The Amazing Race Wiki
The Amazing Race Wiki

Dennis Frentsos and Erika Lynn Shay are an Once Engaged team on The Amazing Race 5.

After a tense confrontation with other teams at the airport in the first leg, Dennis tried to prove to other teams that he was not a "scumbag" by giving up their cab to Colin & Christie, causing them to fall to last place and dooming them to an 11th place finish.


Retrieved from

Dennis & Erika met while they were in college at New York University. She was the Resident Assistant in charge of his floor, and it was completely against the rules for her to date the dorm residents. They found their way around this by booking a trip to Italy together, even though they barely knew each other. Their relationship progressed and they eventually got engaged, but Dennis broke off the engagement after Erika went skydiving naked. As Dennis describes it, "I thought I was dreaming, but no, here comes my future wife floating through the air with nothing on but socks and sneakers and a naked instructor strapped to her back."

Dennis & Erika's relationship has been through a lot. Six months after they started dating, Dennis saved Erika's life by pulling her free from a vicious dog attack. After that, Erika knew that she was in love.

In order to prepare for THE AMAZING RACE 5, Dennis & Erika worked out and trained by running in low-oxygen chambers. They say despite their broken engagement, they teamed up to do the Race "to see if we could handle the pressure of high-stress, intense situations." Erika says they are the perfect Team because "we know how to play a cutthroat game fairly and ethically."[1]

When and where did you meet?
Erika: We met at the Residence Life Lottery at NYU in early 1998. I was a Resident Assistant, and Dennis' friends were trying to convince him to live on my floor. He was refusing to live near the RA, but his roommates finally convinced him. After that, we began our very inappropriate Resident Assistant/resident romance.
If you could describe your relationship in one phrase or sentence, what would it be? Opposites attract!
Have you ever traveled together before? If so, what were the best and worst aspects of traveling together? We have traveled together to Italy, Greece and the French Polynesian Islands. The best part of traveling together is that we are both very adventurous and willing to try things that most of our other travel partners would never even attempt. New places allow us the opportunity to do activities and try new things that we wouldn't be able to try at home. The worst part of traveling together is our indecisiveness: we can never decide what to do next!
Why did you decide to team up for THE AMAZING RACE? We teamed up for the Race to test our relationship and see if we could handle the pressure of high-stress, intense situations.
As you begin the Race, how do you think this experience will affect your relationship? We're very uncertain of how the Race will affect our relationship. We feel certain it will either make us stronger or break us apart, but we're not sure if the Race will force us to be a team for life or convince us to go separate ways.
What strengths and weaknesses do you bring to the Team?

  • Dennis: I'm physically strong and well trained in running and biking. My weakness is that I can be too nice.
  • Erika: I'm very good at getting in people's heads and figuring out what they are thinking. I can also be manipulative and have a win-at-all-costs mentality. My weakness is that I am overly dramatic and cry easily.

What strengths and weaknesses does your teammate bring to the Team?

  • Dennis: Erika is very witty and is always able to think outside the box to come up with an idea that nobody else has thought about. Her weakness is that she is a complete and total drama queen who always has to get her way.
  • Erika: Dennis' strength and weakness is one and the same. He is the most kind, genuine and honest person in the world, which makes him a bit naïve. His honest nature makes him trust people too easily, which is a detriment in this game.[2]

The Amazing Race 5

Race History

Dennis & Erika's Race History
Episode Leg Destination(s) Detour Choice
Placement Notes
1 1 United States → Uruguay Zips / Chips No Roadblock 11 of 11
Average 11.00
     The team finished in first place
     The team finished in last place and was eliminated from the race
     The team finished in last place in a non-elimination leg
     The team that won The Amazing Race
     The team that crossed the Finish Line second
     The team that crossed the Finish Line third
The team used the Fast Forward pass
> The team used the Yield
< Recipient of the Yield


  • The couple broke-up sometime in the early 2010s.
  • After the season, Erika became a casting director for both The Amazing Race and Survivor.
  • Erika co-owned the gym business ESP Wellness with Survivor contestant Parvati Shallow.[3]


  • Dennis & Erika are the first team to be eliminated in Uruguay.

External links


  • Ethan Alter at TV Guide (07/12/2004): "Amazing Race's First Losers"
  • Phil Kural at RealityNewsOnline (07/13/2004): "It's so much harder than it looks!"
  • (2004): "After the Race"

Social Media Profiles


The Amazing Race 5 Teams
S5 AlisonDonny.jpg
 Bob & Joyce
Internet Dating Couple
S5 BobJoyce.jpg
 Brandon & Nicole
Dating Models
S5 BrandonNicole.jpg
S5 CharlaMirna.jpg
 Chip & Kim
Married Parents
S5 ChipKim.jpg
 Dennis & Erika
Once Engaged
S5 DennisErika.jpg
 Jim & Marsha
Military Dad and Daughter
S5 JimMarsha.jpg
S5 KamiKarli.jpg
 Linda & Karen
Bowling Moms
S5 LindaKaren.jpg
S5 MarshallLance.jpg