Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The Amazing Race Canada Recap of Episode 2: "Se Hou Leng" OR Hal and Joanne's Evil Laugh

All things considered, I wasn't all that impressed with this leg in Vancouver. It wasn't the teams. They are great. It was just the locales they chose to film. There are better places to showcase how beautiful Vancouver is than a freight terminal. They spent way too much time in Chinatown, leaving me with the feeling that I don't ever want to visit that area. They could have gone to Gastown. Or Granville Island. But no.

The teams set off from Quail's Gate Winery in Kelowna beginning with first place Kristen and Darren at 5 a.m. with a clue that read "make your way to Vancouver". They had a $200 allowance on an Interac card to spend on this leg.

Hal and Joanne, doing their evil laugh. Excellent.
Kristen & Darren, Holly & Brett, Jet & Dave make the 7 a.m. flight. Hal & Joanne and Vanessa & Celina miss the flight, but Hal manages to convince the agent to put them on standby before the girls. He says, "Just as long as we can get on before 'them'". Way to go HAL! Lo and behold, Hal and Joanne are paged and get on the first flight with the others. The girls look dumbfounded. We are treated to an "evil mastermind laugh" from Hal and Joanne. Excellent. Who would have thought? And why did we never see this on Body Break? Maybe Canada wasn't ready to see this side of Hal and Joanne in the '90s. The next flight at 8:20 carries Jody & Cory, the Tims, and Vanessa & Celina.

Meanwhile, Jamie and Pierre are the last to depart the winery at 7 a.m. - they are already 2 hours behind Kristen and Darren. They stop to withdraw cash which makes them miss the 8:20 flight, and are forced to wait until the next one at 10:55. This pretty much seals their doom.

The Route Marker is in the Maple Leaf Lounge at Vancouver Airport. Holly and Brett did not waist time while on the plane - they used the complimentary Air Canada EnRoute magazine to plan the fastest escape from the airport. They have to be the first people ever to actually use that thing to plan anything, yet I don't know why the others didn't think to do the same.

Anyway, the clue tells them to make their way to the Richmond Oval, the site of the Vancouver Olympics speed-skating events. They have to take the Skytrain Canada Line to get there. For some reason, Kristen and Darren believe that getting out at the stop before everyone else would be a wise thing to do. They have to hoof it to the Oval, and end up getting lost. Now keep in mind they are supposed to be world travelers. So I'll just say they are letting the stress of the race get to them. Big time. More conflict between the Tims and Vanessa & Celina develops, as the Tims wave from inside the skytrain to the girls who are left on the platform. The girls seem to be the number one team to diss.

The Roadblock at the Oval was a speed-skating challenge. Of course it was. However, this wasn't the Olympic sized was only a hockey rink. One member from each team had to do 2 laps in under a minute and a half to get their next clue. Holly and Brett are the first to arrive. Apparently neither of them have ever skated before. What? Brett falls. A lot. Everyone gets the job done: Brett, Jet, Hal, Kristen, Tim Jr, Vanessa, Cory and eventually Jamie.

The clue awarded here tells them to go to the Millennium Gate in Chinatown. Holly and Brett get info at the front desk at the Oval, and they have a cab called for them. Jet and Dave try asking Holly and Brett's cabbie to call for another cab, but the Docs tell their cabbie not to do it. Are the Docs playing dirty? Hey, this is Amazing Race. Get over it. Yet I feel a bit sorry for Dave standing in the middle of the street looking so forlorn. Awkward. Kristen and Darren's cabbie lets them out somewhere other than the Millennium Gate. So they are lost. Again. I don't know, but wouldn't you give the driver specific instructions, and then confirm your location with him ...before you paid the guy and got out? Perhaps something like..."no, we need you to bring us to the the Millennium Gate?" or even "Hey, is this Chinatown?" Instead, the cabbie said to them something like, "It's over there, a couple of blocks." What the hell? No Millennium Gate, no money. Simple.
Millennium Gate: How can the cabbie not find this? (see source 1 below)

The clue at the Millennium Gate is for the first Detour of the series. A Detour, for all you noobs out there, is a choice between two tasks that both team members must complete. This one is "Draw It" or "Drink It". Here's a brief description:

For Draw It, teams had to drink a cup of tea at the Ten Ren Tea Co., memorize the Chinese astrological symbol under the cup, then go to the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Gardens to get an expert to verify their redrawing of the symbol. Okay.

For Dance It, the teams had to go to the Chinese Cultural Centre and get a list of 4 shops (written in Chinese). At each shop was a portion of a traditional Dragon costume. They had to bring this back to the Centre and then perform a Dragon Dance after learning the steps. Egads. Too much.

Tell me, which would you do? Wouldn't you rather memorize one symbol, than translate 4 lines of writing and carry around Chinese costume parts? Besides, the lady who had to verify the drawing was a real character. Stern face. No talking. And if they didn't redraw it right, she tore it up slowly and with real condemnation. Hilarious.

Holly and Brett: Draw It. No problem.
Hal and Joanne: Draw It. No problem.
Jet and Dave: Dance It. They have serious problems finding the costume parts and lose a lot of time. "Let's just go back to the airport and go home". They eventually switch to Draw It. Nerves more than frayed, they bring it to the little lady who they call "Madam Judge". It's a nail bitter. The guys are honestly scared shitless, but their drawing is accepted. There is much rejoicing.
Kristen and Darren: Dance It. No problem.
Vanessa and Celina: Draw It. When they hand their first attempt to the lady, she tore them both up so methodically I think I could feel the paper tearing. Yikes. They have to go back, drink more tea and draw a new pair of symbols. The second time, it's approved.
Tim and Tim: Dance It. Like Jet and Dave, they realize this was a bad choice and switch to Draw It. No problem.
Jody and Cory: Draw It. No problem.
Jamie and Pierre: Draw It. Pierre's drawing is not approved by the expert. They switch to Dance It, and get the job done. Pierre plants a big one on the dance judge and everybody hugs.

The clue gained from completing the Detour sent them to DP World at 377 East Waterfront Road. Sounds easy enough, right? Well not for Kristen and Darren who manage to give the cabbie the wrong address or something. They get lost. Again. Somewhere in downtown, Darren comes to the realization that DP World, a shipping terminal, should be on the waterfront. Once again, why didn't they ask the cabbie something like, "Hey, where are we? Is this 377 East Waterfront Road?"

At DP World, the teams have to check in, don protective gear and board a shuttle to a tower. They must then climb 250 ft. to a viewing platform, and use binoculars to find the Pit Stop for this leg. Holly gets light-headed, dizzy, scared or whatever. Hal and Joanne have no problem, and prove once again that all those years of Body-Breaking have really paid off. There is no way in hell that I would be able to do that. Nope. Jody and Cory are third to the tower. Jody explains that as a sniper, he was in his element using the binoculars to locate targets. Yikes. There is judging for position between Kristen & Darren and Vanessa & Celina. The girls pass the hippies on the shuttle, but Kristen and Darren locate the Pit Stop first. Jet & Dave locate the flags just ahead of the Tims. Jamie and Pierre locate it no problem, but they pretty much know they're in last place.

Here's the results for the Pit Stop finish:

Holly and Brett. First place. They win 2 round trip tickets to anywhere in Asia. This team can keep their cool, but their sneaky tactics will make them a target.
Hal and Joanne. Second Place. Just like Holly and Brett, but older. Which is way more impressive. But we need to see more of that evil laugh.
Jody and Cory. Third. Moving up in the standings from a 7th place finish in Kelowna. 
Kristen and Darren. Fourth. These two get stressed out way too easy, and they stop thinking about what they are doing. They need to start asking questions like, "Where are we?". Preferably before getting out of the cab or train.
Vanessa and Celina. Fifth. They started out way too mouthy in the first leg, and pissed off several teams. In this leg, they found out that turn-about is fair play. Or you could just call it Karma.
Tim and Tim. Sixth. They need to stop the drama with Vanessa and Celina. Hey, it's done guys. Start concentrating on the job at hand.
Jet and Dave. Seventh. What the hell is going on, guys? Chill. You got to stop being so nervous. Nerves lead to stress. Stress leads to bad decisions. Bad decisions lead to being dumb-asses. And not in a fun way.
Jamie and Pierre. Eighth. Eliminated. The departure time and stopping for cash withdrawal pretty much sealed your fate. It certainly wasn't ability. I guess it's time to ride off into the sunset...but we will miss the cowboy hats. 

1 Millennium Gate photo:,_Vancouver%27s_Chinatown_National_Historic_Site_of_Canada,_WLM2012.jpg   

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