Amazing Race 15 - Meet the Cast!

The newest season of "Amazing Race" starts on Sunday, September 15th. Get a first look at the new cast!

daniel_meghan.jpgDan and Sam
Dan McMillen (21); Sam McMillen (23)
Hometown: Liberty, Mo.
Occupation: Students
Relationship: Brothers

Brothers for 21 years, Sam and Dan will tell you that their relationship did not truly start until last summer when they both came out and told each other that they were gay.

Growing up Christian in a conservative community, neither one of them felt comfortable enough coming out at an early age but after doing so, they've found a whole new bond with one another and instantly became closer through honesty and trust.  Sam and Dan will tell you that being gay is only one of the many aspects of their lives.

Dan describes himself as organized, open-minded and spontaneous and hopes to gain a new sense of appreciation for his life from running the Race with his brother.  His hobbies include exercise, volunteering and traveling.

Sam claims to be optimistic and happy-go-lucky and his hobbies include cinema, logic games and anything involving the outdoors.  Communication may be the biggest challenge for this Team, as they claim to be polar opposites.  From academic interests to how they approach tasks, these brothers are very different in everything they do.  Due to his passive mentality, Sam will need to be more vocal to overcome Dan's blunt, assertive personality in order to contribute to the team while on the road.

Sam is pursuing a degree in medicine while Dan has one more year left at William Jewell College to complete his business degree.  When asked what former Team they would model their style of play after, Sam points to Nick and Starr because they maintained a positive attitude which carried them to the $1 million prize. Dan identifies with the competitive style of Rob and Amber.  Both brothers hope that the Race will take their new found closeness to the next level and help them forge an even stronger bond.


eric_lisa.jpgEric and Lisa
Eric Paskel (41); Lisa Paskel (43)
Hometown: Encino, Calif. via Michigan
Occupation: Yoga Studio Owners and Instructors
Relationship: Married Yoga Teachers

Eric and Lisa have been married for over 18 years.  Both are vegans who have a passionate and fiery approach to their personal and professional lives and are extremely dedicated to helping others.

Eric and Lisa own four yoga studios and both serve as instructors.  In addition to running their business, they teach classes and workshops where they deal with issues such as family crisis and addiction.  Lisa describes what she does as, "helping people connect to their supreme self." 

Lisa claims that Eric is much more easy-going, carefree and trusting of others while she has the ability to see people for what they really are -- an ability that will undoubtedly come in handy on the Race.    

Neither Eric nor Lisa are afraid to challenge one another to be the best people they can be and no matter the challenge at hand, both are open to working together to find a solution.  They hope that their experience on the Race will further solidify a marriage that they consider a true blessing.

They reside in Encino, Calif., and have two daughters.


ericka_brian.jpgEricka and Brian
Ericka Dunlap (27); Brian Kleinschmidt (27)
Hometown: Nashville, Tenn.
Occupation: Ericka (Entertainer/Miss America 2004) / Brian (Marketing Tour Manager)
Relationship: Married

Ericka and Brian Kleinschmidt are excited to be the first married interracial team on The Amazing Race.  They have a singular game plan in mind -- to win over the hearts and minds of The Amazing Race audience by proving that true love is color blind. They compare their relationship to the Yin-Yang symbol, which represents the philosophy of two total opposites coming together as one to accomplish a common goal.    

Ericka and Brian met at a leadership seminar at the University of Central Florida nine years ago, and it was love at first sight for Brian. Ericka, on the other hand, played hard to get for the next five years....but Brian's persistence finally paid off as the couple shared wedding vows over two years ago.

Ericka has lived a very structured, prim and proper life but plans to embrace her true self and expose a vulnerable side of her life beyond Miss America while racing around the world.  Her life's goal is to become a country music recording artist.

Brian is an all-American guy who contends that nice guys do not always have to finish last.  He has enjoyed life as a standout athlete, singer, actor, and loyal friend. The opportunity to extensively tour the U.S. with his job as a sports and entertainment marketing manager has further boosted Brian's confidence and travel expertise.

Though some may see Brian and Ericka as total opposites, they believe that their differences are actually their greatest strength and will propel them around the world all the way towards the finish line.
garrett_jessica.jpgGarrett and Jessica
Garrett Paul (28); Jessica Stout (27)
Hometown: Santa Cruz, Calif. / Larkspur, Calif.
Occupation: Engineer/Editor
Relationship: Dating On and Off

One word to describe this team is passionate. Garrett and Jessica met in Barcelona, Spain while on a yearlong study abroad program and have been dating on and off for seven years--during which time they've had three major breakups. Their fiercely independent natures have kept them from making any real commitment. Both are the oldest children in their families and thrive on being in control and competitive.  However, one thing they both agree on is their love for travel--they have been to over 50 countries.

Garrett is certain his engineering background--including a master's degree in engineering from Stanford University--will come in handy on the Race, specifically the ability to assess and analyze complex situations on the fly.  He describes himself as confident, hardworking and adventurous. Surfing is his favorite hobby.

Jessica, who describes herself as loyal and spirited, is a travel and lifestyle editor accustomed to being a creative, quick thinker, which will definitely be useful on the Race. Coming from a large Colombian family, Jessica has learned the importance of teamwork. She enjoys photography and being physically and mentally challenged.  One of her proudest accomplishments was climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (19,340').

Garrett and Jessica believe that this experience may be the final make or break moment in their relationship.


gary_matt.jpgGary and Matt
Gary Tomljenovich (47); Matt Tomljenovich (22)
Hometown: Laurel, Mont. / Bozeman, Mont.
Occupation: Construction Manager and Mortgage Broker/ Student
Relationship: Father/Son

Gary is a PC, Matt is a Mac. Gary enjoys hunting, Matt enjoys video games. Gary enjoys classic rock, Matt enjoys metal. This father and son duo do not have a lot in common and they never have ... that is why they are running the Race. They are eager to share the experience of a lifetime with one another and establish a bond for the rest of their lives.

Despite their many differences, these two share a bond in their common sense approach to problem solving, which at times, has been said to be uncanny. 

Gary is hoping Matt will open up to him during the Race, as they will be forced to spend all of their time together -- a first for each of them. Matt is hoping that his dad will learn to listen to him and attempt to understand his point of view.

Matt was almost killed when he was hit by a car and broke his leg so badly that he had to have a metal rod put in to hold it in place. It has since been removed and he is back in great shape and ready to race.  Matt describes himself as creative, trustworthy and a peacemaker, while Gary describes himself as decisive, direct and competitive.

They see this as a great opportunity for them to see the world and spend quality time together, while hopefully winning the Race and a million dollars along the way.


herbert_nathaniel.jpgHerbert and Nathaniel
Herbert Lang (32); Nathaniel Lofton (28)
Hometown: Brinkley, Ark. / New Orleans
Occupation: Harlem Globetrotters
Relationship: Teammates

Their athletic talent brought these two friends together five years ago when they met at the Harlem Globetrotters training camp. While getting to know each other, Herbert and Nathaniel discovered that their occupation and need to entertain others were not the only things they had in common.  They both live in Louisiana, have two children and shared the same college basketball coach. 

Recently, Herb and Nate lost one of their best friends and teammate, Chris Richardson, who passed away in December -- and both continue to struggle with that loss.  The three were commonly referred to as the "three amigos" throughout their inner circle.     

Herbert believes he can get along with anyone on the planet and that he brings joy and laughter to all corners of the globe. Standing at 6'3," Herb is known among his colleagues as "Flight Time."  Nathaniel, who goes by the name "The Big Easy," towers over the competition at 6'9," and admits to being worried that seating could present a problem on some of the flights. 

Both have traveled extensively with the Globetrotters. Herbert has traveled to over 60 countries, and Nathaniel has traveled to over 30 countries. Despite their love of exploring new places, and their extensive knowledge of other countries, they're eager to see how well they can travel together when it is just the two of them. 

Even if their fancy footwork does not translate to winning the $ 1 million prize, they both are confident that their relationship will remain the same regardless of where they end up in the Race.


lance_kerri.jpgLance and Keri
Lance Layne (41); Keri Morrione (33)
Hometown: Salem, Mass./ Peabody, Mass.
Occupation: Lawyer/ Finance Manager
Relationship: Engaged     

Lance and Keri have been dating each other for over two years.  Lance proposed this winter, and the two are planning to be married soon.  Both are looking to the Race to test their relationship, communication skills and their physical breaking points.   

Lance and Keri are very athletic, love animals and the outdoors.  Some of their fondest memories include recent vacations in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, and they are now looking forward to traveling around the world together.

Lance, a self-made trial attorney and black belt in karate, has an ├╝ber-aggressive personality and is admittedly confrontational -- he describes himself as having a "street persona" and will do whatever it takes to win.  Keri is a health care finance manager and while she likes to take the kinder and gentler approach to dealing with certain situations, she admits that she is equally as competitive. 

Keri's hobbies include jogging, jet skiing and shopping. Lance's hobbies include karate, weight training, and following the Red Sox, Patriots, and Celtics.

Lance loves the competition aspect of the Race and Keri loves to travel. Both are eager to compete and put their relationship through the rigors of the Race.  They have not lived together around the clock before, or necessarily had to work as a team....and believe this experience will be good practice for the rest of their lives together.    


marcy_ronald.jpgMarcy and Ronald
Marcy Malloy (60); Ronald Shalita (59)
Hometown: San Francisco
Occupation: Advertising Photographer/Stock Trader & Math Tutor
Relationship: Dating

Marcy and Ron both believe that at 60 you can be strong, sexy, vibrant and energetic. They met one year ago on an online dating website and are looking forward to sharing the intense experience of the Race.  They hope the Race will reinforce the strengths of their relationship and identify potential areas of conflict.

Both are exceptionally fit, have great people skills and a high energy level.  Marcy is not your typical 60-year-old; she attends flying trapeze classes, studies Kung Fu and rock climbs with Ron.   To keep pace with Marcy, Ron is in the gym lifting weights, running, swimming or kickboxing. After being selected for the Race, he found a new physical challenge in a course that allowed him to confront his fears of heights.

Marcy is a nationally recognized advertising photographer, while Ron spends his mornings as a high-volume day trader and his afternoons as a math tutor.  They both have traveled extensively and Marcy speaks several languages. Ron is personable and extroverted.   Trained as a lawyer, he is cautious and likes to take his time to think things through while Marcy is spontaneous, impulsive and easily distracted.  Marcy finds balance in Ron's pragmatism and calmness.  While he likes to process his thoughts,  she prefers to tackle problems head-on.  Both are concerned about their different approaches to problem solving, but believe the Race will give them greater insights.


maria_tiffany.jpgMaria and Tiffany
Maria Ho (26); Tiffany Michelle (25)
Hometown: Arcadia, Calif./ Los Angeles
Occupation: Professional Poker Players
Relationship: Professional Poker Players

These two female professional poker players have been best friends for three years, and were also the last women standing in the World Series of Poker Championship Event in 2007 and 2008.  From Vegas to Monte Carlo, the two have competed against the toughest fields across the world and hold their own playing for high stakes in a male-dominated sport.

Maria is currently ranked 33rd in the Top 100 Women's All Time Money list among poker players and finished 38th out of 6,358 people in the 2007 World Series of Poker Championship Event.

Tiffany, who is known throughout the poker community as "Hot Chips," fell into poker via Hollywood home games that she played with fellow actors while working in film and television.  At the 2008 World Series of Poker Championship Event, Tiffany broke records when she finished 17th out of 6,844 players, the largest field ever conquered by a female in live tournament history.

Maria was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and moved to the United States with her family when she was just four years old and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. Maria graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a degree in communication and a minor in law.  When she is not busy traveling the poker tournament circuit, Maria enjoys singing with her sister's band, "Another Sky."

Born with a love for the stage and competition, Tiffany naturally found her way into competitive sports, pageants and the college Speech & Debate team.  She got her start in theatre at the age of 10 and began performing and touring with shows across the country. A far departure from poker, Tiffany is a former beauty queen, having held the titles Miss Teen Newhall, Miss Teen Santa Clarita Valley and was a finalist in the Miss Teenage California where she was named Miss Congeniality.

As a team, these two are well traveled, extremely competitive, strong-minded, savvy players who can deal with any hand they are dealt. Even though they are known as two of the hottest young females in poker, they are willing to put pretty aside when it is time to battle it out.


meghan_cheyne.jpgMeghan and Cheyne
Meghan Rickey (23); Cheyne Whitney (23)
Hometown: San Diego
Occupation: Account Executive/Brand Manager
Relationship: Dating

Meghan and Cheyne met while playing a competitive game of tetherball in elementary school.  After 10 years of friendship, Cheyne realized he could not let the most athletic girl he knew get away.  Other than a six-month period where Meghan studied abroad in Italy, this couple has been essentially inseparable for nearly five years.

Meghan and Cheyne both work in fields where they deal extensively with different publics.  She is an account executive at a public affairs firm and he works for a social change marketing company where he develops after-school programs and deals with a diverse group of teens, school administrators and corporate executives. When not in the office, Meghan can be found coaching competitive girls' soccer -- a sport that she and Cheyne have shared a passion for since they were kids. The couple feels strongly that their occupations and experiences with team sports have taught them effective communication skills and the virtue of patience, which they believe will benefit them in the Race.

Even though they are head-over-heels for each other, they still have their pet peeves just like any other couple.  Meghan does not like that he tries to diffuse tense situations with laughter rather than by talking things through.  The biggest thing about Meghan that frustrates Cheyne is her stubbornness.  He claims that once she has her mind set on something she is difficult to reason with and it can be impossible to change her mind.

Ready to tackle the Race head-on, Meghan and Cheyne are very eager to use the power of positive thinking and their athleticism to compete as a team and hope that this experience further validates their friendship and love.


mika_canaan.jpgMika and Canaan
Mika Combs (22); Canaan Smith (26)
Hometown: Nashville, Tenn.
Occupation: Aspiring Singer/Professional Songwriter
Relationship: Newly Dating

These southern sweethearts will charm you with their fresh faces and wide-eyed enthusiasm for life.  They have only been dating for a few months, but admit to spending every waking hour together since they fell in love.

Mika grew up in Hazard, Ky. and moved to Nashville, Tenn. two years ago to pursue a career in country music.  She claims to excel in high pressure situations, but admits to often breaking down in tears when she gets upset.  Her favorite hobbies include singing, dancing and riding four-wheelers.

Canaan is a professional songwriter who is looking at the Race as an opportunity to grow his relationship with Mika.  Mika believes that Canaan can be way too demanding, while he believes she can be too sensitive.  He lists his favorite activities to do with Mika as writing songs and making out.

Neither one of them has traveled extensively outside of Canaan's mission trip to Mexico with his church, but they have no doubt that their love will take them to the finish line and the $1 million prize.


zev_justin.jpgZev and Justin
Zev Glassenberg (26); Justin Kanew (30)
Hometown: Sherman Oaks, Calif. / Los Angeles
Occupation: Unemployed/VP of Production and Development for National Lampoon
Relationship: Friends

Zev and Justin's friendship started six years ago when they were working as camp counselors and the two have been very close ever since.  Zev has Asperger's Syndrome, but they don't let it affect their relationship.  They share friends and interests, and the friendship is as mutually beneficial as any could be.

Zev is an avid sports fan -- especially basketball -- and he has an intense competitive spirit. He describes himself as funny, modest, and loyal, and is running the Race to prove to himself that he can do anything.

Justin prides himself on his patience and his ability to problem solve.  He admits the biggest difference between he and his partner is that Zev is not great in large groups of people -- one of the characteristics of Asperger's -- while Justin is very easy-going and can assimilate himself into any group.

Outside of the occasional trip to Vegas (where Justin took Zev to lose his virginity), neither has traveled extensively, particularly with one another. Their relationship is spontaneous and unedited and resembles one of brothers more than friends.

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