The Canada’s Drag Race queens are relaying across the country as competitors in the newest season of The Amazing Race Canada…
By Bianca Guzzo
Justin and Jermaine love a good competition. You know them as Anastarzia Anaquway and Kimora Amour from seasons one and two of Canada’s Drag Race, but now they’re racing across the country (out of drag) in the newest season of CTV’s The Amazing Race Canada. So far we’ve seen the best friend/drag queen duo take on some pretty intense challenges as they make their way across the country. They’ve raced to make a flight, scaled down the side of a building to retrieve a clue, serve some hot pancakes to a rotation of customers, and the race has just begun.
IN Magazine had the chance to catch up with the racers to ask them a couple questions about what made them want to apply for another reality competition show, and what they learned about themselves along the way.
This isn’t the first time either of you have competed on television. How different was it preparing for The Amazing Race Canada than Canada’s Drag Race?
Jermaine/Anastarzia: It was extremely different preparing for each of the competitions because there was actual preparation that went into Canada’s Drag Race, as opposed to The Amazing Race Canada. For The Amazing Race Canada we literally just showed up!
Justin/Kimora: Yup, I agree. All we had to do was have our climate appropriate clothing and a backpack. That was all we were allowed, so it was a very different experience. But you still want to look cute though!
Were there any similarities to how you prepared mentally to take on a challenge or televised competition between the two shows?
Justin/Kimora: It was very very very different, I think. To be mentally prepared to leap off a building and to be mentally prepared to walk down a runway are two different extremes (laughs).
Jermaine/Anastarzia: Justin is absolutely correct. For me though, when it comes to a competition there is no thinking, there is no thought process at all. There’s a zone that I just enter and I just go for it despite what the challenge may be I don’t think about it…I just GO for it.
What inspired you to apply for this adventure especially after you’ve already competed on a television reality show?
Jermaine/Anastarzia: So, I’ve always been a huge fan of The Amazing Race Canada and The Amazing Race. I never ever ever ever in my life, thought that I would be on the show. The opportunity presented itself in that Justin was on Instagram and he saw that The Amazing Race Canada‘s Instagram profile had posted “we are now casting”, and he tagged me in a comment saying, “Oh girl! Now is the time.” What’s funny is we applied the very last day in the very last hour, so we submitted our audition tape at 11:50-something and we honestly never even expected to hear back from them.
In the first episode you mention that “competition is embedded into your DNA”. How do you think competing as drag queens helped you in what we’ve seen so far on the Amazing Race Canada?
Jermaine/Anastarzia: The thing about competition is…competition is competition. No matter what type of competition, no matter what level of competition, if you have a competitive spirit it will take you through any competition.
Justin/Kimora: For us, I think one of the key things is perseverance. One thing about having that competitive spirit, is that we are often people who have a lot of obstacles in our way but we always persevere to the end of that finish line. So I want to say definitely that competitive spirit… it births perseverance, and that’s kind of what you’ve seen in the first two episodes. When it comes to us, no matter where we are, whether it’s last or whether we’re in first, we are going to persevere and continue to conquer.
What was something you weren’t expecting to gain from this experience?
Jermaine/Anastarzia: The one thing that I wasn’t expecting to gain from this experience was family. I think the entire cast is now so closely knit, it’s not even funny. The way that we love on each other, the way that we all support each other. Not only in the race but now in our everyday lives and it is honestly amazing. I did not expect that because we all come from such different walks of life and such different backgrounds. It is something I am grateful I am walking away from this race with.
Justin/Kimora: I agree. To me, every reality show I have been on, since this is the third one… it has always been a great experience having new family members that join you. It happened with me on Drag Race, and it’s happening now again with The Amazing Race. I’m very very happy to say that the cast has bonded in a way that’s very unique. It’s a trauma bond that all of these reality shows tend to create. But it’s powerful and we are literally just full of love for each other. It’s an amazing experience.
Did you have a strategy before you started and did it have to change at some point in the competition?
Justin/Kimora: Yes, we did have a strategy and it did change because of the people we met and how they played the game.
Jermaine/Anastarzia: Also, I think everyone walks into the race with a strategy. But as you saw with the first two episodes, for instance Ben and Anwar, they both said “oh my goodness. We learned so much on this particular leg, we now have to change up our strategy”, so you go into the race with one mentality, one mind-set, but then you experience it and you say “oh, so that’s not going to work. Ok, we need to come up with a plan C, D, E, F ,G. Maybe even H, I, J, K.”
What was something about the competition that you didn’t anticipate being a challenge until you were doing it?
Justin/Kimora: We knew that it was going to be physical, but I don’t think we realized how mental the race is. I don’t just mean mind over matter, like, actually using your mind to look into things in a different way. Some things are not as serious or as hard as it may come off and it’s really simple, and you overthink things. I realized it’s much more mental than it is physical.
What surprised you about yourself during your time on The Amazing Race Canada?
Jermaine/Anastarzia: Ooh child.
Justin/Kimora: Starzy’s the boss!
Jermaine/Anastarzia: She said ”what surprised you about yourself? Not about me..YOU. You’ve always known I’ve been a boss bitch.
Justin/Kimora: What surprised me about myself wasn’t really a surprise, but it brought out the way I get into my head and I beat myself up a lot. I am very self critical. I am harder on myself than the world is on me. Overcoming that in many different ways was very therapeutic and needed.
Jermaine/Anastarzia: What surprised me about us as a team is that we were not the first to leave because baby, walking into this we were like “we’re here to have some fun and go home first”. When that did not happen it kind of spoke to how we underestimate ourselves. I think we went into this being extremely hard on ourselves and not giving ourselves enough credit.
What do you hope viewers take away from watching you compete on The Amazing Race Canada?
Justin/Kimora: The one thing I can say is, I just want them to take away that anything is possible. You can do anything you set your mind to.
Jermaine/Anastarzia: There is so much that I want the world to take away from this. Your background and where you’re from does not dictate who you are going to be. I was a little gay black boy from a third-world country, The Bahamas. As a child I had huge dreams and there were just no resources to make those dreams a reality. I am now sitting in a first-world country and I am watching so many of the dreams I had as a child come to fruition. The thing I want people to take away is don’t ever accept “no” from anyone for any reason and whatever you set your mind on, the only thing that can prevent you from achieving it is yourself, and to not allow those thoughts to prevent you from reaching the moon.