''The Amazing Race'': The cousins are out in Africa
Nothing could prepare me for the blunt-force trauma of last night's episode. How can the world be so heartless as to let Charla and Mirna fail while the true incarnations of evil, Colin and Christie, push on? Despite this travesty of justice, there were a few calming moments, some of which led me to tears, as we'll see later.
Fun always ensues when there's an all-team pileup at the airport, because chaos always ensues. Without these great traffic jams, we wouldn't get to see Colin's ''Scowl of Death,'' which he produced more than a few times last night, and Christie's ''Bitch Blocker,'' when she stood in an airport door to keep Mirna and Charla from passing. (She should patent that move.) Nor would we have heard Mirna telling the Gulf Air agent to ''not help these Americans'' or one of the blunder twins, Kami and Karli, calling Colin ''an idiot.''
But let us revisit, for a moment, Christie's ''Bitch Blocker,'' for it is something that should go down in TV history. Yes, this is a race; yes, it should be competitive; but Lord almighty, must we act like five-year-olds? She had no reason to block the door -- are three seconds going to make a big difference? Mirna was even polite, saying, ''Excuse me.'' While Mirna tried to push her way through, Charla scooted under Christie's arm. Mirna's eventual ''Bitch, move out of the way'' was quite warranted.
And that wasn't the only time this episode when Colin and Christie lost it. (Let's face it: They seem to lose it every week.) They couldn't even get through the Roadblock, eating a scrambled ostrich egg, without freaking out. While Colin was trying to pass off his bowl as full even though some egg had spilled out (scooping albumen off the mat afterward was just gross), Christie was yelling at him, like a good partner should.
At least there are a few teams that are actually thankful and loving every minute of the race, with all of its ups and downs. No, I'm not referring to Brandon and Nicole, the flighty, self-serving Christians. ''Oh my gosh,'' said Nicole upon seeing a rainbow. ''It's a symbol of God's promise.'' Thank you, Nic. Now can you please keep up with Brandon? You are in a race -- did you forget? Did God not send you that memo?
I'm referring to the married Chip and Kim and the always adorable Bowling Moms, Linda and Karen. Chip and Kim are reveling in every moment they have in Africa. And why wouldn't they? Last week they called it the ''motherland,'' and this week Kim said she had wanted to go since she was little for its history and heritage. Did you notice how they got the royal treatment from the locals? Everyone was helping them. When they were delivering their chairs in the ''Busy'' Detour, they had countless townspeople pulling their cart for them and telling them where to go -- contrary to the other teams, which received little assistance.
When Chip and Kim arrived at their drop-off point, the reception was touching, for me at least. Why? Having lived in Nairobi, I recognized the genuine look of appreciation on the faces of the locals. When people have nothing and are content with their lives, you realize something about your own life. Chip and Kim must have seen this as well, and that's probably why they took time out to sit with the family to whom they delivered the chairs and eat some melon.
The Bowling Moms have also taken their predicaments in stride. They've been last, or near it, almost the whole race, but they always have smiles on their faces. And their chipper attitude is pulling them through. They even bashed on Colin when he was gagging on his Roadblock meal, and that doesn't seem to be in their child-rearing style. ''Colin's acting like a baby. It's an egg, for crying out loud.'' Tell it like it is, Moms!
Unfortunately no one chose to do the ''Buzzing'' Detour, so we didn't get to see Charla in a beekeeper's outfit, but we did get to see her chow down on her giant egg. Once again, Mirna pushed the eating task on her cousin. Bad move.
Of course, in ''The Amazing Race,'' you never know how things are going to end up. Alas, it was time for the darlings (or the heathens, depending on how you see them), Charla and Mirna, to bid us adieu. ''I just wanted to prove to the world how much I can do,'' said Charla. ''And it's not easy when there's so much pointing down at you and always people thinking that you can't do it and you have to work extra hard to do it.'' She got choked up saying these words, as did Phil when he told her, ''You have an amazing spirit.''
What do you think? Will the race be the same without Charla and Mirna?