Amazing Hippies Make Bucks, Not War!

Amazing Race 9 winners BJ Averell and Tyler MacNiven

Brains beat brawn when BJ Averell and Tyler MacNiven won the $1 million prize in The Amazing Race 9. But it turns out the close friends' fun-loving hippie image almost did them in — off camera. How? Read on. We never really saw you guys having to go through customs, but you obviously had to. Did you ever get delayed?Tyler MacNiven: In Japan we got held up in customs because we fit the hippie stereotype. Often you'll have hippie guys try to smuggle in drugs because they're very hard to get in Japan. In customs there we had to go into this backroom to get strip-searched — and it was all in Japanese, like some movie where these officers were getting us naked and going through our bags.BJ Averell: Dogs were sniffing through our bags. Tyler: That read more

Hello Matt. I like your ...

Question: Hello Matt. I like your column and hope you will print this question. I have been a huge fan of Amazing Race since about a quarter into its second season (I believe that was the one with Danny and Oswald, still my favorite AR team of all time). I know the family edition was uneven, but I fear the events of the May 3 episode might prove to be the show's undoing. What Eric and Jeremy did, canceling the cabs of both B.J. and Tyler and Ray and Yolanda, was so over the line in terms of sportsmanship and deception that it left me thoroughly disgusted. Furthermore, Joseph and Monica are fast becoming one of the most loathsome teams ever on the show (although I don't think anyone can top Jonathan and Victoria). They were all too happy to look the other way at the Frat Boys' slimy tactics, and then they have the nerve to whine and complain when the Hippies yielded them?!! I have never seen the show get this nasty and unpleasant, even during the Rob and Amber season. I was so angry ... read more

Amazing Race 9 You could argue...

Amazing Race 9You could argue that Eric and Jeremy and B.J. and Tyler are having fun because they're winning, but I think they're actually winning because they're having fun. Doing silly things like walking onto the mat backwards, flirting with the locals and having wheelchair obstacle-course races makes them relaxed and more capable of making decisions and following directions. Meanwhile, if Lake would just stop ordering Michelle around and cursing about the other teams, they might stop making dumb mistakes. Fran is my new hero for telling Lake to "Please, step back" at the ticket counter. Maybe the agents in Munich also hated the nasty dentist, since they so readily told everyone but them about the faster connection read more

Amazing Race 9 If we did some...

Amazing Race 9If we did some sort of analysis of all the Races' results, which would turn out to be the biggest factor in determining winners and losers: uncooperative airline-ticket agents, taxi drivers' senses of direction or contestants' ability to read a map? In this leg of the race, it really looked like the former two would be the undoing of someone, between the cabdrivers who couldn't find the trolley park and the two separate Russian ticket agents who refused to issue tickets just seconds after another team had bought some. But things nearly evened out again at the Mercedes-Benz test track. Who else was disappointed that the racers themselves didn't have to drive on it? I guess even Jerry Bruckheimer doesn't have that kind of insurance. Interest read more

The Amazing Race Tonight's episode...

The Amazing RaceTonight's episode was brought to you by Acme Climbing Ropes. Why else would they be rappelling down a building and climbing up a waterfall in the same day? Also, what's up with these mornings when everyone is assigned different start times but then the place doesn't open until after everyone gets there? It's a cheap way to squeeze some suspense out of another cab ride. I'm glad they got out of São Paolo early on. Last week's helicopter ride was pretty, but it sure doesn't have much else in the way of telegenic tourist attractions. I'm guessing that the partnership of Eric and Jeremy and BJ and Tyler will last as long as they stay at the front of the pack, but the minute they're in jeopardy, it's history. Eric and Jeremy read more

The Amazing Race Whew! Two hours...

The Amazing Race Whew! Two hours and 11 teams to discuss in my first crack at covering TAR — I think I need a bit of that Race fuel hippie boys B.J. and Tyler were running on. It's time to erase the awful memory of the way-less-than-Amazing family edition and fasten our seatbelts. And in the spirit of Sunday's Oscars, I'm going to hand out some awards here. The aforementioned shaggy duo get Best Narrators for naming "Barbie and Ken" (Monica and Joseph) and the "Double D's," for actually learning a few Portuguese phrases, and for coming up with the best metaphor for their pit-stop anxiety: "clawing at our teeth." They just barely beat out leg-wrestling "Glamazons" Lisa and Joni. I can't tell those two apart read more


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