The Amazing Race: Tony Esparza/CBS
EW Staff
August 04, 2004 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Why we love ”The Amazing Race”’s Charla

WHAT SHE’S DOING Charla and her lawyer cousin Mirna, both 27, make up one of 11 teams that continent-hop against the clock in the hopes of winning $1 million. Challenges have included gobbling down more than two pounds of caviar in Russia and lugging a side of beef a half mile down a road in Uruguay.

WHY SHE’S HOT RIGHT NOW Born with a form of dwarfism, Charla packs a lot of spunk into a small package. Shrugging off competitors’ slights (in Uruguay, one opponent screamed, ”There’s the midget! Go!”), the world traveler, who speaks five languages, has proven that anything her average-size rivals can do, she can probably do better. Even a shock from an electric fence couldn’t slow this gal down.

BREAKOUT MOMENT Realizing that she and Mirna had lugged their side of beef well past their destination, Charla simply turned around and kept walking. Lesser mortals would have sobbed with frustration.

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