In the final leg of the race, Jaskirat Dhingra and Anurag Sobti continued to battle through challenges that saw them land in third place behind Ashleigh and Amanda and the winners of Season 2, cowboys Brendon and Jackson.
“For us, it was an emotional high to be able to get to the mat and go, you know what? We finished the race. We did every challenge, we didn’t miss out on any experiences that the race gave us and, more importantly, we gave it everything we could,” Jaskirat told 10 play.
“We never got eliminated,” Anurag added.
Watching their time on the race back as episodes aired, Jaskirat said it was a “surreal” experience to see themselves on TV and to receive an overwhelming amount of support — not just from Australia but worldwide.
“When people look at us, one of the first things they think is Sikhism, there’s no denying that,” Jaskirat added.
“Sikhism is core to who we are, it’s driven our values,” he continued. “For us, to be able to get out there and explain what our identity is to people, and showcase that we may look a little bit different but at the end of the day we’re just Australians who happen to be Sikh.”
Anurag said, since the show began, they’ve been contacted by people around the world saying their time on the series has inspired people young and old.
“We’ve had parents contact us about how their kids feel more confident about going to school and looking different because — not just wearing a turban in general but growing up, if you look different you may think you’re an outlier. This has helped a lot of people out there to connect and to resonate off the fact that if you look different it’s totally fine. Use it to your advantage because you stand out.”
Throughout the race, the duo prioritised a sense of helpfulness and compassion to the other racers. And, despite being a competition, Jaskirat and Anurag fostered strong friendships with many of the teams, leading to the natural formation of an alliance.
“For us, the alliance felt very organic,” Anurag explained. “It was a group of people that got along really well. I think we made lifelong friends there.”
As the race neared the final legs, the teams were hopeful to have a final three made up of teams from the alliance — which they eventually did. Having helped each other and many of the other teams throughout the race, when it came to the final legs it became less about helping each other and more about racing with a sense of mutual respect.
“Being in the top three with the alliance, we knew well and truly that the alliance was off,” Jaskirat said. “We knew that, but we also knew that nobody was going to cheat one another. We may just not help each other, but that’s a level of respect we had between all three teams.”
Anurag added, “We wanted to race around with people that were like-minded. That would race hard but race fair. It’s against teams where — on a day where they’re in front of you — you accept defeat with dignity because you know they beat you fair and square. That’s exactly what we wanted, that’s the kind of racing we wanted to do.”
Not only were the pair in the final with two teams they had become extremely close with during the race, but for the final two legs Jaskirat and Anurag had the home court advantage of being back in Sydney where they both grew up.
“It was a big advantage, but it was also a big driver for us,” Jaskirat said. “In different instances the race would go past our suburbs… after almost two months of being away from family and friends, it was that feeling of being so close yet so far.
“We were going right past our family and friends yet weren’t able to contact them, to see them, and that was an emotional challenge we had to overcome,” he added. “But it’s also what pushed us forward. It reminded us we’ve let go of everything for this moment, let’s give it everything we can now.”