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


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

Niagara Falls, Ontario to Kelowna, British Columbia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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

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.


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'

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.

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.