'The Amazing Race Canada' host Jon Montgomery ready for season two

Jon Montgomery. (Dominic Chan/WENN.com)

Jon Montgomery. (Dominic Chan/WENN.com)

Bill Harris, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:27 PM ET

The Amazing Race Canada is a form of “daily affirmation” for host Jon Montgomery.

“The competing racers are out there all day long, just crushing themselves physically, mentally, and when they see me, when they finally see this ginger dude standing on a mat, this pale kid reflecting sunlight, their day is over,” Montgomery said with a laugh. “All they have to do is get to me. And they're so overjoyed.

“They always want to hug me and high-five me. And they're gross and sweaty and covered in crap sometimes. But it's really wonderful that people would be so happy to see you. And I have to disappoint only two people (one team) per day, which is way less than in real life. In my real life, my dog always is happy to see me, and everyone else maybe less so.

“But in the show, they're always like, 'Jon! We love you!' It's daily affirmation, albeit with a dwindling number of teams as the season progresses.”

The Amazing Race Canada returns for its second season, Tuesday, July 8 on CTV. Montgomery, a former Olympic gold medallist in skeleton who is fondly remembered for his joyous “golden beer” march through Whistler, B.C., said he definitely understands the daunting process of making this kind of TV show better than he did at the beginning of season one.

“Last year I was just sort of in survival mode,” Montgomery said. “I didn't really have any clue what was going on around me, and I was just trying to find my rhythm and my own voice. That's continuing, of course. I'm trying to get better and hone this new craft. But this year I was able to understand a little bit better how it all works conceptually. Because this thing is a juggernaut.

“As an athlete and as a person who strives for excellence in washing the dishes or cutting the lawn, if I was going to do this then it's important to do it well. So going back and watching the first season, I definitely saw areas that I want to improve on, but also I saw areas that I felt like, 'OK, that was genuinely me.' Those are the moments I will hold onto, and the other moments, I will continue to work to make more 'me.'

“I don't want to be a character. I don't want to be completely put on. Of course, when I'm at home I don't talk like I do on TV all the time. That would be annoying. But I hope people see real passion for Canada and a real sense of, maybe, coaching. I want to get the best out of these racers. And as for the active role I have in the show, where Phil (Keoghan, host of the U.S. version) describes it, I show it. So that inherently always will be me, and it's a fun way to personally participate in these challenges.”

On a patriotic note, Montgomery agrees how incredible it is that our country has the varied geography to accommodate a show such as The Amazing Race Canada, all within its borders.

“The crazy thing about filming the show is, Victoria is home for me now, but when we were out on the East side of the country, and you think about the geography that exists between those two points, I still feel very, very, very much at home,” Montgomery said.

“The attitudes are the same. The accents are different, but the people genuinely feel like Canadian folks, like brothers and sisters. Everything in between, we proudly can call ours. That realization is pretty profound.”

Indeed it is. We're not just happy to see you, Jon Montgomery. We're happy to hear from you, too.

 


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