Her son and his partner have survived as one of the final four teams.

NORWAY – On Thursdays, North Norway summer resident Ann Tetrault is, by her own admission, “no good.” She knows that when 8 p.m. rolls around, she and her husband Raymond will be on pins and needles, watching her son race through challenge after challenge in the latest segment of CBS’ “The Amazing Race.”

“The stress is just totally unimaginable,” she said.

As Thursday’s 10th leg of the 13-week show airs, her son Reichen Lehmkuhl and and his partner Chip Arndt have survived as the final four teams competing for the $1 million first-place prize. Eight teams have been eliminated to date, and Reichen and Chip are in first place going into Thursday’s show.

“I am so excited,” she said Tuesday. “It’s going to be very close.” Because Reichen signed a secrecy contract, promising not to tell anyone about his globe-trotting adventure, she only knows what she sees on TV.

On CBS’ Web site, Reichen and Chip have earned an 85 percent popularity rating, second only to another team of Jon and Al, otherwise known as The Clowns, who’ve earned a 95 percent popularity rating.

But there’s a dark side to the sudden celebrity of her son, who is gay and lives with Chip in Beverly Hills. They say they are married, although California does not recognize gay marriages.

“They are getting a lot of threats,” Tetrault said, by e-mail, by letter, and “quite a few really nasty phone calls.”

Tetrault said she’s “kind of disappointed for the guys,” but said she is “very proud that they did this.”

By competing on national television on a show that has been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Reality/Competition Program, the couple has helped to blast stereotypes about the notion of effeminate gay couples. Both Reichen, a pilot, and Chip, an entrepreneur, are handsome, athletic, masculine males, she said.

“They’re more of a normal couple, and I’ve gotten e-mails from people that are more secure about ‘coming out’ since seeing them on TV,” she said.

Tetrault participates in a forum on the Web about the show. “But then part of me is very nervous about them too. It shows we’re really not as open as we think we are,” she said.


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