Brock alumnus competes on The Amazing Race Canada

Brock alumnus Gino Montani (left) and his brother Jesse will compete on The Amazing Race Canada, which kicks off its third season Wednesday night on CTV.To most people, a tangerine is just a citrus fruit.To brothers Gino and Jesse Montani, a tangerine is an opportunity.After all, it was their idea to have a tangerine-eating contest against each other that got them cast in a national television series.When Gino, who graduated from Brock with his human geography degree in 2008, and Jesse put together an audition tape for The Amazing Race Canada, they sealed their fate with a spontaneous challenge to see who could wolf down a tangerine quickest.“I knew in order to beat him, I couldn’t chew it,” Gino, 28, said. “I gulped it. He looked over and started laughing. He wasn’t expecting that so I guess I’m a tangerine-eating champion.”But they worked for five weeks this spring to be champions together of the Canuck version of the travel contest show, which kicks off its third season Wednesday night on CTV.Though contracts have sworn them to secrecy about how they fared, or even what challenges they embarked upon during filming, they won’t hesitate to say they had the “time of our lives” doing the show.There was also a sentimental component to landing spots in what’s being dubbed as this week’s must-see TV by the Toronto Sun.The Monatnis’ father, Gino Sr., was a loyal fan of The Amazing Race. He passed away last fall, but Gino and Jesse are fairly certain what he’d think of his boys competing on one of his favourite programs.“He’d be very critical of everything we did, but we know he’d be super stoked. He’d be telling everyone,” Jesse, 25, said.“He had high expectations and every little mistake, he’d be very critical,” added Gino, who fondly remembers his years at Brock.It’s easy to be an armchair Amazing Racer, knowing what contestants should be doing, and dissecting their decisions when watching them on TV. Being in the heat of competition, however, brings with it new perspective, Gino noted.“When you’re actually in a situation and you feel pressure, and you don’t want people passing you… every game plan goes out the window,” he explained. “I didn’t want to let Jesse down or Canada.”Still, even all that brotherly love couldn’t keep at bay the tension that sometimes comes with navigating one’s way to the next level of a contest that boasts a grand prize of $250,000.That’s because growing up with someone doesn’t mean you know everything about them. So spending five weeks running around Canada in search of reality television glory was a bonding experience unlike any other.Whatever the outcome of The Amazing Race Canada – the winner will be revealed in September – the brothers win at conflict resolution.“The thing about me and Gino is, we’re Italian brothers, so we bicker,” Jesse said. “But it always ends in a hug.”

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