Tag Archives: Jon Montgomery

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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Amazing Racers put the “fun” in Fundy

And just like that, we’re down to the final three teams on The Amazing Race Canada. After thousands of miles and millions of footsteps, Olympians Meaghan and Natalie, best buds Mickey and Pete and co-workers Ryan and Rob will face off in Sunday’s season finale in Ottawa where one team will claim the grand prize.

Unfortunately, not in the running for the cash, cars and other baubles are siblings Sukhi and Jinder, who arrived on the mat in last place on the windy coast of New Brunswick and were eliminated.

“We feel so blessed that we got to do 11 Legs,” Jinder told host Jon Montgomery. “Now that we’ve done this race, I don’t want our lives to be any less extraordinary.” I really have to acknowledge how the pair evolved throughout the season. In the beginning, they were plagued by nerves and missed easy clues and got lost often, but as the Legs continued they became stronger and more cohesive. Sadly, a case of one red traffic light may have been the reason they were cut.

After placing first in Prince Edward Island, Sukhi and Jinder were the first to depart from Charlottetown. Their haste to get out of town and across the Confederation Bridge led to driving through a red light … and into a 15-minute penalty. They could only watch as Meaghan and Natalie and Mickey and Pete drove past and into the lead. The Olympians and the best friends arrived at and completed the Dairy Queen serving challenge and got to the Detour card location within seconds of each other. Both teams–and, as it turned out, all four–chose the Flag It task, a horribly complex thing where maritime flags denoting different nautical messages had to be hoisted up a flag pole in a certain order.

The difficulty of the test–so many flags looked exactly the same–meant that all four teams ended up in the muck surrounding the Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy at the same time, struggling to figure out why they weren’t given the green light to advance to rock climbing and, eventually, the mat. Meaghan and Natalie were the first to realize what they had done wrong and sprinted off to another first-place finish. Mickey and Pete were next, followed by Ryan and Rob and Sukhi and Jinder. The co-workers’ few seconds head start meant the difference between them placing third and advancing to Sunday’s finale.

At this point it looks like Meaghan and Natalie may have this whole thing sewn up. But, as evidenced in The Amazing Race franchise, one small slip can mean the difference between champs and chumps.

The Amazing Race Canada season finale airs Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on CTV followed by an After the Race special.

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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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