Monday, 27 June 2016

The Amazing Race Canada: 14 Best Moments

Are you ready for an all new season of The Amazing Race Canada?

Since it appears this season of The Amazing Race Canada will be drawing in new viewers because of the whole Jemmett/Big Brother Canada crossover, I thought it might be a good time to show all the new fans what they've been missing.

Here is my countdown of best moments from the first 3 seasons. Just remember one thing. This is MY countdown of best moments. Sure, everyone remembers the tear-jerking moments, like a very sad elimination. But for the most part, I like comic relief the best. Okay, I lied. Remember one more thing. This is for our homegrown version ONLY. So, all you superfans out there... please don't go telling me of so-n-so in the U.S. or other franchise who did something better, okay?

The Best Elimination Ever. 
Rex and Bob
S2, E6 "She's the Pierogi Poobah", Winnipeg
It's a heck of a thing when THE most graceful elimination ever seen on the show is also the most SATISFYING one. "Satisfying?", you ask. Okay, okay. I'll tell you. You see Rex Harrington and Bob Hope (not THE Bob Hope) were a mixed bag as far as I was concerned. They provided some of the best comedic turns to the season, but they also did a few things that pissed off the fans. In Tofino they just gave up on two tasks. Straight up gave up as if they just couldn't be bothered. Fans went ape-shit. YOU JUST DON'T DO that kind of crap. Sure, they were hit with 6 FRIGGING HOURS in penalties, but they were only saved from elimination because Sean King dislocated his shoulder and could not continue. Rex compounded the hate from fans with his terrible (seriously, he was troll-like) social media presence. So in Leg 6, when they were completely blindsided by an elimination they didn't see coming... yeah I have to admit, it was so satisfying.

The Best "Lost" Moment
Ryan and Rob
S2, E7 "Lest We Forget", Normandy
Ryan and Rob were the season 2 team who always seemed to have bad luck. But they were also the ones to have the best of luck. So things always evened out for them. In France, they were the victim of a foreign language, unfamiliar surroundings and confusing road signs. You know, all the great stuff that we love about the show. They found themselves lost a total of three times, leading Ryan to say if they had a travel show, it would be called "Getting Lost and Hating Yourself." To which Rob replied, "or ... Taking the Long Way in France With Ryan and Rob." The pair never really lost their cool. Maybe they figured they were done and there was no real point in getting upset over it. Gotta love a team who finds the humour in bad circumstances. And just FYI: Ryan and Rob were saved by an NEL in Normandy. It was their first NEL of two. 

The Best Manipulation of Task Rules
Nick and Matt
S3, E3 "I Said Straight, You Gorilla!", Buenos Aires
Some teams will perform tasks word for word. They just can't seem to read between the lines. Sometimes they get tunnel vision about how it should be performed. No sense of improvisation at all. Take for instance the soccer task in Buenos Aires. One team member had to score a goal in under a minute. The twist being they were blindfolded and guided only by their teammates verbal directions. Soccer-player Nic and his teammate Sabrina took the task literally (the way any soccer player would) and failed miserably, eventually giving up and taking a penalty. Meanwhile, pro-wrestler Nick found a different way. He pinched the ball between his feet and hopped to the net where he lined up the kick. Nick and Matt named their move "The Hop" and the juxtaposition of seeing big tough wrestlers using an almost childlike method made the whole bit hilarious.

The Best Villainy Move
Pierre and Michel
S2, E3 "Snakes and Liars", Hong Kong
Poor Pierre and Michel. That whole "you got to do what you got to do" thing just never really worked for them. Probably because they saw themselves as the biggest threats of the season. Well, they weren't. Natalie and Meaghan (aka the Hockey Girls) took that honour away from them and the twins were quickly relegated to the villain role. Suspecting a Double U-Turn was coming up, they promised Alain & Audrey they wouldn't U-Turn them. Then promptly did. They jumped a taxi cue filled with locals and teams and only relented when Nicole protested. Sure they were the villains, but I kind of developed a soft spot when they grabbed the Roadblock clue then hid in a doorway in Hong Kong. When Mickey & Pete and Ryan & Rob came by and asked for the whereabouts of the cluebox, they pointed down the street. How can I hate anyone who pulls the best "They went THATTAWAY" move ever?

The Best Evil Laugh
Hal and Joanne
S1, E2 "Se Hou Leng", Vancouver
Season 1 had two teams with familiar faces. Hal Johnson & Joanne McLeod were fitness icons from the '80s so how could they not be cast in the first season. Disney star Vanessa Morgan and sister Celina Mziray were young and cast as the inexperienced, reality-blind team. The two teams were perfect foils against each other. While trying to book a flight from Kelowna to Vancouver, Vanessa and Celina arrived at the airport first, only to find the early flight booked. Enter the veterans. Hal and Joanne ask to be put on standby, and as luck would have it, beat the girls on the flight. Vanessa and Celina are dumbfounded. Wholesome, fitness icons laughing and gloating over their smart move. Bam. How can this be? Hal and Joanne are the "villains"? Whaaat?

The Best Teammate to Take a Beating on a Task
Cynthia and Brian
S3, E1 "Who's Feeling Sporty Now?"Toronto
Season 3 began with a startline in Quebec City, then moved on to Toronto where teams faced two Roadblocks. The first had one teammate deliver a sports recap at TSN. The second was the source for the episode title, with a twist. The team member who didn't do the task at TSN had to run through the more physically challenging (and more "sportier") RB ... a watery, three-obstacle course at Ontario Place. This consisted of: crossing a hghly perched net; jumping into the cold water from a height; and running across a log on the water. Since Brian did the TSN task, Cynthia HAD to do this one. Gotta say she took it well. But that log was a real problem. Other teams devised easier methods to cross it - like sliding themselves along. But Cynthia took the task description to heart, and used the "run as fast as you can and the momentum will get you across" method. This didn't work for Cynthia. Time and time again she threw herself into the water, the log or the far wall, the end result being a painful, agonizing ouchy-montage. What a trouper.

The Best Catch Phrase
Holly and Brett
S1, E3 "Hoodoos and Hoodonts"Calgary
Do I really need to explain this?
Okay, maybe there are a few of you guys out there who never saw season one. 
Holly and Brett were married doctors, and a pretty strong team. When they wanted to be, that is. But from time to time, Holly would break down when things went bad. She wasn't use to failure, but the Race - being what it is, made Holly frustrated. A lot. And when Holly got frustrated, she lost it. Not in a bad way, just a whiney, "I can't go on anymore" kind of way. That's when Brett won't support her with a "Hol, Hol, Hol!" It became a running gag for the pair. But hey, at least they had a good sense of humour about it. Loved them. 

The Best Epic Fail. EVER.
Natalie and Meaghan
S2, E7 "She's the Pierogi Poobah"Winnipeg
Hockey players. The Detour: a choice between making pierogi and scoring five goals on a basic hockey practise exercise. That seems like a pretty simple choice, right? I mean, Nat and Meg JUST WON an OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL, for crying out loud. They expected to lace up, do the task, change, then run to the Pitstop. Easy win in Winnipeg. 
That's not what happened.
What did happen was the best example of the jinx that surrounds people on the Race who choose to do a task that is based on their skill. Why it happens is anyone's guess. Perfectionism? Anxiety? It's like a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure. Each team had to score 5 goals on a cutout practise goalie, including the notorious "five-hole". Nat and Meg got there first. Less-skilled teams came and went - Pierre & Michel, Pete & Mickey and even Sukhi & Jinder. And Sukhi had never skated before. It took Nat and Meg 57 attempts before they finished. But at least they set a new standard... the Five-Hole-Fail.

The Best Mat-Run.
Sean and Brent
S3, E7 "I Dream About Eating Sandwiches"Saskatoon
Poor, poor Sean. He's the type of person who is subject to stress-vomiting. Put him in an anxious situation, and his stomach lets him know it doesn't want any part of it. Sean's problem became a running gag. And you can't get any more literal with that statement than when he and his brother ran to the Leg 7 pitstop mat. You see, it was extra stressful, very exciting moment for Sean. Not only was it Brent's birthday, but the two won the leg. Sean took a tumble, gagged on the mat, then gagged again. Jon Montgomery had a laugh about it, but the poor greeter - a Northern Plains Chief, was less impressed. Just a very slight grin with the expression of "these are the two who won?"

The Best Romantic Moment.
Alain and Audrey
S2, E8 "I Said Yes"Paris
Ah...Paris. What better way to propose to the woman you love than when you are all dirty, smelly and exhausted? But it's Paris, so that's okay. Yes, the move is not new, but this was Canada's turn to do it. Even when we all saw it coming... Alain and Audrey's edit screamed it out to us from the premiere episode on. Then Production gave the episode a self-spoiling title. But who doesn't love a good romance? Awww.

The Best Never Give Up Moment
Nicole and Cormac
S2, E5 "Who Designs These Torture Tests?"Whitehorse
Mother and son, Nicole and Cormac were considered a strong, determined team from the start. No one messed with Nicole, not even Pierre and Michel who tried to grab a cab from under her feet. She let them have it. And she nailed the surfing Roadblock in Tofino after she took over from Cormac. But everything came crashing down in Whitehorse. The Roadblock here was a biathlon task - a grueling bike ride over rough terrain, followed by rifling. Five successful hits on the targets were required, otherwise the entire course had to be redone before the next attempt. Nicole just couldn't do it. But she was determined to see it through, even when she knew they were already in last place and would be eliminated. She went around the course 22 times. Amazing. #NeverGiveUpNicole trended in Canada.

The Best Pitstop Greeter
Jim Parks
S2, E7 "Lest We Forget"Normandy
There is no doubt about it. This episode remains the best in the entire run of the show. Of course we all expected a D-Day tribute from the title, the location and the fact it was filmed within mere weeks of the 70th anniversary. But no one was expecting Jim Parks. No one expected him standing there, close to sunset on the very beach where he landed 70 years before. I cried like a baby then, and I still do everytime I watch the episode. I can't even look at this gif before I...hell, there I go...

The Best Prank
Jet and Dave
S1, E6 "Check the Cannons"Quebec City
Igoes: have to tell you something. My favourite team is still Jet and Dave. And the reason is this classic scene. Normally, viewers don't see what happens during Pitstop rest periods, but this bit needed to be edited in. Thank you TPTB! The story goes like this: Jet and Dave are the first team to arrive at Levis Fort, just outside of Quebec City. The Fort functions only as a rest stop for the teams, and a location for the next clue to start the next morning. Jet and Dave are antsy, and when they find a box of sand, they decide to set up a little prank on the other teams (Tim & Tim, Jody & Corey, Vanessa & Celina, and Holly & Brett). They write, "Check the cannons" in French (bad French) and place some rocks around to resemble a map. Yeah, I know what you're thinking. It sounds lame as hell. The thing is, it worked. Jody and Corey see it, then take off (in the dark, I might add), running around the fort, checking the cannon barrels for clues. When Jet and Dave fess up, the brothers are less than impressed. What caps the whole prank off is this: the first clues the next morning were, in fact hidden around the fort, and yes, there was one clue hidden in a canon. 

The Best Winners
Mickey and Pete
S2, E12 "Who's Da Bomb?"Ottawa
In three seasons, we've had two winning teams I loved. We will not talk of the other one, those darn, pesky Montani Brothers. Ugh. Tim Sr & Tim Jr brought tears to my eyes when we saw them running over the bridge at Centre Island to win season 1. That was nice. But the winners who won my heart were Mickey and Pete. Who couldn't love these two dudes from Muskoka? Everyone expected Nat and Meg to win after dominating the season. But Meg's lingering Olympic injury finally did the Hockey Girls in at the Museum of Natural History. And even though all three teams were at the final memory challenge together, it was Mickey and Pete who finished up first. Their taxi driver was an ace, understood the situation and got them to the finish line. This was the only leg the guys won. But like they say, it's the only one you need to win. They said pre-season they would take their pants off to celebrate any legs they win. Up until the finale, Mickey and Pete were pretty mellow. They were pretty much just excited to "be there." Then they broke loose in the finale, and it was glorious. When they hit the winner's podium, the pants came off. And you just can't get any bettr than that.

You may have noticed a preponderance of "best moments" from season 2. There is only one reason for it. Season two was the best all around season, followed by season 1, then 3. My hopes for the upcoming season 4 is to bump season 2 from my first place ranking. Here's hoping.

Don't miss the Season 4 premiere on Tuesday, June 28th at 8 PM ET, then look for my recap and review shortly after.

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