Note: Contains spoilers. Do not read on if you haven't seen Episode 8 of Amazing Race Canada
No U-Turn? No problem.
The dreaded reverse time penalty loomed over the racers as they trudged through Iqaluit's "boundless expanse of the Canadian Arctic" to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, with a stop in "Canada's loveliest little town," Mahone Bay, N.S., along the way. In the end, no team opted to use the U-Turn as an advantage for their game on this episode of Amazing Race Canada.
"What nice Canadians!" said Jet.
And it's a good thing no pair chose to use it.
With no real rivalries remaining, using the double U-Turn in Nova Scotia just would not have had the same impact as it had in Regina, particularly at this point in the race. Back then, with Holly and Brett and Hal and Joanne forced to complete both Detours in the blazing Saskatchewan sun, you could, as a viewer, paraphrase Reality Bites, and "bottle the [tension] in the room, and use it to solve the energy crisis." It even prompted a frustrated Joanne to completely break character (and break bad), and tell the Montreal pediatricians to f*** off. Amazing.
This time around, well, that conflict wasn't there. As the second-place Tim Sr. and Tim Jr. pointed out, with Jody and Cory firmly locked in first, and Jet and Dave and Vanessa and Celina trailing behind, there was no need to place a duo that much further behind them.
Or, perhaps, they were just being too nice. Or "Canadian."
With four teams left and two more episodes to go before the September 16 finale (amongst the final three pairs), a non-elimination leg was a sure thing this week. Thankfully, instead of a pending Speed Bump for the last-place team, the duos greeted Jon Montgomery at the mat and kept on racing. (Not before Jon kicked off the episode from the back of a moving dogsled! Classic.)
The racers flew from Iqaluit to Halifax via Ottawa, and Vanessa and Celina soon began to panic at the prospect of driving a Chevrolet Sonic, which, gulp, runs on manual transmission. After a quick airport pep talk, where Dave informed the sisters that those cars' wheels "fall off in neutral" so "they'll definitely make the news," all four pairs ran out to start their engines, and drive to the historic Pier 21.
After a quick stressful driving montage, where Tim Sr. yelled at his son for backseat navigating, Jet posited, "Imagine getting out of that parking lot not knowing how to drive stick, it'd be a hoot!" Cut to Celina and Vanessa struggling to start the car. At the start of the episode, the sisters cheered about being the remaining all-girl team left in the race, though, in fairness, they've held that title for several weeks. Still, minutes later, while in traffic, Celina was unable to restart the Chevrolet Sonic after stopping at a light.
"Oh s--t! Oh my God! Oh my God, this is very dangerous!"
Indeed. But, Vanessa and Celina were soon able to restart the car, and make their way to Pier 21 ... for all the Canadian girls, of course. The teams camped out overnight at Pier 21, and learned one in five Canadians have a connection to the port of entry, including Jody and Cory's family. After completing a "no-running" collect-em-all Passport stamp task, the pairs made their way to Mahone Bay, N.S. for, what else? A scarecrow competition.
Arriving first, Jet hastily chose to compete in the Road Block, which required each team to use a BlackBerry Z10 to clone and recreate, stuff and dress a famous town scarecrow. Let's remember that this is the same Amazing Race Canada contestant who took more than three hours to properly make an RCMP-vetted bed, rendering his chances of success at this creative task to be particularly dubious. Jody and Cory were right behind them, and Cory accurately described the scarecrow scene, saying, "They look like they're having parties and getting drunk!," as one does when made of straw.
Jet soon lost his lead to Cory, and then Tim Jr., when he could not recreate his buxom "Gypsy woman."
"Scarecrows: how many have I built? Zero. How many women have I helped get ready for a Saturday night? Different equation."
Sure. Next, the pairs drove to Lunenburg, N.S. for the Detour. Given a choice between Surf (catch and band six lobsters) and Turf (a German memory/taste test of 12 different sausages), Jody and Cory opted for the former, as did Jet and Dave, while the Tims and the sisters sampled the wurst. The challenge was pretty straightforward, and neither side of the Detour was particularly difficult, making for a smooth first-through-fourth finish for each team. Having said that, Jet and Dave showed off their dance moves on the lobster boat, while Celina practiced her fanny pack freestyle while memorizing (and chewing on) some schweinefleisch.
Upon completing the Detour and deciding not to U-Turn any of the teams, the duos received a dime, and then followed their Bluenose(s) to see Jon and his Nova Scotian buddy at the mat.
Next up, Newfoundland!
Until next week, here are the five best water cooler moments of the episode, in no particular order, in the form of a hashtag.
Is anybody else finding it harder to say goodbye to these teams as the Race nears an end? Every pair had a nice, sentimental moment to start off the episode. Cory and Jody looked back fondly at the first few legs of the race, saying it brought them closer together as brothers, while Tim Sr. reminisced about being a stay-at-home dad with Tim Jr. Jet and Dave bro'd out, as usual, and Vanessa and Celina preached about girl power. Sniff. I miss the show already.
Moving back to the Race, how can you possibly go on The Amazing Race (Canada) without knowing how to drive a car in manual?! That's a classic Race faux-pas. Entering the game with a limited understanding of other languages is one thing, but that's hardly preventable. Knowing how to drive a car in either automatic or manual is an essential part of the Race. I definitely felt for Vanessa and Celina as they struggled with the car, but let's be real -- they could have avoided at least part of the struggle with a bit of practice in a parking lot.
Jet and Dave's line of the episode:
"I love lobster, so this is a dream come true," said Dave.
"I have other dreams. They're not as fishy," replied Jet.
Ah, fishy dreams.
The Bluenose on-a-dime confusion reminded me of when The Amazing Race Season 15 finale visited Wayne Newton in Las Vegas ... and nobody knew who he was. At least, this time around, the teams eventually realized what the Bluenose was.
Who knew scarecrows were so lively? ... Or busty? Only in Mahone Bay, N.S., I suppose.
"The Amazing Race Canada" airs every Monday night at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.