An unforgettable adventure provided Natalie Spooner and Meaghan Mikkelson with their fourth consecutive victory on The Amazing Race Canada. Of all their victories, this was certainly the most hard-earned. In the episode titled “They’re Harshing Our Mellow”, tensions seem to have come to the surface as Canada’s hockey heroes are becoming the target of envy among their fellow competitors.
As winners of the third leg of the race, Spooner and Mikkelson had the privilege of leaving Hong Kong first (towards Macau) at 12:02 pm. Meanwhile, their closest competition left more than one later at 1:07 pm. Despite the significant time advantage, the first boat leaving for Macau was scheduled for 4:00 pm. As a side note, of the eight teams remaining, four were allowed to be on the 4:00 pm boat.
One the four teams from the first boat arrived at Macau, Spooner and Mikkelson’s athleticism and quick thinking brought them back to the top. Managing to find their way to the front of the line (they asked the residents if they could cut in as they were in a hurry) and grab the first taxi available. Heading to the A-Ma temple first (the first stop in the fourth leg of the race), Spooner and Mikkelson light fireworks in a tradition that is meant to ward evil spirits. From there, they quickly head over to the next destination, the AJ Hackett Macau Tower, a 61-story tower that presents the first road block in the fourth leg of the race.
Going to the very top of the tower, one member of each team had to engage in the world’s largest commercial bungee jump (764 feet high), as recognized by the Guinness World Records. Mikkelson assumed the reins, although an element of nervousness seemed evident on the elevator ride up. With a camera attached to her helmet, there was no place to hide. Once she jumped off the platform, her facial expression displayed a mix of adrenaline, relaxation, composure and confidence as her efforts contributing to a growing lead.
Unfortunately, the lead would be diminished as the duo proceeded to Happiness Street. Frantically searching for the retail store that sold almond cookies (which would supply the clue for the next aspect of the race), they opted to team up with Pierre and Michel Forget. Once again, this would prove to be smart strategy as working with the French Canadian twins resulted in finding the venue. As Spooner and Mikkelson have an option of allocating an express pass in the fifth leg of the race, Pierre and Michel may likely be the beneficiaries.
Presented with a Detour, the teams had the choice to Stamp It or Stomp It. The Stamp It option consisted of a labyrinth where shrines featuring Chinese emblems had to be stamped on a parchment. On the other hand, Stomp It was the chance to engage in a traditional Macinese dance while wearing traditional Portugese garb. Taking into account that the Stomp It Option seemed to be the easiest and quickest, it would be a popular option throughout the episode.
With Mikkelson disclosing that she was not a good dancer, it presented the first obstacle that they have faced since the race began. Failing twice in their attempts, Spooner pleaded that the best way to learn was to participate whiel Mikkelson countered that observing would be a preferred method.
The frustrations of the dance would allow other teams to catch up. As a side note, one team went to the video confessional to joke that dancing was the one weakness that the Olympians had. Spooner, dressed in the traditional male dancer’s garb, was taking the lead. Avoiding disaster, she would help lead Mikkelson into a successful third attempt, as the lead was back in their grasp.
Once again, frustrations reared its ugly head as they progressed to the third aspect of the leg in Macau. Observing the gambling tables of the Grand Lapa hotel, in order to learn the traditional game of Fan Tan, Spooner tried to offer Mikkelson advice. She abruptly replied that Spooner should look after her own part of the game.
Maintaining her composure, Spooner would show strong leadership again. Despite some other teams catching up to them at the casino, Spooner cracked the code of the game, retaining the lead once again. With the final part of the leg in the race featuring the navigation of an underground tunnel, it would prove to be of minimal challenge.
An exuberant Spooner and Mikkelson would emerge as winners for the fourth consecutive time, a grand slam. In addition to winning $3000 for their ScotiaBank Gold, a vacation to Tokyo, Japan on Air Canada’s 787 jet was the extra portion of the prize. As a side note, Spooner held a viewing party (her second this TV season) at Real Sports, found in Toronto’s Maple Leaf Square, where women’s hockey players such as Christine Bestland, Jenny Brine and Carolyne Prevost were in attendance as a gesture of support.
With the fifth leg of the race returning to Canada, Spooner and Mikkelson will encounter some freezing conditions in the Yukon, as dog sledding shall be a significant part of said leg. Taking into account that they will also have to decide which team to bestow an express pass upon, it may prove to be their biggest challenge yet.