The Amazing Race Canada returned Tuesday night on CTV, and, for the first time, a former team was among the field of ten.
Jet and Dave, who made it to the final four in the very first edition of the Insight reality series, were the first team eliminated in Season Seven. The two had been selected from among three teams as “Canada’s Choice” to make a return engagement.
This second chance stuff often backfires for returning reality show contestants. As Jet said to me when I interviewed these two back in April in Toronto, returning teams often enter with targets on their backs.
“You watch Survivor,” he said. “Instantly, the new people take one look and say, ‘We have to get them out.’ There’s no way a season one person is going to win season seven.’”
True enough, it took even savvy reality show games master Boston Rob two return trip tries to win Survivor. Former players seem to do better in “All-Star” editions.
The two lads from London, Ont., were not tripped up so much for being shunned as for mistakes and bad luck. They were eliminated after they got turned around and became lost on their way to the Circle Creek Ranch in Kamloops, B.C.
Back in April, Jet and Dave were just happy to get the call to come back. “It made us feel good that we were even still remembered,” said Dave. “There obviously have been several incredible teams over the years.”
When the call did come, Jet said, “Dave did a back flip and I revved out 100 curls like it was nothing.”
While they didn’t win the grand prize that first season, they certainly didn’t walk away empty handed. Jet and Dave hit the mat first in their initial episodes four, five and six. “We were on a heater,” said Jet. “And you know what comes after a heater – a cooler. We peaked a little too early.”
Still, they won a trip to Mexico, a trip to anywhere Air Canada flies in Europe and a trip to anywhere in Canada.
“We had a little honeymoon in Greece together,” jokes Dave. For the Canadian trip, the duo went to Montreal.
They also enjoyed their turn as celebrities du jour. The two made appearances in Toronto in support of the Special Olympics, went to Brazil for World Vision and traveled to Regina for the Grey Cup that year where they appeared as TSN commentators.
Jet even got to kick a 50-yard field goal at the old Regina stadium – into the wind, he added.
“We had a lot of opportunities as a result of the race,” said Dave. “Being on it was incredible; getting to re-live it that summer with friends and family was a great bonus.”
As for their bad luck this time, Jet kind of foresaw what might happen back in April.
“If we ran this race 10 times and let’s just say we were the best team, we’re not going to win it ten out of ten. You just can’t with the amount of variables in play.”
Married teammates Dave – a Burnese Bareknuckle World Champion — and his journalist wife Irina were first to the mat Tuesday night, winning a trip to South Africa and two express passes. They’ll get to hold onto one and the other they must give away by the third leg of the race. The second episode will continue in Revelstoke, B.C. where a roadblock spells trouble for the nine remaining teams.
The Amazing Race Canada looks positioned to remain Canada’s No. 1 series for its seventh consecutive summer. The finale of the US version of the Amazing Race ranked as the No. 1 show in Canada the week of June 17 – 23 with over 1.6 million total viewers. Tuesday’s Canadian premiere, hammocked between several Big Bang Theory reruns on CTV, drew 1,254,000 overnight, estimated viewers and will likely jump over that 1.6 million mark once the Live+7 totals are added.