Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Now...About That Cast...

Okay. I have to say this. The cast was officially announced last Tuesday and the whining immediately began.

"What? No team from Saskatchewan?" Or New Brunswick, or Newfoundland-Labrador, or P.E.I? What about the N.W.T., the Yukon or Nunavut?

Or this all-time goody... "I don't think the cast is a fair representation of Canadians."

Or the one that really got me worked up was "What's with all the celebrities? Why don't they just have more average Canadians?"...when they saw Natalie Spooner and Meaghan Mikkelson.

Complain, complain, complain. Oh, wait...isn't that what "the average Canadian" does, while having their double-double and honey-glazed at Timmies? right?

Well first off, you have to realize this is a television show. People audition for it. It's not an election and they didn't win in their riding. Nor is Amazing Race a sport. They didn't get on the show because they won a provincial championship for the spot.

These people landed on Amazing Race Canada because in one way or another, they are entertaining. The Casting Director saw a spark in them that they feel will entertain us.  They each have to role to play.

There's the funny team; the athletes; the bickering couple; the cheaters; the backstabbers; and
Typical "What-the-hell-were-you-thinking" teammate
the team that will pull at your heartstrings. Or there's my all-time favorite...Team What-the-hell-were-you-thinking? They're the ones who either can't read a map, can't see something right in front of them, or don't read the clue. There will also be a team or two of easy-outs, who are cast as the sacrificial lamb so to speak. Now, if anything, the easy-outs are the team made up of your average Canadians. Generally nice people. Athletic enough to think they can win the race, but probably aren't going to get the majority of the viewing audience either.

I certainly wouldn't want the job of trying to cast this show. They have to view thousands of audition tapes and develop a list of possibilities. They then make a short list and only pick out the final teams a few days before the scheduled filming begins. There are teams who get called to Toronto only to find out they have been cut from this year's cast. Why? Because the entire ensemble of teams, not only have to look good together, but they have to mesh together, balance each other out and create a bit of drama. So many people have commented on social media that they or someone they knew auditioned for the race. They can't believe they didn't get selected because "They would have rocked it!" Right. Can you imagine 11 teams of very nice, next-door neighbour type of people? That would make for a very boring season, don't you think?

What is an average Canadian, anyways? Well, I saw one study that would suggest the average Canadian is a single female who earns $42,000 working as a sales clerk, owns their own home, drives their own car to work everyday and spends 43.5 hours a month on social media. Those are just stats that, when combined, make absolutely no sense. Just not possible, unless she won Lotto 649. 

Now for you naysayers who are poo-pooing at the celebrities. Come on...we aren't talking Brangelina here.  So what if Natalie and Meaghan won a gold medal in Socchi? If they weren't wearing red all the time, you wouldn't know who they were if you bumped into them on the street. Critics say these celebrity teams make too much money as it is, and it should only be ordinary Canadians who have a chance to compete for the grand prize. Tell that to me when women in pro hockey are paid as much as the men. Quite frankly, I had more of a problem last year with Celina and Vanessa. I dismissed that bit of casting when I considered that it was the first season, and they were obviously trying to broaden the target audience to include 17 year old boys. Now, as for Rex Harrington...you might have a valid argument there except for one thing. The man is retired. Besides, do you really think he is going to win this thing? Really? Oh, they will put in a valiant effort, but really... What were you thinking?