Cigars, rum, beaches, various Castros, and Canadians running amok across Havana ━ for a brief time yesterday, this is what Cuba was, as the Amazing Race Canada made the largest Caribbean island its destination for Episode 8.
But despite Cuba’s offerings, despite the sun and the surf and the history, Twitter activity did what we’ve come to expect when ARC leaves Canada’s shores: it quieted down somewhat.
Episode 8 saw the show’s loyal Twitter legions produce the fewest tweets of any episode so far this season — a 36.1 per cent decrease from Episode 7. But we saw this coming, right?
Well, sort of. We suspected there could be a drop, but this one surprised us.
Compared with Episode 3, when the racers landed in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, Havana’s episode saw a drop in Twitter chatter of 24.1 per cent. And compared to Episode 4 in Ho Chi Minh City the decrease was even more substantial, at 29.8 per cent.
That’s not to say that Cuba doesn’t have its fans among Canadians — far from it. According to Cuba’s National Office of Statistics, Canadian tourists accounted for 39 per cent of all visitors to the island nation in 2014. And some of them were watching.
The only TV show I watch these days… #AmazingRaceCanada is featuring my favourite #travel destination tonight, beautiful #Cuba!
— Melanie Ann Ferris (@MelanieAFerris) August 24, 2016
Watching @AmazingRaceCDA tonight makes me want to fly to #Havana and drive in an old pink convertible. #Cuba the land of #rhythm and #rum!
— Sherry Carmont (@SherCarmont) August 24, 2016
This episode reminds me of my trip to Cuba a few years back. I miss the beach, volleyball, and the rum! #takemeback #amazingracecanada
— Mac McCaffrey (@mccaffrey_mac) August 24, 2016
But the episode wasn’t all fun in the sun. Steph LeClair, of Steph and Kristen fame, got into a bit of trouble when she reached for a machete to solve a problem. When the sugar cane she and Kristen were grinding got stuck in the machine, Steph grabbed the big knife to cut it loose.
Hopefully, your finger is all right now, @sleclair09 #AmazingRaceCanada
— Jeremiah Yap (@SoleSurvivorYap) August 24, 2016
When all was said and done, when the drinks had been delivered and the beach volleyball played, it was Jillian and Emmett who finished first, earning themselves a trip to Cancun ━ complete with accommodation from Hotels.com ━ as well a bump of more than 10 per cent in their Twitter share of voice over last week.
Next week the teams race back to Canada, as they land in Nova Scotia for Episode 9. We’ll have to see if a return to the Great White North will spell a return to the strong Twitter engagement we’ve come to expect from most Canadian locales.
Total contestant mentions: 541 DOWN 34.7%
- Joel & Ashley (2nd) – 35.7% UP 5%
Joel Ground (@JoelGround / @Joel_and_Ashley), Ashley Callingbull (@ashcallingbull / @Joel_and_Ashley)
- Jillian & Emmett (1st) – 26.1% UP 10.5%
Jillian MacLaughlin (@JillianMacLaugh) / Emmett Blois (@EmmettBlois)
- Steph & Kristen (3rd) – 20.9% UP 7.8%
Steph LeClair (@sleclair09) / Kristen McKenzie (@krlstenmckenzie)
- Rita & Yvette (last – but not eliminated) – 8.9% UP 2.7%
Rita Yakibonge (@ritayakis) / Yvette Yakibonge (@yyakis)
- Frankie & Amy (4th) – 8.5% UP 1%
Frankie Gassler (@FrankieFenix74) / Amy Gassler (@amygassler)