After an emotional journey in Normandy, the eighth leg of the Amazing Race Canada continued in France. Headed towards Paris, Natalie Spooner and Meaghan Mikkelson were the first to leave towards the train station. With six teams remaining, Spooner and Mikkelson were among the first three teams that arrived in Paris, looking for the first clue of this leg in an episode titled, “I said yes!”.
Traveling towards the world-famous Arc de Triomphe, the first clue awaited the competitors at the Place du Canada, which featured busts of Jacques Cartier and Samuel de Champlain, famous French explorers who helped discover Canada. Said clue offered competitors the option to compete in “Haute Couture”, visiting a fashion school and replicating a dress with a collection of pre-cut fabrics, or “Plat du Jour”, a food service option.
Spooner and Mikkelson would opt for Plat du Jour. Traveling through the city’s streets, they had to find traditional cafés with outdoor signs featuring a small flag displayed. The flag would allow the competitors to find one of three traditional French food items that the teams had to find. Upon retrieval of all three items, it had to be served to a group of hungry individuals, who would provide teams with their next clue.
While other teams were struggling, Spooner and Mikkelson were highly organized, moving swiftly through the streets finding the necessary items and quickly jumping into first place. Perhaps more impressive was the next leg of the race and the approach that Spooner and Mikkelson utilized.
The infamous U-Turn became a part of the race for the first time. It allows a team who gets there first to pick another team who must complete both parts of a detour before continuing on. Spooner and Mikkelson refused to U-Turn any of the contestants, stating that they wanted a fair race.
Arriving at the next stage before the rest, Spooner and Mikkelson encountered a challenge that paid homage to the artistic legacy of Paris. Teams had to recreate a painting using approximately 1400 Mentos candies of different colors. The candies would be placed on a board as patience would prove to be the most useful tool in completing the precise task.
Expressing her love of candy and claiming to have the world’s biggest sweet tooth, Spooner gladly undertook the challenge. Her hand-eye co-ordination was evident as she employed the analytical skills that enable her to read defenses on the ice to finish the task in less than two hours.
As a side note, during the time that Spooner was recreating the artwork with Mentos candies, other teams had caught up to them. Naturally, the other teams believed that they had a chance to overtake the hockey heroes. Once again, Spooner made it look easy, as the other teams were still deciphering how to recreate the piece while she and Mikkelson grabbed their backpacks and proceeded to the pit stop.
With their sixth win in eight tries, Spooner and Mikkelson have been nothing short of dominant. The hockey heroes would win an Air Canada premium service flight to any destination in Europe, along with another $3,000 on their Scotia Bank Gold Cards. With jubilant smiles that could not be erased, the feeling of pride and accomplishment was clearly evident. The true victory on this leg for them was the respect they earned from fans and viewers alike, setting a positive example with fair play and good sportsmanship.