Ron and Bill didn’t want to make 'Amazing Race' history
By being part of “The Amazing Race’s” first ever double elimination, Ron Zeitz and Bill Smith are now a part of history. Unfortunately for the flight attendants and domestic partners from Laguna Niguel, Calif., it wasn’t the kind of history they wanted to make.
“It is hard (to be eliminated first) but… history is history, so we’ll take it,” says Bill with a laugh.
The couple was eliminated during a leg in Indonesia after being the last team to arrive at the Pit Stop. “Survivor” winners Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca, who checked in just before the flight attendants, were also eliminated.
Even though things had gone smoothly for Ron and Bill up to that point (minus a couple bad situations involving cabs), they failed to read the instructions when dropping off money they made dancing in the streets to a nearby children’s orphanage. Not only were teams required to donate the money from the Detour challenge, they were also instructed to hand over all the money in their possession.
Ron explains that they were so happy about finishing the dancing task in a short amount of time and getting to meet the kids that they didn’t even notice the sign when they arrived.
“Everybody was cheering and clapping and we were so excited we were able to raise the money quickly and share it with them,” he says. “We were feeling optimistic about getting to the next check-in point and I think we were just feeling really, really good about it and never even thought to look for an additional clue on the table.”
He adds that it came as quite a shock when they got to the mat and host Phil Keoghan informed them they were required to turn over all of their money.
“I was like, ‘What? We have to do what?” says Ron. “We were in shock. What’s interesting to note was while we were running to check in with Phil, other teams were running in the opposite direction towards the orphanage. We took that to mean the ‘Race’ was continuing (on).”
Ron and Bill then had to return to the orphanage and, even though all but three other teams also made the same mistake, the couple was the last to arrive back to the mat.
But even though they were eliminated during the first round, Ron and Bill say their skills as flight attendants did come in handy.
“We were very comfortable in the airports… we were running into full flights, even in our short time, so we really did spend a lot of time just talking to representatives,” says Bill.
“It actually did get us some people that would help us later in the night when the airport was closed but we were really trying to save our advantage towards the end for the last leg, meet the crew, befriend them and get close to the exit door as possible for that last big push.”
He adds that jet lag also wasn’t an issue and thinks all of this would definitely have come in handy as the ‘Race’ progressed. But even though they didn’t get a chance to run another leg, Ron and Bill say they still feel like they fully experienced “The Amazing Race.”
“I think when he told us we were eliminated and were walking away I thought, ‘I can’t believe everything we’ve done in such a short amount of time,’ the emotional ups and downs and the frustration. We got a really great feel for it,” says Ron.
The couple, who has been together for 13 years, adds that running the ‘Race’ also really proved to them how well they are able to work together.
“It just reinforced everything that we knew about each other as far as our support, our compassion for each other, being there for each other through the bumps in the road and stuff like that,” says Bill.
“The Amazing Race” airs Sundays at 8/7C on CTV. Full episodes are also available online at CTV.ca.
About Sheri Block
Sheri Block has been covering entertainment for CTV.ca since 2008. In addition to covering Will and Kate’s Royal Wedding in London, Sheri’s highlights have included going on tour with “Canadian Idol,” being a stand-in on “Canada’s Next Top Model” and meeting Colin Farrell at the Toronto International Film Festival.Follow her on Twitter!