Amazing Race Canada recap: ‘It’s just gut-wrenching’

With the race down to three, go ahead and place your bets



The story of the Amazing Race Canada is this: another leg, another worthy team eliminated. Last night, that leg was Newfoundland, and that team was Jet and Dave.

“My worst nightmare is a Roadblock that I fail at that costs us everything,” Dave revealed earlier, in what is known as foreshadowing.

After taking a bus from Halifax to Sydney (the show’s budget appears to be dwindling), followed by an overnight ferry to Port aux Basques, Newfoundland, it was ultimately a challenge to raise $50 busking in the streets of St. John’s that felled the best friends.

“I need money! Please donate,” Dave called out to the strangers passing him by. “Will you donate to me? I’m pathetic.”

Dave struggled to convince anyone that his singing of Row Row Row Your Boat or his mediocre devil sticks ability was worth their loose change. If this had been a Detour (completed by both members of the team) instead of a Roadblock (completed by one person), Jet and Dave would almost certainly have won. I’d pay $50 right now to watch the two of them break it down on the d-floor — their affectionate name for a dance floor.

When Jet and Dave arrived last on the mat at Cape Spear, host Jon Montgomery regretfully informed them that had been eliminated from the Amazing Race. Then he consoled them (and viewers) with this: “I have a sneaking suspicion that we haven’t seen the last of Jet and Dave.”

He’s probably right. Jet and Dave carried this show on their ridiculously broad shoulders, managing to injeci fun and levity while keeping their eye on the prize. Someday, Gordon Lightfoot will pen a song about them.

The reality TV that we know and love today first blew up with the dual U.S. debuts of Survivor and Big Brother in 1999 and 2000 respectively. I was never interested in the latter, but that first season of Survivor? Every episode was gripping. This was serious stuff! These people were surviving on rice! It took me the full season, and Richard’s ultimate triumph, to realize that the show wasn’t really about physical skill and determination. Reality survival is less Swiss Family Robinson, more Lord of the Flies.

I’m re-learning this lesson as I watch the Amazing Race Canada. No reality show – not even the most wholesome, family-friendly one – straight-up rewards its most deserving competitors. There’s luck to it, and you have to play the social game, and it’s all rather uninspiring.

Here’s an example: sisters Vanessa and Celina were in last place when they arrived at the busking roadblock in St. John’s. Celina grabbed a hula-hoop and a baton; her sister encouraged her to “push the boobs out”; and she took to the streets. Bingo. One man passed her a $20 from his car window. They finished the challenge ahead of everyone else, setting themselves up for a second-place finish and a spot in the finale.

This isn’t to say the whole episode was a disappointment. At a kitchen party, the teams all got “screeched in” — taking a shot of the Newfoundland rum and kissing a cod. “It’s not the worst kiss I’ve ever had,” said Cory, who is in first place with his brother Jody.

Vanessa got out a lipstick and left a mark on the fish.

Newfoundland was also an emotional leg. Jody recounted the story of losing his legs to a landmine in Afghanistan. Then there was Dave who tried — and failed — to not cry at the elimination line.”I totally let myself down. More importantly I let my buddy down,” he said. “It’s just gut-wrenching.”Dave quipped to the cameras later: “Winning is amazing, but I think the journey is important as well. Maybe I’m just saying that because I’m a loser.” He’ll be okay.Jet and Dave’s elimination leaves three families competing in next week’s Amazing Race finale in Toronto: sisters Vanessa and Celina, brothers Jody and Cory, and father-son team Tim Sr. and Tim Jr.  Go ahead and place your bets – but no one would have predicted these teams would make up the final three when we started this race in July.


Amazing Race Canada recap: ‘It’s just gut-wrenching’

  1. What I found very disappointing is that the format of this leg completely nullified last week’s episode. This really was not a continuation leg, as teams did not keep going, but rather take the ferry together. This would not have been a problem if this had been a non-elimination leg, and the girls had been tasked with a roadblock. However, as it stood, the ladies were completely unhindered by their poor showing, the u-turn that could have been was a farce, and Dave and Jet were eliminated, which likely would not have happened if not for the poor setup of these legs…

    • It’s sucks how Jet & Dave has done so well and this happens, when the girls & Tim sr & Jr who have finished last so many times and then Bang, their saved. I hope Jody & Cory win the whole thing, it’s amazing what he can do with his disability, go Boys.

  2. So nice to see that New Brunswick is no longer a part of Canada..

    • It’s ok, neither is Manitoba.

    • They just didn’t have time for every province in the show’s format.

      I’ve watched Amazing Race since Season 1, and there’s always 2 non-eliminations and a double-leg at the end. Amazing Race Canada was following the same.

      There could be the possibility for at least another season or 2, so you never know. They didn’t go to PEI, either, and Charlottetown was the birthplace of Canada.

  3. I have been rooting for Jody and Cory since the beginning, although I didn’t expect to see them in the final 3. I should have known better.

  4. No east coast contestants either… Would have made great TV to have at least a couple of Newfoundlanders racing.

  5. Okay, so the message I get is if you don’t agree with the writer your comments will be removed, get rid of the comments thsn or grow up as a writer…..

    • I don’t see any evidence of a deleted comment (it will indicate where one once was, even when removed). Disqus, though, sometimes glitches and sends coments into the ether.. not as frequently as it used to, but you may have fallen victim to such a glitch nonetheless.

  6. Don’t forget that Jet and Dave had a crummy cab driver as well while in Newfoundland

  7. Just waiting for the spinoff… The Jet and Dave Show. Very entertaining. Good job boys.

  8. I loved Jet and Dave. I think that if you watch back when the teams were doing the challenge with the Newfie dog that they cheated ( Jody and Cory) They were holding the back of the wagon to make sure nothing fell and put extra on their wagon. To me this was not a challenge

  9. Enjoyable episode overall. As a NLer, I was hoping they wouldn’t go over the top with the stereotypes, and in that respect it wasn’t as bad as I expected / feared (though there was still plenty of room for improvement).
    They could have coached the host (I can never remember his name!) on how to properly pronounce Newfoundland though.
    And some production gaffes:
    The map showing the drive from Port aux Basques to St. John’s showed them going across the south coast – an impossibility as there is no road that comes close to following the route shown. Look at the friggin’ map when you design your graphics, CTV!
    When talking about Quidi Vidi for the first time, the first shot was of the Lower Battery. Nice scenic pic, but the wrong location.
    Similarly, when they first mentioned Cape Spear, the first lighthouse shot was of Fort Amherst, at the mouth of St. John’s harbour – not the lighthouse at Cape Spear. Oops!
    Anyway, hoping Jody & Cory win the thing.

    • I think most of the production is done by the US team. There were minor errors in BC and Calgary too. One pair of contestants, think it was the river rafting team from BC, were originally said to be from Fairmont, Alaska! Guess that’s what you get when a US program runs a Canadian spin off.

      As for noone from the other provinces etc. .. either they didn’t apply or they didn’t make the cut! 20,000 applied, do we really want to be politically correct and get one from each area, rather than the best? What about the fact some provinces have 10x or more people than other provinces? Really, can’t please everyone unless you get 20,000 teams and have them go to every town in every province…. lol boring!

      • Sorry, KeithBram, this was meant to be a general comment to everyone, not just to you!

        • I thought it a bit odd that you were directing the team selection bit my way. Though in terms of attracting an audience, a team from the east coast wouldn’t have hurt the ratings – we (residents and ex-pats alike) tend to loyally support our own, and a show’s success depends on its ability to draw viewers. If you remember Canadian Idol, the NL contestants all finished higher than they probably deserved, due to the fanatical support they received :-)

        • Also, I think a lot of the commenters were bemoaning not the fact that they had no representation among the contestants so much as their provinces were not included in any of the episodes.

          • Yeah, I understand. I never watched CI (don’t usually watch reality type shows), but if NL received support “higher than they probably deserved…”, might be a reason not to include people from NL in this show LOL. Seriously, let the best people be on the show. Maybe they should all be tested for french-english fluence in order to be politically Canadian correct?!! People I know watching this show, could not care less where the person comes from, they’re just rooting for who they like best.

            As for provinces not included, I think I mentioned that… that you can’t include everything. With ten provinces and three territories, you’d need a longer show! Even then, I’m sure you’d get people complaining that their town wasn’t included!