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Reality Check

By Olivia Leigh in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 9, 2007 9:20PM

Just when we thought we were going to run out of reality shows to cover, the powers that be keep shoving them upon us.

The Amazing Race

ep4.jpgThis Sunday saw the return of the Energizer Bunny of reality series, The Amazing Race. The 12th season premiere had the highest ratings of any other program on Sunday, as 13.8 million viewers tuned in to see 11 teams of globetrotters being shipped off to lovely Shannon, Ireland. They engaged in a series of random challenges including a bizarre high-wire bicycle race (pictured) and donkey wrangling. We're not too optimistic about our chances of having a Chicago winner, as the only local team is Nicolas and Donald, a grandfather and grandson duo. Although they came in fifth place, and as much as we love the story of a dirty old grandpa getting into trouble around the world, the slight tumble gramps took while walking up an Irish cliff made us nervous for future spills we might witness. The team of the conniving Greek twentysomethings, Ari and Staella, surprisingly lost, being the first team to be shipped back to America, as brother and sister team, Azaria and Hendekea, and "dating goths," Kynt and Vxysin (argh, those spellings!), led the pack.

Sunday Best
While we may be lacking in contestants on most shows, Chicagoans can apparently dance circles around other cities' contestants in the gospel singing realm. Hosted by gospel singer and former pr0n addict, Kirk Franklin, and judged by BeBe Winans and the singing group Mary Mary (Beware! Obnoxious site alert!), this week's episode of "Sunday Best" saw three Chicago-area singers advance to the final five. Jermaine Sellers got the "praise party" started, singing a slightly ho-hum rendition of "Oh Happy Day," after taking viewers on a tour of his hometown of Joliet. Far South Side singer, Shari Addison, got high marks for belting out a Jill Scott tune, while the other Chicagoan, Tasha Collins, received praise for signing "Ain't No Stopping Us Now." As much as we'd love for one of these singers to take it home, if we were a betting bunch, we'd put all our money on Tacoma, Wash.'s, Crystal Aikin, who was told: "You just got a whole lot of Campbell's soup on you, 'cause you are mmm-mm good!"

Did we skip your favorite Chicago reality star this week? Email and we'll include 'em next week.