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They're 'Race'-ing in Utah

"The Amazing Race" sweeps into Utah tonight (8 p.m., Ch. 2), bringing with it the Family You Love to Hate, the Weavers.

The current "Family Edition" is the show's weakest incarnation to date, but it doesn't differ from previous editions — or other reality shows — in a couple of aspects. First, people's true characters emerge in the heat of competition and the glare of the cameras

And, second, people can't see themselves for what they are and how they appear. If for no other reason than seeing how much deeper the Weavers can dig their hole, it's worth watching them tonight as they race through southern Utah en route to Park City and the Olympic Park. (The episode was, of course, taped months ago.)

You'd think the Weavers would be fan favorites, what with the sympathy factor they have going for them. Linda and her kids — Rebecca, 19; Rachel, 16; and Rolly, 14 — are still dealing with the recent death of their husband and father in a raceway accident. And they profess to be good Christians.

They profess it over and over and over again. But their actions belie their words, making them utterly insufferable.

They're as nasty and cutthroat as any of the others. They scheme, plot, ridicule — once viciously mocking the dad who's a garbage man — and even throw stuff at other people, all the while complaining they're persecuted. Which, not surprisingly, has made them pariahs among the competitors.

As they finished the most recent leg of the race, Rachel Weaver called her opponents, "classless" and cried to the camera, "It's hard to deal with people like that and then have them gang up on you when you're the only family that's trying to live a Christian life."

Gee, a little judgmental, don't you think?

Earlier in the episode the competitors had to race go-carts. The Godlewski sisters (another team) tried to comfort the Weaver children, hugging them and saying, "It's got to be hard for you" to be at a racetrack and "Your dad would be proud of you."

Rebecca Weaver reacted by saying to the camera, "I hate the Desperate Housewives. They're so annoying. And they lie."

Charming. And oh-so Christian.

It's not hard to understand why their opponents — and several million viewers — are rooting against them.