Brawn & beauty: No glamour for Ottawa sisters in Amazing Race Canada
The last thing Vanessa Morgan and Celina Mziray worried about was trying to look fashionable as they competed in TV’s Amazing Race Canada.
Instead, the Ottawa sisters concentrated on doing their best during the gruelling challenges that took them over 9,000 kilometres across Canada. The series, which was filmed over three weeks in May, debuts Monday at 9 p.m. on the CTV Network.
Nine teams are in competition for the main prize, which includes $250,000 in cash, free flights for a year from Air Canada and two Chevrolet Corvette Stingrays. About 20,000 people applied to be part of the show.
“There was nothing glamorous about what we were doing, there were tears, sweat and it was the ugliest you could possibly get,” says Mziray, 30, a bikini model.
“When you’re in the middle of a race no one is expecting you to look glamorous. How can you possibly? You don’t even care, you just want to win,” says Vanessa Morgan, 21, a singer/actress, who has appeared in the Disney films Harriet The Spy and My Babysitter’s a Vampire, and in several episodes of Degrassi: The Next Generation.
Morgan, who went to Colonel By High School, decided to apply to be part of Amazing Race Canada as a way of bonding with her older sister on an adventurous project.
“We thought it would be awesome to do this. We’re both physical people and thought it would be perfect for us and a good dynamic,” says Morgan, who divides her time between Ottawa and Los Angeles.
“And we love each other but we’re siblings and we fight and we were under a lot of stressful situations.”
Mziray, who left her job as a program co-ordinator at Health Canada and is about to launch a bikini/jewelry company called Her Coconuts, says she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with her sister. “When my sister called me and asked me to do it, I said ‘Why not?’ It would be a new challenge.
“We understand how we work, we just hope everyone who watches us understands that, too. We are nine years apart but she is my baby, so it was a different kind of dynamic.”
The sisters are bound by confidentiality agreements and can’t reveal any specifics about the show.
Morgan is always in front of TV cameras, but Mziray is not usually in the limelight, so that took some getting used to, she says.
“You have a camera man and a sound guy with you pretty much 24/7. When you leave your room in the morning they’re there and they’re with you all the time,” says Mziray, who went to Bell High School.
The series requires contestants to use their brains as well as brawn to reach the final destination ahead of the other teams. And that’s what they were prepared to do.
“I don’t think you have to be physically active to win the show, you just have to be able-bodied and think strategically. It’s not about being the most physical person,” says Morgan.
She says she knew she and her sister would be considered underdogs.
“I know people will look at us and think, ‘Those girls are all about the makeup and are all about looking good,’ but they don’t know we’re strong girls and fighters,” says Morgan.
“We say don’t judge a book by its cover. We were raised by our mom, who was a thalidomide victim; she’s a strong woman who is legally blind. We were raised in a home where we were taught not to look at somebody and judge them by their looks,” says Mziray.http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/diversions/Brawn+beauty+glamour+Ottawa+sisters+Amazing+Race+Canada/8646874/story.html