As the show's first disabled contestant in The Amazing Race 5, Charla aimed to break stereotypes about little people, with the two managing to make up for what they lacked in physical strength through their expert handling of airports. The pair also became known for their outspoken nature, getting them into feuds with Colin & Christie and Marshall & Lance. Their rivalry with Colin & Christie reached an explosive high in the seventh leg, with the two teams scrambling to get them and their allies the better flight into Kenya. Though the cousins initially seemed to win, their flight was delayed, putting them and Linda & Karen on the last charter flight into Tanzania, causing them to fall behind and finishing in 6th.
They later returned in All-Stars, with their aggressive personalities and tactics again resulting in them clashing with several teams such as Rob & Amber, Teri & Ian, and Dustin & Kandice at various points throughout the race, though also forming a strong working relationship with Oswald & Danny. Although they started off slowly, they eventually hit their stride come the fifth leg, winning back-to-back legs and frequently getting ahead of their competitors through their renowned skill with airports. Despite acknowledging being hampered by Charla's physical limitations at various tasks, they nevertheless made it to the final three, although they were unable to finish the final task within the time limit, resulting in them finishing in 3rd place.
Charla & Mirna are first cousins from Phoenix and Towson, Maryland, respectively. Both were born in the same hospital in Syria, one month apart. They emigrated to the United States when they were young children. Charla & Mirna know that physically they are quite different, but say they "fill each other's gaps with strengths and weaknesses."
Charla says she is married to the man of her dreams and is manager/co-owner of ten sportswear stores. She has a form of dwarfism and says she "certainly does not consider it a physical illness." In fact, she says she hopes "to show the world what I can do and break all stereotypes about dwarfs!"
Mirna is an attorney who graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law at age 23, the youngest in her class. While she describes herself as "sometimes too bossy and controlling," she blows off steam by doing some favorite activities such as running and cycling. Mirna also claims to be a frequent winner at blackjack tournaments.
Charla & Mirna describe themselves as "a unique team, definitely one of a kind, extremely comical and aggressive" and are excited about competing in THE AMAZING RACE 5 so that they can travel around the world and win.
Before the Race
When and where did you meet?
If you could describe your relationship in one phrase or sentence, what would it be?
Have you ever traveled together before? If so, what were the best and worst aspects of traveling together?
Why did you decide to team up for THE AMAZING RACE?
As you begin the Race, how do you think this experience will affect your relationship?
What strengths and weaknesses do you bring to the Team?
What strengths and weaknesses does your teammate bring to the Team?
The inspirational cousins from Season 5 are back for another trip around the world. Charla and Mirna have both made numerous television appearances since their time on Race and are eager to capture America's heart once again. Both are now married and ready to start a family. A highly competitive team during their season, Charla, who stands at 4 feet tall, describes herself as dedicated, passionate and driven to succeed. Mirna describes herself as hard working, a leader, but with a comical side. Her greatest achievement is obtaining her Juris Doctorate at age 23. Charla proved just how strong she was when she threw a 50 pound slab of meat over her shoulder and helped carry it a quarter of a mile in order to complete a challenge with Mirna. Growing up together taught them how to work well with each other. Both are well traveled and speak several languages. This motivated duo is proud of the way they played the game last time around and are eager for another opportunity to win the $ 1 million prize.
The Amazing Race 5
|Charla & Mirna's Race History|
|1||1||United States → Uruguay||Zips / Chips||No Roadblock||5 of 11|
|2||2||Uruguay → Argentina||Perro / Tango||Mirna||2 of 10|
|3||3||Argentina||Smooth Sailing / Rough Riding||Charla||2 of 9|
|4||4||Argentina → Russia||Block 5 Shots / Drink 1 Shot||Charla||4 of 8|
|5||5||Russia → Egypt||Rock & Roll / Hump & Ride||Charla||2 of 7|
|6||6||Egypt||Herd It / Haul It||Mirna||5 of 7|
|7||7||Egypt → Kenya → Tanzania||Buzzing / Busy||Charla||6 of 6|
The Amazing Race: All-Stars
|Charla & Mirna's Race History|
|1||1||United States → Ecuador||Wrangle It / Recover It||No Roadblock||8 of 11|
|2||2||Ecuador → Chile||By Hand / By Machine||Charla||8 of 10|
|3||3||Chile||Vertical Limit / River Wild||Mirna||8 of 9|
|4||4||Chile → Argentina||Navigate It / Sign It||Mirna||7 of 8|
|5||5||Argentina → Mozambique||Pamper / Porter||Charla||1 of 7|
|6||6||Mozambique → Tanzania||Solve It / Schlep It||Mirna||1 of 7|
|7||7||Tanzania → Poland||Perfect Pitch / Perfect Angle||Mirna||4 of 6|||
|8||8||Poland||Eat It Up / Roll It Out||Charla||4 of 6|
|9||9||Poland → Malaysia||Artistic Expression / Cookie Confection||Mirna||2 of 5|
|10||10||Malaysia → Hong Kong||Kung Fu Fighting / Lost in Translation||Charla||3 of 4|
|11||11||Hong Kong → Macau||Noodle / Dragon||Charla||2 of 4|
|12||12||Macau → Guam||Care Package / Engine Care||Charla||3 of 4|
|13||13||Guam → United States||Under / Over||Mirna||3 of 3|||
- Charla & Mirna later appeared in the tenth season premiere of the sketch comedy series MADtv for a parody of The Amazing Race, titled "The Amazing Presidential Race."
- Charla is married and has one daughter. She also moved to Phoenix, Maryland with her husband, David Faddoul.
- Mirna is married and gave birth to twins, Ava Marie Patricia and Michael Leo, on November 22, 2014.
- Charla appeared in the FYI special, Flipping Baltimore – Charla's Big Deal, which chronicled a 30-day house flip she was working on in her hometown.
- They know words in several different languages.
- Charla & Mirna are the first team of cousins.
- Charla is the first dwarf contestant.
- She is currently the only female dwarf contestant to compete.
- First team of Middle Eastern descent to participate in the Race.
- First team to be eliminated in Tanzania.
- First team to win their first leg on their second attempt on the race.
- Lowest average placing all-female team who two legs won in a season at 4.15.
- The first team to have a higher placement, but lower average placement in their second season.
- Charla's Wikipedia page: Charla Baklayan Faddoul
The Amazing Race 5
- Ann Oldenburg at USA Today (07/26/2004): "Contestant Knows No Limit in Amazing Race run"
- Rene Syler on The Early Show (08/18/2004): "Charla and Mirna Out But Proud"
- Bill Keveney at USA TODAY (08/18/2004): "Late flight leaves Amazing Race duo a little short of goal
- Ethan Alter at TV Guide Online (08/20/2004): "Race Breakouts Sound Off!"
- Jessica Shaw at EW (09/03/2004): "Q&A with The Amazing Race's Charla and Mirna"
- TARflies (10/27/2004): "Mingling with Mirna" (Parts 1 & 2)
- TARflies (12/06/2004): "Chatting with Charla"
- Sarah Kickler Kelber at The Baltimore Sun (05/07/2007): "Chance to travel drew pair back to Race"
- Julie Chen on The Early Show (05/07/2007): "Eric and Danielle Get Their Money"
- Christopher Rocchio at Reality TV World (05/09/2007): "INTERVIEW: Charla and Mirna dish about being Amazing underdogs"
- Eric Goldman at IGN (05/10/2007): "Amazing Race: All-Stars Interview: Charla & Mirna"
- Teeuwynn Woodruff on RealityNewsOnline (05/11/2007): ' "We're a Comedy Team, That's What We Do Best"
Social Media Profiles
- Charla's Facebook: /charla.faddoul
- Mirna's Facebook: /100007083494849
- *Including Turkish, Arabic, Armenian, French, and Spanish
|The Amazing Race 5 Teams|
|The Amazing Race: All-Stars (2007) Teams|