Tuesday, 13 August 2013

The Amazing Race Canada Recap of Episode 5 'Death by Lentils'

Challenges are ....well, challenging. That's why they are called challenges. If the teams thought the territories were tough, then they were in for a big surprise in Regina. The six remaining teams departed Whitehorse, Yukon with the following start times:

Jet and Dave 8:47 a.m.
Holly and Brett 8:51 a.m.
Hal and Joanne 9:06 a.m.
Vanessa and Celina 9:20 a.m.
Tim Sr and Tim Jr 9:22 a.m.
Jody and Cory 9:32 a.m.

The first clue told them to proceed to the S.S. Klondike (steam powered paddleboat) and search for their next clue. Jet whispers as if it's a secret, "Caution, U-Turn ahead". Oh, oh. The Routemarker here tells them to fly to Regina, Saskatchewan. Jet & Dave arrive at the boat just ahead of Holly and Brett. The guys decide to call 2 cabs, seizing an opportunity to garner a favour with the Docs. Why not? Maybe they decided to give this karma thing a try and pay it forward. Or they believe in keeping your friends close and your enemies closer.

Ladies and Gentlemen...here are the leaders.
It seems like getting from Whitehorse to Regina is no easy feat. Any way you look at it, there are going to be at  least two connections. In this case, it's either through Vancouver/Edmonton (arrive the next day in Regina 7:45 a.m.) or Vancouver/Calgary (arrive Regina 8:25 a.m.). The Docs get on the earlier flight, then tip off the guys. The favour is now repaid. Looks like the Docs don't want to carry around that baggage. The flight through Edmonton is now full. The other four teams are on the later flight through Calgary. Long, long trip.  Oh and look...Jet and Dave share a bro-nap on the plane. Reminds me of that scene from Friends when Ross and Joey are nap partners.

When they get to Calgary, Hal and Joanne manage to catch the last seat on a flight to Edmonton which will let them connect to that earlier flight. Smart. Or was it? That target on their back just doubled in size. Hal! Lay low...have you forgotten, there is a potentially game-changing U-Turn on this leg?

Once in Regina, the teams must follow the directions on a Blackberry to Saskcan Pulse Trading. I was wondering when the Blackberry sponsorship and product placement would work it's way in. They even make a big deal of the tap data transfer feature. At Saskcan they must search through huge containers of lentils and find 2 Sgt. Bullmoose toys which each hold one half of the name to the next Road Block location. Sargent Bullmoose? Like one of those tacky little souvenirs you see in highway rest stops? The kind that your kid yells, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, I want THAT one?" One moose is tagged with 'RCMP' and the other is tagged with 'Heritage Centre'. As if the stuffed moose in an R.C.M.P. uniform wasn't enough of a clue on it's own. By the way, these containers are the kind that are loaded onto trucks for shipment...they're massive. That's a lot of lentils. It's only one team per container...so in all those lentils there are only two moose clues. This isn't going to be easy. The first three teams from the first flight get to work. The weather gets hot...35 C. Real hot. Jet and Dave find both halves and head off to the Roadblock - leaving Hal & Joanne and Holly & Brett searching for their first clue. The other three teams show up. The Tims and the girls find their clues and are out of there. Holly hits her head on the container crossbar and has her emotional breakdown. She probably couldn't take Brett's pep talks anymore. Or his "Hol, Hol, Hol". Listen...I am about to have my own breakdown if I have to hear any more of that crap. After 2 1/2 hours, Holly and Brett decide to forfeit the lentils, incurring a 2 hour penalty. Hal and Joanne do the same.

Meanwhile, Jet and Dave make it to the RCMP Heritage Centre/Training Camp - "Depot" Division. Jet explains that he is salivating because it's what he does for a living. Policing that is,...not salivating. He's with the London Police Force. Ha! Ha, ha, ha. The clue reads, "Who's ready for bed?". One team member must set up a cadet's room, known as a 'pit', to the standards of the RCMP. They get to use the room next door as reference. A Sargent Major will do the inspection, but the judge for this task is the Assistant Commissioner, Roger Brown. And, FYI, this is no actor...he's the real deal. He is the Commanding Officer of the RCMP Academy, “Depot” Division. Since this show was taped, he became the 29th Commanding Officer of the RCMP in New Brunswick. And...No, I don't think the show had anything to do with it. 

Like I thought, Jet is maybe taking this task a little to lightly. He calls for inspection, "Ready for inspection, Sir". The problem is, he sounds like he's not taking this very seriously. Not good. Way, way not good. Commissioner Brown is NOT impressed. Nor is he impressed that Jet belongs to the London Police Force. He tells Jet that the London Police must not have the same standards as the RCMP. Ouch. Something tells me Jet is in for it from his cop buddies when he gets back home. Or maybe there is no love lost between municipal police and the RCMP. Celina and Tim Sr. show up after Jet has been there for 2 hours. When Celina calls for her inspection, she is admonished when she turns her head to watch the Sargent Major doing the inspection. True to form, she starts to cry. These girls can cry at the drop of a hat, I swear!!! I mean really, what the frig was she crying about this time? Brown chews her out, "In the Mounted Police, there is no crying". This guy is priceless. Jet's been there 2 1/2 hours. Brown is not going to let him go easy. The Docs and Hal & Joanne show up. After Brett and Joanne head off to do the challenge, Holly and Hal explain to Dave, Tim Jr and Vanessa that they never found the previous clue and have a time penalty. Wrong. Soooo wrong. Dave, Tim Jr. and Vanessa are fighting back their joy over hearing this news. Big mistake on Hal's part too. Hal should NEVER have let Holly know he and Joanne had a two hour penalty as well. It gave them something to continue racing for. Jody and Cory finally get the clue at the lentils. They ain't going to give up.

Jet finally gets the approval of Commissioner Brown, and gets the next clue. From here, the teams must go to City Hall and and the I 'heart' Regina sign, to learn a few dance steps from a troupe of Ukrainian dancers. Easy enough. The clue here leads the teams to Mosaic Stadium, the home of the Regina Roughriders. And a shitload of trouble. But I'll get to that later. Jody and Cory show up at the RCMP, and as expected, Jody chooses to do the challenge. Joanne and Brett get their pits approved. Hal explains they MUST U-Turn the Docs. Tim gets his pit approved. Celina is approved, then tells Vanessa "It's the hardest thing I've ever done in my life". Oh dear God. Yeah I know how she feels. I remember having to clean up my daughter's room when she was three. Now that was hell, I tell you.

Cory is now waiting alone while his brother does the challenge. Even though Jody hasn't been inspected since the '90s, he completes his pit in 15 minutes. Of course he does. He calls for his inspection. Commissioner Brown asks Jody what his history is...he can easily see this guy has some experience. Brown thanks him for his service. Jody thanks Brown for his service. Classy. I think I am going to cry. Of course Jody's pit is perfect, on the first try.

And now for the big field of trouble. The Detour/Double U-turn mess. The Detour is a choice between 'Beauty' or 'Brawn'. In Beauty, the teams must learn a choreographed cheer leading routine made up of dance moves, cartwheels and lifts. In Brawn, they must do a series of football drills (speed, agility and strength); catch a pass; then kick a field goal. If they fail on any part, they must run a lap before starting all over again. When they are finished, they are directed up to the luxury boxes where the U-Turn board is hidden. Here's how it played out:

Jet and Dave - Brawn. They complete the Detour on their 2nd attempt. They choose not to U-Turn anyone. No point. They only want to get to the mat first. No one else has even showed up at the stadium yet. Well played.
Tim and Tim - Brawn. They too get it done on their 2nd attempt. They U-Turn Hal and Joanne, because they say, "It's strategically smart". Debatable. One thing is obvious...since the Tims know Hal and Joanne have a 2 hour penalty and are not a threat in this leg, their intention is clear...they want BodyBreak out of the game.
Hal and Joanne - Brawn. They take 6 attempts. They beat the Docs up to the board, see their pic and U-Turn Holly and Brett. They go back to do the Beauty challenge. They are totally exhausted and don't do well.
Holly and Brett - Beauty. They take 6 attempts. Holly has another episode over getting U-Turned and being exhausted. They go back to do the Brawn. Holly catches the pass and Brett kicks the field goal. Go figure. They finish before Hal and Joanne.
Vanessa and Celina - Beauty. It takes them 3 attempts. I think they were just having fun and not too concerned about being U-Turned. They also knew that two other teams had 2 hour penalties. So there was no rush.
Jody and Cory - Brawn. First attempt.

The pit stop is on Pine Island at Wascana Park. Here's how they finished:

1st: Jet and Dave. They win two return tickets anywhere in Canada. They totally dominated this leg of the race. But with great victory, comes great responsibility. They are now the proud owners of great big targets.
2nd: Tim and Tim. Hmmn. Looks like they got their mojo back and are ready to fight.
3rd: Vanessa and Celina. They pretty much flew under the radar this episode. This kept other teams off their backs and they avoided being U-Turned. They are consistent though...consistently in the middle of the pack. But...that pack is dwindling. Please. Enough with the whine and cry! 
4th: Jody and Cory. Slow and steady can win this game. They have the strength and endurance, but their game also depends on luck. And their luck has been bad lately. Maybe they just haven't found their groove yet.
5th: Holly and Brett. They arrived third, and ahead of Hal and Joanne, but that 2 hour penalty put them 5th. Their biggest mistake so far has been under-estimating their physical strength and relying on mental challenges. But...this leg exhausted them, and their future in this game depends on whether or not they can recharge.
6th: Hal and Joanne. They actually arrived fourth, just behind the Docs. But their fate was sealed. Eliminated.

Check back on Friday for my Preview + Spoilers for Episode 6. Five teams go into Quebec City...but how many teams leave? 

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