Dec 13, 2005

the amazinGrace?

One of the favorite shows at our house is The Amazing Race. If you don’t know the show, it’s typically about two people who have an established relationship (i.e. brother/sister, husband/wife, former couple, etc) who race around the globe, hoping to be first in each leg of a race with a grand prize of a million bucks (before taxes, of course). This season is the “family edition,” with a total of four members from a family doing the same thing.

When the show started out, I found myself rooting for the Weaver Family, comprised of a recent widow and her three kids. During one of the first episodes, they received a map from a stranger and stopped to ask him if he “knew the Lord.” I thought, “Cool! I found my Christian family to root for… and sympathize for, too.”

Because that’s important. (wink)

As the season went on, though, I found myself feeling a bit odd about how this family played the race. I won’t slam them, so I’ll quote Reality TV Magazine who did. (wink, again)

  • The Weaver family continues to trash the other teams while espousing their Christian virtues. Rebecca Weaver explains, “It’s greater to be hated for who you are, then loved for who you are not. We’re being ourselves and we’re being hated for it. Why make these buddy-buddy friends? No, we’re competitors.”

  • On the way to the park, the Weavers take a scenic route by accident, and Rolly Weaver harasses bikers by yelling “you wish you were Lance Armstrong” at them. Realizing they have made a mistake in their route, Rachel Weaver says the “people who win will probably spend it on a new nose and bigger boobs.”


Each episode they complain about the other teams not liking them, and yet they continue to rub their wins (and losses) in the faces of their comptetitors.

Speaking of which, here’s a snapshot of the two families they will play tonight in the final round.

The Linz family is made up of three brothers and a sister. Here's another snapshot from “Reality TV Magazine”:

  • On the way to Moab, the Linz family passes the Weaver family. The Linz’s refer to the Linda Weaver as “the wicked witch of the East” and to her children as “her three little monkeys.” The Linz’s also joke that “someone’s gonna come and drop a house on her head.”

The Bransen family from Park Ridge, Illinois, is made up of a father and his three daughters (with “sweet-as-honey” smiles). The girls once appeared together in a Pert Shampoo commercial and have all attended Hope College in Holland, Michigan (where I now live). Here’s another quick glimpse from the same site:

  • [A] bit of excitement occurs when one of the Bransen girls moons the Linz family. Of course, the actual mooning is blurred out. (CBS has to save something for the uncensored DVD version of the Amazing Race Family Edition.)

So who should we be rooting for tonight?

  • The “Carnal Christians?”
  • The “Sarcastic Siblings?"
  • The “Honey-Mooners?”

I'd like to root for the Christian family, but something within me is struggling. Then again, I have a hard time supporting the other teams, too. Maybe I expect too much from Reality TV and should just pop some popcorn and extend some amazinGrace to each team.

Then again... what would it be like if a camera followed each of us around for 24 hours? Would anyone root for us?

Oh, yeah... Jesus would. Your thoughts?

    "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)


The Cubicle Reverend said...

Yo dude, you are the big winner of the contest and I need your address to send you your prizes. e-mail it to me at

Stevan said...

Tony - I struggled too rooting for the Weaver family. I'm a little worried that our "view" of them was a bit "skewed" by CBS' camera-crews. Every time I got "upset" with them for how they portrayed themselves, I remembered the numerous members of the production crew who "made me upset". I seriously wonder how EACH of the final three teams would be if we had a chance to sit down and chat with them instead of watch 45-minutes a week of their post-produced lives on the Amazing Race.

Thurman8er said...

This was a tough season. I started out on the Weaver's side but became disenchanted. I ended up just rooting for the finish line and that next season would return to pairs.

It was very easy to root for the brothers last season who prayed for the cameraman that was hurt in their accident. To follow up on Stevan's comment, my wife ran into one of the brothers (Greg?) at Dodger Stadium. He was incredibly personable and happy to chat about the show. They didn't win, but they kinda did.

Michael said...

Maybe the best thing in this situation is not to root for anyone. It seems to me that the Weavers are "stereo-typical" christians and since CBS and other media like stereo types the Weavers are perfect for the show in that way. I think the best thing would be just to realize that we dont really need to root for someone. I think CBS is being unresponsible in their potrayal of christians. We all do bad things, I do things that a Buddhist shouldnt do all the time, but when people point them out I try to change becuase a lot of the time I dont even realize that Im doing them. I think the Weaver are just getting caught up in it all and CBS is just really happy with it.

Tony Myles said...

Good points, everyone. You know what's interesting is that they have had a chance to see themselves on TV. I wonder how different our lives would be if we stooped looking at it through our own lens and were able to see it from God's and others'. I'm sure I'd catch stuff from a (camera) angle that I normally miss.

But I suppose that's the ideal plan of the Church and the Holy Spirit... we were not meant to journey alone.