The Amazing Race Canada: Heroes Edition — Meet Martina & Phil, Joseph & Akash and Leanne & Mar

The Amazing Race‘s 10 teams have finally been revealed and we couldn’t be more excited. Not only is this season of the Race—returning Tuesday, July 3, at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. MT on CTV—being dubbed Heroes Edition because of the inspirational folks involved, but we actually got a chance to meet the teams before they began the Race. Not only that, but we were among a small group of Canadian media who observed a leg of the Race being run! More on that later; in the meantime, check out our interviews with the 10 teams competing this summer.

Martina and Phil Seo
Occupations: Volunteer/Home Economics Teacher (Martina) and Volunteer/Banking Manager (Phil)

Was either of you nervous about participating once you were nominated?
Phil: I’ve watched every single episode of The Amazing Race Canada and the U.S. version too, so it’s always been a dream. I’ve even planned Amazing Races at home for my birthday for my friends. They had to go kayaking out into the water into the middle of nowhere and then hike up a mountain, scarf down a Big Mac, chug a beer … all the things I love to do.

Some teams do a ton of research as they prepare for The Amazing Race Canada. Will that give you an advantage going into this? Are you the team to beat?
Martina: We’ve done the homework, have heart and passion and we know what we want. And we want to win it!

Martina, are you ready for the long hours? The lack of food? The lack of sleep?

Martina: I hope so! [Laughs.]

Phil: Her nickname is The Energizer Bunny. In an interview, this is cute and endearing. But growing up with this? She never turns off!

How do you deal with that? You’ll be spending the next several weeks together?
Phil: I just have to shake my head and accept that this is my sister and this is the way she was made. There is no changing her.

Do siblings have an advantage in the Race because you know each other so well and there won’t be hurt feelings?
Phil: We’ve known each other all our lives and even the last few days we’ve had heart-to-hearts that we’ve never had before. And we were reconciling stuff.

Martina: I think this time will be a gift and we’re so thankful to be chosen. I won’t believe it’s real until we see Jon at the start line!


Joseph Truong and Akash Sidhu
Occupations: Non-profit Founders

What did you do in your tape for the producers?
Akash: It was very simple. In my basement at my house, there is a space where Joseph and I always hang out. There are a TV and a nice sofa. We decided to just film it on the sofa where we always chill and acted like the camera wasn’t even there. We acted like our normal selves.

Why are you two the team to beat this season?
Joseph: First off, we have a great friendship. We travel across the world together. We’ve done really cool things together. On top of being a team, we’re also huge super-fans. We have a lot of knowledge from past seasons and different franchises as well. And we have complementary skill sets. We’re very strong with endurance and are athletic and have an attention to detail. We can tackle any of the tasks that are presented to us.

Anything that you’re not so strong at?
Akash: I’m vegetarian, so having to eat insects or crazy meals will be something that’s harder for me to do. Waiting is also hard for us. We’re very, ‘Go, go, go!’ and waiting for a clue or being patient might be tough.

Joseph: We’ve prepared for a lot of different challenges, like the heights and the eating. In terms of what we do at home, we’re not as comfortable building things so any challenge that involves something mechanical might trip us up a bit.

What about language?
Akash: We do speak a few different languages. I speak some South Asian languages like Punjabi, Hindi and I also speak Chinese. In terms of some parts of Asia and Canada, I think we’re good. Joseph also speaks Cantonese. We’ve also travelled to Africa and Europe. We haven’t been to South America, so we’ll have to ask the locals.


Leanne Larsen and Marielle Lyon
Occupations: Toronto Argonauts Cheerleaders

What sets you apart from the rest of the competitors?
Leanne: We think everyone is going to underestimate us. As soon as they find out we’re cheerleaders they’re going to be like, ‘OK, that’s with all the big hair and the makeup.’ But they don’t realize the physical side of cheerleading and dancing and the working out and the time that you put in. But, also, we’re not just dancers at a game shaking pompoms and smiling. We both have educational backgrounds and work a million hours a week. A lot of teams may doubt us when it comes to physical and problem-solving challenges.

Mar: It’s not easy being able to consistently represent a multi-million dollar brand. We are the faces and representation of the team but at the same time, we’re role models for kids in the community. We’re on the team because we’re educated and driven.

What’s your secret weapon? Being the underdogs?
Leanne: I’m not going to lie, we’ve been playing up the outgoing, bubbly card a little bit. Everybody is sizing each other up at this point. We were driving in today and I said, ‘Hey, is that the CN Tower?’ I live right next to it. We played up not even being from here. We’re playing into the stereotype and playing it to our advantage.

Is there anything you’re nervous about?
Leanne: For me, I have this weird thing about bugs. I can hold them and have them crawl all over me but the thought of eating one grosses me out.

Mar: Mine is horses. I am absolutely terrified of horses. It’s a full meltdown cry. I had a traumatic experience when I was younger and ever since then. Horses can sense when you’re scared and they become defensive and it’s downhill from there.

Are there any countries, provinces or territories you hope are on the checklist for this season?
Leanne: I have never been to B.C., so that’s a huge one. I would also like to travel to the territories. What is a better excuse to go there than this show and document it? I’d love to see all that Canada has.

Mar: I’m looking forward to going east. I’ve not ventured past Montreal, so anything East Coast. I want to feel their culture, their vibe. And lobster is amazing!

The Amazing Race Canada: Heroes Edition airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. MT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

Greg David
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Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and owner of TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from hundreds of television series from Canada, the U.S. and internationally. He is a podcaster, public speaker, weekly radio guest and educator, and past member of the Television Critics Association.
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One thought on “The Amazing Race Canada: Heroes Edition — Meet Martina & Phil, Joseph & Akash and Leanne & Mar”

  1. I am so looking forward to this new season. I watch this every year and wish I was young enough to take part.

    See you July 3rd.

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