Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The Amazing Race Canada: Recap of Episode 8 'Clutch and Release'

The teams left Iqaluit at the following times:

Jody and Cory 11:39 a.m.
Tim and Tim 11:53 a.m.
Jet and Dave 11:55 a.m.
Vanessa and Celina 11:57 a.m.

Their next stop is Halifax, Nova Scotia, and their clue told them to find a Chevrolet Sonic - with manual transmission, on the rooftop parking lot at the airport. It also cautioned them that there is another U-Turn ahead. The flight to Halifax connects through Ottawa, so Jody and Cory ease their load by putting one of their backpacks and half their stuff in a locker (Jody is from Ottawa). I didn’t know that was possible, so I presume it’s not against the rules. Looks like Jody is taking some of the weight off those legs and letting Cory be the workhorse. All four teams are, needless to say, on the same flights. Meanwhile the girls are freaking out because they have only driven stick once before and it didn’t go too well. Sounds like a bit of production hanky panky going on here. I mean, how many people - and I hate to say this, but how many women, know how to drive a manual transmission?

They arrive in Halifax just before dusk. They have to use a provided USB stick to watch a MyLink video in the car. Monty tells them their next destination is the Pier 21 National Historic site where immigrants to Canada were processed between the years 1928 to 1971. Needless to say, Celina has a hard time driving and stalls the car a few times, while Vanessa panics in the back seat. God help their cameraman who can only sit there and not interfere. She gets it going, and her strategy is to not use the brakes. It’s slow going. Very slow. Although they fall way behind the other three teams, they catch a break because Pier 21 is closed until 6 a.m. the next day. So all the teams will start off in the morning at the same time.

Their task is to collect 7 stamps on their “passports” from stations set up throughout the museum. They are given time to contemplate Canada’s immigrant heritage. Jody and Cory actually find a display that shows the ship their grandparents sailed on. It was actually kind of cool. The task itself just seemed like an activity for kids. Actually I am sure it was. You know what I mean…the kind of activity that parents get suckered into doing when the kids very quickly lose interest. Mom and/or Dad think the cute little passport will make a nice souvenir. Then it gets tossed when they get home. I just think they could have made it a little more interesting, a little more challenging. Throw in some interesting factoids at each stamp station. After they collect all their stamps, a Customs official says “Welcome to Canada” and gives them their next clue.

The road trip continues. It’s on to St. James Anglican Church in Mahone Bay. The town is known for it’s ’3 churches’… all in a row down by the shore. It’s idyllic. There’s a Roadblock here - “Who wants to find their long lost twin?“. There is a re-creation of their annual Scarecrow Festival and there are scarecrows all over the place, set up in little themed vignettes. One team member must locate a scarecrow that matches the picture on their Blackberry, and bring it to the gazebo on Main St. Here, they have to assemble and dress another scarecrow to match, then take a picture to get an approval from the judge. Cory, Tim Jr, Jet and eventually when the girls show up, Vanessa do the task for their teams. Each person gets a different scarecrow to do - some are more difficult than others. But overall, it sounds easy, right? Well the problem is all the pieces and clothing are in a mountain in the middle of the gazebo. Dave gets mad at Jet, because once again Jet doesn‘t look like he‘s taking it very seriously. He tries to get an approval from the judge with his scarecrow…without arms. Nice try. Just because the judge was a woman, doesn’t mean she’s a pushover for those massive muscles. Tim Sr gets mad with Junior. Then Junior gets sarcastic at Dad. The only team that keeps their wits about them is Jody and Cory.

From here, it’s on to Lunenburg. They must go to the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic. Time for the Detour and that pesky Double U-Turn. It’s called ’Surf OR Turf’. In Surf, the teams must catch and band 6 lobsters, then deliver them to the chef at the Grand Banker Bar and Grill. For Turf, the teams had to go to the Boscawen Inn and memorize 12 types of German sausage, then head back down to the docks and identify them. Jody & Cory and Jet & Dave do the lobster, while the Tims and the girls do the sausage. Okay, that didn’t come out right, I know. But isn’t ’turf’ supposed to be steak? Jody & Cory soon learn just how nasty lobsters are. They have a grip roughly equivalent to 100 men or something. Plus I kind of wonder how smart these things really are. One of their lobsters grab onto the cage and won’t let go…like it knew it was dinner and it wasn‘t giving up easy. Jet and Dave learned why their claws are banded when you buy one at the grocery store. They called it ’neutralizing’. The Boscawen Inn, for the ’turf’ is a couple of blocks uphill from the dock, and Tim Sr. says the uphill run is very hard on him. I’m really feeling for this guy. But the turf task sounds a lot easier, right? They just have to memorize 12 types of sausages…that’s 6 for each person. The problem is…the names are in German of course. Not so easy. But probably better than dealing with the death grip of 6 lobsters.

They finish their Detour challenges in this order: Tim & Tim; Jody & Cory; Jet & Dave; and finally Vanessa & Celina. Their next clue sends them to St. John’s Anglican Church. There are a lot of churches in this leg for some reason. The Double U-Turn is here along with another clue. Everyone takes the high road and decide not to use the U-Turn on anyone. Wow. Even the Tims, who vowed to U-Turn anyone they could. Well, it could have just been a production error. In the original U.S. version, each team is allowed to use it only once during the entire leg. I think the Tims actually couldn’t and they just didn’t edit that bit into the final cut of the show. Kind of boring - all that hoopla, build-up and drama for nothing. Oh well. The clue is in a little wooden box. It’s the Canadian dime. That’s it.

Okay, listen. If you don’t immediately recognize what’s on the Canadian dime….then shame on you. It’s time to pack up your hockey sweater, your toque, your mandatory bottle of maple syrup and get the hell out of here. I mean really. I am pretty sure it’s even in the Grade 8 history textbook. At the very least, even if you didn’t know, did you never, ever look at the dime and say to yourself…“what is that ship?” Or…"Hey…it must be of some kind of important boat if it’s been on the dime for like, ever”. Or they couldn’t put two and two together: see the boat, remember you’re in a seafaring town. Well, it’s the Bluenose II, and Lunenburg is it’s home.

I hate to point fingers, but I will anyway. The Tims didn’t know. They ask around, then start calling it the Bluenote. When Vanessa and Celina see it, they think they have to spend it somewhere and start looking around for a coin slot. Vanessa wants to look for a money factory. Celina thinks they should look for a wishing pond. They ask someone and then Celina remembers she saw a sign for the Bluenose. Good God. I want to throw my bottle of maple syrup at the TV. What a bunch of arses. Everyone in the Maritimes must have laughed so hard they had a collective pants-wetting over that one.

The Bluenose II is the Pitstop for this leg of the race. They finish in the same order as in Iqaluit. Jody and Cory win for the 2nd time and get 2 round-trip tickets to anywhere in South America that Air Canada flies. The Tims are second, Jet and Dave third, and Vanessa & Celina are last. But this leg is the first half of a double leg, there is no elimination, no Speed Bump, and they are given their next clue directing them to St. John’s, Newfoundland. But take note - despite the editing making you think the girls hit the mat soon after Jet and Dave, they are an hour and 15 minutes behind the other three teams, who finished within 20 minutes of each other. Why do you think nobody used the U-Turn? They are in trouble, especially if they have to drive some more. Their only hope is to make up some time at the airport…or a ferry maybe?

Check back on my homepage on Friday for a preview of Episode 8, including spoilers.

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