Brandon Gonez checks in for Season 2 of CBC’s Canada’s Ultimate Challenge

There is a lot of reality competition series vying for eyeballs, and one of the most interesting is kicking off its second season on Sunday at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Canada’s Ultimate Challenge—produced by the same folks behind The Amazing Race Canada—is equal parts The Amazing Race, Survivor, and in some cases, Wipeout, making for an entertaining watch. And, serving as host is Brandon Gonez.

Gonez, who joins the series for Season 2, is well-known to audiences. Aside from founding his own online news and entertainment company, Gonez Media, he was a reporter and anchor at CP24 and Your Morning. What made him join the ranks of Jon Montgomery, Arisa Cox and Sharleen Joynt?

“I’ve had the opportunity to travel across many parts of this country as a local reporter, but now I get to showcase them,” he says. “I was like, ‘Let’s do it!” And the opportunity to host allows Gonez to show a side of him folks may not have seen when he was a reporter.

“I like to laugh, I like to giggle, and I like to get real,” he says with a laugh. “You get to feel all of those highs and lows with this gig. My job is to be the audience, to ask that question, to get to the bottom of a fight that may be unfolding.”

Each episode of Canada’s Ultimate Challenge features four strangers thrust together into a team and facing off against other teams in a country-wide obstacle course. The challenges are, of course, designed to award winners and losers, but they also demand teamwork. And, that can be tough when you have a bunch of alphas yelling rote catchphrases into the camera and at each other.

A prime example is Sunday’s return, set in St. John’s. After Gonez introduces the team members to each other they have to work together to hoist one competitor down a rope anchored at the iconic Signal Hill, to a location down the hill. Once there, they look through binoculars at nautical flags being flown on a boat, memorize them and the order they are in, get hoisted back to the top of the hill and recreate the flags in order from dozens of combinations. All bragging and posturing drops, replaced by sweat, hard work and confusion.

Each leg features one team eliminated from the competition, with the winning competitors receiving a VIP trip to cheer on Team Canada at the Olympic Games in Paris.

Future locations this season include Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Ottawa, Hamilton, Canmore, Revelstoke and Vancouver Island, offering larger-than-life settings and drama for viewers and competitors.

“When you have a show called Canada’s Ultimate Challenge, you have to go big or go home,” Gonez says. “Each part of the country that we visit, you’re going to feel that on-screen. Our landscapes, cities and towns are so different depending on which region you’re in. This country is full of ups and downs, from mountains to fields, and you’re going to see that, and feel that range of emotions as well.”

Canada’s Ultimate Challenge airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Image courtesy of CBC.


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