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Amazing Race Canada’s Julie and Lowell inspire in AMI’s Mind Set Go

The mind is a powerful thing. It can inspire you to seek the most powerful and healthy version of yourself or propel on to a downward slide of negativity.

Debuting Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET on AMI-tv, Mind Set Go takes the latter and aims for the former with help from The Amazing Race Canada finalists Julie and Lowell Taylor and Canadian Paralympians. The eight-episode season features everyday folks struggling to overcome the negative thoughts that lead to obesity via a three-month system of diet, exercise and support to get them on the path to health and personal wellness. Serving as certified health and fitness coaches and confidantes are the Taylors, who millions saw competing in Season 4 of The Amazing Race Canada; Lowell is legally blind due to retinitis pigmentosa. The pair plays an integral part in helping the contestants shed weight and negative thoughts.

Gio strives to reach his goal

“AMI was very interested in our story,” Julie says on the line from Lethbridge, Alta. “Our relationship, our teamwork and the fact that Lowell is visually impaired worked. We realized that we have something special that can reach a broader audience.” The journey begins with Gio. One of the original members of The Canadian Tenors, Gio stopped singing professionally over a decade ago and fell into a depression he fed with food. Now he’s ready to get healthy. It’s not easy. After a pep talk and weigh-in with Julie and Lowell, Gio begins his transformative journey.

The road to self-worth includes a bike ride with Michelle Salt. The one-time fitness model lost her right leg in a motorcycle accident but found drive and a zest for life as part of Canada’s Paralympic Snowboard Team. Salt listens to Gio before putting him on a bike and challenging him to keep up and pedals away. As she says, the only thing holding Gio back from success is his mind.

AMI This Week’s Victoria Nolan

“We often talk to people who are patients about this,” Lowell says. “If you believe you can’t you’re right. If you believe you can, you’re also right. If we let those bully voices inside of our head, that becomes the limiting belief. That becomes the thing that pulls us away, to withdraw, to stop living.”

“I don’t even think people identify that that is what’s holding them back,” Julie continues. “It becomes so internalized that they haven’t even identified that. Bringing it to light is so important.” Future episodes of Mind Set Go showcase Canadian Paralympians and athletes in Maya Jonas, Josh Cassidy, Summer Mortimer, Ness Murby, Greg Westlake and AMI This Week co-host Victoria Nolan.

Mind Set Go airs Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on AMI-tv.

Images courtesy of AMI.




Calling All Heroes: CTV Orders Sixth Season of Hit Series The Amazing Race Canada

From a media release:

After five AMAZING seasons, host Jon Montgomery announced today that the adventure will continue as CTV has renewed THE AMAZING RACE CANADA for a heroic sixth season. And in a new twist, THE AMAZING RACE CANADA is seeking courageous Canadians – teachers, first responders, parents, community leaders, mentors, athletes, and other everyday heroes with a story to tell – to join the Race for Season 6 and be a part of an adventure that could change their lives forever. The most-watched Canadian series of the year, THE AMAZING RACE CANADA is slated to return next summer to CTV when host Jon Montgomery welcomes a new cast of racers to the starting line and takes viewers on their favourite summertime adventure.

CTV also confirmed today that casting for the upcoming sixth season of the competition series is now open. Aspiring racers are invited to pair up with someone they know and trust – a friend, sibling, parent, partner, or someone with a close relationship – and submit an audition for the opportunity to share their story with the rest of Canada. While THE AMAZING RACE CANADA is especially seeking everyday heroes to join the Race for Season 6, casting is open to every Canadian looking to challenge themselves and find the hero within.

New this season, fans and viewers can tell THE AMAZING RACE CANADA about the incredible everyday heroes who they would like to see conquer the Race, in addition to submitting their own application. Viewers looking to shine a spotlight on the valiant Canadians in their lives should visit the casting website to submit a nomination, telling the story of what makes their submission a hero in their life or community (no video required). The deadline for applications and nominations is Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. ET. For all casting details and updates, including instructions on how to submit an audition video or propose someone for Season 6, viewers can visit CTV.ca/TheAmazingRaceCanada, the CTV Facebook page, and follow @AmazingRaceCDA.

The fifth season of THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, which saw racers travel more than 50,000 km with international stops in China, Thailand, and Panama, was the most-watched Canadian program of the broadcast year, with an average audience of 1.8 million total viewers. More than two million viewers tuned in for the Season 5 finale on Sept. 12, 2017 to watch dating couple Sam and Paul from Toronto take home the grand prize.




Comments and queries for the week of September 15

I think the best team won, however, Kenneth and Ryan were my favourites. They had such a great attitude and had so much fun. The Amazing Race is so great to watch. —Rochelle

No renewal announcement, slightly surprising. But it will happen it’s still the No. 1 summer show. Two climbing challenges was redundant but the puzzle/memory and the bike challenges were good. If Giver had just remembered one 150 Challenge the first time they’d have won. The elevator bit was awesome. It’s always odd how most After the Race specials have one person missing. Not sure why they only had one this year instead of the usual two reunions. I do like they let everyone talk at least once. Sam & Paul had a winner’s edit going on but they were pretty likeable. Ivana had a few goofy moments but so did Korey in the band uniform and peeing earlier. She really messed up her back on diving, I’m surprised she wasn’t medevaced. The nerfing of the U-Turns, the waiting for people to show up to the Face Offs, the location order and the very few international legs being almost always non-elim needs to change. —Dan

I’m happy that Sam and Paul won; however, I would have been happy if Kenneth and Ryan won as well. Some of the challenges were beyond crazy. Five years ago I would have thought entering The Amazing Race would be a possible feat; however, with the challenges they put out there today … never! I’ll be a forever “viewer” instead. Question: why didn’t Kenneth take the elevator the second time? He had already completed the challenge by scaling the building for the first time. —Judy

I love watching The Amazing Race Canada. Have to say I was all for Team GIVER, but the race was so close and I’m glad Sam and Paul won. Can’t wait for next season. —CC

Team Giver really grew on me throughout the race, so I was kind of hoping they’d pull out the win, but Sam and Paul were strong competitors and deserved the win. Well done guys! —Bridget

Team Giver gave it their all and they are the best team ever whether they won or lost, they tried their best and put all of their might into it! They made the town of Collingwood very proud of them and Ontario, Canada too! From one Collingwood Fan, I am so proud of Team Giver and for putting us on the map!!! Way to go guys, you did awesome! Better get training for 2018!!! —Donna

Sam and Paul deserved to win. They played this game intelligently and seemed to have done their research in avoiding errors. Great job guys, enjoy all your prizes. —Christina


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




The Amazing Race Canada: And the winners are …

After thousands of kilometres travelled, and millions of steps taken, Tuesday’s final Leg of The Amazing Race Canada crowned its winning team. Would it be dating couple Sam and Paul, who have been so dominant all summer long? Could Team Giver, best buds Kenneth and Ryan, take the title? Or would friends Ivana and Korey pull off the biggest upset of the season and snatch a win from one of the other pairs?

In the end, dating couple Sam and Paul continued the momentum they’d built during later stages of the Race and were this season’s winners, capturing cars, a trip for two around the world, $250,000 and the title. Best friends Kenneth and Ryan placed second with friends Ivana and Korey in third.

“It’s the most amazing thing,” Sam said moments after celebrating. “We met so many amazing people and the fact that I got to do it with Paul and everyone here has been the most amazing experience of our lives.”

“This Race really has changed my life,” Paul said. “Even six months ago I didn’t want to tell people I was gay. Just being in front of all these people and being comfortable with that and being able to talk to everyone and show that this is my boyfriend that I’m in love with. I feel like a different person. I feel like I’m liberated. It’s the best feeling.”

But Sam and Paul’s triumph was anything but easy, thanks to some super-tough tests and a wayward cab ride.

The Leg began with the final pairs all on the same flight to Quebec City, once again negating any chance of a team snagging a lead on the others. (I’m guessing the fact there aren’t as many flight options—or sponsors—is the reason for this.) The trios immediately, upon arrival, were presented with the clue box and the first Road Block of the Leg: one team member had to climb down a cargo net above the raging water of Montmorency Falls to grab their next clue. Paul, Korey and Ryan all opted for the test. To be honest, it seemed like climbing around just above a waterfall was easier than having cockroaches crawling all over your face. Paul made it look easy, steadily picking his way down and then back up the cargo net while calmly explaining his plan. Kudos to Race producers for some truly stunning camera shots of the cataract. I assume it took the other two teams awhile to get into the base building and then back out again because Sam and Paul departed the challenge before the others arrived. Ryan and Korey went head-to-head, with the former outlasting the latter and getting to the top first. Korey’s foot got tangled in the net, further slowing him down.

A quick cab ride to the old city of Quebec produced an interesting challenge, as teams were tasked with navigating the narrow, streets astride bike rickshaws to pick up and drop off customers. Communication and patience was key, which Sam and Paul found out fast. With one partner planted in the park and the other on the rickshaw, the walkie talkie was a lifeline. Language played a huge part in the test too, something Ryan quickly found out as he butchered the French street names. This challenge levelled the playing field, erasing the lead Sam and Paul had and allowing the others to catch up. Frustration also set in thanks mostly to poor radio reception. Paul did complete the task first, but Kenneth was right behind.

The fact The Amazing Race Canada was being done in the summer didn’t stop Quebec City from injecting Bonhomme Carnaval into the mix: teams had to find their next clue amid hundreds of stuffed Bonhomme toys stored in a warehouse. Once they’d found the clue—an empty box of chocolates—it was off to a chocolate shop to cash in the box for a huge hollow egg with the Road Block clue inside it. (Funniest moment of the episode? A man in a Bonhomme costume scaring the bejesus out of Team Giver.)

At the Road Block, the team member who skipped the cargo net had to climb the outside of the tallest building in Quebec City—a 30-plus storey adventure—and look for the flag revealing their next location. Sam was halfway up the wall by the time Kenneth was strapped in, but it was a dead heat as both men were searching for the Race colours. They saw it at the same time, leading to the second funniest moment in the episode: the silent elevator ride to the ground. Ivana made the top of the building quickly but then clearly misunderstood the clue and began looking all over the roof of the building for the marker rather than at the city. Even more shocking than Ivana’s miscue was Kenneth’s: he picked out the flag on top of the university and not the Race flag. Team Giver was forced to return to the building for another peek. Meanwhile, Ivana came to her senses and began scanning the city for the flag and quickly located it.

Meanwhile, Sam’s eyes had picked out the right clue and the couple arrived at the Morrin Centre to complete a puzzle recalling six tests during the season’s Legs and celebrating Canada 150. They were just starting to put things together when Ivana and Korey arrived in second place. Kenneth fixed his mistake and Team Giver was back in it: all three teams were working on their puzzles. It was a truly nail-biting test and the tension in the library was palpable. Kenneth and Ryan’s decision to, um, build the puzzle on the actual puzzle board rather than the floor paid off and they only had to place the six Canada 150-themed challenge tokens in the correct spots before departing to find host Jon Montgomery. Team Giver got it wrong and as they regrouped Sam and Paul got their six tokens correct and departed for Île d’Orléan’s and the final Pit Stop.

The only thing standing in the way of Sam and Paul’s victory was their lost cab driver. Thankfully, he steered them right and the pair were the winners of this season of The Amazing Race Canada.

Here’s how the teams finished The Amazing Race Canada:

  1. Sam and Paul
  2. Kenneth and Ryan
  3. Korey and Ivana

Are you happy with the final results? What did you think of this season of The Amazing Race Canada? Let me know in the comments below.




The Amazing Race Canada: Final three revealed in bug-filled Leg

I really enjoy it when The Amazing Race Canada explores smaller communities. The big cities are fine, but the opportunity to go to less-travelled spots in the country, I think, makes for a more enjoyable Leg. So when I learned the final four were headed to Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., I was chuffed. Not only would we be offered a peek at the city, but it would play a role in determining which teams would advance to next week’s season finale.

The place of the rapids was in fine fettle, boasting the rugged terrain that is the hallmark of the Canadian Shield. Sam and Paul were on top of the world with four first-place finishes this season, but would that all come crashing down in the Soo? The remaining teams all began the Leg with a trip I had the pleasure of doing when I was a kid: a train trip to Agawa Canyon. While on the train on a truncated voyage, teams had to match up and memorize the titles and descriptions of 14 paintings done by the Group of Seven. The teams had just 30 minutes to complete the task correctly or be nailed with a 30-minute delay via another loop of the train. It looked like Sam and Paul’s directional challenges meant they’d miss the train, but they arrived in the nick of time.

Sam and Paul missed just one painting in their first attempt but were correct the second time around—Paul had said “lake” instead of “land”—and were off to the races. (Pardon the pun.) The other three duos were stuck with another half-hour ride, leaving Sam and Paul a chance to widen their lead. Kenneth and Ryan completed the task next, followed by Karen and Bert and Ivana and Korey.

The Leg’s Detour hearkened back to the area’s dependence on fur and fish, as teams could either guide two alpacas through an obstacle course in three minutes or go fly fishing and hit three floating targets. Sam and Paul went for the alpaca test, as did Kenneth and Ryan while Karen and Bert and Ivana and Korey opted for fishing. I would have chosen the alpaca test, which looked like a ton of fun. Watching the animals gamely following Sam and Paul was a treat and the foursome completed the challenge with time to spare. Meanwhile, Korey revealed he’s an expert fisherman; minutes later he and Ivana had cast their flies and were departing. Team Giver had major issues with one alpaca and had to swap it out for one that was a little more energetic. (Maybe it got tired of all the yelling.)

The Amazing Race Canada‘s Face Off placed teams on ice competing head-to-head in the hybrid game of crokicurl. The game—a mix of crokinole and curling—involved the curling button and poles and a centre-hole score of 20 points. The last team at the Face Off would, of course, incur a time penalty. While Sam and Paul waited to see who’d they’d play against, we learned Sam’s grandfather competed in The Brier (very cool) and his aunts and uncles all play too. The dating couple were shocked when Korey and Ivana showed up to play; Sam and Paul took the early lead and it was down to the last rock thrown by Ivana. She nailed it, winning the Face Off and leaving Sam and Paul behind to play Bert and Karen. After 13 attempts, Kenneth and Ryan and their alpaca pals were successful and they headed to the rink in last-place. Sam and Paul beat Bert and Karen, leaving the married couple to contend with Team Giver. Ryan brilliantly aimed for the button, nabbing them 20 points and removing the rock from the game. Thanks to Karen’s errant shot that pushed Team Giver’s rock into the button a second time, they best buds were on their way to getting buggy.

The Leg’s Road Block was a creepy crawly affair, as one team member was tasked with counting the number of four species of cockroaches … as they crawled over their partner’s head. (The look on Korey’s face when he realized the bugs would be on him was priceless, as was Ivana’s remark, “The more you talk the more chance they have to get in your mouth.”) Paul was as unenthusiastic as Korey, Ryan seemed downright angry and I’m pretty sure Bert needs therapy; Paul and Sam got the count right their very first try and wrestled the lead back from Ivana and Korey. After more than an hour of counting, re-counting and guessing, Ivana finally got the right number and she and Korey were off. Bert begging the other teams to give Karen the numbers fell on deaf ears; I genuinely felt badly for Bert, but freaking out and shaking his head made it harder for Karen to count the cockroaches.

It was off to Top Sail Island for the Pit Stop, where Sam and Paul checked in first to score a spot in next week’s season finale and a trip for two to Cape Town, South Africa. With five Leg wins under their belts, Sam and Paul are the team to beat. The trouble for other duos is that even when the dating couple fall behind, they’re able to make up ground in another test. Ivana and Korey have shown amazing growth this season and, if the right challenge is given to them, they could win it all. Kenneth and Ryan have the skills to win any challenge and take out any team and their positive attitude has gotten them out of plenty of jams. Sadly for Bert and Karen, this was the end of their Race and their tearful apologies to each other outside the bug challenge gave me a lump in my throat.

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

  1. Sam and Paul (trip for two to Cape Town)
  2. Ivana and Korey
  3. Kenneth and Ryan
  4. Karen and Bert (eliminated)

The Amazing Race Canada season finale airs next Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.