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'The Amazing Race': Good Morning, Vietnam

This is the first installment of "Reality Check," FOXNews.com's new reality TV column.

It’s the third episode of "The Amazing Race" and in Mongolia, the teams all stay true to form.

Peter and Sarah do some of their holier-than-thou shtick, Tyler and James show off their amazing bone structure, David and Mary give country folks everywhere a good name, Rob and Kimberly continue to appear like they might break up before the episode ends, Duke reveals himself to be potentially the world’s sweetest Dad, Dustin and Kimberly keep reminding us that winning beauty pageants isn’t as easy as we sometimes think, Tom and Terry take their whining to a whole new level, Lyn and Karlyn keep us amused (most notably when one of them likens the race to childbirth) and Erwin and Godwin remind us that book and street smarts are, in fact, two different kinds of intelligence.

Then they get to Vietnam and everything goes awry. David rather sweetly becomes obsessed with the fact that his dad served in the Vietnam War, which means that he and Mary essentially flail the detour that involves making 30 coal bricks.

Must I remind everyone that David is, in fact, a coal miner?

The models, who’ve done such a good job so far of not playing into “model=stupid” stereotypes, utter the most ridiculous sentence of the episode (and I’m including Peter’s “constructive” comment to his one-legged girlfriend that she was “moving kind of slow” on her hydraulic knee).

While dodging scooter-racing Vietnamese in the street — and witnessing one of the beauty queens almost getting knocked over — we hear one of the DNA-blessed addicts say, “It’s like 'Frogger,' dude.”

It’s not that I think he should have instead compared the scooter traffic to a Dostoyevsky novel, I just wish he’d left off the “dude.”

In other Vietnam news: Peter manages to sell a ton of flowers, which must mean that being smarmy and patronizing is appreciated more in Vietnam than it is here.

And although the Asian brothers complain that the beauty queen-ers only excel in their flower-selling because of their looks — an unfair slam, it seems, since all the people buying flowers appear to be women and it could definitely be argued that the Asian brothers had the advantage there — they manage to actually reach the pit stop first.

Duke and Lauren never really recover from Duke’s unwavering commitment to a woman from the plane who says she’s going to show them to their first stop, but instead simply scams a ride off of them to her brother’s — a ballsy move to make with the camera watching, but then again, she probably didn’t have to worry that anyone she knew might catch "The Amazing Race" on cable — and they’re eliminated.

While that was personally sad for me — see, I’d bet in the foxreality.com fantasy reality challenge that they’d win the race — I could barely absorb the news, so distracted was I by Mary’s comment at the end of the episode that she and David, the gay boys, the Asian brothers and the black single mothers are the show’s “Brat Pack.”

Now what, I ask you, do you think Judd Nelson would have to say about that?