Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Recap of Episode 8 "I Said Yes!" OR How to Go from Dating to Engaged on your Team I.D.s... Amazing Race Canada 2

Yes, it happened. But lets start this story from the beginning...

The teams have an early morning departure from the medieval town of Bayeaux. They must travel by train to Paris, then make their way to the Arc de Triomphe. Here are their departure times:

Natalie and Meaghan 2:26 AM
Pierre and Michel 2:42
Mickey and Pete 3:36
Sukhi and Jinder 3:37
Alain and Audrey 4:14
Ryan and Rob 6:11

Eeee-gads. Look at that time for Ryan and Rob. That can't be encouraging for them. But thanks to those great equalizers of Amazing Race, teams must sign up for one of two trains - one at 6:08 AM and the second one hour later. It's practically a level playing field. We also learn that Mickey has never been on a train before. I hope he doesn't decide to travel ViaRail because he enjoyed the French trains so much. We also learn that when a team says they have to do their best on this leg and "No more foolsies!", like Mickey and Pete say at the starting line, it's a precursor to something bad is about to happen.

At the station, Audrey and Alain approach Pierre and Michel about a deal to not U-Turn each other, because they are the two Quebec teams and they should stick together. They all agree. Once the train gets under way, the Twins reconsider because they don't trust Alain and Audrey.

From the Arc de Triomphe the teams must take a taxi to find the statues of Samuel Champlain and Jacques Cartier in the Garden of New France at Place du Canada.  
Tip #1: if your cabbie asks you to verify your destination as Place des Canada, after you tell him Place du Canada...YOU LOOK AT THE CLUE!!! Mickey and Pete don't. They just blurt out "oui". It's a very long way to "des". Like totally outside of Paris.  
Tip #2: Don't take a cab in Paris. Why didn't this joker tell the Dudes how far away "des" was?

While Pete and Mickey become hopelessly lost, the other teams make their way to the real Route Marker at Place du Canada. Here they discover the Detour. It's a choice between "Haute Couture" or "Plat du Jour". Haute Couture is assembling pre-cut fabric pieces onto a dress form. No biggie. Plat du Jour requires teams to find 3 cafes and purchase a marked item from the chalkboard sign. They must also memorize the name of the item. There is also the previously mentioned, dreaded 2X U-Turn Board. Here's what happened:

  • Natalie and Meaghan are the first to arrive and pick the cafe task. They stay true to form and leave in first. They keep it classy and decide not to U-Turn anyone. They are (probably) also hoping Pierre and Michel do their dirty work for them and live up to the promise they made when Nat and Meg gave them the Express Pass. Remember, they asked the Twins to U-Turn another team.
  • Pierre and Michel stay right with the girls. Second there and second done. They keep their promise to Natalie and Meaghan, but break their promise to Alain and Audrey. They put their picture up on the board. Oh, oh.
  • Sukhi and Jinder arrive 4th to the detour and pick the cafe task. They have difficulty finding the cafes and often use Spanish instead of French. To memorize the names of the menu items, they repeat them over and over. It was like listening to a bunch of chickens clucking, or The View. Extremely annoying. They get to the U-Turn board and decide to U-Turn Ryan and of the few teams who have helped them in the past. Go figure. They leave in third place.
  • Mickey and Pete are the last to arrive, after their 2 hour misadventure. They choose to do the cafe task. because of all the U-Turning, they catch a huge break and leave in 4th.
  • Audrey and Alain are the third team there. They try to do the cafe task but can't find any of them. They switch to the dress task. Then they find the U-Turn board. Yep, they have to go back and collect the food items. They leave the Detour in 5th place.
  • Ryan and Rob are the fifth team to arrive at the Detour and also do the cafe task. They are right behind Sukhi and Jinder and at one point ask for their help. The siblings lie, then U-Turn the guys. Ryan and Rob do the dress task and finish that up right after Alain and Audrey. However, they must go do their Speed Bump.

Okay, here's my take on the use of the U-Turn. Personally, I wouldn't use it unless I was at the bottom of the pack and feared elimination. Like Hal and Joanne U-Turning Holly and Brett in Regina last year. They pretty much had to. Both teams who used it in this episode did so out of spite. Neither the Twins nor Sukhi and Jinder were facing elimination. The Twins put Alain and Audrey up because they didn't trust them. The question is, why would you trust anyone? Just run your own race and forget what everyone else is doing. Sukhi and Jinder U-Turned Ryan and Rob knowing the guys still had to do the Speed Bump. Not to mention the fact that Ryan and Rob helped Sukhi and Jinder on several previous challenges. Now there are bad feelings. Real bad ones and I wouldn't be surprised if this comes into play at some point in the next couple of episodes. And that's all I have to say about that.

Ryan and Rob's Speed Bump task is learning to play Au Clair du la Lune on an accordion from a street performer, then play it in unison in front of a crowd. These guys are patient and determined. It took them a few attempts but when they finally got it right, they yelled to the crowd, "We are famous in Canada...Bryan Adams!..."Celine Dion!"

The next clue tells them to make their way to Ile aux Cygnes on the Seine. It's a Roadblock. "Who Likes Candy?" Of course there was no candy-eating involved. Instead, one team member had to arrange Mentos coloured candy onto a board - in a grid, kind of like Lite-Brites, less the lights. Over one thousand Mentos to be exact. They had to duplicate an original artwork by the artist who is the judge. I wonder how he felt about his art being turned into a candy puzzle. Behold the joy of product placement!
  • Natalie does this one because she really likes candy. First in and first out.
  • Michel decides to do it. While Michel is busy with the challenge, Pierre has his own adventure. First he tells Meaghan about U-Turning Alain and Audrey, telling her "It's nothing personal. It's just business." At least Meaghan knew that was a line from The Godfather. Kudos. Then he tells Jinder. Jinder tells Pierre about U-Turning Ryan and Rob. There is celebration. But... what's that old saying? Don't count your Mentos before it's Art! Maybe Pierre shouldn't be so smug while his brother is having a very hard time with the candy art. Meanwhile...
  • Sukhi and Jinder arrive in third and leave in second.
  • Mickey & Pete and Alain & Audrey are the 4th and 5th teams to arrive. Pete and Audrey do the task. Alain immediately jumps on Pierre, calling him a liar. This fight went on a very long time. Meanwhile Pete and Audrey are both having a hard time and decide to work together. Audrey will spot Pete's mistakes if Pete will point out hers. It works. The Dudes leave in third while Audrey and Alain leave in 4th.  Alain also has the satisfaction of getting this task done before the Twins.
  • Ryan and Rob get here last. It has become a two way race between Rob and Michel to avoid elimination, but Rob comes through before Michel.

They must make their way to Pont de L'Archeveche. That's that bridge where lovers have placed so many locks on the chain link railings that they collapse. There is also a problem with the keys from the locks piling up in the river. Really, I am not joking. Then they must find Jon at the mat. Standing beside Jon is the stuff of nightmares. That's right. A French mime. I hate those guys. They are worse than clowns. They don't talk and have a condescending attitude. Always mocking, mocking, mocking.

The final placements for this leg are:

First - Natalie and Meaghan. They win 2 tickets to any Air Canada European Destination and $3,000 on a ScotiaBank American Express card.
Second - Sukhi and Jinder
Third- Mickey and Pete
Fourth - Alain and Audrey
Fifth - Ryan and Rob
Sixth - Pierre and Michel. They are eliminated.

Did I forget something?

Oh yes. Alain proposes to Audrey in French, with Notre Dame in the background, setting the scene. She said yes. Even with the mime there. Audrey points out that their team description under their names will have to go from "Dating" to "Engaged"...then ding, it's done.

Next week: Montreal.