Author Topic: Rebel Billionaire ~Part one  (Read 7604 times)

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Rebel Billionaire ~Part one
« on: November 13, 2004, 12:16:18 PM »
From Realityshack
Tea at 10,000 Feet
Welcome to The Rebel Billionaire: Branson's Quest for the Best. Sir Richard Branson is the billionaire in charge for this show. As I watched The Benefactor and did columns for that, I think it will be interesting to compare these two shows. Anyway, it is revealed that while the contestants think they are competing for a job for Sir Richard Branson, they are actually competing for the biggest prize in reality TV history: Branson's job. That's right, they are going to take over the Virgin empire...they will become the next billionaire. That's some heavy stuff right there. We are then treated to the intro scene, using Live and Let Die as the theme music. Which is a very good choice, in my opinion.
The adventure starts off in England at Branson's estate. Branson says that this will be a new adventure and challenge for him as well as the contestants. The contestants arrive in groups to the mansion in separate taxi cabs. Or so they think. The taxi driver is actually Branson, which is revealed as he takes off his mask a la Mission: Impossible to his pretty flight attendants, Georgia and Frankie. Branson says that he wanted to get a real sense of who the contestants are, he asked them questions in the car ride and evaluated them, and based on the cab ride, two of them will be eliminated immediately. (It really seems like this immediate elimination thing has gotten to be a trend in reality shows lately...honestly I don't like it much.)
We get our first set of confessionals, as we see the contestants watching a limo pull up to the estate. Nicole says she's kind of nervous, Sara says she's a CEO of her company, and she thinks this will be a humbling experience. Tim says this is a great chance to see what he can do. Spencer says that he's young, hungry, greedy, and motivated. Steve says, and I quote. "I will make every one of them my bitch." I like this guy already.
They are watching the limo, and as the limo door opens, a Donald Trump lookalike steps out, and the contestants laugh. A regular taxi cab then pulls up, and Branson steps out of that. As the contestants are giddily having a drink, Branson drops the bombshell...he was the taxi driver, and based on first impressions, he's eliminating two people right there. Steve is shocked and nervous, says that they've only been there for 30 minutes and two people are leaving already. Branson states that three people gave him bad impressions. He says Aisha didn't come realizing what the challenge was all about, apparently he didn't like the fact that she compared herself to J.Lo. Shawn was with two ladies and yet he didn't help them or the taxi driver pack the bags into the cab, and he was a bit cocky for Branson's tastes. Finally, Spencer was rude to the taxi driver, and Branson says he wants the person that is taking over his company to be warm to people like taxi drivers.
After a brief dramatic montage complete with dramatic music, Branson eliminates Aisha and Spencer. Spencer looks disgusted, and Aisha starts crying. She tells Branson that she's a businesswoman and she sacrificed her husband and son to be here. Branson says that now she'll be able to go back and be with them. Branson privately says that as much as Aisha and Spencer would be good employees, they couldn't run his company, and that's what this is about. He tells everyone left that 4 AM the next morning, seven of them will be doing something. Shawn says he's been given a second chance, and he's going to give the next challenge his all.
3:30 AM, the flight attendants show up (hot uniforms too, rawr) and the 14 contestants go see a huge hot air balloon. Sara says that she enjoys being on the ground, so she's a bit scared of what might happen. Jermaine says that you have to mentally have your game on, and Heather says she was about to simultaneously pee in her pants and throw up. Gabriel says they were all expecting a hot air balloon at some point, but not this early. Sara is afraid of heights, and Jennifer says she'll throw up if she has to participate. Branson reveals that the people selected will have to cross between two balloons at ten thousand feet. Jeeeebus. Branson divides the group into two, 7 are safe, the other 7 he wants to take a closer look at. Sam is convinced that Branson is dividing the groups up because he wants to see certain qualities brought out from certain people. Shawn is made the leader of the flight group because of his almost-elimination in the taxi cab driver challenge.
Branson makes it known that Shawn will choose the order of people that come across. It will reveal first impressions of people, and that it's best for them not to be chosen last, and they have to get the entire team from one balloon to the other before they separate. Sara tells the group that she is afraid of heights, and she should go first because the longer she waits, the more time it will take her and the more likely it is she'll lock up. Branson is convinced that participating in extreme physical challenges will prove that people can be successful in the field.
Shawn decides to cross between balloons first. If it isn't all that bad, he'll choose Sara to come across after him. If he thinks it's scary, he'll choose Michael. He looks down as he's about to cross and says "it's the team vs. Sara vs. me." They have 15 minutes to get across totally. Branson says "go!" and Shawn starts to go. He gets across, and with a lot more dramatic music, Shawn chooses Michael instead of Sara. Michael says that he wasn't afraid, but as soon as he looked down he thought "Wow, this is crazy." He makes it across fast though, and he chooses Erica. Erica, Nicole, and Jessica all make it across fast. Sara is feeling betrayed, being left alone in the balloon as Tim goes next. However, he hits the safety wire twice, and has to go back. It's Sara's turn. Her heart is racing and she knows the team is low on time. However, she hits the wire twice unconsciously as well. Tim and Sara are left on the balloon as the other balloon breaks apart and goes back to land. Branson then tells Tim and Sara they're going to go with him to the top of the balloon and have a tea party, if they don't make it up to the top, they will be eliminated from the game. If they both make it, he will choose between them. He then proceeds to go out on the ladder first and climb up: he doesn't want to fail in front of the two younger participants. He feels exhausted after the climb, and is afraid Sara won't be able to do it. (Now this is a reality show host...he does the challenges himself. Let's see Probst pull that off!)
On the ground, Shawn is worried that Sir Branson won't like his decision. He says that his job was to get as many people across as possible, and Sara would have hindered that, but now he is second-guessing his decision. Back in the air, Tim makes it up the climb with no problem. Sara, on the other hand, is taking longer. Upwards of 40 minutes pass before she finally reaches the top of the balloon, exhausted but thrilled at the same time. She's so excited, she forgets where she is....on top of a balloon, and her leg goes straight through the balloon, and she nearly falls to her death. Holy crap. But this is a reality show, it's okay! Branson and Tim and Sara clink glasses and have tea on the balloon. Branson says they must be the first people to have tea on a balloon. Tim says he's not going to spend time worrying about tomorrow, he wants to enjoy the experience. Sara says she doesn't envy her host's decision at all.
Sir Richard says that the decision between Tim and Sara will be very difficult. Back on the ground, in a cab, Tim talks about how he argued a case in front of the Supreme Court. Sara laughs and says "Gee Tim, all I do is make people's butts look better." As Tim and Sara recount their story to the others, Shawn private confesses that he is rethinking his leadership. He is afraid Sara might feel betrayed, and he feels badly that she took one for the team, and will feel even worse if she ends up going home.
We now get treated to the corny catch-phrase of this particular reality TV show. "The airplane has been fueled, it is time to go, a decision has to be made." Twelve contestants get on the plane, but Sara and Tim face Branson. Branson says that maybe Shawn was a bit Machiavellian in his nature of putting Tim and Sara last, as they are both strong players that could make it all the way. He says Tim is bright, and Sara is a real entrepeneur. Branson gives the tickets out, one is with him for the plane trip, the other is back home to America. It then goes to inside the plane, Sam says they are anxiously waiting to see who is eliminated. Shawn feels bad because the person leaving is his fault, and it is on his shoulders. Branson walks in, and who is following him? Sara. Candida says that Sara definitely deserves to stay, as she is strong. Tim is left standing on the tarmac, and he says that he wouldn't change a single thing about the experience. He'd do it again in a heartbeat, and he's so thrilled to have been a part of it.
Back on the plane, Branson tells them that they will be headed to Hong Kong next, and pops a champagne bottle.....
And the second part of the premiere will be covered in the second part of my column! Stay tuned!


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Re: Rebel Billionaire ~Part two
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2004, 12:39:55 PM »
The second part of the premiere episode starts off with Branson telling the contestants that the next assignment will be divided into two teams, the men vs. the women. Both teams need a team leader. The women choose Sara, who says if she loses her neck will be on the line again, and she wonders if it wasn't a strategy from the women. The men want to pick Shawn because he's been to China and speak Chinese, but he doesn't want to, so Jermaine steps up. Branson then makes the revelation that the men's leader will be leading the women's team, and vice versa. Rut roh!
The challenge is called InFlight Service. The teams will have $500 and 24 hours in Hong Kong to create something that will better the Virgin airline upper class area. Steve has a bean bag pillow that he wants to use in his idea for the men's team. Candida on the women's team is afraid that Jermaine isn't taking her seriously, and isn't listening to her ideas. The plane lands, and Gabriel for the men says they were going to hit the ground running, and wanted to create a little supply kit of a mirror, fortune cookie, and bean bag pillows. The women's team is to create a small morning-after kit. Candida is once again complaining about Jermaine, saying he's letting Erica steamroll over the team and her ideas aren't being acknowledged. The men's team can't find anything, so they decide to get some sleep. Steve feels that going to sleep without getting anything done is a bad move.
Both teams receive a note from Sir Richard about visiting the largest Buddha statue that is in Hong Kong. The men's team decides to get work done first and not go. Jermaine thinks that it's something Richard would do, and they should have time to go see the Buddha first and then get the task accomplished. Candida feels like it will probably cost them the mission.
In the morning, the women's team is off to see the giant Buddha, while the men's team is hard at work. The boat to the Buddha isn't going as fast as promised though, and a supposed ten-minute trip takes an hour. Back with the men, Shawn runs into a kiosk in a Hong Kong mall with the bean bag pillows. They aren't sure what shape to get the pillows so the entire team comes to look. The team gets 45 pillows within the budget, and they get the other things they are looking for, and are very proud of themselves. Meanwhile, the women's team enjoys the Buddha, but then gets in some very unBuddha-like arguments.
Jermaine splits up the teams, and while his group finds exactly what they're looking for, the other team is too busy arguing to find what they needed. So Jermaine's group takes up the slack, and they find less than par items, not the ones they wanted originally, however it's better than what the other group found. Jessica is a tad annoyed that her group had to pick up the slack. Erica and Candida obviously don't like each other, as while Erica complains about Candida to Jermaine, Candida complains to the camera that Erica is barking orders and being rude. Jennifer says that the game is getting ugly. Sara, the men's team leader, says her biggest concern is that they didn't see the Buddha. Jermaine, however, says he is confident his team will win. (At this point I can't stand Jermaine, because he has such a monotonous tone of voice, he is so dreadfully boring in his confessionals too. Him replacing Sir Richard, who is very entertaining and fun to watch, would be blasphemy.)
Back in England, Branson calls the women's team to meet with him first. Jermaine decides to explain the kit to Branson, explaining he felt seeing the Buddha was important and it's something that Sir Richard would do himself, and then he talks about what's in the kit. Candida points out what I don't like about Jermaine, that he uses too many words and he talks too slow. After it's over, Jermaine feels he made an outstanding presenation and that the team will win. Yeah, yeah, we get it Jermaine. Now it's the men's team's turn. Sara explains their kit, first the mirror that will attach to the TV to help the passengers clean up. Then they have fortune cookies with Virgin-like fortunes. Sir Richard reads one, and it says "It's not the size of your carry-on, it's how it fits into the bin." (That's not very virgin-like in my opinion, but moving on.) Then there's the bean bag pillows (I have one of these, actually. And I agree with Steve, once you sleep on one, you'll never want another pillow again.) with special Virgin tags on them. Branson then brings the women's team back in, and with no real surprise, the men's team wins.
Branson says that the more serious team had better things in their package, and that maybe if the other team hadn't seen the Buddha, they would have done better. Jermaine now has to select somebody to go against him in a challenge, where the loser will be eliminated. Jermaine feels that Jennifer and Candida have formed an alliance to undermine his leadership. Candida speaks up and says that Erica has been acting like a prison warden. Jermaine and Candida get into a shouting match (well, more like kinda talking a little louder than normal in Jermaine's case) and Jermaine picks Candida to face off with and then walks off, leaving Candida yelling at his back. Candida feels that she's being used as a scapegoat by Jermaine.
Branson then tells Jermaine and Candida the challenge. They each have to stand on the wings of an airplane and pass a baton between the two planes, while in flight. Cah-razy. However, there's a problem. Jermaine is a big guy, so he is too heavy to stand on the plane's wings, so he has to choose a surrogate. If the surrogate fails, he will be eliminated. Not surprisingly, Jermaine chooses Erica, and it's Erica vs. Candida, battle of the loudmouth outspoken women.
We are then treated to a random shot of Jennifer calling home. She says that even though it's only been a week, but it's felt like months. And then we go back to the challenge. Erica and Candida have two tries to complete the challenge. One plane will be upside-down, and the other will be right-side up. Now, the one thing that I really like about Branson is he does the challenges himself. He goes flying up on the wings of his own airplane along with Erica and Candida. Candida says that being on the wings against the wind is like fighting against an enormous weight. Erica is the one with the baton, and she is upside-down. They have 30-seconds to pass the baton, but they fail to do it on the first try. (Call me crazy here, but isn't it in the pilot's hands as to whether they can pass the baton? Candida and Erica are kinda strapped in and don't have any real control over how close they are to each other. Meh, anyway.)
Jermaine is 2000% confident that Erica will pull through for him. Well, you have to admire this guy's optimism, but it gets kind of annoying that every confessional he has is about how confident he is. On the second attempt, there is a lot of dramatic music and changing of camera angles, but Candida manages to snatch the baton and they are both safe! Until later when Branson has to eliminate one. Aw. Anyway, back on the ground, Erica says that her and Candida have had a bonding experience, and even though they had a spat, this helped them bond. (Does anybody really believe that? I give it two episodes before the two ladies are spatting and fighting again.)
It's time for the tarmac elimination. Jermaine and Candida are left behind and Branson gives them their spiel. Branson says that Jermaine did a good job in picking Erica. He tells Candida that it's good that she's strong-willed, but she needs to find a balance, to talk and to listen. He then hands the tickets to Candida and Jermaine. They both open their tickets, and Candida starts crying. We then go to the plane, where the contestants are waiting to see who is chosen. Sir Richard walks in...followed by Candida.......AND Jermaine. Say what? Branson says that there's a special situation. Jennifer has decided to go home, because she says that she isn't going to put her life in jeopardy, and she feels like someone else shouldn't be eliminated when she knows she's not willing to do things and they are. (Oh, yeah, remember that 30-second bit on her missing home? Yeah, that was supposed to be forewarning that she was quitting. You know, it would have been sad, except...who was Jennifer? She was barely introduced.) Anyway, Jermaine in his monotone says that Jennifer has given him and Candida a second chance, and Branson says he'll have his eye on Candida and Jermaine for the rest of the game. I must say that I highly doubt either is going to take home the prize.
Next episode, we see a reality TV first as Branson puts one of the contestants (it looks like Candida) in an ambulance because of his task. And Branson and somebody (a male) are going over the Victorian Falls in Africa in a barrel, the first time it's been done.

Offline puddin

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Re: Rebel Billionaire ~Part one
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2004, 10:40:30 PM »
Did you watch it River? I sorta lost interest after the first hour..I could take it or leave it..
btw: Thanks for the updates.......


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Re: Rebel Billionaire ~Part one
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2004, 10:58:57 PM »
I watched part of it and as usual the phone rang. LOL I refuse to answer the phone when Survivor is on. It was fair I guess. Too long and Bransons kind of dorky. If I had to choose between this and BB i would choose this. Yep, i an not a BB fan. It gives me the heebie jeebies to watch people locked up in a house with cameras all around. No wonder they are stark raving mad. I like the out door shows.