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3 min

Amazing Race Canada ‘bros’: Ryan Steele and Rob Goddard

‘It’s refreshing that our sexuality isn’t the focal point,’ says Steele

Vancouver personalities Ryan Steele and Rob Goddard are the best-friend beefcakes on this season of The Amazing Race Canada. Shhh — nobody knows they’re gay yet (except all their local fans)! Credit: Amazing Race Canada

“They haven’t outed us yet,” Rob Goddard says. “I think they’re just waiting.”

“It’ll be interesting to see where it goes,” Ryan Steele adds. “They have photos of me in drag from my [Ryan and Amy Show] comedy persona, and also Rob’s Mr Gay Canada platform, so I’m sure that’ll pop up sometime this season.”

For now, best friends Steele and Goddard are being portrayed as the beefcake on Season 2 of The Amazing Race Canada rather than the token gays. Is the show trying to capitalize on their stud status without disappointing female viewers? Are the producers planning to play up the element of surprise? Or is it simply a matter of their homosexuality being irrelevant to the game?

Maybe it’s because this season of The Amazing Race Canada is already gay enough. There are three homo teams competing, including bickering gay couple Rex Harrington and Bob Hope and married lesbian couple Laura Takahashi and Jackie Skinner.

Whatever the reason for Goddard and Steele’s “bro” portrayal, both seem to be enjoying the ambiguity.

“It’s refreshing that our sexuality isn’t the focal point and we’re just being seen as the boys,” Steele says.

Goddard, who works as a bartender at Five Sixty, is getting a kick out of all the straight guys who recognize him from the show and have no idea he’s gay.

“It’s funny working in a hip-hop nightclub,” he says. “All these guys come up to me and say, ‘Oh, you’re that guy from The Amazing Race’ with all this bro energy because we’re being portrayed as these masculine guys — and then they’re going to find out about Mr Gay Canada and all that stuff.”

Not that anyone needs the show to reveal Steel and Goddard’s sexuality. It doesn’t take much digging to discover that they are popular members of Vancouver’s gay community (and if you’ve seen them without their shirts on, you know why). And although their sexuality has yet to come up on TV, it is casually referenced in their online team biography.

The home team is so popular in Vancouver’s gay village that more than 150 people joined them for a screening of the premiere episode of The Amazing Race at The Junction on July 8.

Beneath the duo’s impressive pecs are big hearts and a deep affection for each other. But they insist the affection is strictly platonic because, as Steele puts it, “Rob likes old daddies.”

It’s this solid (and teasing) friendship that got them through the adventure of a lifetime without a single meltdown.

“We didn’t fight once,” Steele says. “We got short with each other when we were in stressful situations, but we didn’t fight. Rob was the one, when I was under pressure or about to freak out, who remained calm and helped me keep it together. I couldn’t have done it with anybody else.”

The two became friends several years ago while working together as bartenders and quickly became workout buddies and even travel partners. Their previous experiences on the road together may have helped them during the race, but surprisingly, the same can’t be said for all that pumped iron.

“We’re active guys,” Steele says. “I run regularly, but that didn’t really help me much. [The game] is much more mental.”

Just ask Goddard, who in the first episode was challenged to memorize and recite a traditional high tea menu at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, a task that took him a few tries to complete.

“I work in the industry having to memorize drinks, so for me to take so long at that…” he says with a laugh. “A lot of people were like, ‘Really, Rob, you should’ve nailed that!’ so that was kind of embarrassing. They just don’t understand the pressure we were under!”

Although they’re under contract to stay tightlipped about their Amazing Race journey until the episodes air, Steele and Goddard hint that there may be more surprises in store for viewers than just their outing.

Asked about the highlight of his experience, Goddard simply says, “Making a comeback . . .”