Gino and Jesse may have continued their winning streak on Wednesday’s latest edition of The Amazing Race Canada, but for all of their celebrations (and tummy full of mealworms thanks to a Fast Forward challenge) there were sighs of frustration and lots of consoling hugs from Montreal’s Nic La Monaca and Sabrina Mercui. The dating couple became the fifth eliminated team from the series after stumbling through a forensics challenge and a resuscitation task in Sudbury, Ont.
We caught up with Nic and Sabrina the morning after their elimination to find out what went wrong, whether they felt cheated for not having met that night’s guest star — the Sudbury born Alex Trebek — and why they should win free gas for a year.
You guys knew you were last, but did Jon’s face give away whether it was another non-elimination leg?
La Monaca: I was secretly hoping for a non-elimination leg, but seeing that we had just had a continue racing it wasn’t likely. But we knew after seeing the other team leave the CPR Road Block we were done.
How disappointed were you that Alex wasn’t at the mat for you guys?
La Monaca: Yeah I know, I had a Jeopardy! joke lined up too. It was a shame
What was it?
La Monaca: No, I’m kidding! It would have come out on the fly.
After you exchanged all of those kind words and hugs, what was the first thing you did post-elimination?
Mercui: The nice things continued…
La Monaca: We crushed a couple of pills.
Mercui: Obviously we were frustrated because we weren’t on the race anymore and we weren’t going to be able to continue with the friends that we made. There was just so much more we wanted to see. But that’s the game.
La Monaca: Sabrina was there because I was really bummed and down. I was saying how I had cost the race, and she kept picking me up saying that it was a team effort and I shouldn’t worry about it.
Mercui: It was an accumulation of things all day. The driving through Sudbury, not knowing where we were going, trying to find the things and places. And the forensics signs! We must have been there for at least three hours, it was crazy. We had a feeling that was going to be our day.
Nic, have you brushed up on your CPR skills since the race?
La Monaca: No, I haven’t, but maybe I should. I know that my compression and everything else was good, I had my placement. I could have broken a chest cavity here or there… but you know what I’m going to maybe do that because if Sabrina ever needed CPR I hope she could count on me.
What’s the reaction back home been like?
Mercui: Our friends and family couldn’t believe it. When we were announced that we were on the show they could not believe it. But they loved watching us. They said exactly how we were on the show that’s how we are in person, that our personalities really came out. It was fun for everyone and amazing that we got to share the experience with our friends and family too. Even though we were on the race, watching it with them and seeing their reactions and sharing the same emotions, it was great.
What was your proudest moment?
La Monaca: When Sabrina tackled the water obstacle challenge at Ontario Place. Her courage just to overcome her fear in the spur of a moment like that takes a lot of guts and that really inspired me throughout the race. Whenever I felt that we were down or on the ropes I would just channel that energy back.
Sabrina: The whole day on Magdalen Island was just insane because it was just so cold. Nic being buried, and we did it. So many times I had checked to make sure he was okay. I knew he wasn’t and playing it off, but I knew he wasn’t. But he was a trooper, let me tell you.
What was your not-so-proudest?
Mercui: For both of us, because this was a team effort, was the soccer challenge in Argentina. We completely missed the fact that it wasn’t a soccer challenge, it was a communication challenge from the beginning and we couldn’t figure that out. We were so set on it as a skill based thing and it really, really wasn’t. It was us trying to communicate and think things through. That was not a very happy moment for us.
Looking back, what have you learned about each other?
La Monaca: That no matter what we’re always going to be there for each other because patience and tolerance is an extremely important aspect of the game and for a relationship in general. Going through something like the Amazing Race Canada just set the bar higher to know that we’re going to be there for each other no matter what.
Anything you’d do differently?
La Monaca: Oh, isn’t hindsight our best friend. Yeah, we would have measured the forensic specimens a little better or differently. The CPR thing, I would have went a little slower.
Sabrina: If we had had the time to maybe be not so scared of the water and learn to swim a little better, it could have helped us throughout. Maybe we could have chosen to do syncro instead.
La Monaca: I would have made Sabrina do the soccer challenge, I’ll tell you that much.
Now that you’re out, who would you like to see win?
La Monaca: We’re rooting for the father-daughter teams. The dynamic is great, to see them sharing an experience like that, it’s a beautiful thing. We’re going to be rooting for them.
Why should fans vote for you in the Fuel Your Team fan challenge?
Mercui: Love us or hate us, we were a fun couple to watch. We brought a lot of entertainment to the show and there were a lot of emotions and passion. We weren’t joking about that, about being very passionate people. Every emotion we couldn’t lie. Everything we felt, you saw.
La Monaca: If we get the gas, we’ll come to a city near you and show that side — all our passion and emotion.