You may have noticed, we're a little late today. (Or not). That's just because I wanted to wait until the announcement of the big Season 2 exclusive surprise. It was supposed to roll out at noon (EDT) which is 10 am in Edmonton. But it was also a bit late but that's no biggie, stuff happens. Italy was facing Costa Rica in the World Cup and the players from the small Central American country were playing a scrappy game against the big Italians. But since the announcement was late, I decided to just publish my post about the two final teams. I'll do another post once the announcement is made. Or like Gord said on his side, if it's boring I won't.
(Update: the Season 2 Exclusive that was pointed out in various news releases about the race turns out not so big at all. It was only the photo of all the teams, which we already have here. Nevermind.)
But one half of this team, Rex Harrington is kind of a big deal, although I believe the Olympians are the biggest celebrities on this race. For years he was a principal dancer for the National Ballet of Canada, now teaches there and has an Order of Canada. He might be the only Amazing Race Contestant with an Order of Canada (although Hal and Joanne of Body Break should get one). He was a judge for You Think You Can Dance Canada garnering the nickname, Sexy Rexy. And at 51, he's the oldest racer this season.
Rex is racing with his fiancé, Bob Hope and yes, that's his real name (Thanks Mom and Dad). They've been together for over 10 years and are said to be a comedic duo that doesn't like to share the spotlight with each other. So they should be fun to watch.
Mickey Henry and Pete Schmalz make up another Amazing Race team trope: the hippie type team that has long hair or beards or tattoos or lives in the woods or plays in a band or snowboards or surfs or all of the above or some combination thereof. This kind of team is always good for some lighthearted moments especially when you have a couple of laid back folks dealing with and getting to the mat faster than some of Type A personality folks.
Despite their fear of work, they do seem to have a good work ethic. They have university degrees (one in Commerce and Accounting no less), built their own Wake Board Park and Mickey's been working on the rigs in Alberta. You can't get a job on those rigs if you don't want to work hard. So this may be a team to watch especially since they're young and athletic.
This team also brings up a weird conservatism I've noticed in Amazing Race. The show, all versions of it, has been one of the leaders in showing positive diversity in their teams, especially with LGBT teams and teams featuring strong women. But they always seem to look at folks like the Dudes, teams with long hair, or beards, or tattoos, as the "weird" team, because they have long hair or beards or tattoos. Maybe it's me and my old punk rock days, but teams like these aren't weird, these are some of the folks I know and hang out with.
Lots of good looking folks in those teams and a few more semi-celebrities than I like but they're only semi-celebrities. And I'm sure the Olympians could use the money. Most of the teams are young, only one racer over 50, so that's a concern, especially since Gord and I are over 50 and believe we could win this thing. And, as far as I know, there is not a single aboriginal person in any of these groups (Note: I said the same thing last year before I discovered one of the Gay Cowboys was partly aboriginal. Although they didn't last long enough to mention it). You figure with a country like Canada, there would be more of an aboriginal presence on one of its most popular shows. Aboriginal folks are fans of the show, I mean, look at me, I'm a semi-successful aboriginal novelist and one of my hobbies is to write a blog about the show (My literary friends think I'm weird because of it). Then again, maybe one of the teams is like me; someone who is aboriginal but doesn't look like what you'd expect an aboriginal person to look like.
Even so, it's going to be a fun season. See you at the starting line on July 8