Entertainment The Amazing Race Canada recap: Mind over math

16:06  12 july  2017
16:06  12 july  2017 Source:   Toronto Star

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Being calculating (in a numerical way) vaults last week's elimination bait into first place.

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Who knew that cheesecake could be an Amazing Race Canada superfood?

Apparently it was part of what helped Newfoundland cousins Megan and Courtney go from next to last place to first place in Tuesday’s leg of TAR Canada, which was run in and around Fort McMurray, Alberta.

“Oh my god, this is our leg,” enthused Courtney as they made their way to the helicopter that would take them to the pit stop in the middle of Miskanaw Gulf Club in MacDonald Island Park. “I woke up this morning, I had cheesecake. I knew it.”

The cousins’ other ally was a less tasty variable: math.

The mathematics involved in figuring out how much fuel a helicopter would need to keep stable while transporting oil and forestry workers and gear to the Wood Buffalo Region gave biomedical engineering technologist Megan a leg up. “It looks like basic algebra. I know exactly what formula I have to use,” she said. “Huh?” went those of watching at home.

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The math problem kept buddies Kenneth and Ryan from regaining their front-runner perch and left powerhouse personal trainers Korey and Ivana just minutes away from elimination — or by the “skin of my dreads,” in Korey’s words.

In the end, it was YouTube stars Dan and Riya who took the fall, becoming the second team eliminated this season. But Dan was philosophical: running the race had given them “better YouTube content and better friendship,” he said.

“The world will see Dan and Riya so much more.”

Read on for highlights of Tuesday’s episode:

Ban the P-Word: Montreal business partners Andrea and Ebonie had learned a lesson about perseverance after they used something else that starts with a “p” on the very first challenge last week. “Last leg, we took a penalty; it paid off, but we are definitely never using the P-word ever, ever again,” vowed Ebonie. They stuck to their, ahem, word, getting ahead in the Road Block by virtue of Andrea’s love of climbing and jumping; sticking with a firefighting Detour despite early problems getting their hose working; and completing the math challenge just behind Megan and Courtney. “It’s real team No. 2, we have no penalty,” said Ebonie proudly when they hit the pit stop.

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Triple threat, triple pass: At the WildPlay Elements Park at Vista Ridge, one member of each team had to climb, crawl and swing through an adventure course to platforms 50 feet in the air to hunt for clues and express passes. Kenneth, one half of the “give ’er” team, boasted that he was a triple threat — “I’m emotional, I’m physical and I’m spiritual” — and made good on the brag by finding not only all three clues to the next challenge but all three express passes, which allow teams to bypass difficult tasks.

“Stoke levels are through the roof now, dude,” exclaimed Kenneth.

That express pass bounty came in handy at the math challenge as the Collingwood pals fell further and further behind. They gave a pass to Edmonton spouses Karen and Bert in exchange for the answer to the fuel equation, which was good for a fifth-place finish.

Fort Mac strong: Naturally there was no way the race could come to Fort McMurray without mention of last year’s wildfire that led to the evacuation of more than 90,000 people and the destruction of more than 2,400 homes and buildings.

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Some contestants got emotional. Flying over the lingering physical reminders of the evacuation, Ivana cried remembering what it was like to flee the Bosnian War as a 6-year-old. Megan and Courtney got teary-eyed when their helicopter pilot pointed out the remains of his burned house.

After completing the “Pump It” firefighting Detour, Karen and Bert took the time to shake the hand of every firefighter overseeing the task and say, “Thank you so much for your hard work.”

Waiting with host Jon Montgomery at the pit stop was Deputy Brad Grainger of the Fort McMurray fire department.

This week’s misses: The math challenge was a tough one for some teams, but it wasn’t the only thing holding contestants back.

Torontonians Dan and Riya, and Korey and Ivana, and Montreal siblings Adam and Andrea all got lost driving to WildPlay Park. Once there, Korey and Riya had trouble finding the hidden clues, so much so that Andrea — who was the last to arrive with Adam and was battling the after-effects of knee surgery — got her clues and got out ahead of them.

Dan and Riya, and Korey and Ivana were also the last two teams at the “Pull It” Detour, which involved shooting fast-moving clay targets with a 20-gauge shotgun at the Fort McMurray Fish and Game Club.

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The Toronto teams were still neck and neck at the math challenge where Vancouver father and son Zed and Shabbir shared the answer with Adam and Andrea, enabling the siblings to stay ahead.

The finishes were as follows: Behind Megan and Courtney (who won a trip to Auckland, New Zealand) and Andrea and Ebonie were Toronto daters Sam and Paul in third place; Karen and Bert in fourth; Kenneth and Ryan, No. 5; Zed and Shabbir, No. 6; Adam and Andrea, No. 7; and Korey and Ivana No. 8.

We’ll see if brains win the day over brawn again next week when the race moves to the interior of British Columbia.

It airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. on CTV. You can email me at dyeo@thestar.ca , tweet me @realityeo or visit my Facebook page.

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