Recap: The Amazing Race Canada 8, Episode 11 – “Where Is Gurmail?”
The Final Four teams fly to Vancouver for the Final Leg of the Race. Upon arrival in Vancouver, teams will find their first clue at Cardero Park by the seawall.
Catherine & Craig arrive first and open the clue revealing the Road Block: Who should just drop it? For this Road Block, teams will put on a wetsuit and hop into a Dauphin AS365 helicopter. Teams will be flown, two at a time, over Stanley Park towards Caulfeild Cove where they will jump 20 feet into the ocean below. They will swim over to a buoy to retrieve their next clue.
Catherine, Jesse, Nella and Connor choose to do the Road Block. But Jesse & Marika decide to run to the heliport. Catherine & Craig take a taxi, but get dropped off too far. That allows Nella and Connor to get on the first helicopter.
Nella drops first, followed closely by Connor. Catherine and Jesse have to catch up on the second helicopter.
After the Road Block, teams open the next clue which reveals another Road Block: Who should just roll with it? For this 2nd Road Block, the other team member will roller skate through an obstacle course within 75 seconds at Wallace Shipyards.
Brendan pulls from his figure skating experience to finish the task quickly. He and Connor can head to the Old Auditorium at the University of British Columbia. The UBC Opera Ensemble will teach them the melody and Italian lyrics to a song from La traviata. When they can properly perform it, they’ll get the next clue.
Franca & Nella finish the Road Block next, but they have to call their taxi driver to come pick them back up. Catherine & Craig leave the skating before Jesse & Marika even arrive.
At the auditorium, Brendan & Connor go for their first attempt before any of the other teams arrive. But they get the thumbs down. The other three teams arrive and get started. Broadway besties Catherine & Craig are on their 2nd attempt and pass. Franca & Nella pass on their 3rd attempt. Brendan & Connor take six attempts while Jesse & Marika pass on their 4th attempt.
After the opera, teams must head to the Richmond Night Market where they will look for the City of Life sign and take the orders of one table of waiting foodies. Teams must search the largest night market in North America for the ten vendors from which they can purchase the Asian-inspired foods. Once they serve the orders, Caden and Riley will hand them the next clue.
The sun has set and all the teams are at the night market. Franca & Nella make their last delivery and can now head to the Vancouver Public Library. Catherine & Craig finish right after them and they are able to move back into first as their taxi had parked outside of the market. Franca & Nella are stuck in traffic trying to get out.
At the library, teams must figure out 27 riddles relating to tasks they completed on the nine Legs they collectively Raced on. When they can place the riddles under the correct location, in the order they encountered them, they will get the next clue.
Franca & Nella ask for a check, but get the thumbs down with only one incorrect. Catherine & Craig also get one wrong. Brendan & Connor and Jesse & Marika arrive and all four teams are at the library.
Catherine & Craig switch one riddle and get the final clue. They can now make their way on foot to BC Place, the Finish Line. Jesse & Marika and Franca & Nella seem to figure out their mistake quickly after.
It’s now a foot race to the Finish Line. But Catherine & Craig secure their Race win, their two Chevys, a Guru-sponsored trip around the world and $250,000.
Jesse & Marika are Team #2. Franca & Nella are 3rd and Brendan & Connor are 4th.
That was kind of a weird Leg. It definitely did not feel like a Finale-worthy Leg. But I guess it was a fitting end to a weird season.
Before we talk about the season as a whole though, let’s go through this Leg.
All the tasks were pretty straightforward. With the exception of the riddle task, everything else probably would make for a good regular Leg.
The two at a time helicopter task was okay. And it was well-placed at the start of the Leg instead of somewhere in the middle where bunching would’ve happened and would’ve been a big no-no on the Final Leg.
The roller skating was just a random thing. If they could’ve incorporated a memory aspect to it, then it would’ve been cool. But instead, it just doesn’t fit on a finale.
With the opera task, I tend to not favor performance/judged-type tasks on a Final Leg. Other than it having a first come, first served aspect, it can also have too much of a subjective aspect to it that it feels weird.
When the spoiler sightings first came out, it was interesting that the show would decide to stage a task at a crowded night market. Not because of COVID concerns. Which, with it being the Final Leg, wouldn’t matter anyway. Lol But because usually you want less people to spot you running the Final Leg, yeah? It didn’t spoil the ending, but it was just interesting back during filming.
The task itself was okay. A typical “take orders” task. But lol at the night market being the only time TARC can pull out the “Asian” music to play since TARC will likely never travel back to Asia. Sad, but funny.
Finally, the riddles seemed pretty easy. I’m sure they could’ve just edited all their mistakes out. But that stamp riddle seemed like one they intentionally made vague so as to trip up teams into thinking it referred to the murder mystery task.
Overall, it was an okay Leg. Maybe not finale-worthy. But as a Leg on its own, it’s actually above-average for TAR Canada.
Because I don’t rewatch TAR Canada seasons after they end like I do with early TARUS seasons, it gets harder and harder for me to remember the other TARC seasons enough to rank them anymore. So right off the bat, this season isn’t the worst, but definitely not the best either.
I guess the biggest thing about the season to talk about is its COVID response. Like I’ve mentioned in episode recaps for TARAu, I’m not a fan of holding teams in quarantine while the COVID-negative teams continue Racing. And then having the COVID teams just randomly return. It throws the format out of sync.
And it actually did since it doesn’t look like the show planned Double Eliminations or Final Four Final Legs, to be honest.
I know it’s an impossible situation for any TAR that decides to pursue production while COVID still infects people worldwide. But moving forward, TARs will need to figure out a better way to deal with teams catching COVID. Whether that means eliminating them outright, pausing the Race (which would completely disrupt the show’s schedule and logistics) or just letting them Race while COVID-positive and asymptomatic. We have vaccines and medicines, so it’s up to the people who actually get paid to figure that out in the future.
Anyway, I like how the season recap at the start of this finale made it seem more exciting than it was. There really wasn’t a standout Leg for me this season. Most of the tasks were the typical small-town tasks that TARC has had to rely on as they stay in Canada for their Legs.
The Pass twist was nonsense. The One Way was a much better TARC-original twist. The Pass makes zero sense. Especially in a situation where the last place team gets Passed. Who are they supposed to wait for? When can they move on in the Race if there’s no one else to wait for?
But how about this scenario. What if another team arrives immediately after a Passed team arrives at the board. Then they would’ve been delayed a whole 10 seconds or something. WTF! lol If they want to delay teams without the U-Turn, just use the Yield! My goodness. What a dud of a twist.
As for the teams, they were all alright. There wasn’t any egregiously horrible team. And I didn’t really have a favorite team. I mean, I wish I was more enthusiastic in rooting for the Filipino team. But there were definitely times Franca & Nella left me with a Meh feeling. Catherine & Craig, though Craig mostly, were definitely annoying sometimes. But it was a solid win and Catherine’s story was very nice and inspiring.
I think I was rooting for Beverley & Veronica the most just because they were made to be the underdogs thanks to the alliance.
Brendan & Connor were probably the most lowkey alpha male teams ever. They started out very strong, but honestly never felt like they were unstoppable, especially in the last Legs. Jesse & Marika were interesting because they didn’t really settle into being dynamic characters until later in the Race.
The rest of the teams Court & Ali, Cedric & Tychon, the energetic Cassie & Jahmeek, Dennis & Durrell and Jully & Kathy were all good in their own ways. And spending so many Legs with them, more than usual, helped to make them more a part of the show than they otherwise would’ve been being early boots.
But the season’s odd COVID quirks and the usual tired feeling of TARC will be the biggest takeaways. A middling season.