'The Amazing Race' Premiere Recap: Bora Bora Ain't Bora Boring
'The Amazing Race' Premiere Recap: Bora Bora Ain't Bora Boring
Emily E. Steck
Emily E. Steck
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
The start of a new season of a reality show feels a little overwhelming at first because of all the new faces. Sure, The Amazing Race has a reliable formula -- teams compete in challenges and travel across the road for a chance at $1 million. Yet, the rules have been sort of violated this episode.

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The familiar: we launch from Los Angles, the City of Angels. Too bad there is nothing angelic about Hollywood. The rules for this season are mostly the same, except the first team to arrive at the end of this challenge will get an express pass for themselves and another team of their choosing.

Also, Ford Fusion product placement! With our host in the car with them. It's like the Jetsons up in here.

The teams make their way to the airport to Bora Bora and have a little meet and greet. The first five teams already make an alliance: the winner will give the second express pass to the second team in the alliance to win.

After some fun escapades with skydiving -- which is a great way to start off the season -- the teams arrive to a giant sandcastle graveyard. Where one team member goes skydiving, the other must search through the sand for the clue, then rebuild the mini castle. Me being afraid of heights, I would have taken skydiving. And from here, they build a special canoe to race to place.

Unfortunately, it takes forever to build and search. After great difficulty, three teams are left, stuck in the hot sun for hours and hours. So emerges another alliance: an alliance to take a penalty. I'm not sure if this is really smart playing or really dumb. I just know I'm kind of offended. Look, I'm sure it's hot out, but you could play it out, teams. It's an alliance in bad spirit that doesn't work for everybody.

So now, it's this week's segment of Let's Catch Up with the Teams! Of course, this week we'll just be meeting the teams:

Chuck & Wynona: a cross between redneck and country. Also, Wynona really wants a vodka and 7-Up. Just in case you didn't know. These two are amusing, at the very least.

Anthony & Bates: pro-hockey players! What are the chances anyone recognizes them? Slim, I'd guess, since hockey was so not last year (yay for the end of the strike!?). They are in second based on pure luck, messing up the first alliance.

Mona & Beth: working soccer moms/roller derby girls. Whip it! Real good. Except, Mona makes a really silly mistake signing up for the last plane. Hopefully, that will be their last one.

Max & Katie: newlyweds + 3 weeks of marriage = worst honeymoon ever. Also, they are contenders as potential villains.

David & Connor: father and son/BFF duo. Both had different penile cancers. One's even a pro cyclist now. There must be some kind of support group that doubles as a cyclist recruiting agency.

Jessica & John: SoCal daters and first placers. They happen to win the Express Passes because they come in first. They feel like strong competitors and, most important, people I'd actually hang out with.

Idries & Jamil: doctor twins from the Windy City. Clones, actually. We spend a lot of time on them this episode, which makes me miss the Twinies from last season.

Pam & Winnie: best friends. As boring as their backstory is right now, I could be friends with them. They might be more fun in coming weeks.

Joey & Megan: YouYube sensations. Anyone familiar with their YouTube channel? Is it any good? Does this count as fame? They don't get much air time this week, but I'm sure they will play up that YouTube thing next week.

Caroline & Jennifer: country singers from Nashville. Also, one of them is related to Daniel Boone? Random Trivia Alert!

Matthew & Daniel: firefighters. We don't learn much about them. They get screwed taking the penalty, and are eliminated.

If you have any nicknames for the teams or heard any I've missed, please post in the comments! What did you think of the teams thus far? Did the challenges look hard? What did you think of the alliances? Were you annoyed with the bad spirit alliance?

Compete in Fantasy TV: Make your picks on who you think will be going home. Hurry, you have until February 24 at 12pm PST to cast your vote!

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(Image courtesy of CBS)