I recently rewatched and TARAus2 and I think that is one of the reasons why I think it is so good is because there is a lot of time spent on character development and the rivalry of everyone vs. Paul & Steve, and just the drama between all of the teams. And even if there was not drama within some teams, I feel like there was a lot of character development of the teams, like Lucy and Emilia, Sticky & Sam, Sue & Teresa, etc. There is not as much focus on the tasks, and while they are present, they are more about beating the other teams and being competitive and/or about enjoying the tasks and the race.
This and a trillion! TAR Australia 2 is the first international version of the race I watched and everything from that season is perfectly seamed together and all the teams were very memorable from the team-based editing, especially Lucy & Emilia, Sticky & Sam, and James & Sarah. I hope next season can follow this style. The U.S. version needs sprucing, cleaning and freshening to say the least.