There was an ‘amazing’ family gathering at Crabby Joe’s in Wallaceburg on Tuesday evening.
The extended family of Kenneth McAlpine, who are mostly from the Wallaceburg, Port Lambton, Sarnia and Chatham areas, gathered at the restaurant for a viewing of the 6th episode of The Amazing Race Canada – Season 5.
McAlpine, along his best friend and partner on the show Ryan Lachapelle, are contestants in this year’s race.
McAlpine caught up with the Sydenham Current for an interview, while dozens of his family members took over half of the entire restaurant for the viewing.
Getting on the show
McAlpine, who is from Collingwood and currently lives in Rossland, British Columbia with Lachapelle, said his best friend simply asked him if he wanted to try getting on the show, and the rest is history.
“He has watched the show, the American version as a kid for a number of years. As we got older we didn’t have cable so we never really watched the Canadian version. His cousin posted the application on his Facebook and we just took it step-by-step, further and further, which has been amazing, he said.
“We just applied, we sent in an application video and that was received really well. We moved on to the next stage of the application process, which was a big detailed questionnaire, which led to a face-to-face interview in Vancouver. Then once we had the face-to-face interview, that was the end of the application process. They said you will either hear from us with a yes or a no.”
McAlpine said they had to wait about two months for the answer.
“We got the call and we were on,” he said.
“At each step of the application process we felt more and more confident that this was happening and that we were going to be chosen.”
Best buds for 12 years
McAlpine said being a part of the Amazing Race is different than what you actually see on TV.
“There is a lot of travel time, there is some down time in there that you really don’t get,” he said.
“It’s not all give’er. You are with your partner 24/7. The person you chose to do this with, you have to be willing to just embrace and endure through everything. The good, the bad, the boring, the exciting and everything. Ryan is definitely that person for me. We have been best friends for 12 years. We met just before high school and we actually didn’t like each other when we first met. There was a little bit of competitive attitudes going on between us and then we actually got just talking to one another in high school and realized ‘he is not so bad.’ That just carried on to be this new lifestyle and adventure that we both had a passion for.”
McAlpine added: “We just allowed that to take us around the world. We have traveled together numerous times. We have lived together in Australia and out in B.C. Ryan’s career is based in the ski industry and I work as a chef so that allows us to work seasonally. Chase after the snow, chase after the waves.”
McAlpine said him and Lachapelle are contractually obligated not to discuss the show, the outcome, or results – expect for what has already aired on television
“It’s tough,” he said.
“The cool thing is that everybody has been really supportive. Everyone has wanted to share the excitement with us so we found that even with those question of ‘did you win?’, ‘tell us what happened’ ‘just tell us.’We found that using the words ‘stay tuned’ always helps. People have been really respectful that we don’t want to ruin the show. We are bound by contract as well. This is a very serious thing that the production company takes it to. We want that experience for everyone.”
McAlpine said watching each episode is a surprise for them each time.
“We don’t know what has been put together,” he said.
“Every episode we watch, we are seeing it for the first time just like everybody else. I don’t think a lot of people realize that. I think that they presume that we have some kind of tie into the editing or what the final cut is like but that is not true. The editors do their thing and they take the footage that they have and they make it the way they want. We have been very happy with how we have been presented. Goofballs. We are the adrenaline hunters. We have been very happy with that.”
McAlpine said the show was filmed from the end of April through to the end of May.
“So about a month of our time was dedicated to the filming of the show. Every team had to make that commitment. Doesn’t matter how far or how little you were actually part of it for. You had to commit those five weeks.”
He added: “Once that was done, there was about a month of editing and computer work going on and then the teams were announced at the end of June with the first episode starting on July 4.”
McAlpine said their team name is ‘Team Give’r’.
“Give’r meaning full, one hundred per cent no matter what you are doing. Your job, your passions, your family. Give’r, the base root of the word is give. Ryan and I, we want to give everything into the stuff we are doing so that we get the return from it,” he said.
“Ryan really embraced the give’r in college. He had two of his fellow students pass away that year. He was in a ski resort management program and in a class of 25 people, two of them passed away that year. For him, he really took it into this mentality of, you have to live life by every moment and embrace it all. Not pass things up. Not have regrets.”
McAlpine said for him give’r also means giving back.
“I have been really blessed with the opportunities in my life that what better way to share that than giving it back to the people around me who want to learn about it, want to be inspired by it and that’s huge for us,” he said.
“So we are Team Give’r but it is about more than just us. It’s about everybody.”
Thankful for the support
McAlpine said he was very thankful for his family, especially with everyone gathered at Crabby’s on Tuesday.
“This is the best,” he said.
“We get to see our extended family once, maybe twice a year and to be able to come down and do a one night viewing party and have people come out on night before work and during their summer time. It is amazing.”
McAlpine said him and Lachapelle feel like have the support of many different comunities across Canada.
“We are born and raised in Collingwood. Ryan’s family is from Sudbury, Ontario and my family is from Southern Ontario and we both live near Rossland, BC where our town is kind of gathered there as well. So we feel like we have got these little communities and people all over Canada and even into the States that are just rallying behind us. We feel very honoured to represent small town Canada. We are not from the big city. We love big cities, we love the atmosphere there, but that is not who we are and that’s not what we represent.”
Follow along with Amazing Race Canada, here.
– Photo credit: Aaron Hall