The Amazing Race: Why I Wanted Margarita to Winby Beth Blakely -- 07/10/2002
When you’re done reading this article, make sure to check out its companion article written by Stacey Allison: Who Really ‘Deserves’ the Million Dollars?.
The Amazing Race is over, but what a ride. The RealityNewsOnline writers exchanged a frenzy of e-mails discussing the victory of lawyers Rob and Brennan over separated couple Frank and Margarita and the evil Team Guido.
One note from fellow RNO writer Stacey Allison caught my attention. She said that she enjoyed watching Frank and Margarita congratulating themselves on their brilliance while she already knew they had lost.
It was like a dagger to my heart. I had been rooting for Frank and Margarita and found it painful to watch the excitement on Margarita's face as she headed toward the finish line. I had hoped Frank and Margarita would win because I wanted their child to have a college fund. While I thought Rob and Brennan were great guys who played hard—and with respect and dignity—I just didn't connect with them.
As a mother, I could feel the pain and anticipation Margarita felt when she said, "My daughter is six blocks away!" I could taste the victory she so desperately wanted because I know what a million dollars would do for my family.
Stacey's response is a well thought out, rational point of view: Rob and Brennan deserved to win. They played the game better, and their behavior was impeccable. She's right.
So why did I still feel bad that Frank and Margarita didn't win? After I examined my feelings, I realized it was because in many ways I identified with Margarita. In fact, I don’t even like Frank. He was horribly verbally abusive to Margarita throughout the journey, and I hope she realizes it when she watches the show.
I realized I wasn't really rooting for Frank and Margarita at all. I was rooting for myself! I could relate to Margarita's struggle to win, win, win for the good of her family. In my mind, I could see Margarita’s future as a single mother raising her daughter. I wanted her to have the prize money to help her in the aftermath.
As I thought about contestants from other shows that I'd cheered—Kelly Wigglesworth for example—I realized that it wasn't so much the contestants that I liked but how they reminded me of myself.
Isn’t that why we all watch reality TV? We want to connect with other people in this life? Because we want to compare what we think we’d do in these situations?
Oh yeah, that and the fact that we’re all a bunch of voyeurs.
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