The Zoolander Twins got eliminated on tonight’s Amazing Race 3 episode, missing the route marker before the pitstop while all the other times bicycled their way to the finish line. Virtually all the race was held within Vietnam, and since the flight in was one of those equalizer jobs where no team could gain an advantage, everything hinged on getting around Vietnam successfully. This made for a surprisingly boring episode, as no landmines or Viet Cong made appearances. One wishes that this close to the finale, things would be a little more exciting.

Ian, an utter jerk exhibiting boorish behavior (especially toward his wife Teri) at every opportunity in previous weeks, was painted with a very kind editorial brush this time around. There could be several reasons for this. First and most optimistically, as an ex-Vietnam vet he was able to put the race into its proper context by being reminded of his war experience, and it—relatively—shut him up and put him on best behavior. Another less generous but perhaps more plausible theory is that the show’s editors didn’t want to paint an ex-military guy in Vietnam as a lout (as, again, he’s been every week). I’m not sure why that would be, but maybe they thought it somehow taboo.

Unfortunately, my theory is that Ian and Teri won the Amazing Race and editors are now, in the final weeks, attempting to soften the image of their victor who, heretofore, would be a toss-up with Attilla the Hun as “worst luncheon guest” if you had to choose between the two. Since next week is the two-hour season finale, we’ll know if I’m right soon enough. But I hope to God I’m wrong (even though Teri should be up for sainthood after the abuse she’s endured).

You think I’m exaggerating about Ian’s behavior? Here’s how another reviewer, at, put it:

Ian is a complete a$$hole, a screamer, a bossy horrible cantankerous little man with a propensity for completely inappropriate displays of rah-rah energy, usually achieved at the expense of a large fraction of the tiny reserve of good will that his wife maintains for him. He is a vile, awful human being, and it would sure be cool if this opening shot, of a castle, included him being thrown screaming from one of the ramparts. Alas. Not.

So don’t tell me that I’ve got him pegged wrong. In fact, at this point every decent Amazing Race viewer has got to be cheering the Oh Brother team of Ken and Gerard. They’re reasonably affable and intelligent fellows and seem to be folks with whom you wouldn’t mind doing dinner or going bowling. Now that the Zoolanders are out, there’s really nobody else you can say that about.

Well, OK, Zach might fall into that same category. He’s quite slackerish for my tastes, but he seems a decent enough fellow, and God knows he deserves major props for putting up with Flo, who seems to be now weekly discovering new ways to be incredibly defeatist, negative, weepy, annoying, accusatory, self-absorbed, and condescending. But perhaps I understate. Zach carries this team all by himself, and you almost wish he’d win for the self-restraint he’s shown in not getting himself jailed for felonious assault. Sadly, a win for Zach would also be a win for Flo, and at this point I’d have to say that just the very idea of Flo in the winner’s circle is a crime against God.

We’ll have our answers next Wednesday.