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The Amazing Race Canada
Hosted by Jon Montgomery
Monday at 8 p.m.
All-Canadian show, all-Canadian host

IT goes without saying that Jon Montgomery is a natural fit for The Amazing Race Canada.
After all, racing is what he does. And he's amazing at it.
If anything, what's surprising about his involvement is that Montgomery -- an Olympic gold medallist in the harrowing, high-speed skeleton event -- is the CTV reality/competition series' host rather than one of its competitors.
"I'm definitely a fan of (the CBS version of) The Amazing Race; I've watched many episodes in the past and could always see myself being on the show as a racer," the celebrated product of Russell says in a telephone interview. "I've always thought that the challenges that test (contestants) along the road are exciting things that I would like to try, and I would welcome the opportunity to do some world travel.
"I never really envisioned myself in (host) Phil Keoghan's role, but you begin to switch gears pretty quickly when opportunities present themselves. It wasn't too hard to move from a racer's mindset to that of a host."
While he actually won't compete in The Amazing Race Canada's various Roadblock, U-Turn and Fast-Forward challenges that face the show's nine two-person teams, Montgomery will expand the host's role by acting as a demonstrator/guinea pig who tries out the often white-knuckle-inducing tests in each episode.
"I think part of the reason they wanted me in this role is because they wanted someone who could take on some of these challenges, do them adequately and explain them," says Montgomery, who took a five-week break from training for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, to handle the Race's hosting duties.
"I certainly enjoyed doing them. I think they were looking for someone like myself in order to differentiate this show's host from what Phil Keoghan does. They didn't want to have just a look-alike stand-in for him; they wanted to have something that's distinctly their own, and I think this show does that."
This isn't Montgomery's first foray into TV adventuring. In 2010, on the heels of his gold-medal triumph on the skeleton run in Whistler, B.C., the Olympian and three fellow athletes (including then-fianc©e Darla Deschamps, whom he married in 2011) embarked on an extreme-sports adventure that was turned into a thrilling Discovery Channel special called Best. Trip. Ever.
This week, Montgomery will further showcase his on-camera skills by dropping in as a guest host on Monday's edition of Canada AM.
He says the fact The Amazing Race Canada's crew and contestants never ventured outside this country should in no way detract from the series' excitement.
"It's pretty funny to hear people use the words 'the confines of Canada,'" he says. "In the three weeks we were gone, we travelled 25,000 kilometres... We're in Canada, probably the most multicultural nation in the world. You want to experience different cultures? You can do that here. A broad cross-section of landscapes? We can do that here. Different major bodies of water? Check mark -- we've got the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans.
"I think The Amazing Race could be done here within Canada for years and years to come. We didn't need to leave Canada to make an amazing show."

‘The Amazing Race Canada’: By The Numbers


We know there are nine teams and one host but how many flights did they each take across the country? How many provinces did they visit? And how many arguments did one team have? As we count down to Monday’s premiere at 9/8C on CTV, find out all the facts about ‘The Amazing Race Canada’ here.

Total number of times that teams got lost during The Race: 25
Most arguments for one team: 15
Oldest competitor: 57
Youngest competitor: 21
Biggest age gap between competitors on the same team: 25 (Tim Sr./Tim Jr.)
Smallest age gap between competitors on the same team: Less than one hour (Treena/Tennille)
Heaviest team (combined weight): 415 lbs. (Jet/Dave)
Lightest team (combined weight): 215 lbs. (Vanessa/Celina)
Number of days to shoot The Race: 22
Shooting locations: 78
More than 595 total domestic Air Canada flights
Most flights total for one team: 21
Most number of flights by a team in one day: 4
Total airports visited: 14
Total number of taxis used by teams: 40
Other modes of transportation: 12 (Chevrolet vehicles, personal watercraft, ferries,
fishing boat, jet boat, snowmobile, ATV, snowshoes, golf cart, shuttles, chartered bus, train)
Number of Roadblocks: 12
Number of Detours: 8
Number of shooting locations: 78
Number of Route Markers and Active Route Markers: 20
Hotels (total for production and teams): 16
Provinces visited: 7
Territories visited: 3
Provincial and territorial capitals visited: 8
Number of canine breeds prominently featured: 3

Provincial and territorial capitals visited: 8

so 2 didn't have their capitals visited: BC (Victoria) and Alberta (Edmonton), this proves Whitehorse (Capital of Yukon) was in some way visited.

Big Event: Amazing Race Canada (July 15, CTV, 9 p.m. ET/PT)

Big picture: Nine brave Canadian pairs are poised to race around Canada in this new series. They have my deepest respect given I can barely make it to the mailbox without wheezing. Contestants include actress Vanessa Morgan (My Babysitter's a Vampire, Degrassi: The Next Generation) and her "bikini-model sister" Celina, and hippy couple Darren and Kristen (she lists her strengths as "making people smile, handling reptiles, identifying plants and basketball" and her good luck charm as a "pine cone"). No, I'm not making this up. Their opponents include a doctor duo, Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod (the married fitness gurus from Body Break), as well as teams that feature a police officer, a police sergeant "highly trained in firearms" and a "retired army sniper." It could be lambs to the Amazing Race slaughter. These daring duos beat out thousands of applicants in order to race more than 9,000 kilometres in locations across Canada, from Alberta's Badlands to the Rockies, from Maritimes oceanfront to B.C rainforest. (The real lesson I've taken from all this is put "bikini model" on your resum© when applying for reality shows. I've already added it to my LinkedIn page).

Forecast: Hosted by Canadian Olympic champion Jon Montgomery, this is a must-watch of the summer. Enjoy the spectacle of seeing these eclectic groups navigate our vast, diverse country. Most of them will see more of Canada in the course of this game than any of us do in our lifetimes. I'd like to see the next federal election settled on Amazing Race Canada. Imagine Stephen Harper and John Baird trying to hail a cab with a $90,000 cheque in the middle of a snowstorm on the Trans-Canada Highway in Saskatchewan, or locked in a two-legged snowshoe race in Nunavut against Justin Trudeau and Marc Garneau.

Jon Montgomery interviewed by Murtz Jaffer


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