Both Wayne and I have always felt that The Amazing Race was a great idea for a reality series. The determining factor wasn't based on who you were sleeping with, who you were outwitting, or who you could outcook. There was no tribe of narcissists ready to stab you in the back as they voted you out, no challenges where you were forced to eat slop for a week, and no speeches at the end begging a group of ex players that you were more deserving than the next guy. It was based solely on your own ability to step out of your comfort zone and perform to the best of that ability.
Sure, there was some luck involved in some of the challenges, and there was always the chance of getting the geographically challenged taxi driver who spoke no English, but in the end it was just you and your teammate who were responsible for how far you got in the game. Sometimes the teams were a little underhanded and sometimes the teams were downright dishonest and stole another team's stuff and got away with it. (You know who you are Twinnies). For the most part though, the teams were usually perfectly normal people who just wanted more. I think the strain of constantly being on camera wears the teams down even more than the actual race does. Love 'em or hate 'em, the teams that make it to the end are rarely the ones that everyone expects.
Wayne and I always said that there were certain rules that teams should always follow and certain tasks they should always avoid. If you've followed our blog long enough you know what those are. We've always felt that, if the Americans ever let us compete in their race, we'd have no trouble getting to the end, . . . or damn close. Of course it helps that everyone loves Canadians and we could get help from locals everywhere we go because we're far more tolerant than our southern cousins and, as I said, everybody loves us.
When The Amazing Race announced that they were coming to Canada a few years back, Wayne and I got together and created our first video. We went over the script and we edited tons of footage and then we sent in our audition video. It was "Amazing". We had green screen effects, pictures, witty banter, and . . . apparently it wasn't as amazing as we thought. We never even made it to a shortlist of hopefuls, as far as we know, but we did upload the video to YouTube and everyone who saw it loved it.
We had so much fun making that video that we decided to add a video blog here at Gord & Wayne HQ back in January of 2014 at the beginning of Season 24 of The Amazing Race. When they announced Season Two of The Amazing Race Canada we decided we'd give it another shot. We'd gotten pretty used to just doing our videos on the fly by then so this audition was just the two of us. No script, no crew, just Gord, Wayne, and a camera.
We had gotten better on camera and felt that this audition would surely get us a spot, but maybe it was just too good. Maybe we came across as guaranteed winners and it would be unfair to pit other teams against us. Let's go with that because you never saw us in Season Two. We were starting to get noticed though and managed to become part of a small group of interviewers who got to chat with the eliminated teams the day after their elimination aired. Thanks to CTV for that. Some of those interviews were better than others as we learned what questions to ask that others weren't. Our interview with host Jon Montgomery was great.
Even though we never made it on to Season Two we kept doing our blog reviews and our weekly videos. We hope they were as much fun for those who watched them as they were for us to make them. We also started reviewing other reality programs. Wayne reviewed Canada's Worst Driver for awhile and I began reviewing Survivor, and Big Brother, and Big Brother Canada. We even got nominated for a Weblog Award. We've added a few new things over the past year and we have a few surprises still coming up in the future.
It's no surprise though that when they announced Season Three of The Amazing Race Canada we had an audition video ready in no time. We'd gotten this down to an art and we were sure that third time's the charm. We were wrong.
If you saw the end credits of leg ten or read Wayne's non-post that he posted before his review of last week's leg, or if you just read my blog post for TARCanada 3/11 you've already figured out where this post is going. Remember those well dressed gentlemen in the background of Kelly's Saloon at the Roadblock? That well dressed art guy with the white goatee in the corner sketching the dance hall girl while drinking his 17th beer, flanked by Dapper Dan & the Scotsman? (Now there's a great band name) That there was none other than yours truly. Sorry, Wayne.
I'd made it! Finally! I was on The Amazing Race Canada! I was a star! Well, okay, my on air time was slightly more than a blink, . . . but I was there. The only downside was that Wayne wasn't sitting in the saloon with me but I'm pretty sure he'll get over it. The other downside is that I've had to keep this from him for over three months, and he may not have even noticed me in that scene if he had blinked and missed it. Obviously this came up during our video recap last week..
How on earth did this happen, you ask? Well, I have been volunteering at Fort Edmonton Park for the past couple of years in various roles. The volunteer coordinator asked if I'd be interested in being an on-screen extra for a project that was filming that day, but she couldn't tell me what the project was. It didn't really matter as I'm always up for something different so I was in.
Four days later I still didn't know what was filming that day. There are a lot of things that film down at the Fort in various locations, the benefit of having a living museum in your backyard, and it could be anything from a new western series to a time-travelling alien with a box, to a new reality show. Brad Pitt filmed "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" here in 2007 (you should check it out).
On the day of filming, having dropped off my kids for school, I arrived early and got into costume and then headed down to my usual location to help set up for the day while keeping an eye out for where I was supposed to be. Fort Edmonton Park is a big place and without a clue as to where they were filming it seemed like a good idea to be close to where I usually am. Sometimes I actually make the right decision because once everything was set up at Tent City they came and found me and moved me along to the location. I still didn't know what we were filming, but it was getting exciting.
I was marched over to Kelly's Saloon on 1885 Street where the big secret was finally revealed. Finally, I was on The Amazing Race Canada. Okay, I wasn't running the race, which is still the goal, and I did't really have any lines, at least none that you're going to hear, . . . but it was a start. Unfortunately I am contractually obligated to say nothing else about it, which is apparently easy for me having kept it from everyone for so long.
So there you have it. My roundabout journey to the Amazing Race Canada. Hopefully it won't be my last and you'll be watching Wayne and I race to that final mat in Season Four. Or maybe Season Five. Now that they've announced auditions for Season Four we're ready and we may even toast our future success with an ice cold glass of Monty's Golden Ryed Ale. Until that time.