Tag Archives: CTV

Review: And the Amazing Race winners are…

The only way to win the final Leg of The Amazing Race Canada is to be perfect and hope that your competitors make a mistake or falter. Best buds Mickey and Pete ran the perfect final Leg–and their competitors Meaghan and Natalie and Ryan and Rob struggled–and the boys from Muskoka, Ont., won The Amazing Race Canada.

The two fellows with the luxurious heads of hair arrived first on the mat at Ottawa’s Rideau Hall in front of host Jon Montgomery and those eliminated earlier this season, promptly pulled off their shorts and embraced. The friends, once they put their pants back on, will pocket $250,000, fly free for a year anywhere Air Canada flies worldwide in Business Class, plus two Chevrolet Silverado High Country Edition Pickup Trucks and a lifetime supply of gas courtesy of Petro Canada. Winter Olympians Meaghan and Natalie captured the silver medal while Ryan and Rob received bronze.

Rob and Ryan started the final Leg in first place after grabbing a cab upon arrival in Ottawa from New Brunswick but their cab driver headed to the wrong address and the other two teams passed them and they never made up the ground. Instead, they were forced to play catchup for the remainder of the Race. Meaghan and Natalie, meanwhile, got their inflatable kayak first but were out-raced to the water by Mickey and Pete. The boys’ knowledge of white water rafting–and the girls’ being rookies at it–meant they got ahead and never relinquished the lead. That said, things got very, very close several times and the leads could have switched at least twice.

A trip to John Diefenbaker’s Diefenbunker–a sprawling Cold War nuclear bunker outside of Ottawa–challenged teams to find miniature military models and if Natalie had been a little more diligent in her searches she would have been done first. Meaghan, meanwhile, had her own issues when her increasingly painful right hand was subjected to stress during a vertical rope climb to the top of the Canadian Museum of Nature. I was willing her to complete the task as quickly as possible, but she just couldn’t catch Mickey.

The final task–using  everyone’s memory to put together paintings of the countries the teams had visited–found all three teams in the same room and just minutes apart in completing it from one another.  Mickey and Pete appeared to arrive at Rideau Hall mere minutes before the other two teams did.

I’ve really enjoyed this second season of The Amazing Race Canada. Though I criticized producers for taking the show outside of the country, Legs to China and France (Juno Beach was a tear-jerker of a Pit Stop) enriched the show and made it an entertaining season.

The hour-long After the Race special hosted by James Duthie was a fairly lighthearted affair, revisiting key moments with all of the teams and announcing that there will indeed be a Season 3 of The Amazing Race Canada. They’re taking applications now.

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Comments and queries for the week of Sept. 19

How many viewers must a CBC show have (on average) to warrant a renewal? Is there a trend or magic number?@staceyfarber18

Hey Stacey, thanks for the question and congrats on the Saving Hope gig. Can’t wait for your portrayal of Dr. Sydney Katz this season. Television ratings are complicated at the best of times what with the advent of live +7 ratings being taken into account thanks to PVRs and the fact that every network has different expectations from others.

I’m not saying the following are the case at the CBC, but there is certainly concern for a series that garners under 500,000 viewers per week. Another factor may be what a network has lined up in development or already in production; if the thought is that something new may grab viewers more than what’s currently on the air, that can spell the end of a series. An older-skewing television show with lower ratings is always going to be a target for cancellation before one comfortably in the 18-49 demo, a.k.a. the sweet spot for advertisers. And sometimes showrunners or stars decide that it’s time to move on to other things.

I am looking for all three series of Paradise Falls on DVD.Gary

I have some bad news for you Gary. Paradise Falls, which lasted for three seasons on Showcase, is currently unavailable for purchase on DVD.

While I would be happy to see any of these three remaining Amazing Race Canada teams win, I have to applaud Meaghan and Natalie for showing what true sportsmanship is all about. You did not mention in this article that the brother and sister had lost their clue with important information on the task. They asked other teams to help, and I suspect after the manner they had played the last few weeks two of the three other teams were not interested in providing an assist. The hockey ladies chose to share their clue, and possibly put themselves in jeopardy as they had not completed the task yet. These two are already winners in my mind.–Trina

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Review: Racers flex their mussels in Charlottetown

Who else is amazed by the performance of Mickey and Pete on The Amazing Race? In a classic case of “never judge a book by its cover,” the duo from Muskoka, Ont., have not only made it to the semifinals but they could end up being the winners of Season 2.

Mickey in particular has excelled in several cases, mostly due to the fact that he successfully keeps his superpowers hidden behind a stoner, easygoing façade. Those skills were first unveiled in France, when his science background helped with the making of Calvados. During Tuesday’s Leg in Charlottetown, he showed off his running skills by pulling Pete around a racetrack. Every other team took turns running, but not Mickey. He pulled his brunette-maned bud around that course the whole time. At this point, it wouldn’t surprise me if Mickey was a surgeon or opera singer.

Meanwhile, Olympians Meaghan and Natalie are in disarray. Their calm, cool, demeanour has shown cracks, particularly with Meaghan, who is easily rattled when things don’t go her way immediately. Her struggles remembering the 10 men who helped shape Canada at the Charlottetown Conference left her shaken and upset; exactly the opposite formula for success on The Amazing Race Canada.

Sukhi and Jinder continue to surprise me; the kids that overlooked clue boxes right in front of them have been replaced by siblings who have found inner strength, able to muscle their way through what looked like a disgusting mussel harvesting challenge and outrunning Meaghan and Natalie to the mat for another first-place finish. The look on the mud-spattered face of Sukhi told it all last night: she wants to win this competition.

Alas, it won’t be Alain and Audrey cashing in the cheque at the end of the show. The pair from Quebec were eliminated during a close race between they and Ryan and Rob.

“I’m sad this experience is over,” Audrey told host Jon Montgomery on the mat. “But we’re gonna start our life together and that’s absolutely wonderful.”

Ryan and Rob were tasked with the most disgusting challenges of the Leg so far when they had to complete a Speed Bump that involved digging for three bottles of moonshine hidden in a massive, steaming pile of cow manure. Add to that they mussel harvesting challenge and I’m betting those boy were pretty darned ripe.

Next week the final four teams head to New Brunswick to decide who will be in season finale.

Here’s how the teams finished:

  • Sukhi and Jinder
  • Meaghan and Natalie
  • Mickey and Pete
  • Ryan and Rob
  • Alain and Audrey (eliminated)

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

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Review: Race’s full Monty with Monty in Montreal

We may not know who the winners of The Amazing Race Canada will be at this point, but we do know one thing: Ryan and Rob are the luckiest guys of the season. The friends and co-workers were once again saved by host Jon Montgomery, who informed the last-to-the-mat duo that Tuesday’s Leg in Montreal was a non-elimination and they were still competing.

It was a stunning turn of fortune for the two and perhaps a little deserved in the eyes of fate. After all, they chose to try the Fast Forward despite knowing that Sukhi and Jinder were already doing it and gambling they would complete it before the siblings did. As a matter of fact, perhaps fate shone on both teams, allowing the brother a sister the first-place finish while giving the co-workers another shot at success. After all, they were the only teams bold enough to strip down all in the name of the Amazing Race Canada title.

Both teams raced to the Parisian Laundry for the Fast Forward, mistakenly assuming they would be washing some clothes. Instead, they were instructed to doff their tops, pants … everything but their underwear and pose for burgeoning artists who sketched them. The second phase of the Fast Forward challenged each to pose naked, which after a second of debate Jinder and Sukhi did.

“Don’t look forward!” Jinder told his sister.

“Don’t look backward!” she responded. What followed was the most entertaining and cringe-inducing moments of this season and perhaps the history of The Amazing Race franchise. Jinder’s wooden stare belied the horror going on inside of him. I can’t help but wonder if these two kids will be scarred for life. Since Jinder and Sukhi completed the Fast Forward first, Rob and Ryan had to get dressed–their nude pose meant Ryan’s genitals would have been dangling near Rob’s ear so perhaps this was for the best–and then complete one of the Detours. Their choice to make glass beads took them well into the night while the Fast Forward winners arrived on the mat in first place.

As for the rest of the teams, a seemingly enjoyable grilled cheese eating contest–the other Detour–slowed down, not to mention filled up, the remaining duos save Audrey and Alain who made beads. I’m a massive grilled cheese fan, but the idea of eating dozens of bites made from different varieties of cheese alternated with a 50-mentre sprint to a food truck to identify what I had just eaten would have left me heaving into the St. Lawrence River. Meaghan and Natalie in particular had a hard time of it and bickered back and forth while buds Mickey and Pete chowed down and then departed.

Here’s how the teams finished:

  • Sukhi and Jinder
  • Mickey and Pete
  • Meaghan and Natalie
  • Alain and Audrey
  • Rob and Ryan (non-elimination)

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

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The Social gals get chatting for Season 2

They’re back and they’ve got a lot more to say. Yup, those Social gals–news anchor Melissa Grelo, relationship expert and life coach Cynthia Loyst, gossip maven Lainey Lui and entertainment reporter Traci Melchor–return for Season 2 this week and they’re raring to go.

No topic is out of bounds for the quartet; they feel equally at home discussing the latest fashion trends, current news making headlines or spilling the dirt on the most recent celebrity breakup. And the foursome say they felt a chemistry between them from the get-go.

“The first time that they put us all together for auditions I said to myself, ‘This is it,'” Melchor explains. “None of the other formations felt as good as us.” It hasn’t been all smooth sailing on-air. As Loyst tells it, they’ve all become great friends but have argued on more than one occasion on the show. Of course, she explains, that not only makes for great TV but cements they are real people with differing opinions on subjects.

“We still get along, we’re like a weird sisterhood,” Loyst says with a laugh. “You fight, you make up and then you move on.”

They admit the hardest part of being the hosts of a daytime talk show has been pulling back the curtain on their personal lives and sharing them on-air with each other and the audience. For Grelo, that meant a shift in thinking and departing from the typical news anchor mentality of reporting without injecting any personal opinion.

At the other end of the scale is Lui: co-hosting The Social has just confirmed what she already knew.

“I already knew that I had no shame,” she admits. “I have talked about my bowel movements to the point that our viewers know my favourite thing to talk about is poo, and my sex life to the point that everyone knows who I would have casual sex with if I wasn’t married.” Revealing those intimate secrets–and bodily functions–has led to a connection with viewers none of the hosts anticipated. Sure, they knew fans would have opinions and feedback but they were still surprised. Loyst points to her Season 1 blog about breastfeeding as an example of a topic that stirred plenty of discussion.

“That is what makes this show so unique,” she says. “There is this constant conversation happening with our audience. Viewers have watched my son grow from three months to 15 months. People definitely feel and intimacy or kinship with me because they know my family.” Expect more of the same in Season 2, teases Grelo. This past year has been the ladies’ introduction to viewers. Any nervousness they had about connecting with an audience is gone; fans know who they are as broadcasters and people.

“I think people will be watching in an even more engaged way,” Grelo says. “There will be thoughtful discussion about interesting topics that are going to affect you in the bedroom, the boardroom, your living room and we’ll continue to engage with our viewers via social media and amazing celebrity interviews.”

Season 2 of The Social airs weekdays at 1 p.m. ET on CTV.

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