Canada's Worst Driver 5

Canada's Worst Driver 5
Canada's Worst Driver 5
Format Reality television
Developed by Proper Television
Presented by Andrew Younghusband
Narrated by Andrew Younghusband
Country of origin  Canada
Language(s) English
No. of episodes 8
Executive producer(s) Guy O'Sullivan
Producer(s) Blair Ricard
Running time 60 minutes
Original channel Discovery Channel Canada
Original run October 26, 2009 – December 14, 2009
Preceded by Canada's Worst Driver 4
Followed by Canada's Worst Driver 6
Related shows Canada's Worst Handyman (series)
Britain's Worst Driver

Canada's Worst Driver 5 is the fifth season of Canada's Worst Driver, the Canadian automotive television series on Discovery Channel which seeks to improve the skills of eight of the worst motorists in Canada.

In this season, the eight contestants are taken to the Driver Rehabilitation Centre in CFB Borden, which had been previously used in Canada's Worst Driver 2. Unlike Canada's Worst Driver 2, however, it is only referred to on-air as an "undisclosed military location".

The series launch was set to coincide with the launch of a new law in Ontario prohibiting the use of handheld electronic devices while driving. Similar bans have been instituted in Atlantic Canada and Quebec, with Manitoba and Saskatchewan considering similar laws. This season will also be the second to be featured on the iTunes Store and the first to have new episodes one day after first airing.



The experts this season, like last season, consists of three returning judges and one new head driving instructor.

  • Dr. Louisa Gembora has been in private practice since 1994, and has been in the psychology field since 1980. In her off-time, she drives a single-seat race car.
  • Philippe Létourneau is the chief instructor at Jim Russell Racing School and a lead instructor in the Ferrari and BMW driver training programs. He is also a racer, having raced since he was 11.
  • Peter Mellor is the new head instructor of the series. He is with the Advanced Motoring Bureau, and is the host of Wheel Base, a Canadian syndicated driving program. A graduate of the Jim Russell Racing School and the Ferrari and BMW driver training programs, he is dedicated to the "art of driving".
  • Cam Woolley is the current traffic specialist for CP24 in Toronto. Prior to this, he had spent 30 years in the Ontario Provincial Police, building a reputation of being Canada's most trusted traffic cop.


The eight contestants this year are:

  • Mike Butt, 28, from Regina, Saskatchewan, has had 11 vehicles in the past 12 years, and has asked others to drive cars in reverse for him. His brother-in-law Jodie is the only one in his family who believes driving skill is not hereditary, and he is willing to go into rehab with Mike to prove his point. His current car is a beat-up Buick Century.
  • Melissa Cook, 32, from Saint John, New Brunswick, has only been licensed for nine months. Her problems are twofold: one is that she has never had formal driver's education, and it shows when she constantly drives 20 km/h under the speed limit. The other is her common-law husband and nominator Wil Fawcett, who verbally abuses her when she is driving. She drives a Pontiac Grand Prix.
  • Crystal Hubley Farao, 46, from Windsor, Ontario, has had 11 reported major accidents on the road, including one occasion in which she caused $15,000 damage in her car, only to cause another major accident in a rental car while her car was being replaced. Though she has been nominated by eight separate people, a record for the series, her sister-in-law Theresa Farao will accompany her into rehab. She drives a Pontiac G6 GT Convertible.
  • Father Giles Joly, 56, from Richmond, Ontario, is a Roman Catholic priest who is too conservative on the road: on major highways, he has only driven the full 110 km/h limit once in his lifetime. His brother Guy Joly wants him in rehab to help him get more confidence. He drives a Ford Freestar.
  • JoJo Kopty, 19, from Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec, is on the limit of her demerit points: in the two years she's been licensed, she's had 13 accidents, including backing her mother's car into her father's car. Her friend Nima wants her in rehab to avoid another episode where the two were hospitalized as a result of an accident. JoJo drives a Honda Civic.
  • Angelina Marcantognini, 26, from Sudbury, Ontario, a recently licensed "stay at home girlfriend" who has had many fender benders. Her friend Christine Latondress Andrews wants her in rehab for her own good; her unsafe driving has led her to drive when the two are going out together. She drives a Pontiac Sunfire.
  • Jakob Poirier, 25, from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, is a punk rocker whose road rage has led to 12 major accidents in 9 years. When on tour, his band, "Slaveclass", no longer allows him to drive. He has been nominated by his girlfriend Stacey Fitzsimmons. He drives a Chevrolet Blazer.
  • Arun Suryanarayanan, 25, from Windsor, Ontario, is an immigrant from Mumbai who has yet to be accustomed to the rules of driving on Canadian roads. His wife Sanah Shaheen wants him in rehab to get rid of his habit of driving in the middle of two lanes and taking up two parking spots when parking. He drives a Pontiac Grand Am.


Contestant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Father Giles IN IN IN IN IN OUT
Crystal IN IN IN IN WD
Melissa IN IN OUT
     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, and is out of the running for Canada's Worst Driver.
     The contestant withdrew from the show on compassionate/personal reasons, and is out of the running for Canada's Worst Driver.

Episode 1: Basic Training

Original Airdate: October 26, 2009

The program begins on a rainy afternoon, as the contestants depart for the Driver Rehabilitation Centre, following a list of simple instructions. The contestants depart in the following order: Melissa, Father Giles, Jojo, Mike, Arun, Crystal, Angelina, and Jakob. Everyone makes a large number of moving violations on the way to rehab, and the contestants arrive in the following order: Melissa, Father Giles (never at the limit the whole trip), Mike (despite stopping for directions), Jojo (speeding the whole way), Crystal, Jakob, Arun, and Angelina (wildly off-course after making the wrong first turn).

  • Basic Skills – The skills evaluation is performed in a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow vehicle this year, and involves a tight reverse course, before turning the car forward inside a concrete box and driving into a 45 km/h slalom before crossing a white line and braking, stopping in front of a wall. Mike, going first, gets stuck in reverse (and was excused from the box because of it), and fishtails out of control in the slalom. Crystal fails her slalom due to holding a cigarette in her hand and thus having one hand off the steering wheel. Jojo has no issues in reverse or in turing the car forward, but hits the slalom obstacles repeatedly. Angelina is the first to hit the car inside the box, and hits the slalom obstacles going half the required speed. Arun hits the very first obstacle going into the reverse portion, and fishtails out of control on the slalom. Melissa goes the entire course with strong verbal abuse from Wil, and Wil going as far as to abandon her in the concrete box. Worst of all, she hits the wall in the end. Father Giles hits obstacles on the way to the slalom, where he never makes it above 40 km/h. Finally, Jakob learns firsthand the trademark difficulty of Canada's Worst Driver's challenges, as he gets stuck in the concrete box and nearly rolls the car over in the slalom, in a course that he originally dismissed as "easy".

In the evaluations, Mike and Jakob admit to not as being skilled as they had originally thought, while everyone else is taught harsh lessons by the drivers. The first graduation is not until the next episode, as this was merely a skills evaluation. But what is known is that while one may graduate soon, another is Canada's Worst Driver.

Discovery Channel's web extras for this episode:

  • Jakob: Punk or Poseur? - Jakob, in the confessional, trashes Andrew while discussing his own attitude issues and the fact that he admits that all eight contestants are bad drivers, but then retracts his trash-talk when he fears that Andrew will retaliate based on his comments the next day.
  • Crystal - Crystal, in the confessional, discusses her past driving history, and her distractions behind the wheel. She also gives her first impressions on Andrew.
  • Arun - Arun, in the confessional, admits that he had failed to notice that his handbrake had been on or five minutes during his first drive, and how he had not worn seat belts before due to "cramping his style". However, he is optimistic about learning at the Driver Rehabilitation Centre.

Episode 2: Standard Manoeuvres

Original Airdate: November 2, 2009
  • The Shoulder Check Challenge – to teach shoulder checking, contestants must speed down a straightaway at 70 km/h, and check on both sides to see if the signs are green or red, and if necessary, take an appropriate turn at a fork in the road ahead. Contestants have only one attempt at this challenge. Jakob is the first to pass after stopping at the fork when he is faced with reds on both sides. Jojo passes facing a left-side green. Crystal and Arun hit the side of the road, while Mike, Melissa, and Angelina all plow into the fork in the road. As for Father Giles, he goes too slow and does not make his exit, leading Andrew to teach him how to accelerate to 120 km/h (so high it is over the speed limit everywhere in Canada).
  • Medical Exam – All contestants are required to take a medical exam this season. The person with the slowest reaction time and the poorest vision is, not surprisingly, Father Giles.
  • Stick Shift Parallel Park – the contestants must drive a Mercedes-Benz G-Class, a standard transmission vehicle, in a 300m off-road circle before returning to the starting point and parallel parking it between two cars. Mike, an experienced stick-shift driver, takes 14 attempts to park. Novice Melissa does better with only ten attempts (though Wil contends it's nine times too many). Crystal hits the car in front of her, while Jakob manages to damage the car's gearbox on a climbing portion. Father Giles parks too far from the curb, while Arun, despite having once owned a stick-shift vehicle, has trouble getting the car going as he attempted to use one foot to operate the clutch and gas pedals. Angelina had the worst performance, nearly hitting every obstacle. Jojo was the only person to pass easily, due to Nima's assistance in parking.
  • Limousine Figure-Eight – in the first figure-eight challenge of the season, the contestants must reverse a limousine in a wide figure-eight loop, with the other seven on board. Jakob, going first, sets the mark by taking only two minutes, only hitting five things in the far end of the course. Arun, going last, however, tops that by taking six minutes and not hitting anything, earning the praise of everyone else. Jojo (having veered off-course) and Father Giles (going slowly through the course) were only slightly off Jakob's mark, hitting six and seven things, respectively. Everyone else veers wildly off-course, and hits many things.

In the end, three drivers received consideration for graduation: Jakob, Jojo, and Father Giles. Phillippe believes that Jakob's "punk attitude" still needs to be addressed, and thus he was eliminated from consideration. Between Jojo and Father Giles, one fared better overall and the other was "more safe". Because Jojo did better, she is the first graduate. As a reward for being first out, she does not drive home in the car she arrived to rehab; instead, she is allowed to drive away in a Mercedes-Benz.

  • What Accounts for CWD's Popularity - Series Executive Producer Guy O'Sullivan is interviewed on why Canada's Worst Driver has become popular.
  • The Man Who Buys the CWD Cars - Series Producer Blair Ricard is interviewed on his roles as a producer, including sourcing the cars that are used on the show. He admits that the cars used are all used expensive cars that he has always wanted, and admits that he is saddened by the fact that they are almost always damaged on the show.

Episode 3: Head to Head Combat

Original Airdate: November 9, 2009
  • The Figure Eight Redux – Due to the shockingly bad performance in the last Figure Eight challenge (in which Melissa, Crystal, Mike, and Angelina knocked over at least 40 obstacles each), the Figure Eight Challenge returns. This time, the challenge is taken from Canada's Worst Driver 3. In this challenge, two cars begin face-to-face in the middle of the Figure Eight course, and the contestants must reverse all the way around the course. First is Crystal and Arun. Arun is careful, but gets too greedy and reverses too far. While Arun and Crystal argue, Sanah is the only one to notice the sole passing area in the whole course (on one end of the figure-eight where Arun had passed), and further cooperation allows Crystal uses to finish ahead of Arun. Arun, confident in reversing slowly but horrible reversing fast, is given a lesson on how to reverse fast by Andrew. Melissa and Father Giles make up the second heat. Father Giles accidentally steps on the gas pedal instead of the brake while reversing, sending his car out of control and nearly hitting Andrew (stopping only because the car was trapped above a rim). When Andrew forces Wil from the car after seeing Melissa hit too many things, Melissa has no further problems reversing. Mike and Angelina are in the third heat. Christine immediately gets Angelina to drop the coffee and cigarette while reversing, but it only gets her into more trouble, causing Angelina to break down. Meanwhile, Mike has reversed to Angelina's position, on the opposite end of the passing point, causing Mike to be frustrated (though both do eventually finish). Jakob, without a partner, gets to reverse with Andrew. Jakob's only hits were while driving forward, and, during the challenge, admits to a change in driving attitude.
  • Road Signs – The annual road sign test is given to the contestants. Jakob is the best at signs, at 7/10, while Angelina misses all but one sign.
  • The S-Turn Challenge – The S-Turn is a lesson that's taught every year in various forms. The challenge is performed in a right-hand drive Nissan S-Cargo, in an S-shaped course. Contestants must move laterally through the S-shaped course using repeated S-turns. Arun, going first, often mistakes forward and reverse gears, and eventually gives up after 52 minutes. Crystal, second, hits 7 things, but picks up the lesson easily. Angelina, is distracted through the challenge due to taking a phone call partway through. Jakob still hits many things, but he is proud at not losing his composure during his run. Mike relies on Jodie the whole way through the challenge. Father Giles repeats the mantra "halfway" through the second half of the course, and hits only one thing in his run. Wil, pledging not to speak during the challenge, breaks his promise two seconds into the challenge, and insults Melissa 16 times in her run. This leads Andrew to look into Wil's behaviour as a passenger. In a private meeting with Andrew, Andrew makes Wil listen to footage of himself insulting Melissa. Wil is appalled by what came out of his own mouth, later breaking down in the confessional.
  • The Eye of the Needle – This year, there are four numbered archways, which the contestants must go through at 70 km/h in order in a standard-transmission Lowrider. Arun hits the obstacles. Father Giles, who, in his youth, drove stick-shift, makes a perfect run. Wil's positive attitude also leads Melissa to drive another perfect run. Crystal repeatedly hits on the right side, and admits that her accidents in the last 15 years are due to not wearing corrective lenses, which are a condition of her driver's license. Jakob makes a perfect run despite poor car handling. Angelina mistakes first gear for third, and as a result, hits two arches. Mike also makes a perfect run without effort.

In deliberation, Melissa reveals to the experts that Wil had told her of his private drive with Andrew, and how he had cried for 15 minutes afterwards. Melissa and Jakob make the experts' shortlist, but Wil's attitude change is the difference maker, as Melissa is named the season's second graduate.

Discovery Channel's web extras for this episode:

  • Those Cars are Just Pieces of Metal - Philippe is interviewed on the program from an experts' point of view, and on Andrew's progress as a driver over the years. He also states that, contrary to his line of work, in the end, cars are just "pieces of metal", and that the driver is the one who makes the car.
  • Andrew's Retrospective - Andrew reflects on his favourite contestant of past years, Shelby D'Souza of Canada's Worst Driver 3, and his most horrifying moment to date, the portion of the Canada's Worst Driver 3 road test when Jason Zhang had stopped while trying to merge onto Ontario Highway 400.

Episode 4: Tanked

Original Airdate: November 16, 2009
  • Distracted Driving – the annual lesson on the dangers of not putting the player's full attention to the road is done in a new way. This year, contestants take an AMC Marlin and perform a series of tasks while driving, trying not to hit any obstacles in process. Unlike previous years, contestants are not driving in a circle (but the course contains many turning portions and tight curves). Common tasks include applying lipstick, eating while driving, changing CDs, and so on. Mike and Jakob learn hard lessons from the challenge (Jakob, in particular, pledges to eat drive-thru food while parked in a parking lot). Arun, in particular, has a habit of driving slower while distracted, but nevertheless hits many things. Angelina's run is highlighted by being so distracted on by repeated calls she fails to notice that one of her tires had blown out. Father Giles is perplexed at how women could apply makeup while driving during his run. Crystal refuses to learn the lesson, adamantly defending her "right" to smoke while driving.
  • Rules of the Road Test – Chief Instructor Peter Mellor tests the contestants on proper road behaviour—such as which car has right-of-way when two cars are arrive at a four-way stop at the same time. Jakob is the best at 7/10, and Mike is worst at 3/10.
  • Drifting Donuts – The annual donut challenge teaches contestants to look where the car should be going when in a rear-end skid, as well as countersteering. After lessons taught by Phillipe, they must do so inside a confines, around a foam donut. Notably, Andrew takes two attempts to do the challenge himself, despite having learned how to do the donut in Canada's Worst Driver 3 (where this challenge was the first of the year) and having done it every year since on the first try. Mike and Father Giles both fail at the challenge despite picking up the lesson well. Crystal completely demolishes the walls before making a donut, and believes the car was deliberately rigged. Angelina initially could not handle the lesson, but despite her squeamishness, she learns quickly. During the challenge, however, she quickly forgets her lessons and blows her second tire of the episode. Stacey, having witnessed Jakob crashing firsthand, closes her eyes through much of his run, making Jakob question whether he deserves to graduate.
  • The Water-Tank Challenge – This year, the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow is used for the annual challenge. In this year's course, after a simple right turn at a stop sign, a precision driving challenge follows, before going on a straightaway at 30 km/h, heading into a sharp curve, through a corral, where they must reverse the car at 20 km/h into the finish. Andrew is splashed on the second year in a row, losing 16 of the 200 litres of water in the tank. Arun misses the stop sign, and the water makes him destroy the course. Father Giles, calm throughout, does not hit anything, but repeatedly hits the brakes suddenly, losing half the water in the tank (but despite this, posts the best run of the day). Crystal's habit of pulsing the pedal leads to getting splashed, and missing the stop sign. Crystal loses 180 litres in her run. Angelina, who also pulses of the pedals, fears the water tank, and rightly so, as she loses 130 litres and struggles to drive in reverse. Jakob, who has grown a dislike for the Rolls-Royce, is repeatedly splashed, losing 160 litres, and, in the confessional, admits he had one of the most destructive runs of the day. Mike, understanding the intent, nevertheless, loses 170 litres.

In deliberation, it is recognized that everyone did poorly in the donuts and water tank challenge. After the two challenges, none of the six contestants believe they deserve to graduate, a first for the series. Nevertheless, Father Giles receives consideration for graduation (by Cam). The experts, in the end, agree to honor everyone's request to stay, so no one graduates.

Discovery Channel's web extras for this episode:

  • Melissa: The Second Graduate - Melissa is interviewed after her graduation. Wil also presents his input on becoming a better passenger, vowing to keep the CD given to him by Andrew on their private drive in their car's glove box.

Episode 5: Close to Home

Original Airdate: November 23, 2009
  • The Lane Change Rally – The contestants will attempt to pass Andrew, driving a limousine at 25 km/h, twice on an oval circuit. All the contestants will be on the course at the same time, so the challenge will require various lane changes as the contestants will also need to pass each other. Each incorrect lane change will result in requiring an additional pass of the limo. Arun gets into his habit on driving between two lanes, which Cam notes is an offense. Two minutes into the challenge, Father Giles is the first to finish. Jakob exits the course second much later. Angelina repeatedly makes the mistake of checking the wrong side (checking to the right when intending to change to the left lane). Arun, in the meantime, repeatedly cuts off everyone else (first Crystal, then Andrew, both on bad passes, and then Mike from the outside lane into the infield), and has to be dragged off the course for everyone else's safely. Crystal finishes after taking on 9 more passes. Mike finishes with 19 bad passes. Before Angelina finishes, Andrew intentionally drives off the course, but it is a while before Angelina realizes that the challenge has concluded.
  • Driving at Night – The contestants are blindfolded and taken to an undisclosed location 33 km away from the hotels that they are staying during rehab, at an abandoned gas station in Alliston, Ontario. The contestants must take their cars back to the hotel in Barrie, but with another contestant's nominator instead of their own (the contestants are free to arrange who they will pair up with). Angelina's car is discovered to have an expired registration, so her car was intentionally towed to the location with its headlights disabled. Father Giles is paired with Theresa (who immediately asks for directions), while Jakob is paired with Guy (driving without directions). Arun is paired with Stacey, while Mike goes with Sanah. Prior to the challenge, Crystal (paired with Christine) had arranged for an eye exam, and is prescribed a contact lens over her right eye (as she has 20/120 vision out of that eye). She immediately discovers that she tends to drift into oncoming traffic. Meanwhile, Angelina (paired with Jodie), adamant on using her own car, asks her boyfriend Andy half a world away in Indonesia on how to repair her headlight, but eventually calls a tow truck (and sealing up last place). Mike, however, is caught driving 130 km/h in a 50 km/h zone—which Cam notes is a $10,000 fine with immediate license suspension and car impoundment. Father Giles is first to finish, with Jakob finishing 10 minutes later, just as the tow truck arrives for Angelina. Arun finishes third, with Mike coming in fourth. Crystal narrowly misses a raccoon on her way to the hotel, her peripheral vision drastically improved.
  • Handbrake J-Turn – The contestants are taught by Philippe on how to perform a Forward Handbrake J-Turn (a modified bootleg turn), as first seen on Canada's Worst Driver 3. The key to the technique is to make the car front-heavy by taking the foot off the gas, before using the pendulum effect (turning right before a sudden turn to the left) and the handbrake to swing around (this process is known as a Scandinavian flick). For the challenge, the contestants must accelerate to 50 km/h, making the turn around a foam figure. Contestants have five attempts before being forced to retire. Angelina hits the brakes, and loses control of the car, failing her five attempts. Jakob and Mike both make it on their fifth attempts after a few close calls. Crystal fails her five attempts, her last knocking down the foam figure. Though Arun is next to go (and Father Giles is last), a personal tragedy happens to Crystal while awaiting for the course to reset: she receives word from her mother that her brother-in-law, Tom Stagno, has been killed in an automobile/motorcycle collision. Tom had been killed while riding a motorcycle on Essex County Road 2 near Lakeshore, Ontario when a driver had failed to stop at a stop sign, colliding into him as he tried to proceed across the intersection. The driver of the automobile was charged with failure to yield.[1]

Because of Crystal's personal tragedy, neither Arun nor Father Giles take the challenge, and Crystal is allowed to leave rehab to mourn her personal loss. In the confessionals and in front of the experts, everyone mourns over Crystal's personal tragedy and reflect on their own skills in the process. It is also revealed via footage that all of the drivers of this season fail to yield in their daily driving routines. Out of respect for Tom, no one graduates this episode. The end credits for this episode were silent and featured a dedication to Tom.

Discovery Channel's web extras for this episode:

  • Angelina's Words of Wisdom - Angelina presents excerpts from her own personal scrapbook in the confessional, compiled since her teenage years.

Episode 6: Riding the Rails

Original airdate: November 30, 2009
  • Reverse Flick – The Reverse Flick, first taught in Canada's Worst Driver 4, returns. In this challenge, the contestants must reverse into the box at 30 km/h, do a 180 J-Turn in a confined space, before exiting the box forwards. Contestants have 10 attempts before retiring. Mike finishes on his 10th attempt, while Jakob fails, due to overspeed and swinging the wrong way. Arun also fails for hitting the brakes and losing control of the car in his attempts. Father Giles finishes easily and patiently, while Angelina requires Andrew's assistance to pass, due to her new "hands-on" learning philosophy.
  • The Trough – The annual lesson on knowing where the wheels on a car are takes this form this year. In the challenge, contestants must travel through a sand and concrete course, while having the wheels remain on the concrete at all times. Sanah learns quickly the key to the winding course is to take wide turns, and gets Arun to pass after three attempts. Jakob, however, tops that by passing on his second attempt. Mike frequently hits the sand on the first turn, and fails. Angelina and Father Giles gets their cars stuck on multiple occasions, and also fail.
  • Shopping Cart Hockey – The experts had been baffled at how Mike drives poorly at low speeds but well at high speeds. On the first day, Mike explains to Andrew that he had learned high speed driving from pushing shopping carts with his car. Fascinated, Andrew and the experts endorsed the challenge of Mike's creation (because of this, Mike doesn't do the challenge as he shows it to Andrew). In this challenge, contestants must push a shopping cart with a car up until a white line before letting the shopping cart's momentum lead it through a goal. Contestants have up to 10 attempts to score a goal. Angelina's first shot was wide, but she was never able to match it in her next nine. Jakob had looked like he scored on his last attempt, but his car was over the line. Arun was intent on ramming the cart from a distance, but never succeeds. Father Giles prefers a slow approach, accelerating towards the line only at the end. He is the only one to score.
  • Trailer Troubles – The annual trailer challenge has contestants drive a truck which has two trailers, making the car a total length of 23 metres. They must drive the trailer into a campsite, and park it in marked spaces; the truck itself faces the outside of the campground, while the large and small trailers are behind it. Due to the difficulty of reversing with two trailers, Andrew clearly states that some problem solving is needed: the smaller trailer will invariably need to be unhitched and pushed to its space. Jodie, who drives with trailers daily, gets this, and directs Mike to finish. Arun overdrives the campground, and fails in the reverse. Guy, recognizing the problem, leads Father Giles to pass the challenge, with the truck and trailers facing three different directions. Angelina fails after declining the idea of unhooking a trailer. Jakob is puzzled by the challenge, and due to Stacey being unable to drive, is puzzled by what to do.

In deliberation, only Father Giles and Jakob express the desire to graduate. The experts also feel similarly, but note that Father Giles' only issue, being underspeed, is fully addressed, while Jakob's issue, road rage, still needs work. Because of this, Father Giles graduates, but not before everyone salutes him with his signature two thumbs up pose.

Discovery Channel's web extras for this episode:

  • In Father Giles We Trust - Father Giles is interviewed after his graduation. The Driver Rehabilitation Centre had served to reinforce his beliefs, and was worth the spiritual journey. Guy also retracts his "Sunday driver" comment from his initial nomination, stating that he is an "all week" driver now.

Episode 7: Uphill Battle

Original airdate: December 7, 2009
  • The Trough, In Reverse – The contestants, save Jakob, had done so badly on the trough, that the same challenge (on a slightly different course) will be done in reverse. As Andrew notes, the key to the challenge is to take wide turns to allow the car to swing when reversing around a curve, and adjusting the car's mirrors to ensure that the wheels stay on the concrete. Jakob does worse in reverse compared to forwards in the last episode, nearly losing his composure and failing the challenge outright. Arun, who also passed going forward, is told by Sanah to stop and think, but still oversteers and fails. Angelina fails to use her side mirrors, and uses Christine extensively for advice. Christine eventually caves, and handles the wheel for Angelina. Though the run is without incident, she fails as Christine effectively drove from the passenger seat. Mike, whose major issues is reversing, is slow and methodical, but does manage to pass after 21 attempts.
  • The Gimbal – The season's featured challenge (shown on Daily Planet after the first episode aired, with Daily Planet host Ziya Tong attempting the challenge) is one where the contestant must balance a stick-shift truck atop the gimbal, a swiveling platform with a hemispherical base. The truck must remain on the gimbal at all times. The lesson is on fine movement on a stick-shift vehicle. Angelina is convinced to quit the challenge by Christine when her platform shoes start to impair her ability to "feel the pedals", while Arun eventually perseveres after 13 minutes. Jakob, keeping his composure, also balances in five minutes (faster than Andrew in his demonstration run). Mike is initially frustrated, but also balances after 12 minutes.
  • Off-Roading – The drivers must drive off-road, passing through eight gates on an off-road course. As the course has a real danger of rolling over due to the steep hills, each contestant, after their run, must coach the contestant going after him. Jakob, going first with Andrew as his guide, proceeds calmly, and gets Arun to do the same. When Arun tries to do the same to Mike, an experienced off-roader, Mike proceeds recklessly, and fails. Similarly, Angelina, intimidated by Mike, also proceeds recklessly on her run.
  • Swerve and Avoid – In the annual challenge on not braking in order to retain steering control when sudden obstacles appear, the contestants must drive at 70 km/h before swerving to avoid a foam car that may appear in one exit. Contestants must do the run five times, with Andrew as a passenger on the final run. Arun fails only once. Angelina, after challenges where her high-heeled shoes often got in the way, gets new driving shoes for this challenge, but the shoes do not appear to help, failing all five runs. Jakob also fails only once, ironically when no cars appeared. Mike makes the mistake of "guessing in advance" and driving overspeed on several occasions (which would only make the swerve harder), and fails his last three runs.

In deliberation, Jakob and Mike express the interest in leaving, while Angelina starts to believe she is Canada's Worst Driver. The experts, however, are unanimous in their decision without a second thought. Jakob, shortlisted in nearly every episode before, is the next to graduate and leave.

Discovery Channel's web extras for this episode:

  • The Last Stand of Jakob Poirer - Jakob is interviewed after graduation. He explains that he may still be "punk rock" and that he still does "what he feels like", he concedes that "what he feels like" has changed. He also admitted that he knew that had an attitude problem before arriving in rehab, and that the experts' opinions further cemented the point.
  • Confession Jams - Music consisting of mashups of confessional footage of Jakob, Arun, Mike (on Father Giles' leaving the previous episode), and Angelina (on the Water-Tank challenge), is shown.

Episode 8: Judgement

Original airdate: December 14, 2009
  • Reverse Serpentine – The contestants must reverse around a slalom course in 30 seconds or less. Contestants have up to 10 attempts before being forced to retire and will drive with each other as passengers. Mike fails his 10 attempts, while Angelina kills the transmission on the car after her seventh attempt (while making Mike vomit as she fishtails the car, as seen in the episode's preview). In a new car with better handling, she fails her last three. Arun noted that wide turns would kill his chances of finishing on time, and despite Angelina being on the phone, he manages to pass on his last attempt, finishing off with a reverse spinout.
  • The Mega-Challenge – This year's mega-challenge is in two legs. In the first leg, contestants must do a reverse flick before a forward slalom and an Eye of the Needle portion. Then, continuing with the car in reverse, they must proceed in a precision course before switching to the second car. In the second leg, the contestants must drive forward and do a forward handbrake J-turn before tackling a short reverse, before ending the challenge attempting to balance on the gimbal. Mike fails each key portion, becoming more and more frustrated in each part. After the challenge, Mike admits that his only saving grace is if someone else does worse. Indeed, Angelina's run is worse, as she causes the first leg car to overheat partway through the precision reverse, and destroys the whole reverse portion while out of control in the forward handbrake J-turn. Arun's run is much better, passing the first precision reverse, the forward handbrake J-turn, and balancing on the gimbal in his first attempt.
  • The Road Test – This year's road test is a quick trip around downtown Toronto,in a Ford Mustang GT convertible, with the beginning and ending at a downtown parking garage. Mike makes 23 moving violations, including many past what was considered his breaking point when he is so distracted by a cyclist on his right that he fails to notice a pedestrian in front of him as he prepares to turn right. After his run, he admits that the only way that he avoids the title of Canada's Worst Driver is if someone does worse. Again, Angelina does worse: her anxiety on Toronto's roads forces her to take medication combined with plenty of pulling over to regroup herself. However, this is to no avail—so much so that Andrew tries to convince her that in her state she is unfit to drive at all. Andrew also fails to convince Christine to tell Angelina, and Angelina, after a rest, walks off in disgust, vowing never to relinquish her license. As for Arun, his run was uneventful, making a perfect run despite a heckling bystander at one point. Andrew even considers him the "poster boy" for the Driver Rehabilitation Centre, and Cam considers him the most improved driver in the four years he has been an expert.

In the end, Arun is given a round of applause by the experts and Andrew, his status as the last graduate all but confirmed due to the road test. Far harsher words are given to Mike and Angelina, though: for Mike, he is convinced by the experts to destroy his license, which he does in front of the experts, while Angelina remains defiant to the end. It is this difference, despite the fact that Cam views Mike's action as merely a "symbolic gesture", which gives Angelina the title of Canada's Worst Driver. Mike returns home with Jodie with a promise to start anew in a limousine, while Angelina's car is towed away, her ride with the Canada's Worst Driver trophy in a cab.


Canada's Worst Driver 5 continues the series trend of being the most-watched show on Discovery Channel, with the first episode garnering the highest ratings in the history of Discovery Channel, and was the highest-rated non-sports specialty channel show for the night.[2] Discovery Channel also boasted that the show's ratings routinely beat out those for conventional channels in the same timeslot, specifically naming Heroes (on Global Television) and The National (on CBC).[3]

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