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Rockin’ the Flags on Amazing Race Canada

Coming to the homestretch, only two episodes left. One team will be eliminated and we’ll either be left with an exciting finale or just an okay one. All depends on who stays in. If the Olympians or the Siblings are eliminated this leg, then it’s gonna be kind of boring in the end. The Dudes and the Bartenders just don’t have the personality or intensity to make it interesting if they are two of the three teams left. Or maybe they have the personality and we haven’t seen it, but they don’t seem to have the drive to win.Natalie-and-Meaghan-at-Dairy-Queen-3Enough talk, more rock. Teams leave PEI for New Brunswick but instead of flying, they need to drive across Confederation Bridge, 140 klicks in all to Shediac. Then they have to hit an Acadian birthday party with all the traditional Acadian encoutrements, like fiddle playing, jigging and stuff from Dairy Queen? Okay, maybe the DQ stuff isn’t traditionally Acadian but they’re a sponsor so they have to get their own spot. At the DQadian birthday party teams have to make Blizzards and a custom cake.

Sukhi and Jinder are out first, seemingly lost, breaking laws, but right behind them are the Olympians. Although I’m not feeling this “semi-final” thing. It’s not really a must win, do or die leg, it’s like any other leg. Mickey and Pete leave and they understand how the game works: just don’t come in last. Because they ran a red light, the Siblings got a penalty. Okay, I understand the safety reasons but it’s Canada, it’s four-something in the A M, no one’s on the road, hands up anyone who hasn’t run a red-light at that time. I figured. Anyway, it’s  a 15 minute penalty but no biggie, that shouldn’t put them too far back. Ryan and Rob leave and Rob also pulls the do or die line. It’s cliche but at least he’s being allowed to speak. All I’m waiting for is someone to say “it’s gut check time.” Come on. Anybody? Anyone? Bueller?

Zip across the bridge and it’s the Olympian arriving at DQ first. Orders are taken. The Dudes are in and do the same. Although I see no hairnets for both teams, hmmm. Overall, this task is a no brainer but at least it’s better than the fill’er up task at Petro Canada. A bit more skill involved in this one. Olympians are done in no time. Drive 60 Klicks south to Hopewell  Cape and find the Albert County Museum. Other teams arrive and let’s just move on. DQ ain’t paying me to blog about them so…

Olympians arrive at the museum. It’s a Detour: By Land or By Sea. In By Land, teams must  Geo cache, finding 10 of them across 2,000 square meters. Big but not that big. And Geocaching is fun, Gord and his family do it all the time. By Sea teams must memorize a bunch of maritime signal flags and then go back to an empty flag pole (?) and fly the signals in the correct order. Okay, it’s Geocaching for Gord and Wayne. It’s pretty straightforward and easy, just a bunch of walking while following directions on your GPS.

Although the Olympians don’t know what Geocaching is and take Sea. In fact, all the teams take Sea. Again, teams take what I would call the harder task of the Detour, and they’re all on the beach on the Bay of Fundy. Gorgeous place, but still Geocaching would have been best. Obviously, the producers planned the timing of the task when the tide was out. The Olympians start with some trouble, not reading the clue. But they finally do and head to the proper locale. At least they didn’t re-explain the task. Sukhi and Jinder also don’t read their route marker clue wrong, driving right past the museum. And it wasn’t really a massive lead they had when the left in the morning, it was only a minute.

So they turn around  and arrive the same time as Ryan and Rob. Rob runs well, I’ll give him that. Back and forth to memorize the messages, while the Olympians try to figure out how things work. It’s a bit more complicated than they thought. And I’ll say it again: Geocache. But we’re all stuck on the beach, except for the Siblings, who are lost again. These guys aren’t good at driving and directions. And the Olympians fail their first try, then take all their flags off and reverse them. Gotta read them by sea, they believe Mickey and Pete think that makes no difference but they fail.

Judge-looks-on-as-Jinder-and-Sukhi-attempt-Flag-ChallengeFinally, the Siblings arrive, Sukhi telling Jinder to grab the clue. He’s got it there in his hand as they run across the beach. But it’s not there when they head back. Not a good sign. The clue is the most important thing in the world, you gotta hang onto it. Will they find it? Or won’t they?

Sukhi and Jinder had lost their clue on the beach in New Brunswick. Red herring or will this actually cost them the race? Place your bets.Nope they actually lost it. The Olympians ask for a judgement while the Siblings run around, and I won’t make a joke about their lack of clue. Too easy. And nope, the Olympians fail. And nope, the Dudes ain’t going to show you their clue. That would be stupid and these guys are probably much brighter than they pretend to be. And no from Ryan and Rob. But it’s a yes from the Olympians. Oh really, why would you do that? She calls it competing fairly and even though I have no idea what the outcome of the race, I think it’s a mistake. Maybe in the first round but not in the second to last one. It’s like passing the puck to your opponent in your own end so they can have a free shot on net during the final period of a semi-final game. Yeah, I can do the hockey analogies. A second later, they realize it may have been a mistake.More fails. And this armchair QB knew that the flags would have been difficult. This is not the first time maritime flags have been used in Amazing Race. I’ve seen versions of it at least twice and it drove teams crazy. The Olympians are so frustrated, they switch, the first time they’ve done all race. Could hurt, but with everyone struggling, a change of pace might be good. But while flipping through the flag box looking for their clue, they find a flag which is similar to another one on the pole. Success. A nice bit of luck for them. Head to Cape Enrage.

Mickey-and-Pete-at-Flag-ChallengeMickey and Pete figure out the same mistake and they are off. And they tell the other teams to check flags for different details. Which the Bartenders use to their advantage but something else is wrong. Fail. Over at the Cape, it’s a Roadblock. One team member must rappel down to find the first half of the clue. Then at the bottom, race across the climb back up to find the second half. Tough task and probably given to me. The rappelling part is easy; climbing’s a bit hard if you don’t have the upper body strength. Natalie is on it cause of Meaghan’s broken hand from the Olympics.

Back at the beach, the Bartenders find their other mistake and move on. Soon, the Siblings are also on it but have to drive and find the Cape. Mickey takes the task. And obviously, he’s done this before cause he’s down pretty fast. And he’s climbing up pretty fast. But Natalie is at the top first and they have to run down a marked part to the zipline that will take them to the pitstop. Really? That’s it for the leg. And with a zipline to the pitstop, it’s hard to pass a team. Although the teammates have to harness themselves but it’s not that big a deal.

Natalie-at-Roadblock-2And notice, it’s at a historic lighthouse, another landmark where the pitstop is located. I’ve mentioned this on Facebook before (on the Amazing Race 24/7 Facebook page, go there and join cause it’s fun and informative) and I’ll do it here. All the legs have ended at some type of landmark which has been specifically mentioned in the clue telling them where to go. The Fisgard Lighthouse, the Tofino Crab Dock, Kowloon Walled City Park, Praca de Ferriera do Amaral, Mile Canyon on the Yukon River, Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Juno Beach, Quai de la Tournelle, the Belvedere, Farmers Bank, and historic lighthouse at Cape Enrage. So if there is a memory challenge at the end of the final leg, I’m saying it will be based on these landmarks. Hope, the teams took notes.

The Dudes are right behind the Olympians but the girls don’t have the harness on properly. Is this the drama for the night? Not really. Just a bit of a clip change and they are off. First place, again for the Olympians. They get a trip anywhere in the US along with $5K. Even with a few bumps along the way, Natalie and Meaghan dominated this race, winning seven out of 11 legs, almost to a point where it got a bit boring. They are easily the favs to win, especially against the Dudes who come in second. Over at the Cape, Ryan’s heading down as the Siblings pull up. Doesn’t look good cause it’s hard to pass someone on the cliff.

Although Ryan has no idea how the concept of rock climbing works. He thinks it’s like the old Batman TV show where you use the rope to climb up the building. Finally, he realizes why they put the word “rock” in rock climbing. Up he goes, pretty decently. Sukhi’s down and then up. But it’s not that easy since it’s begun to rain. Ryan drops a bit. But in the end, he makes it up before Sukhi and sadly, the Siblings are out. Of course, I had an inkling about this when they posted on Twitter that they were heading to Toronto this week. All eliminated teams head to Toronto so they can do interviews with folks like us. Don’t forget to check here on Thursday for that interview.

Cape-Enrage-LighthouseThey play the sad music as Jinder keeps the info of the boys flying away to the pitstop from his sister. Nice job. I’ll miss them because over time, they became my fav team. They were adorable goofy, made almost to the end and they actually became competition for the Olympians, the only other team to win more than one leg. Don’t understand why some folks didn’t like them that much. They were the highlight of this season cause after Rex and Bob left, they were the team everyone was talking about.

And though they are in the Final 3, Ryan and Rob, especially Rob, show little or no emotion. No wait, Rob laughs a bit. But that’s about it. Next week, it’s off to Ottawa for the finale. The preview looks interesting but I’ll bet the actual leg is missing some life. But you can’t help that; that’s how the race works.

This post, along with another post, team interviews and video recaps, is also located at Amazing Race Canada and More with Gord and Wayne.
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