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CBS took another major blow this week. No, Rob Lowe did not back out of his oh-so-snappy Dr. Vegas commitment – although that would be appreciated (“What goes on in Vegas really does stay in Vegas” – WE GET IT). CBS suffered the loss of not one but two of its reality stars this week. First slithery Jase exited Big Brother, and then tonight beloved (and reviled) cousins Charla and Mirna got the boot on another exceptional episode of The Amazing Race 5. I must admit that despite the gals’ abrasive nature and manipulative ways, I enjoyed their tenure on the race. Granted, they’re no Bowling Moms, but at least they had spunk. Obnoxious, fake-accented spunk.I suppose we knew things would be tough for the cousins when opening the leg’s first clue proved to be more challenging than any Detour. After clawing the paper apart, Charla and Mirna proceeded to the airport where they engaged in a Battle Royale with their rivals, Colin and Christie. Round One occurred at the terminal entrance where Christie obstinately blocked the doorway to keep the pesky cousins away. Ah hah! Now no one will be able to enter the airport! The formidable stature and massive girth of Christie shall keep all seekers at the threshold! Except, of course, Charla who effortlessly slipped under Christie’s arm and scampered towards the ticket counter. Okay, well, maybe Christie’s plan wasn’t entirely Little People proof, but that’s alright. Had she stood there any longer, the authorities probably would have thought she was a terrorist – a very pretty, submissive terrorist.
In the terminal, during the usual ticket-buying melee, teams split into two groups: the Colin fans and the Mirna fans – which really only consisted of the Bowling Moms. While Colin’s crew wasted time booking roundabout flights to Kenya, Mirna et al. snuck into Gulf Air’s offices and found an earlier flight to Nairobi. Of course, this purchasing called for Mirna and Charla’s expert language skills. Once again, they trilled their R’s as if that would somehow make the Egyptian travel agent more fluent in English. “We found flight to Nairrrrobi. We arrrive at six thirty” said Mirna as if she had just enrolled in English as a Second Language class. The oddest part though was that she was talking to the camera, not the agent. We understand you just fine, Mirna. Or should I say, “We… underrrrstand… you. Belissimo!”
As the cousins booked their tickets, they tried their best to hide out from the Colin gang. Amazingly, they were found. Maybe next time they should make sure the camera crew isn’t ambling around outside the airline office. Mirna for once broke into a real life second language and told the agent not to sell tickets to Colin and the rest of his posse. As if that would work. I can just imagine the agent facing Colin, Christie, Chip, Kim, Kami, Karli, Brandon and Nicole and saying “I know you people want to make last minute purchases that would bring thousands of dollars into the airline, but the little woman and her keeper forbade me. I fear their wrath!”
Of course everyone wound up on the same flight, and eventually, after some layover craziness, all teams reached Kenya where they hopped on terrifying puddle jumpers and zipped over to Kilimanjaro. Upon spying a rainbow, Nicole commented that “it was a sign of God’s promise.” Similarly, Brandon’s hair is a sign of God’s cruel humor.
Upon landing in the hardcore Third World, local bus drivers extorted hundreds of dollars out of the dating/models as well as the increasingly shrill duo of Kami and Karli. To make matters worse, their bus broke down, causing Brandon and Nicole to rely on their standard religious tools: turning water into whine. The two moped and whined, not even bothering with plaintive calls of “Babyâ€¦”
The various busloads of people made it to their destination town where they all opted to deliver chairs to households as part of the Detour. The twins, in their silly move of the week, grabbed the large cart and pushed it through the mud, even though it was clearly designed for pulling. I guess we just have to accept that logic will never be a reality for these two.
The teams were fairly scattered throughout the Detour, but another food Roadblock served as the great equalizer. One team member had to chow down on an ostrich egg, which is about the equivalent of twenty four ” yes, twenty four ” regular chicken eggs. Christie, who suffered through caviar hell a few episodes ago, exacted sweet revenge on Colin by forcing him to down the offensive ostrich “abortion” as Ariel from Amish In The City would call it. Of course, half the challenge for Colin wasn’t just eating the damn egg but not spilling it everywhere in the process. This guy must have gone through three or four eggs before he found one he was able to not splash on the ground. At various times, I thought he was going to pull out a knife and shiv the old guy running the challenge. Luckily, Colin managed to bottle up his rage and save it for a later date when it might be more useful to him, you know, like right before he chops Christy up into bits and pieces and scatters her across the Serengeti.
The roadblock progressed similarly to the caviar mission. Chip inhaled his scrambled eggs, the twins went into convulsions, and Mirna forced Charla to consume all the food. Afterwards, teams had to take a zip line across a magnificent gorge in order to reach an expectant Phil Koegan at the finish line. Quite honestly, I’m surprised none of these contestants let loose a steady stream of ostrich vomit on the ground below. That would have been quite the site. Grossest zipline EVER.
In the end, Chip, the self-anointed “Michael Jordon of food competitions”, led his team to first place victory while Mirna and Charla placed last. I guess that will happen when you force a dwarf to eat an unimagineable amount of eggs. Charla delivered a teary, if not cheesy, speech about proving herself and having to defy expectations and yada yada yada. Amazingly, Phil Koegan’s normally statuesque faÃ§ade crumbled as some odd semblance of emotion took over his body. At first glance it seemed as though he was choking up over Charla’s final words, but a quick replay on the Tivo revealed that he might have actually been suppressing a laugh. I don’t know what it was, but last week Phil had to walk out onto the course, and this week he was making ambiguous displays of emotion. Has Phil cracked? Has life without the turtleneck caused him to completely lose it? Nah. He’s probably just crying at the thought of egg farts stinking up the Pitstop. Paging el doctoro!