WARNING: Spoiler Alert! Do not read on unless you've seen "Amazing Race Canada" Season 2, Episode 2. Unless you like spoilers, then go right ahead!
In case you missed it, "The Amazing Race Canada" has gone international for the first time ever, but it certainly has not lost its Canadian "edge."
"Excuse me sir, do you mind if we go in front of you?" asked Natalie, while navigating through a taxi queue in Macau. "We're in a rush? Excuse me? Thank you!"
Naturally, this is just the type of polite moxie that catapulted the Olympians to four straight first place finishes, in spite of a dance step breakdown or two.
Leading the pack from the start, Natalie and Meaghan shepherd the rest of the teams to Macau via ferry, where, after a brief firework ritual, one partner must take a 764 ft. bungee leap from Macau Tower. Why not? The obliging competitor even gets a way-too-close Go-Pro-style camera mounted to their heads, which, is really a sheer terror extreme close-up cam. Excellent.
Instructed to "empty their pockets" before taking this intense leap of faith at the Road Block, free-spirit Mickey seized the opportunity to bungee in his hot pink leopard (or cheetah?) print speedo. Again - why not? YOOTVO(U). (You're Only On TV Once [Usually]).
Rewind an hour or two, and we see some great race dynamics at play in the pre and post-ferry jockeying. Rex serves up his signature cheese, telling Bob, "You complete me!" Then, Pierre and Michel try to jump ahead in the taxi line -- without asking! -- before they're called out by Nicole and Cormac, and sheepishly back down. But, it's around here where we start to see Sukhi and Jinder completely fall apart.
Face-to-face with Meaghan and Natalie -- a rarity, considering their shameless showboating and clueless racing -- the brother-sister duo beg for the Express Pass. The Gold Medalists laugh it off -- as they should.
Back to the race, the next Route Marker is hard to find, but not too challenging -- identify the clue box on Happiness Street, at a shop that sells almond biscuits. While begging for help, and trying to leech on to other teams, Sukhi and Jinder walk, as per my notes, "RIGHT PAST THE CLUE!!!!!" not once, but twice, and, eventually, low-key Pete walks them to the clue box.
Then -- it's off to the Detour: Stamp It, or Stomp It.
Each pair initially chose Stomp It, where they dressed in traditional costumes, and danced with a local folk troupe in Senado Square. Here, we learn a bit more about bartender BFFs Ryan and Rob (until now, we've only seen their competitive side), and that, "Ryan has a lot of experience with dresses," because of his "sketch comedy" background. Cool.
For the first time, Natalie and Meaghan come to blows over their task strategy. While Natalie insists they continue to learn the dance by doing, and through trial, Meaghan loses her rhythm, and gets so frustrated, she almost sheds a few tears.
"They look like they have a flaw," said Rob, watching on. "And it might be dancing."
Meaghan's plan was to watch the dancing to learn the steps, but eventually, Natalie talks her into her approach, and -- surprise surprise! -- the two finish the Detour first. Not as lucky? Rex and Bob. The ballet dancer rejoices when he sees the challenge, but, despite his reputation as a footwork master, the two only proceed on their third attempt.
Seeing Rex struggle, three sets of stragglers decide to switch tasks to Stamp It -- Mickey and Pete, Sukhi and Jinder, and Alain and Audrey. Now scavenging through the Ruins of St. Paul in search of six shrine stamps, the siblings immediately try to latch on to Mickey and Pete, which, again, they regrettably agree to, before shaking them off.
Frantic, stressing, and full of panic, the Atwals quickly succumb to their obsessive, manic energy.
"They're like a tornado of chaos," said Mickey, as he watched the pair scurry indecisively through the ruins.
"They're definitely harshing our mellow a little bit."
Nobody wants that.
But, the three teams quickly move on, and join the other teams at the Fan-Tan task. Here, the duos are asked to learn the rules of a Chinese gambling game, through non-verbal directions.
Once again, after a brief struggle, Natalie and Meaghan master the challenge, and move on to the pit stop via "confusing" underground tunnels. In their dust, the remaining seven teams all end up learning Fan-Tan together, where Rex pulls from his childhood gambling expertise to move he and his partner up in the ranks. Also, he threw in a few victory spins on the casino floor, which will definitely make for some timeless gifs.
Immediately after Rex and Bob are about to move forward, Sukhi and Jinder approach them, pleading for help. Bob brushes them off instantly, saying, "I'm not going to help Sukhi and Jinder. Ever." Nor should he. With each team finishing in succession, the Atwal begging continues, and becomes increasingly embarrassing for them. Why beg? Why panic? Just do!
The online peanut gallery gave Rex and Bob a hard time for "quitting" two tasks in Tofino, B.C. back in episode two, something Rex refuted on Twitter. But, at least they tried, took the penalties, and did not ask for handout after handout, like Sukhi and Jinder. Don't they know that they're in a race? "Free gas for life" is on the line!
Maybe they're just jetlagged. Or, perhaps they're just not focused. Maybe they're victims of "reality TV" editing.
Either way, it's a disappointing showing for the showboating Terrace, B.C. pair. Unsurprisingly, they arrive at the mat in last place, but are spared from elimination. With luck on their side, can they get their heads in the game for the next leg? The fresh Yukon air could revive their gameplay, but after this episode, I wouldn't bet on it.