I agree with hepcat, NCDave, and what I said in my previous posts. Yes, TAR is interesting when it comes down to two teams racing to the pitstop and they're neck and neck (like Jon/Kelly and Millie/Chuck), and you have no idea who's going to make it first. But there isn't enough of that. The show is about testing relationships, and seeing if you can make it work in a stressful situation together. Do you really think that Frank/Margarita, Tara/Wil, and Lenny/Karyn were cast because the producers thought they were the best racers out there? Do you think Mark Burnett casts his contestants because he thinks they really stand the best chance of surviving, over everyone else who applied? This is a reality show, and it's about entertainment. Their casting probably relies on not who the best racer will be, but who will provide the best drama, tension, entertaining and heartfelt moments, and then throw a couple of teams in like David/Jeff who are just there to fill space. Maybe they could have cast one more all male team (more in the direction of the ATC's vs. Derek/Drew and the alpha male clan) but I'm happy to see more all-girl teams.
I wish they'd steer away from the dating teams, but I do like this cast and think it's the best they've had in awhile. Looking back on some of the female teams, Pat/Brenda might have made a different impression had the lasted longer. I did start to like them, but never saw enough of them to make up my mind. Same thing with Gina/Sylvia and Deirdre/Hillary. Kim/Leslie defiantly brought tension, and they're feud with Paul/Amie might have made for some interesting moments had they lasted past the second leg. When I first saw TAR back during it's first season, I really thought all the older and out of shape teams would be gone first, followed by those in a relationship crisis. I do agree that some teams, no matter how many times they race, will make it very far, but there have been teams in the past who really surprised me, either by going out early or staying in for longer than I thought.