Three episodes into this new season, and “The Amazing Race Canada” manages to continue to put other versions of the show to shame. They crammed in travel, three solid tasks, and some drama into the span of an episode, and the pacing never felt too rushed.
Sure, you could also say that this show so far has been somewhat the beneficiary of great luck when it comes to tight finishes. In Argentina, we had quite possibly one of the most chaotic legs we’ve ever seen, given that it was really the success in the tasks that determined whether or not you would end up going far. Despite Gino & Jesse having trouble with cabs early on, ultimately that had almost nothing to do with placement in the leg.
Let’s start here with Nic & Sabrina, mostly because they had quite possibly the most interesting arc of the entire episode. Had Nic been able to complete the soccer task (which required him to basically navigate through some cones and score a goal blindfolded), this may have been one of the biggest one-leg blowouts in the history of the show. Sabrina’s language skills were such a huge asset both in the Mentos-themed Roadblock and then the Detour later, but he just couldn’t finish the soccer task and they were almost eliminated from the race. We do wonder if he had completed the course doing the hopping thing figured out by Nick & Matt, maybe he never would have been in that sort of position.
This gaffe allowed a completely open race for first, one narrowly won by Neil & Kristin. We like both father / daughter teams this season, mostly because that’s not a combination you see that frequently on the show, and both have some likable tendencies that come out through their teamwork. For example, Simi & Ope kept each other calm, and they finished first despite looking like they were in huge danger in the early going.
One thing that helped Simi & Ope seemingly was finishing soccer early, and then also choosing the right Detour at the end of it. We thought that the one involving food was actually far and away easier than the one where you had to learn the tango, provided that you could just memorize a few Spanish words. Doing the tango is much more physical and precise, and yet most people went for it. With all of this being said, our last-place finishers in Dana & Amanda did go for the food, but their problems were cumulative. They were a little slow on the detour and also struggled in the soccer challenge. Losing them is a bummer since they were strong on paper, and we’ve lost our two all-female teams consecutively now.
Even with losing them, what we do like is that we never would have picked that the first three teams out are who they are, and we’re left with a great mixture of teams and relationships. This has been a really unpredictable and fun season so far, so here is to hoping that it lasts. Grade: A-.