G & W - Let’s just go right into it, Hamilton how the heck did you lose your passport, what the heck happened?
Hamilton - I got excited that I was home. (Laughs).
Michaelia - He was just showing his passport to the flight attendant as we were boarding (the flight from Toronto to Halifax), then put it on the front seat pocket and forgot to grab it. It happens.
G & W - Have you forgiven him, Michaelia?
Michaelia - Oh of course, I forgave him the same day. He says that he’s making me spaghetti for the rest of our live so I figured that’s as good as it can be.
G & W - What is it about Hamilton’s spaghetti that makes it better than anyone else’s?
Michaelia - Hmmm, he makes it for me so that’s what matters.
G & W - Hamilton, when she was up on the bridge, what made you think to look for your passport?
Hamilton - It was the first time I finally got to stop and think about what was happening because everything happens so quick on the race and I was sitting there and I suddenly realized it wasn’t there.
G & W - Did you feel your heart drop and wondered how you would tell her?
Hamilton - Yep. That’s exactly what happened. And then she showed up and I told her and I thought maybe she had it in her case, she might have took it or something, but she didn’t. It was a little hard telling her, but we still pulled our socks up and finished the race and saw what we could do. But our luck just ran out, I guess.
G & W - What made you decide to do the tasks first and then go to the airport?
Michaelia - It wouldn’t have mattered. We called the airport and asked them to look for our passport but unfortunately the plane was already on its way back to Toronto, so we would have had to have waited no matter what. There was no point in waiting at the airport when we could have been completing our tasks and making sure we got that done. Once we got to the airport, we still had to wait there a couple of hours before it even returned home from Toronto. It would have been a waste of time for us.
G & W - When you used the Express Pass in Chile, did you ever consider the other side of the Detour.
Hamilton - No.
Michaelia - Oh my goodness, did you even hear me try and pronounce some of the names? I butchered every one of them, it was not my forte.
G & W - Based on the recent episode, no one, save for Brent and Sean, knew Hamilton was transgendered?
Hamilton - Brent and Sean were the only ones that found out on the race.
G & W - So obviously when you’re going on the race as a transgendered person, that’s going to be a major part of the story, why didn’t you feel like telling them other teams? Were you waiting to get to know them better?
Hamilton - I wanted to get to know everybody first…
Michaelia - Hamilton wanted everyone to know him as who he is, not what his story is…
Hamilton - and I was planning on telling everybody on the race but there is no time for chatting, only when we were on a layover in Toronto when I had a time to get deep with Brent and Sean and we had a great connection so I told them. We were both from small areas in Nova Scotia and we were all trying to figure out where we fit growing up and we just wanted the East Coast to bring it home this season, so we wanted them to have it.
G & W - When you applied for the race, did you expect to become a role model or did you just want to go on the race?
Hamilton - I really wanted to go on the race and I really wanted to help transgendered people. I had no idea how huge it was for me to go on this show until everybody was saying I was the first transgendered person in the history of the race. It didn’t really hit me at all, I was just living my life everyday that I usually do. It’s nice to be able to represent the trans community and hope I shed some light on what it’s like to be transgendered and what people go through. I hope that I’ve helped people become more comfortable with themselves and live their lives.
G & W - Do you wish to continue to act as a role model?
Hamilton - I definitely want to continue to live my life and I definitely want to continue to be a role model, like if anybody needs anything, I’ll always be there for them because I know how hard it is to find support and I just want to be there.
G & W - Michaelia, Hamilton’s identity was a major part of the team’s story in the race, but your identity as an aboriginal person that Wayne, as an indigenous person, believes was just as important. Can you tell us about that?
Michaelia - I am indigenous, I have been my whole life. I think it was very special, the entire cast knew that I was indigenous and I really think that it made much more worthwhile when we got to the totem pole in Argentina. I was pretty much bawling the entire time. It means a lot knowing that there is support in your culture all around the world. That meant a lot to me as an indigenous person. I do carry that with me, it’s something that I’m very proud of, there is so much history and there is so much stuff that everybody knows. Now I try to work with indigenous people as much as possible to show they have support as well. I work with a group at university with an indigenous program helping aboriginal students get into post-secondary school and letting them know that there is much more to life than in your community. But what I wish to stress was that it wasn't shown on TV (that she was indigenous) and it didn’t need to be shown because that was my own little thing and I’m so proud of my culture. It’s all over social media, people know who I am and I’m happy with it.
G & W - Back to the race, is it always go, go, go?
Michaelia - It’s dependent on the situation. Sometimes the pitstops are pretty packed and sometimes you get to rest a little bit. But it’s a lot of go, it’s a lot of physical activity and that’s how you win the race, you have to keep positive and keep yourself motivated and keep going because it’s an incredible journey no matter what.
G & W - Was there a moment during the fourth leg, when you thought it might be a non-elimination?
Hamilton - The whole leg I was trying to keep Michaelia positive, you never know what happens on the race. Maybe someone took another penalty, maybe non-elim, you really don't know but let’s just finish the leg and see what happens. We were hoping it was a non-elim but…
Michaelia - We were shocked when it wasn’t but we were happy with the race that we did and happy that we kept going until the end. I couldn’t be more proud of that.
Michaelia - Oh my God, you don’t even know. We used to do that from home, saying “That would have been simple” but the thing people don’t understand is that you’re exhausted, you haven’t eaten, you just need to use the bathroom, you’re so thirsty, you haven’t sleep a lot and you are in this mindset of pure exhaustion and you are completing these tasks so your head’s not on 100 percent. You’re giving it your all, but you’re just not in the right mindset. So when people say, “that’s so easy, this is what I would have done,” No that’s gone straight out the window because no, that’s not how you think when you’re in such a stressful situation.
Hamilton - When Sabrina was talking about what happened in Argentina with a soccer challenge, we were literally there for hours. I didn’t think we would ever finish that challenge. The challenges are so hard, so time consuming, they take so long, they take so much out of you. You are so done by the time you get to the mat.
G & W - Okay, you’ve done the race, you watched the show, unfortunately you were eliminated, but you seemed to have made a big connection with Canadians, so does the race change what you plan to do?
Michaelia - It did give a free trip to India so that’s going to be great. We definitely going to take a trip there. And we’re getting married next summer so everyone is invited. And that’s about all we have going on. It hasn’t changed who we are as people but it has made it a little easier to walk down the street and see the support.
G & W - So the wedding is next summer? Is it going to be small, just family, or what?
Michaelia - Hamilton wants to invite everybody he’s ever met and I’m the complete opposite. I want a casual little get together with friends with the cottage on the lake. But Ham’s like “we need to invite all these people.” But we’re keeping it down to about 80 people, not a lot of people but the race family is coming as well. It’s going to be a nice little wedding on the South Shore.