As far as premieres go, The Amazing Race Canada kicked off with a bang Tuesday night when it featured 10 new teams vying for a $250,000 grand prize, not to mention unlimited airfare for a year and a sweet new ride.
Sadly, best friends Brandon and Anthony are officially out of the running now that they’ve become the first team to be eliminated. In a tough Road Block challenge in Jasper, Alta., Brandon had to monkey bar across a sky tram in order to retrieve a clue. But after he fell the first time, the duo quickly decided not to line up again, and took a four-hour time penalty instead. It was a move that cost them the game when all the other teams wound up crossing the finish line before them.
We caught up with the racing duo to find out if they have any regrets, what exactly went wrong and to find out what host Jon Montgomery’s like in real life.
What went wrong?
Brandon: Right when I fell on my first attempt, I was automatically thinking we should take the penalty, just because the amount of teams that were still left to do their first and second attempts. Knowing we would have had to wait in the back of the line, we calculated that we would have had enough time to do the rest of the race and still be okay, even if we just barely got by. We knew we would be okay to get to the next leg because there would be other challenges after the gondola.
Did you know you would be harnessed if you tried again?
Brandon: I knew if I did the second attempt that I would have the harness on, but seeing it Tuesday night on TV and how easy it was, I didn’t expect it to be that easy. And also we didn’t expect that it was going to rain, so there were a lot of factors that went into taking that penalty and there were a lot of factors that led to us getting eliminated at the same time.
Anthony, what went through your head when Brandon suggested taking the penalty?
Anthony: For sure there was discussion to it. But like Brandon said, there were a lot of factors to it. Going in we didn’t want to take penalties at all – we didn’t want to pass through anything. For me it was that if he felt that he couldn’t do it, then we would keep it moving, and we had to get other challenges done.
Are either of you kicking yourselves now?
Anthony: Not really. At this point, everything is out of our control. We just have to let it go.
Say you had scraped by after the time penalty and kept racing – how far do you think you would have gotten now that you know what doing this thing is actually like?
Brandon: That’s hard to say because we’re out.
Anthony: Yeah. You want to say we would have won…
Brandon: You want to say we would have won if it didn’t rain, but we can’t say that. That’s not fair to say.
What was it like giving up your cell phones and technology to do this thing?
Anthony: It was actually easy because you’re constantly doing something and we’re good friends, we entertain each other.
Brandon: Yeah we’re pretty good entertainers, we kept everybody up with our laughs for sure.
If you had continued, was there anything you would have been too scared to do or that would have been a challenge?
Anthony: I know for Brandon it was eating something gross. For me… not really just because I can eat anything. Everyone knows heights will be on every season of the show. So we were welcoming everything else.
Brandon: We were taking everything head on.
What’s Jon Montgomery like when the cameras are off?
Brandon: Jon’s awesome.
Anthony: He’s actually very funny. He has a great sense of humour that they don’t portray enough on TV. He does a great job of keeping everything light and making a joke out of everything. He’s a very goofy guy. He was very understanding [when we were eliminated]. Being an athlete, he knows what it’s like. He kind of understood.
Now that you’ve had a taste of Canadian travel, would you do more of it?
Brandon: For sure – I’d never travelled anywhere else in Canada before. It was quite amazing. I want to go back to Jasper, Alta., for sure.
Anthony: I want to go to B.C. at some point in time in my life.
Would you travel together again?
Anthony: Yeah – as long as we stay away from skyscrapers!
What advice do you have for other teams going forward?
Brandon: Don’t take penalties!
Anthony: And just have fun with it. At the end of the day it’s an experience. Nothing on this show is meant to be taken heavily.
Brandon: It’s a race and a competition, but the main thing is the relationship that you have with your partner. So good or bad, you have to come out as a team because you went in as a team.
Anything to add?
Anthony: A lot of the reason we did the race was for our boss’s niece, Zoey [who was born with a hole in her heart and lungs that couldn’t properly form]. We do want to raise a little more awareness and help her cause. If people don’t mind, check out Angels for Zoey and read up a little bit about it. There’s a GoFundMe page on there as well if people would like to donate.