Easy as Pie
Original Airdate: 7 December, 2015
The Cross: As usual, this challenge requires the drivers to use S-turns to gradually turn their vehicle 360 degrees in a cross made up of concrete Jersey barriers. For this year's incarnation of the challenge however, they will be using a much larger vehicle: a bus made up to look like a train.
Jillian is the first to take the challenge, and immediately demands that Mitchell guide her throughout. He initially refuses, which leads to yet another argument between the couple, but eventually she gets through the first corner, guided every step of the way by him. Andrew quickly cottons onto this and drags Mitchell off the bus, after which Jillian's confidence (and thereby her run as a whole) quickly falls apart. While this is happening, both Andrew and Shyamala note that while Jillian is arguably the most technically competent driver ever to be a contestant on the show, her nerves are proving a seemingly insurmountable problem. Sholom starts his run by adjusting his mirrors, but not only does it incorrectly (meaning that he can't see his own vehicle), he fails to actually use them; his run predictably proves to be a complete disaster, with both Andrew and Cam expressing amazement that Sholom ever got a driving licence. Polly turns out not to even know how to properly steer in reverse, and her run doesn't go any better than Sholom's.
During her run, Renee has Jacque stand outside the bus and tell her how close she is to the barriers, which Andrew considers to be acceptable since Renee is still making her own decisions. She subsequently gets through with only a few minor scrapes, posting by far the best performance in this challenge. After this, it's revealed firstly that Polly and Sholom are now also getting the same public driving lessons that Jillian and Renee have been getting, and also that Renee is now able to drive by herself on the highway.
Forward Handbrake J-Turn: After Philippe gives each of the drivers a lesson in how to quickly spin the car around with a handbrake turn, they each have to use this technique to quickly turn a Honda Civic around in a confined space, while also avoiding a foam person (which features the face of their nominator) in the middle of the space. Each driver gets three chances. Polly's first run quickly turns into a complete disaster, as she carries out the turn far too late, and then accidentally floors the gas instead of hitting the brakes, causing her to spin violently out of control. Between this, the similar incident in the Swerve and Avoid, and her admission that this is a mistake she often makes outside the show, Andrew voices his opinion that Polly should seriously consider giving up driving. Her remaining two runs prove just as disastrous, as she repeats the exact same mistake on her second run, and then fails to brake at all in her third run. Renee's first two attempts are near-misses, as she only manages to turn the car about four-fifths of the way around. She does only slightly better on her third and final run, but she and Jacque feel it's worthy of a pass; Andrew isn't so certain, however. Sholom predicts that he'll pass on his first attempt, but his confidence proves misplaced, and he fails by trying to take the turn too tight. He makes the same mistake on his second run, and then pulls the brake far too late in his third, failing altogether. Jillian is forced to drive by herself from the very start, and she remains relatively calm in her first run, but fails by trying to take the turn too late. This causes her to completely lose her nerve, and she asks to have Mitchell back in the car, but Andrew refuses to allow this and explains in detail where she went wrong. Her second attempt is better, but still ends in failure when she turns too tight. She tries to quit after this, but is coaxed into making a third attempt, which again turns out to be better than the previous run but still a failure, as she turns too late and hits the far wall. Despite this, Mitchell and Jillian admit that she is handling the situation better than she would have earlier in the season, and are fighting less.
Know Your Limits: For this challenge, the drivers have to carry out a widely-spaced slalom (with foam figures 35m apart) at 80 km/h, then repeat the slalom with as much (or as little) of a reduction in the slalom's spacing as they feel comfortable with. This was originally scheduled to be the Charger challenge for this episode, but Andrew says that in order to keep the Charger working until the following episode's Mega Challenge, they'll be using the Town & Country station wagon, with a roof-load of mounted luggage. Renee manages the initial slalom without any trouble, but then asks for a 5m reduction between the figures, which causes her to smash one of the figures in her second run. Sholom can't even complete the initial slalom, due to his hand-over-hand steering, but wisely asks for the gap between the figures not to be reduced for his second run. The run again ends in failure, due to his steering unbalancing the car, though Andrew notes that while Sholom may be a terrible driver, he's at least aware of his issues. Polly goes somewhat under the 80 km/h target speed in her first run, but otherwise passes it without any real trouble. She then asks for the same 5m reduction as Renee, however, and during her second run she hits the second-last foam person, then closes her eyes and stops steering altogether, causing her to hit the last person dead-on. While the prior three contestants were taking the challenge, Shyamala took Jillian out into Dunnville, and got her to undertake three short drives guided by GPS, which she managed to complete despite still being extremely nervous. When she returns to rehab, she admits that she might now have enough confidence to drive in public, but tells Andrew that she wants to take part in the final Road Test, in order to prove once and for all that she can drive alone, which Andrew agrees to. When she actually takes this challenge however, she drives too fast in her initial run and ends up leaving the track altogether. She then asks to take her second run at a reduced speed of 50 km/h with the same figure spacing, and she completes it flawlessly.
Renee admits to the experts that they did the right thing by denying her graduation in the last episode, and that she now has the confidence to take her son on the highway. Sholom immediately admits that he deserves to be in the final, as does Polly, albeit slightly more reluctantly. Jillian, meanwhile, re-iterates her request to stay in rehab for the final episode, believing that if she can complete the road test without anyone else in the car, it'll prove once and for all that she's capable of driving every day.
With the agreement between Jillian and Andrew that she will take part in the final road test, and Polly and Sholom ruled out as serious contenders for graduation due to their all-around dreadful performances this episode, the experts immediately come to an incredibly obvious decision, and make Renee the penultimate graduate of this season.
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