Twisted ankles, wrenched joints and mild concussions are always a threat during an intense leg of The Amazing Race Canada. But show host Jon Montgomery acquired one in the most unlikely of places: the editing suite.
The Olympic gold medal winner and now-veteran host of CTV’s summer competition series—returning tonight—recently got his right thumb sandwiched between the telescoping parts of an office chair while doing voice-over work on future episodes. The swollen digit didn’t dampen Montgomery’s enthusiasm for TAR Canada‘s journey across the nation and selected countries around the world; the return bursts out of the gate in Quebec City before the 12 teams jet to Toronto for falls and tomfoolery at TSN’s headquarters.
“Every time I’m in Quebec City, I grow a little bit more fond of it,” Montgomery says from Bell Media’s downtown Toronto headquarters. “My first experience there was as an amateur athlete and Quebecers embrace that. They celebrate their athletes like nobody’s business and celebrate being outside and being part of a community. This trip I learned that the oldest patent in Canada was awarded just down the street from the Chateau Frontenac for a washing and pulling machine.”
Those history lessons, especially regarding Canada, have been an integral part of The Amazing Race since Montgomery yelled “Go!” at contestants in Season 1. This season’s group of teams are once again racing for the chance to win a $1 million grand prize, and it doesn’t take long for several pairs to make an impact. Hamilton, Ont., brothers Gino and Jesse are charming, funny and focussed; Newfoundland cops Dana and Amanda hearken back to Olympic hockey players Natalie Spooner and Meaghan Mikkelson; pro wrestlers Nick and Matt have the bulk to own physical challenges; and Max and Alias are perhaps the best-looking of the bunch.
We got Montgomery to weigh in on four teams that look like early favourites:
Nic and Sabrina
“Real smart and real physical. He’s a former professional soccer player and they’re really both quite bright. They have language abilities on their side. They both speak French and English, Fringlish, Italian and Fritalain and other language combinations that help with linguistic challenges. A team to watch out for.”
Hamilton and Michaelia
“Hamilton’s sexuality is just a part of who he is as an individual and not what he is. I love those two. They are the youngest competitors on the show and are so cute. Their relationship is beautiful. I think they will resonate with Canadians on a few levels given what we learned from Caitlyn Jenner. It’s not that transgender is new, it’s just that the exposure in mass media is new.”
Nick and Matt
“I love those guys! Pro wrestlers and Nick is a Grade 6 teacher! If he was my Grade 6 teacher, just with the beard I’d be intimidated. It looks like he draws it on every morning. Those guys know how to challenge each other and push each other and get the most out of one another because they do it every day.”
Dana and Amanda
“They are physically strong and mentally strong. They come from a strong lineage of people who serve and protect the peace in Newfoundland. They are gamers. They are full-on. They push themselves to their physical limits.”
The Amazing Race Canada airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.