This week, the new teams were announced for the second season of the hit show, Amazing Race Asia. This version of the popular American show, The Amazing Race, has 10 teams running the race around Asia for a $100,000 prize.
The team representing Thailand was profiled and, surprisingly, the famous Thai actress and model Paula Taylor (aka Punlapa Taylor) is one of the members of the Thai duo. Her team mate is Natasha Monks, who works for a mining company, and is also her best friend. The two have known each other since they were little children.
Paula, age 24, is probably the most well-known and most popular actress in Thailand. She appears on magazine covers every month, is featured in Thai gossip magazines daily, is a VJ on Channel V, and her face and body are used to promote cell phones, clothing, make up and numerous other products.
In Bangkok, you can’t go to any sky train or underground train station without seeing enormous posters of Paula plastered all over the walls.
Thai men and women love Paula Taylor. The men love her because she’s sexy and smiles all the time. Women love her because she’s sweet and nice and they want to be like her. She is also beautiful, so her involvement in the Amazing Race Asia should definitely bring in the male viewers.
Paula is what the Thais call ‘luk kreung’, which means half-Thai, half-Western. Her mother is Thai and her father is English. Her parents divorced when she was small and she spent much of her life in Australia with her mother. She speaks fluent English although with a slightly odd accent, which does make it difficult to understand what she’s saying sometimes.
She comes across as being intelligent though and she is in great physical shape, so she and her partner could be a team to reckon with during the race. They both have charming smiles and, as the Thais know, a smile can save the day in many situations.
What’s disappointing however about Amazing Race Asia 2 is how the producers have chosen mostly actors, models and TV presenters as the contestants. None of these people need the money and all of them look they may be a little stuck on themselves, so it could end up being a boring show.
Thailand nonetheless will be cheering on Paula and Natasha as, being such a small country, it is always important for the Thai people to be perceived as putting their best people forward.
Last year’s British couple, Andy and Laura, who were chosen to represent Thailand in the Amazing Race Asia, were an embarrassment to the country. At least this year the producers of the show have chosen Thai girls and not Westerners who didn’t even know the Thai word for ‘market’ after having lived in Thailand for 4 years.
Polling has already started on the Amazing Race Asia website and, so far, the two Thai beauties are number 1 as the favorite duo to win the race. Good luck to both of them.
Amazing Race Asia 2 will begin airing on AXN on November 22nd. The race has already been run, but as the penalty for revealing which team who won is a cool $5 million US, I doubt any of the teams will be spilling the beans before the end of the race is unveiled on the show.