So tonight is the finale of the Amazing Race Canada.
While it’s been fun to watch some of the locations and a couple of the teams, the show made a lot of mistakes. Some of the decisions made by contestants are producers were just baffling.
Here are my top five problems with the show:
1) My friend Mike pointed this one out. Almost every single couple has some sort of cause. There’s the gay cowboys. The guy who had his legs blown off. The dad with Parkinson’s. And so on. Usually, the Amazing Race has one or two of them in a season. This year, almost every team had a cause. It kind of takes away from one of them whenever everyone has one.
2) Every team is athletic. Right from the start, you could tell this wasn’t going to resemble the average Canadian. Contestants have run track, have been in the Army, done Body Break for 25 years, been cheerleaders, etc. Where was the guy who doesn’t play sports? The geek couple who spend too much time on the computer? The couple who weigh 250 pounds each?
What makes the Amazing Race great is the cross-section of life it represents. The Amazing Race Canada only represents the fit.
3) Where the contestants are from. Five of the nine teams are from Ontario. And then one from each of Quebec, Manitoba, British Columbia and Alberta. No one from the North. No one from the Atlantic provinces.
My theory? Because people from those areas would have an advantage when it came to their province, so they weren’t included. Most Newfies have been to St. John’s, or know the language. That would have been easier for them. Same with Nova Scotians and Halifax.
This is where the original Amazing Race is better. Because they fly all over the world, there’s no local connection. (By the way, that’s another problem with this show: see my post on that here).
4) The contestants are stupid. If any one in the U.S. is watching this show, they must think Canadians are in-shape stupid people. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a season of the Amazing Race where people are just stupid the whole way through. Some examples:
— In Quebec City, in a race to not finish last between two teams left at a roadblock, Tim Jr. was stupid enough to tell Vanessa what the translation for cherries was in French when she didn’t know it. She would still be there making those crepes if it wasn’t for that.
— The doctor couple and Hal and Joanne told everyone that they took the two-hour penalty in Saskatchewan. That meant the two teams were gunning for each other, and Tim and Tim were gunning for Hal and Joanne. If either of the teams don’t say they took the penalty, people wouldn’t have been gunning for them. All those two teams did was put a target on their backs, and Hal and Joanne got eliminated for it.
— Kristen and Darren didn’t use a Fast Forward when they had one, and got eliminated.
5) There seem to be several parts of the show that is just off a little.
This one is harder to explain, but I’ll give three examples.
— In Halifax, as each team arrived at the mat, Jon told them the race was still ongoing, and gave them their next clue. Then, they all boarded the same boat and went to Newfoundland, where they all started on an even keel. What’s the point of having Jon there at all? The team that arrived first received no extra time than the team that arrived last. That doesn’t seem right.
— The football pass to Holly in Saskatchewan. You will never be able to convince me that was a fair pass like everyone else was getting. Everyone was getting these high lobs that they had to keep running for. Holly ran a few yards, turned around, and the softest throw ever was given to her.
At the 25:50 mark, you can see the pass thrown to Dave. Or at 31:46, the one thrown to Tim. Compare that to the 39 minute mark, when it’s thrown to Holly. The editing is horrendous. There’s no way that was the type of throw that was given to others. She barely made it 10 yards down the field.
— The episode in Newfoundland where the Amazing Race producers decided who was doing the Roadblock. I have never seen that before.
— Having to fly Air Canada only. One of the things that makes the Amazing Race fun is seeing the contestants trying competing airlines to figure out a quicker way to their destination. That didn’t happen here.
Here’s the thing. I’ve enjoyed the Canadian Amazing Race because of Jet and Dave. And the producers are lucky for them. There’s no way the show would be as popular if they were gone early. Imagine watching the last few weeks with the same teams, but the doctors in place of Jet and Dave.
There’s just too many things that bother me about the show. Maybe if they bring it back for a second season, they can make it better.