Tag Archives: The Amazing Race Canada

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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Comments and queries for the week of July 5

My mouth dropped open in disbelief when Jon eliminated Jet and Dave, OMG. I thought for sure it’d be a non-Elimination Leg. I was super stoked they were back, and can’t believe they’re done. THE most entertaining and funny duo to enter the entire series IMO. (Yes I voted for them lol.) Sad, but here’s hoping the saying third time’s a charm rings true. Maybe in Season 10, maybe. —Tunie


I know that I learned things from watching this show. Look where you want to go, know your limits and drive within them, how to do proper shoulder checks, how to know where your wheels are, how to steer when you are skidding, and be a polite driver. Thank you, Canada’s Worst Driver. —J

Come be a surrogate host for an American version. The hosts here suck, they are so busy playing to their fan clubs that the show lacks your sense of humour or ability to properly host a show. Maybe if you can’t do that you can teach other hosts how to properly make a show work. What it really comes down to is you were the show. Without your talent to present, it wouldn’t have lasted. —Ed

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

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AMI’s Mind Set Go inspires Canadians to transform their minds and bodies

I truly relate to the participants of AMI-tv’s documentary series, Mind Set Go, which kicks off its second season on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET. I’ve struggled with my weight for most of my life and have had to deal with the mental blocks that kept me from achieving my health and fitness goals. Over the past few years, I changed my focus from short-term fixes to a long-term wellness plan, and I’ve lost around 50 pounds. Despite that success, it’s still a daily challenge, and I often have days when I have to battle negative thoughts.

As it so happens, overcoming negative thoughts is the entire point of Mind Set Go, which follows the journeys of eight overweight Canadians as they attempt to change their lives for the healthier.

Para-athlete Pamela LeJean helps Mind Set Go participant Danielle on her fitness journey.

“It’s all about the brain, and it’s all about your mindset,” supervising producer Sophie Morgadinho explains during a phone interview from Toronto. “It’s not like a diet. It’s stopping the behaviours that are causing you to be unhealthy, and it really starts with changing the way you think about yourself and what you’re doing every day.”

Helping the show’s participants to transform their outlooks and bodies are fitness and health experts Julie and Lowell Taylor (The Amazing Race Canada) and a group of Canadian Paralympians. One of those Paralympians is Para Hall of Famer and retired para-alpine skier Karolina Wisniewska, who says she was thrilled to take part in the series.

“I think the thing that appealed to me most of all was this opportunity to be in a position to kind of inspire or help someone based on the things I learned as a high-performance athlete,” she says. “And on another maybe more personal level, I retired from alpine skiing in 2011 due to a concussion, and after my retirement, I too had struggled with maintaining my fitness. So I could really relate to what maybe some of these participants on the show were experiencing themselves.”

Each expanded, one-hour episode of the show follows a participant as he or she attempts to get fit and triumph over some of the mental hurdles that have tripped them up in the past. For self-professed “sugar addict” Dana, who is featured in the season premiere and paired with Paralympian powerlifter Ness Murby, that means confronting the grief she tried to suppress with food after her father died. For formerly fit Darryl, who is featured in the sixth episode and paired with Wisniewska, that means coming to grips with a degenerative hearing condition that left him profoundly deaf.

“My strong feeling with Daryl was that he just really needed somebody to bounce ideas off of and to talk him through it and to kind of think about what was resonating with him,” says Wisniewska. “The second aspect, I think, is that he did need a bit of a kick in the butt.”

Para Hall of Famer and former para-alpine skier Karolina Wisniewska.

Wisniewska was more than happy to provide that kick. While she says her history of concussions makes her very empathetic towards those who are facing adversity, being born with cerebral palsy makes her want to push able-bodied people to meet their full fitness potential.

“I’m someone who was born with a disability, and I’ve never understood able-bodied people who take their bodies for granted,” she says. “So that’s where my competitive athlete side comes out, and I’m like, ‘Oh, my god. Stop making excuses. You have no excuse, just do it.'”

At the beginning of their journeys, Dana, Darryl and the other participants all choose a physical challenge to complete at the end of their three-month transformations. These challenges, which include a mountain climb and a long-distance bike ride, are designed to provide a measuring stick for the physical and mental progress each person has made. While the Taylors and the Paralympians are a key part of the process, in the end, the participants have to look inside themselves for the inspiration they need to succeed–a situation Wisneiwska is very familiar with.

“At the end of the day, in ski racing, you’re at the top of the hill, you have to kick out of the start gate, and you have to race that race,” she says. “Nobody else is going to do it.”

According to Morgadinho, watching people overcome their mental demons and achieve their health goals was a motivating experience for everyone involved with the series.

“Working on the show, I have to tell you, it’s been really inspiring because I see people make transformations in their lives,” she says. “And it’s not like Biggest Loser. You’re not going to see someone come back 100 pounds lighter. It’s not about that. But you see a difference in their confidence and their happiness, and they’re healthier, they look better.”

She continues, “For me, it’s very inspiring to look at the things that I can change and go, ‘I know I’m in control of this. I have to change how I look at the problem and how I look at the solution.’ I hope that viewers are also inspired to make positive, healthy changes.”

Upcoming episodes of the series feature Canadian Paralympians  Michelle Stilwell, David Willsie, Ina Forrest, Pamela LeJean, Shawna Ryan and Andrew Haley.

Mind Set Go airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on AMI-tv.

Images courtesy of AMI.

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Amazing Race Canada: And the winners are…

This season of The Amazing Race Canada has seen its share of drama, joy, and tears both happy and sad. It also had a surprising number of close finishes in front of Jon Montgomery. That’s a testament, I think, to how evenly matched the teams have been.

Taylor and Courtney, the clear favourites after winning so many Legs, departed New Brunswick in the lead. They were confident. But confidence can be a killer, especially when you have a team like Courtney and Adam on your tail. Time and time again they dodged elimination; would this be the week they’d win their first—and the most important—Leg of all in their home province? And you couldn’t count out the late surge of Kwame and Dylan.

On the ground in Calgary, the pairs were faced with a Road Block: to enter the airport’s air traffic control tower simulator to memorize two weather reports and then relay them to the senior air traffic controller upstairs. Kwame and the Courtneys tackled the test. It was going to be tough. Taylor was confident his sister would pull it off. And it appeared she would thanks to a trick she’d used in the past: assigning acronyms to things she had to recall.

“Courtney and Taylor are not the team you want in the lead,” Dylan said. It was a huge understatement. The siblings beat it to a waiting helicopter that took them to Banff National Park and Mount Fable for their next clue. At 9,000 feet above sea level, it was one hell of a spot to grab a clue. The scenery was simply stunning; The Amazing Race Canada never disappoints with its choices of location to film at. I did wonder if the producers would let teams go off on their own to find the clue. They rightly erred on the side of caution and had a climber accompany them.

Meanwhile, Courtney and Kwame were stuck at the airport, one word separating each from advancing. Courtney finally said “inform” rather than “tell” and she and Adam left Kwame and Dylan behind. Kwame finally got “altimeter” and they headed out.

Sunshine Village Ski Resort was the next stop and another upward climb—via gondola—to the next clue. In the Leg’s Road Block, Racers had to master two extreme winter sports: skijoring (skiing and dog sledding) two laps and then sledding down a slushy course. The team member who didn’t perform the airport task had to do this one. That meant Taylor, Adam and Dylan had to complete it. With no one else to challenge him, Taylor was able to take his time and build up a routine with his canine companions. A hearty thank you to the producers for replaying Taylor’s faceplant and flip coming out of the slush pond.

The Banff National Park Administration Building was the next location and Courtney and Taylor believed they had a 45-minute lead on the first responders. The next test? A classic Amazing Race Canada memory recall with teams picking through 10 souvenir shops on Banff’s main street for trinkets representing the people, places and things experienced during Heroes Edition. Display them in the correct order and you get to move on. With almost half of the episode left to broadcast, it appeared this was going to determine who would win the season. (It was as Taylor and Courtney started shopping that I noticed the huge snow rash on Taylor’s face.)

Where Taylor and Courtney appeared to just grab and dash with their items, Courtney and Adam took the time to write them down and the countries they were assigned to. It appeared that would give them a huge advantage when it came to assembling them in order. Suddenly, the RCMP officers’ lead was gone as both teams were in the same shop. Dylan and Kwame caught up too … but then assumed there were single items in the stores. Ouch.

Taylor and Courtney were the first team back to the administration building but were short on items, meaning they had to go shopping. It was a tense time in the building as Courtney and Taylor and Courtney and Adam came up short on one tchotchke each. While Adam and Courtney swapped toys back and forth, placing the PEI zombies in a Mexico spot, Taylor and Courtney were grabbing the all-important helicopter.

Suddenly, Adam realized the zombies weren’t part of the Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico. And just like that, he and Courtney were in first place and off to the Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course via raft in search of Jon Montgomery and the final Pit Stop. Coming in fast were Courtney and Taylor. The only thing standing in the way of a first-place finish was the elusive fifth hole … on the 18-hole course.

And, in a stunning finale, it was Adam and Courtney who finished in first place, outrunning Courtney and Taylor for the title, vehicles, trip for two around the world, and $250,000.

Congratulations to the crew and cast of The Amazing Race Canada. You’re all heroes in my book.

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

  1. Adam and Courtney
  2. Courtney and Taylor
  3. Kwame and Dylan

Were you happy with the season finale of The Amazing Race Canada? Who would you like to have seen won instead? What did you think of this season overall? Let me know in the comments below.

Flag image courtesy of Bell Media.

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Comments and queries for the week of September 7

Murdoch Mysteries followed by Still Standing are my favourite shows. Like Lost, I can hardly wait for the shows to begin. Both are so different and excellent in their own right. I hope they will never be cancelled. Great Canadian shows and amazing actors! —Lucy


A decent Leg [of The Amazing Race Canada] though not my favourite of the year. Limiting the Detour spots was smart and it was somewhat funny to see Phil and Martina struggle so much. Even one of the staffers in the chopper seemed to fall over pretty hard! Fit looked pretty hard. Still though, the Face Off made everything prior meaningless and was yet another sport task. Sudden death was interesting and unlike most times Phil and Martina actually caught up so their elimination wasn’t sealed right then with most other Face Off losers in the past. I appreciated the Road Block being in another language though it seemed more simple if you could use your ears and memory well enough. The biggest personality of the season is gone right before the finale; the producers were probably bummed. I think Taylor and Courtney have it, unless the guys can pull a Mickey and Pete. Adam and Courtney have never won a Leg and don’t seem to have an edge on the other teams with any major type of task. Stranger things have happened but I’d be surprised if they won it. Adam and Courtney and Dylan and Kwame are actually from Alberta, I wonder if that will give them an edge in the finale? —DanAmazing

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

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