Canada's Worst Driver 7
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|Canada's Worst Driver 7|
|Country of origin||Canada|
|No. of episodes||8|
|Original network||Discovery Channel Canada|
|Original release||October 24 – December 13, 2011|
Canada's Worst Driver 7 is the seventh season of the Canada's Worst Driver series, which airs on Discovery Channel. As with previous years, eight nominees, as nominated by their nominators, enter the Driver Rehabilitation Centre to improve their driving skills. This season makes a particular emphasis on the uniquely Canadian nature of driving, rather than having any driving-related motifs as in past years. The initial drive started in St. Catharines, Ontario, and the final road test occurred in Hamilton, Ontario this year.
This season is the first to be broadcast in high definition, owing to the launch of the high-definition simulcast of Discovery Channel. As part of the promotion for this season, a special Monday edition of The Alan Nursall Experience, a segment on Daily Planet (which normally airs on Tuesdays and Thursdays), takes a behind-the-scenes look at the Driver Rehabilitation Centre.
- Lauri Bencharski, 37, from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, is an animal lover – but for her fiancé Shaun, her love of animals goes a bit too far: she regularly drives with her two dogs, a cat, and a bird, all of which he believes is too much of a distraction. She drives a Dodge Ram and a Chrysler Intrepid.
- Aaron Cheshire, 30, from Calgary, Alberta, was once a victim of an accident that left him in a two-month coma six years ago. Though he has recovered, he was never the same since in terms of his skills on the road. His father, Lee Cheshire, hopes that the Driver Rehabilitation Centre will be the last step towards total recovery. He drives a Smart Fortwo.
- Sly Grosjean, 40, from Lethbridge, Alberta (now lives in Red Deer, Alberta), is a technophile who never goes anywhere without his cell phone GPS; it is a necessity for his job as a deliveryman. His brother-in-law Fred Hillyer, however, believes that he is too reliant on new technologies – and can't otherwise drive without them. He had non-verbal learning disorder. He drives a Pontiac Grand Am.
- Afiya Lassy, 25, from Montreal, Quebec, is out to prove her loved ones, including friend and nominator Cindy, wrong – those around her believe that she is a hazard on the road by running red lights and hogging the road; she begs to differ. She drives a Kia Rio.
- Tab Parks, 39, from Calgary, Alberta, is a nervous wreck when she is uncomfortable behind the wheel. Her boyfriend, Matt, hopes that the Driver Rehabilitation Centre can help the former school bus driver conquer her fears. She drives an Acura EL.
- Jon Parsons, 24, from Bowmanville, Ontario, has a cocky attitude – due to the adrenaline rush brought forth from driving. His girlfriend Elise believes that this can possibly come back to haunt him as they begin the next phase in their ongoing relationship. He drives a Chevrolet Corvette.
- Ben Reiman, 36, from Surrey, British Columbia, and his wife, Jan, believes that driving is becoming a major point of contention to their relationship – so much so that they never drive together anymore. He drives a Hyundai Accent.
- Shirley Sampson, 60, from Port Caledonia, Nova Scotia (on Cape Breton island) (now lives in Donkin, Nova Scotia), is comfortable driving around the small towns of rural Nova Scotia; she just merely detests driving into Halifax – where her daughter and nominator Janis Wall lives. She breaks down entirely on the highway, even going so far as to stop on the highway in place when she is confused. She drives a Kia Rio5.
The experts on this season are as follows:
- Shyamala Kiru is an expert on interpersonal relationships, and how they can cause emotional breakdowns in drivers. Her experiences have brought her to every corner of the globe.
- Philippe Létourneau, returning for his fifth year on the show, is a professional race car coach who holds the philosophy that the car is ultimately nothing without the driver.
- Peter Mellor, returning for his third year on the show, is the basic driving instructor, working with the Advanced Motoring Bureau.
- Cam Woolley, returning for his sixth year, is the traffic expert on CP24 in Toronto. His 25 years as a traffic sergeant with the Ontario Provincial Police has made him the voice of authority in past years on the show.
- The contestant became Canada's Worst Driver.
- The contestant was runner-up for Canada's Worst Driver.
- The contestant was on the panel's shortlist.
- The contestant graduated.
- The contestant left the show.
Episode 1: Take Off, Eh!
- Original airdate: October 24, 2011
- The Drive to Rehab – The season begins with an hour-long drive from a parking garage in St. Catharines, Ontario to Dunnville Airport, site of the Driver Rehabilitation Centre for the second year in a row. Shirley is first to leave due to her unfamiliarity with city driving. Shirley is followed by Ben, Afiya (who departs so fast she hits an object even before leaving the parking garage), Sly (who would rather use his cell phone GPS than the written directions given to him), Tab, Aaron, Lauri, and Jon (whose car does not have a backseat, and thus cannot fit both his nominator Elise and a camera crew member). Afiya is the first to be pulled over by the camera crew for going 50 km/h over the speed limit. At the Driver Rehabilitation Centre, Ben is the first to arrive, followed by Shirley, Sly, Tab, Aaron, Afiya (given a ride the rest of the way to rehab), Jon (who would have been pulled over had there been a camera crew member), and Lauri.
- Basic Assessment – This year's featured car is a used 2009 Dodge Challenger RT (painted in a flag-inspired livery), to be used in one challenge per episode. Contestants will first turn the car around in a cross, before going down a short maneuvering course in reverse, turning the car around, and performing a slalom at 50 km/h. Afiya – who prefers to drive barefoot for this challenge – is the first to scratch the car, and quickly loses control in the slalom. Sly gets the left side of the car pinned, so the cross must be widened for his benefit; nevertheless, he still hits many things and goes through the slalom far too quickly. Lauri goes through the cross with minimal incident without her pets, but when Andrew introduces four stuffed animals to her car (representing her pets) it causes her performance to degrade considerably; she also goes through the slalom too fast. Ben nearly knocks down the entire course, including the obstacles in the slalom. Tab initially refuses to do the slalom at 50 km/h, but she is persuaded to do the challenge. However, after 45 minutes, she has still not cleared the cross. She gives up on the reverse, and hits three of the obstacles doing the slalom. Jon goes too fast throughout the course, which all result in hits. Shirley forgets to turn around in the cross, but she still hits things going forward through the reverse sections. At the slalom, she hits all of the obstacles. Aaron is the last to take the challenge, and he nearly gives up on the cross. Extensive coaching by his father, Lee, is needed to get through the reverse. He ends the challenge by hitting the second obstacle in the slalom.
When the experts interview the contestants, the experts question Tab on her nerves, Ben on his relationship, Jon on humility, and Shirley on confidence. Lauri, who has seen past seasons on the show, is quietly confident; while Sly admits to confidence issues. Afiya is ignorant as to why she was nominated, while Aaron breaks down when talking to the experts. He admits that maybe if he can share his pain to the world, he will be able to recover. Since it is the end of the first episode, no one is leaving, and the lessons will begin in earnest.
- The Alan Nursall Experience: Daily Planet correspondent Alan Nursall takes on the Trough, a challenge that has been featured in past years, which will also be used later on this season.
Episode 2: Use Your Mirrors, Eh?
- Original airdate: October 31, 2011
- The Rail Bridge – The annual "know where your wheels are" challenge has contestants cross a rail bridge in a Toyota RAV4. To encourage crossing in reverse, the course is initially set up with the rear wheels on the rails; Andrew demonstrates the challenge in reverse. Drivers only fail if they get the car stuck and unable to move. Sly falls off going in reverse, and making another attempt forward causes him to get stuck. Jon goes across driving forward, distrusting his reversing skills. Ben does not look behind him as he reverses, though he manages to reverse across the bridge and into the finish sign. Lauri and Shirley both choose to drive forward and pass. Tab is too nervous to try, though with Andrew's help she manages to drive her way across forward. Aaron tries his luck in reverse, but in trying to adjust his wheels to stay on the rails, he gets stuck and fails. Afiya (who has complained that Driver Rehab is pointless since arriving) gets out of her seat in trying to reverse, and though she manages to cross without falling in or getting stuck, it's questionable whether she passed or not.
- Challenger Challenge: The Eye of the Needle – The first lesson from Philippe this year is on target fixation, which is tested in the annual challenge in the featured car. The five archways, which are not arranged in a line as in previous years, must be traversed at 60 km/h. Shirley gears up to 80 km/h, and hits the driver's side in the second arch and the passenger side in the third and fifth arch. Ben crashes into the first arch before accelerating to 90 km/h and colliding with the other arches, and fails. Aaron slowly accelerates to 100 km/h after clearing the first arch, but he crashes into three of the next four arches. Jon clears the arches easily. Tab accelerates to 110 km/h, so fast that she collides into four of the arches, having missed the third arch due to her speed making her unable to turn in time. Lauri, with her stuffed animals, clips only the fourth arch in her run, but her run is considered a pass. Sly hits all of the arches on the passenger side, in part due to a possible tunnel vision issue. Afiya speeds to 110 km/h, and was unaware that she clipped her mirrors in her run.
- The Group Reverse Figure Eight – The contestants must reverse a Ford F-Series short bus (which can be driven by ordinary drivers as long as it has fewer than 8 seats) around a figure-eight course. For this challenge, all of the contestants will be in the same car together as each contestants make their run. Jon volunteers to go first, but around the ends of the course he goes too fast and hits 7 things. Ben, licensed to drive full-sized buses in his job transporting autistic adults, is still on the first turn after eight minutes, and hits 29 things overall. Tab is also licensed to drive full-sized buses (having quit driving school buses due to stress), but hits 20 things in her run. Afiya, ignoring her mirrors as well as the collective opinions of the other contestants, hits 59 obstacles in her run. Shirley, after an early mishap, proceeds to do most of the rest of the course flawlessly, with only 13 hits in her run. Aaron goes through the course very slowly, even stopping when he is flustered by the crosstalk; but he finishes with a standing ovation from contestants and nominators alike, with only two hits in his run. Sly spends 4 minutes adjusting his mirrors, although he does not know where to aim them, and even after that he relies on Jon to do the looking for him. Lauri normally cannot see out of her passenger-side mirror due to her larger dog, but with only her driver-side mirror (her passenger-side mirror being similarly encumbered by the large stuffed animal) she manages to go through the entire course without hitting anything... until she opens the bus door.
In deliberation, Ben admits he will not be the first to graduate, while Shirley and Tab both admit to needing more improvement. Philippe believes that the root of Tab's problems is that she is looking not far enough ahead. Afiya admits to wanting to go home, with learning as an afterthought. Lauri believes that she should be first to graduate, but she also wants to stay longer to learn more. She breaks down when they discuss how in keeping her pets in the car may injure them without proper safety precautions, from which Cam suggests that she disable the passenger-side airbag and get specialized safety gear if she wants to continue riding with her pets. Jon wants to graduate, after a long talk with Aaron's life story earlier in the day in the confessional. Aaron, in return, is grateful for the news. The experts are divided on Jon and Lauri on being the first graduate; Cam and Philippe wants Jon to graduate based on his dealings with Aaron, while Andrew and Shyamala both want Lauri to go home because Lauri did better in all the challenges. In the end, the experts agree to honour Lauri's request to stick around, and Jon becomes the first graduate.
- The Alan Nursall Experience: Alan Nursall goes into the car maintenance garage at the Driver Rehabilitation Centre to assist mechanic Bill Hoffie in making quick fixes to the cars so that they will be ready for the next challenge. Among the repairs he assists is the replacement of side mirrors and the RAV4's shocks that were damaged from the Trough.
Episode 3: Dangerous Driving
- Original airdate: November 7, 2011
- Distracted Driving – The distracted driving lesson has been described in years past as "the easiest course of the year". This year, the contestants must drive in a Nash Canadian Statesman built in Toronto in the 1950s on a racetrack course in order to demonstrate the dangers of distracted driving. Aaron, a victim of distracted driving (smoking while driving, to be specific), is exempt from this challenge; instead, after everyone else goes through their run, they must tell Aaron all about what they have learned from the challenge, and how they will pledge to avoid creating more people like Aaron in the future. Shirley's run is focused on her eating and driving, while Afiya's run is focused on texting while driving. While on her run, she slows down to walking speed but still hits the obstacles. Sly's run is also focused on both of the above, but he goes so far off course on his first lap that he destroys the engine. Lauri, already well aware of her issues with being distracted by her pets from the last episode, has makeup as the focus of her run. Ben's texting while driving is the focus of his run. The final run belongs to fellow Calgarian Tab, who believed that smoking, texting, and eating while driving stick-shift can be done with enough training. She aborts the lesson early once she cannot handle the course, and breaks down while talking to Aaron.
- Reaction Time Exams – A series of exams are administered to test the reaction speeds of the contestants. The battery of tests consists of catching a falling stick, catching a dropped tennis ball from shoulder-height, and catching balls thrown from a tennis-ball machine. Lauri and Shirley have the fastest reaction times in the first test, Afiya and Tab do the best in the second test, and Aaron, much to his surprise, is the best in the third test. Across all three tests there is one common thread; Sly has not just the worst reaction time of the contestants, but reaction times vastly slower than the national average for a man of his age. Ben's reaction times are also noted to be rather slow, albeit not to nearly the same extent as Sly's.
- The Head-to-Head S-Turn Challenge – In this challenge, using two Plymouth Horizons, contestants must use the S-turn to navigate in reverse into the centre of a spiral course – before switching positions with the other car and going back out in reverse towards the other car's starting spot. Ben and Tab make up the first heat. Tab picks up the S-turn right away, and reaches the centre without hitting anything, but for Ben, it takes longer for the lesson to take hold. Once the two pass each other, though, Ben pulls ahead and finishes ahead of Tab, who exhibits some mild road rage in frustration in the second half. Afiya takes on Lauri in the second heat. Lauri had never understood this before this lesson, but she finishes the course without hitting anything and ahead of Afiya. Afiya is unusually focused in her run, but her performance quickly degrades on the way out. The third match-up involves Aaron facing off against head driving instructor Peter. By the time Peter reaches the centre, Aaron must be slowly guided by Lee to the centre, having forgotten the lesson almost immediately. Andrew gets into the car to remind Aaron of how to do the S-Turn, and he goes through the second half unassisted without hitting anything. Shirley and Sly make up the final heat. Sly picks up the lesson quickly, but he barely gets moving. Both proceed to exceed the hit count of the other contestants combined before reaching the centre. Shirley gives up before reaching the centre, and it takes Sly 90 minutes to reach the centre.
- Challenger Challenge: The Shoulder-Check Challenge – After a posture lesson from Philippe, the annual challenge must be taken at 60 km/h. Contestants have up to two attempts to try and clear the course this year. Shirley passes easily on her first try. Aaron accelerates to 80 km/h in his first run, and when he does his shoulder check, he takes one hand of the wheel when checking to the right (as if he's preparing to drive in reverse), takes an exit (which turned out to be the right one), and careens out of control for a long period after the exit is taken. After a bit more practice, he narrowly passes his second run. In both of Sly's runs, he hits the lane obstacles as he prepares to take the correct exit. Lauri passes on her first try, despite temporarily going under speed. Afiya also passes on her first try. Tab also speeds to 80 km/h before taking the wrong exit (but clearing it) in her first run. She attributes the failure to panicking, and she similarly panics in her second run, randomly guessing (correctly) an exit. Because she guessed, she fails. Ben accelerates to 90 km/h in his first run and hits the center marker. He also goes over-speed in his second run, but he does clear the course.
In deliberation, Aaron doesn't want to graduate, if only to further make an impact on the other contestants. Afiya in particular is moved by Aaron. Tab, Lauri, and Ben all feel that because of Aaron, they feel ready to graduate. Sly and Shirley are also moved by Aaron, but also vowed to stay. The experts make their deliberation short, by granting Lauri the unanimous decision for graduation.
- The Alan Nursall Experience: Alan Nursall assists in setting up a parallel parking challenge as well as a parking lot challenge, both being parts of later episodes.
Episode 4: Buckle Up
- Original airdate: November 14, 2011
- The Trailer Challenge – With a normal driving license, a driver can tow a trailer ten metres long. In this challenge, contestants must tow such a trailer loaded with hay through an obstacle course with both short forward and reverse portions. Even with her nominator, Matt, helping her from outside the Dodge Ram 2500, Tab hits obstacles 26 times in her run. Aaron, battling the rain in his run, does not have an issue moving forwards, but he also needs his nominator, Lee, to help in reversing the trailer from the outside. When he fails to also get Andrew's help in reversing from the outside, he quits in frustration. Sly has trouble taking the forward turns wide enough in his run, and he repeatedly turns in the wrong direction in reverse, for 29 hits total. Shirley also has trouble taking wide turns, and quits even before finishing the forward portion. Afiya persists through 47 hits in her run, largely due to confusion over which direction to turn the wheel in reverse. Ben is unusually focused through the forward part of the run, and, after reversing with speed, manages to finish his run without hitting anything. He credits his run with not having to perform the same action repeatedly.
- The Three-Point Turn – In this challenge, contestants must perform a three-point turn in a Suzuki X-90 while on top of a raised platform. Tab only manages to do a nine-point turn. Aaron nearly falls off, and does an 11-point turn while constantly getting input from Lee. Sly and Afiya also fall off the course. Shirley gets stuck after turning 21 points, but does manages to get out after a 31-point turn. Ben does a seven-point turn, after realizing that his initial entry (proceeding straight rather than turning) was erroneous.
- The Water Tank Challenge – A Jeep Grand Wagoneer with 200 litres of water is used for this annual challenge. The obstacle course this year consists of a slow portion, which includes a sudden stop to accommodate a reversing parked car, an acceleration to 30 km/h, a gradual deceleration and turn, and then a slow bump that concludes the challenge. In Andrew's demonstration run, he loses 20 litres of 200, mostly from the bump that has also soaked him in previous years. Sly doesn't brake at all in his run, and collides into the reversing car. He proceeds to power his way forwards, not realizing that the hitting of obstacles has resulted in a flat tire in the front right tire heading into the acceleration portion. He loses 100 litres in his run. Aaron also nearly collides into the car, losing control of the car as he powers forward. He also loses 100 litres. Afiya loses 120 litres in her run. Shirley only loses 35 litres and does not hit anything, only losing water at the bump. Tab goes through the course too fast, losing 90 litres in her run. Ben loses 50 litres in his run, all from intentionally soaking Jan in the beginning of the run; when he drives seriously through the acceleration portion and thereafter, he does not lose a single drop, even on the hump, and even as he goes over speed (35 km/h) on the acceleration portion.
- Challenger Challenge: The Reverse Flick – In this challenge, contestants must perform the reverse flick inside a confined space. Tab, originally so nervous she freaked out as the technique was being demonstrated, has a slight turn when reversing the car, hitting the entrance obstacles in most of her five attempts. Aaron turns the wheel too many times through his first four runs, and needed Andrew's help in his fifth run; even then, he steers too far. Afiya brakes through her first three runs, and plows into the foam barriers. She passes on her fifth run. On Shirley's first run, she doesn't attempt the turn until she is at the exit. Frustrated, Janis leaves the car and Andrew takes her place. Shirley passes on her third attempt after a near miss in her second run. Sly, who has a nonverbal learning disorder, is given written instructions for his run. He hits the brake in his first three runs. He is too frustrated and barely turns at all in his fourth attempt, but before his final attempt, the rain sets in. Forced to do a slower 30 km/h reverse instead of a 40 km/h reverse, he passes on his last attempt. Ben over-steers in his first three runs and tries to brake to compensate. He flicks too early in his fourth run, and he flicks slightly too far in the opposite direction in his last attempt, failing the challenge.
In deliberation, Tab wants to stay to aid in her emotions, while Aaron does not feel that he warrants graduation. Afiya, Sly, and Shirley also do not want to graduate. Ben, however, wants to graduate – having learned many things about his original licensing process, which included settling on the cheapest driving school available and being a class clown rather than focusing on fundamentals. Because only one contestant wanted to graduate, the experts debate whether they should graduate Ben: Cam and Shyamala feel that he should stay, while Philippe and Peter feel that he should graduate. Ultimately, Ben's vow to replace his stick-shift car with an automatic turns the tide in his favour, and he leaves the Driver Rehabilitation Centre as the next graduate.
Episode 5: Park and Slide
- Original airdate: November 21, 2011
- Canada's Worst Parking Lot – This challenge is only done once every two years. This year, contestants must park into the spaces by reversing. Initially, no spaces are available, and spaces will only open up as blocker cars move out. Aaron is the first to be penalized with a lap when he suddenly stops in the parking lot, and Shirley is penalized when Janis takes her steering wheel; no other penalties were assessed for the rest of the challenge. Aaron is the first to park after a brief encounter with a blocking cube truck and initially trying to give up the space; the cube truck is unable to park in the space and promptly moves out, prompting Aaron to try again. Sly is the second to park, though he is initially unsure as to whether he is between the lines until he stops. Tab is third to park, though she was "shaking somewhat" through her run. The last space is claimed by Afiya when she beats Shirley to the vacated space.
- Parallel Parking – After a lesson on parallel parking (Sly getting written instructions as requested), the contestants must park a 1967 Chrysler Newport into a space. Contestants have 30 minutes to park, and must make only one parking attempt per trip through the course. Tab eventually passes in five attempts. Afiya demands silence, and – despite getting out of her seat to check the passenger side as she is reversing – passes on her first try. Andrew observes Sly from the backseat throughout his run; Sly spends two minutes to recognize where the wheels are, and another eight minutes to reverse – only to end up too far from the curb. He runs out of time, and fails. Aaron repeatedly solicits his father's advice, but though the advice is well-meaning, Aaron fails each attempt. When he demands silence, Aaron succeeds after two additional attempts. Similarly, Shirley solicits her daughter's advice. On Shirley's final attempt before running out of time, Janis adamantly refuses to assist her mother despite repeated solicitations – and Shirley passes as a result.
- The Trough – The annual challenge consists of a simple course with two turns using the Toyota RAV4. Contestants will have 30 minutes to go through the course. Janis is repeatedly fed up with her mother's solicitation, and Shirley fails. Aaron passes on his last attempt before running out of time, again demanding silence from his father after being given bad advice in every previous run. Tab inches along in each run, but due to Matt's bad advice, Tab banishes him from the vehicle. She makes the first turn but fails the second turn as a result; and runs out of time. Afiya repeatedly falls off the course, and though she wants to quit after 20 minutes, she is convinced to go the entire 30 minutes. She fails on the last turn in her last attempt. Sly – in an ill-fated attempt to "gun it" through the second turn – causes severe damage to the underside of the SUV, ripping out the exhaust manifold and puncturing the fuel line when the rear wheel hops the rails. Tearing a hole in the RAV4's gas line was considered to have been impossible by the show's vehicle maintenance crew, and the challenge is thus aborted.
- Challenger Challenge: Icy Corner – After a lesson on collision avoidance, the icy corner must be tackled at 50 km/h. Contestants have three attempts at the corner before failing. Sly releases the brake too late, and hits the wall in all three attempts. After this, Andrew voices his opinion that Sly's driving is showing no signs of improvement, and that he should seriously consider giving up driving permanently; a point which Andrew would continue to make until the end of the season. Tab goes over-speed (at 60 km/h) during all three of her runs, and hits the wall each time. Afiya brakes too soon and takes up the tarp in her first attempt, and hits the wall in her other two attempts. Shirley also pulls up the tarp too soon in her second attempt, and in all three attempts she does not release the brake and hit the wall. As for Aaron, he passes on his first try.
In deliberation, Afiya apologizes to Andrew for cursing at him after failing the Trough. Cam lashes out at Sly for "gunning it" during the Trough, while Shirley is confident that she deserves to graduate. Tab also feels confident in graduating even though she went over-speed in the icy corner. Aaron, the consensus best performer in the episode, believes that he also deserves to graduate based on his performance; but he would rather stay put, as he believes his moment has not arrived. Shirley and Tab are shortlisted by the experts, but Andrew is not confident in graduating either of them. As a result, no one graduates this episode.
Episode 6: Hard!
- Original airdate: November 28, 2011
At the start of the show, Andrew recalls an incident in the past year where a contestant on the Dutch equivalent of this series, De Allerslechtste Chauffeur van Nederland, injured host Ruben Nicolai and a cameraman during its shoulder check challenge, and how it has put him on edge (Canada's Worst Driver 7 was filmed as the Dutch series was airing in the Netherlands). The episode also opens with Tab and Afiya seeking help from Shyamala between episodes to address Tab driving anxiety and Afiya's lack of taking on responsibility.
- The Snowplow Challenge – A Dodge Ram outfitted with a snowplow is used for this challenge. Contestants must proceed forward through a short course at 20 km/h (with wood chips being used in place of snow) without hitting any of the parked cars at the side of the course. Contestants have 30 minutes to attempt the course. Shyamala's counseling has paid off, with Tab passing the challenge after 7 minutes and Afiya after 17 attempts. Sly continues to be unaware that he hits things in his attempts; it is only when he looks far ahead that he passes (he had also sped up to 25 km/h in his successful run). Aaron is not confident going up to speed, and even under speed he hits things – due to the lack of looking far ahead. However, Aaron slowly begins to speed up, but time runs out before he can get off a successful run. As with previous challenges, Janis refuses to assist Shirley through her run despite her soliciting advice; and because of being forced to make her own decisions, Shirley passes.
- Rules of the Road Test – The contestants are quizzed on rules of the road, with a special emphasis on road rules specific to various parts of Canada; such as regulations around right turn on red in Montreal (the only part of Canada where it is illegal, owing to unique safety issues) and stopping behind Toronto's streetcars (as Toronto's streetcars do not stop curbside, cars must stop behind a streetcar when its doors are open to allow passengers a safe place to embark and disembark from the sidewalk). Shirley is worst at 1/10, largely on the back of outdated knowledge.
- Car Curling – As curling is a popular sport in Canada, this challenge is inspired by the amateur pastime. A Buick Skylark is used for this challenge. Contestants must push a large "rock" with the car and brake before reaching a "hog line", while the momentum of the rock carries it into a "house". The contestant closest to "the button" wins. Contestants have eight rocks to try to push into the house. In Shirley's attempts, she never gets comfortable getting up to speed without losing control of the rock, and she only gets two rocks to the hog line – both of which promptly stop a few feet past the line. Sly loses control in six of his eight rocks before reaching the hog line, and doesn't place any of the rocks in the house. In contrast, Afiya starts quickly and accelerates so fast, all of her rocks sail through the house; none of her eight rocks actually land within the house. Aaron also loses control of his rocks early on, and his timid driving and over-correcting for his errors does not get him any of his eight rocks in the house. Tab wins the competition when her first rock sails into the "four-foot" in the house.
- Challenger Challenge: Swerve and Avoid – The challenge is themed around avoid avoiding moose on the road. This is a particular issue for Shirley, who has killed family pets due to not swerving to avoid them. In this year's version, contestants must clear the course at 70 km/h in the Challenger. Tab accelerates to 80 km/h, and in trying to slow down she does not have enough time to get back down – and hits the barriers, destroying the front bumper. In her second attempt, she swerves too wide... and destroys the back bumper. Tab does, however, clear the course in her third attempt. Aaron passes the challenge on his first try. Shirley swerves too early in her first two runs, and hits the last lane marker. She clears the course in the third attempt. Afiya fails the course, as she goes over-speed and hits the moose in her first run. She swerves too early in the second attempt, and too late in the third. Sly accelerates to 100 km/h, and goes straight ahead and brakes, destroying the centre of the course. The challenge is aborted then – as Andrew remarks that he could not have done the challenge any worse.
The experts commend Tab and Shirley on their improved behaviour, and both claim that they deserve to graduate. However, Afiya admits to being overconfident when she entered rehab, and the realization of the true nature of her driving skills means that she is not ready to graduate. As for Aaron, he feels that his moment has still not arrived. Sly admits to not making any ground so far through rehabilitation. Cam believes that Tab should be the graduate – while Philippe still has an issue with Tab driving too fast, so he endorses Shirley. The experts, in a 3-2 split decision (Shyamala backing Shirley and Peter backing Tab) choose Tab over Shirley to graduate – as Shirley's driving was still too inconsistent for the experts' tastes.
Episode 7: Glazed Over
- Original airdate: December 5, 2011
At the start of the show, Andrew comments on the destruction of 14 cameras of various qualities from challenges over the previous 6 episodes.
- The Maze – The contestants must drive in a tight concrete box forwards, around a sharp turn, and into a widened turnaround bay – where the contestants must turn all the way around and drive out the way they came. The challenge car is a Plymouth Horizon. In Aaron's run, he has a minor incident in the in-turn, and it causes him to rely on Lee throughout his run; though it does not stop him from backing the car into the concrete barriers during the turnaround. Sly drives right into the wall in the opening turn, and in trying to make the turn he scrapes the side of the car. By the time Sly reaches the turnaround, he too relies on Fred to get him out of trouble. Afiya's run is better, never relying on Cindy and hitting only three things in the turn – though like the others she hits the corner trying to make the turn. Shirley relies on the inside corner as a pivot point going in, and Janis eventually relents and helps her through the turnaround.
- Drifting Doughnuts – After the annual lesson on how to do "drifting doughnuts" is taught, the task must be repeated inside a confined space in a Ford Mustang GT (with dye in the rear tires to produce red smoke). Shirley tries to finish after slowly driving in a circle, before spinning out of control repeatedly. In one attempt, she is so fixated by the boxes on the outside of the course (rather than on the road in trying to find the exit), she drives into them and does not stop until after the car is well into the fields. She never manages to do the doughnut. Afiya, described as the best in lessons, often counter steers too early; and in her run, she fails to do the doughnut. Aaron has a tendency to hit the central marker (a maple leaf) due to target fixation, and he too does not manage to do the doughnut. Sly, the self-proclaimed master of doughnuts, manages to repeatedly drive in circles. This prompts Cam Woolley to suggest that Sly "is a lock" for the final three. Like Aaron, he manages to spin the car out, and repeatedly hits the central marker.
- Challenger Challenge: The Reverse Slalom – A simple reverse slalom must be attempted in 30 seconds or less. As with previous challenges, the faces of the nominators are on some of the foam figures. Contestants have 10 attempts to do this challenge. Shirley exceeds the time limit in her first attempt without hitting anything, but she hits obstacles in the rest of her attempts. Afiya is always on pace to finish in terms of time, but she either spins out past the last obstacle (Afiya once blaming a failed attempt on Cindy's countdown distracting her), or hits the last obstacle in each of her runs. Aaron also reverses wildly out of control in his attempts, and fails to finish. Sly's condition prevents him from trying to drive backwards reliably, and in his run he sometimes turns so wide that he goes off of the course and misses some of the turns. He, too, does not finish.
- The Beer Truck – The contestants must drive a large beer truck around a "circle of frustration" and a pillar of rims, before entering a forward and reverse obstacle course towards a loading dock. Aaron is not frustrated by the circle of frustration, but is frustrated by the reverse portion of the course. It takes him 13 minutes for the circle and forward sections, and 19 minutes for the reverse. Fred is warned to not advise Sly in any way through his run. Sly hits the pillar, and the challenge is aborted when the truck gets stuck atop some of the overturned rims. Afiya only hits one thing around the circle of frustration – though not the pillar of rims. Afiya remains focused through the reverse (even through hitting things), finishing in 27 minutes. Shirley quits the challenge even before she drives into the circle of frustration.
Through some of the challenges, Fred had been contemplating whether Sly would have been better off quitting driving altogether; a sentiment that is also echoed by Andrew after the beer truck challenge. Sly cannot defend his performance in any of the challenges, and admits that he is bound for the final three. Shirley also admits being bound for the final three as well. Aaron also wants to be in the final three, if only to prove himself on the road test – the only test that matters to him. Afiya admits to progress during this episode, and it is enough for the experts to unanimously agree to graduate her. Andrew is still unconvinced, as he believes that she is still a pathological liar – and believes that this year's final challenges should have four contestants instead of three. Nevertheless, Andrew assents to graduating Afiya, setting the stage for the final drive in Hamilton.
Episode 8: Oh Canada
- Original airdate: December 13, 2011
- Straight-Line Reversal – The opening challenge has all three contestants in the same car as they attempt to reverse in a straight line through a straight hallway in 20 seconds or less; contestants have ten attempts to do the challenge before failing it outright. The challenge car is the 1967 Chrysler Newport used in the parallel parking challenge. Aaron volunteers to go first, but in his first attempt he barely goes one car length before his 20 seconds expire, and he finishes his first attempt in five minutes after hitting things. Aaron is distracted by Sly in most of the rest of his attempts, and is unable to finish. Shirley passes on her first attempt after 19 seconds. Sly collides with many of the obstacles in a horrific manner in each of his first eight attempts, only stabilizing somewhat in his last two; nevertheless, he still hits things, and is unable to finish in 10 attempts.
- Challenger Challenge: The Mega-Challenge – The annual challenge begins with a 50 km/h slalom, before dropping to 40 km/h into an icy corner, and then through a forward obstacle course, into a doughnut, through another obstacle course in both forward and reverse. The drivers must then go through an Eye of the Needle in reverse, before finishing with a reverse flick. Aaron fails the slalom by taking the turns too wide, and is a little late in the icy corner (though he does not hit the wall, he does go off of the course in making the turn). He has no significant problems in any of the obstacle courses or the reverse Eye of the Needle (though he fails the doughnut), and makes his reverse flick attempt too early. In his run, Sly goes too fast in the slalom, and goes off the course entirely. He recovers in time to attempt the icy corner, but goes through the wall. His doughnut attempt is not shown, but he collides with things in both the forward and reverse obstacles. His reverse Eye of the Needle goes well, up until hitting the last arch. He is unable to properly perform the reverse flick. Shirley, in her run, does a flawless slalom and nearly makes the icy corner while going at 50 km/h. She turns in the opposite direction too early in the doughnut, and does not hit anything in the obstacle courses; the rest of her hits in her run were all from hitting the arches in the reverse Eye of the Needle. She finishes by performing a perfect reverse flick.
- The Road Test – The annual road test takes place on the streets of Hamilton, Ontario, but the Challenger is no longer road-worthy. Instead, the final drive will be taken in a 1966 Ford Mustang convertible. Shirley is confused through the streets of Hamilton, with a particular trouble in dual-turn lanes (intending to turn in the outside turn lane but eventually going straight through) and stopping in pedestrian crosswalks (which she does throughout her run). She is even caught going down the wrong way down both a one-way street in front of a police vehicle and a two-way street up a blind hill. When trying to merge on a highway, she stops in the merge lane, and once she gets into the middle lane of the highway, she goes too slow - so much so that she is unable to make her exit due to traffic on both adjacent lanes going faster. Her run finishes with 26 moving violations totaling $2860 in fines. Sly is ultimately confused by trying to find the right turn, and on numerous occasions, he stops in the middle of the intersection trying to read the crossing street signs. There were no major incidents once on the highway, and Sly even reflects on his own driving behaviour after a passing driver tries to take a picture of their car with a cell phone. In Aaron's run, he starts by running through a stop sign (ironic as it was ultimately the cause of his hospitalization six years ago), and his composure comes crashing down when a police car suddenly blares its siren behind him. However, as the police car passes by, his driving becomes much better, with no problems in the rest of his run. The run earns a round of applause from the experts.
After the six nominators and contestants give a somber farewell to the Challenger (complete with a mock funeral ceremony), the four experts give their final opinion of the contestants. Sly admits that the road test was more comfortable than any of the challenges, but he was ultimately on edge through the test. The opposite happened for Shirley: good challenge performances but horrible road test. Aaron admits that after the road test, he finally got everything and more out of rehab. Philippe and Peter believe Sly is Canada's Worst Driver due to his performance in the challenges, but Cam and Andrew believe that Shirley's performance in the road test makes her Canada's Worst Driver. Shyamala therefore has the deciding vote.
As none of the experts believe Aaron is Canada's Worst Driver, Aaron is named the final graduate of the Driver Rehabilitation Centre. Ultimately, Sly is considered to be able to drive away on his own, while Shirley wasn't, and that's why she is ultimately named Canada's Worst Driver. Despite Sly avoiding being named the worst, Andrew tells him that he has absolutely nothing to be proud about, and Fred says that Sly simply got lucky that Shirley happened to do worse in the Road Test. Shirley still leaves with parting words of encouragement from Andrew, who implores her to continue driving, and as a special mark of respect for her doing so well despite ultimately being named the worst, Andrew allows Janis to drive Shirley home, instead of the usual final humiliation of being forced to catch a plane home while her car is towed to her hometown.