Tag Archives: Amazing Race Canada

Review: Is The Amazing Race Canada too difficult?

Almost every week of this season, I’ve remarked at how difficult The Amazing Race Canada challenges have been. It’s made for some pretty compelling footage, but after this week and last I have to wonder: did the producers make things too hard?

For the second week in a row—this time in Saskatoon—more than one team chose to take penalties rather than stick with the challenge at hand. And in the case of Neil and Kristin, it meant they were eliminated. I may make a similar decision in the heat of the moment—after frustration or thirst has set in—but from the safety of my couch I’d rather keep going rather than rely on other teams to stumble along the way.

One need only look as far as Ope and Simi for proof of that. Rather than team up with the other pairs at the airport to work out the 25-hour flight formula, they figured it out themselves. Rather than get frustrated with each other, they played cheerleader. The result? They came in second-to-last place and continue, proving to the other Racers that they’re a team to contend with.


Meanwhile, birthday boy Brent and his brother Sean celebrated the big day with a first-place spot. The siblings smartly played their Express Pass to skip the flight-time challenge and dry-heaved their way to the mat in front of Jon Montgomery. This was Brent and Sean’s first-ever top spot, though not for lack of trying. They gamely soldier on, scoring consistent Top 5 finishes.

As for Gino and Jesse, the Race‘s strongest duo to date blew through this Leg’s tests with flying colours and placed second to Brent and Sean.

Here’s how the teams finished this Leg:

  1. Brent and Sean (used the Express Pass)
  2. Gino and Jesse
  3. Dujean and Leilani (penalty)
  4. Brian and Cynthia
  5. Nick and Matt
  6. Simi and Ope
  7. Neil and Kristin (penalty, eliminated)

Notes and quotes

  • “I gotta take off my shoes to count past 10.” — Brian
  • I wanted to hear more of Ope’s story about wanting to be a pilot.
  • Cynthia and Brian’s plan to have more fun sure backfired, didn’t it?

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


Review: Amazing Race Canada teams find Jeopardy in Sudbury

In the end, Alex Trebek only hung around long enough to welcome the first five teams to the mat during Wednesday’s adventures in his hometown of Sudbury, Ont. I’m guessing he had a plane to catch or the bugs got to be too bad. Either way, despite his early exit, several teams were in jeopardy, with Nic and Sabrina seeing their luck on The Amazing Race Canada run out.

The pair have been travelling with horseshoes in their back pockets since Week 2, and Nic’s frustration during the Analyze Detour and CPR Roadblock took them off their game.

“Who is Alex Trebek?” served notice to Brian and Cynthia—despite landing third-place—that just because you have prior experience at something doesn’t guarantee instant success. Like Nic did during blind soccer a few weeks back, the police pair assumed their experience in law enforcement would serve them well during the forensic challenge at Laurentian University. Instead, they saw wrestlers Matt and Nick complete the task first. Then Cynthia beamed as she entered the CPR Road Block, thinking her past as a paramedic would mean an early triumph. Not so. Still, they did land in third place for the week.


Meanwhile, Gino and Jesse replicated last week’s success with another first-place finish thanks to nabbing the Fast Forward clue 10 minutes ahead of their nearest competitors. They paused for just a moment while feeding their turtle bugs before agreeing to nosh down on the same crunchy critters; Jesse scarfed them down in one mouthful and they were off to the Bell Park Gazebo to check in with Jon Montgomery and Trebek.

Here’s how the teams finished this Leg:

  1. Gino and Jesse
  2. Nick and Matt
  3. Brian and Cynthia
  4. Brent and Sean
  5. Simi and Ope
  6. Neil and Kristin
  7. Dujean and Leilani
  8. Nic and Sabrina (eliminated)

Notes and quotes

  • It got a little dusty during Alex Trebek’s emotional speech about the relationship he shares with his daughter.
  • Sudbury is one of the happiest places in the country? Even during blackfly season?
  • Kudos to the Race editors who intercut Nic and Sabrina talking about how age doesn’t matter while showing them bickering.
  • “We were in a little bit of jeopardy in that one part.” Oh, Sean.

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


Review: Face Offs and frigid temperatures on Amazing Race Canada

“We can’t expect miracles.” Sabrina’s throwaway comment midway through Wednesday’s newest episode of The Amazing Race ended up being prophetic for she and Nic, Simi and Ope and Neil and Kristin, as the trio of teams were not only saved from elimination but from serious injury too.

Who knew one of the smallest parts of Canada, Les Îles-De-La-Madeleine, Que., would be the most difficult and dangerous? All of the teams suffered from bone-chilling temperatures (I spotted snow on the ground, so yeah, it was cold) but it was Kristin who was affected the most; she was taken to the hospital suffering from leg cramps after spending what looked like hours buried in cold sand. The result? They had to pass on the Kayak Hockey Face Off challenge because Kristin’s legs wouldn’t allow her to compete, incurring a four-hour penalty.

Simi and Ope suffered the same issues with cold because of the Face Off test; they spent so much time unsuccessfully fending off attackers on the water they took the four-hour penalty as well, hoping other teams would meet the same fate.

I liked the Face Off. The prospect of pitting teams head-to-head is an interesting idea and puts a certain amount of intimacy into the Race, but I think using it during the same Leg as a Double U-Turn nullified its power. I’m hoping the next Face Off is done as a stand-alone extra challenge so it matters more.

As for the Double U-Turn, I understood Gino and Jesse’s plan to flush out the Express Pass by putting Sean and Brent’s picture up there. Props to the East Coast brothers for refusing to use it and gutting out both Detours; not only did they save the Pass but they proved themselves to be fierce competitors. But Sean and Brent U-Turning the already last-place Nic and Sabrina? While I get they were making sure they’d give themselves plenty of time to complete the Ride It challenge, U-Turning the down-on-their-luck couple seemed like kicking someone when they’re down, especially since they incurred a time penalty because it was too dark to ride the horses.

Here’s how the teams finished in Season 3’s first non-elimination Leg:

  1. Gino and Jesse
  2. Brian and Cynthia
  3. Nick and Matt
  4. Dujean and Leilani
  5. Brent and Sean
  6. Nic and Sabrina
  7. Neil and Kristin (time penalty)
  8. Simi and Ope (time penalty, non-elimination)

Notes and quotes

  • I’d love to know how the producers decide when teams will depart on a Leg of the Race. Why 1:30 a.m. for this Leg?
  • “Married, no kids … but I still like the boys.” Brian’s comment to Cynthia made me laugh out loud.
  • “Punch it, Chewie!” Brian is quickly becoming my go-to for favourite quotes.
  • Can we sign a petition to have Kayak Hockey added to the Summer Olympics?
  • “Come on, Gino, work those nipples.” I’m leaving that one alone.

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


Review: Devil in the details on Amazing Race Canada

Missed locations, wrong addresses, half-completed tasks and a missing passport were the norm during the messiest Leg of The Amazing Race Canada so far. Last week, I commented that this third trip around the world has featured some of the most difficult challenges I’ve seen in the franchise. But while the Leg in Halifax wasn’t particularly challenging, it derailed several teams.

Unfortunately for Hamilton and Michaelia, it also spelled the end of their Race. The pair played catch-up for the better part of their time in Nova Scotia after Hamilton left his passport on the plane, meaning they had to return to the airport to get it before they could check in with Jon Montgomery. Halifax Stanfield International is a 40-minute drive from the city, meaning they lost almost an hour and a half in trip time, allowing even the slowest team—Nic and Sabrina—ample time to reach the mat.

Oh, Nic and Sabrina. The married pair who are so strong with linguistics have faltered in other areas. Nic’s lack of observational skills took the duo off-course and to an empty marina when everyone else drove to Citadel Hill. His indecisive attitude at the Bubbles Detour—he doesn’t like to get his face wet—cost them valuable time at Dalhousie University before they swapped and delivered beer to three pubs for Suds. One of the strongest teams early on has been humbled by small things and they need to pick things up.

Meanwhile, Dujean and Leilani—a pair who have battled each other in the past—pulled it together and were the first to meet Jon at the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market. Sure, Leilani’s knowledge of Halifax (it’s her hometown) was integral to their success, but I also credit them for staying positive and, dare I say it?, having fun while they raced.

It’s a trait that Brent and Sean have embraced since Quebec City and as a result they’ve been in the middle of the pack and a joy to watch compete. That, and a kinship with Michaelia and Hamilton, scored them the oh-so-important Express Pass.

Here’s how the teams finished:

  1. Dujean and Leilani
  2. Brian and Cynthia
  3. Nick and Matt
  4. Brent and Sean
  5. Simi and Ope
  6. Neil and Kristin
  7. Gino and Jesse
  8. Nic and Sabrina
  9. Hamilton and Michaelia (eliminated)

Notes and quotes

  • I really appreciate Jon Montgomery telling us Buenos Aires makes some of the best barbecue he’s ever tasted. Yes, I’m being sarcastic.
  • Did the BMO lady at the airport talk the teams into getting bank accounts?

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


Review: The Amazing Race heats up in Chile

Having a specialized skill can really help during the marathon that is The Amazing Race Canada. That was certainly the case for Nic and Sabrina and Dujean and Leilani, who might have found themselves at the back of the pack if not for knowledge they brought into the Race.

Dujean and Leilani seemed destined for a total meltdown during the show’s second Leg in Santiago, Chile, when the exes resorted to screaming at each other while attempting to locate five specific outdoor paintings and take selfies in front of them. I admit I’d have lost my cool if someone kept yelling, “Come on, come on, come on,” at me like Dujean did, but deciding to just stop running in protest à la Leilani? Not cool. The pair were lucky the Motion part of Wednesday’s Detour involved dancing, something they both grew up doing. The result? A fifth place finish.

Nic and Sabrina’s prior skill set came into play as well. Their knowledge of language—something host Jon Montgomery told me about last week—came into play with everyone they met in Santiago, from cab drivers to the Emotion part of the Detour: reciting a poem by Gabriela Mistral. As Nic said in the cab on the way to the Pit Stop, they banged out that challenge in half an hour. The duo were also cagey during the art-inspired Detour: instead of running around the neighbourhood they used their cab. I wasn’t sure if that was allowed and half expected Montgomery to assess them a time penalty, but it was all good and they finished in fourth place.

The other high point of the second Leg was the revelation the Express Passes were coming into play. Hamilton and Michaelia were the first to complete the Road Block at the community centre and chased down the Express Passes at Patio Bellavista. The engaged couple quickly used their pass at the Motion Detour when Hamilton admitted the dance costumes were too skimpy for his transgender body. At first I was frustrated they’d used the Express Pass so quickly to advance to the Pit Stop at Cerro San Cristobal, but as Michaelia pointed out, other teams would play nice with them to score that second pass. And at least they used the pass, something other duos have failed to do and been eliminated.

Speaking of eliminated teams, Susan and Sharnjit fought to improve on their weak standing last week, but a bad cab driver and getting lost finding the artwork spelled doom … unless it was a non-elimination Leg.

Alas, it was not.

Here’s how the teams finished:

  1. Hamilton and Michaelia (used Express Pass)
  2. Brian and Cynthia
  3. Nick and Matt
  4. Nic and Sabrina
  5. Dujean and Leilani
  6. Neil and Kristin
  7. Dana and Amanda
  8. Brent and Sean
  9. Simi and Ope
  10. Gino and Jesse
  11. Susan and Sharnjit (eliminated)

Notes and quotes

  • Hey TARC producers, how do you decide what time teams will leave on the next leg?
  • “I already feel like I smell like B.O.” — quote of the night from Sean
  • I understand that sponsors need to be given props, but having someone say they’re paying for their flight with their “BMO Cash Back World Elite MasterCard” is still a little over the top.
  • I love it when the local taxi drivers get into the vibe of the Race and want to see their fares do well.

The Amazing Race airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.