Recap: The Amazing Race Canada 4, Episode 2 – “Deal Guys? Deal! Deal!”
Teams are heading to Calgary by bus with three teams each on three buses. Two Express Passes are available this Leg along with $150 on their BMO Cashback MasterCard.
Once in Calgary, teams will receive their next clue from the city’s award winning Mayor Naheed Nenshi. That clue is a picture of the Wonderland sculpture at The Bow skyscraper.
That clue reveals the Road Block: Who wants to feel like they are in control?
For this Road Block, teams will rappel down Calgary Tower. Once they reach the bottom, Seefar will hand them the next clue.
From the first bus, Emmett, Kristen and Antoine do the Road Block. On the second bus, Joel, Lowell and Frankie choose to do it. From the last bus to arrive in Calgary, Anne, Kelly and Yvette are the ones to attempt the Road Block. But Rita & Yvette are confused as to where Calgary Tower is.
After the Road Block, teams must find the Beatnik Bus by following it on social media. When they’ve found its location and listened to a tune, they will be given the next clue.
Jill & Emmett and Steph & Kristen find the bus and open the next clue which tells them how to find the Express Pass. They will need to go to Canada Boy Vinyl and choose one of 13 stacks of newly pressed vinyl records. Only one stack contains the Express Passes, one for the team that finds it and the other they must give away before the end of Leg 4.
The two teams decide to go for it and agree to give each other the extra Express Pass. But in the taxi, Jillian & Emmett realize there was also a Detour contained in the clue. They decide to just go to the Detour instead, acknowledging that Steph & Kristen might not be too happy about that.
For this Detour, teams must choose between Sim or Swim.
In Sim, teams must travel to the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology where each team member must learn how to complete a crane operator simulation.
In Swim, teams must head to the Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery at Bow Habitat Station where they must corral a school of troutlings and transfer them into cages.
Jillian & Emmet and Stephane & Antoine choose Swim while Joel & Ashley choose Sim.
Meanwhile, Steph & Kristen finally find the Express Pass and head to the Sim Detour. Across town, Rita & Yvette again are lost as they try to find the Beatnik Bus. They end up pressing the Help button kiosk.
Frankie & Amy and Julie & Lowell arrive at the hatchery and get started while Steph & Kristen give the simulation a try before quickly deciding to switch.
Jillian & Emmett finish the Detour and head to the Pit Stop at Studio Bell and the National Music Centre where they check-in as Team #1 for the 2nd Leg in a row. They win a trip to Paris, France from Hotels.com.
Stephane & Antoine are Team #2 and Frankie & Amy are Team #3.
After feeling like they’ve learned how to master the simulation, Joel & Ashley give it an official try and pass. They step on the Mat as Team #4.
Kelly & Kate, however try out the simulation only to quickly switch as well. Rita & Yvette also make the same decision at the simulation and are worried that they are putting themselves even further behind.
Over at the Pit Stop, Anne & Tanya, Steph & Kristen and Julie & Lowell check-in as Teams #5 through #7.
Rita & Yvette catch up to Kelly & Kate at the hatchery. Kelly & Kate are slowed down by having to run a far distance to their cages from their corral. They finally get the next clue, but Rita & Yvette are right behind them.
It’s a taxi race to the Pit Stop and Rita & Yvette’s taxi manages to pass Kelly & Kate’s. At Studio Bell, both teams run in at the same time.
But it’s Rita & Yvette who step on the Mat as Team #8. That means Kelly & Kate are last. BUT! This is a Non-Elimination Leg!!!
Alright! Now that was a great episode and Leg! I really enjoyed that, especially after the lackluster premiere.
A big Meh to the separate bus rides at the beginning even though there were still plenty of placement changes throughout the Leg. But at the same time, the Leg wasn’t linear! (OMG!) There were plenty of opportunities for teams to move ahead or fall behind. Lots of walking in the first part of the Leg, plus the Express Pass task and the Beatnik Bus helped to shuffle teams. But the teams’ own decisions also helped affect positions throughout the Leg.
For the Road Block, rappelling and skydiving and similar tasks can seem tedious and boring after 28+ seasons of The Amazing Race around the world. But interestingly enough, the Road Block here was quite the contrary. It wasn’t the most exciting thing ever, but I guess rappelling down made it seem more fresh than the usual bungee jump (Hello Macau Tower!) from a tall building. And Calgary Tower is certainly not just a couple of floors, after all.
The Beatnik Bus Route Marker was quirky and interesting. It fit in well with all the walking they needed to do in the first part of the Leg. (Though I’m not too sure about the locations it stopped at.) It’s always great for teams to interact with locals, though since this is Canada and at least in Calgary, most people will speak English, the interactions for the “Can I borrow your cell phone?” situations aren’t as interesting as they would otherwise be elsewhere.
The Detour was surprisingly well balanced. Both tasks were great. The simulation is typical TAR, but it was good to have the teams basically just play with it before they eventually got the hang of it. The fish side of the Detour was also a nice challenge. It was physical, but also tedious (for the teams) especially having to be in water the whole time. So both good Detours and it was surprising teams so easily switched.
I was starting to get the feeling this was a Non-Elimination Leg, even before it appeared Kelly & Kate and Rita & Yvette were battling for last. There was just a vibe about the episode as all teams made their way to the Detour. I was definitely happy that it did turn out to be a Non-Elimination. And we can likely expect more than usual since there are only 10 teams this season.
Now on to a little nitpick…A couple of the confessionals feel too scripted. Especially the ones likely filmed after the Race has ended since, like previous seasons, it seems like they film commentary and confessionals immediately after the Leg (as usual) and then again at a later date, likely after the Race. A couple of them this episode felt very obvious and stiff. That’s always been one of the things that felt awkward on TAR Canada for me. The post-Race confessionals felt out of place and many times contrived.
Anyway, that’s just a TAR Canada-ism I guess. But back to this episode and Leg specifically, I really enjoyed it. More importantly, however, next week’s Vietnam Leg looks very exciting. Woohoo to the rare international Leg on TAR Canada!
My Subjective Team Rankings
So far, all of the teams are at least tolerable. That’s a good thing at this early point in the Race. Of course, some are more interesting and fun than others, but I don’t hate anyone yet. (And I hope I don’t grow to dislike teams as the Race goes on… HELLO TAR Canada 2!!!!)
Frankie & Amy look like they have the potential to be a very strong team. Great, solid Racing so far. And this Leg they showed a little more fire (and ice, lol) to their relationship with the little bickering at the Detour. Should be fun to see what more they can bring.
I was happy to see Kelly & Kate saved by the Non-Elimination. Sad that they had another rough Leg. But they were still funny and fun to watch. Hopefully they can gain some footing in the next Leg, especially with the Transpacific equalizer. Same for Rita & Yvette. I would’ve been happy to see them saved by a Non-Elim as well. They had an even rougher Leg, but I can’t see them flaming out so early. They have lots of potential as well. Plus we haven’t seen any sisterly fighting yet. Hehe.
Joel & Ashley were very Simi & Ope-like this Leg. And that’s a good thing. A solid Leg with no mistakes and bits and pieces of some fun moments. That little story Ashley told about Joel becoming her father was also nice.
I don’t know about Julie & Lowell‘s puns. I usually hate puns, but they definitely did not annoy me here. I didn’t enjoy them, but I didn’t cringe. lol It’s interesting that they seem to have stepped into the “older couple” role for the season. That’s definitely how they came across this Leg and it wouldn’t be the worst thing to see them continue to play that role while Racing well moving forward.
Anne & Tanya were very quiet this Leg except for Anne singing at the Road Block. That was a nice little moment. But afterwards, they were sadly invisible. Stephane & Antoine also felt a little absent this Leg compared to the premiere even though they did very well. They took a lead at the beginning of the Leg and didn’t slow down.
Jillian & Emmett were also much quieter this Leg. I would’ve liked to have seen a little more sparks between them like the premiere. But I guess we’ll be getting that next week in Vietnam. Their decision not to continue to the Express Pass is fine. And at least it will provide some drama between them and Steph & Kristen, maybe, moving forward.
Steph & Kristen may be last on this list, but I certainly don’t dislike them. They took a big gamble going for the Express Pass, but they were able to win it and still finish well. Hopefully they don’t become boring racebots, but so far, they’re fine.
Jillian: “You’re going too fast for me!”
Emmett: “You’re going too far!”
Antoine: “I told you not to act like that.”
Kelly: “I think I got like a rash, like, around the area.”
Jillian: “You’re spraying me in the face with the fish water.”
Stephane: “I’m all wet.”