Episode 3 of the Amazing Race Canada brought drama, entertainment, awesome challenges and another Jillian freak-out as Season 4 continues to captivate viewers. There is so much to talk about from the third episode of the season so let’s get right into it with the best and most influential challenge of the leg that would have a massive impact on the order of where teams finished.
What the Duck?
This was an amazing Amazing Race Canada challenge. One of the best things about the Amazing Race Canada is that the racers get to go to cool places like Vietnam and experience everyday life in a different country, while also having the opportunity to race in their home country as well. This challenge was a perfect challenge in every regard. It let us see an aspect of everyday life in Vietnam, it was both physically and mentally taxing but not so difficult that teams struggled to finish and it was entertaining from a viewer standpoint to watch. Stephane and Antoine arrived at the task first with Kelly and Kate but Stephane struggled so much with the challenge that they ended up leaving well-behind the other teams. Stephane actually had more luck herding ducks into other racers’ gates than his own.
It was Joel and Ashley who finished the challenge first, allowing them to arrive at the detour well-ahead of the other teams and go on to win the leg. Kelly and Kate finished next, allowing them to move on to their speed bump which proved no big deal at all for the fitness girls and only turned what could have been a second place finish into a third place finish, their best of the season so far.
As time progressed throughout the challenge and more and more teams arrived and more and more teams left, Stephane started to struggle more and more. Not only was he barely moving and taking far too many breaks, but he was also helping other people get ducks into their sections, without having any ducks at all in his own. This proved incredibly costly for the pair and resulted in their inevitable elimination after stupidly taking a penalty. But more on that to come.
A Surprise Turnaround
Kelly and Kate were rock solid this leg. They surprised me so incredibly much as I thought they’d be gone this leg for sure. The fitness gym girls started off the leg strong, signing up for the water taxi second, flying through the water market challenge tied for first place and then finishing the duck challenge in second place. They then flew through their speed bump with ease and danced their way to a surprise third place finish.
(insert picture of Jillian throwing coconuts on the ground here)
This was not quite a train-wreck of a leg for Jillian and Emmett, but compared to their normal standards it was not their best day on the race. It all went wrong when they, along with three other teams, took the water taxi instead of the ferry from the water market challenge to the roadblock. Jillian flew through the roadblock (with the help of Stephane) but then the pair started to fall apart again at the detour, “Hydrate”. Emmett this time was just as culpable for the lack of teamwork as Jillian. Jillian did get far too flustered in the situation, but Emmett was being a little-bit of a control freak, trying to do everything himself and didn’t actually listen to a word Jillian was saying. This unsurprisingly led to Jillian getting incredibly angry, throwing coconuts on the ground and appearing to be on the verge of tears. Still though, the exes managed to roll up their sleeves, pull ahead of the pack and finish their detour in good time, leaving in second place. But then after they struggled to find a water taxi, two other teams caught up and they ended up finishing in fourth place thanks to not reading one simple instruction on their clue. That leaves me to the strategy of the leg.
Properly reading your clue and making sure you are always correctly following instructions is one of the most important things you can do in the race. Although in the heat of the moment you can easily get flustered and want to try and fly through every challenge, you must read your clue and make sure you are following the instructions. It’s also not a good thing to follow what other teams are doing without reading your clue first, as four teams all made the same mistake by following other teams. One simple mistake could have costed Joel and Ashley a first-place finish and a trip to Japan and they were lucky to remain in first place. The mistake also resulted in Jillian and Emmett who would have had a second/third place finish, finishing in 4th place, Rita and Yvette dropping down from 5th to 6th and Anne and Tanya dropping down from 7th to 8th. Although this was not a deadly mistake for any team, on a different day and with a better performance from Stephane at the roadblock, it could have been a very different outcome.
The other piece of really bad strategy from Episode 3 was of course, Stephane’s horrible performance at the roadblock. This was one of the worst performances in Amazing Race Canada history at a roadblock. The father-son team arrived at the roadblock in second place and finished in dead last because of how badly Stephane was struggling. But it wasn’t just because of the heat or because the challenge was hard or because he wasn’t as fit as the other racers, Stephane struggled to finish the challenge because he was constantly concerned with helping other teams and because he was not being active enough in his own quest to finish the challenge. Almost all of the shots of Stephane at the challenge, showed him resting, taking a break or drinking water. When he wasn’t resting, he was helping people like Jillian, a member of the team that had just finished the previous two legs of the race in first place, get ducks inside of her area. There was no need to help anyone in the challenge unless it was to further your own performance in the challenge like Amy working with Steph for example. But helping the team that just finished first the past two legs was incredibly irrational and didn’t help the man at all.
I also was not a fan of their decision to take the penalty. I don’t care how tired you are, there’s no way herding 20 ducks inside a gate is going to take four hours, which is the time of the penalty. Within the next half hour, they could have finished the challenge and could have been on their way. I said on leg 1 that Anthony and Brandon’s decision to quit the first roadblock of the season and take a penalty was the worst move in Amazing Race Canada history. This decision by Stephane and Antoine is still nowhere near as bad as that, as Stephane had been there for what he said was two hours and was really struggling to accomplish the task, but it still reiterates the idea that taking a penalty is never a smart thing in the race. The three times that teams have taken penalties this season it has resulted in two last place finishes/eliminations and one second last place finish.
However, there was also some really good strategizing in this challenge. Steph and Kristen and Frankie and Amy worked together and as a result finished the challenge in a flash. This, along with their performance at the detour resulted in both Steph and Kristen and Frankie and Amy having an excellent leg. Frankie and Amy left the water market challenge tied for last place with Julie and Lowell but finished both the roadblock and the detour in no time and ended up finishing in 5th place. Steph and Kristen meanwhile finished the water market challenge in third last, but then rebounded to catch up to the other teams and finish in second place!
Who Finished Where? – Leg 3
After Tanya struggled to cope with the heat and hot sun in Vietnam, she nearly fainted, which left Anne to do a lot of the work at “Hydrate” all to herself. Still though, the pair of best friends managed to narrowly escape elimination as Stephane’s poor performance at the Roadblock sent the father-son duo home. Joel and Ashley were surprise first place finishers as Frankie and Amy meanwhile continued to defy pre-game expectations. The biggest surprise of all however was Kelly and Kate’s third place finish despite having an extra task.
9th Stephane and Antoine – Eliminated
8th Anne and Tanya
7th Julie and Lowell
6th Rita and Yvette
5th Frankie and Amy
4th Jillian and Emmett
3rd Kelly and Kate
2nd Steph and Kristen
1st Joel and Ashley – 1st place (trip to Tokyo, Japan)
Predicted Finish For Next Time – Leg 4
8th Anne and Tanya
7th Julie and Lowell
6th Rita and Yvette
5th Kelly and Kate
4th Frankie and Amy
3rd Joel and Ashley
2nd Jillian and Emmett
1st Steph and Kristen
I am going to predict that Steph and Kristen will have the momentum to secure their first ever first-place finish on the race. With the express pass in their pocket, a tricky Vietnamese challenge could be the perfect time to use it and could help them achieve a higher finish than their rivals, Jillian and Emmett, for the second week in a row. Joel and Ashley will drop back to third but will remain strong as Kelly and Kate drop back down the pile but still avoid elimination. Ultimately it will be an incredibly close finish between Julie and Lowell and Anne and Tanya, with the best friends falling just short and being eliminated. Tune in next week to see if I am correct at all or if I am way off! See you next time for Episode 4’s recap as the Amazing Race Canada stays in the beautiful country of Vietnam!