Recap: The Amazing Race Canada 8, Episode 6 – “I’m a frequent flyer at Marshalls.”

Recap: The Amazing Race Canada 8, Episode 6 – Racing For Our Lives

To begin the 6th Leg of the Race, the final six teams will fly to Toronto. Upon arrival in the city, teams will take public transit to the Marshalls store on Yonge & Gerrard Street.

At this Marshalls, teams must choose a photo of an outfit and memorize it before then shopping the store to find all the items to put it together. If their purchase totals less than $200, they will get the next clue.

After all teams finish their shopping, teams will take a train to London, Ontario next morning. Upon arrival in London, they will drive to East Park Golf Gardens.

Teams gather and are shocked to find Jon welcoming them and then immediately welcoming back the three COVID-sidelined teams. Beverley & Veronica are “over it.”

Jon says since the teams were never technically eliminated, this is to chance to get back on the freeway… err, Race. Only two teams will officially rejoin the Race by using a riddle to search the grounds of the park for one of two On Ramp Passes.

The riddle tells teams to look someplace that would “give [them] luck,” so Court & Ali find the On Ramp Pass in a wishing well first. They quickly tell their alliance-mates Catherine & Craig. That means Dennis & Durrell have lost their chance and are officially eliminated.

The Leg resumes and teams open the second first clue revealing the Detour: Aviate or Animate. In Aviate, teams must head to Fanshawe College Norton Wolf School of Aviation and Aerospace Technology and install and assemble a propeller on a Cessna. In Animate, teams must head to Fanshawe’s School of Digital and Performing Arts. One Racer will put on a motion caption suit while the other will direct them through an animated action scene featuring Jon.

Cedric & Tychon and Beverley & Veronica choose Aviate. The friends ask mechanic Cedric for some help. Though he is annoyed, they can’t shake them off. But they know the girls will have to figure it out themselves in the end anyway. The brothers Brendan & Connor arrive next, but are able to leave first followed by the father and son and then the Beverley & Veronica.

All the other teams choose Animate. Franca & Nella are able to get the thumbs up on their scene first to move into 4th.

The next clue reveals the Road Block: Who wants a new best friend? For this Road Block, teams will choose a dog and navigate their new friend through an obstacle course within 45 seconds.

Franca is able to catch up to Brendan at the Road Block. Both finish just as Tychon gets started with the task. He and Veronica are then able to finish even before the other teams arrive.

Back at the Detour, Jesse & Marika decide to use the Express Pass since the animation was taking far too long, especially with other teams still waiting to go.

After the Detour, teams must make their way to Western University and find the Western Interdisciplinary Research Building. Teams will put on a mediation device and use the Muse app. If they are calm enough to get 30 bird chirps instead of claps of thunder, they can find the Pit Stop at the university’s stadium.

Franca & Nella are able to find their zen first and head to the Mat to officially check-in as Team #1. They win a trip to Honolulu and a $1500 gift card to Marshalls. Brendan & Connor, Cedric & Tychon and Beverley & Veronica finish as Teams 2 through 4.

Back at the Road Block, Marika is able to finish next followed by Craig and Jahmeek. Court finishes the task last.

Cassie & Jahmeek are able to calm themselves quicker than the others and check-in at the Mat as Team #5. Jesse & Marika and Catherine & Craig are seconds behind to finish in 6th and 7th.

Craig says he feels bad about Court & Ali. He tells Jon about a conversation he had with the other two COVID teams this morning. Craig says that after the other teams heard about what Catherine is going through, they wanted to make sure that she and Craig would be the ones to continue Racing. Especially if came down to a decision sort of deal.

Jon tells them to cheer up because he has the next clue for them as they must continue Racing. No eliminations here because there will be a Double Elimination at the end of the next Leg.

Episode Thoughts

What in The Amazing Race Australia Network 10 Edition is this?

Just kidding. So this is an episode of conflicting emotions all over the place! Lol

Of course the biggest thing about this episode is the return of the teams who had apparently tested positive for COVID. It’s kind of funny how the show tried to play it off as it having been a couple of weeks when really, they were only gone for a couple of days. A week at most.

So in an ideal world, we obviously wouldn’t need to think about bringing teams back or yanking teams off the Race because of COVID. But we’re here and if TARs want to push through with new seasons, they’re going to have to deal with potentially getting infected with COVID. It’s the “new normal” and everyone’s best defense is of course a vaccine.

Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s okay for fully vaccinated and boosted COVID-positive, asymptomatic Racers to just continue running around cities and suburbs like everything’s okay. At the same time, in our everyday lives, it would be naïve to think everyone you might run into outside of your home is COVID negative. You just don’t know anymore. And the tough reality is that people are much freer these days and go about their business as normal as possible.

So for any TAR in the COVID Era, they’re going to have to figure out how to deal with positive tests. Yank teams out of the Race and then bring them back when negative or recovered? Keep positive teams on the Race? Design Legs and the route to keep them in a bubble and limit outside interactions as much as possible?

I have no idea. But what I do know is what TARAu5 and now TARC8 are doing is not the most ideal. It brings about the feeling that the show doesn’t know what its doing. Or that they are just coming up with things on the fly. It takes away from the Racing and competition aspect when being eliminated doesn’t actually mean being eliminated.

For TAR33, they had the returning eliminated teams perform a Speed Bump which went unaired. I think at the most basic level, having returning teams perform a Speed Bump or extra task is very good.

Having to run around to find a Pass? Not so much. Even worse would be TARAu5 penalizing surviving teams and not even giving returning or invader teams any sort of handicap.

TAR China 2’s then-unprecedented Intruders twist seems to be the most sensible way to introduce such returning/new teams now. For that season, the Intruder teams had to finish the Leg in 1st or 2nd in order to officially enter the Race. If not, then they would be eliminated as if they had finished last. Compared to what we’ve gotten since, I definitely prefer this.

Here on TARC8 though, I think the better mechanics would have been to allow the three returning teams Race the Leg with the others. Do a probation kind of thing. The lowest placing team of the three would be eliminated. The top two placing returning teams would be able to drive onto the On Ramp.

Still, it definitely feels odd that we’re in Leg 6 and have technically only one team eliminated so far. Two, counting Dennis & Durrell.

It would be hard to continue this revolving door sort of format into the future. It’s certainly not the fairest. Of course, catching COVID isn’t something a team does on purpose. But if TARs want to continue running around the world at this time, that’s just something they will need to figure out.

At the same time, I guess the same can be said for anyone who might be critical of the format or mechanics. If you want to watch a fresh TAR in the COVID Era, you’ll just have to accept any and all of these tweaks and twists. You won’t get “normal” Amazing Race anytime soon. So everyone will just have to deal with it. Though I guess that’s exactly what we’ve all had to do these last three years.

There’s really no easy and universal answer. But again, one thing is for sure. TAR in the COVID Era is still very much a work in progress.

ANYWAY! Let’s get to the Leg itself.

My next conflicted feelings came with what has to be the funniest product placement sponsor task evah. lol I don’t know whether to laugh or be impressed. Again, I’m fine with product placement because these generous sponsors help to make the show possible. But shopping at Marshalls? It really does scream “local” TAR. I dunno.

The task was inconsequential to the actual Race since teams were intentionally bunched up for the On Ramp Starting Line anyway. But it was just funny to see.

The On Ramp “task,” if you can call it that, was lame. And like I already mentioned, a full-on Speed Bump at least would’ve been better. If not having teams actually Race the entire Leg.

The Detour was actually pretty good. The propeller task was probably the better choice since it wasn’t first come, first served. Getting in line seemed to be as much of a challenge as mastering how to direct your teammate.

The Road Block was fine as well. A quick, straightforward task. And definitely one that’s been done on TAR in many different versions over the years.

The second sponsor task of the Leg was also quite funny. If this were an elimination Leg, that task would be absolutely absurd before the Mat. But since that task and, I guess, this entire Leg doesn’t matter going into the next one, it was okay.

I also have to wonder about the editing this episode. After the restart, the episode felt kinda off. It was a weird mix of rushing through tasks and not getting a good picture of where teams were with respect to each other. It was a bit sloppy in that sense, so it felt awkward having to see almost two different groups Racing so separately from each other.

Overall, this was very much a weird episode and Leg. Definitely not short on things to talk about. But also not short on things to sideeye and wonder about either.

My Subjective Team Rankings

I haven’t really “ranked” the teams this season like I would normally do for my TAR ramblings. Other than Cedric & Tychon’s unfortunate decision last week, I haven’t really had any strong feelings for the teams.

After this week though, I can’t help but like Beverley & Veronica a little more than I originally did. It was refreshing to see them a bit annoyed by the returning teams. I can’t deny that I had a similar reaction after seeing the preview last week lol But also knowing how much TARC loves to stress the fact that Canadian teams are so nice, it is great to see a team that maybe isn’t as “nice” as the show seems to prefer to have.

At the same time, I’m certainly not a fan of Beverley & Veronica seemingly have to pester other teams for help. But you might also be able to chalk it up to the show wanting them to be the villains of the season. I don’t think they are, but their less-“nice” personalities make them the de facto antagonists. So I kind of like that and want to root for them to continue stirring things up.

What I’m certainly not a fan of is the bubbling alliance talk. The alliance moves at the On Ramp were already kind of meh. So the potential of more overly collaborative Racing is not too appealing for me. I just hope teams are able to control themselves. Otherwise, *cringe*.

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