The Amazing Race Canada Finale Recap: Second Place Isn’t Good Enough

Season 4 of the Amazing Race Canada came to a close tonight, with a great and exciting final leg that ended in a well-deserved win for the team that ultimately came out on top. Spoilers about the finale are down below, so only read on if you are ready to know who won the Amazing Race Canada.

Deserving Winners

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Let’s not bury the lead here, Steph and Kristen are the winners of the Amazing Race Canada 4 and fully deserved their win. Before we get into episode 11 as a whole, we have to talk about how amazing Steph and Kristen were on the race. The dating couple won 5 legs, including the most important one of all to become the winners of the season, the first ever lesbian couple to win any version of the show and the first ever female winners of the Amazing Race Canada.

On top of their five first place finishes, they also finished second on four other occasions, third once and sixth once, the leg that they had to undertake an extra task to secure the express pass. This gives them an average finish rate of 2.00, the joint-seventh most in Amazing Race history around the world, tied with the likes of Meghan and Cheyne who won Amazing Race 15 by winning seven out of twelve legs. It also puts them in second place behind only Natalie and Meaghan (1.83) in the Canadian version of the show and ahead of Amazing Race USA powerhouses such as Justin and Diana (2.08) and All Star winners Dave and Connor (2.17) in terms of average finish rates.

The softball girls were always positive, focused on the task at hand and never yelled at each other, always supporting each other instead. They solidified their win with their cutthroat approach to the game in regards to the express pass and the u-turn boards, their ability to conquer any kind of task and the optimism they shared about the race and their relationship. Steph and Kristen were a formidable team, highly entertaining and were definitely deserving winners of the Amazing Race Canada 4.

Cirque du Soleil, more like Jerk du Soleil 

Episode 11 of the Amazing Race Canada Season 4, started off with teams making their way to Montreal, Quebec and while on their way to the first challenge, a cirque du soleil task, we got our final clue about who the winners of the race were going to be even though it was already obvious. On their cab ride over to the task, Steph and Kristen were shown in confessional talking about their relationship with their mom’s, endearing themselves to our hearts once again and making it completely evident who the winner was going to be. But nonetheless, it was still incredibly entertaining to see how they got to that point, stepping on to the mat first and having Jon tell them they were the winners of the Amazing Race Canada 4.

Jillian and Emmett bossed the cirque du soleil challenge and got out of there in no time. Only problem? Their taxi driver, whom I am now dubbing the Jerk du Soleil, had taken off even though Emmett gave him 50$ to wait for them. Somehow, the next few taxis that arrived nearby were claimed by the two other teams and the exes found themselves in last place with no real way of ever catching up. This is where the race becomes hard to watch. The race almost becomes pointless, if the notion of the cab ride in between challenges becomes more important than the challenges themselves. Yes Jillian messed up the bagel challenge later on, but if they had arrived there in first place with Jillian more relaxed and not feeling the pressure of having to catch up, I guarantee you she would have performed a lot better and focused a lot harder at the task at hand. It is of my opinion that Jillian and Emmett lost this race thanks to bad cab drivers. I don’t believe that Steph and Kristen won because of the misfortunes of the pair of exes, but I do believe it played a massive role in Jillian and Emmett’s second place finish. On their way to the final pit stop, the team claim to have had even more issues with their taxi going through construction. Rarely does a team lose the race from bad cab drivers but when it happens, it’s absolutely brutal to watch. Justin and Diana are the biggest example that spring to mind as they dominated the race like none other in the show’s history only to come short due to taxi trouble. Not to take away anything from Steph and Kristen’s deserved win but Jillian and Emmett unfortunately will go down in my books as another team to lose the race because of something out of their control.

It All Came Down To Bagels 

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This isn’t an expression of any sort but after tonight maybe it should be. The race literally all came down to bagels tonight. Steph and Kristen won the race from Kristen’s performance at the challenge, and Ashley and Jillian lost the race for their respective teams due to their poor performances at the final roadblock. This was a tremendous final leg task. Not only did teams have to navigate the busy streets of Montreal, they also had to organize a ton of bagels and make sure they were placed in the right order. The tasks have been amazing this season and nothing was different about the finale as this was another impeccable choice for a task.

Kristen came out on top in this challenge by her determination to race around the city, her aptness to find the three locations faster than any other and her ability to stay focused on what was required to complete the task. The other two meanwhile had a little more difficulty with the challenge. Both Ashley and Jillian got lost on several occasions and in typical Jillian fashion, she at one point found herself all the way back to where she started. After not reading her clue properly and arriving at Jeans, Jeans, Jeans with the bagels in the incorrect order, she was forced to go all the way back to where she started again! The poor, the hungry and all Montrealers were cringing as they watched Jillian throw delicious looking bagels on the ground. Ashley wasn’t much better with the task either as she also had to ask strangers for help far too often and found herself floundering at times. However, her performance was nowhere near as bad as Jillian’s, but their karmic justice for lying to Frankie and Amy in the previous leg would still arrive later on. Just to reiterate, this challenge and the lead they gained from finishing the task with ease is where Steph and Kristen won the Amazing Race Canada 4.

The Voices on the Other Side of the Wall 

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Sorry for the scary quote above and you’re welcome horror movie writers looking for your next big project. The leg and the season finished off in dramatic fashion with all three teams working on the final task at the same time. This is the ideal scenario for the final task of the race as when one team is already out of it, it’s a lot less intense. When Emmett and Jillian arrived at the final task, presumably close to a half an hour behind the other two teams, Emmett noticed something strange. The voices on the other side of the wall. “Holy cow. We still have a fighting chance” Emmett said as soon as they arrived at the final challenge. And suddenly the race was on. This exemplifies again how crucial the jerk du soleil’s decision to abandon the pair of exes was to the outcome of the race. Steph and Kristen were close to finishing when the exes arrived but Emmett and Jillian powered-through that final challenge so much, that they may have actually come close to catching up to the dating couple.  But finally when the girls got the “Access Granted” sign and received their final clue for the race there was no doubt that they were going to come out on top of the race.

For future teams looking to win the Amazing Race Canada, study up on everything you hear and see in every leg because there is always a challenge like this to end the race. Joel and Ashley clearly didn’t study hard enough and paid the price as they eventually turned into stragglers and an after-thought for the remainder of the program.

Who Finished Where? – Leg 11

3rd Joel and Ashley 
2nd Jillian and Emmett 
1st Steph and Kristen – CA$250,000, a “once-in-a-lifetime” trip for two around the world and any Chevrolet car driven during the race.

Finally I got it right. For the first time this season I correctly guessed the order of the final three. And although it wasn’t too hard of a task, it’s a victory nonetheless. Steph and Kristen came out on top of the final three as Jillian and Emmett’s struggles throughout the leg resulted in a second place finish and Joel and Ashley claimed third despite leading a small section of the final leg.

Final Notes on Leg 11

As great as this finale was, one of my favourite parts was Emmett putting his shoe in the elevator to try and save time and the BMO girl’s priceless reaction about it.

It was fantastic for Steph and Kristen to win the race. They deserved it. I just wish the edit hadn’t been so predictable about it. It wasn’t as predictable as Gino and Jesse’s win but the editors need to find a way to showcase all three teams equally throughout the season so that predicting who is going to win becomes a game of studying who has the most wins or who has done the best in challenges rather than who has the strongest edit. Season 2 got everything right and the best thing of all about the season was the ultimate ending in which everyone was caught off guard when Mickey and Pete, fan favourites and overall amazing guys, won the race. I sincerely hope that Season 5 of this show gives us a surprising victory like that.

Season 4 Wrap-Up

Everything about season four was on-point. The challenges were amazing and corresponded well to the places that teams were visiting, the locations were beautiful and the enthusiastic Jon Montgomery did a fantastic job hosting the show as always. My one qualm with Season 4 (besides the predictable final three and winning team) was the lack of countries that they visited. Cuba and Vietnam are very typical countries to visit on the race and only visiting three countries (Canada was the other one) was not great and not as much as they could have done. With all the problems going on in the world it is understandable that they didn’t visit certain places but I’m sure everyone would have loved to see teams travel to somewhere in Europe, Australia or my personal favourite Africa! Well perhaps next time. The lack of countries visited didn’t take away from the experience and entertainment of the race as a viewer and allowed the program to showcase more of what Canada has to offer which is what our country’s version of the race is all about (well that and friendliness).

Season 4 was amazing and I probably will leap frog it ahead of Season 1 in my rankings and call it the second best season of the Amazing Race Canada so far (behind only Season 2). Steph and Kristen were the most deserving team to win the Amazing Race Canada so far, all eleven legs were entertaining and had plenty to talk about, the challenges were incredible and everything was right about the casting of the teams, including the women-heavy cast to ensure a female winner. Season 4 ends as a very enjoyable season with an incredible and well-deserved win from Steph and Kristen.

So what’s in store for the future? The Mastermind will be back to cover the Amazing Race Canada 5 next year, Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X which airs in eight days and even a few brief articles and updates about the Amazing Race USA 29 which looks set to air this winter. If you’ve liked what you’ve read, make sure to subscribe.

This is our official sign-off for season four of the Amazing Race Canada. It was an amazing season and I’m sure this season will come up plenty of times in future discussions, starting with Amazing Race Canada 5 next April. We’ll see you then!

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CONGRATULATIONS STEPH AND KRISTEN!

 

 

 

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