Brothers Gino and Jesse Montani from Hamilton, Ontario, were the big winners from the third season of CTV’s The Amazing Race Canada which wrapped on Wednesday night.
The brothers from Hamilton, Ontario, faced off against wrestling teammates Nick Foti and Matt Guinta and brothers Brent and Sean Sweeney.
In a season which saw Canadian teammates travel from Canada to South America, to Europe, to India and back, Gino and Jesse were the first team to successfully find matching skis at Whistler Blackcomb and met host John Montgomery at the final Pit Stop located at Nicklaus North Golf Course in Whistler, British Columbia.
The TV Watercooler had the opportunity to chat with Gino and Jesse following their win. Here’s what they had to say about which other teams surprised them, the fighting and winning.
Jesse: Thanks a lot! We appreciate it!
How long did you have to keep winning a secret from the entire country?
Gino: It was a while. A couple of months at least!
Jesse: Yeah, it was eating at us. We wanted to tell everybody.
Who did you guys feel was the hardest team to beat?
Gino: Absolutely Nick and Matt. They’re great guys and they are great competition. You could see that they wanted it really bad. They are smart and made some really good decisions throughout the race. There’s no fluke reason as to why they were in the finale.
Sean and Brent really made it far. Were you impressed?
Gino: You know what, based upon our first impressions, we didn’t think that they were going to make it very far.
Jesse: We underestimated them.
Gino: Yeah, we did. But we were just basing it off of their physical appearance. It’s all we had to go by. We didn’t know them. As the race progressed, I think that they grew as a team as well. From the beginning of the race to the end of the race, they grew and became a better team. They dug deep and weren’t afraid to get their nose dirty and that’s a good sign for a good team.
Where there some other teams that maybe you were surprised didn’t make it that far?
Jesse: We were surprised that Dana and Amanda were eliminated when they did. We thought that they were going to be our toughest competitors and go far in the race.
Are you still planning on taking your mom to Italy?
Jesse: We left it to our mom! She picked Italy. If she wants to change it, she can, but as of right now, the main plan is to go to Italy. We’re excited. We actually made a list prior to winning and it did ask us where we would want to go if we won and Italy was on it!
What was the hardest leg?
Jesse: Personally, the hardest leg would have had to have been Calcutta, India. It was a huge culture shock and an eye opener. Honestly, I did not expect that. It was so populated and no street names. It was so tough to get around.
Gino: I’m going to agree with Jesse but I’m not going to say it based on competition. It was the condition. We’re Canadian and we don’t have that kind of climate. We went there and it was a huge culture shock — I have never experienced that much heat and seen that many people. There’s no lanes when they drive!
What month were you guys there? It gets really hot in the summer.
Jesse: That was in May. So it was very hot.
Gino: We heard that when we were in Calcutta, 500 people passed away due to dehydration.
What was the hardest challenge for you guys?
Gino: The one that was tough was the sand castle one because Jesse was so cold. I was racing to build something knowing that my brother is suffering in the sand. He kept asking me how long and I kept saying five minutes over and over again. I was going fast, sweating, going so fast. Just knowing that my brother was suffering under there was terrible.
Fighting between siblings is completely different than a fight with a friend. It can get really personal and nasty. What was your biggest fight?
Jesse: Our biggest fight was probably in the finale with the map challenge. At that point, we felt that we had a lead and we didn’t know where Nick and Matt or Brent and Sean were. We had a good lead because Gino got the bike on his first shot.
Which was amazing, by the way.
Jesse: Yes! Super impressive. So we felt that we had a good lead. We were very precise on our measurements and then Nick and Matt just showed up and it was a real eye opener because this is for the win, you know? Then they ended up doing it faster than we did and took over first place. We had a moment where we just broke down and argued.
Gino: There’s a good moment… Literally 15 minutes where we broke down as a team. We were yelling at each other, frustrated and losing our clues. We’re not like that. We’re very organized. We ran an whole race where everything was organized and then we’re at the finale where we are just misplacing things! There was a lot of pressure. But once we were on the gondola, we had a chat and we decided that as a team, we had to work together and not against each other.
You guys hugged it out on the gondola.
Gino: That was an intense hug it out. We were getting in each other’s faces. It was just tough. We’re brothers. The only thing about our dynamic is that we’re not afraid to tell each other how we feel. Friends sometimes pretend with each other. We say it! If he’s bugging me, I’m going to tell him he’s bugging me! It’s just that brotherly love. Not everyone has that.
What was the scariest moment for you guys? Gino, was it when you were on that bike? Watching that was scary!
Gino: You know what, I’m not scared of heights but the way Jesse said it on the show was pretty good. Don’t get me wrong, it was scary but when I was up there, if you’re someone who is used to playing sports, you can zone things out. I was zoning things out and focusing on what I had to do. I was more worried about letting my brother down. I didn’t want to let him down because that would have been a turning point for us. Let’s say that if I fell, one or two or three times, that would have been our race. Done.
Jesse: Well if you fell once, that was our race.
Gino: Well, at least our lead.
What advice would you give to other contestants making it on next season? Brothers, even. How should they prepare for this experience?
Gino: I would say, you got to figure out what kind of team you are. Are you a team that is racing just for the experience or to win it. Because there are teams that just come on and want to race for experience. We weren’t one of those teams. We wanted to win it. If you’re a team that wants to win it, you can’t look too far ahead. You take a look at each individual task, one at a time and take that extra second. Don’t come in with a reckless approach. You have to come in with a game plan, strategy and a good plan of attack.
The Amazing Race Canada will return for a fourth season next year on CTV.