Earlier this week, it was announced that Toronto firefighter Jet Black and best pal Dave Schram were selected as the “Canada’s Choice” team for this summer’s edition of The Amazing Race Canada.
The two London, Ont., natives beat out two other teams in a fan vote to get a second chance at winning. They finished fourth in 2013 on the very first edition of the Race.
I spoke with the two men last week at a press day held at CTV’s 299 Queen Street West bunker in downtown Toronto. Did they see themselves having a head start entering this new race against nine rookie teams? “I think there are obvious advantages,” said Schram, who works in marketing in London. “We know what to expect going in, we know where we had success and where we struggled.”
Black says the two will try to “take five extra seconds, read the instructions carefully and make smart decisions, not snap decisions.
“Also pull the plug earlier,” he added. In other words, if a chosen task is going sideways fast, get out now rather than later.
Still, adds Schram, being on the show before is no guarantee of winning now. “We will still make mistakes,” he says, acknowledging there is a lot of luck involved. One bad taxi ride can torpedo any lead. “We just want to make sure we make the best decisions within our control, because last time we didn’t.”
Although they still did very well. Jet and Dave won three consecutive legs of the race, earning plenty of travel rewards. “We won a trip to Mexico,” says Black, ” and a trip to anywhere Air Canada flies in Europe, so we went on a little ‘honeymoon’ in Greece together.” The two also had their choice of destinations in Canada to fly to and chose to go to Montreal.
“We were on a heater,” says Schram,” winning legs four, five and six.
“And you know what comes after a heater,” says Black. “A cooler. We peaked a little too early.”
The team was eliminated on the second last episode. Still, it was a blast watching it all later with family and friends, as well as being involved in follow-up promotional events such as an appearance in Regina at that year’s Grey Cup.
Since that early edition of the race, new challenges have been added to the series. Black would just as soon avoid things such as skydiving or eating a whole blueberry pie, as featured in subsequent years, “or anything Fear Factor-ish.”
As for forming any alliances, Schram expects they’ll have a target on their backs. “It will be interesting to see if teams want to distance themselves from us,” he says.
Even when they ran the first time, their alliances did not exactly work out.
“We had deals with the twins and the cowboys,” says Black. “They were eliminated first and second. We actually had the weakest alliances in the history of The Amazing Race.”
The seventh season is expected to start early in June on CTV, with Jon Montgomery returning as host.