Mel White | News | Reality TV | Soulforce

Gay Activist Escapes Runaway Cheese Injury on The Amazing Race


On last night's premiere of The Amazing Race, teams were required to hike to the top of a steep hill in Switzerland and carry down heavy pieces of cheese using traditional wooden cheese carriers while workers at the dairy laughed at them.

As I've mentioned before, this year's show features the father/son team of Mel and Mike White. Rev. Mel White (above, concerned about runaway cheese) is the founder of gay Christian group Soulforce and the Equality Ride. His son, Mike, is a bisexual actor who's been in Chuck and Buck and School of Rock.

The show also features its first deaf contestant Luke, who is competing with his mother (she's the one who rightly calls the cheese carrier a "piece of crap"), and is also apparently gay, though it's not mentioned in his show profile.

Both teams feature in this clip, which was certainly the most entertaining portion of last night's show. Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. Umm...yeah...watched that last was HILARIOUS as hell. That was just enough pain and anguish combined with falls and and silly behavior to keep me laughing everytime.

    Posted by: Matt | Feb 16, 2009 2:33:06 PM

  2. Name drop: Hadn't watched for a while but tuned in to see this segment after Chip Arndt, the out gay co-winner of TAR in 2003, alerted me to it. It was, at times, hilarious, AND dangerous. One of those hurtling runaway 50 lb. cheese wheels COULD have decapitated someone [runaway tires have killed many people over the years]. But I was SO hoping a couple of the racers would punch out one of the mocking Swiss asshats.

    Note, whatever the source of "bisexual" is, Mike White referred to himself as gay in the episode.

    As much as I'd like to see another gay team win, I'm rooting for the deaf son [regardless of his Kinsey status] and is mother for the very reasons they entered. Phil was milking it, but I teared up nonetheless.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Feb 16, 2009 2:34:55 PM

  3. This was a really awesome episode, and a great start to what promises to be yet another outstanding season. I mean, it has only won ALL 6 Primetime Emmys that it's been nominated for (since the category's inception, that too!) for Best Reality Series.

    The bungee jump, with the deaf kid Luke leading the way was also a favorite a part of this episode. I'm rooting for him/his mom and the Asian siblings.

    Speaking of which, my gaydar was pinging wildly whenever the Asian dude was on. Anyone else's was too?

    Posted by: Hiten | Feb 16, 2009 2:35:04 PM

  4. What i found amazing about last night's episode is that Luke and his Mom came in first! Imagine every thing they have to do the mom has to translate into ASL for the son to understand (he does not read lips) and yes when they won I too had tears in my eyes it was quite emotional.. yes the gaydar pinged for both Luke and for the Asian lawyer!! Mel and Mike also did quite well! As for challenges, the bungee jump was from the second highest bungee jump in the world and it was along side a Dam!! I was certain someone would spring back against the wall - and as for the cheese haul just watching them "struggle" up the wet, muddy, grassy hill was enough to exhaust most of them - they then had to struggle with 50 LBS wheels of cheese (some contestants choose to carry 2 wheels down) and if any of you think that is easy then sign up for the next show!! One contestant struggled to get 3 wheels down at once (150 lbs)!! Looks like this season will be quite exciting! Will towleroad be covering Survivor as well???

    Posted by: alex in boston | Feb 16, 2009 2:56:06 PM

  5. Why would Victor register as gay? I watched the show myself and didn't pick up any signals (yes, I am sticky rice myself) . Anyone? Is it because Asian men are percieved to be 'soft'? Oh and BTW, we also all look alike :)

    Posted by: Bading | Feb 16, 2009 3:03:06 PM

  6. Yeah, I also think that the the guy from the brother/sister lawyer team was gay.

    I teared up for the deaf son/mother combo too, but he throws off a little too much attitude with his expressions so I'm rooting for Mel and Mike.

    Posted by: paul c | Feb 16, 2009 3:06:39 PM

  7. Bading, he sounded gay when he was talking offscreen and I didn't even know who I was listening to, and then he had at least one really feminine hand motion that pretty much convinced me.

    Posted by: paul c | Feb 16, 2009 3:10:16 PM

  8. I guess after having been married for 12 years my gaydar needs to be recalibrated.

    Posted by: bading | Feb 16, 2009 3:15:24 PM

  9. Why is it that people in the gay community get all riled up (I think rightfully) when non-gay people stereotype us or make assumptions based on stereotypes but then are the first to use those very stereotypes to make assumptions about others?

    So many times on this site I've seen comment after comment either arguing that a particular person couldn't possibly be gay because they don't "act gay" or "sound gay" or, conversely, arguing that a person who claims not to be gay must if fact be gay because they "act gay" or "sound gay". Interestingly, I have yet to hear ANYONE on this site use "acts gay" or "sounds gay" as a compliment or in any way that was intended to be positive.

    And certainly we're all past the age and stage where we think "gay" is synonymous with "feminine". Most of my gay friends are very masculine and non-stereotypical yet one of my closest friends is very feminine. He’s very open minded, very gay friendly, very secure, but not in the least bit attracted to men or curious about man/man sex. Even he jokes about how he wishes he was half as masculine as most of the gay men he knows so that his wife would stop wondering if her attraction to him makes her a lesbian.

    I don't know how we're supposed to break down ignorance about homosexuality in the general population when there's so much ignorance about it in the gay population.

    Posted by: Zeke | Feb 16, 2009 3:52:53 PM

  10. Zeke, yeah you're right, but...I'm sorry, after watching the Asian cutey's mannerisms and about the third time he opened his mouth, I was totally convinced. Sorry to stereotype, but c'mon!

    Posted by: Keith | Feb 16, 2009 5:42:40 PM

  11. Zeke, you seem to be projecting and in a bit of denial.

    Nobody said that "acting gay" or "sounding gay" was least not this time. It's pretty neutral to me anyway.

    And if you choose to believe that there's not an unusually high incidence of homosexuality among effeminate men, that's fine. But I think you'd be wrong.

    Besides, not everyone sees femininity as a negative. Unless they're programmed to do so.

    Posted by: paul c | Feb 16, 2009 5:43:30 PM

  12. I thought the asian guy was gay too! He's very cute and smart!!

    Posted by: eric | Feb 16, 2009 5:46:28 PM

  13. Oooh for some reason I thought Luke was gay too when I watched the show. (And Zeke, Luke is not particular effeminate, I think, so there.)

    But I think he's super cute and his mom is so cool.

    And how's about we stop referring to them as the deaf kid and the asian guy, now THAT's reductionist.

    Posted by: Joel | Feb 16, 2009 7:16:34 PM

  14. I am really loving this season, loving all the gays (Mel, Mike, Victor and Luke) and the people who love them. The best part, for me, was that the annoying argumentative couple (though there are more than one) got offed in the first ep. I am so glad it was between them and the annoying blondes. Hopefully the blondes, and the redheads can go next week.

    Posted by: Critifur | Feb 16, 2009 8:49:11 PM

  15. @JOEL,

    Reductionist maybe, but that's probably how they see themselves in terms of the race too. C'mon, Luke tearfully tells Phil at the end of the leg that he wants to show everyone that deaf people are just as capable as everyone else.

    And I'm sure the Asian couple don't really mind the label. They've referred to their immigrant family status in their intro video and as fans of the show, they're probably well aware that they're still amongst very few Racers with an Asian background.

    Besides, in the early going, when there are so many teams and we know so little about them, those are probably the quickest and easiest ways to refer to them when you're discussing the show with others.

    Posted by: RJ | Feb 16, 2009 8:56:55 PM

  16. I knew Luke was gay too, I just had a feeling. He's rather cute, as well. :) Now I just need to learn sign language!

    Posted by: Luka | Feb 16, 2009 11:21:02 PM

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    Posted by: Sallyjerts | Feb 18, 2009 5:05:06 AM

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  20. one of the German publications would have a more thorough -- and less tendentious -- articl

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  21. On last night's premiere of The Amazing Race, teams were required to hike to the top of a steep hill in Switzerland and carry down heavy pieces of cheese using traditional wooden cheese carriers while workers at the dairy laughed...

    Posted by: Kadıköy Lazer Epilasyon | Jan 18, 2011 11:57:59 AM

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