If there’s one thing that separates an episode of The Amazing Race Canada (Tuesdays, 9 p.m. ET) from other editions of the show, it’s that the contestants are usually quite nice to one another. It’s really not that unusual to see teams helping each other out or striking up quick friendships, or even opting out of U-turning each other for fear of bad karma if they lean into their competitive impulses.
But if we’ve learned one thing in seven seasons of this show, it’s that not all teams are alike, and sometimes people will do what they have to do in order to win. Enter the current Second Chances edition and Tuesday night’s episode in Yellowknife, where some very clear lines were drawn in the sand. (Or should we say snow?)
If we know one thing to be true about TARC, it’s that taxis can make or break your game. So when Dave and Irina whipped through their first challenge only to discover their taxi had left them, they both looked ready to cry. We imagine being in a remote area with no access to a cell phone is a scary thing, especially since taxis don’t just cruise by on the regular. So what did the penguin-seeking team do? They offered double the cash and stole Trish and Amy’s cab right out from under them.
It was a brutal move that may have catapulted Dave and Irina to official villain status, while teaching everyone else to either negotiate higher fares or to leave their metres running. It’s also clear at this point that Dave and Irina are not in this thing to make friends, and certain teams (Aarthy and Thinesh) have definitely had enough of their quippy one-liners and antics. Add in the fact that they’re both good-looking individuals with smarts and brawn, and well… we understand why everyone wants to knock them down a notch.
The bitter cold isn’t for everyone
No matter how you feel about Dave and Irina, you have to admit they’re killing this race. They whipped through the ice-fishing challenge, and Dave was the first to correctly identify and weigh the diamonds at the next task, too. But even they have their weaknesses, which became evident when Irina was faced with the bitter cold (-21 degrees Celsius to be exact) and asked to dive into Great Slave Lake to retrieve their next clue. Dave quickly pulled out their Express Pass and told the cameras he wasn’t making his wife dive into the icy waters. It turns out Irina wasn’t kidding when she said certain challenges on this race just weren’t for her. If only all of the teams could opt out because they just “didn’t feel like it,” huh?
Meanwhile, if you were on the fence about Thinesh and Aarthy, that challenge basically landed them this season’s hero status. Watching Aarthy overcome her fear of water and taking the plunge wasn’t just good television, it was inspiring. Same goes for when Sarah faced her fears and did it while crying. Meanwhile when Amy took the plunge she had to take out her hearing aids, which essentially meant she couldn’t hear the instructor. Talk. About. Terrifying.
Maybe that’s why our hearts broke for Trish and Amy after they dried off, only to discover their taxi had left them again. Rather than stealing Anthony and James’ ride (which they did contemplate for a hot minute), they started walking instead. Luckily their cab driver eventually returned and they were able to jump in.
Everyone should learn how to read maps
After braving the sub-zero waters it was time for the teams to put their map-reading skills to the test, again. So far this season we’ve lost two teams to bad directions, so we didn’t have much faith in anyone exactly flying through the task. It was definitely too much for Dave and Irina, who opted to take the two-hour time penalty and travelled to the mat to wait it out with Jon Montgomery.
All of the other teams had difficulties too, but Sam and Sarah had the rather brilliant idea of leaving and trying to find help. When they stumbled onto a geology building they couldn’t believe their good luck, and they promptly learned how to read the maps in order to correctly identify all of the points. Unfortunately they didn’t realize their cab metre was still running, and was about a hundred dollars over what they actually had in their pockets. It’s a good thing they made friends with a bunch of geologists that handed them over some cash out of the goodness of their hearts. Now that’s The Amazing Race Canada we’re used to seeing.
Heroes win the day
Okay so we can’t really call Thinesh and Aarthy heroes just yet but regardless, when they got to the mat before Dave and Irina’s time penalty was up it was a winning moment to be sure. Especially when they won a trip to Dublin, which we hear is much, much warmer than The Northwest Territories. Meaghan and Marie weren’t far behind in second place, and then finally Dave and Irina’s penalty ran out to land them a third-place finish.
Sarah and Sam and Lauren and Joanne came in next, which left two of our personal favourites, Anthony and James and the moms, duking it out for last-place. When Anthony and James edged forward to a sixth-place finish the moms seemed pretty set on their fate, so it was a joyous moment for all when Jon revealed it was a non-elimination leg.
Fist-pumps for everyone. That means all seven teams will keep racing when we escape the bitter cold and head to Nanaimo, B.C. next week, where we can only hope the teams get to eat some of Canada’s famous treats while chilling out on the beach.
Ha, as if. This is The Amazing Race Canada, and we’ve still got a heck of a lot of show to race through.