Yesterday I watched the Amazing Race Canada. I had already been pretty excited for the show and spraining my ankle beforehand and being unable to do anything made any TV show seem exciting.
While some people bemoaned about the fact that the race was not going to leave Canada, I didn’t mind the Canadian focus. Canada has a pretty large land mass and pretty diverse scenery and climate and I still haven’t explored a lot of Canada. I didn’t like how the Amazing Race Canada featured only 9 teams while most other versions of the Amazing Race have 11. I wish they had more teams, both because I saw a ton of great audition videos and because fewer teams means fewer legs of the race. To be truthful though, the first couple weeks of the show I don’t even remember all the teams so I don’t know how big of a loss this is.
The cast of the Amazing Race seems pretty interesting. All of the teams seem a whole lot nicer than the American teams. I really like how they included but didn’t try and over dramatize Cory, who is a recent amputee or Tim Sr, who has Parkinsons. We haven’t seen any blow ups between partners yet or much friction between teams. I loved how they showed the teams supporting each other instead with Cory sharing his story of his prosthetics with the twins and getting encouragement and the gay cowboys hugging the twins when they lost. I liked how there was some minor freaking out before the tasks but it didn’t seem super dramatic and the competitors all seemed proud and excited after completing challenges. I am also a huge fan of Hal and Joanne and her saying that Body Break bit before she jumped off was priceless. They should bring Body Break back. Jon Montgomery looks a lot like Phil Keoughan and isn’t a bad host at all.
The Tasks/Challenges and actual race:
I like how they used the words terrarium and yacht. Yeah I know that is really weird. While the terrarium challenge fell a bit flat, the diving and walking out on a high plank looked exciting. I also liked how each person had to do a roadblock. The task were pretty straightforward though and with minimum freakage, footage of each team completing the task quickly got boring. I’m surprised that despite reading the clues out loud, the teams had so much trouble with the tasks and did things like not taking two clues or driving around the lake looking for an Ogo Pogo.
There are usually some pretty interesting conversations or dynamic between partners when the teams are in transit driving or running in the American version. This didn’t seem that evident in the Canadian version though. The most interesting part seemed to be a few people honking while Don was driving and Jet? sticking his head out of the car and someone making a remark about not hanging out with the team likely to impale their heads while driving.
There was way too much product placement. While I find overt product placement and advertising rampant in a lot of Canadian reality TV, it never gets any less annoying. Air Canada, Interac Flash, Chevrolet Spark your couple seconds of completely random footage are enough, several seconds are definitely pushing it. With the partnership with Air Canada it also takes some of the fun out of booking airline tickets and finding the fastest route to places. I’ve also been delayed for +4 hours with Air Canada for non weather related reasons at major airports so I wonder if any of the teams will be hit with massive delays.
Overall while the show was good and I would watch again, it definitely seemed like a lower cost version of the American show.