Saturday, 29 August 2015

Amazing Race Canada 3 Episode 8 "All of These Are the Same" OR The One With All the Namas and Lakshmis

Sorry, this recap is late this week, but it IS the last week of August and a late-summer, mid-week getaway was in order. So I said, "Screw it" and went to the cottage for a few days. Besides, I already knew what was going to least the bigger picture.

Brian & Cynthia demonstrate their sense of personal space.
The start times of the six remaining teams are:

Brent & Sean   12:41 A.M.
Gino & Jesse   12:49
Dujean & Leilani   3:06
Brian & Cynthia   3:10
Nick & Matt   3:30
Simi & Ope   4:43

More foreshadowing. Gino and Jesse ask their Pakistani-Canadian cabbie if he knows whether or not Indian cabbies speak English. Geesh. These two are like a frigging rollercoaster in the smarts department. Then we hear Brian getting himself all worked up about the crowds they will encounter in India. There may even have been some eye-rolling. This is going to be about as bad as any TAR leg EVER to have visited India. Come to think of it, as far as foreshadowing goes, this was pretty lame.

Brian and Cynthia trying to look happy.
For winning the previous leg, Brent and Sean are upgraded to Business Class for the long flight from Saskatoon to Kolkata, India (via Vancouver and Tokyo) - along with a second set of upgrades for a team of their choosing. Thanks to even more foreshadowing in Leg 5 (Gee...this one was a 4 episode arc), it was pretty much a given they would hand that over to Dujean and Leilani who helped them with the U-Turn and the Equestrian task. And by "helping" I mean encouraging, supportive words like, "Guys. You can do this" because apparently that's all it takes to score a pair of long-distance sleeping pods that even Korben Dallas would envy. Brent and Sean pick a moment when all the teams are gathered together to give Dujean and Leilani their multipasses. Brian tells Cynthia to "Act happy, Honey", as they give the lucky winners a gratuitous applause and completely unenthusiastic "Yay." Ouch.

Then the most amazing thing happened....Dujean CAN speak. Praise be. Maybe it was the upgrade or maybe it was the prospect of going to India, the land of mysticism, but something suddenly inspired him. Or maybe with the dwindling cast, TPTB had to threaten him to talk. It's just that up until this episode, Leilani seems to have been doing most of the talking for these two.

According to Jon, teams must make their way to the Mallick Ghat flower market where they will receive a blessing and their next clue. Gino gets freaked out by the traffic and the lack of lanes. "They just make up their own lanes." He goes to put on his seat belt and there are none. A woman blesses them by putting a bindi on their forehead. Okay, I may know next to nothing of Hinduism and Indian culture, but I do know a bindi is meant to be the gift of knowledge and wisdom...the third eye. Which is good, because I think these Canucks are going to need some help here. The first task is called "Stop and smell the flowers." Teams must thread together flower garlands, recreating the exact sequence of marigolds, carnations, sunflowers and roses from an example. It's pretty simple, especially since all the flowers needed are's not like they have to run around from stall to stall collecting different flowers.

Brent and Sean are done first and given the next clue, directing them to  make their way to the Armenian Ferry Ghat to take them across the Hooghly River. Meanwhile, Brian and Cynthia's Spidey, I mean police senses are giving them a hard time. They aren't just merely uncomfortable among all the people. They are now suspicious of people walking up behind them, brushing past them or loitering around. Real paranoia type stuff. I guess they've never been to the C.N.E. midway on a Friday night. Or the Boxing Day sale at the Eaton Centre. Nick and Matt say this is no problem for them. They are used to big crowds with their wrestling performances...even having stuff thrown at them. Ope tells us this market is like the ones in Nigeria, so it's almost like a homecoming for him. Dujean compares this task to Leilani. It's rugged but beautiful. Gee guys, that's so romantic. Are you sure you can't give this dating thing another try? Just wondering, because just as in their dating, they fail at their first attempt.

So many Lakshmis. So little time.
Despite Brent and Sean trying to distance themselves from the pack, they are joined on the first ferry by Simi & Ope, Nick & Matt and then - worst of all, Gino and Jesse. Dujean & Leilani and Brian & Cynthia catch a later one. The other side of the river is the Kumar Tuli Potters Colony and the Roadblock called, "Who wants to meet their idol?" One team member is given a picture of Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of wealth and beauty. They must locate the exact statue which is differentiated from others by only one small detail. Gino finds his statue right away, followed closely by Simi. Nick & Matt and Brent & Sean can't find the potters. However, by the time Matt identifies his statue, Brent shows up to start his search. Brent's search doesn't go very well and the brothers find themselves in last place after Brian and Leilani succeed in finding their Lakshmis.

Jon and the Swami.
Teams are then directed to find the Swami Vivekananda House and Cultural Centre. No, no, no. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking this swami guy's name is translated into "Vive le Canada" or something. No. But, there is a small, and I mean small Canadian connection. Seems the Swami traveled to North America via Vancouver in 1893 to spread the idea of religious tolerance, love, and inner peace. That's more than 70 years before the Beatles, guys! He is credited with introducing yoga to the West, thus setting in motion a chain of events culminating in the complete and utter Lululemon yoga pants dominance of the 21st century. I see the Canadian connection.

Gino and Jesse must have received a defective bindi in the blessing at the start of the leg because that wisdom just hasn't kicked in. They can't find a cabbie who knows where the Swami House is. Well, to be exact, they can't find a cabbie who knows English well enough to understand Gino and Jesse butchering the name Swami Vivekananda. But Simi and Ope's bindis and cabbies are fine, and they find themselves in the lead for the first time. There is much excitement, even if it's only momentarily. Ope tells us he sees his own connection with the Swami - the two of them having traveled to Vancouver from a far off land.

From here it's off to the Detour called, "Tuck OR Roll". This Detour is a nice juxtaposition between the hectic Kolkata streets and the peaceful serenity of yoga. This duality prompts Jon to describe the tasks with the pun, "Teams will have to decide if they want to nama-stay....or nama-go." How about nama-don't?

In "Tuck", teams must duplicate 6 couple yoga poses, in order. Funny, I thought couple-yoga was something completely different. Ah. You know. Ah. That Kama Sutra thing. Not that I would know. Moving on. In "Roll", teams must use a rickshaw to make two deliveries - one at a time, of plastic bottles and fabric bundles. Okay, I kind of understand the bundles of fabric, but plastic bottles? Empty plastic bottles? Is this a thing in India? Should I now be suspicious of bottled water in India? Shhh...don't tell Brian and Cynthia.

Nick & Matt, Gino & Jesse, Simi & Ope and then Brian and Cynthia decide to do the rickshaw deliveries while Dujean & Leilani and Brent & Sean try their hand at yoga. Despite Simi's concerns over the traffic, Ope insists on doing the rickshaw task. Perhaps he didn't want to do that partner yoga with his daughter. Good choice. But at one point when a narrow side street is totally blocked by a truck, Simi shows us her fierce girl, yelling at them to move. Nick and Matt have few problems - Nick even positions himself next to the rickshaw while Matt pulls it, acting as a bumper from the traffic. "They'll hit me before they hit you." Gino and Jesse follow the wrestlers for the first delivery, but once they take the lead they somehow get lost - proving they shouldn't be left unattended in India. They start bickering. Ah, India. You always bring out the best. And that's not even taking into account Brian and Cynthia, who by now have totally lost it. Brian says yoga's big in Canada. He will probably take it up when he gets home since he needs something to relax. So they do the rickshaw deliveries among the overflowing streets. I guess they really wanted to learn to cross unyielding traffic while pulling a rickshaw. Go figure. Then again, I am not too sure that couples yoga is really their thing. It would have been almost as fun as seeing Nick and Matt do it. Oh well.

No sweat-hugs for you. And please, no more puntags (!!!) like #NamasteStrongBrent
Over on the yoga side of the Detour, teams aren't fairing much better. Yoga's hard. Even dancers Dujean and Leilani are finding this difficult. The judge is a hard-nose...very observant and very particular. But their dancing experience does prove handy and they make it through the task quickly. Brent and Sean, however, aren't as lucky. Sean is having a workout trying to support Brent in one of the poses. The brothers are not having a good day. Brent cries and is close to having a complete breakdown knowing they may be eliminated. Sean looks like he's going to puke again.

From here it's on to the Pitstop at the National Library on the grounds of the Belvedere Estate. Here's what happened:

Dujean and Leilani win the leg, along with a trip to London, England and a year of free gas. They are completely dumbfounded they beat the Wrestlers on this one - they thought Nick and Matt's taxi took the quicker way. Jon has to tell them several times and Dujean tells him "Don't lie to us, Jon!" Oh, Dujean...Jon DOESN'T lie!
Nick and Matt are 2nd. Their cab was actually ahead of Dujean and Leilani, but it looks as though the cabbie cost them the leg by taking a bad turn. Are these guys ever going to catch a break?
Brent and Sean 3rd, narrowly beating out Simi and Ope in a footrace.
Simi and Ope 4th. They had to have known they weren't racing it out for last place or else I am sure they would have tried a little bit harder.
Gino and Jesse 5th. The guys prove (at least to them) foreign legs are the great equalizer to their strength. They were almost done in by navigating the streets and trying to get a taxi to the Pitstop.
Brian and Cynthia are last and are eliminated.

I think Brian and Cynthia need a nice quiet trip to their backyard after this. Take up yoga, Brian! Maybe do some couples yoga (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). If there is any good news here for the couple, it has to lay in the knowledge the elimination got them out of going to the next destination, Delhi. Then again, it would have been fun to watch.
Jon at the mat outside the National Library. I'm guessing grass-cutting is not a priority there.