The courageous attempt by homegrown fitness icons Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod to win The Amazing Race Canada has come to a crashing halt.
Best known for their series of Body Break TV spots in the nineties, Johnson and McLeod were eliminated in last night’s episode of the cross-country reality series. Fittingly dubbed Team Body Break, the couple married in 1999 after keeping their relationship secret for several years.
The episode began with the six remaining teams flying from Whitehorse to Regina, where they were promptly plunked into huge bins of lentils parked beneath the blazing prairie sun.
Each two-person team was tasked to find two toys/clues hidden somewhere within in the lentils, which resulted in dirty, leg-cramping work.
The frantic lentil-digging turned out to be too much for the team of fiftysomething Johnson and McLeod, who, along with a team known as Married Doctors (Holly and Brett), decided to forego the challenge and thereby incurred a two-hour penalty.
The winners of the lentil challenge: brawny Team Bros (aka Jet and Dave)
The next stage took place at the RCMP Heritage Centre facility in Regina, which turns out 1000 new Mounties each year and where one member on each team was instructed to tidy up a dorm room to specified RCMP code.
McLeod drew the task and was achingly deferential to the RCMP officer in charge but it still took her a few tries before finally getting it right. The RCMP challenge was won, again, by Team Bros.
And then, the big finish. The episode’s penultimate task took place at Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field, home of the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders. Contestants had the choice of Brawn or Beauty in the final challenge.
The Beauty: Learn a complete cheerleader routine replete with cartwheels and lifts. The Brawn: Run through a series of football drills that includes one team member catching a touchdown pass and the other booting a field goal.
Failure to complete the task meant a lap around the field and either option had to be performed in weather estimated to be around 40 degrees Celsius.
As might have been expected, Johnson and McLeod chose the Brawn option and, surprisingly, did not fare well. After several tries, they finally completed the task at roughly the same time as the Married Doctors (Brett and Holly), which lead to an exciting race up the stadium steps to the luxury box.
And once they got there, bad news. Johnson and McLeod discovered they were “U-Turned” by the father-son duo the Two Tims. “Not cool,” growled Johnson.
Naturally, the setback prompted Team Body Break to U-Turn the Married Doctors.
Both the Married Doctors and Team Body Break then went back down to the playing field where they had to take on the challenge they opted out of the first time around.
Which was pretty much where things fell apart for Team Body Break. The Married Doctors performed the Brawn task with startling ease, while Johnson and McLeod struggled with the Beauty challenge.
And after that, it was a race to the finish line. Team Bros breezed to a first-place finish, followed by the calculating Two Tims. The Married Doctors were third, but couldn’t check in until they sat out their two-hour time penalty.
Coming in fourth was Team Sisters (Vanessa and Celina) and Team Brawn (Jody and Cory) finished fifth.
And bringing up the rear in sixth place was Team Body Break, who looked haggard and weary and maybe just a little grateful that their ordeal was finally over.
Even if they had finished fourth or fifth, Johnson and McLeod would still have been eliminated due to their own two-hour time penalty. But to their credit, they remained solid competitors right to the end and their sportsmanship and genuine enthusiasm will be missed.
Next week's edition of The Amazing Race Canada takes place in Quebec City.