By now we all know that The Amazing Race (Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CTV) is a game that requires a lot of physical and mental strength. And sadly, sometimes your body just doesn’t do what you need it to in order to advance in this competition.
That’s exactly what happened to father-son racing duo Shabbir and Zed on Tuesday night’s episode of the show when they faced a rough surfing challenge in Thailand. While Zed sailed through the waves to grab his red flag, Shabbir struggled. And when he smacked his head the team was forced to change challenges, putting them even further behind.
Add in the fact that they didn’t properly read their Road Block clue during a puppet performance and the fact that they didn’t go for the Fast Forward like the night’s winning duo, brother and sister team Adam and Andrea, and sadly it was the end of the line for this fan favourite pops and son team.
We caught up with them the next morning to find out what exactly went wrong, how they’re feeling post race and how they kept up with the younger teams for so long.
In your words, what went wrong?
Zed: It was a tough leg for us. There were a lot of things right from the get-go of going to the train station, to getting on the flight, to arriving in Bangkok. There were a lot of things were we just weren’t ourselves. Maybe you could attribute it to sleep deprivation but that tied into how we did in the challenges. With the puppet challenge, we were slow on that. That didn’t completely decide our fate but the surfing challenge and not switching soon enough was the nail in the coffin.
Tell us about the puppet challenge — how long did it actually take you guys before you realized you were doing it wrong?
Zed: It took us about four or five attempts before we realized we were doing it wrong. We got there in second and left in last but we were only about 15 minutes behind.
So it really came down to that surfing challenge for you.
Zed: For sure. We were there for two and a half hours and ultimately if we had done the other detour, because there was such a distance gap between the two, there was about a 45 minute to an hour drive, that cost us a lot more time at the end of the day.
Shabbir: There’s a fine line between being determined and being stubborn. The line was blurred that day and we should have made the switch a lot sooner. I should have made the switch a lot sooner.
In the surfing challenge, Shabbir, tell us about that moment because that was really scary to watch.
Shabbir: Yes, I mean prior to that I had fallen down at least 25-30 times. So my body was getting very, very exhausted. I was tired. So when I hit my head that sealed the deal right there, just for safety. The paramedics did ask me if I needed attention but at that point I just wanted to get to the next challenge so I made due with a couple of bags of ice. I was hurt, but more focused on not letting my son down and not letting our team down.
We always hear about mind over matter and the power of positivity, but it must be so frustrating when your body just doesn’t cooperate, right?
Shabbir: It’s funny, at that point I just really didn’t want to let Zed down. I do feel responsible that it was due to my lack of being able to pick up the skill fast enough that we lost a leg.
At the same time how many younger people were you racing against?
Shabbir: Most of the people were half my age. Most of them were in Zed’s age category. So I’m happy I was able to keep up with them for the first four or five legs.
Zed, what was it like watching your dad do this thing?
Zed: There are very rare moments where… growing up the parents always get to see the son or daughter and be proud of them, so it was a very rare scenario where the tables turned and I got to be proud of him. It was pretty cool to watch — even on the tightrope I teared up a little bit when he did it. It was a foreign environment but I was very proud of him and how he performed but it was very inspiring for me.
Do you take a little bit of comfort knowing that if you were going to go out, you went out during the longest leg of The Amazing Race Canada history?
Zed: Yes and no! It doesn’t change our fate ultimately, we would have liked to have gone a little bit further. It was unfortunate that it was a keep-on-racing leg, absolutely and yes — a lot of people would say luck wasn’t on our side. But it is what it is and we were eliminated.
How will doing the race change your relationship?
Shabbir: Not much. We’ve always been close-knit, but this did bring us closer. We might be up for another challenge together in the future. I don’t know what… I’d like to do a Tough Mudder down the road. Zed unfortunately tore his ACL the day after we came back from the race so he’s scheduled for surgery in November and once he heals we might do a tough hiking challenge or a tough mudder in the future.
Zed, how the heck did you tear your ACL?
Zed: I had a basketball game the day after I got back and one step went wrong.
So you surf, you go across the world on this insane race, and then you come home and do something simple like play basketball and hurt yourself?
Zed: I know. I know, right?
Just making sure we have that right!
Zed: [Laughs.] You do have that right.