12 days of reality: Charla and Mirna race around the world

When Charla Faddoul and Mirna Hindoyan were a team on The Amazing Race 5, the show was at its peak, and they were basically a perfect team. They were not the best players, necessarily, especially their first season (they came in sixth during their original season, but improved significantly for all-stars, placing third), but they exemplified what makes (made?) the race so great: two people with a complex, pre-existing relationship navigating a whole lot of challenges.

The two cousins were crafty, had funny observations, said stupid things, and also played the game well, like when they found a flight that left earlier and waited until everyone fell asleep in the airport to sneak on to it. That Charla is a little person was sometimes an added challenge, but nothing that ever impeded them, really. Let’s not forget about that insane footrace with Rob and Amber that was mostly crafted in editing but was still great TV.

The best part about Charla and Mirna was their time on the race was marked with humor, and not just this kind of humor:

They could be annoying, Mirna especially (who could also be mean), but somehow, as a team, they were always fun to watch. Just search YouTube for Charla and Mirna and you’ll see how beloved they are, as they’re the subject of many clips. Here’s a compilation that collects some of their best and worst moments:

The 12 Days of Reality TV (introduction)

  1. Richard Hatch it a tree
  2. Two dog bites in the vagina
  3. Three people fighting on Real World, and “it wasn’t not funny”
  4. Four seasons of The Mole
  5. Five golden vetoes
  6. Six Deadliest Catch seasons
  7. Charla and Mirna race around the world
  8. Joe Millionaire’s slurps, Joe Schmo’s schmo
  9. Bands running on VH1’s Bands on the Run give birth to Magical Elves
  10. Osbournes ham-throwing
  11. Regifting 11 years of reality blurred end-of-year recaps
  12. 12 reader suggestions, from Erik giving up immunity to The Real World’s Pedro

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.