Amazing Race Canada Season 2: There are quitters and then there are quitters.

Rob attempting to Hang Ten
Rob attempting to Hang Ten

Rob attempting to Hang Ten

Sorry for being late. It was my kid’s birthday and to celebrate, we had a sleepover the night before. As I said on Twitter (@waynthurson), no Amazing Race Canada task is harder or scarier than having eight pre-teen girls over for a sleepover. Thanks to Jon Montgomery for faving that tweet. And though I submitted my post this morning, it got lost somewhere. So here it is.

Teams leave Victoria in the early mornings hours and have to fly to Tofino. Man, that’s only across the Island but it’s a bit of a drive. A nice drive but a long one. The Olympians are in a solid first and raring to go. Alain and Audrey are right behind, only six minutes after the girls. Rex and Bob are next, followed by Mom and Son. So many teams, takes a lot of time to get them all in. But Tofino is a great place. Took the family to that area a few years back. Great time, amazing landscape, wonderful people, but freezing cold water even in the middle of July.

The flight is similar to the previous leg: three flights to Tofino, one hour between them. So teams on the third flight are two hours behind the leaders. Tough to make up. On Flight #1 are the Olympians, Alain and Audrey, Rex and Bob, and Cormac and Nicole. Upon landing they get their sponsor’s electric car and get to Wickaninnish Beach. The leading teams arrive and head to the beach.

Then then second group of teams are now heading out, Laura and Jackie followed by the Siblings and the Dudes. And bringing up the back of the pack are the Twins, Ryan and Rob and the Parents. Not a great position. Especially since Shawn tells the cab they’re going to Tofino. “That’s six hours away,” replies the cabbie. Okay then, the airport.

The leading teams arrive at the beach and easily find the clue box. Many of the beaches are big and wide near Tofino so the brightly coloured clue box stands out. It’s a Detour: Sharp Eyes or Sharp Knives. In Sharp Knives, teams must slice 30 pounds of fillets to move on. In Sharp Eyes, teams must to sort 1000 pounds of fish into five similar yet different types. One all the fish are sorted, you’re done. I’d go with Knives. The first few might be tough but once you get into a rhythm, you can move fast.

All the teams take Sharp Eyes and head to Ucluelet, which is about a half hour south of Tofino. Not a big place so no one should get lost. But great hot dogs at a place called Ukee Dogs, some of the best in the country. The teams head south but there are some minor freak outs on the drive. At the seafood place, teams start to sort. Rex thinks it’s easy but soon realize he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Alain figures it has something to do with one fish having an open mouth while others are closed. Yeah, that’s gonna work. This task should be fun to watch for a bit. Meanwhile the second group have arrived.

More sorting. Rex starts to see a pattern but doesn’t pass the first inspection. Alain and Audrey switch. Not always a good move but at least they did this early in the task. They watch a demonstration and then go. It’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it. The second group grab their clues and it seems everyone picks Eyes. Off they go. Most sorting. Cormac and Nicole fail Inspection #1. Rex and Bob fail again followed by the Olympians. Alain and Audrey ask for a weighing and have about 14 pounds of good fillets. They seem disappointed but that’s not bad. However, Alain notes that you only get a certain amount of fish. If you mess up a bunch, that’s it for you. Back to the other side.

The second teams arrive much to the chagrin of the leading teams. The Dudes make some lame jokes (since we saw this kind of stuff on the Bill and Ted movies, Dude, Where’s My Car, and most every Pauly Shore movie, it’s pretty boring). My kid also finds them dull so far and she’s a pretty good bellwether. Anyway, Sukhi’s a biology major so she figures she can distinguish between five different species of fish.

Laura and Jackie are vegetarians who are grossed out by the fish. This is really the first time we’ve seen these two but so far, meh. And what’s with that side-cocked hat? Doesn’t look good on her. The final flight arrives, race to the car, race to the clue, R stands for reverse, Jen. We get a flashback about their relationship and about time for themselves. And I hope that isn’t a sign that these guys are out. Especially the bit about how they are ready for everything and the fact that the promo showed Jen calling for a medic and someone being loaded into an ambulance. (Note: I hate TV show promos that use the possibility of an injury as a promotional tool. Rubs me the wrong way).

Teams fail inspection after inspection after inspection after inspection. Rex suggests switching, Bob says no. Alain and Audrey finish the Knives task. Told ya that was the easier one. Still Bob says no. The clue says to drive North Chesterman beach and find the surf shack for the next clue. They’re off while the Forget Brothers get the clue. Since these boys run a meat packing plant, it’s obvious they’ll choose Knives. A bit of a flashback to the boys, noting their father just passed away. Nice bit of TV there, touching without being maudlin.The other teams take Eyes.

Nicole and Cormac sorting fish

Nicole and Cormac sorting fish

More failed inspections and Cormac and Nicole switch, quickly followed by the Olympians. On their 10th attempt, Rex and Bob are done. Off to Surf Shack and they pass Alain and Audrey, who were getting directions. Audrey seems pissed about that, but what can you do? The Dudes fail, so do the biological Siblings. Laura and Jackie only get 17 pounds but ruined too much fish and have to switch. Yikes! The Dudes switch the other way. Okay, I’m getting bored, when does something different and interesting happen?

Oh wait, there’s the beach with Old Couple (Rex and Bob) arriving and not being able to find the Surf Shack. Audrey spots it immediately, but is looking for a clue box instead of a clue on one of those many surfboards laid out directly in front of them. Rex and Bob spot the clue so they jump ahead again. Teams must load a surf board on a bike, pedal down to the beach and then try to catch a wave. One teammate must surf for 3 seconds while the other must shoot video of the event. This should be fun. Especially since the water is freezing.

Alain and Audrey see Rex and Bob getting ready but can’t find the clue. Wisely, the boys say nothing. So Francophones run to the beach. The other Francophones, Pierre and Michel, arrive at the seafood place, demanding knives. Ryan and Rob tells us stuff we already know and seem excited but there’s a reason why you caught up to these folks; the task is hard. Shawn believes his experience in graphic design and advertising will give him an edge. Maybe he can see patterns others can’t but I think it’s a stretch.

And the best part of the show so far is Sukhi realizing that a fish has fallen into her pants and this could be the reason they’ve failed. She places the errant fish in the proper location and yes, they do pass. Off they go, followed by the Olympians who’ve cut the required 30 pounds of fish. They’re heading to the Surf Shack, which Alain and Audrey can’t find. In the previous episode, these two were all happy, mostly because they were doing well. But now they are starting to bicker (which I expected would happen sometime), mostly because they are lost. They start to panic and that’s never a good thing.

Rex decides to surf because of his dance background. He’s got a good point, until he promptly falls the instant he sits on the board. Since I’m more athletic than I look, I would do the surfing while Gord does the shooting. Rex soon realizes that surfing is much more difficult, even to just get 3 seconds. The Francophones finally find the clue.

The Siblings, though, stop to plug in their car. They believe they may run out of juice during the leg so they want to charge up. Here’s a tip for the Siblings: there is no way the sponsor would feature their signature electric car on Canada’s most popular TV show of all time only to have a few of them run out of juice in front of millions of Canadians. No. Way. That is not a good way to sell cars. The Siblings realize the folly of their move when the service station dude tells them they have 450 kilometres left till empty. Good thing many teams are behind them.

Over to the back teams, Mom and Son, the Dudes and the Twins get 30 pounds. Way to do your father proud, Pierre and Michel. The remaining and relatively uninteresting teams fail inspections. Rex is falling while Audrey surfs three seconds in no time. Next task is a Roadblock. One team member must build a Tofino beach chair out of fishing nets and drift wood. Since Audrey surfed, Alain will build.

Back the seafood place (snore), more failed inspections while Ryan and Bob switch even though they vowed never to switch Detours. The Twins are lost while the Olympians find the surf board clues. More surfing, but this time Bob is trying. He’s not better. More surfing, more sorting, Jen and Shawn move on. Maybe the advertising did work. Then Shawn blows it but helping Laura and Jackie. Why do teams do that? Why help another team get done faster when there are only a few of you at the back?

Not surprisingly, the Dudes get the surfing done on their first try. Although it seems one of them made an inappropriate gesture which was blurred out. The Olympians are done. So are Laura and Jackie back at the sorting. Ryan and Bob only have 22 pounds of filets but they’re out of fish. They’re forced to switch back. Maybe they should have stuck to their vow. Unless something major happens, these guys are done. But we haven’t seen the ambulance yet, so…

At the chair build, Natalie builds one quite quickly. Man, these Olympians are amazing! Is there nothing they can’t do? Teams must walk to the Crab Dock in Tofino to find the pitstop. And then something major happens. Rex and Bob figure they can’t surf anymore and take a 2 hour penalty. That’s tough. But will it be enough for other teams to catch up and pass? Bob takes on the chair.

Meanwhile, Alain makes the ugliest chair ever but beauty isn’t a requirement. The chair holds the judge so they are off to the pitstop. More teams surf and arrive at the beach. The Siblings add to their great scenes in this episode by falling off their bikes. Too funny these guys. Fish in the pants, plug in an already charged car, fall off the bike. What’s next? Oh yeah, some great surfing pratfalls. At least Jinder is standing up.

Natalie and Meaghan with another first place finish

Natalie and Meaghan with another first place finish

And once again, the Olympians are in first. They faltered a bit at the fish place but quickly moved up. Tough to beat these two. They win a trip to Hong Kong plus $2K on a credit card. But at the back of the pack are Ryan and Rob, done with the fish sorting. In second, again, are Alain and Audrey. Despite their earlier bickering, they did well.

But the main drama is on the beach. Shawn hits the surf board and looks to have dislocated his shoulder. Ouch. And not a pretty sight. He has to go to the hospital. Too bad he got hurt but at least it’s not very serious. I like that the other teams stopped surfing while Shawn was hurt (At least it looked that way). It’s a competition, yeah, but you still have to show some respect to an injured player. Unaware of what’s going on behind them, the Dudes finish their chair.

Then Nicole does the surfing. Good for her. Single moms are tough and never give up. The Twins are also done. And more teams arrive at the beach. But wait, what’s this? Rex and Bob quit again, adding another 4 hours to their previous penalty. Seeing this, I don’t know why these two were picked. Sure, they have personality but two penalties in a row? What’s the point of going on Amazing Race Canada if you’re going to quit every time it gets too hard? And it hasn’t been overly hard. A bit of surfing, build a chair, suck it up and do it. Man, I really hope Shawn comes back, finishes so Rex and Bob can go home. They really don’t deserve to continue. Especially since Jinder keeps trying after watching Jackie finish in no time.

At the mat, the Dudes are third, Mom and Son are 4th. And Jinder shows Rex and Bob how to do Amazing Race Canada and finishes the surfing. So do Ryan and Bob. The Twins arrive at the mat in 5th. Rex and Bob are 6th but have a six hour penalty. And we see Shawn getting his shoulder popped in. The final three teams finish their chair. They arrive 6th, 7th and 8th. Then we hear the news that no one wanted to hear: Jen and Shawn withdraw from the race because of Shawn’s injury. That’s a terrible way to go. Rex and Bob do not deserve to continue and quite rightly feel chastised for quiting two tasks. They vow never to quit again because of what happened to Jen and Shawn, but I have my doubts.

Next week, my prediction from months ago comes true. When Amazing Race Canada announced Season 2 and said applicants required a passport, I surmised (and corrected some media folks) that they would be leaving the country. It’s off to Hong Kong to scream, get into bad cabs and eat something disgusting. Should be fun, as long as Rex and Bob don’t quit. Again.

This blog (along with team interviews and video) also appears at

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