Nice Shooting, Eh, Amazing Race Canada?

Natalie-takes-aim-BiathlonAfter spending two legs out of the country, the first time ever, the Amazing Race Canada comes back to Canada. Last leg was a non-elimination so last place Sukhi and Jinder are still in the race. But with a Speed Bump and a meltdown the last leg, things don’t look good. But this is Amazing Race Canada, you never know what’s going to happen.

Off from Macau. teams must head to the Yukon, drive the sponsor’s truck to Sky High Ranch and enjoy the hearty breakfast with the ranch hands. Hmmm, some type of food task again/ Anyway, since there is only one Air Canada flight per day from Hong Kong to Canada, everyone will be on the same flight, no matter how early the Olympians leave. The girls are going to use the Express Pass as leverage, but save for promises folks might not be willing to keep, don’t know what they can expect. They already have four first places so they don’t really need much help. Let’s wait and see, though.Teams leave at various times in various places, teams keen on either getting the Express Pass or being #1. Although I don’t like the deeper discussion between Cormac and Nicole about her determination, etc. cause that could be a sign of elimination. Please don’t pull out this trope again producers because I like this team. And more threats from the Twins. Oh wait, background info on the Dudes. Some folks like these guys cause they are “different”. Because I used to be a punk rocker myself (I’m the “normal” guy on the drums), I know plenty of skater, surfer, long hair, punk rock, metal, whatever dudes so I don’t find these guys different at all. In fact, their Pauly Shore dude talk is dated and tiresome. So them out first before Cormac and Nicole.And holy cow, the girls give the Express Pass to the Twins! Nice work boys, they worked that play really well, dekeing the puck away from the Olympians without the girls knowing they were being played. Even the editor knew it was bad with classic Amazing Race sound effect mistake. They girl ask the boys not to U-Turn them or to U-Turn someone else but I wouldn’t trust the Twins. If it came down to it, I know Gord and I would U-Turn them, regardless of any promises made. All bets are off in the race, promises mean nothing. The other teams don’t get it and are annoyed cause they know how the boys played them.And as noted, all teams are flying together in the (insert sponsor commercial here). Oh well, I shouldn’t complain. Having all these big sponsors, including an airline that covers flights for the teams and the crew (including research crews prior to the race) saves a pile of money, which in turn helps keep Amazing Race Canada on the air for more seasons.

Race for trucks in Whitehorse, spend the night at the ranch and then breakfast. The bell rings, breakfast is soived and it’s a Detour. Make Your Bed or Ride Your Sled. In Ride, teams select 3 dogs, run 1.5 kilos to the lake to find the harnesses for the proper dogs, then attach dogs to sled. Each teammate must do three laps. In Bed, teams get two heavy backpacks, although probably not as heavy as some of the backpacks teams brought with them in the race. Then trek into the forest to find some camping stuff including a locked box and a key frozen in a block of ice. Then they must set up camp according to a sample site including a fire to melt the ice. I don’t know about Gord but I’d rather rely on my own skills instead of the disposition of three dogs. And since I’m a Dad who’s camped many times at home and away, I’d take the Bed. Also, there’s a 1.5 K run.

Dudes, Rex and Bob, and Cormac and Nicole take Bed. The rest take Sled. Sled teams race to the lake. The Dudes start smart with a fire and Cormac is supposed to be a camping whiz. But the tent freaks him out a bit. And no fire at first. Surely that would be the first thing so you don’t waste time waiting at the end for the ice.

Dogs howls, search for collars and the Twins and the Olympians forgot the tag for the third name. Big mistake. So they have to go back. That’s another 3 kilometres added to their run. But only for the Olympians because the Twins switch to Bed. Never a good idea to switch but at least they did it early. At the site, the boys have their fire going and are setting up the tent. Then, in a classic (and tasteless I might add) Dude/Bro move, they make a play for Nicole. Cormac’s not pleased and neither is Nicole. Rex and Bob dance (read bicker) as the Twins show up. They get set up pretty quickly.

Back at the lake, the Siblings struggle to deal with harnessing the dogs while the Bartenders  get done. So the Siblings go over and ask for help. “Go look at the example,” says Ryan. “Can you just tell us?” ask Sukhi. What? This again? But the worse part is that the boys let them look (and Rob still has the same expression on his face). I’d gently tell the two to get lost. So Sukhi and Jinder now know, thanks to the dumbfounded inaction by Ryan and Rob.
Audrey looks confused as the Bartenders start their laps.

Water melts and the Dudes fail their first inspection. So do Mom and Son. And Rex and Bob. But the Dudes try to figure out their mistake while one Alain and Audrey’s dogs runs away. See, never work with animals. Children, some may say, but since Gord and I are stay at home dads, kids are easy. The Siblings head out as do the Olympians. But the dogs take the girls off track. See? Animals. Nope. Alain and Audrey get set up but the dogs don’t move.  Sukhi and Jinder are on their 4th lap already while the Bartenders are done.

Drive to Grey Mountain. But even though they are in first place, Rob still looks the same. Sure he smiles a bit but nothing, I tell ya, nothing from that boy! Emote Rob, emote! More inspections, Rex and Bob fail and bicker. And grunt. The Dudes pass on their 4th attempt. Off to Grey Mountain for them. The Siblings fall but get done. As do the Olympians. Then the Siblings have to do their Speed Bump. They have to hook up a trailer to their truck, drive it 12.5 klicks and then back it into a spot. Not overly hard but backing up a trailer takes some skill. But if you figure it out, you can do it. They hook it up pretty quickly it seems.

Meanwhile, the Dudes are lost. Ryan and Rob get directions. Cormac and Nicole get done and move on. As do the Twins. Rex and Bob are stuck there and Rex starts to sound like a quitter. And their on their sixth try and still fail. Alain and Audrey are done with the dogs. And now we’re in an episode of Canada’s Worse Driver as the Siblings try to back up the trailer. The Olympians also try for directions (didn’t anyone get a map on the layover in Vancouver, or even at the Whitehorse airport?).  Alain and Audrey catch up and decide to follow them.

The Bartenders get to Grey Mountain for the Roadblock: Who’s got a steady hand? The two look at each other in that same way they’ve looked since the race started and thankfully, there’s a dissolve to Jon to explain the task. It’s a biathlon task. The team member must jump on a fat-tired bike and ride 1K through the woods. Exhausting, Jon says but really, 1K even in the woods isn’t that far. Then back to the range, shoot out the five targets. Miss any of them and you ride around again until you finally get all the targets. I’ve ridden bikes a lot (did two years of full year riding in Edmonton awhile back to pick up my kid from pre-school. And yes that included winter with lows around -30), have shot a bit before but maybe Gord can do this one. He’s got more shooting experience than me.

Ryan does it, there’s a bit of the hill and he’s freaking out. Rex and Bob finally figure out to close the tent’s front screen and get Bed done. The Siblings are fighting but once Jinder drives, he gets it. Good one Jinder. See you don’t need someone else tell you how to do things. Off to Grey Mountain. Where Ryan is tired. Two out of five. Another lap. And the Olympians, Alain and Audrey plus Cormac and Nicole arrive. Nicole takes it on (way to man up Cormac!) and finally, Rob shows some emotion at the arrival of the Olympians. Alain and Natalie take the task. The Dudes are still lost and getting directions. Twins are lost too but don’t seem to want to stop for directions.

Natalie gets four out of five, Nicole gets nothing. Alain takes his time, holds his breath and gets all of them at once. Nice work, Alain. Impressive. Drive to the Red Trail at Chadburn Lake Road and follow trail to find next clue. By a canoe. Hmmm, wonder what happens next? The Twins get a map instead of asking directions and rush out. Dudes have just arrived. Pete’s apparently been a hunter since 4 and is going “rock this.” But 1K ridden and five shots later and no hits at all. The Siblings arrive and Sukhi goes for a bike ride.

Natalie finishes her last target and off to the canoe. Ryan and Rob as well. Alain and Audrey find the canoe. They must portage to theYukon River, canoe 1.5K down to the pitstop. Classic Canadian task. Easy stuff. Beautiful scenery. And holy crapola, Rex and Bob arrive at the same time as the Twins. And in a brilliant piece of comeuppance, Sukhi, who has never held a gun in her life, gets four out of five on her first attempt. Great stuff. Pierre only gets two and in his third attempt, Pete has zero. Zip. Nada. That’s another Amazing Race rule, almost never do a task that you are an expert at cause it usually falls apart. Like the Doctors and the skeleton building last Season. Or the Hippies and the raft building. There are more examples.

Nicole keeps missing, Rex hits two. Sukhi gets her final one. Much to the chagrin and surprise of all the teams. I’m surprised as well. Okay, maybe the portage task isn’t that easy. Or maybe it’s just Alain and Audrey. They start freaking out and I hope there is good distance between them and the chasing teams. But the Bartenders don’t portage correctly while the Olympians follow their example and struggle. Especially Meaghan, who broke a hand during the Olympics (and still played the final game) is having trouble with said hand.

Alain and Audrey are on the river and Ryan and Rob are right behind. It’s a race to the end. But it’s Alain and Audrey, with Audrey carrying the much slower Alain on piggyback for the last 20 meters or so, dumping him on the mat. Good TV there. And for the first time since Season 2 started, another team has won a leg. An Air Canada sun vacation along with $3K to spend. Ryan and Rob are second, again. The Olympians get a bronze on this leg.

Pierre gets zen before he shoots, a smart idea to calm the nerves, and nails his remaining shots. Pete finally gets three shots after his seventh attempt at nothing. No such luck for Nicole. Nothing for her after seven, no wait, eight, nine, ten. That’s gotta suck. Sukhi and Jinder are in the boat but don’t know the difference between down and up river. Sigh. So they paddle against the current.

Rex is having a hard time, walking the bike instead of ride. And he gets his shots on the fifth attempt. Can’t complain cause it’s better the Blind Shot Pete. Who does get it, finally. But Nicole gets nothing yet and Cormac realizes he should have done the task. Not sure if he would have done better but he’s relied a lot of his mom this race. She’s done more of the harder tasks than he has. On her 13th attempt, she gets one. But unless something crazy happens, or they do a non-elimination in a row, they are out. And once again the “let’s telegraph the team eliminated by showing some background on them” rises again. I’m a little disappointed that the producers and story editors are so obvious in this. Gotta try harder folks to tell a story.

Sukhi and Jinder are fourth, nice finish from last place with a Speed Bump in the middle. Many had written them off but so far so good. This is mostly due to the shooting skill of Sure Shot Sukhi. Twins are fifth. Rex and Bob race the Dudes for sixth. Nicole is on her 18th attempt. More comments about Nicole’s own mother and how determination is passed down. And while this is good stuff and all, just another sign. She doesn’t quit though. That’s one tough lady.

Dudes are sixth, Rex and Bob don’t know how to steer a canoe. I do and I think Gord does so we’d be okay. It’s simple, the front guy just paddles on one side, never changing while the back guy paddles on the other, using their paddle as a rudder. Thank god for Grade 8 physed. But at the mat, its the boys in seventh. And finally, Nicole is done. Some nice TV with the hugs and all. Still, they are out. Too bad, I liked them but that’s how it works. One task can drop you out.

And too bad because the race is heading to their hometown of Winnipeg. And it looks like a rocking task along with some hockey. Man, that’s just made for me. If you’re a big fan of Amazing Race, I highly recommend you head over to the Amazing Race 24/7 page on Facebook. Anyway, see ya next week.

This post, along with eliminated team interviews, video recaps and commentary from Cory Mitic is also posted here

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