I thought the premiere was definitely very intense, but also kind of rushed. It seems that they've done away with the race to the airport and the race to get the first or second flight.
Well, other than that, I liked the tasks, as well as the twist in taking one of two different trains to Locarno.
My thoughts on the teams:
Margie & Luke: Cute dynamic and capable team. They ran a surprisingly excellent first leg, despite Luke's deafness. It was a well-earned win, and I loved Phil signing to Luke that they'd won the leg.
Tammy & Victor: Look like a force to be reckoned with, and they remind me somewhat of Henry & Bernie from TARA3. But . . . the fact that Victor pulled out the single most annoying facet of Nick's strategy from last season (from what I've heard, even some fans who liked him and Starr were annoyed by that one) right from the get-go, and managed to somehow be more obnoxious about it than Nick, is not a good sign. I like Tammy, and she seems like a smarter racer than Starr. I respect the team's apparent racing skill, but I'm worried that, over the long haul, Victor's going to bug me. The villains? Probably. They're already not fully trusted by some of the other teams.
Mark & Michael: Not much seen of them on the first leg, but so far, I like them. Their backgrounds as stuntmen will help them face any scary challenge. And they seem pretty funny, too.
Mel & Mike: Another pair of funny guys. And they might be the first father/son team I actually turn out to like. (Dennis & Andrew were kind of "meh" to me, and I hated Steve & Josh.) They ran a pretty good leg, too, but I have a feeling an overly-physical task will be their undoing.
Amanda & Kris: Amanda already starting out with the whining makes me think they'll not only not win, but they also won't be lasting very long. Or, if they do, then they just won't win. That's all I can really say about them right now.
Brad & Victoria: I guess it was a good idea to lie to Christie & Jodi to at least ensure that one team stays behind them. But let's hope they don't keep that up. That said, definitely the oldster team that'll last longer. They ran a decent leg and were the only team not to fall down at the cheese task.
Jaime & Cara: My favorite team in the race right now. Would've finished higher if not for that bad luck in finding a taxi. Still, they did decently with the cheese and notched a decent, seventh-place finish. I hope they can rebound next week.
Kisha & Jen: They look to be the next Monica & Sheree. Not much seen from them, but I guess they did decently enough on this leg. They could last a while.
Steve & Linda: I like Steve. I do. But Linda annoys me already. If you're gonna cry on the very first leg, and for the reason you did it, no less, then you have no place in the race. Good strategy in getting the cheese task done, I guess, but other than that, I hope this is the oldest team that lasts for the shorter amount of time, entirely because of Linda.
Christie & Jodi: I was really surprised at them from going from being the first team to get to the church thanks to that local who tipped them off about changing trains, to nearly being eliminated due to bad train info. Still, good job on them for actually pulling through when they needed to, in order to make up for all of that lost time, and I love that they only barely beat out Preston & Jennifer. And speaking of whom . . .
Preston & Jennifer: Glad they're gone. I've had enough young dating couples treating the race as couples therapy. They'd have gotten annoying to me, and very quickly. Jennifer was so damn useless, too, and that's probably what contributed to their elimination, more than anything. Good riddance to bad rubbish! I'm actually more or less fine with everyone left now that they're gone.
Great premiere, if a little rushed, and a great cast so far! And my impressions are:
LOVE: Mel/Mike, Tammy/Victor, Jaime/Cara, Christie/Jodi, Brad/Victoria, Kisha/Jen, Margie/Luke, Mark/Michael
HATE: No one (yet)