The Amazing Race Canada: Week Seven

Amazing Race Canada = Episode 7, We Don't Have Time For the Bathroom

Last week, best buddies Jet and Dave completed the Amazing Race hat trick with their third first-place finish while, for the second time, Team Tim finished last in a non-elimination round—as Dave put it, “We can’t finish them, they’re like zombies.”

The teams depart from Quebec City to Iqaluit, Nunavut and for once there’s no switching flights or sneaky stopover shenanigans—there’s one flight north and everybody’s on it.

Once they arrive in the final Canadian territory—having already touched down in both Yukon and Northwest Territories in a single day—they have to translate their first clue, which is written in Inuktitut, the most common first language in Nunavut. Once they all determine they’re headed for Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park, they embark on what feels like an endless hour of running, crying and snow.

The teams are at the mercy of their taxi drivers on this first leg, as they all leave the airport around the same time—their only hitch is finding someone to translate that first clue, which doesn’t take long considering more than 80 per cent of Iqaluit residents speak Inuktitut as their first language—so the Tims are the only team to really get left behind as their driver announces he has to stop and use the bathroom, forcing them to hop out and find another taxi.

As the teams arrive at the park, they run up and down slopes over ice and snow until they find the clue box, which tells them they have to run and search some more to find native throat singers holding their next clue. Brothers Jody and Cory reach the singers first and discover the first Detour.

At the Detour, teams choose between building an igloo and dragging a sled to a target range to throw harpoons. At first both challenges seem simple—building an igloo requires planning and concentration while the sled-pull/harpoon throw is physical—but assembling an igloo without it caving in turns out to be much more physical than some teams anticipate.

The brothers choose harpoons, even though it’ll force Jody, who is competing on prosthetic legs, to strap on snowshoes and lug his brother a kilometre on a sled. Sisters Celina and Vanessa catch up to the brothers and choose the same challenge, but fall behind quickly as Celina dissolves in a puddle of tears. Jet and Dave surprisingly choose to build an igloo, while the doctors obviously follow suit—if there’s a common theme to Brett and Holly’s game, it’s, “we’re smart, we don’t do physical challenges.” As soon as Brett starts futzing with the angles of their snow blocks, though, we can tell this is not going to go well.

Cracks begin to show early in Jet and Dave’s igloo, as they recognize how hard it is to get the blocks to balance. They’re easily strong enough to move the hunks of frozen snow around, but their haphazard arrangement just won’t hold up. Eventually they leave Holly and Brett to debate angles and head over to the sleds.

The Tims eventually catch up to the pack and, after grabbing a sled, blow past the sisters. Tim Sr. begins to have trouble with his Parkinson’s, though, as the physical exhaustion makes his left side less and less cooperative. Still, he plows ahead until collapsing at the target range.

The brothers maintain their lead, finishing the challenge well ahead of every other team, only to find out the next leg involves more trudging around in the snow—they have to climb a hill and follow a path to a snowmobile, which they’ll take across Frobisher Bay to a historic Hudson’s Bay Company trading post.

The Tims beat the harpoon toss with ease, leaving the sisters fuming in their snow-dust, but they still face a Speed Bump ahead to make up for their last place finish in Quebec City. Vanessa seems hopeless with the harpoon, none of her throws landing anywhere near the target, but at least one other competitor will have a harder time.

After what seems like hours of watching snow blocks fall on Holly’s head, Brett finally listens to her for the first time and they opt for the sleds and harpoons.

The brothers hold their lead up to the final Road Block, where Jody has to eat 10 chunks of raw whale skin and blubber, called muktuk, a task he manages before any other teams appear.

Meanwhile, the Tims finally reach their Speed Bump, a relatively easy challenge of leading a sled dog team to a food cache, picking up the food, and bringing it back. They don’t lose much ground, but Tim Sr. ends up munching on muktuk right next to Celina, who gags on nearly every bite, allowing the Tims to pull ahead. As the elder Tim swallows his last bite they set off on yet another snowy march, this time to the final Pit Stop.

Celina finishes her muktuk—barely—with Jet and Dave right on their heels. Surely a guy with Jet’s physique hasn’t eaten this much fat in a very long time, but he downs the whale skin quickly enough to keep the sisters in sight, setting up a foot race to the Pit Stop. Celina is raring to go but Vanessa drags her heels and whines while her big sis berates her, allowing Jet and Dave to slip into third.

Jody and Cory pull into the Pit Stop in first place, breaking Jet and Dave’s winning streak and earning round trip tickets to the Caribbean for their efforts. The Tims complete a huge comeback, overcoming their Speed Bump and going from fifth to second. Jet and Dave and the sisters round out the group continuing to the next round, which means Zoolander-lookalike Brett and wife Holly are headed back to Montreal to resume their lives as heroes.

Next week we mercifully get a break from staring at snowy landscapes as the teams travel to Nova Scotia, where we may finally see some friction between get-along guys Jet and Dave.

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