Recap: The Amazing Race Canada 7, Episode 11 and Season Wrap-up – “I Had One Job”
Teams must fly back to Toronto and head to the Executive Terminal to sign-up for one of three floatplanes to Muskoka and to grab one last CLIF bar for the season.
Upon arrival at Toronto-Pearson, Sarah & Sam and Anthony & James hop into airport limos and go. But Lauren & Joanne are panicking as they have lost their clue. Anthony & James are able to reach the sign-up board first followed by Sarah & Sam.
Lauren & Joanne go back to the main terminal to try and figure out anything. They finally get the location from the information booth and hurry over to the Executive Terminal.
Upon arrival in Muskoka, teams will play a life-size cottage trivia game about the Race. Teams will role dice to determine where they will begin on the board then answer questions about each Leg of the Race. When they have correctly answered a question for each Leg, they will get the next clue.
All three teams get caught up at the psuedo-Face Off and Jon hosts.
Anthony & James collect all the Leg pieces first and can now make their way to Clevelands House to encounter the Road Block: Who’s got this one in the bag?
For this Road Block, teams must master a hydro Flyboard and hit a target with a beanbag while hovering at least 15 feet in the air.
James, Sam and Joanne perform this Road Block.
James hits the target first and he and Anthony can now make their way to Rosseau Lake College by speedboat.
Here, teams will build a giant Muskoka Chair.
Anthony & James maintain their lead and open the next clue revealing another Road Block: Who’s ready for a holiday?
For this Road Block, teams will head to Santa’s Village in Bracebridge where they must look for one of three elves who will give them a Race candy cane. They will then deliver it to Santa to exchange for their next clue.
Anthony finds the candy cane as does Sarah right after. Teams must now make their way to Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery. Here, they will assemble a part of the irrigation system for a cranberry field.
All three teams catch up to the cranberries. We are led to believe Anthony & James and Sarah & Sam get approved at the same time.
They can now head to the Finish Line at Camp Mini-Yo-We.
Again maintaining their lead from the rest of the Leg (ignoring the faux editing at the farm), Anthony & James cross the Finish Line first and claim the win. Sarah & Sam are Team #2 and Lauren & Joanne are Team #3.
So it was an interesting finale. Not too surprising though. It was pretty much as expected for TAR Canada. Another beautiful Canadian destination. Kinda meh things to do in that beautiful destination that would make good TV.
I think partly why the finale was a little blah was that it was a very linear, processional Leg.
The memory board game was a nice task, but it did give that sense of bringing the Race to a screeching halt. Especially since they already had the three seaplanes to stagger the teams. The result only reinforced the idea that the Leg was decided at the quiz and everything else after didn’t really matter.
Teams had to go one by one and the questions didn’t seem particularly difficult. So the order they arrived in was easily the order they left in. (It was nice to have Jon appear, but it felt too much like a Face Off or worse, a Head-to-Head.)
Same thing with the hydroflying. Each team had a lead big enough to the next one to get the hang of it and then simply toss the beanbag in.
The TAR27 Muskoka Chair task was okay. But I much prefer TAR27’s version of it since it had a small memory component. I think TARC could’ve done the same, but made it more difficult. Maybe matching the pieces for a number of/10? regular sized chairs depending on things from each Leg of the Race.
Like each chair has five planks on the back of the seat and on each is a picture corresponding to something from that Leg. So if wrong, teams would have remove and switch planks or something like that.
I would’ve preferred that than the game board task though.
(AHA! *runstojotdownideaforTARPHDMEFinalLeg* lol)
The second “Road Block” could’ve easily just been a regular task with both team members running around. There would’ve been no difference.
The irrigation system, the 2nd assembly task of the Leg (!), was also okay. But definitely felt more like a task for a regular Leg. Not the Final Leg.
Overall, a typical, if not underwhelming Final Leg and episode.
Now, this season will forever be known (to me at least) as the one with all the quitters. (Just like season 2 will be remembered as the horribly bitter season or season 3 will be remembered for the literal trash Penultimate Leg and #taxigate.)
I can’t help it. I’ll keep annoyingly harping on it and beating the point to death. But it’s a big deal to me to have teams actually competing fully in the Race and not quit or give up when they actually aren’t facing tasks that are impossible.
I again point to this excellent moment from The Amazing Race Philippines 2 where Derek Ramsay calls out RR & Jeck to their face about not taking the Race seriously:
A different situation since RR & Jeck were just too carefree and skated by whereas here on TARC7, teams really just quit because it was a more viable action to take than to actually complete the tasks.
That’s partly on the teams, partly on the show as well. We can only hope the show penalizes the teams with a stiffer penalty time in the future so as to discourage quitting.
The Amazing Race is a competition after all. You can’t tolerate quitting or shortcuts in sports and other competitions. Once you quit, you’re done. It’s not supposed to be advantageous to quit. And honestly, this was just as egregious as TAR7’s infamous Rob Mariano-led boycott… I mean, quitting spree. But then again, that Road Block had meat and vomit. The two tasks teams quit at here were mapping and digging for clams. Both tasks that other teams actually completed.
And I have to point out, from that same mess of a Leg 5, Anthony & James and Aarthy & Thinesh getting around the actual task at the Road Block and possibly even breaking the “Non-participating team member can’t help teammate performing Road Block” rule. They certainly did not complete the Road Block as described. (They didn’t even use the sponsored Huawei phone.) That’s again partly on the show as well for not making clues straight to the point and enforcing those clues.
Anyway, if I were to rank this season compared to the others (which I haven’t really done for TARC like I do with TARUS), I’d say it was a middling season. Not near the worst. But I doubt it will be very memorable in a year or two.
The best Legs and episodes of the season had to be Legs 2, 4, 7 and 8. Those were the Legs with great competition and solid, sometimes excellent tasks. And also drama.
But we must admit, without Dave & Irina’s antics or Aarthy’s rare freakouts and Trish & Amy being unafraid to call people out, this would’ve been another bland season.
The One Way was fine, but strange to have only appeared once. There’s definitely pros and cons to the One Way. It can be more dramatic than the U-Turn. But it still all depends on how balanced the Detour actually is. A really unbalanced Detour could essentially eliminate a One Wayed team just like a U-Turn at the end of a Leg.
International Legs are great. But not a necessity. You can stage an entire Race in one country, no problem. It’s still up to the show to design good Legs with interesting tasks. Unfortunately, TAR Canada has been unable to do that. They’ve visited wonderful places all over Canada. But you can only do so much in the same big city or small town season after season.
One advantage for international Legs is when the tasks or teams end up lacking, the exotic destinations, culture and people make up for it to still make each episode enjoyable and interesting to watch.
Obviously, the budget must have played a big role in the lack of international Legs. (In spite of trying to pass it off as wanting to explore Canada more.) The ratings were up this year though. Either that could mean more money for the budget next year. Or more of the same as we saw this year. We’ll see.
My Subjective Season Team Rankings
I have to put Sarah & Sam up top. They ran the best, most consistent Race AND without all the horrible decisions and shortcuts other teams made during the season. I was definitely rooting for them to win it all. They deserved it. They were a fun team to watch. But their best moment had to be in Leg 4. While Dave & Irina quit that mapping task, they admitted they had no idea where to start with the task. So they looked for help (twice!) and were able to complete the task on their own. And they would continue to do so moving forward. If any team represented the “Never give up” attitude this year, it was Sarah & Sam only.
Aarthy & Thinesh were a strong team that didn’t feel like Racebots. They were fun and funny. Aarthy definitely delivered the melodrama which can always be fun to watch. But they are a great couple team who Raced well and was enjoyable without being bland or annoying.
No question. Not up for debate. Dave & Irina were the stars of this season. I really think this season would’ve collapsed without them on the show. I absolutely hate that they felt the need to quit twice since they Raced excellently otherwise. They sped through tasks. Dave took care of the physical. Irina stepped up for the mental. And when they argued or riled other teams up or completely relished in their villainous personas, they were hilarious and fun. And very refreshing for TAR Canada. They punched their ticket to TAR Canada: All-Stars which likely will never happen.
I’m not sure about putting Jet & Dave this high. But they’re essentially tied with the rest of the teams below on this “list.” I absolutely loved that they were the team voted back in since they are also certified TAR Canada All-Stars. But they really did end up being a huge flop. A horrible only Leg for them and maybe even hurt their hypothetical All-Stars chances. It was sad to watch, honestly.
Trish & Amy were a strong team that definitely persevered (most of the time) and were great to watch. It didn’t reflect in their placements, but their fighting spirit (most of the time) and competitiveness is definitely the type of team we want to see more of on the Race.
Anthony & James were also a strong team. Not the most consistent because there a few times in the Race when they had really horrible Legs and it’s a wonder how they survived. But when they Raced well, they showed they were contenders. An okay win by me. But I wasn’t the most excited by them during the Race.
It feels like so long ago, but I really can’t even remember much about Gilles & Sean and Nicki & Aisha. Did they even get screentime at the Finish Line?
And the only way I can tell the two sister teams apart is that Lauren & Joanne somehow made the finale and Meaghan & Marie were the team that probably could’ve survived if Anthony & James and Aarthy & Thinesh had actually done the Road Block in Leg 5 instead of walked in and out using a shortcut.
Joanne: “You dropped a piece of paper. It’s not the end of the world, okay?”
Lauren: “Don’t give up. No matter where you are, no matter where you’re gonna finish. You dig a little bit deeper each time and somehow, miraculously, you always find that you have a little bit more to give.”
Joanne: “Finish what you start and finish it proudly.”