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The Finish Line - December 13

I've been a supporter and fan of The Amazing Race since the beginning. It ranks right behind Survivor as the best adventure game show on television today. It's not hard to see why: you have the physical and mental challenges of Survivor, but the eliminations are based on who can get to the mat first. No amount of politics and deal-making can save your time if you're too slow in finishing a crucial task. I even enjoyed watching the Family Edition, because they did have some interesting challenges.

This past series of The Amazing Race was almost completely unwatchable. Most of that has to do with the casting. I don't understand why the casting directors think that viewers want to see dating, engaged or married couples arguing over what route to take, or whether to jump ship and try the other prong of the Detour. And yet, we continue to get one of these teams every time. This year was no exception.

Our token arguing couple was the excruciating to watch Rob and Kimberly. When Kimberly wasn't whining about how hard the various tasks were, Rob was yelling at his soon-to-be wife to go faster, try harder, and so on. And it got old after the very first episode. It got bad enough that I gave up watching. Just to be clear, one of the show's most vocal supporters gave up after three episodes.

If there was any saving grace, there was the tomato Detour bit on the next-to-last leg where locals threw fully grown tomatoes at teams hunting through a gigantic pile of same while the teams hunted for a clue. Watching Rob throwing tomatoes back at those locals instead of helping his whining girlfriend was a hoot, at least with the sound down. Kimberly's voice was stuck at 11, imploring her lout of a partner to help her instead of focusing on the others. It was a great bit of schadenfreude.

In closing, this was the most uninteresting Race yet; there were no teams I want to root for, on a day and time when I couldn't watch anyway. If the directors are going to pick eleven whining couples, then it's time for Phil to pick up his elimination mat and head back to New Zealand, because the Amazing Race is no longer amazing. It's not even fun.

Travis Eberle can be eliminated and stripped of all money and belongings except for the clothes off his back and his passport by sending an e-mail to


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