It seems like it was a long time in coming once the news got out that this season would be an "All Stars" season. For the most part, I think the team choices were good. I don't care for a few of them and I'm ambivalent about others, but I generally understand the reason they're on the show.
Unlike other seasons of the show, tonight's season premiere was only an hour. That, in a way, was a good thing as golf (of all things) delayed its start here. (Don't get me going on that!) But, even with two hours, I often feel the first team out really doesn't get remembered. At least with the "All Star" format, we know the team. And, it's one of the ones about which I was ambivalent. Phew!
Tonight's premiere, whether due to the abbreviated hour-long version or not, didn't seem to cover as much ground as did previous premieres. The teams raced on boats to Miami, bringing about a comment from Ian (an ex-narcotics officer) about Miami Vice. They got into their nifty TAR-Mercedes cars and headed off to the airport. Since a few of the teams, especially Oswald and Danny, were familiar with the area, there was a lot of following without hesitation from the other teams.
There were two flights available heading to the teams' first destination of Ecuador, an American airlines flight which left twenty minutes after a Copa flight but arrived almost two hours earlier to their destination. The more quick-thinking teams thought to ask, but David and Mary just jumped on the tickets for the flight which left the earliest. This, of course, is after Mary said in the show's introduction, "I can win first place without anyone giving it to me."
I will give them credit for trying to be sneaky lying to the Beauty Queens (Dustin and Kandice) by telling them that's the quickest flight after they found out it wasn't. But Dustin and Kandice didn't fall for it and only ended up on the same flight as they were later to the airport. In the end, it didn't matter which flight folks were on as both the first place and Philiminated teams were on the American Airlines flight. It was what went on in between the airport and the Pit Stop which made the difference.