Looking for a team to root for on The Amazing Race Canada? It’s hard not to cheer on Lowell and Julie Taylor from Lethbridge, Alta. The couple are in the back of the pack heading into Tuesday’s fourth episode, which finds the teams scrambling around Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam,
As a guest of CTV, I had a chance to watch Lowell and Julie navigate this city of scooters. The remarkable part of their challenge is that Lowell is legally blind. He’s the first Amazing Race contestant anywhere to attempt the competition.
If you were watching last week, you saw how this can be a factor. In a sprint to the finish line against another team, Lowell slammed straight into a vine-covered pillar at the Makong Lodge. Fortunately, he wasn’t hurt.
He has no peripheral vision and only 15% centre vision. He is also night blind.
Still, the 34-year-old father of two is big and strong and one of the most positive people you’ll ever meet. He has a great partner in Julie, who is used to being his eyes at home.
Problems arise Tuesday, however, during a karaoke challenge in a Ho Chi Minh bar. It was dark in the club and contestants had to read lyrics off a screen and sing a song in Vietnamese. It’s a catchy ditty, too, one executive producer John Brunton now pretty much owns the world rights to, if you want to sing it, say, at your wedding.
Lowell had to memorize it. Tune in to see how that goes.
Being blind might be an advantage at one challenge Tuesday–eating a plate full of creepy crawlers at a local eatery. Plates of centipedes, squishy live worms and even a bat were put before the players. This does not sit well with current Mrs. Universe Ashley Callingbull. Fortunately, her step-dad stepped up and chowed down must of the grubs.
Lowell gobbled his share, too. The bat, he says, tastes like chicken. Almost anything does, I guess, if you can’t see it staring back at you.
For more on the Taylors and Tuesday’s Race through Vietnam, follow this link to the feature I wrote for The Canadian Press.