Are you on Charla and Mirna's team? -- Why Josh Wolk thinks you should appreciate ''Amazing Race'''s underdogs

By Josh Wolk
Updated May 04, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

Are you on Charla and Mirna’s team?

These maddening cousins fly through CBS’ Race propelled by a full tank of moral superiority, declaring themselves the only pure-hearted team even as they cajole ticket agents into screwing over competitors. They’re the rare underdogs who make you root for the overdogs.

Every reality show needs a little sprinkle of nutty, and these gals dump the whole bottle. The TiVo instant-replay button was made for moments like the raving Mirna (right) throwing money at a spooked Chilean cabdriver to lead them (”Take all our money, we don’t eat tomorrow!”), or the always-game Charla face-planting in a suit of armor, throwing up her body weight in kielbasa sausage, and heaving a bag of rice into a 500-pound care package.

As actual traveling companions, Team Schmirna would be a nightmare. But as reality TV competitors, they’re sublime. While Eric — who browbeats his ”girlfriend” Danielle in every hemisphere — has been the final three’s ostensible villain, he’s a generic jerk, lacking that X factor of crackpottery. You may not want Team Schmirna to win, but you need their mix of delusion and lunacy to stick around until the final leg to keep this Race interesting.

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