The Amazing Race Canada 4 Episode 5 Recap: The Little Blind Tugboat That Could

Another amazing episode of The Amazing Race Canada 4 is in the books and it’s just one more episode that proves how much better the Canadian version of this show is than the American. Let’s get right into the episode! But first a quick note about the cast.

This cast is amazing! All the teams are so likable, so funny and so entertaining to watch. While the American version of the show likes to cast polarizing teams that are terrible to watch in hopes that they’ll make “good tv”, the Canadian version of the show casts teams that are not only entertaining to watch, but likable and at the same celebrate our wonderful Canadian diversity. With the cast being as great as it is, this was another delightful episode to watch. Now let’s get right in to the episode with our first roadblock.

The first roadblock of leg five was a very unique task in the beautiful natural setting of Haida Gwaii, British Columbia. The teams first had to listen to a set of stories about the various totem poles in Haida Gwaii, and then they had to identify which artists created which totem pole. Kristen whizzed through this challenge and was the first to finish, followed by Ashley and then Kate. Amy seemed to be on the ball at this challenge as well. She knew the names of almost all of the artists before several of the other contestants, but constantly mixed up the name of one of the artists, calling him Ron instead of Jim. Jillian was equally confused as she was the first to attempt the challenge, incorrectly said “Ron Hart” instead of Jim Hart as well and then didn’t try to answer the challenge again until four teams had already left. After arriving at the challenge first, this certainly was not a good start to the leg for Jillian and Emmett, as by the time they arrived at the puzzle challenge in the forest, Steph and Kristen had already completed one of the two puzzles. But at this time in the roadblock now that four teams had left, Jillian, Julie and Rita, who had all been working together, made sure to wait for each other and all get the clue together. It’s nice to see the last three teams at a challenge working together to accomplish the task. So many times you’ll see two of the teams were together and working effortlessly hard to leave the other team behind, so this was a very nice change to see from what is so common on Amazing Race USA. Despite Jillian and Emmett getting the clue last, they sped their car ahead of the other teams in classic Jillian and Emmett style.

The Perfect Partnership  

Jillian and Emmett had another excellent leg and it was in large part thanks to their tunnel vision on focusing solely on the race and nothing else. Jillian and Emmett are a perfect partnership for the race. Jillian is so high-strung and at the same time so euphoric, while Emmett is so relaxed and so race-focused as well that they form the perfect partnership. The former Big Brother Canada players did everything they could to get ahead of the pack at every single turn and after flying through the puzzle challenge and finishing it faster than any other team, they were quickly able to catch back up to their rivals in the race, Steph and Kristen. But after Jillian dropped her clue, it could have all gone wrong if Emmett hadn’t been so clever. While Jillian searched for the clue, Emmett smartly stalled Joel and Ashley telling them they could find the place together, only to drive ahead of them the second they were given the opportunity. This allowed the exes to take a water taxi first, sending them twenty minutes ahead of the father-daughter duo. In the entire leg they only stopped for a second to help Julie and Lowell, which could become worth it in the long run if they ever need help with another task, particularly another Jillian memorization roadblock. All and all, despite Jillian’s struggles at the first challenge, the pair of exes powered through the rest of the challenges to comfortably finish in second place, illustrating once again why they form the perfect partnership.

Although Jillian and Emmett had another excellent leg, there was one team that stood out above the rest and had an even better day on the race.

A Dominant First Place Finish

As I predicted at the end of last week’s episode, Steph and Kristen walked to a first place finish this time around with a fantastic leg of the race. The dating couple were second to leave the ferry and second to arrive at the first roadblock, but after Kristen finished the challenge with ease on her first attempt, they were able to take the lead and stay there for the rest of the leg. Everything went their way during the leg. They first finished the puzzle in first place, allowing them to take a twenty minute lead by getting on the first water taxi alone. Steph then had no problem at the water-logging challenge allowing the team to finish the leg with ease. It was a great day for the dating couple and although not the most dominant of the season, it was an incredibly commanding performance from the two of them as they are now beginning to look more and more like the favourites to win this race.

Another Frankie and Amy Surprise  

Frankie and Amy continue to surprise in the race. After another third place finish, they are now the team with the third highest average finish across the first five legs of the race, behind only the two teams discussed above. I don’t think anyone would have expected them to be this good at the race. I myself foolishly had them pegged as the team likeliest to go out first! The mother-daughter duo continue to race their own race, never relying on other teams. They haven’t had a difficult time with any challenge so far in the race, which is something that can’t be said about possibly any other team. Frankie was so spectacular at the second roadblock, getting all three of the logs she needed to get at the same time rather than one at a time, that they were able to climb up the pack and finish in third place! If they can keep it up, they’ll be a shoe-in for at least the final four.

A Puzzling Puzzle for Kelly and Kate 

Despite arriving at the second task, a puzzle in a beautiful natural forest in Haida Gwaii, in third place, Kelly and Kate were the last to leave, putting them behind in a position that they were never able to recover from. It wasn’t as if it was a particularly difficult puzzle challenge, but judging by the fact that the water taxis for the next challenge were twenty minutes apart, Kelly and Kate were over an hour and twenty minutes behind the lead team, which was a catastrophic distance to overcome. Despite Kelly’s fantastic performance at the water logging challenge the task was just far too much for the best friends to overcome and hence they were eliminated.

Everyone’s Favourite Tea

Julie and Lowell are such a lovable team. Out of all the teams to love on this cast, this is the team that the majority of the fan base are going to love the most. Despite being at the bottom of the pack throughout the leg, the married couple kept an incredibly positive attitude and continued to make jokes. Julie even called Lowell “the little blind tugboat that could” at the water logging challenge, giving us our title quote for the episode. They were also constantly willing to help other teams and didn’t ever pay the price of having it come back to bite them. The pair may not be around for much longer, but they have been a joy to watch on the race so far this summer.

Who Finished Where? – Leg 5

After a horrible time at the puzzle challenge, Kelly and Kate fell all the way down to last place and from that point on couldn’t ever recover. Steph and Kristen meanwhile had an amazing leg to earn them their first ever first place finish and a trip to New York, USA, while Julie and Lowell barely escaped elimination for the third time in this race.

7th Kelly and Kate – Eliminated 
6th Julie and Lowell
5th Rita and Yvette
4th Joel and Ashley
3rd Frankie and Amy
2nd Jillian and Emmett
1st Steph and Kristen – 1st place (trip to New York, USA)

Next Time on the Amazing Race……

Next time on the Amazing Race, the teams head to the busy streets of Hamilton Ontario. Here are my predictions for leg six!

6th Rita and Yvette – Non-Elimination Leg
5th Julie and Lowell
4th Frankie and Amy
3rd Joel and Ashley
2nd Jillian and Emmett
1st Steph and Kristen

Judging by the fact that Rita and Yvette were shown at the end of the episode talking about how they’ll be in it for the long haul on the race, I think that the exact opposite is going to be true and that this may be their last day on the race. However, a non-elimination leg hasn’t occurred in a while and so this could be the perfect time for one to be introduced again. Elsewhere, Julie and Lowell will barely survive elimination again, Frankie & Amy and Joel & Ashley will swap places and Steph & Kristen will finish narrowly ahead of their rivals Jillian & Emmett again after picking up momentum from leg 5. Will these predictions be anywhere near as accurate as they were last week? Tune in next week after leg six comes to an end! We’ll see you then.


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