B. J. Averell

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B.J. Averell
BJAverell.jpg
Born Brian Jeffrey Averell
(1979-11-26) November 26, 1979 (age 34)
Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
Residence Los Angeles, California
Other names B.J. Averell
Alma mater Harvard University
Television The Amazing Race 9
(Winner)

Brian Jeffrey[1] "B.J." Averell (born November 26, 1979 in Camden, New Jersey) is a Harvard graduate and reality show contestant who won The Amazing Race 9 with teammate Tyler MacNiven.

Education[edit]

A native of Collingswood, New Jersey,[2] Averell graduated from Collingswood High School in 1998, and attended Harvard University. In 2000, he ran for Undergraduate Council president. Considered a wild-card,[3] Averell was twice cited with campaign violations[4][5] before being forced to shut down his campaign.[6]

At Harvard, Averell was a member of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals and the improv group On Thin Ice. He also wrote daily comic strip "The Neil World" for The Harvard Crimson. With fellow Harvard student B.J. Novak, he co-produced and hosted "The B.J. Show," which one year featured Bob Saget reprising his television roles in a few skits and ending the show with his own standup routine. He would eventually graduate with a degree in religion, and move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in entertainment.[7]

Logan Airport Incident[edit]

On November 24, 1999, Averell showed up late for a 6:15 p.m. flight from Logan International Airport in Boston to Philadelphia aboard a Delta Connection commuter flight, and was denied access to the small jet because his assigned seat had been given away. Averell slipped past the attendant at the gate, blended in with other passengers crossing the tarmac and proceeded to find refuge in a rest room and settled onto a toilet seat. "Once I got on, I figured maybe through some stroke of fate no one would have to use the bathroom," Averell said. He was given away by another passenger and arrested before the flight departed. He was charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing. He later told a news photographer he was surprised at how easy it was to stow away.[8]

Averell pled not guilty,[9] and two months later state prosecutors and Delta Air Lines agreed to drop all charges against him. According to Averell’s lawyer, the decision came because the student "was not belligerent to anyone".[10]

The Amazing Race[edit]

In 2006, Averell appeared as a contestant on the ninth edition of the American television series The Amazing Race. He and his teammate, Tyler MacNiven, whom Averell met during a "Semester at Sea" four years earlier,[11] beat out ten other teams to win the show's $1 million prize. BJ and Tyler, as they were identified on the program, were nicknamed "the hippies" by the other teams.

BJ and Tyler came in last in two legs of the race, but luckily both legs were non-elimination pit stops.[12] Host Phil Keoghan said, "They enjoyed every single moment they were on this race, whether they were in first or in last. They kept their spirit all the way to the end."[13] “If it’s this successful to be hippies, we might as well stay hippies,” Tyler said at the finish line in Denver, Colorado.[14] B.J. added, "I think that on this Race, being cerebral or being intelligent doesn't help as much as being in the moment and just being aware of what's going on around you. And it's just great to stay positive and just really enjoy each other's company. And our friendship is what got us through it." [15]

Acting[edit]

  • In 2005, BJ played the part of an escaped criminal in the movie "Saving Shiloh".
  • Also in 2005, BJ appeared in the 4th episode of CSI's 6th season. He played a member of a cult that committed suicide in the episode titled "Shooting Stars."
  • In 2010, BJ appeared as a beer vendor in the 9th episode of Weeds's 6th season, entitled "To Moscow, and Quickly."
  • Introduced himself as Bingo on Control TV while crashing on Tristan Couvares's loft as a "couch surfer" for Control TV.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gensler, Howard “'Amazing Racer' in no hurry to reveal winner.” Philadelphia Daily News, May 19, 2006.
  2. ^ Sofen, Adam A. "The Names in the News", The Harvard Crimson, June 8, 2000. Accessed November 25, 2007. "Averell was trying to get home to Collingswood, N.J. for Thanksgiving when he showed up at Logan Airport on Nov. 24 for his flight to Philadelphia."
  3. ^ Graff, Garrett M. “Five Tickets Will Seek Highest Council Posts.” The Harvard Crimson, November 27, 2000.
  4. ^ Graff, Garrett M. “Election Commission Fines Candidates.” The Harvard Crimson, December 6, 2000.
  5. ^ Graff, Garrett M. “Averell Hit with Election Violations.” The Harvard Crimson, December 8, 2000.
  6. ^ Graff, Garrett M. “Averell Ordered To Shut Down Campaign.” The Harvard Crimson, December 13, 2000.
  7. ^ DuHart, Bill. “S.J. native wins 'Amazing Race'.” South Jersey Courier-Post, May 19, 2006.
  8. ^ Sweet, Laurel J. "Three passengers arrested during wild night at Logan". The Boston Herald, November 25, 1999.
  9. ^ "Two Enter Pleas in Logan Incident". The Boston Herald, November 30, 1999.
  10. ^ Riesman, Abe J. “For Grad, Art Imitates Life’s “Amazing Race”.” The Harvard Crimson, March 1, 2006.
  11. ^ BJ & Tyler.” CBS.com.
  12. ^ Bayne, Richard J. “'Hippies' win 'Amazing Race'.” Times Herald-Record, May 18, 2006.
  13. ^ CBS. “'Team Hippie' Takes 'Amazing Race 9'.” CBS News, May 18, 2006.
  14. ^ A frosty finish for 'The Amazing Race'.” Chicago Tribune, May 17, 2006.
  15. ^ BJ & Tyler Win Million Dollar Prize.” WISH-TV, May 18, 2006.