Friday, May 19, 2006

Hippies in Heaven

Yay! California friends, Harvard grad BJ Averell, 26, an on-line tutor, and Stanford grad Tyler MacNiven, 25, a filmmaker, narrowly beat Jeremy Ryan and Eric Sanchez, in the $1 million US race around the world on CBS’ “Amazing Race.” Between the two of them, they speak 36 languages. The race, which covered 60,000 miles, actually ended five months ago. The winners had to keep their big win ($1 million) a secret from everyone, including their families.

"I think that on this race, being cerebral or being intelligent doesn't help as much being in the moment and being aware of what's happening around you, and it's just great to stay positive and just really enjoy each other's company, and our friendship is what got us through it," Averell said.

Third placers Ray and Yolanda had news, too.

Ray shocked Yolanda by proposing, live, on his knees, in the plaza on GMA Thursday.

"I think the race was, I mean, it was a once in a lifetime experience," Ray said, "and I mean, you got to hang out with hippies and frat boys but, most of all, sharing the race with Yolanda. It was something that was special. I would have not been here if it wasn't for you and you're like everything I've dreamed of my whole life. Will you marry me?"

With onlookers cheering wildly, she said yes, tears streaming down her face.

Everybody then had cake and toasted the thrilled couple.

Science teacher Yolanda Brown-Moore, 27, and attorney Ray Whitty, 31, both of Chicago, were dating when "Race" was taped.

It's not often when we actually cheer and clap at the television, but we sure did when BJ and Tyler won.

Note: Throughout the exciting race, we speculated on Eric's and Jeremy's supposed "girl crazy" ways. It often rang false -- and seemed inorganic when they'd constantly be making comments about "the ladies." In reality, they really did seem more like what Ray dubbed them "the Frat girls." They just seemed to us to be more of a couple than, say, Ray and Yolanda, even. So, when the final challenge happened and an excited Jeremy kept calling Eric "baby" in an unselfconscious affectionate way, that seemed to reveal more about their true relationship than their supposed "lady"-killer reputation. So come on guys, come out! No one will like you any less if you just do it. We're not being haters. Just don't be fakers.