• Irina and Dave have become the most controversial contestants on this season of The Amazing Race Canada.
  • Many fans of the show say they have been irritated by the couple's win-at-all-cost attitude.
  • In this exclusive interview, Irina and Dave open up about their experience on the show and their reaction to all the hate.

Irina and Dave are the couple that people won't stop talking about on the Amazing Race Canada. The two met several years ago while Irina, then a dating writer in Montreal, was working on a story about Dave and the pair fell madly in love.

On the show, the two have been causing a lot of controversy. Fans are outraged by the pair's brash, "win-at-all-costs" demeanour. But this kind of backlash does not faze the couple.

"We're racing for a quarter of a million dollars," Dave says matter-of-factly. But, the couple, who have just bought a house in Cyprus, state that they're in it for more than just the money. "When Dave convinced me, it was never about the money," Irina told me.

"It was about the experience, about doing it as a couple. Dave always wanted to be part of the show, and I didn’t want to stop him." The couple says that the main goal is to beat the other teams. "I would have paid for the experience!" Dave confides enthusiastically.

Dave and Irina have indeed been doing everything they can to win. From stealing taxi cabs from competing teams to peeking at their competitor's answers, the two are embracing their team's moto, which is "win at all cost."

Of course, some fans are outraged by this strategy. Dave responds to this outrage by saying "I don’t know at what point Amazing Race became a platform for role models. We're not here to be role models, we're here to win."

"Welcome to the real world," he goes on to say. He adds that he and Irina have never pretended to be anything that they are not. He says that their competitors are putting their best face on for the camera, and that "they're fake, and we're keeping it real."

The two seem genuinely shocked by the backlash that they have received online. "In the heat of the moment, something like stealing a cab doesn't seem like a big deal," Irina says, explaining that both she and her husband have a very competitive nature.

Of course, Irina is no stranger to controversy because of her career as a content creator. Some of her opinion pieces written when she was contributing to MTL Blog sparked controversy in 2015. 

Looking back on those days, she states that "haters are part of the business strategy," and that "if you don’t have haters, you’re not doing something right."

I asked her if her career in media prepared her for the backlash she faces today. She laughed, and said "MTL Blog was worse for the hate comments. At least there are no death threats." She goes on to say that the hate she gets now is nothing compared to what she used to receive.

Despite the backlash, the couple talk about the Amazing Race with passion and excitement. "Dave wants to do it again!" Irina exclaimed.

"I'm convinced that they will call us back for an All-Star season," Dave says, telling me that they have changed the game by playing mind games and getting ahead by whatever means they can. Irina chuckles: "we're being very humble right now."

The couple might not be modest, but they don't have to be: this season, their names are on everyone's lips. 

The Amazing Race Canada airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV, CTV.ca and the CTV app.

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