After two years, it finally feels like we are getting back to a sense of normalcy, that all is right in the world. Why? Because that Canadian TV summer staple is back on our screens.
Returning Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, The Amazing Race Canada is back with Jon Montgomery as its host and 10 new teams of two vying for two first-ever Chevrolet Silverado ZR2s, a once-in-a-lifetime trip for two around the world, a $250,000 cash prize and the coveted title of champions.
We spoke to Olympic gold medallist Jon Montgomery about the upcoming season.
It must be just so exciting just to be back talking about this show and being involved with this show again.
Jon Montgomery: That’s the greatest treat that I could have been given at the end of this. I mean, if they were going to dangle the proverbial carrot in front of me, it was the show. It’s one of those reasons to get out of bed in the morning, when you get to connect, when you get to celebrate, when you get to be proud of what is ultimately home, then that is the framing that you need for perspective. And man, it helps when you get to be a part of something that is so celebratory.
What have you been doing until they hit the green light on another season?
JM: It’s the reinvention of all of this. I’m now fairly seamlessly talking into a camera and connecting with you through time and space. But we’re still sharing. We’re still affected by each other’s energy, by the words that come through our little speakers here. It’s all vibration. And whether we’re in each other’s space or communicating this way, it’s been the ability to forge new pathways and areas that I myself wouldn’t have otherwise ventured down because of a technological aversion.
What I’ve been doing is figuring out what next? What do I want life to look like? What am I supposed to be doing with myself? And one of those things is celebrating Canada, and the power of connectivity and connection and each other. That’s what I can do, will do, and intend to do.
I know that some people may say that there isn’t a lot of heavy lifting that goes into hosting The Amazing Race Canada because it’s about all those teams. Still, you make the most out of your camera time and people love you for who you are, beginning with you winning Olympic gold and chugging beer from a pitcher. Is that something that just always come naturally? You haven’t had to create a Jon Montgomery character to host The Amazing Race Canada, have you?
JM: No. And in fact, I was discouraged from trying to be anybody other than myself. Nobody ever said, ‘I really liked it when you went hell-bent for leather through corner 16, it was so cool.’ Nobody could relate to that at all. It might as well have not happened. I could have been a pole vaulter, could’ve been a shot putter. Nobody gives a shit what the medium was. But what everybody liked and appreciated was what was just authentically me, and that part of each of us that sees themselves celebrating an achievement.
Mine was tobogganing face-first down a frozen toilet chute, but everybody’s got their moment. But when you embrace somebody’s generosity, that’s the connective meat, that’s the connective tissue that everybody sees themselves at that moment, or at least a dude that they want to hang out with that would show the appreciation that way. And that’s what I try to do with this role that’s asked of me. It’s just about being authentic and not trying too hard to be anybody else, but taking what I do seriously, but not myself.
Were there COVID restrictions during the filming of the season?
JM: No, we didn’t have anything. It was just going crazy. We will both take everybody’s individual health and wellness at the utmost of importance while respecting the law and whatever else was going on in our environment.
Did you go outside of Canada this season?
JM: No, we didn’t. We got to stay home, once again, and explore more of Canada, and I think that’s what people have asked for.
The casting of The Amazing Race Canada is always a microcosm of the diversity and the inclusion that goes on in this country. Are there any teams that you think that people should be keeping an eye out for?
JM: Well, obviously it’s that whole adage, you can’t judge a book by its cover. You could try, but then you’d be wrong. These teams, they’re for real. You always have to put a certain level of importance on familiarity, how well do you know one another. I look at that relationship as a starting point to do further investigation.
And you need luck too. You need luck on your side and you’ll create that, you’ll earn that. But as a starting point, that relationship is the foundation, that’s the hole you’re digging to build your skyscraper.
Are you constantly surprised by how the producers put together these challenges every season?
JM: Big time. They surprise me, and I’m there year over year. Wherever they go for the 11 months of the year, they’re going to places to be inspired, to bring challenges that can be erected nearly anywhere while we pick a beautiful place in which to do a fun challenge or game. Some of them are geographically dependent. Some of them are specific to a culture within a region. So for all those bits and pieces, I’m always amazed. I shouldn’t be surprised anymore, but I am. I’m like, ‘What? This is here? We get to do this?’
The Amazing Race Canada airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.
Images courtesy of Bell Media.