Thursday, 9 July 2015

Amazing Race Canada 3, Episode 1 "Who's Feeling Sporty Now?" OR Jon Tries This Chris-Pratting Thing.

NO SPOILERS HERE! Unless of course you believe if YOU haven't seen an aired show, it's a spoiler! If that's the case, I really can't help ya.

The third season premiere of Amazing Race Canada won the night with 2.03 million viewers and quickly began trending on Twitter. One thing is for sure, Canada loves its very own version of the franchise.

The start line for the twelve teams - up one from last year, was the Dufferin Terrace beside one of the most beautiful hotels in the world, The Chateau Frontenac. And they arrived in the only way anyone has ever visited Quebec City caleche of course. The twelve teams are:

Neil & Kristen, father and daughter from Burlington, Ontario. Neil is a former CFL player and a Hall of Famer.
Dujean & Leilani, dating-exes from Toronto, Ontario and Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Gino and Jesse, brothers from Hamilton, Ontario.  
Max & Elias, dating couple from Toronto, Ontario. Elias is a UFC fighter. 
Dana & Amanda, friends & co-workers with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary from St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador. 
Ope & Simi, father & daughter from Burnaby, British Columbia, originally from Lagos, Nigeria. 
Susan & Sharnjit, friends and co-workers with Federal Corrections, Vancouver, British Columbia.  
Brent & Sean, brothers originally from Musquodoboit Harbour, Nova Scotia, now living in Toronto, Ontario.
Nic & Sabrina, dating couple from Montreal, Quebec. 
Nick & Matt, friends and pro-wrestling partners from Newmarket and Stouffville, Ontario.  
Brian & Cynthia, married couple from Winnipeg, Manitoba - they both work for the Winnipeg Police.
Hamilton & Michaelia, engaged couple from Centreville, Nova Scotia. Hamilton is a transgender male.
Just one question. How may bikes WERE there?

Jon advises the teams to READ THE CLUE CAREFULLY or they could be left behind. Always good advise. It's probably the number one mistake made by teams on this show. When Jon gives his GO, they race to their backpacks located in front of the Samuel du Champlain statue. The clue tells them to make their way to Quay 22 (below Cap Diamant) to find their next clue. That clue tells them to find the pair of bicycles that the enclosed 4-digit code will unlock. Not an easy task because there are hundreds upon hundreds of bicycles awaiting them there.  Once unlocked, the teams must ride their bikes to the ferry to Levis. across the St. Lawrence. Here, they must find one of twelve numbered cars. The lower the number on the car, the earlier their flight to their next destination - Toronto and the St. Lawrence Market.
The First Leg Barf. Is this a thing?

Gino & Jesse, Hamilton & Michaelia, Dana & Amanda, Simi & Ope, Max & Elias, and Brent & Sean all make the first flight to Toronto, working their way through these directions without incident. Well, except Sean whose excitement overtakes him on the ferry and has to make an unscheduled stop in the bathroom to vomit. He didn't even have to skydive like Nat Spooner last year. Geesh. Calm down. Breathe deeply. It's only the Amazing Race for crying out loud. Meanwhile, Nic and Sabrina get themselves lost right off the bat, unable to find their way down to the lower town and the quay. Why they didn't just follow everyone else is beyond me. But at least they are holding hands. That's sweet. Firmly in last place, they eventually catch up with the remaining teams and all are on the second flight to Toronto.

The St. Lawrence Market task turns out to be an equalizer - that is, it doesn't open until 8 A.M. the next morning, allowing all the teams a chance to catch up. This is a Route Marker task. The market aisles are laid out in "streets", with road signs marking the intersections. They are given an anagram of "Market Street" and "Centre Street" which they must unscramble to find the location of their next clue (as well as their BMO Mastercard). Brent and Sean give up figuring out the anagram and decide to just go inside looking for the streets that match. Susan & Sharnjit and Max & Elias follow suit. Max seems to think she sees the word "dessert" in the anagram, even though there is no letter D. Maybe it's just the power of persuasion. All the yummies in the market working their charm on her weak will. You know, like some kind of carbohydrate Jedi mind trick.

The clue directs them to the TSN studios way out in Agincourt. Brent and Sean don't know what TSN is...and guess it to be the Toronto Stock...?...whatever. They are at the mercy of their taxi driver and find it hard to believe the race would direct them all the way out to the boondocks.
Oh, dear! OR Oh...deer! 

The task at TSN - which for you non-Canadians stands for "The Sports Network", is a Roadblock. "Who's Feeling Sporty?" One team member must co-anchor with James Duthie and deliver the sports news and scores, properly reading from the teleprompter and making the transition between cameras. Proper pronunciation counts and they must nail some difficult names that were deliberately thrown in to give them a hard time. 

Gino & Jesse arrive in first place. Jessie takes this one. Apparently several teams didn't quite put two and two together when they read the clue and thought the task was going to involve playing some sort of sport, not anchoring the news. So some of them picked the wrong teammate to do the task. For instance, Susan, who is afraid of public speaking and tells us she would rather take a puck in the face than speak in front of people. At one point, the poor girl looked like a deer stunned by a car's headlights. My sympathy. Really, I've been there and it's a terrible feeling. Max and Elias made the same mistake when Elias (who suffers from dyslexia) volunteers. Meanwhile, Neil believes he was made for this Roadblock, but soon learns the jinx put on racers who "choose their own profession." And I really must say, these guys were not given any favours by the TSN Directors. They were practically thrown right in the mix with little or no explanation or stage direction. Yikes. Kudos to Nic who was the first to figure out he could read from the paper copy rather than the teleprompter when he was doing the voice-over. Then there was poor Brian, who was dressed in a shirt clearly 4 sizes too big, with the collar making him appear a little too Don-Cherry-ish. Jesse is the first done, while Elias and Susan are battling it out for last place. 

Gee. Ummn. That's a hard one. Ummn.
The next task is another Roadblock at Ontario Place, but this must be done by the teammate who did not do the TSN task. It's an obstacle course consisting of: crossing a rope web between the Atlantis Pavilions; a jump from a platform into the lagoon; and then cross a deliberately wobbly log. This task is called "Now Who's Feeling Sporty?" and it's a deliberate switch-up of the previous task. Those production types are pretty tricksey. They figured the more sporty team members would jump on the TSN task, leaving their not-so-athletic team-mates to do the one that actually required physical talent. Sabrina has a hard time because of her fear of water. She complains that she is so out of her element...she just stays at home and bakes cookies. When she finally finishes, Nic tells her she didn't even get wet. These two are great! Ope has never swam without a life-jacket and hesitates taking the jump into the lagoon. But the Timex Award goes to Cynthia who took a beating but kept on ticking. I really think she bruised every part of her body when she repeatedly slipped and fell on the log.
Jon doesn't even have to face the dinosaurs. Now that's talent.

From here it was GO GO GO to the Pitstop at centre court at the Air Canada Centre, where Jon waited along with the Toronto Raptors know who I mean. That Barney wannabe. That Jurassic World reject. 

Gino and Jesse pretty much dominated this leg, coming in first and winning two round-trip tickets to Rio de Janeiro along with 2.5 million Petro-Canada points redeemable for 6 months of gas. I have a feeling this won't be their first win either.

Max and Elias were the first team eliminated in season 3. They just couldn't make up the time after that TSN task. The problem was Elias' dyslexia, and although I am sympathetic with his condition, I really have to say I am relieved. First of all, they broke the two season record of all-female first-outs. But also because of the stunt-casting of which I am usually not a fan. And this team really was the worst yet.

To see how the other teams finished, check out by Leg-by-Leg Results HERE 

Next week the teams travel to Santiago, Chile. If you care to get a heads up on the spoilery stuff, I will be posting my preview on the weekend.

So what did you think of the first leg? Did it live up to the Season 2 start? Are you liking the teams this year?