Recap: The Amazing Race Canada 5, Episode 1 – Who Wants to Be the Python?
It’s Canada’s 150th birthday and The Amazing Race Canada‘s milestone 5th season, so of course TEN teams are on boats in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador on their way to the Starting Line at the Queen’s Battery.
The teams are: personal trainers from Toronto Korey & Ivana, Ontario best friends Kenneth & Ryan, Toronto YouTubers Dan & Riya, Montreal siblings Adam & Andrea, BC mother & son Aaron & Deb, Alberta married couple Karen & Bert, Montreal business partners Andrea & Ebonie, Vancouver father & son Zed & Shabbir, Newfoundlander cousins Megan & Courtney and Toronto dating couple Sam & Paul.
At the Starting Line, Jon lays out the grand prize: two brand new 2018 Chevy Equinox True North Editions, a trip for two around the world and $250,000. He then sets them off to read the first clue.
Teams must now run over to the Signal Hill Historic Site and find Cabot Tower which will be broadcasting their next clue in Morse code which teams will have to decipher: Vancouver Capilano Bridge.
Andrea & Ebonie decide to just quit and take a penalty. They open the next clue which also has $600 loaded on their BMO Cashback MasterCard and tells teams to fly clear across the country to Vancouver. But they must first choose and drive a brand new 2017 Chevy Trax to the airport. Only five teams will fly on the first flight.
Andrea & Ebonie think no one will be able to decipher the clue. But Zed & Shabbir, Vancouver natives, have no problem recognizing the clue points to Vancouver Capilano Bridge. At the airport, Andrea & Ebonie immediately regret quitting on the first task.
On the first flight are Andrea & Ebonie, Zed & Shabbir, Adam & Andrea, Sam & Paul and Kenneth & Ryan. The rest of the teams are on the 2nd flight.
Once in Vancouver, teams will head to the Capilano Suspension Bridge to find a falconer with the next clue. That clue points teams to Gastown where they must find Gassy Jack. And that clue reveals a Road Block: Who’s feeling uptight?
Andrea & Ebonie are first to find out that for this Road Block and first 150 Challenge, teams must walk across a tightrope suspended 12 stores above the street below at The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
Ebonie decides to do it and hopes to get it on the first try to help offset their penalty. But she falls. Both Ryan and Megan also fall on their first attempts.
Ebonie and Ryan head out on their second attempts and both get it. They open the next clue which reveals a Detour: Pedal or Paddle.
In Pedal, teams must join the East Van Bike Polo club and successfully complete a series of drills to receive the next clue.
In Paddle, teams will join a dragon boat team with one team member joining as a paddler while the other steers the boat through a course.
This is a limited stations Detour.
Andrea & Ebonie choose Pedal while Kenneth & Ryan choose Paddle.
Megan is next to finish the Road Block while everyone else after fails on their attempts. Ivana, however, gets it on her first attempt. Megan & Courtney choose Paddle while Korey & Ivana choose Pedal. Adam uses his butt to across the tightrope and he and Andrea choose Paddle.
Paul and Shabbir are next to finish. Sam & Paul go to the polo while Zed & Shabbir go to the boats.
And at the dragon boats, Kenneth & Ryan are able to maneuver the course and can now make their way to the Vandusen Botanical Garden and find the Mat in the maze. They officially check in as Team #1 and win a trip for two to Barcelona.
Andrea & Ebonie arrive at the Mat in 2nd, but must wait out their two-hour penalty.
Back at the Road Block, Deb falls off the tightrope again and starts to feel dizzy. Formerly last place team Karen & Bert move up two spots leaving Aaron & Deb and Dan & Riya.
Aaron heads up to give his mom a pep talk and encourage her. That gives the burst of energy she needs.
Over at the dragon boats, Megan & Andrea decide to switch Detours.
At the Pit Stop, Korey & Ivana check in as Team #2 followed by Adam & Andrea, Sam & Paul, Zed & Shabbir and Karen & Bert as Teams 3 through 6, respectively.
Andrea & Ebonie finish their penalty time and check in as Team #7. They say they won’t be taking another penalty… “any time soon.”
Dan & Riya smell Jon through the maze to finish as Team #8. Megan & Courtney take 9th. That means Aaron & Deb are last and eliminated.
This was a pretty solid premiere. The Road Block checked off the extreme heights challenge any premiere or Episode 2 usually has. But having a Detour on the first Leg is pretty great. And it was a solid Detour as well. Both sides of the Detour presented their own challenges. But both were also simple and straightforward enough to fit in a premiere episode.
Plus, all the teams falling of their bikes (“I deserved that.”) was pretty funny.
The Starting Line task looks great on paper. But I don’t know if it was executed well enough. Or at least, edited well enough to fully appreciate it. Of course, Andrea & Ebonie quitting didn’t help either. The task though kind of helped contribute to the bloated feeling of the first half
The team intros felt very long, especially considering there’s only 10 teams. Plus, the setups for each team all felt recycled from teams in previous seasons, even if these teams have distinct personalities and backgrounds.
I could’ve sworn TAR Canada already went to Capilano Suspension Bridge. Maybe it was just TARPHDME. lol
I still think that if TAR Canada stays in the country for the first Leg anyway, why not just have the entire Leg (Starting Line included) in the same city, or at least same province. The (literal) cross-country flight is completely unnecessary, especially when it isn’t even sponsored by Air Canada or any other company. The show could use that extra little bit of airfare money elsewhere in the season.
TAR Canada adopts the newest TARUS graphics. I definitely think this is the best version of the new opening credits team IDs. You know, TARUS’ opening credits of doom? Using the 3D graphics, but smaller and centered in the usual position are much cleaner and less doomsday-ish. TAR Asia definitely improved TARUS’ original format and TAR Canada cleaned it up even more.
In other nitpicking, the in-show airplane exhaust graphics though look a little messy and blocky. Speaking of TAR Asia, I think they did great with the in-show graphics. Here on TAR Canada though, it looked kinda off. And in ultimate nitpicking, they didn’t capitalize the L and P in “last place.” Grr…
The interactive poll stuff wasn’t really integrated too well in-show either. I think it took up too much of the screen and was more of a distraction than really a multi-screen experience. Especially if you’re not using a second screen anyway. Comparing to other TARs, I think TAR Australia and Seven did a nice job including live social media into the show broadcast, but not letting it overwhelm the screen.
Something that hasn’t changed, however, is the faux Pit Stop tension. Editing the final Race to the Mat as if it were that close is definitely very TAR Canada. It just feels too contrived though, especially after four seasons.
Overall, a very nice, solid start to the season. Three Express Passes though? Interesting. We’ll see how that plays out next week.
My Subjective Team Rankings
Pretty solid cast after first impressions.
It’s too bad about Aaron & Deb. It’s always great to have parent-child teams and they seemed like they could’ve been a very fun team to watch. Zed & Shabbir will have to take care of that role then for the rest of the Race, if they can make it to the end. I think theyve got a good shot and they were also fun and energetic this first episode.
Karen & Bert definitely started out slow. And then when Bert started rapping, my immediate thought was “OMGNO, not another #TeamFun.” But then it turned out he was actually a rapper, so it was alright. lol They definitely picked up the pace at the end of the Leg so that bodes well for the rest of the Race for them I think.
Korey & Ivana definitely remind me of TARAu3’s Sally & Tyson, in a way. A very fit co-ed team, but not racebots. It’s always great to have a co-ed sibling team too, so Adam & Andrea have some nice potential.
Sam & Paul were alright. They seem to fit the alpha male team role of the season, but so far, not in an annoying, overly dominant sort of way. Megan & Courtney had a great introduction, maybe one of most fun first impressions of the teams. But they definitely disappeared most of the Leg, even despite them switching Detours.
Pre-Race, people were pegging Dan & Riya as the TAR22 version of Joey & Meghan. But I thought they were alright, though they only popped up here and there in this first episode.
I usually absolutely hate quitting on TAR. And Andrea & Ebonie quitting on the VERY FIRST TASK is on a whole other level. That was really disappointing to see. It certainly doesn’t leave a great first impression when you give up on the Starting Line task. And considering how well they Raced the rest of the Leg, their quitting is even more inexplicable. After that move, they definitely have a lot to prove and prove that they deserve their spot on the Race.
Finally, right from Kenneth & Ryan‘s intro, I immediately got horrible flashbacks to BJ & Tyler. Oy vey! They’re definitely playing up to the camera most of the time. The other times when they’re not, they’re alright. But the over-the-top moments the show highlighted of them this Leg definitely has me worried about just how annoying they could be on the Race. And seeing as how they may be a strong team after their win here, we may be seeing A LOT of them.
Dan: “She has like the next level body.”
Dan: “God! I’m pretty sure I ripped my leggings.”