If you’re not first, you’re last. Will Ferrell’s famous Talladega Nights quote seemed to especially apply to Amazing Race Canada (Tuesdays, 8 p.m. ET, CTV) team Joseph and Akash, who spent most of their time on the reality series fighting against others to avoid that last-place finish.
Sadly, when the teams travelled from Dawson City to B.C on Tuesday night, their number was finally up. Despite pulling ahead and racing through some of the early challenges (including a stomach-churning, pie-eating Road Block), Joseph and Akash found the playing field leveled out again when they were forced to wait for a ferry. It was all downhill from there, when Akash failed to figure out the proper falconers knot during a bird-of-prey Road Block in time to secure his team a spot in next week’s leg.
Host Jon Montgomery may have had to eliminate the millennial volunteers before they could travel overseas, but that doesn’t mean the guys aren’t taking away plenty of other things from the show. Most notably, how a positive attitude always prevails and how everyday heroes are made.
Guys, what happened?
Akash: As you saw from the start of the leg, we had an amazing start. But then at the ferry terminal everything was leveled out. Then what really hit me was the knot challenge. At the knot challenge I wasn’t able to figure out how to do the one-handed knot. As people kept coming and the stakes got higher I wasn’t able to see through all that fog. By the time I finally got it, it was too late because the last two teams had just left. It was harsh at that point.
The episode showed 10 attempts—was it more than that?
Akash: It was around that. Before that it was just a lot of practicing and trying to master that one-handed knot.
What was that like for you on the sidelines, Joseph?
Joseph: It was definitely really hard because we actually don’t see what’s happening during the challenge. It’s clearly stressful and the pressure just builds and builds as the teams leave.
There was a nice moment where you guys picked each other up in the middle of that stress — is that typical of your relationship?
Joseph: Yeah, even when we’re working together we always pick each other up. When someone feels down we know how to amp each other up. I knew Akash could do it, I knew I had to pick him up and he’d make it through.
Akash, you really kept your cool even though that must have been so frustrating. Do you think you guys experienced a mental breaking point at all on the race?
Akash: From the very first episode when we had to fight for last place after that beaver jump and rushing with Chewy and Happy, it taught us that we can’t take anything for granted. We wanted to ensure that we just ran the race and didn’t let emotion come in the way. We wanted to do our best every step of the way. Tying the knot was extremely frustrating and everyone else seemed to do it easily, but after speaking with Joseph and forgetting that everyone else was there, that helped me to keep my composure.
How frustrating was it to have to wait for something like a ferry after you were finally pulling ahead?
Joseph: The ferry was definitely pretty devastating because our car was literally heading onto the ferry when the light turned red. These things are unexpected and you really don’t know what could happen on the race. That’s just another obstacle that was thrown at us.
Following the show, has your definition of a hero changed?
Akash: After being on the show, it solidifies how heroes can come out of anyone. People like Martina climbing up the pole or someone not giving up, everyone is capable of doing heroic things. What it really comes down to is having that resilience and believing in yourself. Having been amongst heroes helped make us better understand that.
Who on the race inspired you most?
Akash: So far Phil and Martina have been such a dynamic force and we’re constantly surprised how they don’t give up and keep going. And then also Leanne and Mar. They’re absolutely crushing it and really breaking down the stereotype that comes with being a cheerleader. They’re really showcasing how you can be strong, fierce and independent. Those two teams are really inspiring.
Did you surpass your own expectations at any point?
Joseph: We definitely surpassed our own expectations, just being on the show itself is a huge win for us, we’ve been big fans. It’s a dream to be on and racing across the country and internationally is just a bonus, a cherry on top.
Who do you hope will win?
Akash: We developed a strong relationship with Dylan and Kwame—both of them are really standout guys and funny to watch on screen. We hope they go as far as possible, it’s such an inspiration to see.
Do you want to add anything?
Joseph: We’re just so grateful to have this opportunity. You can’t always control your circumstances but the one thing you can control is your attitude. We just tried to get through these things as positive as possible.