It’s that time of year again! On July 8th, we will see another group of 24 people race around the world (and Canada) for prizes worth over a million Canadian dollars. And as Logan and I have found over the past two weeks of our preview of the season, several common mistakes keep appearing as part of teams’ biographies. This is made worse by the fact that teams can edit them after the race! The innocuous questions that appear on these bios are a minefield of awful responses and foreshadowing, so it’s important that anyone planning on applying or being on The Amazing Race knows what is the best way to answer these potential problems.
Firstly, when they ask you your occupation, for the love of God, please answer them in three words or less. I shouldn’t have to Google you or look at fifty different interviews to find out that you’re not a spy and actually a zamboni driver or find out that you actually work in Canadian icon, Tim Horton’s, rather than working in the “service industry”. Also, telling it straight makes me actually talk about you positively, cause TIM FREAKIN’ HORTON’S!
Who are you like?
If you’re ever asked what team you are like, please know that there’s a huge amount of potential answers, some of which are better than others. For example, if you say you’re a Natalie and Meaghan, you cannot claim you’ll be anything but a super-successful gamebot team who would not ally with any other team. Vanessa and Celina means that you’ll be a production favourite who will be be at the back of the pack till a ridiculous production decision saves you over the fan favourite team. Jet and Dave means you’ll be a fan favourite team, but in your eyes only. I highly doubt any team will live up to their legacy, so it’s ridiculous to say you’re going to be like them.
It’s way easier to make everyone who reads the bios laugh by comparing yourself to a team like Shahla and Nabeela (you may suck, but at least you’ll have some cute otefits) or even a Sukhi and Jinder, who may I point out were the REAL fan favourite team last year, and won the 24/7 poll by a wide margin. Try and be unique, because Lord knows it makes our lives easier. Having said that, massive brownie points go to Nic & Sabrina who describe themselves as a combination of the Tims and Mickey & Pete, which is such a glorious way to answer that question.
Pet peeves about your partner always have the potential to be hilarious. They are always one of the largest clues as to how a team will perform on the Race. If someone says that they hate their partner’s driving, you can guarantee that there will be a self drive leg which will see them but heads over driving skills or there will be a vehicle driving task where the person in question either aces it or screws the team over. However, it is my pet peeve when you don’t put something! If you put something stupid, it’ll be mocked. If you put something lame, it’ll get ignored. If you put nothing at all, you’ll get grief. Either tell the truth or put something lame. Don’t be so silly as to not put nothing.
If a bio asks for your phobia, you can be damn sure that production is doing it to inspire tasks. 7/24 racers this season are scared of snakes for example, and this is in a franchise that has had snakes guarding two separate clues in two separate seasons, so we’re almost guaranteed a snake-charming Roadblock or worse in the next twelve episodes. Of course, if your fear is ridiculous, you automatically become my favourite racer if you have the guts to put it in your bio. The gold standard of this is the often-mentioned, never forgotten popsicle sticks, courtesy of Shahla.
After the dust settled, some teams develop new phobias, with teams last season being reluctant to ever go near water, surfboards, Alvin Cheung, Rifles and Mentos, to name a few examples. These are the phobias that we remember. If you don’t have a phobia, don’t be a wuss and give a non-answer – make something up! As long as it’s inoffensive, it’ll make you seem much less like a robot programmed to destroy all race legs and more like a real human being.
“Losing is not an option” – Gino & Jesse
FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING THAT IS HOLY, DO NOT SAY YOU WON’T LOSE ANY LEG. IDIOTS.
A good team will balance each other out – your strengths will be your partner’s weaknesses, and vice versa. This doesn’t bode well for teams like Neil & Kristen and Dana & Amanda, who both have identical strengths & weaknesses, as the first time one of their weaknesses comes up, they are going home. Obviously, if your weakness is something stupid, you can almost guarantee that it’ll come up. Either that or your strength will and you’ll five-hole.
More than any other network, CTV are really blatant when they describe the teams. If you’re described as “fiery”, that means argumentative. “laidback” and “down-to-earth” mean that production would be devetasted if you went home. Similarly, Neil & Kristen are described as “enthusiastic and humourous”, so when they go home (cause Lord knows they won’t win!), expect the candlelight remix of the theme tune.
Above everything, the truth is the most important factor, but you have to remember that every interview has an audience, even when it’s just morons like us who sit there for an hour each week to break it down. Where possible, you need to entertain your audience, and own up to your inherent ridiculousness. You were cast for a reason, even if it was just that you were stood at a taco stand (or in the Canadian example, a poutine stand) and were passibly attractive.
When you write your bio, every detail will be scrutinised, every flaw pointed out and every prediction made. Sometimes, we’re wrong (case & point: Sukhi & Jinder), but more often than not, we read between the lines and very little is hidden.