THE WORLD - OR AT LEAST THE NEXT HUNDRED YARDS OF THE LOS ANGELES RIVER - IS WAITING: Traditionally, the first episode of The Amazing Race has been a very long drive from some obscure locale on the west coast to the international airport with a series of teams saying "wow! I can't believe we're on the Amazing Race!" And there was some of that. But Phil et al started strong with any easy-to-solve-if-you-stop-for-three-seconds challenge to boot out the extraneous Team Numero (if-I-pronounce-the-next-word-wrong-it-will-make-me-sound-tough) u-NO.
The rest of both legs were very well constructed - maybe the best opening leg in years: a doable, but not inherently nasty, eating challenge, navigating through Tokyo, a couple of good challenges in Vietnam, and some thoughtful racing by the folks in the second bus. Some bunching, yes, and a not-very-complex Speed Bump for a NEL, but that may be unavoidable as a logistics matter.
It's hard to keep track of who is where at this stage - I like Team Montana, but then I like it when folks can bring a specific set of real world skills to the game ("I've herded a thing or two") and bolt ahead - but TAR 15 looks as promising as any in years.