Leg 9 of the Amazing Race Canada was another fun one as we begin to gear up for the sad day when Season 4 of the Amazing Race Canada comes to a close in two weeks time.
The challenges haven’t exactly been the most entertaining and amazing these past few legs, certainly nothing like what we saw back in “The Little Blind Tugboat That Could” or “Shine Your Light” but it was still another dramatic episode with more than enough talking points to entertain any viewer of the show. Let’s get right into the episode.
The episode started out with what would be the most entertaining part of the leg, a description about the Chevrolet’s new Teen Driver Technology and the introduction of a contest in which the team to drive the least in their quest to get to the pit stop would win 5,000 dollars. Nice. Now let’s get right into what we actually came to see.
The first challenge of the leg was finally not one to just fill the time and was very worthwhile for a change of what we’ve seen in recent legs. Teams had to sail out to sea and try and rescue a dummy dying in the water. There were two different stations in which these dummies waited in the water and teams were given directions to which specific station they had to go to. If they went to the wrong one, they would have to do it all over again. Jillian & Emmett and Steph & Kristen were the first two teams to complete the challenge as ever but this time, Frankie and Amy were right behind for a change. By the time these three teams had left, Joel & Ashley and Rita & Yvette were just arriving. Joel and Ashley had no trouble with the challenge but Rita and Yvette went to the wrong station, brought back the wrong dummy and had to do it all over again, putting them even further behind as if they didn’t already have an uphill battle to climb. As if the start of this leg couldn’t get any worse for them, they also had to complete a speed bump, which was however incredibly easy, stamping envelopes. The speed bump must have taken all but five minutes as the twin sisters were in and out of their in a jiffy.
The three leading teams meanwhile had already begun the detour, a choice of either “Feel the Rhythm” or “Feel the Burn”. All three lead teams chose “Feel the Burn” which involved a series of strenuous Scottish strength exercises. Jillian and Emmett, Steph and Kristen and Frankie and Amy all arrived at the detour together but some were more successful than others. Emmett was a beast at the detour, carrying these insanely heavy tree stumps like a champ. It was crazy that even he, with his strength and stature was struggling with it, being the size that he is. I would have been dying carrying those things, making it all the more impressive. Frankie and Amy worked smarter but not faster, as they decided to take the stumps one at a time and do four laps rather than both at the same time and do two laps and that is where they fell behind. As Jillian and Emmett and Steph and Kristen finished the detour practically at the same time, a race to the u-turn board was on.
If Jillian and Emmett had gotten to the board first, you might think they would have u-turned the softball girls, but I disagree. It’s a lot easier to u-turn someone when they’re not right there with you breathing down your neck. Arriving at the detour right behind Steph and Kristen is what saved the exes from being u-turned. Steph and Kristen arrived first and decided to u-turn Joel and Ashley which I think was because Jillian and Emmett would have taken it a lot harder if they had to watch themselves get u-turned right in front of their eyes.
Then in an attempt to keep their weakest competition, Frankie and Amy in the race, Jillian and Emmett decided to u-turn Rita and Yvette. I’m neither annoyed nor jovial with the way both teams decided to play the u-turn board this leg. It’s clear that teams were given a Jeff Probst styled “Make Big Moves” speech before they went on the race, which is why both slots on the u-turn board have been used on both occasions that the u-turn board appeared. This is a big improvement on seasons in the past when it has seemed like Canadian kindness has gone a little too far and no teams have been willing to use the u-turn board. But having said that there was really no point in using the u-turn for either team this time. We have to give teams the benefit of the doubt as they don’t have a tagline that says “currently in 5th place” following them around everywhere they go like we have the benefit of seeing on screen, but Joel & Ashley and Rita & Yvette were far too behind for the u-turn to really make a difference. In fact, Jillian and Emmett u-turning Rita and Yvette only kept Joel and Ashley in the race which I would suggest is not a good thing for them. The decision to try and keep their weakest competition in the race was a good one, but it seriously went to waste when it meant that what they actually did was keep one of their stronger competitors in the race because if they hadn’t u-turned the sisters, Joel and Ashley probably would have been eliminated.
The U-Turn Board Is Broken
I think the u-turn board is broken. Ever since Season 23 of Amazing Race USA when Abbie and Ryan got screwed over by Jaymes and Jaymes, Trey and Lexi and Survivor superstars Natalie and Nadiya Anderson, every season since including Canadian versions of the show, has seen a similar style of u-turn take place on practically every single u-turn board, making it no longer entertaining.
Every single time a u-turn takes place now, one team u-turns their strongest competition and then another team , usually in on the plan, u-turns someone that has already past so that the intended target can’t u-turn someone else. Jillian and Emmett’s decision to u-turn Rita and Yvette so that Joel and Ashley couldn’t u-turn Frankie and Amy is only a slight variation on this style of u-turn. Producers of the Amazing Race need to find out a different way to produce the u-turn board to get the most out of the entertainment. Although the Abbie and Ryan moment is iconic and is in my opinion one of the top 10 moments in the show’s history, other teams using the strategy season after season makes it less and less entertaining every single time, so much so that I actually cringed when the preview for this leg during the last episode said that a u-turn would be in play.
But Back To The Episode
Let’s not dwell too much on the brokenness of the u-turn board for too long, let’s get back into the episode. Joel & Ashley and Rita & Yvette both decided to do “Feel the Rhythm” a task that involved Scottish High Dancing. Joel and Ashley had quite a bit of difficulty with the dancing as Rita and Yvette continued to rock another dancing challenge. But then after being u-turned Rita & Yvette and Joel & Ashley both had a terrible time at “Feel the Burn”. The father daughter duo were so bad that they actually dragged the tree stumps along the grass instead of carrying them like everyone else. This extra task put them so far behind the other teams that the finish order was already beginning to become clear despite a task still to go.
Jillian The Race Demon
It was refreshing that for the first time in a while we got three solid challenges without any fillers. The last challenge of the day was to roll six barrels up a steep hill, deliver them and then fire a cannon. By the way, the sheep roaming through the area in the background were adorable….baaah!
Steph’s finger injury from last leg continued to be a big issue for her as the barrel rolling was too much for her to handle and allowed exes Jillian and Emmett the opportunity to pull out in front. Smartly, Kristen came up with a system where she’d roll a barrel really far ahead and then they’d switch so that Kristen would take Steph’s barrell and Steph would take the barrel that had already been rolled far away. Jillian and Emmett continued to have no difficulty though as they stormed through the challenge and got to the cannons with ease and that’s where the most dramatic moment of the episode occurred. While Emmett was trying to enjoy firing the cannon, the race demon in Jillian came out and ruined his fun. Then on their way out of the final challenge, the race demon forgot her shoe at the challenge, causing a very strange final few minutes of the show.
It has to be noted that there is a rule on the Amazing Race where you have to carry all of your belongings with you at all times. So as soon as Jillian realized they left it there, they should have turned back and picked it up. But, they kept on going to the mat and by the time the commercial break rolled around I thought that the episode was headed in that direction where they would finish in first place and be forced to turn around.
I seem to remember in Season 20 of the American version of the show, one of either Art or J.J. dropping their bag (as teams normally do on their way to the pit-stop) too far away from where Phil Keoghan was standing and as a result they were forced to go back, get their pack, drop it a few feet away from the pit-stop and then check in. So when Jillian forgot her shoe, I was sure that they would be told to go back and get it and that their inevitable first place finish would be squandered. Perhaps it would have even been karmic justice for their decision to u-turn the twin sisters. By the way…what was Jillian even doing without her shoes on in the first place? That’s the real question.
Anyway, the rule about having your stuff on you at all times is always something in the back of racers minds so it was a very strange ordeal. It’s the reason why Hamilton and Michaela had to retrieve their lost passport before continuing on with the rest of the tasks in their boot episode last season and it’s the same reason why Jillian was yelling at Emmett to go and get his bag after he started running off out of the car on his way to the pit stop without it. So I was very surprised when Jon Montgomery didn’t send them back and instead sent them to Mexico City. In the end, the lost shoe meant nothing as it probably should, it’s just a shoe after all, and Jillian and Emmett finished first and won a trip to the aforementioned Mexico City. Steph and Kristen meanwhile finished just behind the pair of exes as their rivalry continues to blossom. Speaking of that rivalry, there’s something important worth discussing.
The Edit & The Rivalry Between Steph & Kristen and Jillian & Emmett
Steph and Kristen are winning this race. This is not a spoiler and it could very well be wrong, but the edit of the show is pointing in every direction to Steph and Kristen being the eventual winners. Not only are they one of the most dominant teams in Amazing Race Canada history that remind us all of hockey girls Natalie and Meaghan, they also have that coveted winner’s edit. They are always shown to us in a positive light even when it’s about something negative. For example, Joel and Ashley were shown only talking badly about Jillian and Emmett even though they were actually u-turned by Steph and Kristen. Their decision to lie to the other teams was also brushed off as a way of showing them being more awesome rather than as a way of showing them being the villains of the season. It’s stuff like this that continues to illustrate how Jillian and Emmett can’t win the race and how Steph and Kristen are probably our likely winners.
Secondly, every single preview shows the girls in trouble even though they never actually are. This is done to make us worry about their chances, become more invested in them and then be happy when they do well and when they win the race. The previews also always go to what they are doing in next leg first rather than to what any other team is doing and always has a certain degree of focus on them.
Thirdly, Frankie and Amy finally talked about winning the race this leg, so that means that now every single female-female team has now been shown talking about a female-female team winning the race, whether it be them or someone else. This means that the most likely scenario is that a female-female team will win this race and Steph and Kristen are the most likely contenders. Frankie and Amy talking about winning also means that going into the final four, Jillian and Emmett are officially the only team left to not talk about winning, which seriously discounts their chances of being the winners. I called my shot two weeks ago and I’m sticking with it without a shadow of a doubt, Steph and Kristen are winning this race.
Who Was Eliminated? – Leg 9
In the least dramatic finish to the mat ever, Rita and Yvette were eliminated. The pair of twin sisters started off the leg in last, then their speed bump sent them too far behind for them to overcome, then they got u-turned and even though they were so close to catching Joel and Ashley, their elimination seemed inevitable the entire leg.
The reason I say that this was the least dramatic finish ever was that for the first time that I’ve ever seen, we weren’t shown any of the car ride over despite the two bottom teams being neck and neck after the final challenge. Why? Because we needed that time to show the very entertaining contest of who drove the least kilometers on their way to the pit stop and is going to win $5,000. Good for Jillian and Emmett and Frankie and Amy for winning but we were robbed of a dramatic finish to the mat and the editing as a whole for every team going into the mat just felt eerie and strange. However, it did not take a way from this very entertaining leg of the race.
Who Finished Where? – Leg 9
5th Rita and Yvette – Eliminated
4th Joel and Ashley
3rd Frankie and Amy
2nd Steph and Kristen
1st Jillian and Emmett – trip to Mexico City, Mexico
After a leg full of struggle, Joel and Ashley barely avoided elimination. Frankie and Amy limped to a third place finish after barely being able to move at the barrel rolling challenge while Steph and Kristen and Jillian and Emmett battled it out for first place yet again with the exes coming out on top this time.
Predicted Finish For Next Time – Leg 10
Next time on the Amazing Race Canada, teams head to Saint John, New Brunswick and another face-off takes place. This means that the team to finish the face-off in last will be put at a massive disadvantage. Frankie and Amy have been given a strong edit in recent legs and so could be potential contenders to take the whole thing home but the more likely scenario is that their edit is the “going home soon” edit rather than the winner’s edit. Joel and Ashley have already been setup to place within the top three, while Steph and Kristen are the eventual winners so that leaves only the mother-daughter duo and Jillian & Emmett up for elimination next time. Therefore, I predict Frankie and Amy’s long run on the show will finally come to an end. Meanwhile, I predict Joel and Ashley will come out as surprise victors going into the final episode of the show.
4th Frankie and Amy – Eliminated
3rd Jillian and Emmett
2nd Steph and Kristen
1st Joel and Ashley
Will I be right again or horribly wrong? Check back next time to find out! See you next time after another episode of The Amazing Race Canada.