Zev Glassenberg, Justin Kanew disqualified from 'The Amazing Race'
By Christopher Rocchio, 10/13/2009
Zev Glassenberg and Justin Kanew were the first team to reach the Pit Stop in Cambodia -- however Zev's passport was lost during the leg, causing the friends to be disqualified from the competition.
Zev, a 26-year-old from Sherman Oaks, CA who is currently unemployed, and Justin a 30-year-old VP of development for National Lampoon from Los Angeles, CA, became the fourth team eliminated from The Amazing Race's fifteenth season during Sunday night's broadcast of the CBS reality series.
"I'm really sad and frustrated and disappointed that we had to go out this way because we really ran a good race today and this is how it ends," said Zev after their disqualification was revealed.
Since "Teammates" Herbert "Flight Time" Lang and Nathaniel "The Big Easy" Lofton were the first team to arrive at the Pit Stop, they were the first team to depart at 6:53PM.
They opened their clue, which instructed them to fly to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Once there, they had to find the Foreign Correspondent's Club and make contact with the assignment editor -- asking for their next assignment in order to receive their next clue.
Upon arriving at the airport, the teams discovered that only Vietnam Airlines flew to Phnom Penh and that there were no more flights that night. They would have to wait until the next day's first flight, which would depart at 12:25PM.
The first seven teams to reach the airport were able to secure seats on the flight, however Zev and Justin and Lance and Keri found the flight was already full and would have to take the next available flight -- which wouldn't depart until 2:15PM.
"A two team race for last place," lamented Lance. "It sucks. This puts us and another team an hour-and-a-half behind the pack."
Both teams put their names on the standby list and all the teams hunkered down for the night. The next morning the first seven teams boarded the flight and were happy that there was no sign of Lance and Keri and Zev and Justin. While they were initially told it looked like no seats would open, they were subsequently told at the last moment that they'd be on.
"That would've been a tough way to go," said Justin upon hearing the news.
Needless to say, the other teams weren't too happy to see Zev and Justin and Lance and Keri.
"No cheap wins, bitches! No cheap wins!" yelled Lance before boarding. "This puts us on an even playing field. That's all we need."
The teams landed in Phnom Penh, and Zev and Justin were the first out of the airport. Their taxi driver, Thierry, agreed to drive them for the entire leg -- which they thought would give them an advantage.
Zev and Justin arrived at the Foreign Correspondent's Club just ahead of Meghan and Cheyne and Sam and Dan. They were all able to find the assignment editor, who handed them their next clue.
Opening a manila folder hidden within the newspaper, the three teams found a picture of a woman riding in a motorcade and a clue instructing them to find the same picture in a hotel that has a suite named after the famous woman. The teams needed to figure out that their next destination was the Hotel Le Royal where they had to find the picture of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis on her only official visit to Cambodia in 1967.
Thierry helped Zev and Justin keep up a good pace as they were the first team inside the Hotel Le Royal. They quickly spotted the picture and were met by a Detour where they had to choose between "Cover" and "Wrap."
In "Cover," teams would have to find a helmet stand and choose four motorcycle helmets. Then, using only their powers of persuasion, the teams would have to sell the four helmets for $10 to a family of four consisting of two adults and two children. Once the teams returned the money to the helmet shop owner, they would receive their next clue.
In "Wrap," teams would have to find the Russian Market and locate stalls 980 and 981, where the shopkeeper would hand over an intricately patterned silk scarf. Then, the teams would have to search the confusing corridors of the market for a woman wearing an identical scarf. When they correctly matched the two scarves, the shopkeeper would hand them their next clue.
Zev and Justin chose "Wrap," as did Sam and Dan in second, Meghan and Cheyne in third, Flight Time and Big Easy in fourth, Mike and Canaan in fifth, Maria and Tiffany in sixth, Brian and Ericka in seventh, and Gary and Matt in eighth. Lance and Keri were the last team to open their Detour clue, and they chose "Cover."
On the way to the market, Zev and Justin joked with Thierry about how they deserved their good fortunes since they had a rough night at the airport in Vietnam.
"After the night we had, we deserve this," said Justin to Thierry.
Zev and Justin searched the crowded market for a woman wearing the same scarf they had, and they were able to quickly locate her and bring her back to the shopkeeper -- who gave them their next clue, which instructed them to travel on foot to Wat Tuol Tom Pong.
Zev and Justin were followed by Sam and Dan in second, Brian and Ericka in third, Flight Time and Big Easy in forth, Meghan and Cheyne in fifth and Gary and Matt in sixth. Lance and Keri initially had a thought time selling the helmets, however they eventually found a family of four and made a successful sale.
They finished the Detour in seventh, followed by Maria and Tiffany in eighth and Mika and Canaan -- who had all sorts of problems finding a matching scarf -- in last.
Zev and Justin ran to Wat Tuol Tom Pong, where they were met by a Roadblock. In this Roadblock, one team member would have to put on a monkey mask and tail and complete three monkey maneuvers as demonstrated by their monkey master. If they could keep up their simian act during the maneuvers, the monkey master would hand them their next clue.
Zev did the Roadblock and easily completed the first two maneuvers, however he had a hard time with the third one since it required a little more balance. Sam and Dan eventually caught up, with Dan undertaking the task. Zev was still having problems and eventually got short with Justin as he offered words of encouragement.
"I'm freaking out because we're in a race and I got frustrated. He was yelling in my ear and I don't really do the best when people are yelling at me telling me what to do," explained Zev in a subsequent confessional. "Then something started taking over my body. I had a mini panic attack there."
Dan still completed the Roadblock first and opened the next clue, which instructed them to travel to the Pit Stop at Wat Phnom -- a Buddhist shrine built over 600 years ago. Zev finished shortly thereafter, and the two teams raced to the Pit Stop.
The other teams then began to arrive at the Roadblock, with Flight Time, Ericka, Meghan, Gary, Keri, Maria and Canaan all participating in the task for their respective teams.
Thierry came through again for Zev and Justin, as his driving skills allowed the friends to arrive at the Pit Stop in first place. They were followed by Sam and Dan, who got to the mat just before Flight Time and Big Easy.
However Zev and Justin quickly realized there was a problem after checking in, as they couldn't find Zev's passport in any of their belongings.
"The ups and the downs. We go from last to first and then we lose our passport," opined Justin. "Are we [disqualified] or what?"
"I don't know," responded Zev as he dug through his stuff.
"We should ask somebody," said Justin.
The friends then went back to the mat to tell host Phil Keoghan that they lost the passport.
"What happened?" asked Phil.
"Your guess is as good as mine," replied Zev.
"Zev and Justin, you do not have your travel documents. You need those for onward travel," said Phil. "Unless you find those documents, you'll be out of the race."
Zev and Justin emptied their bags and did one last thorough search before realizing that they definitely didn't have the passport. They left the mat and called Thierry, who arrived at Wat Phnom to help the friends retrace their steps.
As they searched, Brian and Ericka arrived at the Pit Stop in third place, followed by Gary and Matt in fourth, Meghan and Cheyne in fifth and Lance and Keri in sixth.
Since their search was proving to be fruitless, Zev and Justin realized that their The Amazing Race experience was coming to an end.
"We finished first and now it looks like we're gonna be last because I lost a little piece of paper," opined Zev. "We would've won the whole thing too."
"I think so," somberly agreed Justin.
Mika and Canaan then arrived at the Pit Stop in seventh, followed by Maria and Tiffany -- who learned it was their lucky day thanks to Zev and Justin's carelessness.
"You're the last team to arrive," said Phil.
"And?" asked Tiffany.
"However one of the teams arrived at the mat without their travel documents, and that means you are both still in the race," said Phil, delivering the good news.
Zev and Justin's journey officially came to an end.
"I don't think it was supposed to end this way," said Zev in the cab.
"No," added Justin. "It definitely wasn't."
Justin said he was blaming himself because he's "a little bit prone to carelessness."
"I feel like I let him down a little bit," he added.
"No," replied Zev. "No let downs. Just a freak thing. Nobody deserved it. It just happened."
They arrived at the mat and received the bad news from Phil.
"We had a good run and I'm proud of [Zev]," said Justin. "I knew we'd have a great time together and we did."
Zev described being on The Amazing Race as his "dream" and added that it taught him that living with Asperger's Syndrome shouldn't slow him down.
"It showed me that I am capable of changing," he said. "I don't have to do a daily routine day by day, I can go out and do different things and succeed at them."
During the Elimination Station video on CBS' website that followed Zev and Justin's ouster, previously eliminated teams Marcy Maloy and Ronald Shalita and Garrett Paul and Jessica Stout wondered why it was taking so long for the next eliminated team to arrive.
"I thought passport issue, now I'm thinking serious injury," guessed Ron. "Somebody broke a leg, broke a wrist."
Jessica added she hoped it was a passport issue since that was easier to deal with than a trip to the hospital.
The delay was apparently due to the fact that Zev and Justin had to travel to the embassy, where they asked for a replacement passport for Zev. Instead, an embassy employee handed them Zev's passport.
"Where was it?" asked Justin.
"Wat Tuol Tom Pong," answered the employee.
"That's the monkey place," Justin told Zev, referring to the Roadblock.
"It was exactly where we would have guessed it was," said Justin once outside. "It just makes it that much tougher."
Justin then explained what most likely happened to the passport.
"We went into this temple. We weren't supposed to, but we misread the clue," he said. "I pull out the light, and it comes out with the light you think?"
"I guess so, yeah," replied Zev.
"If we hadn't gone inside that temple and hadn't needed to search around in the dark and I hadn't needed to pull out my headlight, we'd probably be wherever everybody else is right now," said Justin. "Now I'm pretty sure it's my fault. I'm beating myself up over it a little bit more than I was already."
Zev and Justin then called Ron, Marcy, Jessica and Garrett and explained what happened.
The Amazing Race's next fifteenth-season episode will air Sunday, October 18 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.