Recap: The Amazing Race Canada 6, Episode 1 – Just a Beaver Hero
It’s a season honoring Canada’s everyday heroes.
The ten teams are retired Air Force pilots Chewy & Happy from Southern Ontario, cheerleaders Leanne & Mar from Toronto who lead anti-bullying programs in their community, sibling volunteers Martina & Phil from Vancouver, RCMP officers and siblings Taylor & Courtney from British Columbia, engaged first responders Adam & Courtney from Calgary, dating advocates Todd & Anna from Edmonton, coast guard officers Zainab & Monica from Toronto, coaches and mentors Dylan & Kwame from Alberta, volunteers Joseph & Akash from Toronto and elite athletes Nancy & Mellisa from Alberta.
They get to Hatley Castle and Olympic Gold Medalist Jon Montgomery welcomes them to the Starting Line. He asks each team what they think a “hero” is before telling them they will win 2018 Chevy Traverse Redline, a trip for two around the world and $250,000.
Jon tells teams to “Make Canada proud!” before giving them the go signal. They run to find their backpacks and open the first clue telling them to drive a brand new Chevy Cruze onto the BC Ferry to Squamish, BC.
Dylan & Kwame are the only team that misses the first ferry out so they must now wait two hours for the next one.
Once on the mainland, teams must drive to the Sky Gondola in Squamish and ride the gondola up to their next clue.
That clue reveals the first Road Block: Who wants to save a beaver?
For this Road Block, teams must save a beaver dangling above the canyon by taking a zipline to a hanging net before leaping out to grab it. If they fail to save the beaver, they must repeat the task.
Chewy and Nancy are the first two to attempt the Road Block. Chewy fails his first attempt, but Nancy is successful. She and Mellisa can now drive to Squamish Days Loggers Sports Festival. Leanne is next to save the beaver and she and Mar are 2nd.
After Zainab & Monica get lost in downtown Vancouver, Dylan & Kwame are able to catch up and share the last gondola.
Nancy & Mellisa find the next clue and the 2nd Road Block: Who’s ready to log on? The team member who did not perform the first Road Block must do this one.
For this Road Block, teams must climb up an 80 foot log to retrieve their next clue.
Mellisa and Mar get started climbing and the two teams maintain their leads. They must now drive to Darrell Bay.
Todd, Taylor and Phil are next to save the beaver. But Adam is unable to grab the beaver despite Courtney’s good luck kisses. Akash is unable to grab the beaver on his first attempt either. That allows Dylan to pass them and move up the ranks.
Chewy is able to save the beaver on his 2nd attempt. Adam, Zainab and Akash are next.
Back at the logs, Courtney and Anna are next to reach the top. Martina isn’t sure about this physical challenge, but she stays positive. Kwame is able to go beast mode up the log. Phil cheers his Noona on and she is able to reach the top as well.
Over at Darrel Bay, the next clue tells teams to paddle out into the bay and go crabbing. Teams must pull up a crab trap at one of the marked buoys and bring it back to shore. If their crab is regulation size, they will be given the next clue.
Leanne & Mar and Nancy & Mellisa get their crabs approved and can now drive to Britannia Mine Museum where they must search for Mill No. 3 and the Pit Stop for this first Leg.
Leanne & Mar step on the Mat first and win a trip for two to Tokyo, Japan. Nancy & Mellisa take 2nd.
Taylor & Courtney’s crab is too small. That allows Todd & Anna and Dylan & Kwame to pass them and finish as Teams 3 and 4. Taylor & Courtney are 5th.
Courtney is the last at the log and she is terrified of heights. But she overcomes the pressure and she and Adam hurry over to the crabs.
All of the teams are at the crabs and some of the crabs they pull up are too small. All the teams get approved within minutes and it’s a race to the Pit Stop.
Zainab & Monica, Martina & Phil and Courtney & Adam get to the Mat together and they finish as Teams 6 through 8. The three teams get out of the way as Joseph & Akash are able to just beat Chewy & Happy to the Mat.
That means Chewy & Happy are last and eliminated.
A big Amazing Race day on the 3rd of July! And one of the reasons is the return of The Amazing Race Canada.
Always great to have any Amazing Race back up and running.
Now first about the “gimmick” of the season, that is, a cast of everyday Canadian heroes. When it was first announced, I thought it was a nice idea, but the way CTV was promoting it was very vague. Like, you can nominate someone to be on the Race. Umm… okay. I even joked about a “Heroes Edition” subtitle and they actually did subtitle the season as that.
But as the cast was revealed and now after this first episode, it’s a pretty standard TAR cast. Even a standard TAR Canada cast at that, just with the extra caveat that all these people are doing some good in their communities and in the country.
I salute these heroes and believe that as heroes, they deserve a FULL Race outside of Canada. But that’s not happening, so oh well.
Anyway! Back to this Leg. It was an okay Leg with a great ending. It reminds me very much of TAR30’s opening Leg, close finish and all.
I think the best part was that teams DID NOT fly to their first destination city. In fact, they did not fly at all. I’ve always contended that if TAR Canada is going to remain in Canada for the first Leg anyway, why not just have the Starting Line and the first Leg in the same city, or at least general vicinity. There’s no need for teams to fly clear across the country and waste all that money that could be used elsewhere on the Race. (Such as an extra international Leg! *cough*cough*)
So I definitely liked that the Starting Line and first Leg were in the same province, let alone within a 200 km radius.
The first task with the bungee and the beaver grabbing was fine. It’s a good first Leg task. And the beaver grabbing is that good extra challenge that prevents what would be a simple bungee from becoming too processional, making the Leg too linear.
Having two Road Blocks is also good when the second Road Block is much more physical. That is always sure to cause some drama. Though it was pretty tame here. I think the only great moment from it was Martina’s emotional completion of the task.
The crabbing was okay. I would otherwise say it maybe should’ve been the middle task of the simple Leg. But then I guess we wouldn’t have had the five-way Race to the Mat.
The three tasks on their own were pretty standard TAR. Not the most exciting tasks. But together they did help lead to the sincerely exciting last two minutes of the episode.
Overall, an okay first Leg and episode. Very Canadian and specifically TAR Canada-like episode. But it was fine.
Maybe my one nitpick though is Why does the logo in the title card look so dark?
It’s like they turned the lights off. And the “Heroes Edition” doesn’t look very nice either. I’d expect a much grander look to the logo and brighter title card for what they are hyping as very inspirational teams.
Otherwise, the fresh scenes in the opening credits look great. Very slick.
My Subjective Team Rankings
It’s always hard to get much out of teams in the first episode. So I don’t really have much of a first impression on most of the teams.
Though I do know that I am already a fan of Martina & Phil. Other than being very excited to see some Asian siblings on a non-Asian TAR (it’s very rare), both of them came across as pretty awesome people in the episode. Martina especially. She reminds me very much of Mallory. Just happy and excited. And Phil’s obvious admiration for his noona was great to see. I’m definitely rooting for them.
Dylan & Kwame, meanwhile, gave me a very Jet & Dave-kind of vibe. I think they could be an awesome team to root for as well.
Much kudos to Leanne & Mar for winning the Leg. But it was very interesting to see Nancy & Mellisa talk about how they barely know each other. What is this? Blind Date/Strangers edition? lol But seriously, it’s a very interesting dynamic to have, especially as it’s not completely random like TAR26 and TAR29 were. Also interesting how Mellisa is friends with Jon. But anyway, they also did great this Leg.
As for everyone else, they were alright this Leg. Chewy & Happy seemed like they could be a fun team to watch as well, but it was just a very close finish.
Mellisa: “If I hustle, there’ll be slivers in my crotch!”
Monica: “I feel like I should’ve went and peed in a bush or something.”
Happy: “Hey Chewy, who’s your daddy? Who’s your daddy, baby?!”
Chewy: “You are the father!”