For the first time on “The Amazing Race Canada” this season, there were some stumbling blocks on Wednesday night’s journey through Halifax, and not just in terms of the outcome.
We should of course start with the ultimate elimination of Hamilton & Michaelia, mostly because despite what the show tried to give us in the edit, it felt pretty assured throughout that they would be going home. We don’t necessarily think that they were hours behind, but the moment that it was revealed that Hamilton forgot his passport in the airport, we figured they were done. It’s such a long cab ride out to the airport for one, let alone then waiting to see if it turns up there. Maybe they would have had a slightly better chance had there not been so many mistakes for them apart from this, but they also bungled the Detour in a pretty big way, choosing the lobster-retrieval one at first before ultimately doing the beer delivery one, and then failing to properly read the clue there.
We’re sad to see them go. Obviously Hamilton is an inspiration as one of the few transgender reality TV contestants out there; at the time this show filmed no one knew about Audrey on “Big Brother,” making this casting all the more bold and one that paid off in a big way. Still, their biggest flaw on the entire race actually came episodes ago when they won the Express Pass. They should have, rather than just used it right away when they could have switched Detours, held on to it for when they needed it. We have to think that they would have used it in a heartbeat in this episode knowing that they needed to get back to the airport.
Aside from the relatively-predictable elimination, there were two other major problems with this episode.
1. Bad racing all around – We’re not sure that a single team really ran a good leg this time around. Dujean & Leilani probably ran the closest thing to it in Leilani’s hometown, but even they didn’t read the clue properly on the Detour. Multiple teams struggled with that, many switched Detours, and there were a couple who struggled with finding the flag on the Roadblock and really lucked out that they saw it while driving. The strategy by many teams at the start of the leg to randomly guess the number of tiny images in the library didn’t put them too far behind, but we do wonder if they could have been out of there faster had they not done this and someone like Nick & Matt could have done better than their customary third place. The big winners of the night, even though they didn’t win the leg, were Brent & Sean, given that they now have the remaining Express Pass and they were pretty solid once they left the library.
2. Excessive product placement – For the most part, we’re fine with this since we know that this show costs money to make, and this helps to offset the fact that you’re not casting an extremely-wide net on Canadian television as compared to the United States. However, we want the product placement to be at least remotely relevant to the city and the show. The Mentos task in South America was fine since incorporated at least some element of local culture; the BMO clue at the airport was a waste of time (given that we already have the obnoxious “how are you paying for this?” moments, which don’t even make sense given that they supposedly only have a limited amount of money on their card), and the Orange Julius task was complete nonsense. The Dairy Queen task last season was similarly silly, but at least that one had more of a social feel to it.
This is still a great season in regards to the cast, mostly because you have people like Gino & Jesse who really should be great at this show, but fail consistently to actually do things correctly. Guys gotta slow down! Also, Nic & Sabrina continue to survive despite continually making mistakes. They are currently the comedy-of-errors team, and other than maybe at the library, we’re not sure that did anything on this leg that wasn’t a problem. Grade: C+.
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