Jermaine Aranha and Justin Baird, Drag Race stars turned Amazing Race Canada competitors, may have ultimately faced elimination, but just being on the show was a "win" for the team and fans of the series.
"We made people laugh. We made people think. We made people cry. We upset the living daylights out of some people and in the end, we also inspired some people," Aranha told Yahoo Canada. "That is an amazing team. Forget winning, we won by just being on the show."
The electric energy between Aranha and Baird was certainly a highlight of Season 9 of The Amazing Race Canada, but the big question after last week's episode was why none of the teams decided to use the Double Pass to try to beat out their competition.
"I think everyone's putting too much weight on this Double Pass situation," Aranha said. "It literally was a game move that everybody chose not to use. That should tell everyone something."
"Every team was just on top of each other that it absolutely made no sense whatsoever to even consider using it because literally, you're looking at the other teams. ... The race was too close that it would make no sense."
Looking back on their time in the race overall, after dodging elimination earlier on in the competition as well, Baird and Aranha don't regret how they tackled the race. But Baird did identify that they fell into the trap of overthinking things at times.
"We thought too heavily on things," Baird said. "We were always thinking that it was grander than what it was"
"Sometimes the most simplest thing is the most easiest thing. ... Just like in life, sometimes we make things too difficult on ourselves and we just have to focus on some of the smaller things, and just have a little fun with it."
Aranha stressed that he's a big believer in the saying, "everything in life happens for a reason."
"With this mentality, I would change absolutely nothing that we did," Aranha said.
"Looking back at it, we could see some things where if this had happened differently, we would have gone further. Yes. But fate and destiny is saying that this 'no' that we got on The Amazing Race Canada, it is preparing us and it is setting us up for a huge and even more amazing 'yes.'"
'I don't think I was the best friend possible'
Time and time again on Amazing Race Canada, we hear that teamwork can really make or break a team's performance in the competition. Both Aranha and Baird agree that being on the show "tested" their friendship and provided an opportunity for them to learn more about each other.
"One thing that happened, especially in leg number three, for Episode 3, me saying 'no' to something and going through that and actually having conversations about how I felt about the situation, about me feeling like I was a failure," Baird said.
"Going from that moment and understanding that, OK we got the blessing to continue on, so from this point on, we just keep going. We treat this race like how we treat life. There is no giving up. We just keep plowing forward no matter what."
In Episode 3 of the show, Aranha and Baird came in last in a non-elimination leg of the competition, which allowed them to continue on in the race. Earlier on in that episode was the Whistler, B.C., bungee jumping competition where the team took a penalty after Baird felt too "out of control" in the challenge to participate.
Aranha identified that being on the show and working with Baird as a partner allowed him to learn more about himself.
"I don't think I was the best friend possible and that is because I was in race mode," Aranha said. "I do not think I supported Justin the way a true friend should have and I'm going to be 100 per cent transparent."
"When he went through that, I did not see the human aspect of it. I didn't see him as a human, I saw him as a teammate that needed to do what I told him to do. ... It changed me somewhat as a human, I'll be honest."
'Slow and steady, and a great set of intelligent minds, can win this race'
Now that they've been eliminated from the race, Aranha and Baird have some thoughts on who they want to see make it to the end.
"The team that I am now rooting for is Deven [Condo-Mitchell] and Amanda [Larocque]. All the way, 120 per cent," Aranha said. "I hope Ben [Chutta] and Anwar [Ahmed] do not win."
Recognizing that many Canadians on social media have been rooting for Ty Smith and Kat Kastner, Baird identified that Smith and Kastner's "innocence" is appealing to Canadians.
"When I say innocence I mean they are just two people who just simply love each other," Baird explained.
"[Ty] has been through a huge life changing experience. To be able to transition from something that is that traumatic and still come out on top of things is a testament to who he is as an individual."
For any Canadians at home thinking about maybe trying their luck on Amazing Race Canada, both Aranha and Baird say you just have to take the plunge and apply.
"I don't think a lot of people realize how short life really is," Aranha said.
"We spend way too much time considering, contemplating and thinking. Stop all of this thinking. ... Put your applications in and stop all this talking.
"Don't think fitness is a precursor," Baird added. "We are heavily figured individuals and we made it extremely far."
"We are extremely proud. We proved that slow and steady, and a great set of intelligent minds, can win this race."