I have been a fan of The Amazing Race when it first aired way back in 2001 -its first season. I loved the concept of traveling the world and complete cool tasks. The ratings weren’t initially good and I thought for sure the show wouldn’t last beyond season 1 because 9/11 happened and a lot shows ratings were affected by that tragedy. But funny thing did happen, after surviving that hump, here we are 22 cycles later and a 23 about to start in the fall. The show is so popular that it spawned many international versions. For years I wanted to be on this show (for the record my teammate would be my younger brother) but alas Canadians weren’t allowed to be on because it was up to the Canadian broadcaster to do their own version -this was from the mouth of Phil Keoghan, whom I met during a book signing years ago (see above). So it took over 10 years for CTV -the Canadian broadcaster to announce that they were doing The Amazing Race Canada.
Despite it not going around the world but across Canada – this country is pretty amazing – I was okay with that as it would allow me to see Canada in a way that I’ve never had before. So my brother and I put together our audition tape. We waited to hear but alas we weren’t selected as contestants. I hope this show is successful so that I can apply again and hope it is not a one and done thing like Who Wants to be a Millionaire Canada or Who is Smarter than a Canadian 5th Grader (which I did apply for and made it to the final auditions where I played a mock game and won the million dollars) .
Anyways, since I didn’t get to be a contestant, I will be blogging each episode as if I were and tell you what I would have done in terms of detours or which one of us would have done the road block. There will be commentaries on the locale, especially more if I have been there and my thoughts on the teams that are running the race. Right now I am cheering for Team Body Break.
Now on to Leg 1.
Host Jon Montgomery (Olympic Gold Medallist for skeleton during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics) starts us off in Niagara Falls Ontario and introduces us to the teams and they are the aforementioned Team Body Break aka Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod; sisters Vanessa Morgan (who guest starred on last week’s Saving Hope) and Celina Mziray; father/son Tim Hague Sr. and Jr.; married doctors Brett Burstein and Holly Agostino; cowboys/best friends Jamie Cumberland and Pierre Cadieux; best friends Jet Black and Dave Schram; twins Treena Ley and Tennille Dorrington; dating couple Kristen Idiens and Darren Trapp; and finally brothers Jody and Cory Mitic.
The teams that have the most interesting personal stories are the father/son team and Vanessa and Celina. I can see how their mother is a true hero to them.
Route Marker #1
Niagara Butterfly Conservatory, a place that my brother would not handle very well. And considering that I have to put my hand through icky creatures, I don’t think I would do well either. And I thought the teams had to take both envelopes in the teranium as it had the boarding passes in it, so I was surprised that the teams like the twins and the father/son team were able to get on the flight to Kelowna.
Route Marker #2
Going to Kelowna to find the Blue Bear and an Interac truck where they get their pre-paid debit card. Never been to Kelowna and too bad it is night when the team arrive. I would like to go to visit some of the wineries there. Most teams, except for Vanessa and Celina were able to find the Blue Bear with no problem but $40 for this leg of the race seems pretty cheap.
Route Marker #3
It is a Lakefront Water Sports kiosk and rent a personal watercraft using probably that debit card. And there we get our first equalizer of the race. Overnight accommodation at the Kelowna Yacht Club. It seems the first flight are forming an Express Pass alliance that the teams from Amazing Race 22 did.
Dive of Ogopogo where one team would search underwater for the statue of Ogopogo for the clue. Either one of us would be comfortable doing this as the clue read “Who is not afraid of the deep?” I would actually like doing it It is good for me to do it as it doesn’t seem as physically taxing especially if you are a co-ed team.
Who completed the Road Block: Brett, Darren, Hal, Tim Jr., Dave, Vanessa, Cory, Jamie, and Tennille.
Route Marker #4
Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park where we encounter Road Block #2: Walk the Blank. A team member has to walk a plank, retrieve the clue then jump off. Let us hope my brother did the Ogopogo one as I think I could definitely do this one. But with that plank shaking, it would probably freak me out and yes I probably would be hesitant to jump but know that I have to do bite the bullet and just do it. However, seeing the slow descent down then it it not too bad.
Who completed the Road Block: Kristen, Holly, Jet, Joanne, Tim Sr., Celina, Jody, Pierre, and Treena.
Quails Gate Winery and it has an outstanding view. If I am ever in Kelowna, I probably would go visit it as I do recall seeing their bottles in the liquor stores.
1. Kristen and Darren
2. Brett and Holly
3. Hal and Joanne
4. Jet and Dave
5. Vanessa and Celina -actually came in 6th but because of a penalty from father/son let them be 5th.
6. Tim Sr . and Tim Jr. a 30 minute penalty because they failed to pick up the second envelope at the Butterfly Conservatory
7. Jamie and Pierre but they were initially last -see why under Eliminated team
Treena and Tennille. Although they beat the Cowboys to the mat, the received the same 30 minute penalty that the father/son did thus they were eliminated.
Initial thoughts Jet and Dave come across as obnoxious, the twins and cowboys a bit confused and what is with all the commercial breaks – way too many and sometimes really unnecessary. The original Amazing Race doesn’t have that manny commercial breaks.
Production values are pretty similar to the mothership and the rules are pretty much the same except for the $1 million prize. I do like the trip around the world from Air Canada and while I wish it was more money, $250,000 is nothing to sneeze at.
Top contenders are definitely Kristen and Darren, Holly and Brett and yes Jet and Dave.
I do like the father/son team and of course Team Body Break so those two teams are the ones I am cheering for so far. Right now it is too early for me to assess the other teams but I have 9 other legs to form an opinion.
Looking forward to next week as Leg 2 and in my backyard of Vancouver!