By Chris Clark
She’s fit, she’s bright, she’s motivated – and she’s ready to take on Canada.
A former Victoria Cross Public School teacher who makes her home in Fergus and teaches school in Drayton, Melissa Townsend has answered the casting call to compete on the new reality TV show “Amazing Race Canada.”
Amazing Race Canada, set to premiere this summer on CTV, is a complementary take on the popular original series. It will see contestants criss-cross up to 9,000 kilometres, make stops in all ten provinces and three territories, and discover the world within Canada’s expansive borders.
Together with her longtime friend and fellow teacher Amy Armstrong, Ms. Townsend recently completed an audition video; in the hopes the two will become finalists for the program and, ultimately, return home with the grand prize. In keeping with their profession, the ebullient young women have adopted “The Teachers” as a team name.
The plucky pair met in the Los Angeles airport eight years ago, on their way to teacher’s college in Australia, and made an immediate connection. They have since travelled together, lived together and played together; and feel they have exactly what it takes to make their way across Canada and into viewers’ homes each week.
“Amy and I are perfect for each other,” Melissa said, with a palpable excitement. “She’s the navigator, and I’m the driver. We read each other well, finish each other’s thoughts and sentences, and make a really great team.”
Melissa and Amy are now seeking the support of friends, family, and the entire country, as they make their bid to appear on national television. Their three-minute audition video can be found on YouTube under The Amazing Race Canada – Melissa & Amy “The Teachers,” and they have also created a Facebook page to drum up support for their bid.
Their video; playfully depicting them swimming in a bathtub, tackling a toboggan hill, and outlining what makes their tandem tick; effectively shows their personalities, and an exuberance and energy tailor-made for the reality genre.
“We’ve been waiting for this to come to Canada, and jumped at the opportunity to participate,” Melissa said. “We’re pretty excited. We laugh constantly, and can also push each other to do our best.”
She said the two are resourceful and athletic, and can be conniving and competitive. They know “how to play the game” and have always been fans of the original show. Melissa said she strives in stressful situations and, above all, has always wanted to see more of Canada. Making a successful bid for The Amazing Race should provide a perfect opportunity.
The dynamic duo will have to wait until the end of this month to find out if their audition has been a success. Whether they make the cut for Amazing Race Canada or not, “The Teachers” are ready for the race of a lifetime.