Crawl Across the Ocean

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Programming Note

Well it's the holidays so perhaps it's time for something less serious. With 'The Greatest Canadian' completed, and still no hockey, I figure the CBC still has a few holes in their schedule.

So, just like CTV held the Canadian 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' and 'Canadian Idol', it's time for CBC to develop 'The Amazing Canadian Race'.

This will be the same as the CBS show except the entire race will take place within Canada and to generate extra interest, we will have 11 teams of Canadian celebrities competing rather than just everyday Canadians.1

Picking the pairs of celebrities who will race together will be easy (see below for my suggestions) - the hard part will be negotiating a route. CBC will have to make sure the race visits each province at least once. Quebec will probably only agree to participate if at least 25% of the race takes place there and will insist on having complete control over every aspect of the race while it is in Quebec. The West is likely to complain but go along no matter what happens so it's probably a good area to go light on. In the same vein, Ontarians are used to sacrificing a little for the sake of their smaller provincial siblings so they'll probably accept a smaller share of the race as well.

Assuming an appropriate route can be found, here are my suggestions for the teams:

1. Don Cherry / Ron MacLean - the obvious choice, they can be expected to do well, and will benefit from the all-Canadian course since a trip to Sweden could lead to fatal bickering. Quebec is likely to be the toughest province to navigate for this pair.

2. Frank and Belinda Stronach - every Amazing race needs a parent/child team and this is a pretty high-powered one. While other teams are having pointless disagreements, decision making will run smoothly for these two since all decisions will be put to a vote2.

3. Leslie Nielsen and Paul Gross - this team is primarily here to pull in the female viewers. While Nielsen's advancing years could prove a liability these two will excel at any challenge that involves deadpan humour or pretending to be an RCMP officer.

4. Shania Twain and Celine Dion - this team should have the broadest cross-country support and could do well - if they can avoid the accidents that can arise from always driving down the middle of the road.

5. David Suzuki and David Frum - Perhaps the smartest team in the race, but not likely to perform well due to endless arguments about whether to turn left or right or just stay straight. With luck Bruce McCulloch can be talked into writing a team song for this pair.

6. Elisha Cuthbert and Sarah Polley - this isn't Fear Factor or some show on Fox so we don't have to worry that Elisha will be locked in a cage and need to be rescued by Sarah every episode. While I don't really like this team's chances in any eating challenges they should have youthful energy on their side (plus if any zombies need to be dealt with...)

7. Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul - Well, we know they like to travel. There are those who would question whether they will be able to manage roughing it during the arduous race, but I'm guessing they can take it. A pretty tough team to beat most likely.

8. Alanis Morissette and Avril Lavigne - This team will tell it like it is and should be entertaining as a result. Ironically, they could end up getting eliminated because they take simple tasks and make them too complicated. Or they could just get lost because they're paying more attention to how they feel than they are to the road.

9. Julie Snyder and Pierre Karl Péladeau - As creator & marketer of one of the most successful reality TV shows ever made, these two are a must have - even if it means giving the Quebec rights to TVA instead of Radio-Canada. (Not from Quebec and wondering who are these people? - here is some background).

10. David Pelletier and Jamie Salé - Perhaps no two Canadians have shown a greater ability to work together flawlessly than these two. Of course that can be pretty intimidating so I wouldn't be surprised if some of the other teams made a deal with the race organizers to, you know, level the playing field a little bit.

11. Paul Martin & Sheila Copps - Now some would say this team could never work together, but I think if you let Paul do the driving and have Sheila tell him where to go, they could go far.


1 Credit to Greg for the idea of picking favourite celebrity Amazing Race pairings.
2 Frank gets two votes.

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  • Possible Events:

    "Polar Bear Swim" Roadblock in Yellowknife, NT
    "Mountain Bike or Hike?" Detour in BC
    "Beer Drinking" Roadblock in Newfoundland/Labrador
    "Golf or Potatoes?" Detour in PEI
    "CN Tower Stairclimb" Roadblock in Ontario
    "Tightrope Walk or 'Maid of the Mist' Boatride?" Detour in Niagara Falls, ON
    "Rodeo Clown or Calf Roping?" Detour in Alberta
    "Grain Harvesting" Roadblock in Saskatchewan
    "Sealing or Arctic Char Fishing" Detour in Baffin Island, Nunavut (NV? NN?)
    "Magnetic Hill" Roadblock in Moncton, NB
    "Lobster Trapper or Lighthouse Operator?" Detour in Nova Scotia
    "Gold Rush" Roadblock in Dawson, Yukon

    Can't think of anything for Manitoba (apologies to Manitobans).

    And since I am not from Quebec I won't dare to suggest any of the 25% of events to be held in La Belle Province. I'm sure they'll come up with great ideas though.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:25 AM  

  • Hey, you forgot the obligatory Amazing Medicare Team ... the grandparents who never make it that far. I nominate Ken Dryden and one of his more physical buddies from his dynasty Habs. Serge Savard? He probably shouldn't drive, though.

    By Blogger aquietgirl, at 4:31 PM  

  • Maybe Dryden could pair up with Bob Gainey, that would be a formidable medicare duo - they might not score much, but you'd have a heck of a time getting anything by them.

    By Blogger Declan, at 8:12 PM  

  • Some good ideas there Simon, the Magnetic Hill roadblock should be a thriller!

    Manitoba's a tough one (I haven't been there since I was two). Any Manitobans out there?

    By Blogger Declan, at 9:37 PM  

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