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Interview: Amazing Race Canada winners give tips to wannabe Racers

Gino and Jesse Montani won this season of The Amazing Race Canada, and the next step in their journey has begun. A day after they captured $250,000, two Chevy trucks, flights from Air Canada, gas from Petro Canada and the title, the brothers from Hamilton, Ont., were still in awe of what they’d accomplished.

They took some time out from a busy day of interviews to look back on the season and give some valuable tips to anyone plotting to audition for Season 4.

What’s it been like to sit and watch the show back and relive all of those moments?
Gino Montani: It’s been a cool experience. You remember back to running the Race and you hope they don’t put something in, because there is so much footage to edit. Sometimes you don’t even realize you said something.

Jesse: Yeah, like, ‘Wait, my laugh sounds like that?!’ Oh, I need to change up my laugh.

Has it been hard to keep the secret from your family every week?
Gino: It was so tough. You don’t want to keep anything from the most important people to you, especially something like this. But, at the same time, to see their faces at the end of the Race and seeing their reaction, was priceless.

What was your game plan going in? Sure, you has some squabbles, but overall you were a very strong team.
Gino: Everyone is labelled with a first impression, and we knew we would be labelled as the jocks. We’re physical, and it’s the way we look. That’s fine. But there is much more to us and the other teams didn’t know that. We were strategizing the whole time. One thing we wanted to make sure we did was to take that extra second during challenges. You can’t just come into this and be reckless. You have to think about what you’re doing. So we took an extra second, or minute, to figure out a game plan at each challenge rather than waste time doing it three, four or five times. And it worked … but in the finale, it worked against us. We were taking too much time in the map challenge with the measuring string.

Jesse: We wanted to do it just once and Nick and Matt did it so fast. I wonder how fast we would have done it if we had just done it they way they did?

“We ran the Race to finish first. But other teams were racing just not to finish last, and that’s a huge difference.”

Let’s talk about Nick and Matt. You guys were back and forth all season, battling it out. They pushed you, and you pushed them. In the long run, it made for a compelling season.

Jesse: They are great competitors and they pushed us. I think the outcome would have been the same but I’m still not sure because they pushed us to exceed even our capabilities.

Gino: We ran the Race to finish first. We figured that if we won some Legs and some trips then at least we’d had the experience. But other teams were racing just not to finish last, and that’s a huge difference.

Was there a time or a Leg where you guys said to one another, ‘I think we might actually win this?’
Jesse: We knew each other’s strengths and that we could physically do it. There was that Leg in Chile where we came in second-last that was a wake-up call. We realized that we really needed to push from them on.

What are some tips you’d give people who are auditioning for Season 4?
Jesse: For the audition tape, just be yourself. Don’t go jumping out of planes and doing crazy things. Sit in front of the camera and talk about yourself and who you are.

Gino: They don’t want to know if you can jump out of a plane. Don’t put your dog in there, that’s not who you are.

Jesse: And for the Race, build a relationship with your taxi driver in case you run into a situation where somebody might steal your taxi. We finished that challenge and ran out to Nick and Matt’s taxi and the driver didn’t really care for them, so he had no problem taking us. He offered to take us and we weren’t going to turn that down. A relationship with a taxi driver can really help you because they want you to win.

Gino: I think you need to figure out who you are as a team. Are you in it for the experience or are you in it to win? If you’re in it to win, you have to simplify things and break it down. It’s overwhelming if you look at the whole Race. You have to split it up into Legs and each task. You can’t let outside factors get in.

Will you try out for Season 4 of The Amazing Race? If so, let us know what sets you apart from other potential Racers in the comments below.