Amazing Race hopefuls already local celebrities

Nick Cundari and Chris Monteleone hope their drive and competitive spirit will help earn them a place on the Amazing Race Canada.

By Jennifer Stahn

Friends Nick Cundari and Chris Monteleone haven't yet got the call saying they will be joining the Amazing Race Canada for filming later this spring, but that hasn't stopped people from detaining them on the streets asking for pictures.

Friends and family treat them as though they've already made it on the show too. The two say really, they have no one to blame but themselves. The longtime friends named their audition video “The Chosen Ones” which may be why some people were confused when the duo tells them they haven't actually been chosen just yet.

The decision to audition for the cross-Canada race came about a month before the casting call closed. Monteleone came across the show's website and a quick call to his best friend asking simply “are you in?” was all it took for the duo to begin their journey. Trusting his friend completely, Cundari didn't even hesitate before saying “yes, of course.”

Asked why they want to join the Amazing Race, rather than say they wanted to travel our great country or maybe spend more time together on the road, Cundari, 28 and Monteleone, 29 said they wanted to race because, "we'd be good at it. We can win."

A competitive drive can be seen in both men – they play soccer on the same team and also enjoy snowboarding. The pair grew up together and while they attended different schools early on their families spent a lot of time together.

“Our grandparents both came from Italy, they worked at CN together,” Monteleone notes, “and can they tell you stories!”

Cundari is the one willing to try anything and Monteleone hopes his friend will be able to take on any height or ocean tasks. Cundari is also open to trying out any food challenges, “I've eaten grasshoppers, many different things on my travels,” though he would draw the line at something like dog, “I have a dog, I wouldn't want to eat one.” While he shouldn't have to worry about a challenge like that in Canada he says he could see producers offering up something like whale blubber.

Monteleone decided to open The Commodore Grand Cafe and Lounge with a friend while he was still in university, something he says was the scariest thing he's ever done. “I put all my savings in to this, didn't know if it would was scary.”

Cundari has travelled around the world as well as spending time in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal and says the first time he decided to travel on his own was the scariest thing he's ever done.

“I grew up in Kamloops. I know everyone. To go off on my own; yeah it was scary,” Cundari says of his first travels. But he lives by the mantra “what have you got to lose?” He approaches much of life that way and is always up for an adventure. Cundari also is a business owner and runs a liquor store in Sun Peaks.

Neither has spent much time travelling Canada and they both look forward to being able to explore the northern and eastern ends of Canada, areas of the country they feel would be more interesting and exciting to explore than the Prairies.

Why should they be chosen? According to the men “we're both Italian, we're both competitive, it would make good TV.” Of course they both acknowledge the producers will know what they are looking for when they go through the thousands of auditions, but hope they stand out.

A quick search of "Amazing Race Canada auditions 2013" on YouTube brings up more than 40,000 videos, but only three teams list Kamloops as their hometown. Monteleone has heard of several other teams from the Kamloops area but is unsure whether they posted videos on YouTube or possibly didn't name their videos as an audition tape for Amazing Race Canada. Applicants chosen for the show will get a call sometime this month and will begin taping later this spring. The show will air this summer on CTV.

To contact the reporter for this story, email or call (250) 819-3723.


Nick Cundari and Chris Monteleone audition for Amazing Race Canada.

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