Recap: The Amazing Race Canada 4, Episode 11 and Season Wrap-up –"It's… better getting to explore our own country."


Recap: The Amazing Race Canada 4, Episode 11 – Second Place Isn’t Good Enough

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The Final Leg begins as teams must now fly to Montreal with $500 on their BMO Cashback MasterCard.

Once in Montreal, teams must make their way to the headquarters of Cirque du Soleil. Here, teams must master three acrobatic skills to receive their next clue: bungee trapeze, balance ball and Chinese pole.

Emmett finishes the trapeze first. Ashley struggles so Joel switches in and he immediately gets it. Both teams move on to the balance ball as Kristen struggles on the trapeze as well. Jillian struggles with the ball so Emmett switches in and he easily gets it. That means Jillian has to do the last skill climbing the Chinese pole. Jillian has no problem and they can now make their way to the Bank of Montreal.

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Teams will choose an envelope from the customer service representative which contains a message of a mishmash of words. Teams must use a complex bank code book to decipher the message. Once correctly deciphered, they will be given a key to a safe deposit box with the next clue.

Jillian & Emmett head outside, but their cab which they paid $50 for has left. They have to go in and call one. Joel & Ashley run outside and see a taxi approaching. Jillian & Emmett think it is theirs, but the taxi has Ashley’s name so she and her dad hop in.

Steph & Kristen manage to find a taxi next which drops Jillian & Emmett to last.

All teams get to BMO and start decoding the message which talks about the bank’s history of settling western Canada. Steph & Kristen think they’ve got the message done, but it is not accepted. Joel & Ashley go for a check and they get it. They are given a key and head to the vault for the next clue.

That clue reveals the Road Block: Who’s on the bubble?

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For this Road Block, teams must head to Ile Sainte-Helene and find the Montreal Biosphere. Here, teams must use an ascender to reach the observation deck then pull themselves across the dome and then rappel down the exterior.

Joel decides to do it.

Steph & Kristen are next and Steph does the Road Block. Emmett will do it for him and Jillian.

Joel & Ashley stay in the lead and must now head to St-Viateur Bagel where they find another Road Block: Bagels can’t be choosers.

For this Road Block, teams must fill three different bagel orders by using bagel sticks to deliver them to different locations.

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Kristen manages to pass Ashley to the first location.

Jillian forgets the name of the first place she needs to go to and ends up returning to the original bagel shop. She decides to go to the 2nd delivery instead. But her sticks are incorrect. Before she heads back to the bagel shop, she realizes she’s flipped the order of bagels on the sticks. She decides to fix them on the spot but ends up dropping one on the ground, so she just tosses them all and heads back.

Kristen finishes the Road Block with Ashley right behind. Teams must now make their way to Moment Factory.

At Moment Factory, teams will use interactive technology to match 11 moments, represented by phrases, from the Race to the correct destination.

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All teams are at this Final Task, much to Jillian & Emmett’s surprise. Jillian sees some of the phrases are outright wrong. She and Emmett had made a point to memorize everything on the Race.

Joel & Ashley only have three correct on their most recent attempt. It’s between Steph & Kristen and Jillian & Emmett. And it is Steph & Kristen who get all 11 correct first.

Steph & Kristen can now make their way to the Finish Line at Mont-Royal. And they become the first all-female team to win The Amazing Race Canada. Jillian & Emmett are 2nd place and Joel & Ashley are 3rd.

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Episode Thoughts

This was a solid finale. Best thing about it was that it wasn’t linear! WOOHOO! It was good that the Cirque du Soleil task was NOT first come first served when it could have easily been. Everything else in the Leg was pretty typical TAR and even some familiar tasks from TARUS finales as well.

But it all made for a solid final Leg.

I’ll be honest though, I was only excited about this Leg because I was actively rooting for Joel & Ashley. It’s been a while since I’ve had a team to actively root for in a TAR finale.

Joel & Ashley seemed so happy in all their early confessionals so I just assumed they won. lol Of course, those confessionals were the ones they filmed weeks after the Race was over. (I should’ve known.) It gave me false hope. In that final task, they started showing the immediate post-Leg confessionals and they looked much more sad. lol Oh well.

And after last year’s hilariously frustrating finale quote from Gino & Jessie about not leaving Canada, Emmett’s “It’s been amazing going to all these cool new countries. But it’s been even better getting to explore OUR OWN country.” was equally hilarious.

Season Wrap-up

It’s very interesting. I don’t think this season had anything particularly outstanding with respect to the other seasons. But it didn’t have that air of negativity that both season 2 and 3 had. (Mid- and Post-Race bitterness for TARC2 and the horrible taxigate/”Don’t leave Canada!” for TARC3) So overall, I would say maybe TARC1 has the edge as strongest TAR Canada season just because it’s the first season. But I like TARC4 much more than the middle two.

While the season definitely showed that they were running out of viable Canadian destinations and tasks, nothing was egregiously bad. And the two Vietnam Legs and (to a lesser extent) the Cuba Leg really helped elevate the season. The Vietnam Legs especially were refreshing. But for the local Legs, I think Calgary was the most complete in terms of tasks and entertainment.

One thing that TARC3 has over TARC4 though is the parity among the teams. This season was all about Steph & Kristen vs Jillian & Emmett most of the Race, whereas last season seemed to have all teams who could easily win a Leg. (Though Leg design could also be a big factor.)

TAR Canada definitely needs more international Legs, but with the apparent lower budget that’s now out of the question more than ever.

As of this recap, I haven’t seen After the Race and have read that there’s no word on a renewal or opening applications.

All season, it’s been very noticeable how there’s a clear difference in level of promo and attention CTV has given the show compared to previous years. There’s one less Leg (which is of course the international Leg). The budget looks to have decreased. And the ratings were the most illustrative of that decline. Once easily Canada’s most watched summer show, TAR Canada experienced a big dip in the ratings. Add in the fact that Air Canada, Petro Canada and DQ all ended their sponsorships, the future of the Canadian franchise has unexpectedly been put in doubt.

While I’ve certainly been enjoying TAR China much more this summer, I definitely want to see TAR Canada continue. To think that it went from most watched show in the country to maybe being cancelled in one year would be horrible and definitely trump TARUS’ steep, prolonged decline.

So hopefully TAR Canada 5 will get the greenlight soon.

Overall, season 4 was solid and a firm 2nd on my all-time TAR Canada list.

My Subjective Team Rankings for the Season

Joel & Ashley always had some great potential. They definitely had a Simi & Ope vibe most of the Race, which is awesome. Ashley’s sometimes snarky comments and passive-aggressiveness at points in the Race were hilarious. They kind of trailed off for a few Legs, but definitely picked up in the last few Legs. Joel carried the team from a Race-standpoint while Ashley provided a few more fun moments. I was definitely rooting for them to win.

Julie & Lowell were just great. When someone can make puns funny and charming, you can’t help but like them. And Julie & Lowell were just that. They were two people who enjoyed the Race and did well while enjoying it. And they were great to watch.

Kelly & Kate is another team who you just enjoyed watching. They were fun and funny but also flashed great moments as Racers on the Race. It’s too bad they had a horrible last Leg because they really had a lot of great momentum.

Rita & Yvette were wasted this season, I think. For what little we saw of them, they were competitive, but not perfect. Which is definitely better than being racebots, that’s for sure. But they also had some great moments with each other and with respect to other teams that I wish we got more of. Anne & Tanya fought hard. It would’ve been nice to see them longer on the Race.

Jillian & Emmett are another team with some lost potential. I really wish we got more meltdowns and hilarious bickering from them. They were at their best when they had those moments. They were strong Racers who dominated half the Race, but they were still fun to watch. They were competitive against other teams, but also provided fun comedy and drama. I just wish we got more of that because there were times when they were very boring.

Steph & Kristen were definitely racebots and much less interesting than Natalie & Meaghan (the comparisons are inevitable). But they always fought hard and the win was deserved. Stephane & Antoine had a very quiet run. And Anthony & Brandon barely had one Leg to even show who they were.

And finally, Frankie & Amy. I really liked them early on. But they also faded as the Race went on. Why I have them almost last here is their apparent Rex & Bob-ness post-Race. Frankie & Amy had some nasty tweets last week and even called Ashley a “bitch” for what was a perfectly fine game move. And apparently they went in on her on After the Race, which I haven’t seen.

Episode Quotes

Jillian: “I probably would’ve walked away from myself, at this point.”

Ashley: “I feel like they’re going to do something illegal.”

Steph: “This is ridiculous.”

Emmett: “It’s been amazing going to all these cool new countries. But it’s been even better getting to explore OUR OWN country.”

Jillian: “I learned I’m crazy. And I probably need therapy.”

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