Reality show connects family


It’s almost time for the season finale of Amazing Race Canada, and you can bet my family and I will be tuning in.

One of my family’s most fun rituals is watching this show together every summer. At the beginning of the season, we each pick a team – and we have to stick with that team throughout the duration of the race. (We draw straws to see who gets to pick first.)

The person whose team is eliminated first has to buy a case of beer or a bottle of wine for the person whose team lasts the longest. My family is competitive by nature, so you can imagine the ribbing that occurs throughout the season when your team is eliminated early on.

We’ve been doing this tradition for five summers, now. Even girlfriends, both mine and my brother’s, have joined in the ritual the last few years, which has added to the fun of the experience – and the competitiveness.

This season, I had the dishonour of picking the team that finished in last place, and I’ll have to buy a case of beer or a bottle of wine for my mom, my brother or my girlfriend. Their teams are all competing in the season finale, which will take place in Banff.

What’s great about this ritual is that it brings my family together, for at least one night a week. My brother and I both moved out within the last few years, and these weekly Amazing Race Canada episodes are often the only regular time we spend together as a family.

But on a personal level, I really enjoy the way the show reflects our country’s diversity, geography and culture. Six seasons in, it’s had racers travel to every province, territory and major city.

It’s cool when the racers are in a familiar place, where we can point out landmarks we’ve seen in person. Adversely, it’s equally great when they go to a place in Canada I’ve never been before – or even heard of, such as Dawson City in the Yukon or Stratford, Ont. Oftentimes, it motivates me to try to visit those places in person one day.

My brother and I joke every year that we’re going to audition for the show, at some point. We feel we’d make a pretty solid team and our strengths and weaknesses would balance each other out.

Who knows? Maybe one year we finally will audition. And if we do, and are lucky enough to be picked, it would give my family a whole other reason to tune in.


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