Saturday, 1 August 2015

Amazing Race Canada 3: Preview of Episode 5 "The Face Off"...Questions???

Questions, questions, questions.
You've got questions. Eleven of them, to be exact!
I have the answers. Mostly. But I also have some fine opinions.

1) Is that the title?

Yep. That's the title. Kind of odd, I know. Episode titles are almost always quotes by one of the racers. Usually something funny or even off-key. It's times like this I miss Rex and Bob with one-liners like "what's it take to get a cup of tea?" or "who designs these torture tests?" And in the preview alone, we already know Sean & Brent AND Nick & Matt give us a couple of  good zingers. But I can understand they really want to emphasize their new challenge, in a kind of dum-dum-dummm kind of way. Still.

2) Where does this leg take place?

They set out from Halifax (probably the Halifax War Memorial) and travel to Les Iles de la Madeleine.

3) What? Where? What?

Three excellent questions. So I will explain. If you asked the average Canadian where Les Iles de la Madeleine were, they would probably think you were talking about the French held islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon. Nope. It's not them. Nor is it Anticosti Island. Les Iles de la Madeleine is a small archipelago about halfway between Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, and they are a part of Quebec.

Okay, full disclosure. I knew very little of them myself.
That's a lie.

Okay, I think I heard of them once in school.
And THAT'S a lie.

Okay, okay. I've never heard of them before in my life.
But they sure do look beautiful in the previews, don't they?

Fun Fact:
There are 12,291 people who call this archipelago home. Give or take, depending on how many little Madelinots are born. And yes, that's what they are called.

2X U-Turn at Cap aux Meules (CTV)
4) So what do we know about this episode? 

Not much. There was one picture taken during filming which showed several teams together digging in the sand. Sabrina, Dujean, Kristen, Ope, Sean (or Brent), and maybe Gino or Jesse can be seen. I speculated they might be clam digging, and boy was I wrong! Of course, you could only see the diggers, so you can forgive me that mistake. I never noted any heads sticking out of the sand, or maybe I mistook them for rocks. My bad. From the previews, we see they are actually burying each other in the sand. Oh my! I figure this must happen early in the leg because if we are to believe the previews, all hell is going to break loose in this episode. That, and obviously they weren't concerned about the evening tide coming in. Yikes! I guess they never saw that Stephen King/George Romero movie, Creepshow with Ted Danson murdered by being buried in the sand. Spoiler: Leslie Nielson did it. Oh...Canadian connection! Wow.

Not only will there be a Double U-Turn, but there will also be the new Face Off task. If you are new to the whole TAR world and don't know what a U-Turn is, let me explain briefly. It occurs in conjunction with a Detour (a choice between two tasks). Any team who completes one side of the Detour can choose to U-Turn a team who has not yet finished, forcing them to do both tasks. The "double" part just means there are two teams who can use it. In the preview, the 2X U-turn board is on the lookout in Cap aux Meules.
"It's time for a Face Off" (CTV)

And just for future reference, there are usually TWO 2X U-Turns every season. Yes, there was only one last season, but there was a (failed/totally screwed up) 2X U-Turn in Hong Kong that was edited out of the aired show.

There is one other task shown in the preview and that involves barn cores: rolling bails of hay into a barn and milking a cow. Oh my! We see Sean and Brent standing beside a cow and just when they are getting ready to milk it, it decides to "drop a patty." And Brian and Cynthia tweeted out a dedication to sheepdogs (along with the Fallen who have served in the Armed Forces) which tells me there could be a herding task....and is this the Detour? Hmmn!

I think Nick & Matt are ready for this Face Off thing.

5) Now about this Face Off thing. What the frig is that?

According to the press release, the Face Off is a challenge where teams compete head-to-head. No team can move forward in the race until they’ve successfully won the challenge – by beating their opponent. The last team at the Face Off must wait out a pre-determined time penalty before moving on." This sounds similar to the "Double Battle" from TAR Israel. The first two teams to reach the challenge must compete against each other. The winner moves on, while the loser must compete against the next team to show up. This repeats until the last losing team remains.

6) But the big question is, which comes first? The 2X U-Turn or the Face Off?

That time penalty tells me the Face Off must come early in the leg and therefore before the U-Turn. If it's the last task right before the Pitstop, the time penalty is practically a death sentence, isn't it? And this show likes the "who will get there last?" cliffhanger. The only way it comes after the U-Turn is if there is another task, perhaps a Roadblock before the Pitstop. I can see how putting the U-Turn first would make it very useful to ensure you don't have to go up against a stronger team in the Face Off. The possibilities are very interesting, so I guess it just depends what the producers want the end game to be.

And from the previews we can see the Face Off is kayak hockey. Yes, that's a thing. And it looks as if it would be a lot of fun if you weren't facing elimination because of it. In the various previews, we see Brian and Cynthia arriving to battle Gino and Jesse. Of course the brothers think they are going to walk all over this match up. Seeing as these previews usually tease us with the opposite results, who do you think will win this one. In another match up we see Nick and Matt battling it out with Simi and Ope.

7) Will anyone get U-Turned?

Actually I have no idea. Our Canadian version has a reputation for teams not using it. Well, accept for that whole Hal and Joanne showdown with Holly and Brett. That was pretty nasty. But if it plays out like I said it will, then yes I think we will see it used. And there is one point in the preview where Dujean and Leilani are expressively reacting to something on the lookout where the board is. Do they get U-Turned? They could be considered a target because of their first place finish in the last leg, so it is a possibility.

8) Will Sean and Brent use that Express Pass?

Woh. That's a good question. I'm glad you asked! No Idea. BUT there is a video "extra" with the brothers explaining they will use it when they are in a sticky situation OR when they have to do something "athletic." This Face Off looks pretty "athletic" to me...that is IF it can be used on this task.

9) Who will win this leg?

Well... that's anyone's guess, isn't it? If there is one thing we can say about this season, these teams are well matched. No one has dominated the legs - YET. It's definitely not like last year *cough* <Nat and Meg> *cough*. So, let's speculate. This looks like it's going to be a very physical leg. If Gino and Jesse can manage to keep calm and not get lost, this leg could be theirs. Nick and Mat, despite having three 3rd place finishes, are the most consistent AND have the best placement average. Is this their week? Meanwhile Neil and Kristen are no stranger to team sports and will probably jump right in there. Or will Sean and Brent cash in their Express Pass when they take one look at the Face Off?

10) Will this be an elimination? 

There is NEVER an NEL combined with a U-Turn. That's the point of the U-Turn. It's to make sure you don't get eliminated. Add the Face Off and its time penalty into the mix.

11) And WHO, you ask, will be eliminated?

Well who do you think? Which team looked the most drawn out, tired, and practically at the breaking point in Halifax? Nic and Sabrina! They just looked like they had nothing left. Nic and Sabrina were not spotted past this leg during filming, so even if they are saved, their days are numbered. Can you really see them surviving both the 2X U-Turn and the Face Off? Nah, didn't think so!

UPDATE: Watched the East Coast and boy....was I wrong! It's a Keep on Racing! and Nic and Sabrina are still in it. Check my recap tomorrow to see WHY THAT HAPPENED!!!

As always, check back during the week for any updates! Get your popcorn ready and have a lot of fun watching this episode. I will be live-tweeting the 9 P.M. Eastern show, if you want to follow along, I'm @Sues_Reality or just follow the #tag #AmazingRaceCanada and if you see me there...say howdy! It's going to be a gooder!