The Rebel Billionaire
Branson's Quest for the Best
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His name is Sir Richard Branson, and he's taking 16 would-be adventurers on a round-the-world quest for success. The prize: presidency of his entire Virgin empire.

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN


Sir Richard Branson
Flight Attendants: Georgia Rossini, Frankie Harris
Creator: Jonathan Murray
EP: Jonathan Murray, Sir Richard Branson, Kevin Lee, Lori Levin-Hyams, Laura Fuest, Tod Dahlke
Packager: Virgin, Bunim-Murray Productions
Airs: Tuesdays at 8:00pm ET on Fox

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Web design by Jason Elliott. Logo by Chico Alexander. 

"Victoria Fallout" - November 16

From Hong Kong, we go to Africa. Victoria Falls, to be exact. We begin by choosing leaders: the women want Gabriel while the men take Nicki. First stop: Gorges Lodge in Zimbabwe. Steve thinks the guys will be successful because of their amp... whatever that is. Meanwhile Gabriel assures his team that they will be on the next plane out.

Here we are at the Victoria Falls Gorge, 360 feet from the Zambezi River... downward. "I'm not asking you to jump... just yet." It's all a metaphor here, as Richard explains that entrepreneurship involves taking a big leap into the unknown. And that's what the challenge entails, along with trust and intelligent risks. The challenge: one by one, players on each team will jump into a designated catcher's arms. As we cycle out jumpers, the distance to jump will be lengthened. Winners stay, losers pay, as the team captain and one person of his or her choosing will take another leap... into a challenge.

The girls (and Gabriel) take Gabriel, while the guys (and Nicole) take Jermaine.

Nicole jumps from 7 ft: MISS. And expletive. Nicole: 0, Gabriel: 0
Heather jumps from 7 ft: MISS. And expletive. Nicole: 0, Gabriel: 0
Michael jumps from 7 ft: CATCH! Nicole: 1, Gabriel: 0
Sara jumps from 7 ft: Close... close... CATCH! Nicole: 1, Gabriel: 1
Sam jumps from 8 ft: CATCH! Nicole: 2, Gabriel: 1
Jessica jumps from 8 ft: CATCH! Nicole: 2, Gabriel: 2
Shawn jumps from 8 ft: MISS. Nicole: 2, Gabriel: 2.
Candida jumps from 8 ft: MISS... and still falling... arm is now bruised. Someone call medic!
Steve jumps from 8 ft 7 in: CATCH! Nicole: 3, Gabriel 2.
Erica jumps from 8'7": CATCH! Tied at 3!

This one goes to a bid-a-jump tiebreaker. Steve and Erica will make the deciding jump. The jump must be with both feet.

Steve jumps from 7' 7 1/2": CATCH!
Nicole jumps from 7' 8": CATCH! Girls win it!

And because he can, Richard, despite a deathly morbid fear of bungee jumping. Gabe is the catch man. Richard... fakes.. Richard... fakes again... Richard... "My legs've gone jelly!" He makes the jump... and Gabe can't catch him! But he's okay. "Gabe just let a few million dollars slip through his fingers." And if that wasn't bad enough, now he's bleeding.

The ladies (and Gabriel) win, as Nicole must now choose who will challenge with her next. She doesn't want to choose anyone... but she does get input as to who should be picked. Jermaine doesn't know. Shawn decides on whoever couldn't complete the stunt. They all think that Shawn should go up against her... but it's Sam who will go onto the challenge. Shawn thinks that the move cost Nicole all her credibility.  Sam expects to kick some ass in the next challenge... and speaking of which...

We're back at Victoria Falls... with a barrel. You're right, Nicole. You're going over the falls in a barrel. The barrel, which comes equipped with safety harnesses, NASA technology, and a panic button... because you know, every barrel has to have a panic button, will be hung over the falls awaiting Richard's call to drop them 350 feet over. The engineer explains further that this is a first. The barrel was never even tested! Nicole goes into inquisition mode, while Sam signs away the waiver. Nicki, though... bails out before she ever has a chance to push the panic button.

Sam, on the other hand, goes all-in with Richard. They are hoisted above the falls, and are about the make the drop in five... four... three... two... one... the barrel is still suspended. Richard radios to bring them in. This was never about barrel hopping. Richard was NEVER going to go over the falls. The challenge was about intelligent risk taking and when to follow a leader. As Richard tells Sam, and as he'll tell Nicole as they are shown the falls, had they gone over, they would have been very much dead. But still, Richard is not sure who to eliminate, either Sam's poor risk-taking or Nicole's boorish behavior during dinner.

But still, the time has come, the plane is fueled, a decision has to be made. It won't be aboard VA craft, though. Richard questions Sam's blind faith and commitment. Nicole started to ask questions but never stopped Sam from taking the risk. Poor leadership. But for one, a second chance. For the other, a ticket back to America. Rejoining the group on the plane... Nicole. "Didn't think I'd be so happy to see 11 strangers." Wish I could say the feeling's mutual.. but I can't. Everyone seems to think that she's very smug. Meanwhile, Richard and the others take a toast in honor of Sam.

Next stop: South Africa.

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