The Amazing Race Canada: Week Four Recap

Amazing Race Canada - Episode 4, Grab a Nug (Photo: CTV)
Amazing Race Canada - Episode 4, Grab a Nug (Photo: CTV)

* Warning: Spoilers ahead from last night’s episode of Amazing Race Canada.

When we last left the Amazing Racers, Tim Jr. and Tim Sr. had just been saved from elimination in Calgary after the elder Tim got tripped up on a line dancing Road Block. Meanwhile, Hal and Joanne—Team Body Break—pulled comfortably into first place.

The Body Breakers started this week bright and early—OK, maybe dark and extremely early—at 2 a.m. with a trip to the airport to catch a flight to Yellowknife. The only hitch: none of the ticket booths opened until 4 a.m. and the first flight, at 6 a.m., had enough seats to accommodate every team. So much for a head start!

No one passed this info on to sisters Vanessa and Celina, who happily cut to the front of the line and left Jet and Dave fuming. How could they disrespect the Canadian tradition of waiting patiently in line for things? Whether it’s the Tim Hortons drive-thru or the emergency room at the hospital, Canadians know the best things—TimBits and health care—are worth waiting for.

At the first Road Block, Brett shows his competitive fire as he volunteers Holly to take the polar bear plunge—the only teammate to send their partner into the icy water rather than diving in himself.

Cory and Hal then drop into the frosty water—Cory has to go twice after forgetting to pick up his team’s next clue—before Tim Jr. makes this week’s second line-cutting faux pas. Tim sneaks ahead of Dave, gets himself harnessed and is just about to jump when Dave pipes up that he was next and the crowd erupts in boos—finally some people who know how sacred lines are to Canadians.

After each team completes the Road Block, they head to the airport to catch bush planes to the Yukon—though not the rusting hulks host Jon Montgomery hints they’ll be flying in. The planes are just big enough to accommodate two teams on each of the first two flights, then three teams on the final flight. Cory has a brain cramp when inadvertently signing his team up for a flight, allowing crafty old Hal and Joanne to sneak ahead and onto the second flight. Cory tries to cajole the Body Breakers into switching flights, but to no avail. “I don’t feel good about it,” says Joanne, “But it’s part of the game,” finishes Hal.

The Tims finally hit the Speed Bump they earned by dodging elimination last week, forcing them to memorize a Robert Service poem, a task that trips young Tim up as badly as line dancing foiled elder Tim last week. They manage to finish with enough time to stay in the middle of the pack and pick up at the Detour with the rest.

At the Detour, teams choose between a series of physical challenges—sawing a log, throwing hatchets and navigating a wheelbarrow obstacle course to pick up gold nuggets—and building a raft out of wood and barrels to float over even more freezing water and pick up their next clue. Most teams choose the first option, though Holly and Brett—The Evil Doctors, who finally have a chance to backdoor brag about being smart—and rafting pros Kristen and Darren. Vanessa and Celina jump another line, but this time they do it the right way by using up their Express Pass.

Each team seems to have one player who’s brilliant with a hatchet—something maybe the other teams should worry about—and one who’s hopeless. Dave, Hal and Tim Jr. hit the target on their first try, while their partners toss their axes far and wide. Meanwhile, Brett turns Holly into his unwilling assistant, as she pleads with him to give up on the raft and try the other challenge. Brett hears nothing and continues to bark orders at her. Kristen and Darren also get hung up on their raft, but only because they’re too busy playing with knots. They have an Express Pass, just like Vanessa and Celina, but are reluctant to use it on a task so suited to their skills. In Amazing Race Canada, such hubris can be costly.

Jet and Dave cruise to a much-deserved first-place finish, Holly and Brett somehow climb back from last week’s sixth-place result to finish second, while Team Body Break rounds out the top three. Even after using their Express Pass, Vanessa and Celina look for more shortcuts, ditching their bags out of sight to sprint to the Pit Stop and delaying their check-in. By the time they retrieve their gear and haul it to the finish line, the Tims are nipping at their heels, checking in just seconds behind.

Brothers Cory and Jody, who were set back by Cory’s earlier mental mistake, wind up in an unfortunate footrace with Kristen and Darren to avoid elimination. Jody’s prosthetic legs aren’t built for the kind of running they’ve been doing, allowing the hippies to gain ground. In the end it isn’t enough, though, and Kristen and Darren are sent home with an Express Pass—oh, and a free trip to Australia—in their pocket. Not a bad consolation prize, if you ask me.

Next week the teams head to The Queen City—beautiful Regina, Saskatchewan—where we can count on at least one thing: even the level terrain of the Prairies won’t smooth the bumpy road for a certain pair of doctors.

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Drew Berner

Drew Berner is a freelance writer born and raised in Toronto and specializing in entertainment, sports and politics. He occasionally collects vinyl records, enjoys hate-watching the Blue Jays, appreciates good beer and great scotch, and goes to sleep each night with 120 lbs. of Great Dane draped over him (it’s a lot more comfortable than it sounds). Follow him on Twitter @DrewBerner for photos of huge dogs, observational humour and assorted sports rage.

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