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A look at this year's 'Amazing Race Canada' contestants

Host Jon Montgomery is shown with the contestants for season four of "The Amazing Race Canada" in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Bell Media *MANDATORY CREDIT*

"I can't believe we're gearing up for a fourth season," says "The Amazing Race Canada" host Jon Montgomery. "If you ever want to have your year fly by, do something that's intense for one month of the year."

One month is how long the former Olympic skeleton champion, as well as the 10 new two-person teams, spent racing around Canada and exotic locations around the world to shoot what's been the most-watched show in Canada over the past three summers.

"The Amazing Race Canada" returns Tuesday on CTV.

Montgomery says his life has definitely changed since he became the host of the series following his Vancouver Olympics triumph.

"I'd say people recognize me more now from hosting the show than for what happened in 2010," he says. It has led to an inspirational-speaking career for the 37-year-old Manitoba-native. He and his wife Darla —also a skeleton athlete — are expecting their first child later this summer.

Executive producer John Brunton praises Montgomery as someone who "defines what our DNA is of the show. You can throw Jon into any situation, he will do anything — jump off bridges, do all this stuff and have a fun time doing it."

Brunton and the other producers look for the same qualities in the people they cast to race in the series.

"Are they root-able?" is Brunton's No. 1 objective. "It's a hero show and you want to be able to root for the people."

His other mantra is "shy doesn't work well on a show like this." Shy would not describe any of the ten new couples who will line up at the starting line, with more women than men in on this year's race. They'll vie for nearly a half million dollars in cash and prizes, with $250,000 going to the winning team. Here's a look at the competitors:

— Kelly Xu and Kate Pan, both 25. The Toronto-based fitness entrepreneurs are the first Asian women's team to run on "The Amazing Race Canada." Both born in China, the peppy business partners call each other "sisters from another mother."

— Rita Yakibonge and Yvette Yakibonge, both 23. These twins come from a large family that hails from the Congo. Born in Montreal and raised in Edmonton, the boisterous Service Canada agents are looking to help their single mom as well as pay off their student loans.

— Jillian MacLaughlin, 30, and Emmett Blois, 28. These two highly competitive Nova Scotia natives met three years ago in the "Big Brother Canada" house. Jillian was the season 1 winner. They used to date each other, but now they're just committed to one thing: winning "The Amazing Race Canada."

— Julie Taylor, 33, and Lowell Taylor, 34. One's a psychologist, the other is a speech pathologist. What sets this likable couple from Lethbridge, Alta., apart is that Lowell is legally blind. His decreasing vision has not stopped him from training for the Rio 2016 Summer Paralympic Games.

— Frankie Gassler, 41, and Amy Gassler, 25. This mother/daughter duo from Aldergrove, B.C., are like the Gilmore Girls plus peroxide. Frankie was just 15 when she became pregnant with Amy. Both in the hair-care business, the two could pass as sisters with Amy really the more grounded of the two.

— Anne Morrone and Tanya Muzzatti, both 40. These peppy single moms from Woodbridge, Ont., have known each other since they were five. Lifelong friends, they've had each other's backs through divorces, deaths and financial hardships. Armed with lucky charms, they want to win for all the moms.

— Stephane Tetreault, 51, and Antoine Tetreault, 25. This father/son team from St. Hubert, Que., had their own personal speed bump to get past when Antoine came out to his family. Now dad is Antoine's greatest supporter. Super competitive, they admit they argue about everything.

— Anthony Limbombe, 21, and Brandon Campeau, 21. These two friends met while working together at a restaurant. Limbombe hails from Windsor, Ont., Campeau from nearby La Salle. Both are well travelled, love sports and music and hate to lose.

— Steph Leclair, 27, and Kristen Mckenzie, 25. These softball stars played for Team Canada. After a long-distance relationship, they've teamed up in Toronto. Both hope to win so they can buy some property together.

— Joel Ground, 42, and Ashley Callingbull, 26. This Cree father/daughter team hail from Enoch, Alta. An actress and activist, Ashley is the reigning Mrs. Universe and can be seen on "Blackstone." Stepdad Joel is an auto mechanic. Both are passionate about First Nation causes.

— Bill Brioux is a freelance TV columnist based in Brampton, Ont.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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