Friends of 35 years apply for The Great Amazing Race Canada
Those who have visited St. Stephen in the last month may have had the privilege of meeting “flat Nancy.”
“Flat Nancy” is a hand held cardboard cutout of Nancy McCallum, made by friend Kelly Caldwell.
Laughing, Caldwell introduces “Flat Nancy” and sets her on her kitchen table, while she speaks to McCallum on FaceTime, and explains the reasoning behind making the cutout of her friend.
Caldwell, of St. Stephen, and McCallum, of Calgary (native of St. Stephen), have applied for The Amazing Race Canada.
For the application process, the two are required to make a three minute video together – which becomes difficult with the distance between them.
The show is adapted from an American version; contestants, teams of two, travel across Canada and the world to complete challenges. The team that completes all of the challenges without being eliminated is named the winner.
The two, who have been friends for 35 years – brought together in elementary school for their love of Snoopy – finish each other’s sentences, and are such good friends, Caldwell even refers to McCallum as her soul mate.
As a long time viewer of The Amazing Race, Caldwell explains she felt she could compete on the show.
“I always thought to myself ‘I could win that, but I could only win it if I was with Nancy’,” she says, and adds she mentioned the idea to McCallum in a text.
McCallum adds she agreed with Caldwell right away.
“I said, ‘yeah, for sure we could’,” when Caldwell brought the idea to her.
Caldwell says the thought of being a strong competitor on the show “has a lot to do with our personalities.”
“We’ve had a lot of life lessons together; good, bad, indifferent,” Caldwell says, while adding their personalities are “totally different.”
“She makes me more comfortable and helps me be more easy-going and loosens me up a bit. We feed off of each other because we know one another’s differences,” Caldwell explains.
“There’s so much of us that are compatible too, and I think that’s what the show needs. There’s a lot of challenges and you’ve got to be able to work with someone that can calm you down when they’re hyped up. We both felt we could do it.”
This is the second time the two have applied to participate on the show. They also sent an application for the show’s fourth season.
“We figure if we keep trying, eventually they’ll feel sorry for us,” Caldwell says, and although the FaceTime video of McCallum occasionally lags, the two laugh in unison.
Though the video the two created is top secret, Caldwell and McCallum explain they wanted to focus on community spirit.
Caldwell took several photos around the community with “flat Nancy” and other notables of the community – the Great Chocolate Mousse, Mayor Allan MacEachern, the members of Aces who are from St. Stephen (Ricky Young and Mitchell Arseneau), Santa Claus at the Garcelon Civic Center, amongst several others.
The two explain they hope the distance between them will give their application an edge – Caldwell says there has yet to be a team on the show from two different places.
“We’ve got all of Canada voting for us – we’ve got the west side and the east side, so we tried to emphasize that we’ll have all of Canada behind us.”
The deadline for the applications was Dec. 1. Caldwell says applicants are not notified if they don’t make it to the next stage of the process.
“If you don’t get on it, you have to read it on their Facebook page that they’ve selected their contestants, so we don’t have a time limit on when we’ll know for sure.”
Thinking about the chance they would be chosen to participate on the show, the two agree they feel as though they could be competitive amongst the other teams.
“We plan on being ruthless,” Caldwell says. “We may seem like we’re going to be nice and stuff, but we’re not, are we Nancy?” Caldwell looks to McCallum on the screen of her tablet.
“We’ll find a balance,” McCallum replies, and the two laugh.
This, Caldwell says, is the perfect example of how the two personalities complement each other.
“She’ll haul me back in,” Caldwell says, and they laugh again.
McCallum explains that the creation of the video took a few weeks to complete, with the preparation and filming, but adds she was pleased with the strong support from the community.
“[Caldwell] took pictures with a lot of different people that were willing to stand up and say, ‘yeah we’d like to see you on there’, so for me it’s a thank you for the support that we always get.
“Even though I’m in Calgary, when you grow up in a small town, it creates the morals and ethics you have when you move forward, regardless of where you are.”
Though joking, McCallum shows she may have a competitive edge after all.
“Don’t anybody get any ideas, don’t be starting to apply now,” McCallum jests.
With an infectious laugh, Caldwell adds, “This is our gig, eh?”