There comes a time in the life of every reality TV show when the contestants reveal the real reason they were chosen over thousands of other applicants: they have an inner drama queen waiting to be unleashed.
It always takes several episodes longer in Canada than the U.S. version. But four weeks into The Amazing Race Canada’s sophomore season, the claws are starting to come out.
Blame the Olympians. Upon arriving in Macau, hockey teammates Natalie and Meaghan broke the most sacred of all Canadian customs: They cut the taxi cab line.
Picture a frenzy along the same lines as if Justin Bieber walked into Forever 21 on a Saturday.
Twin brothers Pierre and Michel immediately broke out of line and tried to do the same thing. But they picked the wrong team to mess with – supermom Nicole opened their cab door, kicked them out, and admonished, “Get in line, guys.”
The twin brothers are quickly carving out positions as this season’s villains. Last week, they lied to hippie friends Mickey and Pete about where to find a clue in Hong Kong. This week, they privately told the cameras that if their pals Natalie and Meaghan don’t give them their extra express pass, they’re going to U-Turn them.
The Olympians are facing the real risk of a backlash – even before Taxigate, their tireless lead on the other teams had Nicole complaining about how the Olympics are supposed to be over.
Briefly in Macau, it looked as though the other mere-mortal teams had a chance to catch up and overtake the women. The Olympians got into their first argument, as they struggled to perform a Macau traditional dance in Portuguese costumes.
“These Olympians may have a flaw, and it could be dancing,” said Rob, who is competing with his co-worker Ryan.
But he spoke too soon. Natalie and Meaghan successfully completed the dancing challenge on only their third try. (It took ballet legend Rex Harrington and his partner four tries.)
Other teams, including Sukhi and Jinder, abandoned the dance altogether.
Natalie and Meaghan and Sukhi and Jinder represent the extremes on this season’s race. Natalie and Meaghan are problematically good. Sukhi and Jinder are problematically bad.
Often, underdogs are fun to cheer for. But in the case of brother-sister team Sukhi and Jinder, they have proven too hapless at too many tasks. While searching for a clue at an almond shop in Macau, they frantically tore back and forth in front of the clue box, marvelling at how they couldn’t find it anywhere.
“May God help us find this almond shop,” said Jinder, standing inside the very almond shop he was seeking.
They only spotted the clue box when another team ran up to it.
The other teams are growing wearing of the brother-sister team’s increasingly desperate pleas for assistance, with Mickey and Pete calling them “a tornado of chaos” who are “harshing our mellow.”
No one finds the Amazing Race easy – it’s physically and mentally exhausting. But Natalie and Meaghan are far better prepared for the pressure than anyone else. Meaghan barely flinched before completing the highest bungee-jump in the world off the Macau Tower, simply asking “OK – where do I go?” and taking the plunge.
Later, ever the professional hockey player, she told the cameras, “I enjoyed it 110 per cent.”
To the surprise of no one, Natalie and Meaghan finished first again this week. Sukhi and Jinder came in last. But their tears turned to laughter (literally) when host Jon Montgomery revealed that this was a non-elimination leg: Everyone is still in this race.
But the international element of the race is already over after just two stops – the show will return to Canada next week, taking on the Yukon.