‘The Amazing Race Canada 4’ premiere review: The problem with penalties

Cast -The good news that we can offer up about the premiere of “The Amazing Race Canada” this week is rather simple: The team that went home is not one you would have expected to go. Beyond that, we’re still trying to figure out whether or not the show, or its contestants, is at fault for things going slightly off-course in the premiere after the setting switched from Yellowknife to Alberta.

What we did appreciate about the first Roadblock, which involved participants having to effective use monkey bars on the outside of a skylift, is that it did more than just the typical “Amazing Race” danger challenge where you just jumped off of something. There was actually another element to it, and that made us happy. However, the flip side here is that this led to some people making the rather silly choice to take the penalty. Kelly & Kate did it first, and for some reason after that Anthony & Brandon followed them. You never take the penalty on this show, since even if you get frustrated, four hours is a lot of time.

Not only that, but this decision basically rendered the two teams useless since inclement weather closed the first Roadblock early, and the remaining teams took a shorter penalty that equated to the approximate amount of time it would have taken them to finish the task (supposedly). While we dig the task, of course we do question from a production point of view setting up something for the first leg that was so dependent on weather.

Thanks to one decision, we have to say farewell to Anthony & Brandon. This was just a a disappointment entertainment-wise because it was so obvious that they were going to go home, and no amount of other teams getting lost could change that.

On a separate note, congrats to Jillian & Emmett on getting first! While they are going to be a force to be reckoned with, we’re not that high on them as winners after watching this. If they’re already bickering this much in episode 1, imagine them a few weeks from the finale! Steph & Kristen were in second, and we’re much higher on them because they were both incredibly strong in the leg and seemed to get along much better. Ultimately, though, the best thing about this season is that there is no obvious ringer team that is going to go far.

We know that we sound hard on the premiere, and that’s because we know how great this show can be. This episode was still entertaining, but we do question the choices in challenges and also wish that they’d stuck around in Yellowknife longer, given how it is not a place we see very often at all on TV. Grade: B-.

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