Welcome to the second edition of reviewing and responding to the various problems that casual fans have with The Amazing Race Canada.
Every week I compile the comments which made me laugh the most, and use this as a point of analysis to review why some members of the fanbase think this way, and what they need to understand in order for them to get over these issues.
There was much overlap with what was discussed last week. I can assure you the comments we see in weeks to come will have a great thematic change.
1. “Lost me as a viewer when you left Canada. I wanted to see our beautiful country showcased!”
They went to all ten provinces and three territories in the first two seasons. Nearly every fishing village on each coast was covered. What more do you want?
2. “2 woman police teams?! That’s strange !”
3. “I stopped watching this series years ago. I hate how the teams are put together, give me average Canadians and not people you think will make good TV!”
Years ago? You do know that the show has only been running for two years. Did they purchase Netflix Premium Gold Plus and saw seasons four and five already?
4. “Hey why don’t you have ppl from south western Mb on the show.”
I know. I want people to be cast who live within a twenty kilometre radius of Prince George, but no less than ten. How the hell have they not cast a team from that area?
It’s not rocket science!
5. “Hey folks, this is supposed to be Amazing Race CANADA. Why are they going to India??? Keep the race Canadian, IN CANADA.”
6. “You guys always seem to go to Toronto, nearly half your contestants have been from Ontario. Maybe show should be renamed, amazing race Ontario, not really showcasing canada here guys.”
7. “Keep it in Canada, after all it is The Amazing Race CANADA!!”
8. “I can’t believe you cast a contestant who finds Tyler Perry funny. Why not let regular people on the show who don’t see Tyler Perry as being remotely funny?”
Okay. That might have been mine.
9. “It would be nice if they would visit somewhere else rather than Calgary every season. Obviously the idiots producing this have no clue or desire to explore all the other parts of Alberta”
10. “it would be even more exciting it saskatchewan was represented!”
11. “What’s up with this racers? Haven’t they seen amazing race before where they see that they have to swim, jump and all that?”
12. “Left from Quebec City, & no french Canadians/ that sucks, not very fair….”
Response from another commenter: “I agree, totally. I won’t watch the show. No French Canadians on the show and they started of in Quebec city, won’t be watch this show, next.”
Yeah, French-Canadians never get any attention on TAR Canada.
13. “Not very impressed that it seems most of the teams are from Ontario – not one team from Alberta and looks like no small town teams! Honestly we applied the first season & every year I get a little more disappointed with their choices of teams- why is that the east end Canada seems to get more spots? Considering not watching because it’s starting to look more biased!”
14. “Nic and Sabrina should not have been able to finish the last challenge like that. Totally cheated by not walking the slippery pole. LAME!!”
There was a 13th team who was penalized for taking a taxi across the log–er, I mean slippery pole. Too bad we didn’t see that.
15. “PLEASE STOP THE ANNOYING NARRATOR VOICE !! It just started and I already so annoyed by the voice that I’m ready to stop watching it !!! It sounds like my annoying GPS talking … stop the voice !!!! We don’t need to hear play by play … we are watching it !!!”
NOTE: I have been informed this is in reference to descriptive video and not to Jon Montgomery. My apologies.
16. “Not sure how crawling across a beam is the same as walking across it.”
As Arianne would say during TAR 3, walk is defined as “hop, skip, jump, run, etc.”. In the official TAR rule book, crawl would fall under this category.
17. “I was looking forward to it so much, but I ended up turning it off before the end. Is it a prerequisite that there has to be at least one whiny, pathetic racer? Yikes! Why would someone even apply if they were so unfit and unadventurous?”
Sigh. I need to elaborate upon this once more.
18. “Why would you enter the Amazing Race if you are not physically fit and able to complete the challenges that are in EVERY season??”
You know what we call most of those people? Rejected applicants.
19. “Rather watch Masterchef USA.. It’s on tonight too! Oh yeah..”
20. “So jealous about the TSN challenge. I would’ve finished last that leg cause I’d do it all day for fun.”
I don’t know if jealousy is the word I would use to describe a workplace that contains James Duthie. More like “man, I can’t wait to get out of Duthie’s hellhole”.
21. “I’m sorry but this is the BEST you can do? Hoping for Jesse Lumsdons dad and sis but would it kill you to represent all of Canada??”
22. “Why can’t the race stay in Canada?? To me the appeal is to see parts of our country we haven’t been to.”
23. “Along the same lines///diversity… we’re waiting for this show to include Indigenous partners.”
You would love Big Brother Canada (1), my friend.
24. “What’s the point of having all those different flight times if they all had to wait till 8am to enter the market?”
Because producers wanted the only point of separation to be in a task which involves getting away from James Duthie as fast as you can. To me that is a hilarious reason to have an equalizer. Absolutely nothing else mattered this round.
25. “Why is it that of the 3 seasons of amazing race canada, there has never been any asian teams?”
Damn you Europeans!
26. “I’d like to congratulate the producers of this television program. Never before have so many sh–ty human beings been assembled in one show. They are absolutely toxic to watch.”
We saw each team for about three minutes total. Many of them for a shorter period of time. I don’t think we saw anything that would make us jump to a conclusion that any of them sucked.
Well, except for the VoldeMussolinis.
27. “Why are you allowing freaks such as trans-gendered freaks to go on your show? You have no standards!!! We have WAYYYYYYYYYY too many of them and the last thing we need is to have it pushed on us in our homes. NO CLASS CTV!”
TIL: There is still bigotry and homophobia in Canada.
a) Oh my word. Are we STILL talking about having an uneven representation of geographic areas in terms of contestants for this season?
I thought this would be an issue which dies out at the start of each season, but it is very much alive and kicking. Besides the fact that contestants want to see either themselves or their friends cast for the show, there has to be more to it than this right?
Because as my Aussie TAR friends Ben and Michelle have told me, the whole obsession over regional representation is not mentioned in Australia. Nobody cares about that crap. Americans only complain about Californians occupying each cast, but it never gets out of hand.
So why is it such a huge deal to Canadians? Particularly why was everyone so dang adamant about the Prairies? I think I have an answer.
Ontario is our political, economic, and cultural capital since 1867. Vancouver, BC is our secondary location in the entertainment industry.
Therefore, the rest of the country feels left out. This is the first season where nobody is whining about a lack of Atlantic representation which is a region that also expresses frequent alienation.
The prairies have nothing. It is a large geographic section of the country, but outside of Corner Gas and pumping oil and farmland, it doesn’t receive much recognition.
Except Scorpion from Saturday Night Slam Masters is based out of Calgary. That kills me every time. It’s the equivalent of Bear Hugger being from Salmon Arm.
So there’s one team total from the Prairies. Brian & Cynthia. In the YATNcast cast preview, I predicted Brian & Cynthia would be the most boring team in TAR Canada history. Not only is sending a casting agent to the Prairies expensive or you don’t have the right interns looking at the audition tapes, but maybe there was just an overall lacking pool if Brian & Cynthia were the best they got.
Well, after one episode and they have so far lived up to possessing that military-like Dave & Rachel or Frank Garrison personalities.
Frank was a neat guy because he speaks in a way that nobody else does, and has views on the world that lead to some funny interactions with other contestants. He is the perfect person to have other contestants play off of him in Survivor: Africa.
In TAR, the only person you can play off of 95 percent of the time is your own partner. Therefore, a Frank Garrison doesn’t work out too well in TAR. A couple off on their own in the prairies with a strong military background may not make for compelling television.
So far Brian & Cynthia’s only entertainment value and overall audience appeal is the, erm, incident with Nick.
Nick’s only airtime for the whole week.
At least Mario has the courtesy to go above or below the koopas when climbing across a net wall.
Some guy riding her back before she falls on her crotch multiple times was their only method of receiving airtime other than Duthie making a joke at their expense. Brian kept the same tone of voice during all of Cynthia’s struggles. The second they stop providing physical comedy and be an underdog is the second they will fade very fast.
Waking up with a sore crotch in the morning after a rough physical day is a situation nobody wants to be involved in.
And a situation where you can’t blame Bill. . .okay, I am better than that.
So there we go. The one team from the Prairies has proven to be toneless thus far. Now there are only two other teams who are not from BC or Ontario. This is the aforementioned two true Atlantic Canada teams which have been neglected in the past two seasons. Who are they again?
After they were introduced, their only scene in the premiere was ironically the Brian & Cynthia incident. I think their total airtime was in the seconds. As for the other Atlantic Canada team?
Their names are Dana & Amanda. One of them wore a fashionable hat during the TSN Roadblock.
So there you go. The three teams not from Ontario or BC gave production relatively little material for them to work with in the first episode. I know all three teams are probably pretty awesome people (being entertaining or intriguing on TV does not reflect how you are in real life), but it does support the fact that perhaps producers are either finding no one in these regions to cast or they are not looking at the right angle.
However, there are eleven more episodes to go. My opinion could change rapidly.
b) Announcing they are heading to South America for what will most likely be for two rounds is already firing up the “stay in Canada!” crowd.
I do not know how strong this sentiment really is. I said last week that it seems to be a 60/40 split in favour of international travel, but no matter what producers decide they will be upsetting many viewers.
You already know how I feel. TAR Canada (1) was a beta test for the franchise. I do not consider it a true TAR season. Traveling through Canada came off as like a program you would see on OLN. Only three episodes of the season get a seal of approval from me.
“Keep fit and f–k off” is indeed one of them.
I have said multiple times that this is the final season where they can get away with staying inside of Canada for the majority of it, and I am beginning to think that should have ended with last season.
We saw it in the season premiere. The starting city was Quebec City which was featured for a whole round in TAR Canada (1). Toronto was the destination for this week, and we all know it was the final city for TAR Canada (1). We are already repeating with just 2 1/12 seasons into the franchise.
That ain’t good, folks.
Not to mention the most important location for the round was TSN Headquarters. A TV studio which airs the re-runs of TAR Canada each week.
That would be like if TAR 3 had a task in the premiere where teams took a taxi to CBS Headquarters where they did a news report for The Talk with Julie Chen. The audience would just laugh at such a silly task. TAR Asia’s obsessive advertising never stooped that low either.
In addition, Elias Theodorou, the contestant eliminated in the premiere and who I expected to be the biggest character of this season, was eliminated at the Air Canada Centre. A place where a pro athlete from Mississauga has probably visited numerous times before.
Although it can be forgiven since Monty did hug the Raptor mascot. I’ll admit that was the best screencap of the week. Thank you editors for including this in the episode.
I just think this is a huge sign that other than the few remaining specific Canadian locations which I have come up with in the past, we’re not only going to be Canada Dry by the end of this season but there will be no alternative to going full on international. This is the day which I have really wanted.
A day which has already happened several times for The Amazing Race Australia, The Amazing Race Norge, The Amazing Race China Presented by Infiniti, and even freakin’ The Amazing Race Asia.
So whenever TAR Canada is done with South America in the next couple of weeks, I bet the next couple of locations will finally convince those “Canada only!” naysayers to hop the fence.
The only people who may never jump will be those who are fifth grade school teachers and use the show as an excuse to engage with students about the subject of Canadian history.
Oh, and not to mention staying in Canada means the same team will dominate most of the race, it makes you come off as xenophobic, you want the tasks to be reduced to a series of memorization challenges and fishing tasks, you keep teams in the same country as James Duthie, and you wonder how the hell you can have a show called The Amazing Race when they lack a sense of adventure.
Lastly, why the hell is the name of the show still an issue? You do know it has to be called The Amazing Race Canada because of branding, right?
c) For some reason, a surprising number of viewers complained about Nic & Sabrina’s inabilities. In fact, many racers were dissed for whenever they screwed up in the premiere.
I am not sure if you are aware of this, but casting teams who are well-rounded and ace nearly every challenge does not make them a good choice to put on the race.
Sure, I am not advocating to have a bunch of teams who all equally suck, but you need a good blend of a few teams who are compelling and are somewhat skilled, and then the other half who may have fewer skills but are endearing to the audience.
As a previous TAR contestant once told me, producers never care if you can drive a stick, swim well, keep physically fit, and play the perfect social game.
It will have zero impact in regards to whether or not you will be cast.
Nic & Sabrina are my personal favourites thus far. I love their sense of humour and are great speakers in confessionals. They wear their emotions on their green, white, and red sleeves which will help anchor this season.
d) The fact that there are multiple complaints about a transgendered person being cast is exactly why a transgendered person need to be cast this season. Hamilton may surpass the American one-armed surfing 3rd place finisher as the most inspiring Hamilton to participate on The Amazing Race.
If you cast the complaints aside, we had wonderful moments such as Nic & Sabrina’s antics, Sean vomiting at the sight of the VoldeMussolinis, the aforementioned Monty hugging a raptor, and Kristin’s over-the-top tears in the TSN studio.
Stay tuned next week for when viewers’ complaints will become much more specific. Knowing how the Internet has worked over the past fifteen years, this will only get progressively more fun as the season moves along.
P.S. Here are the other complaints about the premiere which I deem to be legitimate:
– The equalizers.
– Gino doesn’t work hard if he works for the city.
– Imagine if Neil aced the TSN task on the first try? I would project a conspiracy theory.
– Don’t care about capable teams.
– Don’t care about James Duthie.
– The word unscramble was lame TV in the opening round.
– The terrible Levis to the Chevys pun.
– Who’s More Sporty? is a devilish trick. It wasn’t even witty. Just a trick to lure out the physical players so we could watch Cynthia fall and watch a dyslexic man struggle to read.
Jim would have totally tripped at the starting line on the pier. Thankfully he does not have dual citizenship.
If you like my opinions about TAR Canada, listen to my weekly podcast with YATNcast.