Monday, 9 December 2013

MasterChef Ontario...Oops, I mean Canada, Premieres January 20, 2014

CTV has announced the first season of MasterChef Canada will premiere January 20th!

Thousands of home cooks applied from across Canada in open casting calls. From these auditions, 50 cooks were chosen to present their signature dish to the celebrity judges - in the preliminary rounds, which will begin airing on January 20th. Finalists will be presented with the "white apron".

Then the fun will begin on February 2nd. That is when contestants actually start competing, and will face the dreaded 'mystery box' challenge, and their first elimination. And yes, you read that right...February 2nd...Superbowl Sunday!

Apparently CTV considers this a coveted time slot.

Hopefully the home cooks will live up to that challenge. One thing is for sure, their main challenge is to cook better than the kids from MasterChef Junior (U.S.). Those kids rocked.

UPDATED December 9, 2013

CTV has announced the Grand Prize is $100,000. In addition, they has released the names of the 50 home cooks we will be introduced to on January 20th. Here they are, broken down by province:

Nova Scotia:
Allison Abernethy, Business Student - New Minas, N.S.
Trevor Jessome, Royal Canadian Forces - Lahave, N.S.

Newfoundland Labrador
Billie-Jo Picco, Licensed Practical Nurse - Mount Pearl, N.L.

British Columbia
Carly Tennant, Retail Clothing Store Owner - Langley, B.C. 
Danielle Cardozo, Employment Development Officer - Cranbrook, B.C.  
Josh Gale, IT Sales - Vancouver 
Kaila Klassen, Realtor - West Kelowna, B.C.
Patrick Stansfield, Entrepreneur - Vancouver  

Alberta
Dora Cote, Plumber - Rocky Mountain House, Alta
Fabian Suckoo, Merchandiser - Calgary, Alta.
John Chung Yin Leung, Radio Operator - Calgary, Alta. 
JP Lessard, Wine Representative - Irricana, Alta. 
Peter "Bubba" Smith, Sales Manager - Calgary, Alta. 
Tammara Behl, Special Needs Teacher - Calgary    

Quebec
Evan Ouaknine, Transportation Sales & Development - Montreal, Que.

Manitoba
Mike Green, Freelance Food Journalist - Winnipeg, Man.
Ryan Wright, Chemist - Winnipeg, Man.   

Ontario
Andrew Lawton, Political Commentator and Radio Personality - Toronto
Ashley Alexander, Science Student - Toronto
Bram Llewellyn, Banker - Toronto 
Christina Menchenton, Retail Management - Toronto
Dale Kuda, Housekeeper and Business Owner - Toronto 

Geoff Johnson, Division Manager - Toronto 
Kelly Rothschild, Tattoo Artist - Toronto
Marida Mohammed, Stay-at-Home Mom - Toronto
Narida Mohammed - Toronto
Natalya Demberg, Banking Strategist - Toronto 
Rob Slivchak, Web Developer - Toronto     
Ben Miner, Stand-up Comedian - Ottawa
Dina Van Koeverden, Opera Singer - Ottawa 
Brooke Feldman, Makeup Artist - York, Ont.
Carmela Campolargo, Stay-at-Home Mom - King City, Ont.
Chris Ward, Custom Home Builder - Breslau, Ont.
Danny Raposo - Brampton, Ont.
Eric Chong, Chemical Engineer - Oakville, Ont.
Jason Mayo, High School Teacher - Jarvis, Ont.
Jordan Casey, Financial Service Representative - Amherstview, Ont.
Jose Mosselli, Flooring Sales - Hamilton, Ont.
Julie Miguel, Bankruptcy Analyst - Woodbridge, Ont.
Maryam Chashnidel, Immigration Consultant - Vaughan, Ont.
Meghan Toth, Stay-at-Home Mom - St. Catharines, Ont.
Mike Hamilton, Autoworker - Mississauga, Ont.
Mylene Facchini, Hair Stylist and Zumba Instructor - Whitby, Ont.
Natalie Mascia, Dental Office Administrator - Niagara Falls, Ont.
Pino Di Cerbo, Stay-at-Home Dad - Mississauga, Ont.
Sarah Nguyen, Stay-at-Home Mom - Oakville, Ont.
Shane Ereaut, Canadian Armed Forces - Kanata, Ont.
Soujanya Arlikatti, HR Professional - Thornhill, Ont.
Sparkle Davis, Social Worker - Ottawa
Vicky Rodden, Library Assistant - Haliburton, Ont.

I remember when people complained about the lack of provincial or area representation by contestants on The Amazing Race Canada. Wow. Is it just me, or is this ridiculous? One home cook from Quebec? ONE? Welcome to MasterChef Ontario. 


*info from Canada News Wire, retrieved December 4th and 9th,2013

Saturday, 16 November 2013

The Amazing Race Canada Season 2 NOW CASTING

Well, it's not like we didn't see it coming, but CTV recently announced open casting calls for Season 2 of The Amazing Race Canada.

For Eligibility Requirements, Online Agreement & Release, Video Tips, FAQs and Application, go to www.theamazingracecanadacasting.com

Please read everything very carefully! The deadline to complete the application is December 26, 2013 at 11:59 P.M.

Here are some interesting points:

  • Each team may only apply once. Although you may apply multiple times with different partners, they advise you not to, as they are looking for the strongest relationships between team members.
  • If you applied for Season 1, and you would like to try again, you must re-apply. They will not review Season 1 applications. They also strongly advise you to make a new video.
  • Both team members must possess a valid Canadian Driver's license by March 1, 2014, valid for 6 months from that date.
  • Both team members must be 19 years old by April 1st, 2014.
  • Both team members must possess a valid Canadian passport by March 1, 2014, valid for 6 months from that date.
  • Casting will create a pool of 20 teams. (Translation: they will review thousands of applications, then whittle them down to 20 teams going into the final days before the start of filming. You may even get called to Toronto or to the site of the start line. BUT they probably won't decide until the last possible minute on the finalized cast)

What does this mean? Well, first and foremost, it appears they will be traveling internationally this season - at least partially. In addition to the above points, the requirements also state you must be able to travel within Canada, as well as internationally. I hope they hit at least a couple of provinces they snubbed in Season 1: Manitoba; Prince Edward Island; and New Brunswick. The requirements mention "you, along with approximately 12 other teams". Will they have 13 teams competing? I doubt it. Even the original U.S. series has only 11. But it does give more credence to the show going international...they would need more than 9 teams to have a viable show.

It looks like the earliest date they will begin filming is April 1, 2014. Season 1 began filming May 3, 2013. I don't think they will stray much from that date. One major reason is that Jon Montgomery is competing at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. GO MONTY!!! He will definitely need a rest. The games end February 28th, so all that info above referring to March 1st, to me is just ridiculous. They will film over a period of 30 days (Season 1 was filmed in 22 days from the start in Niagara Falls to the finish line in Toronto). It's just too much to ask of Monty, especially if they want him to perform the challenges like he did last year - both for the show and as part of the online extras.

If you are applying for Season 2...

Please remember, you aren't just applying...you are being cast to be on a television show. You must stand out and capture the casting agents attention. (read my outline of Jet and Dave's tips below). Also keep in mind that because of the popularity of the first season, and the fact that they are going international in Season 2, you can expect the number of applications to increase significantly. Just a word of warning, the agreement you sign warns you that production is free to portray you in any way they want. We saw a bit of this editing last year: Vanessa and Celina were seen as inexperienced and naive. Brett and Holly were constantly referring to their experiences as doctors helping them in the challenges. Who can forget all the Hol, Hol, Hol? Oh, and if I were you, I wouldn't try to imitate the characterizations we saw in the first season. I think we've seen enough of the Brett and Holly types - if there is such a thing. Besides, there can only ever be one team like Jet and Dave.

Speaking of which, last Friday, Jet and Dave made several appearances on the CTV network. They gave a few tips and also wanted everyone to know that instead of sending them a PS4 for Christmas, they would appreciate a donation to World Vision Canada. Here is a recap of some of their tips on applying:

  • There is no winning formula for your application video. Make a smart video - be yourself...the casting agents know fake when they see it. 
  • Be "quasi-animated".  You must be a character that people will want to watch each week.
  • Hit them with a "boom" in the first 10 seconds. Remember they must go through thousands upon thousands of casting videos, and you must have something to grab their attention quickly.
  • Have a "twist ending". Like a movie by M. Knight Shyamalan. I don't know if Jet was just kidding, but I think what he was trying to say is don't let the video peter out at the end in some sort sleep inducing boredom.
  • Your video doesn't have to have high production value. It doesn't have to be filmed on first rate equipment - your cell phone will do. You don't have to have a sound track or special effects.

I don't know if they are still on Youtube, but practically all of last year's teams' casting videos were posted there. They may even be on CTV.ca. Look at them for ideas.

If you are fortunate enought o be cast on the show, here are my favourite two tips:

1. Read those clues carefully. Then read them again!
2. Notice all the little things. make notes during your travel and rest periods, and reread them to in effect, memorize them. Do you remenber Season 1 winner Tim Hague Sr. taking his wife's advice about this? Specifically she told him to take note at all the pit-stops. It's the reason the Tim's won. The producers (in all probability) won't be doing the flag/flower thing again in Season 2. You can research final challenges from The Amazing Race U.S. on Wikipedia.

Good luck!!! BUT read the requirements very carefully!!!




Friday, 15 November 2013

The Bachelor Canada Season 2

So maybe you've heard...

CityTV announced last Friday, November 8, 2013 a second season of The Bachelor Canada will begin casting in December. Production will begin in the spring, and the series will air in the fall. The original press release can be found at http://www.rogersmediatv.ca/pr_detail.php?id=956

No other casting information is available at this time, but i will keep you posted. It should be soon. Last year, audition centres were set up nationwide. I have no reason to believe this will change.

One interesting note is there is a change in the production company to Good Human Productions from Force Four Productions in Season 1. Good Human is a Vancouver-based production company, created by Claire Freeland and Sean DeVries - both of whom were involved in Season 1. That's actually good news. It means the tone and quality of the show should not change. If you watched the first season, you may have noticed it was, simply put, not quite as fake as the original U.S. counterpart.

Tyler Harcott will be returning as host.

And if you haven't heard...

Yes, Brad Smith and Bianka Kamber are still in love and planning for a June wedding next year.


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The Amazing Race Canada: RECAP of Finale 'The Family Race Off'

The show started with the standard overview of the season, then the introduction of the 3 remaining teams. Blah, blah, blah. Get on with it! Yeah, I'm kind of impatient.

Finally, the teams start off in St Johns, Newfoundland:

Jody and Cory 2:56 a.m.
Vanessa and Celina 2:57 a.m.
Tim and Tim 3:21 a.m.

So right away, with a departure in the middle of the night, and the teams only 25 minutes apart, you just know they will all get on the same flight to Toronto. When they get to the St. John's airport, an Air Canada representative informs them they all have seat upgrades. That's cool. They can all have a chance to relax before the final leg goes into full swing. Maybe the girls will even have time to do their nails. The clue tells them to search for a woman with a Canadian maple leaf baseball hat who will give them their next clue. Of course they all find her right away, probably because no one at Toronto Pearson International Airport wears a hat like that. The clue she hands over directs them to the L Tower. It's a 57 story condo, still under construction, at Yonge and the Esplanade.

The L Tower (see notes below)
It's a Roadblock. "Who wants to hang out?".  So they are at the base of a 57 story building, and the clue asks who wants to hang out. And it's under construction - the top floors still don't have their outer facade yet. That can't be good. Vanessa, Tim Jr. and Jody decide to do it. Their team mates wait on the ground. They have to put on construction helmets and they are all escorted to the 35th floor. Vanessa says the open floors can't be safe. Don't worry Vanessa. Just watch your step - don't trip on a pipe and fall off the edge. They all get strapped up with their safety lines and rigging. Their next clue is clipped on to their belt - they have to give it to their team mate when they get to the bottom. IF they get to the bottom that is. Then they put on climber style helmets. Why...I don't know. Shit lot of good that helmet is going to do for you if you fall. Except maybe there is an individual camera attached to each helmet. So they can get that up close and personal shot of extreme horror on their faces.

They don't exactly 'rappel' in the normal sense of the word. They have to reach out for the thin green rope and pull themselves down...head first. Monty demonstrates it for us - he's horizontal and spread-eagle Very awkward. Very scary. I really have to commend them, especially Vanessa. I don't know if I could have done that. She really IS mini but mighty. Their clue tells them to find the Cadbury Factory - there is a Caramilk bar for reference. Just in case they don't know what a Caramilk bar is. The only problem is, that's all the clue says. There is no address given. Vanessa and Celina stop some guy on the street to look it up on his phone, while the others go into the hotel across the street to find out where it is. Vanessa and Celina take the lead and reach the factory first. The Tims and Jody & Cory are close behind.

Inside the factory, they are greeted by the Oompa-Loompas, who, I must say, look much taller in person than in the movies. Their task is to find the golden Caramilk bar hidden inside cases of chocolate bars on a conveyer belt. The cases are like the ones you see at Costco. They make Vanessa wear gloves, because she is wearing nail polish. Oompa-Loompas are mean, aren't they? See? What did I tell you? She DID have to stop during the race to put on nail polish! And on the last leg of the race too. Really Vanessa? Knew it. And it came back to bite her in the ass. Even Celina gave her crap for it. Celina .... chill. Just be thankful she didn't stop and try to take a drink from the river of chocolate. The gloves make it very hard to tear open the wrappers. She tries to take them off, but those nasty Oompa-Loompas tell her she has to put them back on. Jody & Cory and Vanessa and Celina get into a heated discussion about their unwrapping talents. Jody says, "I've been unwrapping chocolate bars since before you were born". Vanessa shoots back with "Well I was born chocolate". Just as Tim Jr. reflects on the part that luck plays in challenges like this...lo and behold...the Tims find their golden bar.

They bring it to Willy Wonka. Strangely enough, Willy is wearing an old timey suit and a top hat...and there's a Trillium on his lapel. Anyway, this guy hands the Tims a golden key. It opens a safe which holds their next clue. There is an angellic 'ahhh' sound effect when they open the safe and see the clues. They must now go to the Toronto Zoo and search the grounds for their next clue. Um. What? Where? What? Three excellent questions. Do you have any idea how big the Toronto Zoo is? Sure, it's not San Diego Zoo kind of big. But it's big. Real big. Let me put it this way. It's a whole day of fun for you and your whole family.

Meanwhile, back at the factory, the girls and Jody and Cory have opened what amounts to be a mountain of chocolate looking for their golden chocolate bars. What a waste. I don't know how they resisted eating any of it. Oh wait, maybe they were afraid of being turned into giant blueberries, or worse yet, having to listen to the Oompa-Loompas sing. The girls find theirs and leave believing they have a big lead over Jody and Cory. But the guys find theirs soon after.

Koala, according to Vanessa's good brain.
The Tims get to the zoo way ahead of the others. Tim Jr. says he has seen a lot of stuff about the new panda exhibit so they go there first. It's not too far from the main entrance - all you have to do is turn right. But here's the weird thing: They go to the arch over the entrance, have a look around, and say they aren't going in. Then leave. Why? Why oh why didn't you guys go in? Because it was there! You just couldn't see it from the entrance. So what do they do? They go off to the Canadian domain, which is located at the far end of the park....down a long steep hill. They go there because this is the Amazing Race Canada, and that is the Canadian Domain. Canadian animals. Must be a connection there, right? Wrong. I can tell you it's a hell of a trek back there. I am thinking, crap...that's it for them. I hate watching a team fall apart like this. Vanessa and Celina talk to their cabbie and find out the pandas are new and realize they should go there first.  They retrieve the next clue. Vanessa thinks they found the clue first because "Our brains are good. We knew it was the koalas." Yep. Real good brains. The clue tells them to head back downtown to the Evergreen Brickworks. The girls made their cabbie wait, while Jody and Cory have to get someone to call for a taxi. The girls take the lead again.

The poor Tims are now in the African Domain. They are frustrated. They decide to start over again and eventually head back to the pandas. Yes. They find it. Maybe all is not lost.

There is another Roadblock at the Brickworks. This is the traditional memory challenge which is usually the last task before the finish line. The clue reads, "Who's got the race all mapped out?". They must match Provincial and Territorial flags with the official flowers that were worn by the greeters on each leg, and place them on a map of Canada. The team member to do this challenge must be the one who didn't do the L Tower rappel. Oh oh. Bad news for the girls. Celina has to do it. It's Vanessa who has the better memory. Because she is an actress and must remember her lines and stuff like remembering about koalas. Sure enough, Celina had memorized the flags. She didn't notice the greeters had flowers at any of the pitstops. Jody and Cory get there. Cory knows the flags, he noticed the flowers, but he can't remember any of them.

Jody and Vanessa are waiting outside. Vanessa is convinced that the Tims have been there and gone. Jody is not so sure. They don't know they are presently tied for the lead, and the Tims got lost at the zoo. Celina and Cory are having a hard time with the task. The Tims show up and Vanessa and Jody are shocked. Shocked I say. Vanessa is downright ecstatic to think the race is not lost. Tim Sr. goes in. He memorized the flags before the race. He noticed the greeter was wearing a flower on the very first leg back in Kelowna. His wife told him to look for stuff like that, and he listened to her. Good man. Celina comes out and tells Vanessa maybe they should take a time penalty. Vanessa tells her no and sends her back in. Tim gets it on the second try. The Tims are off...to the finish line. Cory finishes eventually...we don't see Celina complete the puzzle.

The teams must make their way to the Toronto Islands - Olympic Island to be exact. But I knew this way back in Episode 2 when they started showing those Corvette Stingrays in the opening sequence. They have to take the
The ferry to Centre Island. It departs every 30 minutes. With or without any Amazing Race teams on board.
ferry - they depart every 30 minutes. When the Tims make it to the dock, there is already a ferry there. They have to wait 8 minutes until it leaves. When they board it, they go upstairs to the back and wait to see if the others will arrive. After all, those pesky girls are always around somewhere. This is nerve-wracking!!!

Cut for commercial. Of course they do. I am on the edge of my seat praying for the Tims, and there's a friggin commercial? The one thing I don't want to see is a dash from the ferry to Olympic Island between all three teams, just on the slim chance the girls might beat everyone. Which I know wouldn't happen, but you can never tell. Right?

When the show comes back on, we see an overhead shot of the ferry reaching the dock. Next scene is Monty and the other six teams at the finish line. The camera pans to the stone bridge. It's the Tims. Of course it is. And you know what? The other teams are sincerely happy to see them. Most of the teams are cheering them on like crazy. Treena and Tennille are in tears and scream 'Way to go boys!!!" Jet and Dave are jumping around. Brett and Hol Hol Hol cheer appropriately - they aren't quite so happy. Hal and Joanne look like they are thinking "Meh".

So there you have it. The Tims, who didn't win any previous leg, who were almost eliminated twice, who were always getting lost or who had the worst luck with taxi drivers...are the first winners of the Amazing Race Canada. For the record, Jody & Cory were second and Vanessa & Celina were third. Thank God. After re-watching it, I caught a short bit at the end where the judge gives Celina her clue at the puzzle. Her puzzle wasn't finished. This could only mean one thing. The Tims had already won and there was no point keeping the girls at the Brickworks any longer. Cory must have just finished his puzzle shortly before that, because the brothers reached the island at the same time as the girls. In the after-show, the Tims were asked at what point they knew they won. Tim Sr. said when the ferry pulled away from the dock, and the other two teams were nowhere in sight.

Oh and one more thing...Monty announced at the end of the after show that CTV will be accepting casting videos later this fall for the second season of The Amazing Race Canada, set to premiere next summer. As if we didn't know. It will be interesting to know if it's going to be another domestic version, or if they are going to take it on the road internationally.

Photo Credits:
L Tower - from Wikimedia Commons user K Edkins  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:L_Tower_Toronto_04_Jun_2013.jpg
Panda - from Wikimedia Commons user Manyman  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Giant_Panda_eating_Bamboo.JPG
Toronto Island Ferry - from Wikimedia Commons http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Toronto_Islands_Ferry.jpg

Monday, 16 September 2013

The Amazing Race Canada: Weekly Results, Leg-by-Leg Overview and Spoilers



FOR MORE INFORMATION ON EACH EPISODE, SEE MY WEEKLY RECAPS, USUALLY POSTED EACH TUESDAY.
FOR EPISODE SPOILERS, SEE MY WEEKLY PREVIEW, POSTED ON OR BEFORE THE FRIDAY BEFORE EACH EPISODE AIRS!

Leg 1 Where in the World is Ogopogo (Aired July 15, 2013)

Niagara Falls, Ontario to Kelowna, British Columbia.
Locales:
Route Marker Clue: Niagara Butterfly Conservatory.
Roadblock 1: Ogopogo Dive, Lake Okanagan.
Roadblock 2: Bellevue Trestle, Myra Canyon
Pitstop: Quail's Gate Winery.
First Place Team: Darren and Kristen.
Last Place Team: Treena and Tennille (eliminated).

Leg 2 Se Hou Leng (Aired July 22, 2013)

Kelowna, British Columbia to Vancouver, British Columbia.
Locales:
Roadblock: Richmond Olympic Oval.
Detour: Draw It or Dance It. Chinatown. Millennium Gate, Chinese Cultural Centre, Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Chinese Gardens.
Pitstop: Greenroof of Vancouver Convention Centre.
First Place Team: Holly and Brett.
Last Place Team: Jamie and Pierre (eliminated).

Leg 3 Hoodoos and Hoodonts (Aired July 29, 2013):

Vancouver, British Columbia to Calgary Alberta.
Locales:
Route Marker: Fifth Ave Place ('Outlaw' Bull Sculpture, Stock Exchange Building, Calgary)
Roadblock: Ranchman's Cookhouse and Dancehall, Calgary (learn and perform line dance).
Detour: Lump by Lump (Atlas Coal Mines National Historic Site, Drumheller) or Bone by Bone ( Royal Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller)
Pitstop: Horse Thief Canyon, Drumheller.
First Place Team: Hal and Joanne
Last Place Team: Tim Sr. and Tim Jr. (non-elimination leg)

Leg 4: Grab a Nug (Aired August 5, 2013)

Calgary, Alberta to Yellowknife, NWT and Carcross, Yukon.
Locales:
Route Marker: Pilots Monument, Yellowknife
Roadblock: Polar Bear dip, Great Slave Lake, Yellowknife
Travel by charter flight to Carcross (near Whitehorse), Yukon
Detour:Yukon Supply Run OR Klondike Gold Rush, Carcross
Speed Bump: Carcross Desert, Yukon. Memorization and recital of first 4 verses of The Shooting of Dan McGrew by Robert W. Service (for Tim Sr. & Tim Jr.)
Pitstop: Carcross Desert

Leg 5: Death by Lentils (Aired August 12, 2013)

Carcross, Yukon to Regina, Saskatchewan.
Locales: 
Route Marker: Saskcan Pulse. Search through a bin of lentils for clue to next Roadblock.
Roadblock: R.C.M.P. Heritage Centre: Boot Camp
Detour: Saskatchewan Roughriders' Mosaic Stadium Beauty (cheerleading) or Brawn (football) + Double U-Turn, (U-Turn board on upper level of Stadium)
Route Marker Task:  Regina City Hall, learn and perform a Ukrainian dance.
Pitstop: Wascana Park 

Leg 6: Check the Canons (Aired August 19, 2013)

Regina, Saskatchewan to Quebec City, Quebec.
Locales:
Route Marker: Levis Fort No. 1
Detour Place Royale Sculpt It (ice carving) or Spot It (place French labels on a wall mural)
Roadblock: Place de l'Universite-du-Quebec (take orders for 4 crepes, in French, make and serve at once)
Route Marker Task: Plains of Abraham (Lacrosse - both team members catch a pass, shoot and score)
Pitstop: St. Denis. 

Leg 7: We Don't Have Time to Go to the Bathroom (Aired August 26, 2013)

Quebec City, Quebec to Iqaluit,Nunavut.
Route Marker: Iqaluit airport,translate clue from Inuktitut - go to Sylvia Grinnell Park
Route Marker: find Throat Singers
Detour: Harpoon Hunter (pull sled, harpoon target) or Igloo Builder
Routemarker: drive snowmobiles across Frobisher Bay to Hudson's Bay Outpost
Speed Bump: drive dog sled to retrieve food packet, return (for Tim and Tim only)
Roadblock: eat 10 pieces of maktaaq (frozen whale skin and blubber)
Pitstop: mountain top outlook 

Leg 8: Clutch and Release (Aired September 2, 2013)

Iqaluit, Nunavut to Mahone Bay and Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, (via Halifax).
Route Marker Task: Pier 21 National Historic site, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Route Marker: St. James Anglican Church, Mahone Bay
Roadblock: assemble and dress a scarecrow, Mahone Bay
Routemarker: Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, Lunenburg
Detour: Surf or Turf, catch, band and deliver 6 lobsters to the Grand Banker Bar and Grill, Lunenburg OR memorize 12 German sausages at Boscawen Inn
Double U-Turn/Routemarker: St. John's Anglican Church,
Pitstop: The Bluenose II, Lunenburg
Elimination: NONE This episode was the first part of a Double Leg, racers were given their next clue. No Speed Bump penalties were given.

Leg 9: Ah-mazing (Aired September 9, 2013)

Lunenberg, Nova Scotia to St. John's Newfoundland.
Travel to Sydney, Nova Scotia. Ferry to Port aux Basques, Newfoundland. Shuttle to St. John's.
Route Marker: Terry Fox Memorial - Memorize inspirational Terry Fox inscription.
Task: Kissing the Cod/Screeched in.
Detour: Tell a Tale (repeat a story) OR Wag a Tail (deliver milk and eggs with Newfoundland dog)
Roadblock: Pick up instruments or props from O'Brien's Music Store, then raise $50 by busking
Pitstop: Cape Spear

Leg 10: The Family Race Off (Aired: September 16, 2013)

St. John's, Newfoundland to Toronto, Ontario.
Roadblock 1: L Tower. Rappelling. Vanessa, Tim Jr and Jody
Task: Search for Golden Cadbury Caramilk Bar in cases of product. Key given to next clue in safe.
Task: Toronto Zoo. Search grounds for the next clue. It was located at the Panda exhibit.
Memory Challenge: Evergreen Brickworks. Match Provincial/Territorial flags and flowers on a map of Canada.
Finish Line: Toronto Islands (Olympic Island)
Winner: Tim Hague Sr and Tim Hague Jr.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

The Amazing Race Canada: Preview of Episode 10 Season Finale: 'The Family Race Off'

Jody and Cory
Well, it all comes down to Toronto, and CTV promises us the teams will face the most extreme challenges
yet.

From Pearson Airport, it's a taxi ride downtown to the L Tower. The Roadblock here is rappelling down the outside of the building which is still under construction. This locale is obviously the replacement for the rappelling that was supposed to happen at City Hall. But Mayor Rob Ford screwed that one up. The finale was filmed May 24th, which just happened to be the day that every reporter in the city (and beyond) descended on City Hall to get a comment from the Mayor about the crack scandal. Is there anything that Rob Ford hasn't screwed up? Anyway, all three teams are there at the same time. Jody, Tim Jr. and
Tim Sr. and Tim Jr.
Vanessa make the plunge, while Cory, Tim Sr. and Celina wait on the ground. It looks like the rigging team gives them a hard time, especially Vanessa. They say stuff like..."grab the green rope, it's very thin", and  "Here's your clue, don't loose it" as they pin it onto Vanessa. None of them look thrilled about doing this. Jody says "It's a little bit higher than what I am used to". It will be interesting to see which one of them drums up enough courage to make the plunge first and possibly get into the lead. The last shot in the preview is Vanessa's ear-piercing scream. I am sure it will be "the hardest thing she's ever done". Not that I blame her. Okay yes I do. She's trying to win a quarter million dollars plus here. Did she think they were going to make it easy for her? Just do it.

From here, they must go to the Cadbury Adams factory. If I have to guess, I would say the challenge has something to do with Cadbury's current promotion with the golden key. Sounds way too Willy Wonka-ish for me. But I can tell you to expect the lead to shift here.

Vanessa and Celina
The next challenge takes place at the Toronto Zoo, where a clue box was sighted in front of the Panda exhibit. The promo shows a very quick overhead shot of Jody and Cory running up to the zoo entrance, with Vanessa and Celina following close behind. Where are the Tims? Hmmm. I suspect there is a Detour here. Or perhaps it's the final memory challenge. Whatever it is, there is a lot of running around involved...it's a lot more difficult than just retrieving a clue from the cluebox.

As for the finish line? I am still going with the Toronto Islands. I don't know if they will take the ferry, or maybe they have to row across (which would be reminiscent of Ned Hanlon, by the way. Or kind of ironic for Dave and Jet in the previous episode). And who wins? Well your guess is as good as mine. I am sticking with Jody and Cory. Not because I know something or whatever. Simply because of various promos. E Talk is featuring each team: the Tims on Thursday, Jody and Cory on Friday; and Vanessa and Celina on Monday before the finale. They are right in the middle. They wouldn't air the interview with Vanessa and Celina right before the finale if they won, would they? Oh, there is something else. That prize Jody and Cory won for Leg 9 was a one-year Air Canada Privileges package...what good would that be without the one year of free travel to go with it? Just...odd.

However....

I keep thinking of certain tweets the teams put out after filming was done. Before filming started, Vanessa had given the excuse to her fans that she would be 'on vacation for the month' with no access to the internet. When she returned home she tweeted out she had returned. Jody replied to her, "where you been?". Vanessa did not reply...publicly anyways.She ignored it, being very safe. Now if the brothers won, wouldn't that seem a little, I don't know, insensitive or rude? Like he's rubbing it in their faces? So, you could read two things in this.  Either Vanessa & Celina won, and Jody was just teasing her. Or the Tims won, and Jody was teasing because they were both losers.

Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Don't forget to stay tuned to CTV after the finale for 'After the Race' reunion show.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The Amazing Race Canada Recap of Episode 9 'Ah-mazing'

The teams continued racing from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Apparently all 3 teams take a bus to Sydney - even though the girls checked in with Jon an hour after Jet and Dave. Funny how that happens. Here they board a Marine-Atlantic ferry which takes them to Port aux Basques, Newfoundland. There is a footrace to the shuttles for St. John's. The first and second shuttles carry only one team each, while the third carries 2 teams - they depart 15 minutes apart. Jody & Cory catch the first; Jet & Dave the second; and the Tims and the girls are on the third.

They must make their way to the Terry Fox Mile Zero Memorial...where he began his Marathon of Hope by dipping his prosthetic leg in the Atlantic Ocean. The task is to memorize the inspirational quote inscribed on the memorial: "I just wish people would realize that anything is possible if you try. Dreams are made if people try." They must then recite the quote to gain entrance to the Quidi Vidi Brewing Company where they will join a kitchen party and get screeched in - kissing the cod and taking a shot of screech. Jody and Cory mess up their first recital of the phrase, so they jump back in the cab to go back to the memorial. Suddenly Cory has an epiphany and they try again. Jet and Dave show up and Jet gets a little bit carried away with the kissing, mostly because he is presented with the tail end. Of course Vanessa has to put on lipstick before she kisses the fish...on it's cheek. If that's what you call it. Do fish have cheeks?

From here they are directed to Shea heights for the Detour. It's a choice between 'Tell a Tale' or 'Wag a Tail'. In Tell a Tale, the teams must listen to a story told by a couple of fishermen, then re-tell the story, with all the details, to a group of judges. For Wag a Tail, they must make four deliveries of milk and eggs up Holloway Street. The bad news is this street is so steep the locals refer to it as Heart Attack Hill. The good news is they have to use a cart pulled by Newfies...these guys made the episode, that's for sure. Jet & Dave and Vanessa & Celina pick Tell a Tale, while Jody & Cory and the Tims pick the dogs.

You would expect repeating a story to be the easier task of the two, but that's not what happened. Jet and Dave picked this because of their entertainment skills, and Vanessa because she's an actress. Unfortunately, Celina has none of those skills. Both teams had to the listen to the story 4 or 5 times before they got all the details right, and even then, the girls' recital was kind of questionable. I think the judges just gave in. Meanwhile back on Holloway Street, the dogs are a bit stubborn when they see that hill. Can't blame them. Tim Jr takes over leading their dog because his Dad kind of sucks with dogs....he then calls Junior a dog whisperer. Jody and Cory are just about to make their final delivery when they notice one of the eggs is broken and they must go back for more. This allows the Tims to move into the lead.

From here, the teams must head downtown to O'Brien's Music Store. They must pick out equipment to earn 50 dollars by busking on George St. In this Roadblock, the team members are specified on the clue: Tim Sr., Jody, Dave and Celina. I think it may have something to do with who they wanted to do the Roadblock in Toronto...it's rappelling down the side of the L Tower.

Tim Sr: picked juggling three balls for his act. He calls out stuff like "who wants to see a Winnipeger juggle" Junior thinks it's kind of funny that people are giving him money even though he can't even juggle that well"
Jody picks a tambourine, but he has absolutely no talent. So he ditches the tambourine and starts to tell people the story of how he was wounded in Afghanistan. Um, I am pretty sure the clue said to use a prop in this challenge. Dave picks an ugly stick and a set of devil sticks. Celina decides on a hula hoop and a ribbon, and Vanessa jumps in to tell her to make sure she sticks out her boobs. It works. As Dave said, "She's shaking that money maker and she's making money." Drivers are even stopping to give her money, so of course she is the first to finish.

From here they must make their way to the most easterly point in North America. It's Cape Spear. Do you know it's actually closer to Ireland than it is to Ontario? That's just my contribution to useless trivia for this episode. Here's how they finished:

First Place: Jody and Cory. They win a year of Air Canada's 'Super Elite 100K priviledged services' They also get a video chat, so they talk to Jody's wife and two daughters.
Second Place: Vanessa and Celina. They would have won the leg, but they didn't read the part in the clue that said "most easterly point". They went up to the old lighthouse first. Typical.
Third Place: Tim and Tim. I have no comment.
Last Place: Jet and Dave. Eliminated. I think Dave plunged into a funk during the busk that he couldn't recover from. Even Jet couldn't understand it because Dave's such a multi-talented guy. He reverted to singing the worst rendition ever of 'Row Your Boat'. I am in mourning. But as Jon pointed out, we probably haven't seen the last of Jet and Dave.

Friday, 6 September 2013

The Amazing Race Canada: Preview of Episode 9 'Ah-mazing'

Newfoundland...
and Labrador
Wow, how quickly time flies. It’s already the second last episode of the first season. Incredible.

This week, the four remaining teams continue racing from the Bluenose II in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia on through to St. John’s, Newfoundland in the second half of a double leg. Not only that, but it looks like they are taking a ferry to Newfoundland. The Marine-Atlantic Ferry is shown in the preview. At that time of year, (last May), their ferries only dock in Port aux Basques, so it would appear the teams will have a bit of a road trip getting to St. John’s. Although Vanessa and Celina will depart Lunenburg over an hour after the third place team Jet and Dave, they catch up. There is a mad dash out of the ferry terminal. My guess is there was a significant wait for the ferry - there are only two per day. Oh well…that’s Amazing Race for you.

We are going to see a lot of local flavour in this episode.

The Roadblock is busking for money. Celina does a hula hoop act; Tim Sr. does some juggling; and Dave twirls a baton with 2 sticks. Worst acts ever. There is a clip of Jet, Tim Jr, Vanessa and Cory in front of a statue called ’A Time’, listening to a fiddler - a woman. Jet starts dancing around her. This is just the 4 of them entertaining themselves while their team mates were off busking. I think the performers will have to earn a set amount of money and then hand it over to the fiddler who will give them their next clue. Beats me how any of these acts will get money. But I have to say Celina will have a clear advantage.  Pretty girl. Hula Hoop. There is also something to do with performing with ’ugly sticks’…the busking could be a two-part act.

One part of the Detour is guiding Newfoundland dogs pulling carts filled with 12 bottles of milk and a basket of eggs. If they spill any of it, they will have to start again. Jody and Cory do this one. The other part of the Detour has something to do with ’words’… as we see in the preview. This could be ‘kissing the cod’ and being ‘screeched-in’. Yes, I have heard of this, but in all honesty, I had to look it up. It’s a welcoming ceremony, and a Newfoundlander must be present.  The newcomer must kiss the cod on the mouth, and is then asked, “Is ye a Screecher?” The reply is “Deed I is me old cock, and long may your big jib draw!” Then they have to drink a shot of screech. Okay, if this is wrong, please forgive me…blame Wikipedia. Jet and Dave are shown in the preview, and behind them, waiting their turn are Vanessa and Celina. For some reason, Jet is presented with the tail end of the cod. He really gets into it…lots of tongue. I am sure there will be more hilarity here when they have to give that response.

The Old Lighthouse at Cape Spear
The Pitstop is at Cape Spear, of course. Not only is it an iconic image, it's the easternmost point of Canada. Jon and the greeter are joined by two dogs - a Newfoundland and a Labrador. Some kind of dog symbolism. The preview makes us wants to think there is a race to the Pitstop for last place, and it is probably between the Tims and Vanessa & Celina. The Tims are seen in a cab, very anxious to get to their destination. We also see the girls running up the very long set of steps. One of these two teams will not be going to the final next week in Toronto. I originally thought it was the girls who were eliminated, but now, not so sure. This just could be Vanessa and Celina’s leg. These two teams have had an on-going rivalry - fighting for position in almost every leg. They also have a history of getting themselves lost, or simply not paying attention to directions. So this may get interesting.

Notes:
Newfoundland dog - from Wikimedia Commons user: Ziga http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Novofundlandec.jpg
Labrador Retriever - from Wikimedia Commons user: Shali7  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BlondeLabrador.jpg
Old lighthouse at Cape Spear - from Wikimedia Commons user Robthepiper http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cape_Spear_%28old_lighthouse_1%29.JPG (cropped)

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The Amazing Race Canada: Recap of Episode 8 'Clutch and Release'

The teams left Iqaluit at the following times:

Jody and Cory 11:39 a.m.
Tim and Tim 11:53 a.m.
Jet and Dave 11:55 a.m.
Vanessa and Celina 11:57 a.m.

Their next stop is Halifax, Nova Scotia, and their clue told them to find a Chevrolet Sonic - with manual transmission, on the rooftop parking lot at the airport. It also cautioned them that there is another U-Turn ahead. The flight to Halifax connects through Ottawa, so Jody and Cory ease their load by putting one of their backpacks and half their stuff in a locker (Jody is from Ottawa). I didn’t know that was possible, so I presume it’s not against the rules. Looks like Jody is taking some of the weight off those legs and letting Cory be the workhorse. All four teams are, needless to say, on the same flights. Meanwhile the girls are freaking out because they have only driven stick once before and it didn’t go too well. Sounds like a bit of production hanky panky going on here. I mean, how many people - and I hate to say this, but how many women, know how to drive a manual transmission?

They arrive in Halifax just before dusk. They have to use a provided USB stick to watch a MyLink video in the car. Monty tells them their next destination is the Pier 21 National Historic site where immigrants to Canada were processed between the years 1928 to 1971. Needless to say, Celina has a hard time driving and stalls the car a few times, while Vanessa panics in the back seat. God help their cameraman who can only sit there and not interfere. She gets it going, and her strategy is to not use the brakes. It’s slow going. Very slow. Although they fall way behind the other three teams, they catch a break because Pier 21 is closed until 6 a.m. the next day. So all the teams will start off in the morning at the same time.

Their task is to collect 7 stamps on their “passports” from stations set up throughout the museum. They are given time to contemplate Canada’s immigrant heritage. Jody and Cory actually find a display that shows the ship their grandparents sailed on. It was actually kind of cool. The task itself just seemed like an activity for kids. Actually I am sure it was. You know what I mean…the kind of activity that parents get suckered into doing when the kids very quickly lose interest. Mom and/or Dad think the cute little passport will make a nice souvenir. Then it gets tossed when they get home. I just think they could have made it a little more interesting, a little more challenging. Throw in some interesting factoids at each stamp station. After they collect all their stamps, a Customs official says “Welcome to Canada” and gives them their next clue.

The road trip continues. It’s on to St. James Anglican Church in Mahone Bay. The town is known for it’s ’3 churches’… all in a row down by the shore. It’s idyllic. There’s a Roadblock here - “Who wants to find their long lost twin?“. There is a re-creation of their annual Scarecrow Festival and there are scarecrows all over the place, set up in little themed vignettes. One team member must locate a scarecrow that matches the picture on their Blackberry, and bring it to the gazebo on Main St. Here, they have to assemble and dress another scarecrow to match, then take a picture to get an approval from the judge. Cory, Tim Jr, Jet and eventually when the girls show up, Vanessa do the task for their teams. Each person gets a different scarecrow to do - some are more difficult than others. But overall, it sounds easy, right? Well the problem is all the pieces and clothing are in a mountain in the middle of the gazebo. Dave gets mad at Jet, because once again Jet doesn‘t look like he‘s taking it very seriously. He tries to get an approval from the judge with his scarecrow…without arms. Nice try. Just because the judge was a woman, doesn’t mean she’s a pushover for those massive muscles. Tim Sr gets mad with Junior. Then Junior gets sarcastic at Dad. The only team that keeps their wits about them is Jody and Cory.

From here, it’s on to Lunenburg. They must go to the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic. Time for the Detour and that pesky Double U-Turn. It’s called ’Surf OR Turf’. In Surf, the teams must catch and band 6 lobsters, then deliver them to the chef at the Grand Banker Bar and Grill. For Turf, the teams had to go to the Boscawen Inn and memorize 12 types of German sausage, then head back down to the docks and identify them. Jody & Cory and Jet & Dave do the lobster, while the Tims and the girls do the sausage. Okay, that didn’t come out right, I know. But isn’t ’turf’ supposed to be steak? Jody & Cory soon learn just how nasty lobsters are. They have a grip roughly equivalent to 100 men or something. Plus I kind of wonder how smart these things really are. One of their lobsters grab onto the cage and won’t let go…like it knew it was dinner and it wasn‘t giving up easy. Jet and Dave learned why their claws are banded when you buy one at the grocery store. They called it ’neutralizing’. The Boscawen Inn, for the ’turf’ is a couple of blocks uphill from the dock, and Tim Sr. says the uphill run is very hard on him. I’m really feeling for this guy. But the turf task sounds a lot easier, right? They just have to memorize 12 types of sausages…that’s 6 for each person. The problem is…the names are in German of course. Not so easy. But probably better than dealing with the death grip of 6 lobsters.

They finish their Detour challenges in this order: Tim & Tim; Jody & Cory; Jet & Dave; and finally Vanessa & Celina. Their next clue sends them to St. John’s Anglican Church. There are a lot of churches in this leg for some reason. The Double U-Turn is here along with another clue. Everyone takes the high road and decide not to use the U-Turn on anyone. Wow. Even the Tims, who vowed to U-Turn anyone they could. Well, it could have just been a production error. In the original U.S. version, each team is allowed to use it only once during the entire leg. I think the Tims actually couldn’t and they just didn’t edit that bit into the final cut of the show. Kind of boring - all that hoopla, build-up and drama for nothing. Oh well. The clue is in a little wooden box. It’s the Canadian dime. That’s it.

Okay, listen. If you don’t immediately recognize what’s on the Canadian dime….then shame on you. It’s time to pack up your hockey sweater, your toque, your mandatory bottle of maple syrup and get the hell out of here. I mean really. I am pretty sure it’s even in the Grade 8 history textbook. At the very least, even if you didn’t know, did you never, ever look at the dime and say to yourself…“what is that ship?” Or…"Hey…it must be of some kind of important boat if it’s been on the dime for like, ever”. Or they couldn’t put two and two together: see the boat, remember you’re in a seafaring town. Well, it’s the Bluenose II, and Lunenburg is it’s home.

I hate to point fingers, but I will anyway. The Tims didn’t know. They ask around, then start calling it the Bluenote. When Vanessa and Celina see it, they think they have to spend it somewhere and start looking around for a coin slot. Vanessa wants to look for a money factory. Celina thinks they should look for a wishing pond. They ask someone and then Celina remembers she saw a sign for the Bluenose. Good God. I want to throw my bottle of maple syrup at the TV. What a bunch of arses. Everyone in the Maritimes must have laughed so hard they had a collective pants-wetting over that one.

The Bluenose II is the Pitstop for this leg of the race. They finish in the same order as in Iqaluit. Jody and Cory win for the 2nd time and get 2 round-trip tickets to anywhere in South America that Air Canada flies. The Tims are second, Jet and Dave third, and Vanessa & Celina are last. But this leg is the first half of a double leg, there is no elimination, no Speed Bump, and they are given their next clue directing them to St. John’s, Newfoundland. But take note - despite the editing making you think the girls hit the mat soon after Jet and Dave, they are an hour and 15 minutes behind the other three teams, who finished within 20 minutes of each other. Why do you think nobody used the U-Turn? They are in trouble, especially if they have to drive some more. Their only hope is to make up some time at the airport…or a ferry maybe?

Check back on my homepage on Friday for a preview of Episode 8, including spoilers.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

The Amazing Race Canada: PREVIEW of Episode 8 'Clutch and Release'

There be spoilers here, matey.

This week, the four remaining teams will travel from Iqaluit to Nova Scotia's beautiful south shore. It's the same area that the TV series Haven is shot, and that production was filming at the same time. The preview at the end of last week's episode showed two things to worry about: another dreaded Double U-Turn; and what's worse, Jet and Dave fighting. Oh no.

They fly into Halifax and then it's a road trip to Mahone Bay and Lunenburg. But it's not smooth sailing for the girls - I guess they don't know how to drive stick. There's some trouble...they pull off to the side of the road, while other drivers' start honking. They were probably shown a few fingers as well, which I am pretty sure didn't mean they needed a manicure. Cheer up, don't you guys know that on a road trip getting there is half the fun? Should have stopped at that Timmies for a couple of double-doubles...I'm sure your Interac Flash budget could handle it.

Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia (see notes)
It was hardly a surprise that Amazing Race Canada had set their eyes on filming in the small community of Mahone Bay. Seems everybody there knew. Production asked the town to recreate their annual Scarecrow Festival on May 20 (this year's real festival is to be held October 4th to 6th). They were asked to make 30 to 40 scarecrows. All of this was for a single Roadblock, which appears to be recreating a scarecrow. The exact location is the gazebo on Main St., right beside The Gazebo Cafe and Grill. It's here that Dave apparently loses his patience with Jet. I guess Jet just can't get his scarecrow looking like the sample or something. The scarecrow Jet picks is dressed like a harem girl. Not exactly scary in a scarecrow kind of way - more like a 'Chucky' kind of scarey. He's probably distracted, trying to think up a few one-liners. Maybe the preview is just making a bigger deal out of this than necessary. I think they just need to fill a drama 'void' now that the docs are gone.

Lunenburg dock - Lobster challenge. (see notes)
The Detour is in Lunenburg. It's either lobster fishing or identifying varieties of sausage. There was a sighting at the Grand Banker Bar, and apparently the teams must retrieve a clue from their chef. My guess is they have to deliver fresh lobster there. In the CTV Gamisodes extra preview, the girls are seen trying to identify different sausages from a stand with a sign that reads 'Wurstelstand'. Before you ask about German sausages in a fishing town, Lunenburg had an influx of German settlers.

Beautiful St. John's Anglican Church, Lunenburg, N.S. (see notes)
Then it's the second Double U-Turn. The board is located a couple of blocks from the docks where the lobster Detour was set up. It's inside St. John's Anglican Church. Wow, what a beautiful church. The preview shows the Tims wondering if they should U-Turn anyone. If they follow the same format as in the original U.S. series, they can't. There, the U'Turn can only be used once per team, and the Tims used theirs back in Regina on Hal and Joanne. BUT, Monty didn't say that when he explained the U-Turn rules back then. So, if they can, they probably will. They said their strategy is to U-Turn anyone they can. So we'll just have to see. It would depend on if they are in the lead, or if they have a target in mind.

The teams were also seen in the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic. They were given a clue - the Canadian dime, and from what I can tell they were supposed to determine it's importance in Lunenburg. Apparently at least one team had to ask someone. Come on! Seriously? I mean really. What I really mean to say is...what the hell were they thinking? Canadian dime. It's right there in between the words 'Canada' and '10 cents'. Ship. It's called the Bluenose. It's supposed to be a Canadian icon. Like beavers, maple syrup and those guys wearing bright red coats that made them make their beds back in Regina. The Bluenose II is in Lunenburg. Geez. Last week's preview showed Jet and Dave in the museum. You know, I bet if they looked around, there just might be another clue....like over your shoulder, Jet.  I would put money on the locales getting a good laugh watching this episode. Even I anticipated a Bluenose connection as soon as the teams were spotted in Lunenburg. So I kept my eye on the lovely webcam positioned on the Bluenose II. Unfortunately, we won't be seeing the ship in it's full glory. It was covered and in dry dock for work being done on the hull. Shame really. Sure enough, the production vans showed up, set up the mat, and Monty and the local greeter got in position to welcome the teams.
The Bluenose II (see notes)

Three male teams showed up, and then the girls.

Of course, I can't say for sure if they are eliminated. But they were at the mat a long time.  So, let's look at a few facts:

There are 4 teams left, and after Nova Scotia, only 2 episodes remain: St. John's, Newfoundland and the finale in Toronto. Three teams race to the finale, so only one more team will be eliminated over these last 3 episodes. This could be a non-elimination, but that would be 3 non-elimination legs in a season consisting of only 10 episodes. That is unlikely. Or, Nova Scotia could the the first part of a double leg...where the teams "keep racing" on to Newfoundland.


Notes:
  • Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. From Wikimedia Commons. Photo uploaded by user SimonP. (altered/cropped by myself for use here) http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mahone_Bay.JPG
  • Dock in Lunenberg, in front of the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic. From Wikimedia Commons. Photo uploaded by user Dlanglois  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lunenburg_Nova_Scotia_3.jpg
  • St. John's Anglican Church. from Wikimedia Commons. Photo uploaded by user Dr Wilson. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:St_John_church,_Lunenburg.JPG
  • Bluenose II. From Wikimedia Commons. Photo uploaded by user Raphodon. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bluenose_II.jpg



Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Amazing Race Canada RECAP of Episode 7 'We Don't Have Time to Go to the Bathroom'

The teams leave Quebec City and head to Iqaluit, Nunavut. Here are their starting times:

Jet and Dave 3:05 a.m.
Holly and Brett 3:38 a.m.
Jody and Cory 3:38 a.m.
Vanessa and Celina 3:44 a.m.
Tim and Tim 4:15 a.m.

As they leave, Jody and Cory say their goal is to get ahead of Holly and Brett and hopefully never see them again. What a giveaway! We pretty much know where this episode is going. Of course, when the start times are so early in the morning, you just know that everyone is going to catch up with the leaders. When the Tims show up at the airport, Jet and Dave explain how they can't get rid of the Tims..."They're like zombies".

They have to catch connecting flights through Montreal and then Ottawa. They arrive at the airport in Iqaluit and I immediately realize that the airport here makes the one we have in Windsor look like something out of Casablanca - you know, with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman? We'll always have Paris? No? Nothing? Well, what I mean to say is it looks like hell. Shame, shame on Windsor.  Don't expect Amazing Race Canada to come here anytime soon.

The Route Marker is a clue in Inuktitut. They have to ask people to translate. It simply says 'Sylvia Grinnell Park'. Everyone catches taxis. The first cabbie that the Tims hail needs to go to the bathroom first, but Tim Sr. says "We don't have time to go to the bathroom". Well now the title isn't so funny. Would have been much better if Celina said this to Vanessa while they were miles from nowhere with no Timmies in sight. The docs are the last to catch a cab. At the park, the next clue tells them to search for the Throat Singers. Monty tells us that Throat Singing is a custom developed by the Inuit women...when the men are away. Somewhere right now, someone is probably writing some obvious snappy one-liners about that one. Maybe something like, "so that's what they call it". But I am going to take the high road on that and leave it be. There are two women out in the snow, facing each other and doing this throat singing. Kind of a surreal moment out there on the snow. It was very cool. They give the teams the next clue which directs them to a Detour.

The Detour is a choice between 'Harpoon Hunter' or 'Igloo Builder'. Harpoon Hunter consists of one team member pulling a sled with their teammate inside, 1 km to a target where they must each throw a harpoon. Then the other team member has to pull the sled back. Igloo Builder is pretty self explanatory. They have to cut out ice blocks and build an igloo. Neither task is easy. Jody & Corey, Vanessa & Celina and the Tims choose the sled/harpoon. Lots of complaining from Celina but you can't fault her for this. Even Cory was having a hard time pulling Jody. Jet & Dave and the docs decide to give the igloo building a try. Of course the igloo building sounded easier. Jet and Dave figure out that they chose the wrong task and switch to the sled and harpoon - but this puts them behind. And the docs? Well, Holly wants to switch after one of the blocks falls on her. This is where the whining starts and doesn't end until the end of the leg. Brett is one stubborn ass though. He wants to finish the damn igloo. He says, "if it's the end of us, it's the end of us" I am thinking, "finally". More whining from Holly and more "Hol, Hol, Hol" from Brett. Then he caves in to Holly's wishes and they go to do the sled and harpoon. But their fate is pretty much sealed by this point. Thank God. One thing is for sure though, the judge on that igloo challenge must have had a good laugh over these guys trying to build an igloo. If their lives depended on it, they would either freeze to death or hope for a light saber and a spare Tauntaun or two.

The next clue tells them to take snowmobiles out onto Frobisher Bay and go to the Hudson's Bay Trading Post. There is an icy walk down onto the Bay. Vanessa and Celina come across some skeletal remains...a couple of spinal columns here, a couple there. They wonder what kind of creature did this. Well, I am pretty sure those were the remains of a Tauntaun, so it was either Han or a Wampa that did that. You guys better get the hell out of there. The Roadblock is a food challenge. One team member must eat 10 small pieces of maktaaq (or muktuk) - the frozen outer layer of skin and blubber from a whale. Very, very oily. But at least they have water to wash it down. Probably not a good idea in the long run. I would really like to know how many of them got killer cases of heartburn afterwards. Jody, Celina, Tim Sr, Jet and Brett took this one for their teams. Blubber is supposed to be rich in vitamen D, and give you a lot of energy. I think they are going to need it. Everyone managed to get it down. Celina took a long time and almost tossed it a couple of times. Her gag reflex was getting the better of her.

Before the Roadblock, the Tims had to complete a very easy Speed Bump. It was taking a dog sled and retrieving a food packet. This simply came down to being a time penalty as no skill was involved whatsoever. They didn't even have to drive the dogs themselves. But it looked like a hell of a lot of fun.

On to the Pitstop. They must walk 1 km northwest through the snow to find Jon and the Inuit greeter on top of a rocky hill outlook. It was not an easy hike - most of it was on an slope. Here's how they finished:

Jody and Cory in first place. They led from the start. There was no competition...they barely saw the other teams. They win 2 tickets to the Caribbean. Bet that sounded incredible out there in the middle of the frozen wilderness.
Tim and Tim in second place. WHAT? Even Monty is astounded. If there was no Speed Bump, would they have won the leg? Maybe. If not, they would have given Jody and Cory a damn good run for the money. Tim Sr. says he left half of himself back on the climb, it was that difficult.
Jet and Dave in third. Lesson learned. I still don't know why they went for the igloo building over the sled and harpoon. They overtake the girls on the climb to the Pitstop.
Vanessa and Celina in fourth. Celina carried her sister the whole episode. She ate the maktaaq. And even after all that she had to encourage Vanessa all the way to the Pitstop, stopping every once and a while to wait for her to catch up. Celina said it best herself - Vanessa is only 21 and should have made that climb easily. How bad was it? Well, Jet and Dave easily passed them from at least a half km back. Celina, my best advice is to make Vanessa eat the blubber next time. I think she needs the energy boost.
Holly and Brett in fifth...and out. Thank God. Merci beaucoup. They studied the Amazing Race 'rulebook', practiced various challenges, but in the end it was their strategy that did them in. Picking what they perceived as mental challenges over physical challenges just didn't work. They underestimated their physical abilities and learned nothing from their previous experiences in Calgary or Regina. Truth be told, I think they knew they were finished back in Quebec City. They just gave up in Iqaluit. Bye bye Mr. and Mrs. Bones. See you at the finish line when the winning team does their traditional run-by. I will miss writing stuff like, "Damn it, I'm a doctor, not an igloo builder".

Check out my homepage on Friday for a preview of Episode 8 in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Lobsters, scarecrows and the Bluenose II. Another U-Turn. Oh, no. And what's this crap about Dave getting mad at Jet? Say it ain't so guys.

Monday, 26 August 2013

The Amazing Race Canada: Pre-Finale Speculation, Teams, Legs and Spoiler Recap

This post contains spoilers. If you don't want to know, then just turn around now and leave the way you came!

With just 4 episodes left in the season, I thought it would be nice to do a little review of the remaining teams and a summary of the spoilers for each leg. When I first decided to cover The Amazing Race Canada, I never even considered putting out spoilers. But I got sucked into it all when the teams were first spotted at Niagara Falls. I wondered where they were going and what could they do...in Canada. Then I thought, who are these people that were putting themselves out there, along with all their idiosyncrasies, practically signing their lives away, just to be on national TV?

This show simply cannot be filmed without being seen by the public. It doesn't make much of a difference anymore if it's just in Canada, or if it's an international road trip. There are franchises of it all over the world, and everyone recognizes what they are seeing when they spot two people with backpacks being followed by a cameraman and a sound tech. But, these sightings don't really tell you very much other than the where or sometimes the who. They were quite boring actually. So boring that I thought the show was going to flop badly. A lot of people thought the same. The sightings in Regina were a good example. It just all seemed so lame, yet that episode was one of the best, and the most difficult so far. All of the legs have been great. My only one complaint was the Vancouver leg which I found to be terrible. Sorry Vancouver, but I just don't think the show served your city any justice. Chinatown was nice. But they spent too much time there, when there are so many places they could have featured. Granville Island? Stanley Park? Gastown? Nope. Instead, we were treated to a marine cargo terminal. Not that cargo terminals aren't necessary to the economy, but nobody wants to see it. What a shame. I think everyone in Vancouver should get a petition going and demand a re-do in Season Two.

The Remaining Teams

Like I said, these teams practically signed their lives away on their contract. The show is free to include anything you say or do, and they have an open book when it comes to editing your character any way they want. Yes, it's considered the best in reality TV. There are worse shows out there. But it's still their show, their rules. If they want to portray you as cheaters, they will. Do you think Holly and Brett were the only ones who played dirty - like hiding the maps? The other teams were probably upset they didn't think of it first - if they thought they could get away with it they would. Or Vanessa and Celina cutting in line at the airport? If it was two women at the front of the line, you can bet that Jet and Dave would have asked them if they could cut in. The show is all in the editing. So when I make fun of the girls, or I point out how much I do not like the docs, I am just playing along with their characterization. Seriously, they should think twice before they open their mouths when that camera is rolling. If you're auditioning for the show, yes, you want to come across as one of these 'characters'. After all, this show is cast just like any other TV show. But once you are signed up and the camera is filming you, then don't do or say anything you will regret later.

Holly and Brett - At first I found them charming. They were pediatricians after all, and they've pledged a portion of their cash winnings to the Children's Hospital in Montreal. How noble is that? Now? Not so much. I am very tired of the 'know-it-alls' who really don't know anything. Brett has turned into Mr. One Note. Canada just doesn't need to be reminded every episode that you two are doctors, and as doctors, you just don't have time for all the little things in life, like...cooking. That noble quality is now starting to come across as condescending. I'm sure there will be lots of tears when they're eliminated. Just not from me. I take that back. I will be upset because I won't have anyone to complain about. See you at the finish line Bones, not when you win...when you're cheering on the winning team.

Vanessa and Celina - My thoughts on these two are the exact opposite of the docs. At first I just couldn't stand them, and I made fun of them by saying things like they will need to stop to do their nails. I think it was that horrible team bio on the show homepage with all that stuff about being "mini but mighty". That just screamed annoying. But now they have kind of grown on me. Sure they take advantage of their how pretty they are. Why the hell not? Especially if they are competing against Jet's muscles. Sure all the crying and whining has been way too much, but it's also kind of funny now, and it's really going to come to a head in Iqaluit. I still stand by my suspicion that these two were cast on the show in the traditional sense, but it is what it is. It's a TV show after all. Was there ever really any expectation of these two winning? No, especially not against the alpha male type teams. I will miss them in the last couple of episodes, because seeing Vanessa and Celina getting lost in Toronto would have made for great TV. They will have time to clean up real nice and do their nails in time for the traditional winning team run-by at the finish line. Sorry fanboys, but they are next out after Mr. and Mrs. Bones. It's going to be an alpha male showdown in the finale.

Tim Sr. and Tim Jr. - I like these two. These guys have to be the up and down kings of Amazing Race. They can play a good game when they set their mind to it, or they can totally mess up to the point of being saved TWICE because of non-elimination legs. They keep fighting their way back into the game, especially when the going gets tough. They are not done yet. Despite their patience and determination, they've not had a first place finish in any of the legs. (as of the writing of this post) If they can get their mojo back (as Tim Sr. puts it), they have a fighting chance, but they have to stop getting lost, or second guessing themselves. Perhaps they just haven't peaked yet.

Jody and Cory - My second best favourites. Who the hell doesn't like these two? Jody really won me over at the RCMP boot camp in Regina. They are sure and steady, concentrated and determined. Cory has made a few mistakes, like the charter plane mishap in Yellowknife, but they took it with stride and didn't let it get to them. They seemed a bit too serious at first, what with all that talk of destroying the other teams in their bio. Kind of put me off a bit, but I'm okay now. Plus it looks like they've opened up a bit - in Quebec with Jet and Dave's fake clue. I think they found out they can have a bit of fun along the way. It's not all business, all the time. I really think their eyes are on the prize, and that they have just been biding their time. Their run to the finish line in Carcross showed that Jody can work through that pain, and he can put a good run in when he needs to. I really believe we have not seen them peak yet. Jody will probably strap on his blades somewhere between St. John's and Toronto (he said they are more efficient) and keep them on until the finish line. They are going to treat that final leg more like the 100m and less like a marathon.

Jet and Dave - If the truth be told, I wasn't a fan at first. Yuck. Typical alpha males. Ugg. Me Jet...him Dave. Now? I love these two big lugs. They are definitely the stars of the show. Champignons? Classic. That kind of stuff is a producer's dream come true. They come across as muscle heads, but when it comes down to it, they can reason things out....like in Quebec. Dave figuring out ham, cheese and...spinach. They are a much more confident team now that they have won 3 legs, than that pair we remember from Vancouver. Running around like ding dongs, getting lost and letting the Chinese translation get the better of them. Let's just hope they don't have to do a challenge in Toronto's Chinatown. Nah. Of course, maybe they have peaked already, and the rest of the race will just fall apart for them. All they have to do is concentrate now. Guys...just think of turning over the engines in those Corvette Stingrays. Yeah that's right. Think. Think. Think. Oh...car...shiny.


Remaining Legs

Leg 7 Iqaluit, Nunavut - by the look of it, it's going to be brutal. The docs and the girls just won't be able to keep up...it looks like they have simply burnt up everything they have. The sled pull challenge will exhaust them, then they have to do a run up that snow slope to the rocky top of the mountain. It's going to be dramatic. Expect some crying from Holly and Brett. Like I said in my preview for this episode, we will probably see the teams being given a tour of Iqaluit and the surrounding area when this leg is done. This could give the remaining teams a bit of a break and a time to recharge.

Leg 8 Mahone Bay and Lunenburg, Nova Scotia - After the teams were announced by CTV, there was a lot of complaining in the Maritimes about a lack of representation. Rightfully so. I am pretty sure that these next two legs will make up for the oversight, at least partially. Of course there were no teams or legs in New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island. But this won't be the last season of the show, and I am sure these places will be covered eventually. This will be a beautiful leg, even with all the rain they had. There will be a Roadblock in Mahone Bay which appears to be duplicating a scarecrow. This takes place at the Gazebo on Main St. In Lunenburg, there is a Detour involving lobster fishing. This leg has another Double U-Turn, and that board is inside St. John's Anglican Church. There is a Route Marker at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, and of course, what kind of leg would it be without a stop at the Bluenose II?

Leg 9 St. John's, Newfoundland - If you didn't fall in love with the Maritimes in the Episode 8, then this leg will cap it off. This episode is full of local flavour. The three remaining teams will be busking for money by performing with an ugly stick. Looks like there will be some adorable, gentle giant Newfies pulling carts (I want a Newfie!). And the Pitstop? Cape Spear of course. I believe this episode will be the first part of a 'double leg' and the three remaining teams will be told to keep racing on to the final leg. There will be no eliminations. Only the guys were seen in St. John's.

Leg 10 Toronto, Ontario - Well of course it's Toronto. Kind of disappointing, I know. But I do understand why they did it here. Traffic congestion up the wazoo. Confusion, anxiety, and lots of chances for teams to change positions. Oh the drama! Plus believe it or not, despite all the people, there is a certain amount of anonymity. It's like the old saying - you can't see the forest for the trees. There is always something being filmed here. The teams were originally set to rappel down the side of City Hall. It went through the approval process in City Council. Two things went wrong. First, it was discovered by the press. Second, May 24th just happened to be the day that every reporter in the city was at City Hall trying to cover the Rob Ford crack scandal. It was so bad that a live feed was fixed on the elevator and a Twitter account was started for it. There was no way the producers were going to film there. I don't know which challenge was substituted for it. They go to the Toronto Zoo (they were seen at the new Panda exhibit), the Cadbury factory and the L Tower (which is under construction). They were seen along the Esplanade and at Queen's Quay West. If they follow the format of the original U.S. series, one remaining challenge will be a memory game of the places they visited in the legs. Most teams have learned to take notes along the way for this very reason. Jody & Cory and Jet & Dave were spotted in Toronto.

Which brings us to the finish line. Where could it be? It has to be somewhere secluded. Well, let me tell you where the number one contender is.

Have you really watched the beginning of the show? Not the opening credits. Just before that when they describe the grand prizes. They show the First Class seating/beds on board Air Canada, a Corvette Stingray, then the $250,000 flashes on the screen. Take a good look at the car. What do you see? Yep, that's the Toronto skyline as seen from south of Toronto. There is only one place that could be and that's the Toronto Islands. It's not just CG either. The camera swings around - it's very quick, and you can see the reflection of the cameraman and the parkland behind the car. Those cars had to be at the finish line waiting for the winners - Chevrolet is going to make sure the winners turn that ignition and we can listen to that engine purr.  I can't say for sure this is the finish line, but it fits, and I just can't see them going to the expense of making that shot for some sort of foiler. Could be wrong, I admit it. Do they take the ferry or canoe? I don't know. Who will those winners be? I know who I am rooting for. In truth though, if any of those final three teams I mentioned end up winning, that would be fine with me.

Until then, I will continue to do my weekly recaps on Tuesdays and weekly previews on Fridays, where I will elaborate on the details of the final legs. 


Saturday, 24 August 2013

The Amazing Race Canada Preview of Episode 7 'We Don't Have Time to Go to the Bathroom'...In Iqaluit, Nunavut!!!

Ever wondered what these teams do when they really, really need to go to the bathroom...??? Well, normally I would just look for the nearest Tim Horton's. Yes, Iqaluit has Timmies, but they are self-serve kiosks. And before you go commenting about the weather...this was taped mid May. The high on May 18 was a beautiful -1.1, the low was -13.1. Certainly NOTHING that these teams aren't used to in Ottawa, Montreal, London or Edmonton.

This week the five remaining teams go to Iqaluit, Nunavut. Not a lot of info came out of Nunavut during filming back in May. Sorry. But here is what we do know:

  • The Tims must complete a Speed Bump. No, I don't know what it is but don't worry...they dodge this bullet AGAIN. Safe!
  • The teams have a clue that must be translated from Inuktitut into English.
  • Detour: They must build igloos at Sylvia Grinnel Park. Jet and Dave wonder why they didn't do the other challenge. One preview shows Holly and Brett having a hard time with this. One block tumbles and almost hits Holly in the head. With all the mishaps I'm surprised she didn't get a concussion. There is a LOT of over-reaction, panic and you can bet "Hol, Hol, Hol". And I'm pretty sure we will also hear Bones saying 'damn it, we're doctors, not igloo builders'. Looks like you can add 'playing in the snow' to the list of stuff they have never done, right underneath ice skating, cooking, and pretty much everything. Not that igloo building is a mandatory skill in Canada, but a childhood isn't a childhood unless you've at least built a snow fort. The other part of the Detour could be having to pull a sled - one team member wears snowshoes and pulls their partner sitting in a sled. Looks like they have to do this on a bit of an incline, so it's not going to be an easy task. (there is a chance that this is a separate challenge altogether)
  • The Roadblock is eating a 'local delicacy'. This could be 'maktaaq' - the outer layer of skin and blubber taken from a whale (Beluga or Narwhal). This is raw, usually cut up into small slices and swallowed whole. Not that I would know, I Googled it. The preview shows Celina trying to do this...complete with gagging sounds. If you're like me, and that sound alone can get you gagging like it's contagious disease, then I suggest you mute this part. Come on Celina....just do it!!! It's just like sushi. Except it's a mammal and not fish. And there's...blubber.
  • There is some dog-sledding....and you can expect to see some snowmobiles as well. These could be challenges, but are more likely used to get around...for example, Sylvia Grinnel Park is about 1 km from Iqaluit, and would make for a nice ride by sled or snowmobile.
  • They must also climb a snow-covered mountain. In the previews you can see Holly & Brett and Vanessa & Celina totally exhausted. Holly apologizes to Brett. Celina tells a very whiny Vanessa to 'shut up and come' (ah...no comment). I can see the episode title, 'We Don't Have Time to Go to the Bathroom', being taken from this segment. How funny would it be to have to make an epic climb when you have to pee? Probably not funny in the moment, but just think of the story you could tell your grandkids? I think the finish line is up top (there is a shot of Jon and the local greeter) and one of these two teams will be eliminated. 
  • Which team gets sent home? Well, it looks like the time has finally come to say goodbye to that annoying 'Hol, Hol, Hol.'. Yep, I am pretty much done with the condescending "we're doctors" crap. But I am sure they just got a bad edit and are actually nice people in real life. Right?

You can also expect to see an extended segment promoting Nunavut. For the past 3 weeks, CTV has aired a beautiful commercial showcasing Nunavut as "the one place the teams stopped racing to have a look around', and canadasnorth.com now features a banner for The Amazing Race Canada.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

The Amazing Race Canada RECAP of Episode 6 'Check the Canons'

The five teams left Regina with the following start times:

Jet and Dave 6:15 a.m.
Tim and Tim 7:56 a.m.
Vanessa and Celina 8:26 a.m.
Jody and Cory 8:40 a.m.
Holly and Brett 9:15 a.m.

The clue tells them to make their way to Levis Fort No. 1, just across the river from Quebec City and search the grounds for their next clue. Apparently Dave has been practicing his French...he says "We want to be 'les champignons' at the end of the race." Great. Now I can't get that Queen song out of my head. You know the one I mean...'We Are the Mushrooms'. Wrong Dave. You must have paid about as much attention as I did in school. But at least I have read the labels on many a can of mushrooms. Dave...for future reference, some words are the same in French as in English. They just sound prettier in French. We also get to hear Holly and Brett explain the advantage they will have. They're from Montreal, you know. They speak French. Jet and Dave, have a 2 hour lead and are able to catch the first flight out. They will arrive in Quebec City at 7:43 p.m. The Tims and Vanessa & Celina catch the next flight and will arrive at 10:43 p.m. while Jody and Cory and Holly & Brett will arrive last after midnight. All 3 of these flights connect through Toronto. Holly & Brett and Jody & Cory must have learned one lesson from Hal and Joanne. They manage to re-route their flight through Montreal, to arrive at 8:45 and ahead of the girls and Tims.

Just like I thought, Jet and Dave get to the fort ahead of the others. The Fort itself doesn't open until 10 the next morning...which means the teams will start the next day all even. Thems the breaks. Looks like Jet and Dave will just have to work a bit harder if they want to be mushrooms. With none of the other teams there yet, they must spend the night in one of the fort's rooms. They get bored and decide to set up a false clue - as a joke. They call it team-bonding or something. They try their best to translate "check the canons" and write it in a bin of sand that has a lid. They know Holly and Brett will see right through it, but they think if anyone falls for it, it will be the girls - "they'll be running around (the fort) like ding dongs." Well that's not what happened. It was Jody and Cory who got there next and started looking for a clue. Jody checked the bin of sand and he and Cory took off looking for the canons, fully convinced they found the next Route Marker. Jet and Dave at first played dumb..."Hey where are you guys going?" They started running around too, like ding dongs, but finally fessed up to Jody and Cory that they wrote the clue. It's a good thing Jody and Cory can take a joke well. Some people don't.

The teams are off at 10 a.m. the next morning. The real clues are hidden throughout the grounds of the fort. Jet and Dave find theirs first. The funny thing is that there was a real clue hidden in one of the cannons, and Vanessa & Celina found it. Maybe they actually believed the guys' fake clue and they just got lucky. Maybe production was playing their own joke. This clue tells them to catch the ferry back to Quebec City, ride the funicular up the cliff and search for the statue of Samuel de Champlain in front of the Chateau Frontenac. Beautiful! The Tims are the last team out of the fort. Jet & Dave and Vanessa & Celina get on a ferry - the other 3 teams must wait 30 minutes for the next one.

The clue here is the Detour located back down at Place Royale in the lower town. Sculpt It or Spot it. Sculpt It is carving out blocks of ice with a chisel in either a star, a house or a sailboat shape. There are completed samples and each block has a traced outline. No brain work here. No French words. Spot It involves studying a wall mural then placing French word labels for missing items on a miniature version. There is some running back and forth here.

Jet and Dave pick Sculpt It and do the star. They call for the judge a couple of times but he keeps telling them "a little bit more".
Vanessa and Celina originally try Spot It, but when they see the guys doing the carving, they switch. Looks like they are sticking with the leaders which is probably a good call. About half way through, when the carving gets a bit rough, they wonder why they switched.
Holly and Brett do Spot It. Who didn't see that one coming? Cos they are doctors. And they live in Montreal. Just in case you didn't know. But there were a few words they didn't understand...Poele a bois. If it's any comfort guys, my on-line translator didn't know it either. The running back and forth made this task more physical than they thought. Holly runs funny. It's more of a running shuffle. Odd.
Jody and Cory do Spot It alongside of the Docs. Their French language skills are much better than Jet and Dave's. That's for sure. But they ask for help from a passerby, and get it.
Tim and Tim do Sculpt it. Also a good call. They do the house, make a mistake but work around it.

The clue they receive here sends them to a Road Block at Place de l'Universite-du-Quebec. The clue says, "Who's ready...Batter up!" It's not baseball. It's making crepes. Four of them to be exact, and they must all be served at once. One person from each team has to take orders - in French of course, and there are a variety of fillings that the "customers" will ask for. There is some skill involved here because the judge is a chef. Plating and presentation are a factor. At least they are supposed to be.

Dave - has a very hard time with the translation, particularly over the word for 'spinach'. But he eventually reasons it out. I know...hard to believe. Also, it helps to turn on the crepe pan before you spread the batter. They lose a big lead when other teams start to show up. He's good on his 2nd attempt and they are the first out of there.
Holly - not a cook. Brett reminds us again that they are doctors and used to pressure. Cooking is not their forte. He's starting to remind me of Dr. McCoy. I half expect him to say "Damn it, man, I'm a Doctor. Not a pastry chef! They only cook 3 or 4 times per year. Umm. No excuse Bones. You eat everyday, don't you? So you can cook everyday. Tsk, tsk. I want to smack him for being a bad role model for the kids he treats. But Holly gets it done and they are in second place.
Cory - this guy can cook. His only problem was not serving all four crepes at once. He takes note of Holly's plating and finally clues in. He is done in third place, right behind Holly and Brett.
Vanessa - Oh my Oh my. It's not pretty. She picks the crepes up with her hands and tosses them on the plates. Gently Vanessa, gently. A crepe is a time-honoured work of art. You must treat it with love and tenderness! She is really hung up on 'cerise'. She thinks it's strawberries. If she could just focus on nail polish colours, I bet she'd get it. Instead, she asks Tim Jr. and he tells her! She finishes and they are now in fourth place.
Tim Jr. - Tim...repeat these words after me..."I don't know". That's what you say from now on whenever anyone asks you anything. He gets flustered when Pappy asks him what he's doing. He forgets all the garnishes and the icing sugar. Then he gets it right. They are the last out.

The clue they get here directs them to the Plains of Abraham and a little lacrosse. Each team member must catch a pass, then make a shot and score. The one good thing is the net is empty. Everyone actually does pretty good here, although Holly gets a bit flustered and Brett feels like he has to give her advise again. The clue here sends them to the pitstop. It's on the hilltop at Battlefields Park on Avenue St Denis. Here's how they finished:

Jet and Dave in first place. Oh sorry, I mean they're mushrooms again. Jon points out they now have a hat trick. They have won two round trip tickets on Air Canada to any European destination.
Second place is a tie between Holly & Brett and Jody & Cory. Jody says, "That's the last time we finish at the mat with Brett and Holly." Hmmn, interesting. Noted.
Vanessa and Celina finish in third place. Hey, no tears in this episode. Less whining too. Now just calm down.
Tim and Tim finish last. Jon starts his speech. "I'm sorry to tell you,...<long infuriating pause>...but your wives will have to wait a bit longer to see you." Damn it Monty! You had me going and I KNEW they weren't getting eliminated.

The Tims finish last in a non-elimination leg for the second time. And you know what that means? They have to complete a Speed Bump at some point on the next leg. That next leg is in Iqaluit, Nunavut. I's not going to be easy. Well, I don't think it's going to be easy for any of them.

Check my homepage on the weekend for my preview and spoilers of Episode 7.