The Amazing Race Canada just keeps getting better and better! Even without an elimination, this episode was still one of the best of the series like every other episode so far this season.
The Amazing Race Canada has gotten so many things right this year. The challenges have been amazing, the edit of the show has been fantastic, Jon Montgomery has been enthusiastic and completely engaged in the race as always, but most importantly of all, the cast is incredible and all the teams are so likable and entertaining to watch. Episode 6 of the Amazing Race Canada illustrated all of these facts to perfection as it was another captivating episode. Let’s get right to it.
The first challenge of the day in Hamilton, Ontario was a doozy, flying a plane! Teams were tasked with having to fly their plane high up in the air, yes a real plane, (with the help of a pilot) and do a full 360 degree turn while keeping the plane at a certain altitude up in the air. This was an amazing challenge like one that’s never been seen before on the Amazing Race Canada! But, the intrigue of the challenge became more about the express pass than the challenge itself. The moment Frankie and Amy arrived at the challenge, they burned the express pass that had been given to them by Steph and Kristen. Only problem was, none of the other teams that were already at the roadblock were aware that Frankie and Amy even had the pass and were confused about who could have possibly given them it. Kristen immediately began to feel uncomfortable and tried her best to bite her tongue and avoid confrontation. We’ll get into the strategy of both Frankie and Amy’s decision here to use their express pass and Steph and Kristen’s decision to keep it all a secret still later on, but for now, it has to be said that while all this was going on, their was also a challenge underway. Steph was the first to get the clue completing the task on her second attempt and freeing Kristen from that uncomfortable situation. Jillian was second to get the clue, rocking the challenge and securing the next clue on just her first attempt! Julie struggled with the challenge, even at one point throwing up! However, she was easily able to get the clue next. Although these three were the first to complete the task, by the time they got their clues, Frankie and Amy were already well-ahead after using their express pass. As Steph and Kristen were leaving, Frankie and Amy had already completed the next task – “an MEC trifecta” of cycling, kayaking and rock climbing. That leads us to our first discussion about strategy for leg 6.
The moment Frankie and Amy burned their express on the first challenge of the day, I worried for them. Although not the worst use of an express pass ever, they could have been a lot wiser with their decision and waited until the last challenge of the day to use their express pass.
For a little while, their decision to use the express pass on the first challenge was seemingly paying off. They flew through the next challenge, having no difficulty with any portion of the MEC trifecta and arriving at the detour before Steph and Kristen reached the second challenge. This should have been enough time to secure a first place finish, if they had chosen the right detour! If Frankie and Amy had chosen to do “Art Rock” rather than “Dry Dock”, they would have finished first. However, they made the wrong decision in choosing their detour and stuck it out far too long, forcing them to fall down the pack. As always I have to credit the positive attitude they maintained throughout the leg even when they were in a dire situation, but their struggles at the detour meant that their express pass quickly went to waste. It’s another example of a team making the mistake of trying to get first place rather than what you’re supposed to be doing week by week which is avoiding elimination. If you use the express on the last challenge you can still get first place but you can also almost guarantee that you won’t be eliminated.
After their eighth attempt, the mother-daughter duo decided to give up and switch detours. Initially, this looked like a bad choice, even with a non-elimination leg looming. It seemed like it was going to be another example of a team just getting too frustrated with a task and making a rash decision due to frustration and the pressures of the race, but they bounced back to finish the art task quickly and managed to survive.
A Bad Day At The Office for Joel and Ashley
Joel and Ashley just could not catch a break. We are beginning to see a recurring theme in the race as in the past three legs, the team that has had a bad start has fallen so far down the pack that they couldn’t recover. Joel and Ashley were the last to get a cab after leaving the airport and from that moment on they could never recover. Even if they had been whizzing through the tasks, things still just weren’t going their way. They were last to arrive at the roadblock and then after their taxi took them the wrong way on their trip to the second challenge, they fell even further down the pack. But if one lucky bounce had come their way they would have still been in a decent enough position that they could have been able to catch up to a few teams. But then Ashley took forever in the third part of the MEC trifecta, the rock climbing, as her fear of heights overwhelmed her the moment she stepped on to climb the wall. Even after that they could have been able to rebound, but struggling so much with the detour was what really solidified their last place finish.
Two Difficult Detours
Let’s talk about the detours! After the “MEC Trifecta”, the teams were given the choice of “Dry Dock”, a welding challenge, or “Art Dock” a difficult art replication challenge using spray paint and stencils. Frankie & Amy, Steph & Kristen and Jillian & Emmett chose to go to the welding challenge, arriving in that order, while Julie & Lowell, Rita & Yvette, and Joel & Ashley decided to take on the art replication challenge, arriving in that order. Although Frankie and Amy arrived at the welding task well before the other two teams, they struggled far more. Emmett and Steph got their part of the detour done right away and with ease, meaning that whichever one of Jillian or Kristen could finish the challenge first, that team would get first place. Ultimately it was Steph who completed the task before Jillian, allowing the dating couple to take first place. Jillian wasn’t too far behind though, completing the task on her 6th attempt and helping her and Emmett secure a second place finish for the second leg in a row. By that time, Frankie and Amy were still struggling and were beginning to become more and more frustrated.
Switch to the other detour and Julie and Lowell are kicking butt again, this time spray painting an art-piece. Despite, Lowell’s visual impairment, the married couple got the challenge done on their first attempt and the final result looked beautiful. Switch back to Frankie and Amy at “Dry Dock” trying the welding for their eighth time and failing once again. The mother-daughter duo finally decided they’d had enough and decided to switch detours. Luckily for them Rita and Yvette and Joel and Ashley were still at the art challenge, giving them a shot to avoid last place. In addition, as Frankie and Amy’s luck continued, Joel and Ashley’s struggles continued. Time after time, they messed up their painting and had to start over, allowing Frankie and Amy to get back in the race. The mother-daughter duo completed the task on their first attempt and the rest was history as Joel and Ashley continued to struggle, fell further behind and finished in last place.
Luckily for them though it was a “keep on racing leg” and they were able to stay in the race. Keep on racing legs are definitely the best way of having a leg without an elimination. The excitement continues and we can get excited for the next leg meanwhile the leg doesn’t feel like a waste.
That’s probably enough about the bad day that Joel and Ashley had, let’s focus on the good again, with a discussion about our front runners Steph and Kristen.
The Front Runners To Win It All
Steph and Kristen continue to be more like Natalie and Meaghan than ever anticipated. Although the Olympic hockey girls from Season 2 secured their first four first place finishes in the first four legs, Steph and Kristen are slowly beginning to take control of the race just like their casting archetype predecessors and have now secured two back to back first place finishes. The dating couple rocked the leg once again, taking the lead from Julie and Lowell the moment they arrived at the roadblock, completing the roadblock first and surpassing Frankie and Amy even with an extra task by finishing the detour first and giving them another first place finish. After completing the welding task faster than any other team, we can now officially say that these two girls are good at everything and are definitely the front runners to win it all.
But not only was it a good leg for Steph and Kristen in terms of the challenges, it was also a good day for them strategically. Although they were put in a tough spot and continued to cover up their lie of having an express pass and giving the other to Frankie and Amy, they continued to fly under the radar and escape the uncomfortable situation. It was smart for Kristen to pull Ashley aside immediately after the father-daughter duo arrived at the detour. It was also smart by Ashley to try and strike up some kind of deal to keep the dating couple’s secret and smart by Kristen to agree to the deal, even if she was lying. If they can keep their promise next leg and not u-turn Joel and Ashley, they should be good to go and keep their secret of having the express pass for a little while longer.
It was another fantastic leg for Steph and Kristen and they continue to look like the front runners to win it all.
Who Finished Where? – Leg 6
Steph & Kristen and Jillian & Emmett continue to lead the pack as they have now finished in the top 2 together in three of the six legs and now have nine top 2 finishes between them. Julie & Lowell and Rita & Yvette stepped up their games to finish 3rd and 4th, while Frankie and Amy’s use of the express pass was ultimately a massive waste as they finished in 5th place after using it too early. In the end it was Joel and Ashley who finished in last place after struggling the entire leg, but the luck of the leg being a “keep-on racing” leg secured their stay in the race.
6th Joel and Ashley (non-elimination leg)
5th Frankie and Amy
4th Rita and Yvette
3rd Julie and Lowell
2nd Jillian and Emmett
1st Steph and Kristen (trip to Delhi, India)
Last But Not Least….
- It was an awesome day for Julie and Lowell as they secured their best ever finish, 3rd place. And as if Lowell couldn’t endear himself into our hearts any more, we learn that he’s been training to make the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo in the sport of cycling. Despite Lowell’s visual impairment, he was still able to complete the rock climbing fairly quickly and they were still able to do the painting challenge better than any other team.
- Frankie and Amy were hilarious after taking two beers from the “Art Rock” challenge. Amy claimed it was too bad that they had to keep on racing because she “had a buzz going on”.
Next Time On The Amazing Race – Leg 7….
Jon introduces the next leg by saying “Tempers continue to flare” and we are immediately shown a shot of Jillian and Emmett. UH OH! What this time? Are they going to fight again?
But no! It’s not Jillian and Emmett fighting with each other, it’s them discussing the express pass and Steph and Kristen with the other teams. And oh, how convenient. A u-turn is on it’s way too.
Steph and Kristen will be prime targets for the U-turn board but after leading the last two legs the entire time they may just have the upper hand and be able to u-turn whoever they want to get out of the race. They could even decide to go with Joel and Ashley and break their promise. However, I predict that Steph and Kristen will arrive at the detour board first and will decide not to u-turn any other team. I also predict that no team will take advantage of the u-turn board except for the usual, last team to arrive u-turning a team that has already past. Yep, the u-turn board will likely go to waste. Canadian teams are just far too nice I guess. Anyway, here is my predicted finish for leg 7!…
6th Frankie and Amy – Eliminated
5th Julie and Lowell
4th Joel and Ashley
3rd Rita and Yvette
2nd Jillian and Emmett
1st Steph and Kristen
It’s harder than ever to predict a team set for elimination next leg. In contrast, it’s easy to predict that the top two teams will likely be Steph and Kristen and Jillian and Emmett, in that exact order for the third leg in a row. Joel and Ashley’s train being so far behind might be too difficult for them to overcome but with a u-turn coming into play it’s likely that some kind of wait-around task will also come into play to put teams on an equal playing field. Meanwhile, I’m starting to feel better about Julie and Lowell’s chances in the race while Rita and Yvette have gotten two consecutive winner quotes in the last two episodes, talking about how they want to win the million for their mom, so it could be time we say goodbye to Frankie and Amy on the race. I hope this is not the outcome that takes place but it is still what I am going to predict.
How will next week play out and will it be anything like that? Stay tuned and see you next time, on the Amazing Race Canada Recap brought to you by The Mastermind!