Episode 2 of the Amazing Race Canada played last night on CTV and things are looking up for the series. After the mishap of one of the detours on the first episode they bounced back with some good challenges in Calgary and even a close sprint to the finish.
The episode began with them in Jasper receiving their first clue of the leg. Three buses were departing for Calgary and only three teams could get on each bus. No one managed to get lost so the bus order stayed the same as the previous finishes. Jill and Emmett, Steph and Kristen, and Stephane and Antoine were the first bus load. They arrived in Calgary to be greeted by the Mayor, the ever popular Naheed Nenshi. He handed them their next clue, a photo of the Wonderland Sculpture. Once at the sculpture they were given a Road Block where someone had to rappel down the Calgary tower. Emmett was up first followed by Kristen who looked like she was going to catch Emmett but got one of her ropes jammed. They both finished quickly and opened their next clue, they had to hunt down the beatnik bus through social media.
We see Antoine and Joel tackling the rappelling as the second bus has arrived in Calgary. The twins are getting lost already and seem to be having trouble locating the Calgary tower. Jill and Emmett, and the girls catch the bus on the second try, and get their next clue, a challenge for Express passes and a Detour. Initially both teams decided to go for the Express passes agreeing that the team who won would give the second one to the other team. Once in the taxi though, Emmett and Jill looked more closely at the Detour and decided that it’d be risky to go for the Express pass and changed directions. Steph and Kristen realize pretty quickly as they’re sorting records that Emmett and Jill aren’t showing up, they’re thinking that it voids the deal they made.
Emmett and Jill choose the swim detour which involves corralling fish in a big tank. Stephane and Antoine head to swim as well while Joel and Ashley head to Sim. Sim involves completing a simulation course using a crane with no instruction on how to use it. More teams fly through the rappelling, extra points to Julie for calling that Lowell is smiling like a maniac while completing it. All the teams seem to be pretty close together on this leg so it’s anyone’s game. Fire and Ice choose Swim, as do Julie and Lowell. Steph and Kristen get the express pass after wondering if going for it was a mistake, and head to Sim. Once again the twins seem to be having trouble following the clue directions and end up calling a Calgary transit help line to locate the Beatnik bus. It seems like Sim is the harder detour, Steph and Kristen decide to switch after a brief attempt. Kelly and Kate and the twins also briefly attempt the sim detour, with little success, before switching. Jill and Emmett power through Swim and sail into first once again at the pit stop at the National Music Centre. This win secured them a trip to France for their efforts.
Most of the teams struggle through the swim challenge and keep missing one or two fish. Joel and Ashley stick with it and manage to figure out the simulation, the only team to make it through that challenge. The twins finally arrive at the swim challenge and it’s a race to the finish between them and Kelly and Kate. Kelly and Kate should have beat them easily but didn’t seem to have any hustle. It’s not that they had difficulty with the challenge, they just didn’t make good decisions and seemed to only move at one slow speed. In the end a good taxi driver helped the twins edge by team KK, but lucky for them it was non-elimination.
- Jill and Emmett
- Stephane and Antoine
- Frankie and Amy (Fire and Ice)
- Joel and Ashley
- Anne and Tanya
- Steph and Kristen
- Julie and Lowell
- Yvette and Rita (the twins)
- Kelly and Kate (KK)
Based on this week’s episode, my top three teams remain the same. Jill and Emmett are an undeniably strong team, they just need to keep the bickering and fighting under control. They’re obviously strategic (Jill’s a big brother winner after all…) and good at the physical challenges. We will see how they do with any mental challenges that come up and when more navigation and directions are required.
Even though they finished 6th I still have Steph and Kristen as my second team, they won the express passes, essentially completing an extra challenge and still managed to come in 6th. They didn’t have any real struggles with any of the challenges, we’ll see how strategic they are based on who they give the express passes to. It would be a stupid move at this point to give them to Jillian and Emmett.
Joel and Ashley looked good through this episode as well. They completed the arguably more difficult detour and stayed calm under pressure while doing so. I think these two are going to be around for a while.
Participation award goes to Julie and Lowell for being the happiest most lovely people. The close up on Lowell’s face as he was repelling was priceless. They’re also just really happy to be there, even when they’re having difficulties in the challenges, they stay positive and calm, rather than snapping at each other as most couples do.
Most improved goes to Frankie and Amy who moved up three spots from 6th to 3rd, they didn’t seem to have any issues today and could be a solid underdog team.
Needs improvement goes to both team KK, and the twins. Read the clues carefully! So many seasons have seen people get eliminated from the Amazing Race by not reading clues and following directions thoroughly. I’m sure they’re rushing and trying to go quickly, but not following directions can lose you so much time. That being said, in the end I was impressed by the twins, they really wanted it. They pushed hard to that finish line to pull ahead of team KK. Kelly and Kate had the opposite problem, they didn’t have any serious issues they just weren’t competitive. Hopefully almost being eliminated will give them the kick in the butt they need to come back stronger.
Middle of the road goes to Stephane and Antoine, and the moms. I feel like I didn’t see Tanya and Anne for the whole episode except for Anne singing Happy Birthday to her son. Stephane and Antoine came in second but I still feel I didn’t see much from them. I may be underestimating them as they’ve had two strong finishes so far, but I have yet to see anything to convince me.
Overall the episode went better than the first one. The challenges were good and exciting, the choices for the detour were especially great but I still feel like something is missing. I think I need a little more drama. It is reality TV after all. I need a bit more big personality and more cut-throat competitiveness. Everyone is just being too nice, you’ve got to have both heroes and villains, to really want to cheer for someone. Compared to the personalities of last season, Simi and Ope, Brent and Sean, Nic and Sabrina, Nick and Matt, and some good ol’ eye candy with Gino and Jesse this season is, frankly, feeling a little dull. Maybe they should have got Gary and Peter from Big Brother Canada instead. At least they’re heading abroad next episode.