Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The Amazing Race Canada Recap of Episode 3: Hoodoos and Hoodonts OR Jet and Dave vs.'Anderson Cooper' and 'Mr. Mustache'

Tough challenges this week. I mean tough. The kind we are used to in The Amazing Race. But you know what they say don't you? If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. Alberta, that is.

The teams start off from the Vancouver Convention Centre with the following start order and times:

Holly and Brett, 3:57 a.m.
Hal and Joanne 4:12 a.m.
Jody and Cory 4:51 a.m.
Darren and Kristen 4:58
Vanessa and Celina 5:23 a.m.
Tim and Tim 5:44 a.m.
Jet and Dave 5:45 a.m. "Nice guys finish last"

The first clue instructs them to fly to Calgary, Alberta, but they must first stop at the Internet Cafe to book their flight. Holly & Brett, Hal & Joanne, Jody & Cory, and Darren & Kristen book the 7:00 a.m. flight. The other 3 teams book the 8:00 a.m. flight. When Vanessa and Celina check-in at the airport, they switch their tickets to the 7 a.m. flight. Hey! Looks like the girls are learning a few tricks from the older teams. Way to go! Then we see something kind of pointless. Holly and Brett go to the Hudson News stand, gather up all the Calgary and Alberta maps and tuck them away where none of the other teams could find them. Lame. Fact of the matter is, this isn't the only news stand at Vancouver airport. And where was the sales clerk? It just seems like a sign of stress when a team tries to sabotage the others like this. In fact, it's not a good sign at all. Jody and Cory notice the lack of any maps they need, "I bet somebody bought all the maps...sneaky pricks".

On the flight, Darren and Kristen decide to give the second Express Pass to Vanessa and Celina, and not to Holly and Brett as was their agreement. Oh oh. Were they right to do this? You bet. Why the frick would you give it to a strong team...a team that likes to sabotage and play dirty? Give it to a weaker team. Guess they'll just have some explaining to do with the Docs later. 

The Route Marker is in downtown Calgary at a bull sculpture in Fifth Avenue Place. This isn't just any bull. It's 'Outlaw', a famous bull in these parts. Apparently Outlaw disposed of a record number of cowboys, 57 to be exact, before it was finally broken.  Can't help but think of Jamie and Pierre last week when they said "You don't get off the bull halfway through the ride". Sob. Kind of ironic. Yeah I miss them. They would have done so well on this leg. Anyway, the clue instructs them to go to Ranchman's Cookhouse and Dancehall. Now, with a name like that, wouldn't you suspect what the Roadblock was? Yep. Line dancing.

Line dancing separated the men from the boys, so to speak. Brought out the best in some teams, the worst in others, and frustrated everyone. It all came down to how everyone handled the frustration. Here's a breakdown of the teams' experiences:

Hal and Joanne: Joanne did the dancing, and nailed it after only 3 attempts. Hal couldn't stop gushing over how good Joanne looked. They left in first place.
Jody and Cory: Jody did this one, "I can handle that, even with carbon-fibre feet. No way I'm getting those (cowboy) boots on". He got it on his 6th attempt. But they were there 3 hours. When the judge approved his dance, everybody cheered.
Holly and Brett: Holly danced, got very frustrated. It took her 8 tries before she could get the next clue from the judge.
Darren and Kristen: Darren nailed it after 3 attempts. But it still looked kind of awkward. Almost as awkward as Kristen pulling Brett aside to explain about the Express pass. Brett gave her a crappy lecture on the integrity of doctors, in such a way to seem like they are sooo much better than everyone else. Naturally, this only made Kristen want to damage his head severely. Can't blame her, considering the fact that Brett wasn't exactly showing integrity when he hid those maps back in Vancouver.
Vanessa and Celina: Vanessa danced. She got a bit frustrated and asked "Why can't it be hip-hop?" Umm, maybe because cowboys in these parts wouldn't even know what you're talking about. She got it after 3 attempts.
Tim and Tim: It was Tim Sr. who took this one. Perhaps a bad choice, it took him 9 attempts. They left in last place, but never gave up.
Jet and Dave: Dave danced because he is a two-time National Champion...in cheerleading. He explains that his role is chucking girls. "I throw them, and I catch them". Dave responds with, "That'll come in handy". Dave got it on his 3rd try, but not after a few comments about the judge. "Anderson Cooper is so hard core". Yeah, the judge did look like him. When Dave won the clue, there was much rejoicing. Dave twirled a girl. Jet twirled a girl. Dave twirled Jet. Dave twirled Anderson Cooper.

One thing is for sure. None of those teams could get that country song out of their heads for several days. Even Vanessa was singing along. The clue 'Anderson Cooper' gave the teams directed them out to the Hoodoos in the Badlands. The next challenge is a Detour called Lump by Lump OR Bone by Bone. Very self-explanatory. Lump by Lump was filling a coal car at the Atlas Coal Mines National Historic site. The judge here is in period costume and sports a lovely curled mustache. Bone by Bone is at the Royal Tyrrell Museum and involves building a dinosaur model to the satisfaction of the judge, who is a 'real-life' Paleontologist. Wow a real Paleontologist at a real Paleontological museum. Imagine that. And just as I suspected, the only team to take on the dino challenge was Holly and Brett, who believed that parts are parts. After all, ribs are ribs and vertebrae are vertebrae, right? HAH!

Hal and Joanne fill the cart in no time flat, but not before Joanne takes note of what a great workout it was. "No wonder coal miners were in such great shape". Well, yeah, if you don't take into account all the coal dust they inhaled, bad diets and having to worry about the threat of cave-ins. Once again, Jet and Dave give us some comedic relief. Of course they filled the bins easily, but couldn't understand why the judge wouldn't approve of their work. Seems they forgot about moving the little tag over to a hook at the side of the car. "In Ontario, they would have welcomed this with open arms. But he didn't like it. No dice. You want some more coal? We'll give you some more coal. Here it is. I'll pour it all on...He thinks we're going to go do dinosaurs. Well, Mr. Mustache, ...we...are tough. We'll fill another one, for fun." Gosh, who doesn't love these guys? They finally figure out the problem and move the little tag thing. They let Vanessa and Celina know about the tag. The girls, meanwhile are having a hard time, start picking up big chunks and carry them, and consider using the Express Pass. They ask the judge several times if it was good enough...even when the car was no where near full. Maybe they were hoping Mr. Mustache would cut two wee girls a break. Hah! Jody & Cory, Darren & Kristen and the Tims (who are at this point tied for last with the Docs) also do the coal challenge.

Meanwhile, Holly and Brett are getting frustrated with the bones. Lets face the facts. They should have been able to do this with ease. Parts are parts. They may be a bit different, but the Docs should have been able to notice those differences and laid out those bones. It wasn't like it was a T-rex. They didn't have to use a crane to lift a 6-foot head. It was about the size of a dog - just like Dino in the Flintstones. But the Paleontologist denied their first attempt and the Docs had to go take a second look at the model. I think it was just anxiety that did them in. That and Brett constantly telling Holly to relax, when it was Brett who was all jittery. Yeah, that really helps. She just spent a couple of hours trying to learn a line dance while you were vowing revenge on Kristen. You don't calm down a person by telling them to calm down!!! Jeez.

It's a race to the Pitstop at Horse Thief Canyon between the Tims and the Docs, but the Tims get lost. Holy crap. Monty is waiting at the mat in his best neo-western garb, looking smashing I might add, alongside a cowboy with his horse, of course. Here's the final standings:

1st: Hal and Joanne. These guys are so impressive. Not only do they handle the stress, but Hal even finds time to tell Joanne how good she looks. Love it. Will anything take them down, or will they just run out of steam?
2nd: Kristen and Darren. Another team that is consistently near the top. For now.
3rd: Jet and Dave. From last to third. Not bad. I love their humour, ...I just think they dawdle a bit too much. But their learning curve is improving.
4th: Vanessa and Celina. Another team who is learning the ropes. They lucked into the Express Pass - lets just hope they don't push their luck, and try a few dirty plays of their own.
5th: Jody and Cory. Very impressive. Talk about bravery! Bravery is completing a line dance with carbon-fibre feet and no ankles. Not to mention Cory, who was brave enough to let his bro do it.
6th: Holly and Brett. I think frustration, and thinking about revenge on the Hippies, did these two in on this leg. Brett needs to learn a lesson from Hal and tell his wife how good she looks all sweaty in cowboy boots.
7th: Tim Sr. and Tim Jr. They just need to think things through before they jump into things. The non-elimination saved them. They must complete a Speed Bump on the next leg. Oh but don't worry - these two are going to be fine. They won't be the next team to be eliminated.

Check back later in the week, I will post a preview for Episode 4, and maybe... a clue as to where that final finish line is. Maybe I will make a game of it.

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