I love The Amazing Race. Like Survivor, it's a well edited show. And even more than Survivor, it enables us to indulge our base desire to watch people in all their awfulness.

This season has been blessed with a truly hideous couple, Jonathan and Victoria. They're billed as "entrepreneurs", always a bad sign. Jonathan is actively abusive, belittling and physically hurting his wife. And Victoria is whiny and useless, although she gives the abuse right back. It's hideous and hysterical and entertaining all at once.

Of course these portrayals are fiction. The situation is artificial and the reality is heavily filtered through the editing process. Only it turns out that in real life, they're just as awful! Yes, Jonathan and Victoria have a web site. And while they were nasty and mean on the show, in real life they're SoCal nightmares.

Jonathan runs a day spa that "creates the physical manifestation of an epiphany". But really he's a film maker. Victoria is a Playboy model (NSFW). But really she's an artist, making paintings of Beanie Babies. From the bios we learn that Jonathan's favourite colours are "wheat and hunter green" and the question he's asked most is "are you really 42 or 24?". Victoria's ideal date is "sushi, sex, and starbucks" and thinks "the secret to success is always choosing the same thing". Remember, they chose to write these things about themselves. No editors.

This is the joy of reality TV: you can't make this stuff up. On the TV show they're awful and abusive, caricatures of aggressive entrepreneurship. And on their web site they're awful and self indulgent, caricatures of SoCal sybarisis. I give them credit, they've constructed an amazing image.

  2005-01-20 17:32 Z