Everything about Amazing Race Canada, eh?

Mon dieu! Amazing Race Canada heads to Quebec

With just five teams left, The Amazing Race Canada headed to La Belle Province for its latest Leg. Would language play a major factor with the teams? At first blush, it seemed Dave would have the upper hand, him being from Quebec and all.

Trains carried the remaining teams to the Charlevoix region, a spot where English-speaking folks are rare. Dave was predicting another winning Leg for he and Irina. An over 1,000 km ride ended in La Malbaie, with a stop for poutine at Chez Chantal … and their next clue. Sam and Sarah were the first to arrive and got peeling 25 potatoes to be used in the gooey, cheesy delicacy.

In the Road Block, teams were instructed to hit the road for Le Manoir Richelieu, site of the 2018 G7 summit. Once there, one team member memorized a statement given at the conference and then answered three questions about it from the media. The statements were delivered in English and French and questions were in Japanese, German and Italian. Instead of Dave taking on the test, Irina did it. Of course, that was because they didn’t know what the challenge would actually be. And, as it turned out, Irina knew French too. Anthony and James were the first to arrive … Aarthy and Thinesh were last.

A woman stands at a podium, speaking.While Sarah scarfed down poutine, Sam worked on the speech, confident he could do it. At the other end of the scale were James and Irina; the latter because she is afraid of public speaking. James started off strong and confident, until the French part. With shattered nerves stacking up and almost 15 minutes of broadcast already done, it looked like this was going to be a long and agonizing challenge. Thinesh wowed not just for the way he looked in a suit but also for his bilingual delivery. Even Dave was impressed. With a “Vote Thinesh for Prime Minister!” he completed the task and departed with Aarthy in first place. Joanne performed an upset, vaulting she and Lauren into second place. And, after a long time, Sam finally got it. Say what you want about Dave and Irina, but seeing him tear up as she tackled her biggest fear was pretty frigging adorable. And, after nine tries, James and Anthony moved on.

This week’s Detour was blind, meaning teams didn’t know what they had to do. Aarthy and Thinesh picked “That,” as did Sarah and Sam and Dave and Irina. “That” turned out to be a game involving an orange piece of wood being hit by a broom handle to score points. Thinesh quickly started to accumulate points while Aarthy swung at the air. They were done the challenge before any other teams had arrived. As the fog rolled in, so did dark thoughts. Dave and Irina got lost and she started to lose it on him. Sarah and Sam, meanwhile, asked for directions.

Dave was swinging for the fences but wasn’t connecting with the piece of wood. The result? He got mighty angry. Irina stepped up, calmly, and hit it. Dave picked up on her routine and they were off to the races.

A group of people sit in chairs.Lauren and Joanne chose “This,” which involved painting emu eggs to look like two samples and then delivering them to one of the two shops featured on the eggs. “This” was a time-consuming and fiddly Detour and Anthony and James opted to do it too, putting their chances of continuing on the Race in jeopardy. Joanne and Lauren had left for the shops before the married couple arrived.

Next, teams drove to the Musée Maritime de Charlevoix for the Pit Stop. A drive to the wrong musée delayed Aarthy and Thinesh for a bit, but they still completed the Leg first, scoring a trip for two to Santiago, Chile. Lauren and Joanne placed second. Dave and Irina landed in third place, and they weren’t happy about it.

The final sprint to the mat was closer than anyone imagined, as Anthony and James were in a footrace with Sarah and Sam for the final spot. That went to the athletes, and it looked like Anthony and James had been eliminated.

But in a twist that the producers kept from viewers through the magic of editing, the Leg wasn’t done. Clues were handed out and everyone kept racing, with the Royal Ontario Museum in their sights.

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

  1. Aarthy and Thinesh
  2. Lauren and Joanne
  3. Irina and Dave
  4. Sarah and Sam
  5. Anthony and James

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

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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Comments and queries for the week of August 9

Seeing as The Amazing Race Canada cannot really do culture-clash language barrier struggles with the lack of international legs, and they typically cast for “inspirational” stories (Anthony and James were pretty much asked to audition by production) that avoid the inter-team drama (Dave and Irina an obvious exception this year), that leaves task drama so the perception is the tasks are very difficult which creates the penalty as a strategy angle. Had the time came in then the task would have become literally impossible; and if I remember correctly, it took A&J, T&A over four hours, so over double the penalty time anyway. And, apparently, if it wasn’t for the local advantage knowing Goats on Roof the Roadblock would have slowed them down even more. This Leg was a bit weaker than the last few. So-so tasks and the maze while it looked like a cool Survivor challenge, was much quicker then the dance just from the description of the Detour. Knew it was probably a non-elim with only six teams left and only midway through the episodes. —DanAmazing


[Hudson & Rex is a] wonderful series, looking forward to Season 2. —Irene

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

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The Amazing Race Canada: Squishing in Saskatoon

First, my apologies to those of you expected an Amazing Race Canada review last week. I took a week-long holiday and was, literally, off the grid. And second, after finally watching it, what’s with so many teams opting to take time penalties? To me, taking the penalty is a last-ditch decision, not gameplay.

Irina and Dave, Trish and Amy and Meaghan and Marie all skipped “Clamageddon,” which was a real shame. The fun of The Amazing Race Canada is watching teams compete … not sit on the sidelines. (Meanwhile, Aarthy and Thinesh and Anthony and James are showing what teamwork can do.) With Sarah and Sam landing in first place last week—and Meaghan and Marie eliminated—the remaining teams headed to Saskatoon.

It was nice to see a different team in the lead heading into this Leg and the athletes were hoping their “brave” mantra wound serve them well; Lauren and Joanne hoped their hometown would give them an advantage. Meanwhile, Dave and Irina continue to have targets on their backs and called a quick meeting at the Nanaimo airport for everyone to talk. It did not go well, however, and teams left even more fractured than before.

A woman and a man walk.Teams headed to the Canadian Light Source with Anthony and James in the top spot. Once there, they were instructed to journey to the Nutrien Cory Potash Mine. At the mine, teams went a kilometre below the surface to hang and seal ventilation curtains. Anthony and James have had recent experience hanging plastic thanks to some home renovations, so they worked fairly quickly and completed the task first, followed by hometown girls Lauren and Joanne and Sarah and Sam. Aarthy and Thinesh, who had an Express Pass to use, were struggling.

Next up: a trip to the local Shell station to fill up and get those ever-important tear-inducing messages and clues from home. Then, teams travelled to Champêtre County Vacation Ranch for the Detour. Here, squads could either Dance in a Square (calling square dance moves and dancing) or Walk in Circles (find ornamental corn hidden in a massive barn board maze). Anthony and James entered maze (I would have chosen that too), as did Lauren and Joanne, Sarah and Sam and everyone else. Dave and Irina chose Dance in a Square … and then, rightly, switched to do the maze instead. Trish and Amy chose to dance/call too and stuck with it.

Anthony and James whipped through the maze fairly quickly—I wonder if Anthony’s height was an advantage?—and they moved on in first place.

Two women read words on a card.At Victoria Park, teams participated in lacrosse with the Saskatchewan Rush, first passing the ball to each other and then hitting two of four targets. Again, Anthony and James completed the task quickly and departed while everyone else was still back at the ranch. Sam and Sarah exited in second place to look for Jon, with Dave and Irina in hot pursuit.

The Leg’s Pit Stop was located at the Remai Modern Art Museum, and with over 15 minutes of broadcast left, that meant teams were going to really struggle. That was proven correct by Lauren and Joanne, who kept heading back towards the entrance rather than finding the exit. Aarthy and Thinesh did the same thing, which kept them towards the back of the pack.

Anthony and James completed the Leg in pole position, scoring a trip to Costa Rica and free gas for a year. They were followed by Sarah and Sam and Irina and Dave. It came down to a footrace between Aarthy and Thinesh and Trish and Amy, with the former arriving just ahead of the latter, giving the moms … yet another chance because it a non-elimination Leg. The pair will have to complete an additional challenge next week.

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

  1. Anthony and James
  2. Sarah and Sam
  3. Irina and Dave
  4. Lauren and Joanne
  5. Aarthy and Thinesh
  6. Trish and Amy (non-elimination Leg)

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

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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Amazing Race Canada: Express Passes and stolen cabs in Yellowknife

I was really hoping that the grandfather/grandson team of Gilles and Sean would fare better. I’m sure they did too. Alas, one of the biggest challenges on The Amazing Race Canada is how difficult it is to come from behind. You not only need luck and skill on your side but you have to rely on other teams to screw up massively.

The Top 7 teams—how are we almost halfway through the season already?—jetted to Yellowknife, NWT, with Dave and Irina in the lead. (Yellowknife is one of the countless places I visited while writing about Canadian television for TV Guide Canada, and it holds a special place in my heart thanks to the show Ice Pilots.) Dave and Irina were planning on using their Express Pass wisely … and perhaps seeing some penguins too. (Um, wrong part of the world. I’m beginning to think Dave and Irina are putting on an act.) Aarthy and Thinesh were in second place with an Express Pass to use too, as were Anthony and James. With a trio of passes in play, this Leg promised to be entertaining. And who could forget Trish and Amy’s One Way courtesy of Lauren and Joanne? There could be drama too!

The Somba K’E Civic Plaza was the teams’ first clue location and directed them to Rotary Park. (Thanks to the show producers for letting viewers know it was -21 Celsius when the Leg was filmed.) With taxis at a premium, landing one was a huge get; Sarah and Sam did just that. While some teams stayed close to the airport waiting for a cab, Trish and Amy walked along the road and scooped one, and a spot in sixth place. At the Plaza, Dave and Irina made a mistake, allowing their driver to leave. That dropped them back into fifth place. They promptly negotiated a double fare and scooped Trish and Amy’s cab, cementing their villain status.

At Great Slake Lake, teams rode snowmobiles to the scene of ice fishing, where they had to drill holes in the ice and bait a morsel using traditional Dene First Nations equipment. Sarah and Sam completed the wet, slushy task first—sadly, teams were not required to hang around for a bite—and departed, with Meaghan and Marie, Anthony and James, Dave and Irina and Aarthy and Thinesh in pursuit. Lauren and Joanne were left alone on the frozen lake and then without a taxi.

Two people ice fish.In the Road Block, teams headed into downtown Yellowknife to the NWT Diamond Centre to identify the six out of seven diamonds marked with a maple leaf and marking number and then arrange them from heaviest to lightest weight. Sam, Marie, James, Dave, Trish and Thinesh all chose to do the challenge, giving Amy and Aarthy the chance to discuss cab theft. It’s really hard to cheer for Dave and Irina, but I guess it doesn’t matter if you like them or not because they are killing it in tests. Dave was the first to correctly identify and classify the diamonds, followed by Sam, Thinesh, Lauren and Marie. James neglected to find the maple leaf on the diamonds so had no idea what he was doing incorrectly. It was only after Trish finished identifying the diamonds that James and Anthony deployed their Express Pass.

Back on Great Slave Lake, the team member who didn’t identify the diamonds dove into the water swam under the ice to sang their next clue. Dave and Irina used their Express Pass to skip this one (I would have too), but Sarah had to face her dual fears of the cold and the water and had to do it. By the time she was suited up, Sarah was crying, and I felt badly for her. She blasted through the test and almost leapt out the other side with the Route Info in her icy hand. For some reason, Aarthy chose to dive rather than use the Express Pass. All power to her for facing her fear (“It’s so cold!” “Yeah, it’s meant to be.” “What if I open my mouth accidentally?” “Don’t do that.”), and dove in. Joanne didn’t even grab the rope—she is a competitive swimmer—and zipped from hole to hole. She was followed by Meaghan. Trish and Amy, once again, finished a task only to discover their cab had left, putting them in last place.

Two people ice fish.The Leg’s next location was the Air Tindi Float Base where teams worked to locate 10 different rescue sites accessible by plane. Dave and Irina struggled with the task and began to bicker. Ultimately, they took a two-hour penalty, hoping the remaining teams would have issues too. Sam and Sarah had done their homework—by stopping at a store to Google “longitude and latitude,” but still had problems. Thinesh and Aarty, meanwhile, blew through it using their “Grade 3 geography.” Sam and Sarah left in their cab in search of someone who could explain what they needed to accomplish. They found it at Aurora Geosciences. Aarty and Thinesh, meanwhile, located the 10 rescue spots and hopped into a plane to the Pit Stop. Meaghan and Marie, Sarah and Sam and Lauren and Joanne.

In what I think was an Amazing Race Canada first, Sam and Sarah didn’t have enough money to pay for their cab. With no other option, they headed back to Aurora Geosciences and asked for a $90 loan. In true Canadian North fashion, they were given the money.

The Leg’s Pit Stop was located at the Dene First Nation Community Dettah, a float plane ride away. Dave and Irina checked in first, but had to wait two hours. Because of that, Aarthy and Thinesh landed in first, scoring a trip to Dublin.

For keen-eyed Amazing Race Canada fans, it’s just a matter of time until a non-Elimination Leg will come up. Luckily for last-place finishers Trish and Amy, it came this week and they were saved to race again. They pair will have to suffer through an extra challenge.

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

  1. Aarthy and Thinesh
  2. Meaghan and Marie
  3. Dave and Irina
  4. Sarah and Sam
  5. Lauren and Joanne
  6. Anthony and James
  7. Trish and Amy (non-Elimination Leg)

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

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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The Amazing Race Canada: One Way fun day in Edmonton

During last week’s teaser for Tuesday’s episode of The Amazing Race Canada, the double One Way was teased. How would this latest wrinkle affect the teams? We found out in Edmonton, the location for the latest Leg.

Aarthy and Thinesh departed Revelstoke, B.C., first, aiming to land one of two spots on the first airplane to Edmonton; the rest would follow two and a half hours later. That was the biggest advantage of this season so far. Close to three hours head start can give a struggling team the cushion they need to succeed. The double One Way, new in Season 7, enabled two teams to anonymously decide the Detours two other teams must complete. The advantage? It forces a team to complete a Detour they might not be good at. The possible backfire? Giving a team a Detour they master quickly.

Dave and Irina had bullseyes on their backs and were determined to get to the One Way board before anyone could target them. Anthony and James, meanwhile, were excited to return to their home turf, hoping it would give them an advantage. (Kudos to TARC‘s producers for letting the couple acknowledge they were wearing skirts to honour the missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada.) Dave and Irina were on the board for Flight No. 1, as were Aarthy and Thinesh. Everyone else had to settle for Flight No. 2 and the possibility of being One Way victims.

I had totally forgotten Dave and Irina had an Express Pass to give until they offered it to Anthony and James who had inadvertently helped them during the tree planting in B.C. The first location in Edmonton was to The Source, which I totally forgot even existed. There, they would get their next clue and put on a (sponsor alert!) Samsung fitness tracker; the team with the lowest number of steps for the Leg pocketed a $5,000 gift card for The Source. That turned out to be Lauren and Joanne.

A man and a woman look at a shopping display.The next location? The high level bridge streetcar, to find their next clue … and dole out some One Way pain. Aarthy and Thinesh aimed to be the team with the last steps taken and allowed Dave and Irina to pass them on the way to the streetcar. Who cares if you win $5,000 if you’ve been eliminated?

This week’s Detour choices were Celebrate (performing with a youth choir at the Royal Alberta Museum) or Elevate (climbing aboard the funicular and completing two puzzles of the city skyline). Dave and Irina chose Elevate and did not One Way any other team. “We’ll let the peasants fight for last place,” Dave joked. Aarthy and Thinesh chose the same Detour and didn’t One Way anyone either, but didn’t mention anything about peasants. The two puzzles contained pieces from each, meaning teams had to use the funicular several times to complete the images. Dave and Irina completed the puzzles first and left for the Old Strathcona Antique Mall.

The second flight arrived, and third to show up at the streetcar were Anthony and James who opted not to punish anyone. Lauren and Joanne became the first team to utilize the One Way and targetted Trish and Amy for Celebrate. Sarah and Sam, who picked Elevate, One Way-ed Sean and Gilles for Celebrate too. Meaghan and Marie opted for Celebrate, meaning three teams were set to sing and dance. Amy was worried her hearing impairment was going to be a problem and asked their instructor to speak up. Meaghan and Marie needed just two attempts to master the dance and song and left for the antique mall, followed by Trish and Amy.

At the antique mall, Racers were tasked with finding a Jon Montgomery bobblehead somewhere in the 27,000 square foot building. Dave and Irina found Jon’s bobblehead first, amid wrestling figures, and departed for the Kurimoto Japanese Garden to locate the Ozawa Pavillion. Sam spotted Jon in seconds; he and Sarah leapfrogged others into third place as they headed to the pavilion. Anthony and James and Lauren and Joanne were close behind. Trish and Amy located Jon, but it was a picture in an Olympic magazine.

Two women look through a pile of posters.The Leg’s Road Block challenged one team member to master an Ichiban flower arrangement by watching a silent demonstration and replicating it. Irina took it on, as did Thinesh. Irina seems to get stressed out at the littlest things and threatened to shake her confidence. But, right after the commercial break, she realized her mistake—the flowers were touching—and corrected it. Anthony, Sarah and  Lauren all arrived at the same time and Sarah was left alone after the others were done first because her flowers were touching. Things were even worse for Amy, who didn’t see that one leaf hiding behind the pot and keeping her from leaving the pavilion. The same mess was messing with Gilles.

This Leg’s Pit Stop was the Agha Khan Garden, where the real Jon waited. With 20 minutes of the episode still to go, Dave and Irina landed in first place and a trip to Casablanca, Morocco. Aarthy and Thinesh completed the Leg in second place and were feeling confident. Amy and Gilles’ massive delays with their flower arrangements meant they were the bottom of the pack. And, sadly for Gilles and Sean, it meant an elimination.

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

  1. Dave and Irina
  2. Aarthy and Thinesh
  3. Anthony and James
  4. Lauren and Joanne
  5. Sarah and Sam
  6. Meaghan and Marie
  7. Trish and Amy
  8. Sean and Gilles (eliminated)

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

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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