CBS announced yesterday the identities of the eleven couples apppearing in its upcoming The Amazing Race 5.

Prior to yesterday's annoucement, only the identity of one couple had been formally announced -- that of Alison Irwin, the runner-up in last summer's Big Brother 4, and Donald Patrick, Alison's college football playing boyfriend whom she frequently mentioned (as "Donnie") while confined within the Big Brother house.

In addition to Alison and Donny, the cast also includes an NFL cheerleader, a former Miss Teen USA, the second runner up at Miss USA 2003, and a male model. Maybe it's just us, but does anyone else think it's a bit obvious that CBS is pulling out all the stops in an apparent attempt to finally transform the Emmy Award-winning but modestly-rated program into a ratings hit? No wonder CBS was reportedly "so pleased" about this edition that it wasted little time greenlighting The Amazing Race 6. Of course, at this rate, don't expect TAR6 to feature more than a token older couple... but remember Race fans, it could be worse -- after all, The Mole viewers had to watch their show disintegrate into a watered-down home for D-list celebrities... only to watch the ratings-challenged ABC network still ultimately pulled the plug on the series.

As previously reported, The Amazing Race 5, once again featuring eleven couples in a race around the world, will premiere with a special 90-minute broadcast on Tuesday, July 6 at 9:30PM ET/PT (following a special 90-minute premiere of the fifth season of Big Brother.) After the premiere, the series will settle into its regularly scheduled Tuesdays at 10PM ET/PT time period (following Big Brother 5's regular Tuesdays at 9PM ET/PT broadcast.)

The eleven couples competing in The Amazing Race 5 are:

• Kami And Karli French, 26-year-old identical twin sisters from Eugene, Oregon. Kami is a café manager while Karli is a student at University of Oregon.

• Marshall and Lance Hudes, brothers who are originally from New York, but have since relocated to Dallas, Texas, where they own and operate a pizza shop. Marshall is 31-years-old, while Hudes is age 26.

• Colin Guinn and Christie Woods, a couple from Corpus Christi, Texas that have been dating for over a year. Colin, age 24, owns a cell phone store. Christie, age 26, is the managing partner of the Longevity & Wellness Center and the 1996 Miss Teen USA.

• Chip and Kim Mcallister, married parents from Coto De Caza, California. Chip, age 46, is the owner of a web technology company. Kim, age 44, is the owner of an information technology recruiting company. They have been married for over 25 years and have three children.

• Alison Irwin and Donald Patrick, a dating couple from Pennsylvania. As Big Brother 4 viewers are well aware, the 23-year-old Alison managed to cheat, lie, flirt, and backstab her way to Big Brother 4's final two, where she was trounced by the equally reviled Jun Song in the program's final houseguest voting. Throughout the show viewers endured Alison's incessant whining regarding whether her relationship with 21-year-old boyfriend Donny would still be intact after he'd seen her Big Brother behavior. Obviously the answer was yes... so now CBS viewers will get to spend another summer watching Alison cheat, lie, flirt, and backstab -- only this time while she travels (at least partway) around the world. Thanks CBS.

• Linda Ruiz and Karen Heins, best friends and bowling partners from Palmdale, California. Linda, age 45, is a mother and tennis teacher. Karen, age 41, is a mother and homemaker. Both have been married for over 20 years.

• Dennis Frentsos and Erika Shay, a "once engaged" couple from New York. Dennis is a 27-year-old mortgage broker from West Nyack while Erika is a 25-year-old wedding planner from Piermont. According to CBS, Dennis broke off the engagement after Erika went tandem skydiving naked with her instructor. No word on whether any peanut butter or chocolate was involved.

• Jim and Marsha McCoy, a father and daughter from Florida. Jim is a 53-year-old helicopter pilot who lives in Jacksonville. The 26-year-old Marsha is a law student living in Gainesville and attending the University of Florida College of Law. Marsha, who considered herself an "ugly duckling" as a child, is an NFL Jacksonville Jaguars cheerleader. With Jim having spent 23 years in the military, the family once lived in Germany for two years.

• Charla Faddoul and Mirna Hindoyan, first cousins from Maryland. Charla, age 27 and living in Phoenix, is "married to the man of her dreams" and is manager/co-owner of a chain of ten sportswear stores. Mirna, age 23, lives in Towson and is an attorney who graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law. The two were born only a month apart in Syria and emigrated to the United States when they were young children. Between the two of them, they speak a variety of languages, including Armenian, Turkish, French and Spanish, and have traveled extensively to foreign countries -- skills that should prove valuable during the competition.

• Brandon Davidson and Nicole O’Brian, a dating couple. Nicole, age 21 and currently living in Los Angeles while trying to break into Hollywood, was Miss Texas USA 2003 and second runner up at Miss USA 2003. Brandon, age 25, is a male model currently living in Houston. The two consider themselves very religious and spiritual people and met just over a year ago when both were hired to work the runway at a bridal expo in Houston.

• Bob Barron and Joyce Nicolo, a dating couple from Mount Laurel, New Jersey who, despite living in the same town, met on an Internet dating website. Both are widowers who lost their partners to cancer. Bob, age 61, is retired. Joyce, age 54, is a medical practice administer.