It was a tough, hard-fought race until the bitter end for father-daughter Amazing Race Canada duo Ope and Simi Fagbongbe. Thanks to a slippery curling challenge and some stolen taxis in Edmonton, the team was sent home with just one week to go before the show’s big finale next week.
That leaves Thursday night’s leg winners, Brent and Sean, to face off against wrestlers Nick and Matt and brothers Gino and Jesse as the three remaining teams in the race.
The Loop caught up with Ope and Simi the morning after their tough loss to find out how they feel about the stolen cab now that they’ve had some time to stew on it, what fan reaction to their amazing relationship has been, and of course, whether they’ve been curling ever since.
How good was Jon’s poker face — did you believe you were still in it?
Ope: We couldn’t read his face. I’m an incredible optimist, so we were still hoping that something happened. We thought maybe four teams would make it to the finale. Or maybe someone had a penalty.
Simi: Maybe Gino and Jesse took a wrong turn or something.
What was the first normal person thing you did post-race?
Simi: I think sleep. It just felt really strange not being in the race anymore and not having to worry about what’s going on in the leg. We just slept.
Ope: We were just getting into the race, and just when we believed we owned it, it was all over. It was a reality check.
Have you been curling since?
Simi: No! And I will not be anytime soon.
Ope: I might take up that challenge. I love watching curling. I think I need to make up for what we didn’t do out there.
Looking back what was the most frustrating thing about Thursday’s episode?
Simi: The inconsideration of some of the other teams in taking our taxis, just knowing the spot that we were in. That was pretty frustrating.
Ope: I wish my Sunshine had done that last challenge, but unfortunately it was not my call. I knew if she had that challenge we would have still been in the race. I’m so sure, she would have nailed it on the first try.
What have people’s reactions to you being on the race been like?
Ope: It was nice to hear that we actually inspired some people who were watching the race. There was one father-daughter duo we met who said it was inspiring to watch our dynamics unfold. That was nice.
Simi: We weren’t going for anything but the prize, so it was really cool to see that in our journey and in working together and going through those ups and downs together we were able to inspire some people, or relate to some people who saw their own relationship in ours.
What was your proudest moment?
Ope: The first leg of the race, with the TSN challenge. Kudos to Simi because that was the first challenge. It really put the race in perspective because she carried the team. It really gave me so much confidence when I had to do the next one after that. She set a good tone for the rest of the race.
Simi: My dad, of course him jumping off that ledge right into the water. I was honestly scared, I don’t know that he would have done it, it was this huge thing. But I was so proud.
What about your not-so-proudest moment?
Ope: The leg when we took a penalty. I always try to teach my children never to give up, give your best effort and when you look back have no regrets. But we did give up and took a penalty. That was a not-so-proud moment of the race.
Who would you like to see win?
Ope: My heart is with Brent and Sean… my head? Well, the wrestlers.
Simi: I really like Brent and Sean, I hope they go for it. The other two, Nick and Matt, are a strong team and are being aggressive towards what they want. So I think they might take it, but I really want it for Brent and Sean.
You’re still in the race for Fuel Your Team fan prize race; is there an argument to be made about why people should vote for you?
Simi: Why shouldn’t they vote for us? We brought tenacity to the race, we worked well together and we were so determined. We gave it our absolute best and I think Canada saw that.
Ope: I hope people could see a lot of themselves in us. We weren’t really the (top rated) team, but we pushed through and showed that you can do anything you set your hands on. That’s something everybody can relate to.