From the very first episode of The Amazing Race Canada (Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on CTV) we knew that Andrea Croxen and Ebonie Roberge were a force. In that premiere they quickly opted out of a challenge and took a time penalty that taught them how they really wanted to do this race, and they ran with everything they had ever since.
Sadly, following a last-place finish in last week’s non-elimination episode, the business partners were unable to get their groove back and they landed on the mat in last place yet again Tuesday night. This time their luck had run out and host Jon Montgomery was forced to send them packing from the race.
It was a strange turn of events for a team that started out so strong. As it turns out, there was a secret reason why the girls started falling so behind each week: ever since the leg in China where teams were asked to synchronize dive, Andrea had been dealing with a pretty bad back injury.
We caught up with Andrea and Ebonie following their elimination to find out exactly what happened, how they pushed ahead and just how badly this injury affected their game in the long run.
What went wrong?
Croxen: It’s not a question of what went wrong, it’s a question of circumstances. From my part, it was definitely when my back got injured because it slowed us down on the race. It happened when we were doing the diving challenge in China. It definitely threw our game off. I was pretty badly injured and I couldn’t run, so it slowed us down and forced us to change our strategy.
Ebonie how long did it actually take you to do the stand-up act?
Roberge: I don’t have that great of a sense of time, but it felt really quick. I selected the joke that I wanted to read and I actually have a great memory so I don’t think it took me more than two tries before I got it. I think I memorized all the jokes within 10 minutes. I was really quick. We were just really far behind.
So it really was a super close race in the end.
Both: Oh yeah.
How frustrating was it to learn that Adam and Andrea didn’t U-Turn Korey and Ivana
Roberge: For us, what was disappointing was the fact that they came to us to do the alliance and then they didn’t keep their word. If we give our word to someone we keep it and actually do it. So that was really disappointing.
Do you think alliances work on this show?
Roberge: Andrea and I reflect onto other people what we are. One of our strengths in life, and why our relationship is so strong, is that we are real and 100 per cent honest all the time, even if that hurts people. So for us–we were reflecting that if you are making an alliance and you are giving your word–there’s no chance that could backfire. In real life, race or no race we would never do that. We’re businesswomen and that’s how we work. If we say we’re going to do something, we do it. We honestly, 120 per cent believe that that alliance was true and solid because that’s how we are in life. We weren’t taking it into consideration that they maybe didn’t see the alliance as solid as we did.
Have you sorted it out since?
Croxen: Oh yeah. The second we came back onto the race we sorted it all out. There were no grudges or anything like that. It is what it is, it’s a race and they did what they did. We talked it out and everything is good. There’s no drama. We’re not that type of people.
Would you say some of the physical challenges make it a little harder for the all-female teams?
Roberge: The race is pretty fairly made, to be honest. I feel like there’s a good balance between the physical challenge and the mental challenge. Even if we’re two strong women, I mean, we can’t compete against a strong man, that’s just the nature of things. So it might seem unfair, but there was a pretty good balance between physical and mental. So at any given point we could have caught up.
Have you been bowling since?
Croxen: No, but I am planning to. I mean, bowling is a fun activity! It was actually fun to have that as a face off, it helped to unwind us and actually have fun during the challenge. Bowling is at a certain tempo, so it was actually fun to do that.
What was the scariest part about doing this race?
Roberge: The hardest moment was when I heard that Andrea hurt her back doing the diving challenge, because she didn’t tell me right away, she didn’t want it to affect our racing, and then the next night she just woke me up crying that her back was killing her. It was really hard, because I felt extremely helpless. I couldn’t do anything to make the situation better, and I knew it was going to affect our race. When you’re hurt physically, it’s really hard to keep on being positive. Our motto, and our company, is all about being good to your body, so that was hard.
Croxen: Totally. I’m a yoga teacher so I can’t lose my back. If I couldn’t get my back fixed I’d have no job when I came back home. So that’s a tough decision. Waking up that morning and deciding if we were continuing… your spine is the most important part of your body; if it doesn’t get fixed that’s it. But Ebonie supported me through it, and I pushed through the pain and we got to where we got.
What will you take away from it?
Roberge: Starting a business together was extremely scary, everyone told us not to do it and that it would ruin our friendship. They said you shouldn’t get into business with people who are close to you. But this was actually the best thing that could have ever happened to us. Our friendship is 10 times stronger, and doing the Amazing Race Canada we discovered so much about each other. We understand each other better and I feel that it was the best thing we could have ever done. We didn’t win the race but we won in life and in relationships. It feels amazing.