Saturday, 13 July 2013

The Amazing Race Canada: Preview of Episode 1 "Where in the World is Ogopogo?"

The Real Ogopogo
No, I'm the Real Ogopogo!
Everyone knows Ogopogo is in Kelowna, British Columbia. But the problem is, there are several of them. And did you notice "Ogopogo" is a palindrome? It's spelled the same way backwards. Cool, but totally besides the point.

I know everyone is thinking that Canada's version of the Amazing Race is going to turn out to be a terrible reproduction of it's original, richer American cousin. Well I disagree. This past year we have seen two Canadian versions of major U.S. reality shows start up: The Bachelor Canada; and Big Brother Canada. Both of these shows were huge successes and have each been renewed for second seasons. Oh yes. I honestly believe that TARC will have the same outcome. Why you ask? I am a bit of a creeper. I scoured the internet, especially Twitter and I saw some amazing places that TARC is going. Oh sure, we won't be seeing Americans struggling with language barriers and behaving, well, like the proverbial "ugly Americans". I'm sorry, (how Canadian of me) but nothing is funnier than taking an American, plunking them down somewhere in Asia and making them eat a big bowl of crunchy grasshoppers. But that doesn't mean we won't be entertained watching Canadians say and do things they may later regret. Besides, we have our own language barriers here. I am sure we will be thoroughly entertained when the teams land in Nunavut and have to negotiate the Inuit language. I am sure that they will be dropped into some kind of situation in Quebec City. Not to mention the uniqueness of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. It's part of the game. Anyways, let's get on with the preview of some of the stuff we'll be seeing Monday.

The start line is in front of the pergola in Oakes Garden Theatre in Niagara Falls. They probably thought it was a fitting place for a start because the U.S. is a stone's throw away, or some such rot as that. I am sure that they will mention that within the first minute of the show. Can't wait to see Jon Montgomery sans his pitcher of beer. I was kind of hoping he would greet the first team to arrive at the pit stop with a complimentary beer. And I keep wondering if Monty will have his own equivalent to the "Keoghan Arch"....that, for all you noobs out there, is that little raised eyebrow that Phil Keoghan gives just before the start of the race.

One of the first challenges, if not the first, involves the whirlpool jet boats on the Niagara River rapids. That must have been exhilarating because if I remember correctly, we had quite a cold spell back on May 3rd when they started filming. Cold + Wet = sucks to be you.

The teams then made their way to Pearson where they probably had to wait for a delayed Air Canada flight to Vancouver, British Columbia where they probably had to wait again for another delayed flight to Kelowna. Oh, did you know that Air Canada is the #1sponsor? Of course, I guess they pretty much had to be, because without them, there wouldn't be a show.

In Kelowna, it looks like the teams will face challenges at Quails Gate Winery and out on the lake at the Delta Grand Okanagan Hotel. In a preview clip that CTV released last week, Team Vanessa and Celina are attempting a Roadblock in some secluded spot. That is the Bellevue Trestle along the Kettle Valley Railroad trail, and if I had to guess, they may have had to get there by bicycle - just because that would be a nice touch.

Now what does Ogopogo have to do with it? Well it could have been their first stop. Maybe their first clue, back in Niagara Falls, was to find Ogopogo.  I just hope they don't have to find this Ogopogo:

Bad Ogopogo

He doesn't look nearly as friendly as those other two, that's for sure.

Maybe Ogopogo is going to be the actual pit stop for the first leg of the race. Now how cool would that be to be the first team to get there, and find Monty sharing a pitcher with Ogopogo? The thing is, there are not one, but two statues of Ogopogo. Hell, there could be more for all I know, but these were the two main ones I found in Google images. (It also looks like other pretenders pop up now and again). And here's the potential problem....they are on opposite sides of Lake Okanagan. Oh joy! Is someone going to get eliminated because of this?

If for some reason you miss Monday's premiere, check back here for my recap on Tuesday morning. This first episode looks like it's going to be one heck of a jam-packed, fast moving hour. Can't wait.