Oh sure, they finally get around to releasing all the information on the teams for Season Three and I finally get busy with actual paying projects, but I guess I shouldn't complain, they are my raison d'être. While CTV has been releasing the team stories in groups of three just like they did last year, and Wayne has conveniently followed suit in his reviews, I guess I'll just have to tackle the whole enchilada in one big post. This is gonna be one huge enchilada.
It's been a long wait for Season Three and as many of you already know Wayne and I once again applied as soon as the auditions were announced but once again casting has gone in a different direction. That's okay, it gives us time to fine tune our game as we continue to give you our never to be humble opinions on every team and every episode. They've moved the race to Wednesday's this season but they're still starting on July 8th like they did in Season 2 and we'll all be ready for it as twelve teams, that's right twelve teams, race across Canada and hopefully the world to keep us entertained with Canada's most watched reality TV program.
With only two weeks until the premiere episode of Season 3 it's about time I got back to work around here and got started on my team reviews. In no particular order, first up we have . . .
Max Altamuro (28) and Elias Theodorou (26) from Toronto, Ontario. Elias is an MMA Fighter and a Cover Model while Max is a Retail Manager who stands up for what she believes in. Apparently, for the past five or six months, that would be Elias. Elias' fear of failure and heights is a brutal combination to take on the race but I don't think Max's fear of needles or divorce is going to be an issue. At least, not yet. Their Team Motto is"Don't look dumb on TV and don't die!" I'm good with that, but I'm not sure that they're likely to be the charming social butterflies they claim to be. Lovebirds tend to fight so these two could be out pretty quickly, especially with the two flatirons that Max seems to feel she needs to take with her, but so far they look good as long as their narcissism doesn't get in their way.
The second team is Gino (28) and Jesse (25) Montani, a team of Italian brothers from Hamilton, Ontario. Gino works for the City of Hamilton while Jesse is a Steelworker. Raised by their single mother these guys learned to rely on each other early on and that will certainly help during the race but Jesse's fear of snakes could cause some trouble, but it's more likely that his hand injury from his football days is more likely to be a problem than snakes. Their Team Motto is "Losing is NOT an option!" Good luck with that. They are definitely cut along the same lines as Jet & Dave so it'll be fun to see how far these boys can go. It doesn't hurt that they've spent their prep time studying Canadian maps and politics, just in case.
Next up we meet the third team of Nic La Monaca (22) and Sabrina Mercuri (32) from Montréal, Quebec. Nic is a Student/Soccer Coach, while Sabrina is in Human Resources and they both share a fear of water. Yeah, that's not going to be a problem at all. As Wayne is so fond of predicting engagements, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this one looks like a given this season, as long as they last long enough for Nic to "pop" the question. Unfortunately thesis another team with a sports injury that may sideline them at some point since Nic sustained a shoulder injury while playing soccer in Italy. With four languages under their belts they could be the team to beat if the season goes international. Their Team Motto is "If you don't laugh, it's not worth it!" I like that motto, seems very Gord and Wayne-ish doesn't it. I could see these two allying with the Montani brothers, especially if the brothers speak Italian.
Three down, nine to go.
Four my fourth team review we have Dana Hayward(23) and Amanda Johnston (23) from Wabash, Labrador. This perky pair of police officers is looking to arrest a couple of first place legs but I'm thinking their Type A personalities are going to get in the way at some point. Dana is afraid of mice while Amanda is afraid of sharks, but other than that they should be good, unless they need to cross a room full of mice or feed chum to sharks. Dana and Amanda associate most closely with Natalie and Meaghan from season two and will likely be a similar powerhouse when it comes to wins. On the upside they have no sporting injuries to slow them down. Their Team Motto is "Face every obstacle with the warrior mentality,!" and right there I see a problem. Not every obstacle needs to be beaten to death, some need to be fed bottled milk that you've carried from the last leg. Wayne is never going to be able to tell these two apart.
On to the fifth team. Meet Hamilton Elliot (19) and Michalia Drever (19), the youngest team this season and hailing from Centrevile, Nova Scotia. Are you sensing a theme here yet? So far all the teams are coming out of the east. Both are in the Service Industry and for the past four years Hamilton has been transitioning from female to male and is the first transgender contestant in Amazing Race history, but probably won't be the last. Hamilton's fear of heights may play into a task but I don't think Michaelia is going to run into too many ticks. Then again, this is Canada, but after conquering 13 European countries together the race should be a piece of cake. Right? Their Team Motto is "Go big or go home!" and I'm not sure I'd want a motto that tells me to go home but to each their own.
The sixth team is Brent (25) and Sean (28) Sweeney, originally from Musquodoboit Harbour, Nova Scotia but let's call it was it is . . . another team from Toronto where the brothers are studying Design. Brent is afraid of weird food textures (squid bile anyone), while Sean isn't too keen on snakes. This is what I'm thinking is the underdog team for season three, non-aggressive, not a lot of muscle, artsy, refusing to take anything to seriously. I should like these guys, but so far I'm reserving judgement. Their Team Motto is "Beasts from the East!" and I'm just not seeing it.
Wow, we're halfway there and still nobody from the west. Onwards, and westward.
The seventh team is Dujean Williams (25) and Leilani Ross (24), another team from Toronto. What's up with that? They're both professional dancers, Leilani is into musical theater and hip-hop while Dujean is a krumper (hunh?) and that is definitely going to work against them in any dance related task this season. I forget the rule number, but you know it's a rule. Leilani is afraid of spiders so no tarantula tortillas in her future, while Dujean has a fear of drowning. After dating for awhile these two decided to just be friends so you know there's some unresolved issues that are going to come up at some point. Their desire to dance their way to the finish line in order to build a dance studio is a noble idea but as Rex proved, dancers may have some entitlement issues. Then again, maybe that was just Rex. Their Team Motto is "Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up, it's winning time!" Sure it is.
Time for our eighth team, Neil Lumsden (62) from Burlington, Ontario and his daughter Kristin Lumsden (31) from Toronto. Neil is a Sports Marketer & Events Consultant and a Canadian Football Hall of Famer who's afraid of snakes, while Kristen is a Makeup Artist who's not too keen on centipedes. I am seriously seeing a snake task this season, . . . and far too much muscle. Neither of them is very "sciencey" so if there are any science related tasks we may be saying farewell to these two. As a team they should be a lot of fun to watch and maybe they'll even inspire my daughter to race alongside me if Wayne ever decides he's too old to run. Realistically our daughters would probably team up and race against us. Neil & Kristin's Team Motto is "Play like a champion today!" and they relate best to the winners of season one, the Timmies. After looking at what Neil has in his pack I'm thinking he may have the lightest load of the season.
Okay, this next one has to be from somewhere out west, right? Nope. Nick Foti (35) and Matt Giunta (33) are both Professional Wrestlers. Nick is also an Elementary School Teacher from Newmarket, Ontario while Matt is a Real Estate Agent in Stouffville, Ontario . . . but they're both afraid of snakes. All that muscle afraid of a teeny tiny little reptile. Their professional partnership in the ring will be a definite asset on the race and their time travelling all over North America and Japan together will certainly help them in the long game. For some reason, I actually like these two . . . on paper. Let's see how they do on screen. Their Team Motto is "The more you think, the more you stink!" Umm, okay.
We're down to the final three teams and I'm still not seeing anything west of Ontario. Maybe it's going to be an east coast race this season and they'll introduce a west coast version in the fall that they're saving Wayne and I for. Then again, maybe not.
Okay, our tenth team is Brian (46) and Cynthia (41) Boyd, a married couple from Winnipeg (the Gateway to the West but not really west) who are both Police Officers and you just know they're going to form an alliance with Dana & Amanda. Brian is afraid of fires while Cynthia is afraid of ladders so it's probably a good thing they're not firefighters. They met in the Canadian Armed Forces over 20 years ago and have been married for 16 years so they have a good rapport with each other which will help throughout the race, but Brian's impatience and Cynthia's perfectionism may be their downfall. Their Team Motto is "Adapt and overcome, . . . failure is not an option!" Where have we heard that before?
Team number eleven is Simi Fagbongbe (21) and Ope Fagbongbe (46) another father/daughter team from Burnaby, BC. Finally we have a team from the west, but what happened to Alberta . . . or Saskatchewan? Hmm, maybe the last team. Anyway, Simi is a B2B Sales & Marketing Associate and Ope is a Distribution Logistics Coordinator. Those both sound like highfalutin names for a sales clerk and a shipper but what the heck do I know. Here's another team that is afraid of snakes so you cannot tell me there won't be at least one snake related task this season. Heck, I'd have three of them. Personally, I love snakes . . . they taste like chicken. Simi and Ope immigrated to Canada from Nigeria in 2006 and I'm hoping they came in the summer so they could acclimatize to our winters, but then again they're in Burnaby so how cold could it get? Their Team Motto is "You gotta risk it to get the biscuit!" and I'm sure there's a story behind that one that we can ask them at some point during the race.
It's time for the last team for me to review and they are Susan Hayre (38) and Sharnjit Gill (39), a pair of Corrections Officers from Vancouver, BC. I am not feeling the love here casting. Nothing against Susan and Sharnjit, I have a brother in Ontario who is a Corrections Officer and they get even less love than Alberta has gotten this season. Cue heavy sigh. Okay, enough about me. Susan is devoid of fears, so she says, but for some reason Sharnjit is afraid of Gnomes. Good thing they're running the Canadian race because she won't have to worry about carrying one the length of an entire country during a leg. Well, probably not. These two didn't start out as friends 16 years ago when they first met but they've learned to rely on each other and built their friendship from there. They're both used to being in a crisis situation so the stress of the race should just roll off of them like water off a duck's back. Sure it will. Their Team Motto is "You got this!" let's hope so.
So there you have it, my less than humble opinion on the twelve teams that make up season three of Amazing Race Canada. There's way too much emphasis on the police force and professional athletes but depending on the tasks they encounter this season all that muscle could work against them. That'd be good for Brent and Sean and maybe even Hamilton and Michaelia but that's not likely to be the case. I'm not making any predictions yet as to which teams are going to last the longest but I do have a good feeling about Nick & Matt who've done a lot of road trips together and Simi & Ope who've overcome their own obstacles just to get here and make it on to the race. Actually these twelve teams are already winners, they beat Wayne and I onto the race.
Good luck to all the teams and I'll see you at the starting line on July 8th at 9:00pm when Wayne and I will give our review of the premiere episode of The Amazing Race Canada, Season Three. Following that be sure to watch for our new video blog location at a local brewhouse where we'll try to be short and sweet while we question what the heck went wrong in the casting department. Since you've already seen the individual shots on Wayne's blog I figured I'd just post the group shot. See you in two weeks.