Monday, November 26, 2007

That’s What I Call Reality

After about Season 2 or 3, every reality show settles into a predictable pattern. “The Amazing Race,” Emmy-winner though it may be, is no exception.

That’s what made last night’s episode so shocking. Kudos to the producers for resisting the, um, urge to leak the scene in promo ads.

I’m not talking about the introduction of “The Yield,” which is basically a “U-Turn” in fancier clothes. No, I’m talking about the moment when one of the racers, Hendekea, stopped to pee. Absolutely unexpected. Totally unprecedented.

I’ve been a fan of this show since it first aired and this question has stumped me for years, even more so than “Why must all dating couples refer to one another as ‘Baby’?” You know, you see contestants carrying around giant containers of bottled water, and then getting in taxi cabs to drive 100 miles to the next challenge, and no one ever has to relieve their bladder. It was uncanny, I tell you, and ironic for a show that so prominently features the words “pit stop.”

So my hat’s off to Hendekea for solving one of the great mysteries of the modern age—yes, Amazing Racers answer to the same bodily functions as the rest of us; yes, there are public toilets in African villages. Whether they’re well-stocked with toilet paper is still up for debate.

While we’re on the subject of Hendekea, can someone, preferably her partner and brother Azaria, tell me why the girl doesn’t have a nickname? In my family, we don’t even have the energy for Holly, which we shorten to Hol. What kind of brother spends his life grappling with four, count ‘em four, syllables every time he wants to get his sister’s attention, when he could have easily spent his youth taunting her with “Dek.”

There’s something wrong with these two. But thanks to Hendy’s detour, at least we know they’re human.


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