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
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