Nailing the Needle
Original Airdate: 16 November 2015
What Do You See?: For the first time since Canada's Worst Driver 5 (not counting season finales), the drivers leave the confines of the Driver Rehabilitation Centre for a public drive in the town of Dunnville, in order to get a better idea of how they drive in their everyday lives. Tim will accompany each driver, and will ask them to make observations about potential hazards throughout their drive. Jillian, the contestant this challenge is primarily designed to help, is first-up, but takes a lot of encouragement from Tim to even leave the parking lot. During the challenge she proves extremely nervous and panics at the slightest provocation, along with displaying a lack of practical knowledge on how to drive in public. Despite this, she still insists that she's a good driver, but Tim says that she still has a long way to go. Sholom proves extremely over-cautious, stopping at every single intersection whether or not he's actually required to. Shmuel does well; after being reminded to keep to observing relevant things on the road, he drives competently and is able to keep focused for the remainder of his drive. While Renee doesn't prove anywhere near as nervous as Jillian, she nonetheless keeps focusing far ahead and not identifying vehicles approaching from intersections. On top of that, she also turns out to have no idea what a crosswalk is, causing Tim to point out that stopping in one is a ticketable offence. Jordan initially focuses on the faces of other drivers, but when Tim advises him to look at front wheels instead, he gets the hang of it and performs the best at this challenge. Polly, by contrast, is easily the worst, as she proves generally unobservant and has to be prevented from making a dangerous illegal turn, which would have sent her into the oncoming traffic.
Parallel Parking: In order to give the drivers experience in parallel parking tough vehicles, they are given a lesson in parallel parking from Tim, and then asked to park a 1976 Cadillac between two other cars. Each driver will have ten attempts. Before Jillian's run she has a session with Shyamala, who notes that she generally seems tearful when driving alone or with Andrew or Tim, yet frequently subjects Mitchell to torrents of verbal abuse at the slightest provocation. She admits to resentment at Mitchell's ability to drive without trouble, and Mitchell in turn admits to not standing up to her, causing Shyamala to tell them that this can't continue, and that Jillian needs to control her temper and nerves, and Mitchell needs to tell her when she's behaving unreasonably. When she takes the challenge, Jillian fails to use her mirrors and keeps hitting the car behind her, which in turns causes her to lose control of her temper and start lashing out at Mitchell again. This time Mitchell stands up to her, but after hitting the car in front during her fourth run she tries to quit the challenge. Mitchell persuades her to continue without him in the car, but after she fails her fifth attempt and comes close to a complete breakdown, Andrew decides to accompany her and guides her to successfully completing the challenge on her next run. She's still deemed to have failed however, since she showed no improvement in her behaviour toward Mitchell, who she tries to place total blame on afterwards. Polly easily passes on her first attempt, getting just within the 30cm required to be legally parked. Sholom ends up hitting the other cars in his first nine attempts, and then on his final attempt ends up "parked" about 6ft away from the footpath, causing him to fail. Jordan also fails all ten of his attempts, after repeatedly choosing a starting position just a few inches to the side of the car in front of the space. Shmuel takes four attempts, but passes the challenge. Renee has a lot of trouble in her early runs, but gradually gets the hang of the challenge and passes on her eighth attempt.
Distracted Driving: For once, only three of the drivers have any real problems with distracted driving, namely Shmuel, who tends to eat while driving, Jordan, who regularly texts and browses the internet, and Polly, who does her hair and make-up at the wheel. However, Andrew notes that distracted driving is still one of the leading causes of car-related fatalities, and so the three are put through the challenge, which has them driving a 1974 Cadillac Fleetwood through a course, with and without distractions. Jordan is up first, and asked to send a text to Andrew while driving; just the task of entering Andrew's number causes him to lose track of his speed and hit things, and he's also asked to groom himself and even brush his teeth (which he also does while driving) to further make the point. After his run ends, he's tearful at the thought of how dangerous his driving is. Polly is asked to do a similar set of grooming tasks, and her run proves similarly destructive, including stopping altogether at one point; Jeff points out how dangerous this would be if she did it on an actual road, and she freely admits that she often does so. After her run ends with her crashing and leaving the course, she's left shaken by the thought of what might happen at speeds much higher than the 25 km/h of the challenge. Shmuel starts his run by getting out a cigarette, which causes him to get a garbage can stuck under the car; Andrew pulls out the mangled remains of the can and points to it as proof of what can happen with even the briefest distraction. Shmuel resumes his drive with a cup of hot coffee, and ends up puncturing a tire. When he resumes yet again, he tries to send Andrew a text and ends up almost totally destroying the course, after which he vows never to drive distracted again.
Charger Challenge: Eye of the Needle: This year's incarnation of the challenge is a little faster than usual, requiring each driver to navigate the Charger through five foam arches at 80 km/h. Shmuel is first to take the challenge, and while he initially speeds, he brings his speed under control after the first arch and successfuly completes the challenge. Before her run, Andrew has Renee drive him up the track at 80 km/h, to give her the confidence to complete the actual challenge; unfortunately she spends most of her run looking at the speedometer instead of where she wants to go, and smashes the first three arches. Jordan, who Andrew notes is showing a lot more enthusiasm for the high-speed challenges, goes through the first two arches successfully, but then speeds up to 110 km/h and hits the third and fifth arches after not being able to steer toward them in time. Before Jillian takes her run, Andrew gives her a Shyamala-shaped air freshener with self-help tips written on its back; she passes flawlessly, but admits that she's still some way off graduating. Sholom once again proves the worst by far at this challenge, as he drives at over 100 km/h, smashes all but the first arch, and then spins out of control and travels well off the track into the adjoining field. Polly comes close to passing, but ruins an otherwise good run by smashing the middle arch.
In her meeting with the experts, Jillian admits that it took her a lot of effort not to yell at Mitchell, and that doing so is cathartic to her, but Andrew reminds her that she simply can't continue to do this. Jordan thinks he's learned enough to graduate, as does Shmuel, while the remaining drivers admit that they have a lot more to learn.
Despite Jordan's request, and also some minor reservations as to whether Jillian should remain in rehab when her problems aren't directly related to her driving skills, Andrew and all four experts agree without hesitation that Shmuel is the obvious choice to graduate, as he passed every challenge this episode. In a first for the show, Shmuel graduates, but does not leave the Driver Rehabilitation Centre, instead stepping back and becoming Sholom's nominator.
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