Atwal siblings edge out gold medallists to win another 'Amazing Race Canada' leg | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Atwal siblings edge out gold medallists to win another 'Amazing Race Canada' leg

Montreal couple Alain Chanoine and Audrey Tousignant-Maurice from "The Amazing Race Canada" are pictured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ho
September 10, 2014 - 4:30 PM

TORONTO - Whirlwind sibling duo Sukhi and Jinder Atwal held off the mussel-flexing Golden Girls Meaghan Mikkelson and Natalie Spooner in Charlottetown, and finally "The Amazing Race Canada" looks like it has more than one credible contender.

The Atwals won their the second straight leg in Tuesday's instalment with a cutthroat performance that was either gritty or gutless, depending on whom you asked — and the hockey players certainly fell into the latter camp, sniping bitterly with the Atwals at the Pit Stop.

"They're angry at us, but we feel good," grinned Jinder.

"We feel great," corrected sister Sukhi. "And I'm even more inspired to kick their butt."

Speaking of bickering, entertainingly quarrelsome Montreal couple Alain Chanoine and Audrey Tousignant-Maurice were eliminated despite not struggling to a much greater degree than the rest of the teams — the competition was simply that flat.

That new parity only generated more tension, beginning at the airport when everyone realized that Vancouver bartender buddies Ryan Steele and Rob Goddard had been granted yet another reprieve in last week's leg, which turned out to be a non-elimination round.

"Dude, go home!" shouted Jinder in a jovial tone as a greeting.

At the sight of the brawny pair, their competitors worked with admirable diligence to smile — except Meaghan, whose teeth-grinding irritation was visibly evident.

"Lucky for them," she seethed. "They had a horseshoe — somewhere."

"There's gotta be a little part of them that's annoyed," surmised Ryan of the rest of the field. "I would be!"

Well, they didn't have much time to process the duo's surprise survival. Awaiting was a harness-racing challenge that ultimately proved inconsequential — though Pete Schmalz calling best pal Mickey Henry a "beautiful blond stallion" was a highlight — and then a more substantial Road Block testing racers' knowledge of Canadian history.

One member from each team was to tour the Province House National Historic Site and speak to costumed extras to receive the name and one distinguishing feature of each of the 10 delegates who attended 1864's Charlottetown Conference.

Racers would then have to take that knowledge and correctly identify the period-dressed actors inside the building from memory.

This is where the Atwals established the lead that would — barely — carry them through to a first-place finish.

Initially flustered after several failed attempts, Sukhi gathered herself outside and located a new gear of competition. Jinder seemed to instantly recognize Super Sukhi emerging.

"When Sukh needs to get something done she just channels everything in and completely focuses," he said of his sister, a former pageant queen.

"She just cuts everything out around her. She has all these weird ways to memorize things."

Indeed, viewers were then treated to an inside look at the inner machinations of Sukhi's unique mnemonic device.

She remembered Col. John Hamilton Gray by telling herself: "He has a cane because he's old and GREY. Boom."

She concretized her memory of Toronto Globe founder George Brown, meanwhile, by thinking of her cousin, who's named George.

"I'm brown. He's brown. We're brown. George Brown."

Finally, there was Robert B. Dickey ...

"I imagined he had a big —"

The show tastefully cut away here — unfortunately applying no such restraint to a manure-excavating Speed Bump completed by the bartenders, by the way — but, odd as it was, Sukhi's system worked and the siblings raced off to the Detour.

By contrast, Meaghan and Natalie were the last to leave after eight attempts, and after such routine early dominance — including wins in six of the first eight legs — they seemed rattled.

"This is the first time we've been in last place," said Meaghan. "This is my worst nightmare coming true. This could be it for us."

She was pessimistic even after moving on from the challenge.

"Don't stress," Natalie offered helpfully.

"Well I kind of am stressed because I just did a Road Block that put us in last place," Meaghan snapped back.

Champions that they are, the hyper-competent teammates channelled their frustration into a truly dominant performance at their next stop.

No one bothered with a potato-weighing option that was offered, so only one Detour possibility was relevant this week: the systematic stripping of 800 kilograms of scummy mussels.

As unpleasant as it sounds on paper, the challenge was still more taxing in practice. After a few minutes toiling, Jinder lamented the task as "impossible" and Meaghan declared: "This is the worst smell I've ever smelled in my life."

To combat the filthy and frustrating nature of the project, all the teams seemed to engage in some fortitude-building trash talk. But Meaghan and Natalie, fire-eyed and efficient, ascended to another level of competitive drive — frankly freaking out some of the other teams in the process.

"They're doing this faster than anyone, it's incredible," said Jinder.

"Like seriously, these women are machines," Sukhi marvelled. "They tap into some kind of inner animal."

Impressed though she may have been, Sukhi apparently wasn't daunted.

The two teams moved on around the same time and so began a tightly contested road race to the Pit Stop at the Farmers' Bank of Rustico. Sukhi and Jinder stopped briefly to ask for directions while the hockey players looked on — and in a goofy bit of misdirection, the Atwals mimed as if their navigator was actually indicating the opposite path to the goal.

The hockey players weren't fooled, but they were fuming — especially when the fleet-of-foot Atwals managed to reach host Jon Montgomery mere seconds before them (winning a trip anywhere in Canada and $5,000).

"They tried to point us in the wrong direction on the road and I just think that there's a right way to win and a wrong way to win," Meaghan complained.

"You're just mad because you're in second," Jinder shot back.

"If you guys want to play the game that way, that's fine," replied Meaghan.

As the race heated to a boil, it lost the lovably hot-headed Alain and Audrey, whose frantic bickering rarely seemed less than charming.

Given that Alain proposed during a romantic "Amazing Race" sojourn to Paris — and of course she said yes — the pair had a silver-lined horizon for consolation.

"We're going to go home and I'm going to marry this beautiful girl," Alain smiled.

"We didn't win the grand prize but we got our own grand prize," Audrey said. "We're engaged now. We're going to start our life together and that's absolutely wonderful."


The Canadian Press caught up with the eliminated pair Wednesday to chat about their experience on "The Amazing Race Canada."

CP: You finished just behind a team that was saved by not one but two non-elimination legs. Does that rankle you?

Audrey: It's really hard when you're eliminated and you think about that and you're like, technically we're in the Top 3, right? Technically we should have a shot at this, but then at the same time it's part of the game. We didn't have the luck on our side, and that's fine, you know. But it can get a bit frustrating at times.

CP: Congratulations on your engagement. Have you set a date?

Audrey: We're looking at April 2015.

CP: Is anyone from the show going to be invited?

Audrey: Absolutely. But it's a destination wedding so we don't know how many of them could actually make it.

Alain: All the teams we really like (are invited): Nicole and Cormac, Rex and Bob, Meaghan and Natalie, Rob and Ryan. Even Mickey and Pete, whoever wants to come.

CP: I'm guessing not the twins (Pierre and Michel Forget)?

Alain: I don't think they'd want to come anyway.

CP: Did you really have to hide the ring the entire race?

Alain: Yes. I bought it before I left. I asked her father before leaving if I could marry his daughter. I went shopping for the ring with her sister. I hid it at the bottom of my bag in some pants I had. I checked it every night. I was scared in the cab every time we had to leave our bags somewhere. It was scary. But everything went well, fortunately.

CP: Did you suspect anything, Audrey?

Audrey: Absolutely not. And he was asking for all this information in the cabs when we were leaving our bags and I was like, Baby, it's only stuff, it's not a big deal. And then I realized it was a big deal. I did not expect it at all, whatsoever. It's really nice when it's done as a surprise.

— Follow @CP_Patch on Twitter.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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