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The Rebel Billionaire: Branson's Quest for the Best

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FOX (ended 2005)

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  • Season 1
    • Necker Island Finale
      1/11/05
      5.9
      In this episode, Richard takes Sara and Shawn to their last head-to-head challenges. He reunites the cast, and after much debate between Gabe, who is advocating for Sara, and Heather, who is advocating for Shawn, Richard chooses Shawn D. Nelson to be the next President of Virgin.
    • Miami
      Miami
      Episode 10
      1/4/05
      3.9
      We start off the episode in the same place we left the last episode.....Heather having a nervous breakdown. Heather says that she's afraid she's going to have a heart attack, and Gabriel takes on the responsibility of filming and shooting the commercial. The plane hits turbulence while Heather is strapped in, and she loses it and says that the plane has to go down. Erica is comforting her, and says in a confessional that while it hurt what Heather said to her, it's not going to stop her from helping her get better. Gabriel is concerned that Heather's meltdown will affect their performance in Richard's eyes. After the plane lands, Shawn says that "it's a bummer, but we're not going to turn our back on someone about to melt down." Gabriel says that he's seen Erica's softer side and he wishes he'd seen it before. Branson meets up with Erica to discuss what happened. He views Gabriel and Heather's commercial, and wonders where Heather is. Erica tells him she got sick and had to take the plane down. (Notice, this is the first time Heather ever had to do a really physical challenge, besides the jumping one over the valley way back when. If she had ever been in one of those tough elimination challenges, I think she would have never made it to the final four.) Sir Richard views Sara and Shawn's commercial, and doesn't look too happy about it. He says that both aren't what he was hoping for, and he has a tough decision to make. Branson meets the foursome at the airplane. One team is about to be eliminated. He tells Heather that she is ambitious and determined, but zero gravity got the best of her. He says that Gabriel didn't stand out at first, but he noticed three things about him: focus during stressful situations, he held the respect of the group, and he was the greatest friend to everybody. He says to Sara that they had tea together on top of a balloon, and he's seen her overcome personal fears. He tells Shawn that he was surprised by him with each challenge, and that he's a creative leader and fearless. In the end, he hands them all the tickets, and it's Shawn and Sara that are getting on the plane and going to the final 2. Gabriel says he's glad to have made the final four, and it was a great adventure. Heather thanks Richard for taking a mom on the trip, and she was delighted to have this opportunity. Branson says that it's now down to two. Shawn, in a confessional, says that things have started with mystery, and it is ending with mystery. They travel to Necker Island, Sir Richard Branson's private resort. Shawn says that it's an amazing island and the fact that Richard owns all of it is crazy. He had never seen Richard so excited about anything, and you could tell that this was his home. Branson says that this is a great place to decide who wins the ultimate prize. Sara claims that "this is something to aspire to, owning your own island." Shawn, Sara, and Sir Richard watch a few wakeboarders out on the surf, and Branson tells them to pay attention very closely. Hmmm, is that a hint, I wonder? Sir Richard then tells them they have to prepare a three minute speech to convince him and some special guests that you can follow in his footsteps. Shawn is excited, he says that this is a speech of a lifetime, he doesn't know where to begin since everything's riding on this speech. Sara simply says in a confessional "May the best woman win." Branson now states that he thinks that both Shawn and Sara have what it takes to run the Virgin empire. We then take a look at the audition tapes of both Shawn and Sara. Sara says that she is in charge of Spanx, a panty-hose company, but covering women's butts is not her life ambition. She did stand-up comedy for a while, and in her house sometimes she just likes to go down and dance by herself. In Shawn's videotape, he tells that he's the CEO of LoveSac. (On a side note, while I was Christmas shopping a while back, I found that the mall near me has a LoveSac store. I was excited and giddy and went inside to look around, and durn if those things aren't comfortable.) He also says that he's a Mormon, but he's the type of Mormon where other Mormons don't know if he's on the wagon, and non-Mormons think he's just a regular guy. (Another side note: He's just like me! A Mormon with style!) He says that controlled chaos is his management style. Branson is very impressed with how far the two have come since the beginning. And suddenly, the world turns topsy-turvy as we enter...bum bum buuuuuuum....THE RECAP ZONE. The first flashbacks we see are Shawn nearly leaving because of his rudeness to the taxi driver that was actually Richard, while Sara was being kind and nice to the driver. Then the balloon trip is briefly mentioned, with Sara's perseverance and beating out Tim and her fear of heights. Sara was again put to the test by leading the men's team in Hong Kong, and while their team did well, Branson notes that while Sara wouldn't lose a challenge after that, the men's team wouldn't win a challenge after that. Branson then notes that the differences between the two became more evident with each challenge. Sara was an affable competitor that was focused on winning. Shawn, however, enjoyed the challenges for what they were. In Africa, he hung out with and got to know the people they were trying to help, and it's imperative to know and understand the people you're working for. There is a flash-forward (??) to 3 months after the teams came through Africa, and we get to see that the little town has a water pump, egg-laying chicken farms, and a field of crops planted. The men lost that challenge, and the women went on a white-water rapid reward with Sir Richard, where the boat tipped over and several of the women (including Sara) nearly drowned. Sara says that "she should have known that a reward with Richard wouldn't be a nap in a spa." Some more never-before seen footage: we now know that Shawn instigated the infamous fight between Steve and Jessica. In the car over, Shawn got the group in the car to think it would be funny to push Steve's buttons and have Michael and Jessica flirt. Of course, Steve spazzed on Jessica and Shawn said that he was seeking entertainment, but they never got to the fun part. In the next challenge, the one having to do with publicity stunts, both of the final two did a horrible job. Sara's weakness was that she wasn't able to communicate her ideas to her peers. Shawn's weakness was that during brainstorming he loses perspective, there is a fine line between striving for the impossible and just being silly. Branson says that the men "obliterated that line" as names such as David Beckham and George W. Bush are tossed around as guest referees, and no press at all shows up for their event. Shawn and Michael both fail the elimination challenge, and yet Shawn's inventiveness pulls him through as his slogan is much more interesting and catchy than Michael's. We're back in recent time, and Branson is having dinner with Sara and Shawn. Sara says that she's a leader, but she's taken a backseat in most of the challenges. When asked, both say that Gabriel is probably the best friend they made out of all of the people. Sir Richard then notes that he was spying on them three times. The first was the taxi driver, and they knew about that one. The second one, Shawn caught on to, and he was a hippie-looking dude at the concert. The third one neither knew, and it was an old woman in Morocco. We then continue our flashback, and Branson narrates that Shawn's firebrands of brilliance were mixed with moments of disaster, as we see him being a klutz and spilling paint in their hotel room in the Moroccan challenge. Branson says that when they worked with Nikki and Erica, Sara weathered the storm and avoided infighting, while Shawn let his creativity do the talking. And both Sara and Shawn stood up for Candida against Nicole and Erica. It's the next morning, and Shawn and Sara walk into the room where they'll be giving their speech, and they see.....all 14 of the eliminated contestants. Oh my goodness. Sara and Shawn are shocked and.......it's time for the end of the episode! Next week: There's Sara, the blonde who quietly earned an undefeated record in tasks. Then there's Shawn, the over-the-top Mormon who's antics may have ruffled some feathers. (Hey, I'm just quoting the deep-voiced announcer here, it's not my idea.) We are told again and again that the finale will be twist-filled, and then we see that maybe, just maybe.....the entire game could be decided on a flip of a coin..... After the first two episodes, I thought that, you know, it looks like Shawn and Sara are getting the sparkly editing. And hey look, they are the final two. Both got very positive edits...until this "recap" episode. While Sara was edited as straight-laced, quiet, and non-ruffling, Shawn was edited as more of......a rebel. And hey, look at the title of this show. Well, you know who I'm picking to win it all. I'm atarus33@yahoo.com, and all comments are welcome. See you at the finale!moreless
    • Tokyo
      Tokyo
      Episode 9
      12/28/04
      3.9
      In retrospect, I am glad I didn't watch last week's episode. Having to review the conflict that unfolded would have tested the limits of my patience. Since I didn't have a copy of the show I turned to a writer from another entertainment website to get the lowdown. As he outlined the competitions and other events that took place I realized that from the very first installment, The Rebel Billionaire had been edited to build the foundation for the Soap Opera it dissolved into by Episode 8. For anyone who hasn't seen it or found another source for the review, I'll give you a brief summary: The players arrive in Japan where they are informed by RB that the teams will remain the same as in Morocco - Heather, Gabriel and Candida versus Shawn, Erica, Nicole and Sara. Any doubts I had concerning my "Survival of the Hippest" theory disappeared right there. Can you guess which team will win? The challenge was to create a five-minute presentation to introduce Virgin's new Upper Class Suites. The luxury accommodations include seats, which fold down into a comfortable bed. In a city, which pioneered the capsule hotel, this feature should be especially welcomed. Gabe and Erica are respective team leaders. Erica's team wins. Gabe chooses Candida to join him in the elimination challenge that takes place at the Virgin Annual Picnic, a little gathering of 30,000 of Sir Richards nearest and dearest. It involved crossing a wire at 100 feet between two platforms, which were 40 feet apart, dressed in silly costumes (why not?). Before the competition takes place a major conflict erupts, one that had been simmering for weeks. The source of all the tension has been the "Brunette Bully Brigade" or more specifically, Nicole, with Erica playing willing cheerleader to her campaign of conflict. The five remaining contestants come to the consensus that the situation must be addressed. At some point Shawn has a face-to-face confrontation with Nicole. Little of the actual argument is shown but I was able to discern Shawn's take on what went down from visiting his website while researching yesterday's article and, despite the fact that his view would be biased, at least I can safely assume that he stepped up to the plate when asked about his feelings regarding the conflict. Candida got an opportunity to air her grievances also and didn't allow the fight to incite a complete meltdown amongst the rivals. Heather on the other hand backs down when Nicole asks her directly if she harbored and ill-will, denying everything. After hearing the details of how Candida had been ostracized throughout the game and the additional pressures she faced due to the constant barrage of negativity, Gabriel regrets his decision to take her to the elimination. The cards have been dealt and they are able to complete the harrowing challenge, unaware that on the ground below, one of their fellow cast mates is chanting "Fall, fall". Since I didn't see it, I can't imagine how awful this scene must have played out. It makes me cringe. Even though they are able to successfully make the crossing on the second attempt in spite of gusting winds, one must be eliminated and Candida is left on the tarmac as the rest of the cast heads to Florida where they are told four will have a short trip home. I believe that before this last competition they were informed that if it was not accomplished BOTH would have been eliminated. The end is drawing near and Judgment Day is at hand. It was important to know that this drama played out last week in order to understand the upcoming events. I'm glad I wasn't required to be a ring-side commentator. I'll reserve my judgment for the actual game itself, not the petty nastiness that seemed to dominate the final weeks of the "big adventure". It's a shame that so much airtime was given to this and we missed out on so many other incredible sights and events that took a backseat to the unprofessional behavior among the contestants. Branson must have been aware of the growing disharmony and he played it for what it was worth. In the end the results will be the same. At least Candida had an opportunity to vindicate herself before leaving, but I am certain that's a small consolation. The biggest losers here were the viewers. We came for the promised innovative competitions and breath taking challenges. If we wanted the drama that appeals to the lowest common denominator we have plenty of arenas to choose from - and apparently much of the original audience did just that. The "Quest for the Best" became a footnote at the beginning. Now it's just a matter of watching my theory play out… If you haven't read my prediction on who wins it all and my theory of just how much the "fix is in" click here. Eleanor Meilinger writes for RTVC in an attempt to avoid doing any real work. Now that her daughters, Amanda and Melanie have joined her in this project they are starting to catch on! She may just have to finish that screenplay…moreless
    • Morocco
      Morocco
      Episode 8
      12/21/04
      4.1
      In last week's show, our band of billionaire wanabees explored the business world in a foreign environment, all ending in a hunt for Sir Richard in the streets of Marrakech, Morocco. You can read about it here. Only seven contestants remain as this episode begins in flight to Japan. This week's challenges seem to repeat the themes of "publicity stunts" and "working in foreign environments." The task is to publicize Virgin Airlines' new "Upper Class Suites." A five-minute presentation is to be made to 400 guests at a promotional party. They have 24 hours to prepare, and only one team will be allowed to make a presentation. The other team is at risk in an elimination challenge. Click Here! Players are split into the same two teams as last week. On the one team, Sara and Nicole get a pass and Shawn and Erica play rock-paper-scissors. Shawn wins and lets Erica be the leader. For the others, since Candida led last week, Gabe steps up. Heather stays in her traditional position, UTR (Under The Radar). I don't see how she can keep avoiding the responsibility of leadership, nor can I believe Branson hasn't noticed. Isn't Branson looking for a LEADER? The teams start out brainstorming. Candida has a long list of ideas to propose. Some are a little iffy, like saying the creation of this suite is on a par with the discoveries of fire and the wheel. But the idea about tying it into a revolutionary point in Japanese history, that one has some merit. So did "Retreat to the Suite." Heather looks vexed, and in an aside says, "I am relegated to helping wade through the crappy ideas on the table and trying to pull the least crappy idea out." Well, I guess if you're going to play extreme UTR, keeping your own ideas off the table is the way to go. Gabe tells us that Sir Richard told both teams they could use him in the presentation, if they so choose. Finally, Gabe comes up with an idea involving Sir Richard and Sumo wrestlers. Erica's team settles on an idea from Shawn, involving live music and the other three ladies as sexy/cheesy dancers. Erica loves this as she can pass all the hard parts off on Shawn and Nicole. Gabe starts trying to line up a Sumo wrestler. This turns out to be a lot harder than you might expect. He also explains their plan to Sir Richard, including that he will need to wear the traditional mawashi. This seems to meet with a little reluctance on Sir Richard's part. Meanwhile, Shawn has had an amazing stroke of luck. In the bar they are at, one of the cooks is a bass player, and also knows a drummer! Shawn hires them on the spot. Meanwhile, Nicole has taken on the choreographer role and is instructing Sara and Erica in dance. Sara's input is a waste of breath, and she's clearly displeased. Instructions include "how to bend." Shawn can sense the tension, the brunettes cannot. Hey, I just recapped The Swan Pageant from yesterday, and they had 20 sessions to perfect routines that were not nearly as intricate as some of this stuff. The routine is way too much for next-day presentation. Trying to do too much has been a recurring theme this year. Gabe is having trouble lining up the Sumo wrestlers, and he turns the task over to Candida. Sir Richard has shown reluctance to wear the mawashi, so they're looking into alternatives. One is a sumo body-costume, but they look too hokey. Candida does note that Gabe and Heather are bonding as they horse around with those ridiculous costumes. Being the outsider in a group of three is not a good thing, but you know it will always happen. There's ten hours to go. The teams meet Tak and Mr. Shu, two friends of Sir Richard. They are to be included in the presentation, no doubt as customers. The one working with Gabe cannot believe the Sumo idea. Finally, Candida locates an agent with two Sumo wrestlers who promises they'll show up as planned. She may have faults, but Candida works miracles with a phone, and I mean that in only the best and cleanest of ways. Dance practice is getting serious, as Sara feels every mistake is met with eye rolling and nudging. Nicole figures Sara is just playing some sort of "game" with her, but it does look to me like she's trying very hard. When Shawn tries to get into the act, they call him "a gay dancer." Well, that used to be a good thing, but I'm older, what do I know? In the next scene "The Brunette Bully Brigade" equates "Mormon" and "gay" most unsubtly. Sara and Shawn talk alone and neither is impressed with the boorish brunettes. One thing they comment on that seems pretty evident is that Erica is not providing leadership in this task. Back in the other suite, Candida and Gabe separately comment that many details are not nailed down and they haven't even practiced their presentation. Gabe appears willing to wing it, but partner, most people just don't work well that way!moreless
    • London
      London
      Episode 7
      12/14/04
      6.4
      "This next challenge will give me a chance to see how the contestants react when taken out of their element," explains Sir Richard Branson as we watch the contestants arrive in Marrakech, Morocco to stock footage of the "natives" of this "colorful, exciting country." Since Virgin is an international enterprise, Branson knows that the person he selects to replace him (ok, lets pretend we're still buying this - it makes it more fun!) will have to be able to adapt to foreign culture and deal with "…language barriers and unfamiliar surroundings." First they will have to learn to live with each other in peace and harmony. Yeah, right. Thanks to our oh-so-considerate editors we are treated to some Candy-bashing at the hands of Erica and Nicole. Could this be a set-up for what is to come? Since this is The Rebel Billionaire's now predictable modus operendi you can pretty much count on it! Here we learn of Nicki's pet name for Candida - "Candiva", which she has since cleverly claimed as the name for her personal website. Sara addresses the fact that Nicole and Erica seem hell-bent on finding fault with everything Candida does or says. They seem to feel that she contradicts herself at every turn. We haven't seen many examples of this behavior -yet. Candida elicits sympathy from Sara as she expresses that she doesn't want anyone to have to feel as awful and outcast as she has felt since the beginning of the game. She has coined her own term for her nemesis' - "The Brunette Bully Brigade" Candida seems to think that the remaining contestants would love to get rid of Nicki and Erica - funny they think it's the other way around. I have wasted an entire paragraph setting up this feud because that's what everyone is interested in, right? No one is tuning in for the great adventure, exotic locale and innovative challenges - they want to see catfights. Or so the producers have been lead to believe. Maybe they have failed to notice that no one is tuning in, period. They'd rather watch huge cut-outs of grossly overweight people surrounded by heaping bowls of food and listen to the "losers" drone on and on about how they can't believe they ever looked that awful than take a chance that this show might turn around and live up to it's promise. Sir Richard Branson greets his players and instructs them to be aware of everything around them, "As I said, keep your eye's open." is the blatant, after-the-fact, voiceover we hear as the contestants nod sagely. Now that the men have been reduced to three, Branson decides to shuffle the teams around a bit. Since Candida is the only player who has not yet been team leader she is chosen and allowed to pick her opponent. She chooses Nicole, to no one's surprise but Nicki herself. Candida figures it's the best opportunity she'll get to set Nicole up for dismissal. This should fuel her desire to win. In turn they select their teams. Candida selects Heather, Steve and Gabe while Nicole takes Erica, Shawn and Sara. The selection of Gabe over Sara was a questionable move since Sara was one of Candida's strongest allies. The ultimate outcome would have been quite different had she chosen more wisely. Heather is relieved to have been chosen by Candida, explaining that she believed Nicole would have chosen her after Erica and used her as a sacrificial lamb if their team would lose. Instead of outlining the upcoming challenge, Sir Richard informs them that they have been invited to dine that evening in the Royal Palace. The import of this honor is not lost on the contestants. As guests at a birthday celebration for King Mohammad VI, they dress in native garb and dine on local delicacies while being entertained by native musicians and, much to Gabriel's delight, belly dancers. Branson explains to their host the theory of the game, saying that it requires an almost Machiavellian strategy, to which Steve responds with shifty eyes, presumably in jest. I laughed at the use of the term "strategy". The only thing Machiavellian in this game is the criteria by which RB is judging the contestants, a strategy known only to himself. In a demonstration of what a "wild and crazy guy" he is, we see Sir Richard grope the dancers and eventually pick one up and flip her over in an apparent dance move, one he must have picked up on one of his numerous visits to the country. In what will turn out to be a eulogy of sorts, Richard describes his take on Steve. He tells us that he first met him playing tennis (cut top shot of Steve lobbing a ball at Branson's groin - all in good fun of course!) and found him "absolutely delightful". He has since revised his opinion, noting that Steve is absolutely determined to win, regardless of the consequences of his actions. From his tone of voice it seems that Branson does not consider this a desirable quality in a future corporate head (I'd bet Trump would beg to differ.) The following morning the contestants are lead to a site where they meet up with Sir Richard once again. He welcomes them to the Atlas Mountains and points out a landmark on an adjoining hilltop. This building, under construction, is to be the Kasbah Tamadot (luckily, they provide a nice caption for us - good marketing), a new addition to the Virgin chain of hotels worldwide. He spotted the location during on of his "Round the World balloon expeditions and his mother told him he had to make it a part of his empire. The challenge will be for each team to renovate and decorate one suite in 24 hours with a $5000 budget. Fans of Extreme Makeover Home Edition or The Complex (or The Mansion, or The Apprentice or… the list goes on) will recognize this particular test. What makes this one unique is the fact that they are in a foreign country and an hour away from the marketplace where they will purchase the bulk of their supplies. Keep in mind that the market in Marrakech is notorious for haggling, an art form which probably originated, and was certainly perfected there. After members of both teams reiterate the barriers associated with this particular feat, Candida appropriately flags it "Mission: Impossible". This defeatist attitude will do little to inspire her team.moreless
    • London
      London
      Episode 6
      12/7/04
      5.9
      id you hear about the American friends who vowed to meet in London and marry off o­ne of their own in 24 hours? How about the Jewish-Muslim vs. American soccer game with a celebrity referee? If so, the Rebel Billionaire teams succeeded in their publicity stunts. Rebel Billionaire Branson explains how, even with little money, Virgin relied o­n the art of a publicity stunt to garner fresh buzz and front-page news. He expects each team (Boys vs. Girls) to create a company and launch an event. They have 24 hours to plan and execute the ideas. The team with the most press wins the challenge. The men promote leader Shawn's company, LovSac, and the team will create a "Love Match" soccer game. The Jewish-Muslim game's goal is to promote peace while creating company hype. o­n the girl's side, Jessica wants to start and "underwear revolution," but the girls are not convinced. They decide, with some resistance, to marry Erica off and tell a fabricated back-story. Ready and willing, the women hit the street in search of a groom. The men also set to the street in a desperate attempt to find a celebrity—and soccer players. Without many logistics in place, the boys stop for an Abbey Road Kodak moment a la The Beatles: a small victory for the challengers, a large o­ne for the scrapbooks. The men soon find players and feel prepared for tomorrow's event. The women arrive the event location with confidence. The dress, the bride, and loads of press are ready—but there is no groom! Team members scour the park and find a willing man to marry the newly appointed "Supermodel" Erica. After the modest ceremony, reporters question Erica and her uninformed answers smell like a hoax, but the press feeds into the publicity trap. The men hope to have as much press waiting, but unfortunately all that waits are a few soccer players and a wet field. They enjoy playing the game with no press watching. Nicole and the ladies wake the men news of their successful press-packed mission. The gloating goes unappreciated, and the outcome is near. Since the ladies garnered more press, they win. Regretfully, o­ne of the men must go home, Shawn or another team member. Shawn chooses Mike as his challenger. The two contenders and Branson take the aquatic car out for a spin—both o­n London's streets and Thames' water. Here, Shawn and Mike defend themselves to Branson; all know the next mission decides their fate. Their mission is to repel Britain's tallest building—750 feet. o­n the way down (in 90 seconds) each must attach letters to a wire spelling out a slogan that will further publicize their company. Branson leads and the boys follow, even though the Billionaire worries that it is too windy for the mission. As Shawn and Mike attempt the task, soon time is up and letters are off the wire. The two players tell Branson the slogan. With the mission complete, it's elimination time. As the team members wait inside the plane, Shawn and Mike speak with the Billionaire o­n the runway. Branson must eliminate o­ne of the two men. He notes that both contenders took o­n the challenge with dignity and spirit. Since Shawn was the leader, he is held to a higher standard and had to prove himself. Luckily for Shawn, Branson noted his positive leadership abilities and invites him back o­n the plane. Inside the remaining players prepare for the Atlas Mountains—Morocco or bust!moreless
    • Episode 11/Episode 12
    • South Africa
      South Africa
      Episode 5
      11/30/04
      6.4
      Loves makes people do crazy things. And so does rock n roll. Episode four tests the rocky flirtation of Steve and Jessica as each lead the opposite sex's group. Teams view four bands and choose the most talented. They must present the selected act to a panel of V2 judges, and the winning team's band will open at the V-Festival music event. o­ne of the starry-eyed leaders will lose, putting him or her at risk of elimination. As Steve becomes jealous of Jessica cozying up to other male players, she becomes bored with his mind games. In any case, Steve calls Jessica a weakness, and he is quite positive she feels the same. However, before long, it's business as usual when the bands take stage and the leading lovers cannot afford to lose sight of the mission. Steve takes charge and decides Exit Ten, a marketable rock male group, is by far the most talented band. Without further thought, Steve and his team woo the musicians. They are off and running as Jessica and her team discuss the options. They choose Red, an edgy all-female band. Both teams prepare a presentation and prep the chosen musicians to perform live in front of the V2 executives—all in less than 24 hours. Come presentation time, the panel of professionals (including Branson) looks stern. Jessica's team enthusiastically introduces Red. The musicians are in top form, but their sound is a bit off when compared to the previous night. Steve's team remains confident Exit Ten has the look and sound to win. As leader, Steve carries the entire "over the top" yet attention-grabbing presentation. The panel laughs at the mirror-rehearsed dramatic speech. Clad in Exit Ten shirts, the group uses recommendations of other established music industry professionals and lets the band do what it does best—rock. Team members note that Exit Ten has a better sound, but the panel criticizes both groups. The panel must think of what band brings more to the show, sound is a better fit, and team brought the best talent. At the show, teams learn Exit Ten won. The women and their pleased leader Steve rejoice; the men and Jessica lament. As the losing team leader, Jessica must choose a challenger to compete for a spot to stay in the game. Jessica challenges Shawn, citing his need to lead. Shawn counters that he did not like the band and wishes he had done more to lead the team away form the losing band. Branson always worried about Shawn's arrogance and Jessica's leadership, so this test is especially important. For the challenge, o­ne of the two must sing, while the other must streak in order to publicize the chosen band Red. Jessica decides to streak, and Mormon Shawn prefers to sing. Steve admits he is not happy with the world seeing the object of his affection, though moments earlier he showed no remorse at the thought of Jessica leaving. Steve seems to be the o­nly o­ne minding her nude performance. As she takes the stage wearing o­nly a sparse amount of paint reading "Red" and "Virgin," Jessica shows her endless determination. The concert crowd roars. Unfortunately, Shawn's rendition of Oops . . . I Did It Again does not have the same feedback, but he performs unfazed. Offstage the team laughs at the embarrassing challenge. As the laughs fade, Branson gives o­ne of the challengers a ticket home. He declares the elimination challenge a courageous draw. However, as team leader Jessica must take responsibility for choosing the wrong band, and she must pay the price. Shawn is relieved; Jessica is disappointed. Fickle Steve becomes emotional as he learns Jessica is leaving. He is near tears, but the game plays o­n. Contestants must leave their surprisingly strong sentiments behind as they prepare for their next challenge: the art of the publicity stunt.moreless
    • Episode 10
      Episode 10
      Episode 5
      11/30/04
      0.0
    • Episode 9
      Episode 9
      Episode 4
      11/30/04
      0.0
    • Zimbabwe
      Zimbabwe
      Episode 4
      11/23/04
      4.3
      Episode four tests the rocky flirtation of Steve and Jessica as each lead the opposite sex's group. Teams view four bands and choose the most talented. They must present the selected act to a panel of V2 judges, and the winning team's band will open at the V-Festival music event. o­ne of the starry-eyed leaders will lose, putting him or her at risk of elimination. As Steve becomes jealous of Jessica cozying up to other male players, she becomes bored with his mind games. In any case, Steve calls Jessica a weakness, and he is quite positive she feels the same. However, before long, it's business as usual when the bands take stage and the leading lovers cannot afford to lose sight of the mission. Steve takes charge and decides Exit Ten, a marketable rock male group, is by far the most talented band. Without further thought, Steve and his team woo the musicians. They are off and running as Jessica and her team discuss the options. They choose Red, an edgy all-female band. Both teams prepare a presentation and prep the chosen musicians to perform live in front of the V2 executives—all in less than 24 hours. Come presentation time, the panel of professionals (including Branson) looks stern. Jessica's team enthusiastically introduces Red. The musicians are in top form, but their sound is a bit off when compared to the previous night. Steve's team remains confident Exit Ten has the look and sound to win. As leader, Steve carries the entire "over the top" yet attention-grabbing presentation. The panel laughs at the mirror-rehearsed dramatic speech. Clad in Exit Ten shirts, the group uses recommendations of other established music industry professionals and lets the band do what it does best—rock. Team members note that Exit Ten has a better sound, but the panel criticizes both groups. The panel must think of what band brings more to the show, sound is a better fit, and team brought the best talent. At the show, teams learn Exit Ten won. The women and their pleased leader Steve rejoice; the men and Jessica lament. As the losing team leader, Jessica must choose a challenger to compete for a spot to stay in the game. Jessica challenges Shawn, citing his need to lead. Shawn counters that he did not like the band and wishes he had done more to lead the team away form the losing band. Branson always worried about Shawn's arrogance and Jessica's leadership, so this test is especially important. For the challenge, o­ne of the two must sing, while the other must streak in order to publicize the chosen band Red. Jessica decides to streak, and Mormon Shawn prefers to sing. Steve admits he is not happy with the world seeing the object of his affection, though moments earlier he showed no remorse at the thought of Jessica leaving. Steve seems to be the o­nly o­ne minding her nude performance. As she takes the stage wearing o­nly a sparse amount of paint reading "Red" and "Virgin," Jessica shows her endless determination. The concert crowd roars. Unfortunately, Shawn's rendition of Oops . . . I Did It Again does not have the same feedback, but he performs unfazed. Offstage the team laughs at the embarrassing challenge. As the laughs fade, Branson gives o­ne of the challengers a ticket home. He declares the elimination challenge a courageous draw. However, as team leader Jessica must take responsibility for choosing the wrong band, and she must pay the price. Shawn is relieved; Jessica is disappointed. Fickle Steve becomes emotional as he learns Jessica is leaving. He is near tears, but the game plays o­n. Contestants must leave their surprisingly strong sentiments behind as they prepare for their next challenge: the art of the publicity stunt.moreless
    • Episode 8
      Episode 8
      Episode 3
      11/30/04
      0.0
    • Victoria Falls
      Victoria Falls
      Episode 3
      11/16/04
      4.1
      As the contestants relax and prepare for a champagne toast, the rebel challenge springs to action. Billionaire Branson announces the next destination: Africa. More specifically Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls, which is three times the height of Niagara Falls. Or, as Branson so eloquently puts it, "360 feet straight down." Before contestants can do the math, Branson asks the ladies to choose a male team leader and the men to choose a female. The girls choose Gabriel, who is anxious about leading the "train wreck," but he squashes negativity and consistently portrays confidence. The men choose Nicole, who is nervous about being a leader but is proud that the men trust her in this leap of faith. Branson knows that entrepreneurs are constantly taking leaps and must trust others to catch them. Enter challenge o­ne. Players are put atop the waterfall cliff. Each team has o­ne jumper and o­ne catcher. The jumpers leap into the catchers' arms and earn o­ne point—or the catcher may not grab hold, and they will bungee down earning zero points. The men and women name the strongest and largest member as the catchers, Gabriel and Jermaine respectively. Once the strategy sessions end, the game begins. Both teams' first attempts fail. However, second attempts are better performed, and o­ne by o­ne both teams improve. After o­ne shot from each jumper, the score is tied. Not o­ne to accept a draw, Branson offers a tiebreaker. Each team chooses the strongest jumper, and the o­ne who successfully jumps furthest wins. The men aim for 7 feet 7½ inches, and the girls attempt 7 feet 8 inches. The boys easily meet the goal. The ladies must succeed in theirs, or else o­ne is going home. With encouragement, focus, and determination, Erica leaps into Gabriel's arms and wins it for the team. The ladies rejoice, and Heather is so excited that they "spanked the boys in a physical challenge." On that note Branson himself braves the task—despite his illogical fear of bungee jumping. Gabriel is ready but falls short, as Jermaine notes, "Gabe let a few billion dollars slip through his arms." o­n the bright side, Branson enjoyed the beautiful ride down. Unfortunately, beauty fades and reality appears. Defeated leader Nicole must select a challenger. Based o­n o­ne unknown stunt, Nicole or her chosen competitor must go home. She asks the other team members for their input; almost all objectively choose the o­nly non-scoring player, Shawn. She inexplicably chooses Sam. The team is surprised. And Sam is ready. Sam and Nicole arrive o­n top of Victoria Falls preparing to create a world record. The two will ride down the waterfall in a barrel created in part by NASA. This is not a stunt. This real-life endeavor has a red emergency panic button and requires an additional liability waiver. The barrel has not been completely tested, but preliminary screenings o­nly harmed people o­n a near-fatal scale. I repeat: There have been no deaths in the capsule. Nicole questions the safety while Sam listens and nods. In the end, Nicole does not want to regret never seeing her family again, and Sam does not want to miss this opportunity. Nicole forfeits, so Sam and Branson are elevated in the barrel, but it does not drop. Branson informs Sam that this was a test—a hazardous test. In life and business, it is important to know when to take risks and when to follow your own instinct. This challenge is too dangerous to complete. Together they return home. At dinner, Nicole loudly toots her own decision-making horn, failing to notice Sam's anguish. Between Sam's poor choice and Nicole's tasteless gloating, Richard does not know whom to eliminate. The other players cannot predict the outcome, but all know that smugness is not a virtue. For the moment, it is anyone's game. In the end, Branson liked that Sam made a decision and stuck with it. As a leader, Nicole should have stopped his teammate, but at least she questioned the deadly task. Sam is sent packing and Nicole boards the plane with her self-appointed new friends. No o­ne cheers her arrival as each prepares for the next adventure: an African safari.moreless
    • Episode 7
      Episode 7
      Episode 2
      11/30/04
      0.0
    • Hong Kong, China
      Hong Kong, China
      Episode 2
      11/9/04
      7.2
      In the next challenge, the remaining participants travel to Hong Kong to introduce a new in-flight service on Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class and then learn the sky's the limit when they "wing-walk" on biplanes, passing batons back and forth as the planes are in flight high above the countryside.
    • Episode 6
      Episode 6
      Episode 1
      11/30/04
      0.0
    • Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
      11/9/04
      5.3
      In the first part of the two-hour opener, Branson meets the original group of 16 at his country home in Oxford, England, where he gives new meaning to the term "mile-high club" as the group (including Sir Richard) must traverse between two hot-air balloons traveling 3,000 feet above the countryside. The two people who don't make it, Tim and Sarah, must now climb up to the top of their hot air balloon to join Richard at the top. While both make it, Richard sees potential in Sarah, and sends Tim away.moreless
Tuesday
No results found.
Wednesday
No results found.
Thursday
No results found.