvedic cleaner from Victoria, B.C.

· Chris Sensenig, 37, master electrician from Welland, ON

· Tova Sherman, 52, CEO from Bedford, N.S.

· Ellen Snider, 48, executive director from Quispamsis, N.B.

· Albert Tam, 25, MBA candidate and arts administrator from Woodbridge, ON

· Chris Tessaro, 51, firefighter and poker player from Mississauga, ON

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The Amazing Race finale moves to Sunday night

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From a media release:

The finish line is in sight! With only two exciting episodes left to go for Canada’s #1 summer series THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, CTV announced today that Season 2 will conclude with a two-hour special event from 8-10 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday, Sept. 21. First, the hotly anticipated Season 2 finale will air in a special Sunday night timeslot on CTV and CTV GO. Then, immediately following the exhilarating finish is the fan-favourite, one-hour after-show special, AFTER THE RACE. Shot live and hosted by TSN’s James Duthie (@tsnjamesduthie), AFTER THE RACE reunites all 11 teams to re-live their most memorable moments, while also giving viewers a look at the exclusive first chat with the finalists and the newly crowned winners, just minutes after Canada learns who wins the Race. Produced in front of a live studio audience from CTV’s headquarters in Toronto, this is THE AMAZING RACE CANADA’s second after-show special of the season, following the popular midseason special in August.

“This season of THE AMAZING RACE CANADA is like a great summer sport,” said Duthie. “It has drama, the full spectrum of emotion, and we’ve seen brilliant strategy, pure luck, and absolute blunders. AFTER THE RACE will tackle the hard-hitting questions and the moments that left us talking all summer long.”

“Viewers can look forward to an incredible THE AMAZING RACE CANADA finale,” said Phil King, President – CTV, Sports, and Entertainment Programming. “Then, AFTER THE RACE breaks down the finale – and season – with all 11 teams, and helps answer the questions that viewers at home might be thinking.”

Extending the season finale into a two-hour event, AFTER THE RACE host Duthie goes beyond the mat and talks to teams about the most unforgettable moments, the toughest challenges, and strategies. And like the midseason edition, questions and comments will also come from audience members and fans pulled via Twitter and Facebook, who use the hashtag #AfterTheRace. Viewers can also expect a special appearance from host Jon Montgomery and more in this jam-packed special.

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Comments and queries for the week of Sept. 12

How do you go about getting Sebastian Clovis to do your property, especially back yards that are just about totally unusable? He says he also does outdoor spaces.–Linda

You’re in luck if you live in the Greater Toronto Area! Sebastian and the folks at Tackle My Reno are currently casting for projects. Find out more at Sebastian’s website.

[In response to Confessions of a Cord Cutter] Where I live we can only get expensive satellite TV, as there’s no access to cable. I would cord cut myself but my so-called high-speed Internet is not speedy enough to watch shows online. Netflix usually works OK for me and I’m not sure why, but there’s just not enough shows on there for me. And my husband couldn’t live without Wild TV, the hunting channel. The kids are content to watch kids shows on Netflix though.–Ally

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