There are very few teams that become instantly iconic from the moment they arrive on screen, but Nic & Sabrina were destined from the beginning to be that team on their season. A feisty Italian couple from Quebec, Nic & Sabrina set a high bar to meet when it came to Amazing Race team quality and even reality television quality, as they limped through six legs of The Amazing Race Canada and threw the entire force of their personality at each other, opposing teams, and the world around them.
It cannot be stated how essential Nic & Sabrina were to the Amazing Race Canada 3 viewing experience – teams on their season were set on either becoming as bland and unwatchable as possible, or hibernating until emerging as characters in their own right long after they were gone. From the first episode where they almost perfectly recreated the Alain & Audrey magic from the season as they passive-aggressively (or in some cases, just aggressively-aggressively) bickered and fought with each other in Italian, it was clear they would be a team essential to the lifeblood of the season, and for a good set of episodes they were the only outwardly entertaining team on their season. Be it stumbling through both Roadblocks (including a truly hilarious and painful performance by Sabrina on the obstacle course) or openly mocking each other, Nic & Sabrina were pure entertainment worthy of being cast on any reality show, let alone The Amazing Race Canada 3.
Even if one doesn’t particularly gel with their personality type, credit must be given to their ability to create television magic. While the thesis of the Big Character is one that’s been obscured over time to include anyone who spews bigotry or hatred and gets rewarded for their ability to create water-cooler conversation (e.g. Dan Foley from Survivor: Worlds Apart, Marc O’Neill from Big Brother UK 16), Nic & Sabrina harken back to a different kind of Big Character. They were never hateful or angry or engaged in less than pleasant human behavior, they simply just had larger than life personalities and shared them with each other and the viewing audience, to the betterment of everyone involved.
And it cannot be stated how much the season suffered without Nic & Sabrina. In a series with an audience particularly allergic to any kind of conflict, confidence or boastfulness, Nic & Sabrina took on those roles with aplomb and spiced up what was by far the weakest season of The Amazing Race Canada thus far. They carried entire boring episodes on their shoulders, trying to wring out fun where they could, and it never felt the same after they were gone. It doesn’t matter whether one particularly likes Nic & Sabrina’s personalities, or wants to meet them in person, or would even think about interacting with them in the real world – what matters is that the characters we got for six episodes are some of the best reality television contestants of the year.