Everything about Amazing Race Canada, eh?

Comments and queries for the week of September 21

The [Amazing Race Canada] finale was good, but I’m super bummed with the outcome. Not having Martina and Phil in the finale made it way less fun to watch. I was really pulling for Taylor and Courtney to win. I never really got into Adam and Courtney, there was just something about them that made them unlikable throughout the whole thing. I enjoyed the season but it seemed shorter than previous seasons. I wouldn’t mind if they went abroad more next season because its always enjoyable to learn and see new countries and cultures. Overall a decent season. —Christine 

I enjoyed the first [Bletchley Circle] series but missed the second one, unfortunately. Sounds like an intriguing take on the previous series, though I wish it had been set in Vancouver rather than the U.S. Hopefully, Season 2 will move to Canada. —John

Super, we love Jonny Harris and Still Standing. Looking forward to the Carcross, Yukon, episode as we have been there, and got lost trying to find our way back out of town LOL. —Steve

Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? Email greg.david@tv-eh.com or via Twitter @tv_eh.


Amazing Race Canada: And the winners are…

This season of The Amazing Race Canada has seen its share of drama, joy, and tears both happy and sad. It also had a surprising number of close finishes in front of Jon Montgomery. That’s a testament, I think, to how evenly matched the teams have been.

Taylor and Courtney, the clear favourites after winning so many Legs, departed New Brunswick in the lead. They were confident. But confidence can be a killer, especially when you have a team like Courtney and Adam on your tail. Time and time again they dodged elimination; would this be the week they’d win their first—and the most important—Leg of all in their home province? And you couldn’t count out the late surge of Kwame and Dylan.

On the ground in Calgary, the pairs were faced with a Road Block: to enter the airport’s air traffic control tower simulator to memorize two weather reports and then relay them to the senior air traffic controller upstairs. Kwame and the Courtneys tackled the test. It was going to be tough. Taylor was confident his sister would pull it off. And it appeared she would thanks to a trick she’d used in the past: assigning acronyms to things she had to recall.

“Courtney and Taylor are not the team you want in the lead,” Dylan said. It was a huge understatement. The siblings beat it to a waiting helicopter that took them to Banff National Park and Mount Fable for their next clue. At 9,000 feet above sea level, it was one hell of a spot to grab a clue. The scenery was simply stunning; The Amazing Race Canada never disappoints with its choices of location to film at. I did wonder if the producers would let teams go off on their own to find the clue. They rightly erred on the side of caution and had a climber accompany them.

Meanwhile, Courtney and Kwame were stuck at the airport, one word separating each from advancing. Courtney finally said “inform” rather than “tell” and she and Adam left Kwame and Dylan behind. Kwame finally got “altimeter” and they headed out.

Sunshine Village Ski Resort was the next stop and another upward climb—via gondola—to the next clue. In the Leg’s Road Block, Racers had to master two extreme winter sports: skijoring (skiing and dog sledding) two laps and then sledding down a slushy course. The team member who didn’t perform the airport task had to do this one. That meant Taylor, Adam and Dylan had to complete it. With no one else to challenge him, Taylor was able to take his time and build up a routine with his canine companions. A hearty thank you to the producers for replaying Taylor’s faceplant and flip coming out of the slush pond.

The Banff National Park Administration Building was the next location and Courtney and Taylor believed they had a 45-minute lead on the first responders. The next test? A classic Amazing Race Canada memory recall with teams picking through 10 souvenir shops on Banff’s main street for trinkets representing the people, places and things experienced during Heroes Edition. Display them in the correct order and you get to move on. With almost half of the episode left to broadcast, it appeared this was going to determine who would win the season. (It was as Taylor and Courtney started shopping that I noticed the huge snow rash on Taylor’s face.)

Where Taylor and Courtney appeared to just grab and dash with their items, Courtney and Adam took the time to write them down and the countries they were assigned to. It appeared that would give them a huge advantage when it came to assembling them in order. Suddenly, the RCMP officers’ lead was gone as both teams were in the same shop. Dylan and Kwame caught up too … but then assumed there were single items in the stores. Ouch.

Taylor and Courtney were the first team back to the administration building but were short on items, meaning they had to go shopping. It was a tense time in the building as Courtney and Taylor and Courtney and Adam came up short on one tchotchke each. While Adam and Courtney swapped toys back and forth, placing the PEI zombies in a Mexico spot, Taylor and Courtney were grabbing the all-important helicopter.

Suddenly, Adam realized the zombies weren’t part of the Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico. And just like that, he and Courtney were in first place and off to the Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course via raft in search of Jon Montgomery and the final Pit Stop. Coming in fast were Courtney and Taylor. The only thing standing in the way of a first-place finish was the elusive fifth hole … on the 18-hole course.

And, in a stunning finale, it was Adam and Courtney who finished in first place, outrunning Courtney and Taylor for the title, vehicles, trip for two around the world, and $250,000.

Congratulations to the crew and cast of The Amazing Race Canada. You’re all heroes in my book.

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

  1. Adam and Courtney
  2. Courtney and Taylor
  3. Kwame and Dylan

Were you happy with the season finale of The Amazing Race Canada? Who would you like to have seen won instead? What did you think of this season overall? Let me know in the comments below.

Flag image courtesy of Bell Media.


Amazing Race Canada: Fitness and flying in Fredericton

OK, I admit it. I’ve only been to New Brunswick once in my life and it was driving through it to PEI. I didn’t stop, didn’t sleep and didn’t eat there. So I was thrilled The Amazing Race Canada devoted an entire Leg to the province so that I can make notes and right my wrong in the near future.

Dylan and Kwame, who pieced together one heck of a great Leg last week, departed in top spot. The military’s long history in Fredericton served as the first test of the Leg, as teams were driven to Officers’ Square in the Garrison District to observe two changing of the guards and figure out one subtle difference between each. That seemed easy, until Jon explained the two ceremonies were taking place blocks apart; plenty of time to forget what you saw. All four teams arrived at the same time and I wondered if any would help each other.  Phil and Marina chose to take their taxi to the second location, saving them time and keeping the routine fresh. Phil spotted the difference right away and they were off and, literally, running.

The Leg’s Detour featured CFB Gagetown, the second-largest military base in Canada. The two choices here were Fit (completing a fitness exam in under 18 minutes) or Fly (running a helicopter flight simulator and landing top of Montreal’s Bell Centre in under five minutes). I would have chosen Fly if you were wondering. Martina and Phil chose one of the two spots on Fly. Kwame and Dylan were next, picking one of two slots in Fit. While Phil and Martina crashed, Kwame and Dylan were having challenges of their own on what looked like a terribly hard physical test. Mike, Courtney and Adam’s cab driver, refused to take Taylor and Courtney to Gagetown, leaving them in last place. The first responders chose Fit, leaving the RCMP officers to either wait for another team to complete Fit or opt for Fly. The took Fly.

Martina was doing really well behind the controls, but they had to step out so Courtney and Taylor to give it a shot. Meanwhile, we got more background into Kwame’s upbringing and his own military ties. That and his exultations to Dylan got the pair past the physical pain as they completed the Detour. Adam’s full bladder caused him to stop short dragging the sandbags down the lane and he had to start all over again. Taylor’s video game playing skills was a major advantage and he and Courtney landed the helicopter in his first attempt. I felt so badly for Courtney; she was performing the last part of the Fit test and messed it up, sending them over to Fly. There the pair switched off with Martina and Phil between being lost in the air or skidding off the Bell Centre to simulated deaths.

The second Face Off of the season involved wheelchair basketball, as teams went head-to-head in a 15-minute half court game. The team with the most points moved on and the losers had to stay and play the next pair. Courtney and Taylor had a few minutes to practice before Dylan and Kwame arrived. Courtney, recognizing she didn’t have the strength to match either football coaches, played a brilliant defensive game, crowding Dylan and giving she and her brother the win. Dylan and Kwame made short work of Phil and Martina, leaving the siblings to take on Adam and Courtney. It was an evenly matched tilt that headed to sudden death: Courtney and Adam won.

In the Road Block, teams travelled to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. There, they had to work with an elder asking questions in Wolastoqey to identify six Indigenous paintings. Following a physical challenge with one using language was genius and the nonplussed look on Taylor’s face said it all: this would be a time-consuming test. But with no one else around to apply pressure, Taylor focused and had nailed five out of six paintings before Kwame arrived. He and Courtney left the gallery in first place and Government House, the site of the Pit Stop. Adam, sadly, at first thought it was an English-language challenge and wasted precious time before reading the clue over again and realizing his error. He rebounded quickly, leaving Martina at Beaverbrook.

The RCMP officers/siblings once again placed first, winning a trip to Buenos Aires. Kwame and Dylan and Courtney and Adam rounded out the final three heading into the season finale. Kudos to Phil and Martina, who refused to get down even though they knew they had been eliminated.

Who will win the final Leg of The Amazing Race Canada? What do you want to say to Phil and Martina? Let me know in the comments below.

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

  1. Courtney and Taylor (trip to Buenos Aires)
  2. Dylan and Kwame
  3. Courtney and Adam
  4. Martina and Phil (eliminated)

The Amazing Race Canada airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. MT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.


Comments and queries for the week of August 31

The BEST episode [of The Amazing Race Canada] this season. So entertaining and funny. Fave parts: “make up” some time, “dead serious,” the moustaches, the intimidating big brown eyes, the boarder dog, the bad acting, the invisible slap chop, Phil’s many brotherly jabs towards his sister, and Taylor’s calm and positive demeanor while cheering on his sister in the first task. Sad to see any of the Top 5 teams eliminated. —Tunie

Best challenge was obviously the fun acting bit that we spent most of the episode on, but to see a true footrace and the strong team of Nancy and Melissa go was shocking. Battle of the Two Courtney’s was a good episode title. Road Block was OK, Detours seemed simple at least from what we saw. A strong ending for our second and last international Leg. Fredericton next week means all the provincial and territorial capitals have been featured at least once over the six years. Pretty foreshadowed that the boys would win this episode. Cute skateboarding dog. —DanAmazing

Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? Email greg.david@tv-eh.com or via Twitter @tv_eh.


Amazing Race Canada: Muertos and mercado in Mexico City

I admit it. I had cheerleaders Mar and Leanne as one of the favourites to win this season of The Amazing Race Canada. But one tight-fitting helmet derailed the pair in PEI, setting up what should be very interesting remaining episodes of the Race.

Nancy and Mellisa, who went from worst to first last week (and suffered a few speed bumps along the way) departed for Mexico City in high spirits. But with a population of 21 million, it was going to be a daunting Leg. The first stop upon arriving? The Monumento a la Revolución and a very special clue. Every season of The Amazing Race Canada features messages from loved ones and it took place above Mexico City. There were tears, runny noses and promises to complete the Race. (Tola’s message to Kwame was very emotional, and we got his backstory.) Courtney and Taylor and Adam and Courtney arrived within minutes of each other and were directed to Frontón, Mexico, for their next clue. It was hilarious to see Courtney and Taylor ask to be driven there, only to have the driver point across the street.

In the Road Block, one team member was challenged to don the huge arm scoop of Jai Alai and land one serve. I’ve always wanted to play Jai Alai … not so much after seeing the struggle everyone went through. (I’m pretty sure Jon Montgomery missed his serve.) It only took Dylan a second set of attempts for him to land his serve correctly and the mentors were off in first place, followed by athletes Mel and Nancy. Martina, who is becoming a stronger competitor every week, beat out the Courtneys and she and Phil departed in third. Courtney and Adam completed the task next, leaving the RCMP officers behind. It was sad to see Courtney get down on herself after countless attempts, but she got it after switching to underhand.

The Leg’s Detour was a choice between Mercado (purchasing four ingredients from stalls in a 2,000 shop market and making pico de gallo) or Muertos (going to a park and painting a Day of the Dead mask on their partner’s face). Dylan and Kwame opted for face painting, as did Martina and Phil, Courtney and Adam and Courtney and Taylor. Mellisa and Nancy chose to go shopping and quickly regretted it. Dylan and Kwame did an amazing job on each other’s makeup and left the challenge first. Meanwhile, Mel and Nancy found an angel in Mary, who helped them shop and they were done in no time. Taylor and Courtney remained in last place.

Next up? Learning lines for a faux telenovela The House of Shame and Passion. Yikes. Kwame’s moustache was killer. The Racers embraced their inner scene-chewer as they took turns portraying over-the-top characters. Kwame and Dylan struggled, but gutted it out and departed with their heads held high. Phil’s performance was horrible but the director approved anyway. The pressure was on the remaining duos.

The Leg’s Pit Stop was located in Alameda Central and Kwame and Dylan arrived as the No. 1 team, scoring a trip to Sydney, Australia. Yes, the pair finally came out on top. Martina and Phil continued to impress, followed by Mel and Nancy. It came down to who could remember their lines … and Taylor and Courtney pulled it off, leapfrogging Courtney and Adam. But, as sometimes happens, flagging a taxi can be a challenge. That meant a stressful few moments for viewers leading into the last commercial break of the episode. Who would make it to the mat in time and who would be going home?

Safe: Courtney and Taylor, in a stunning reversal of fortune.

Safe: Courtney and Adam.

Eliminated by mere steps: Mel and Nancy.

Yes, this is a Race, but it was still touching to hear Adam say, “No!” and apologize to Mel and Nancy.

Next week teams fly to New Brunswick. Who do you think has the best chance of winning The Amazing Race Canada? Let me know in the comments below.

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

  1. Dylan and Kwame (trip for two to Sydney)
  2. Martina and Phil
  3. Courtney and Taylor
  4. Courtney and Adam
  5. Mel and Nancy (eliminated)

The Amazing Race Canada airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. MT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.