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Take My Million Dollars... Please! - May 31

Winning the top prize on any adventure game show is a big deal. To win, a champion must beat out a dozen or more other contenders, all of whom want that grand prize just as much. Sometimes it takes mental agility, sometimes it takes physical ability, but in almost every case, the big winner at the end is deserving of the title "Grand Champion." This years winners of The Amazing Race 9 do not fall under that bill.

By all rights, BJ Averell and Tyler MacNiven should never have had a sniff at the grand prize. At several key points in the race, their opposition could have, and should have put them away. A new rule on The Race is that if you show up last on a non-elimination leg, you are forced to give up everything except the clothes on your back and a passport for further travel. That team is already not getting any money for the next leg of the race, and a team that is bankrupted in this fashion can easily be put away and out of contention. That is, unless the other teams have a heart.

At one of those checkpoints, BJ and Tyler arrived without shoes. I don't know how that happened, but it did. They showed up at the Pit Stop mat with no shoes. Possibly they thought the shoes would be an encumbrance in a sprint to the finish, I don't know. They were bankrupted and sent on their merry way twelve hours later. Rather than doing the Nelson point-and-laugh, two other teams gave the lagging BJ and Tyler shoes. That was a huge mistake. Why?

You cannot enter an international airport without shoes.

That's right. BJ and Tyler would have had to beg for cash because they don't have any, then buy shoes, and by that time they're already way behind. I don't care that you want to be friends after the race. This is a competition with $1 million on the line, and while I wouldn't out-and-out cheat to win, I certainly wouldn't help to lift up some of my competitors.

Eric and Jeremy then complained during the final Road Block challenge about the hippies being smarter than them. That may be true, but the only reason the bearded pair were still in the realm of competition was that both Eric & Jeremy and Ray & Yolanda put themselves out to give another team a sporting chance.

Let this be a lesson, kids. If you're ever on an adventure show, and have a chance to twist the knife a bit harder, go for it. You may never get another chance, and the person you don't screw might screw you in the end after all. 

Travis Eberle has done more than his fair share of globe-hopping. E-mail him to ask questions about that, or how cruel a guy he really is at


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