Tag Archives: Jon Montgomery

The Amazing Race Canada sprints into Season 7

After seven seasons, I honestly didn’t think The Amazing Race Canada would still be interesting to watch. But, as it is with reality competition programming, it’s the contestants that make a show compelling. Kudos to the casting department at Insight for continuing to find Canadians we really care about as they hurtle around this country and parts of the world on a quest to win two 2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS, a once-in-a-lifetime trip for two around the world, the $250,000 cash prize and the title of champions.

As previously announced, nine pairs of new competitors were ready to race alongside Canada’s Choice, Jet and Dave, who first appeared in Season 1, where they placed fourth. Coming into Tuesday’s return, I wasn’t a fan of this decision. I much prefer a completely fresh cast, but you can’t deny the two friends are fun to watch.

The teams began Season 7 just down the block from Bell Media’s Toronto headquarters in a small park nestled up against Roy Thomson Hall. At the drop of Jon Montgomery’s finger, they were on the way, snagging knapsacks and Route Info to Extreme Reach Recording Studio. Couple Dave and Irina were the first to arrive, followed by Jet and Dave, grandfather and grandson Gilles and Sean, friends Nicki and Aisha, married couple Anthony and James, athletes Sarah and Sam, sisters Lauren and Joanne and dating couple Aarthy and Thinesh. Moms and friends Trish and Amy were the last to arrive.

Instructed to lend their voice to a trailer for The Lion King (the first of what will be many, many, sponsorship plugs this season), Irina, Jet, Aisha, Sean, Anthony, Sam, Meaghan, Lauren, Thinesh and Trish stepped up to the microphones for their teams. Irina completed her voice work in the first take—she took it very seriously—and she and Dave departed. It took some folks a while to realize that timing was the key to success. Sadly, Sam wasted precious time thinking he had to memorize the script.

A group of people run toward the camera.Next up was the Ontario Food Terminal, where teams had to run around 100,000 square feet of cold space to find two halves of a postcard that revealed the next clue. Irina and Dave got there in first place, closely followed by Jet and Dave, Aisha and Nicki, Meaghan and Marie, Trish and Amy, Gilles and Sean, Lauren and Joanne and Anthony and James. Sarah and Sam and Aarthy and Thinesh, meanwhile, were still stuck at the studio. Thinesh finally completed the task, leaving the Olympic hopefuls in last.

Jet and Dave put the pieces together and headed off for Kamloops, B.C., on one of two flights. Irina and Dave, Aisha and Nicki, Joanne and Lauren and Trish and Amy were nipping at their heels and scored seats on the first flight. The others were on the second, delayed by 30 minutes.

In the Road Block, the person who didn’t voice the trailer were tasked with ziplining over an old copper mine and dropping a ball into a target below. Dave missed on his first try, as did Nicki, but Irina’s Dave landed it and they regained first place. Amy and Trish were befuddled by the map and argued over where to go. Sarah and Sam leapfrogged to fourth place, just ahead of Trish and Amy; Gilles and Sean were left behind. As Sean said, they’d need another team to make a mistake for them to recover. That seemed to come in the form of Jet and Dave, who were trying to navigate with no map and, ultimately, learned they had gone 80 km in the wrong direction.

Next was the Circle Creek Equestrian Centre, where teams searched moving cattle for a clue. Staying still was the name of the game for this test and Irina and Dave quickly learned their final destination: the Pit Stop at the Kamloops Bike Ranch. Sarah and Sam and Lauren and Joanne worked together to learn the destination. It was Dave and Irina who arrived first, confident and picking up a trip to South Africa and two Express Passes (one to use and one to give away). Sarah and Sam, who I thought would be eliminated, arrived on the mat next, followed by Meaghan and Marie and Lauren and Joanne.

It was Jet and Dave who arrived in front of Jon last, and they were eliminated from the Race. Wow, after the voting and the pomp and circumstance surrounding their return and the pair were cut in Week 1.

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

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

The Amazing Race Canada airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV. It airs at a special time, 9:30 p.m. ET/PT, next week.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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CTV announces heroic 2018 summer schedule anchored by first-ever The Amazing Race Canada: Heroes Edition

From a media release:

CTV confirmed today details of its summer 2018 schedule anchored by the return of the #1 Canadian series for five consecutive years, THE AMAZING RACE CANADA. CTV’s summer schedule is also stacked with star power including: television veterans Rachel Bilson and Eddie Cibrian in the hot new detective drama TAKE TWO, comedy powerhouses Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman in the new crafty DIY competition series MAKING IT, and worldwide phenomenon Jennifer Lopez in Season 2 of WORLD OF DANCE who take centre stage.

Hosted by Olympic Gold Medallist Jon Montgomery, the multiple Canadian Screen Award winner THE AMAZING RACE CANADA welcomes a new cast of racers to the Season 6  starting line, premiering Tuesday, July 3 at 8 p.m. ET / 9 p.m. MT on CTV and CTV GO, and delivers a new twist with first-ever THE AMAZING RACE CANADA: HEROES EDITION. Featuring teachers, first responders, parents, community leaders, mentors, athletes, and other everyday heroes with a story to tell, the most-watched Canadian program of the 2016-17 broadcast year follows 10 intrepid teams as they push themselves out of their comfort zones in a non-stop, action-packed adventure with the hopes of being the last team standing, in the biggest race this country has ever seen.

Also returning to the CTV schedule this summer are some of Canada’s most-watched competition series including: the action-packed AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR, culinary competition series MASTERCHEF, Emmy® Award-winning pop-culture phenomenon THE $100,000 PYRAMID, and the critically acclaimed true crime comedy TRIAL & ERROR. In addition, the all-new comedy series CORNER GAS ANIMATED inspired by Canadian cult classic CORNER GAS, and the original mystery-crime drama CARTER, starring Jerry O’Connell, make their network debut.

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Bad moves and bad weather on The Amazing Race Canada

The first episode of a new season of The Amazing Race Canada is always tough, because you’re just getting to know the teams, figure out who seems to work well together and decide who to cheer for. That first hour shows the competitors adjusting to the team dynamic as well, sussing out their strong and weak points.

But the producers offered the Season 4 contestants no mercy, throwing them into a terrifying Road Block—crawling under a cable car hundreds of feet in the air—that cued tears for more than one competitor and a bunch of penalties for the rest. Not every team took a penalty for deciding not to participate, but inclement weather on Jasper’s SkyTram meant those that didn’t complete the test or leave with a penalty hanging over them were forced to wait for a determined amount of time before moving to the next stage. It had all started so swimmingly: the 10 teams bolted into the trees around Yellowknife’s legislature at the top of the hour, seeking the translation to a First Nations greeting.

Former Big Brother Canada players Jillian and Emmett broke the code first and departed for the airport, where they quickly devolved into a bickering twosome. Jillian’s yelling and crying from the back seat clearly frustrated Emmett, though they still managed to land spots in the first airplane to Jasper. And though she groused at him the entire Leg, the pair still landed in first place at Pyramid Lake, scoring a trip for two to London, England. Jillian and Emmett are certainly strong players who boast strength for physical challenges (Emmett aced crawling under the SkyTram car in his first shot), but a lack of patience getting to locations could derail them.

Dating couple Steph and Kristen scored second place thanks to physical prowess (Kristen turned a hand slip on the tram into a success thanks to well-placed feet), confidence and support that should serve them well down the stretch.

Husband and wife Julie and Lowell are an inspiration already. Lowell has just a pinhole of sight remaining, and it’s going too, and Julie is determined he sees as much of Canada and the world as he can before he loses his sight completely. How can you not cheer for them?

As for the rest of the teams, it’s really too soon to tell which ones will be in the hunt for the $250,000 prize, cars and title, but it won’t be Anthony and Brandon, the two friends from Windsor, Ont., who opted to skip the SkyTram challenge just before the rest of the teams were halted due to weather. If the weather had held, the move would likely have paid off. Instead, they could only watch helplessly as slower teams completed the leg, leaving them up for elimination.

Would you have gambled like Brandon and Anthony did, hoping other teams would finish behind them? Comment below.

Here’s how the teams finished:

  1. Jillian and Emmett
  2. Steph and Kristen
  3. Stéphane and Antoine
  4. Joel and Ashley
  5. Julie and Lowell
  6. Frankie and Amy
  7. Rita and Yvette
  8. Anne and Tanya
  9. Kelly and Kate (four-hour penalty)
  10. Anthony and Brandon (four-hour penalty, eliminated)

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

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CTV Unveils its Summer 2016 Schedule

From a media release:

CTV “is in it to win it” as Canada’s most-watched network unveiled its Summer 2016 schedule today, including the announcement of four new programs and four returning hits, all joining star-studded music celebrations THE 2016 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS and THE 2016 IHEARTRADIO MUCH MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS.

With the starting line now within eye shot, Canada’s most-watched summer series for three years in a row hits the road for a brand new Season 4 of THE AMAZING RACE CANADA (June 28). All-new seasons of summer favourites also make their triumphant return including the scandalous season premiere of MISTRESSES (May 30); award-winning chefs Gordon Ramsay (MASTERCHEF JUNIOR) and Christina Tosi (CHOPPED) welcome 40 new home cooks into the MASTERCHEF kitchen for Season 7 (June 1); last summer’s biggest event series is back with a special two-hour season premiere of ZOO (June 28); and CTV’s original hit crime drama MOTIVE concludes its final season episodes with riveting all-new investigations (July 5). Plus, CTV doesn’t skip a beat, delivering a tandem of star-studded celebrations of music with THE 2016 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS, featuring a tribute to Prince by Madonna (May 22), and THE 2016 IHEARTRADIO MMVAs, hosted by international supermodel Gigi Hadid, and featuring performances by singer-songwriter Alessia Cara, multi-platinum recording artist Nick Jonas, and pop supergroup Fifth Harmony (June 19).

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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.

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