"Not your average road trip"
article about the team which wont let me copy paste here
Jen and Shawn King aren’t the same people they used to be.
The married Hammonds Plains couple is one of the 11 teams competing on the second season of The Amazing Race Canada, that debuts Tuesday at 10 p.m. on CTV.“Your perspective changes,”
says Jen, during an interview outside Niche Lounge in Halifax where they will hold a viewing party Tuesday beginning at 8 p.m.“Little things that used to be important aren’t anymore,”
Filming wrapped up earlier this year and the Kings can’t reveal if they won the race and $250,000 in cash, plus other prizes.
But the couple, who met as teenagers in high school in Oromocto, N.B., light up when talking about sharing the experience with each other.“Some teams didn’t do it with their significant other, but I can’t imagine what it would be like,”
says Shawn, 41.“Your mental headspace when you are finished is different and it would be difficult for someone to understand why you’re so different. We’re lucky we did it together and can talk about it.”
The Kings, parents of 17-year-old son Cohen, who recently graduated from Charles P. Allen High School in Bedford, have been bursting with the news they were part of the hit reality show, which averaged 3.5 million viewers a week last season.
But they couldn’t tell anyone outside of a small group of insiders, like Shawn’s parents, who came to stay with Cohen during the filming, and their co-workers, who had to take up some slack while they were away. Jen manages the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, while Shawn is the president and chief creative officer of Extreme Group.
Keen travellers — they celebrated Jen’s 40th birthday in Iceland in February — they were huge fans of the American version of The Amazing Race, watching together and debating who would do each challenge.
So when they heard a call for contestants for the Canadian version, they rushed to send in their three-minute audition tape.“We make home videos of all our trips, so we had lots of content and we also filmed us sitting on the couch talking about why we’d be good contestants,”
says Shawn, noting they included footage of Italy, Paris, Germany and Zurich.
Three days later they got a call that they had advanced to the second round, and by the fourth round, when a producer came to Halifax to interview them, they decided to just have fun.“We decided to be honest and as much ourselves as we could be and have fun,”
They were selected in February and left for their adventure in April.
The lure for Jen was travelling to parts of Canada people normally don’t see and the opportunity to experience the unique culture.
Shawn says it was the opportunity to travel and do “really, really adventurous things.”“We like to travel spontaneously. Our favourite way to travel is unscripted.”
“When you get older, you don’t get to play. We had the opportunity to play with the best people in the country. We call them our superhero friends,”
says Jen, noting most of the teams are going to Toronto this summer for a reunion.“There’s a bond there you can’t relate to unless you’ve done it,”
The teams were super competitive, but what went on in the race stayed in the race, Jen notes.“When the day was over, you shared experiences and stories, asked how (people did) a challenge, saw how other people played the game.”
And Shawn says it was harder than it looked.“You get so wound up and I didn’t expect it to be that way. It’s surprising how much you are willing to do under that much adrenaline. It’s amazing. Under normal circumstances you would give up."
“The takeaway is if you push through, you can figure out how to do it.”
One of their fears heading into the competition was that their age would be a hindrance, but that didn’t prove to be the case.
The duo weren’t the oldest in the competition; that distinction went to dancer Rex Harrington, 51, and his fiance, dental consultant Bob Hope, 47, of Ashburn, Ont.
The Kings did earn the honour of being the competitors with the longest relationship. They met on Jan. 19, 1991, when a friend invited then-17-year-old Jen to see a show by 18-year-old Shawn’s band.
And while there were a few moments during the stressful competition when they fought, the competition actually brought the pair closer.“We had common enemies. When we fought, we’d pull out of it pretty quick,”
They both dreamed about the Amazing Race after it was all over. “And when they announced the teams, I started dreaming about it again. It’s always on your mind,”
says Shawn, who admits to a phobia of snakes.
They look at viewing the episodes as the final part of the adventure.“Now is the best part. We’re so excited and so proud and we finally get to share,”
says Jen, noting they haven’t seen anything yet.WHO ARE THEY?Jen and Shawn King, Hammonds Plains
Nova Scotia’s competitors on The Amazing Race Canada
Occupation: manager, Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, Halifax
Favourite travel destination: Kelowna, B.C.
Pet peeve about teammate: He is a little obsessive.
Occupation: president and chief creative officer, Extreme Group, Halifax
Favourite travel destination: Italy or Germany
Pet peeve about teammate: “She gets ‘hangry’ (hungry and angry) and everything has to stop until she eats. It can be a pain some time.
Parents of 17-year-old Cohen
Motto: Get ’er done
Season Two premiere: Tuesday at 10 p.m. on CTV
Hosted by: Jon Montgomery