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Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Into the Lead on 'Amazing Race'
Last night, the happy hippie duo with Collingswood's BJ Averell, hustled their orange pants into first place on CBS's Amazing Race. Told they'd won a computer, a printer and other goodies, they enthused: "Wow! Digital imaging!" Team Lothario, finishing second, got upset: "Dang it! We gotta beat those hippies. Dang!" BJ and Tyler (not to be confused with basketball's BJ Tyler) have also been winning hearts, displaying both crazy antics and good sportsmanship. This week, killing time at an airport, they created a wheelchair slalom course, weaving around metal poles. One poster on a message board commented about last week's show: "Breaking bottles over the partners' heads when the cookoo cookooed was so funny. Plus the oompah band added to the fun." Another fan noted how a bearded old gent greeted the guys after they walked backwards to the finish line: "I was sooo waiting for someone to comment that the dude looked like a travelocity gnome, so when BJ called him Santa it gave me gigglepants. I love those two." When the sponsor's gnomes were part of a challenge, Tyler said they named theirs Chomsky. (Allusion to some guy born in Philly.) "Whhhhhhoooooooaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!! COLLS POWER! great win" is a message at a myspace site for Averell, Collingswood High valedictorian in 1998. His greatest prior claim to fame was sneaking onto a plane and getting arrested, after his seat was given to someone flying standby. A Harvard Crimson profile, dubbing him "a one-man circus," mentioned his doing a comic strip, staging magic shows for nursing homes, performing with improv troupe On Thin Ice, and "running naked through the Yard during Primal Scream." Tyler, a.k.a. "Kintaro," once walked the length of Japan to impress a woman and made a movie about it. No question they provide much needed comic relief from the show's surfeit of explanations and breathless exasperations. Find out more, see assorted clips, at the Amazing Race website.