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''Amazing Race'': Finally...

By RD Heldenfels Published: December 13, 2005

At the office today, one of my friends offered an occasional chant of ''no Weavers no Weavers,'' borrowed from the game-show mantra ''no Whammies.'' And, as I've said more than once, I have wanted to cry out ''Down go Weavers.''

I could have said it tonight, but didn't feel the need anymore. My friend's chant worked. The nicer people prevailed on ''Amazing Race'' tonight: The Linz family in first, Bransens second and the Weavers in third. Nor did it appear that the Weavers were greeted with more than polite applause from other competitors, and my wife noted that you didn't see a lot of Weaver-hugging at the end, when the other teams all seemed cordial to each other.

I couldn't be happier with the outcome. What was often a not-great ''Amazing Race'' -- no really exotic locales, a cumbersome four-person team structure -- galvanized viewers like me by making us hate the Weavers.

As much as I disliked Rob & Amber on the last ''Race,'' I disliked the Weavers more. Their prayerful talk was constantly undercut by their nastiness about the other teams, for one thing. (''They give Christians a bad name,'' my office friend said awhile back. She's a churchgoing Christian, too. And so am I.) They were quitters, including on tonight's telecast, when the Weaver mother seemed ready to pack it in long before the race was over. They were smug when ahead, whiny when behind...

You get the point. Even more to the point, it's important to me that nice people win ''The Amazing Race.'' I still like to think of it as the purest of the reality shows, and one that people often seem genuinely happy to be a part of. So I was content with a win by either Team Linz or Team Bransen, since they found the joy in the game -- and bonded with each other. (My wife, on the other hand, rooted for the Linzes from the beginning.) So a one-two Linz-Bransen finish was just fine. (And it was even nicer that the Bransens won the car in that bonus challenge shown online, one that I never would have been able to manage. I doubt I could remember which state was which on the map, let alone put all the icons in the right place.)

I suppose there will be some complaining about the way the Linzes and Bransens shared information while cutting out the Weavers. But I have to wonder if that alliance would have formed if the Weavers hadn't been so hostile and nasty along the way.

The Weavers drove the Linzes and Bransens together (and most likely would have faced some double-teaming no matter who else was competing against them). As I've said before, I hope that when the Weavers look at the tapes of the show, they get a little better idea of how they behaved. And that maybe instead of just talking all that Christian talk, they'll make more of an effort to walk the walk.

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