The Amazing Race: Poker Babes Flirt With Two Gay Men

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The Amazing Race

Josh Wolk of Entertainment Weekly breaks down Week 1 of the latest installment of The Amazing Race, CBS' Emmy Award winning reality show. is particularly interested in this season since poker professionals Maria Ho and Tiffany Michelle are appearing.

Wolk doesn't seem overly impressed with their performance after the premiere episode, pointing out that the two poker babes were busy flirting with gay men, trying desperately to bluff opponents and Maria Ho nearly quit the race.  HO NO!


MARIA AND TIFFANY What is it with reality shows casting poker players? First there was Jean-Robert on Survivor, then Natalie on Big Brother, and now these professional card sharps. Is it because poker provides the most obvious metaphor for why someone will be good at this game? We get it, you're used to reading people and bluffing and getting free drinks and wearing green visors! Now shut up and play! Frankly, the Race, with its minor reliance of alliances or cooperation, is the least applicable of reality shows to poker skills. The only thing that can hold you in good stead is the ability to stay up all night playing a game. These women decided to use their bluffing skills by telling everyone that they worked for a homeless organization, so their competitors wouldn't know they were rich (cover broken when a chip groupie recognized them in an airport), and would think they were far nicer than they were (cover broken when they were big snobs). And all their vaunted poker skills weren't on display in Tokyo: During the wasabi game-show challenge, Maria had the opposite of a poker face when she failed to eat her first wasabi roll in time and had to do it again, nearly crying and quitting. And then, once she finished and she and Tiffany were given 20 audience members to shepherd through Tokyo, they lost two. Aren't counting skills kind of key in poker? When she finishes a round of five-card draw, does she ever have to tell the dealer, ''Bad news: I seem to only be able to find three cards. I swear to God, there's an Ace of hearts around here somewhere, you'll just have to take my word for it.'' Oh, and also, what does it say for their powers of perception when they're shamelessly flirting with two gay men? When are they gonna learn to fold on that one?