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Bitter taste over race
Reality television show contestants seen at Pilot's Monument

Simon Whitehouse
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The presence of a film crew from The Amazing Race Canada in Old Town Friday left a bitter taste in the mouth of a Yellowknife resident who was rejected for a part on the reality show.

NNSL photo/graphic

Contestants from The Amazing Race Canada race to their vehicle in Old Town on Friday. Seven teams arrived at Pilot's Monument at around 10 a.m. to pick up their envelopes and discover their next destination. - Myles Dolphin/NNSL photo

Seven two-person teams and a bevy of camera operators for the CTV television series were seen running up and down Pilot's Monument at around 10 a.m. Friday morning

Richard Makohoniuk said he and his sister Rachel submitted a three-minute video to The Amazing Race Canada to try and become contestants earlier this year, but was disappointed when they were turned down.

Having the race in town was an especially bitter pill, he said.

"My sister and I put a video in and that was the extent of what I knew about it," he said. "I knew they were in town and I didn't see or hear much, but I had a taste of bitterness in my mouth all day."

Yellowknifer saw contestants clutching the signature black-and-yellow Amazing Race envelopes as they raced down the steps of Pilot's Monument on Friday, jumped into rented sport utility vehicles with Ontario licence plates and sped off to their next destination.

One of the show's producers said the Yellowknife episode will air as part of the inaugural season, which premieres on July 15.

Makohoniuk has a Facebook page in support of his team called "Team Makohoniuk Sibends for Amazing Race Canada" and intends to apply again next year. Like many residents, he found out the crew from the show was in town through his Twitter feed.

He said at the time he and his sister applied, there hadn't been a lot of details about where the race would take contestants, so he didn't know ahead of time that it was going to be in Yellowknife. There was also no information at the time on who the host would be or what the prize was.

"They had said after you submit the initial video that you give a brief overview of your team with I think 70 characters to describe yourself and then from there they narrowed it down," Makohoniuk said. "(If you were chosen) you had to fly yourself to Toronto and they would film you doing a task to determine how good you looked on camera. If you made the show, they reimburse, but if not you've paid for a trip to Toronto."

Jim Quan, senior manager of communications with CTV, stated in an e-mail that participants in Friday's filming had no comment at this point.

"None of the participants involved with the race are available for interviews at this time," he said. "We will be in touch closer to the broadcast and will do our best to accommodate any requests then."

- with files from Myles Dolphin

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