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: Tod Dahlke
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. 

"Love Serving Love: London" - December 7

Last time, a singout led to a stripdown for Jessica, as she was also stripped out of contention for the ultimate prize. Now the remaining nine remain in London for their next challenge, which involves Virgin's main philosophy, having a laugh and a smile while getting the job done. Yep. It's time for the art of the publicity stunt, something that Branson has had quite the hand in for a while. "The key is to do it with panache, do it with style, and make sure that what you're promoting actually has substance as well."

Branson sets the teams again, girls vs. guys, and the challenge: create a buzz for a company connected to any one of your teammates to see how much press you can generate over 36 hours.

The guys choose Shawn's Lovesac Corporation and choose him as the leader. He thinks that he can do faster, smarter, better on his own. Michael calls his leadership "a logistics nightmare".

Sara, on the other hand, created footless pantyhose that she markets under the Spanx brand name. Candida thinks it might be boring doing something involving underwear. Candida suggests a Married-by-America, having two complete strangers get married. Enter the victim... err, leader: Erica. But is it the spirit of what the challenge is to be? So asks Candida. "We need to pitch an adequate business."


The guys, on the other hand, come up with a soccer (or as they call it in London, football) game between local Jews and Muslims, billing it as "The Lovesac Love Match: Peace in the Middle East." "Dude, Beckham might come for something like this." Key word: might.

PUBLICITY STUNT: Jewish-Muslim soccer match. COMPANY: Lovesac.

The girls set up shop in an internet cafe. Once again, since we're all about interactivity here at the net, if you want to see the site they made, click here. To this end, they get a dress, a frock, and shoes. Candida doesn't think that Erica's appreciative AT ALL.

The guys also set up shop as they try to find Jewish people and Muslim people to come together to play soccer. They spend so much time trying to find the players (emphasis on "trying") that they fail to generate any press. The girls manage to find the guy's listing on (that site we all love so much). "Frankly, I'm not impressed," Erica says as she flags the message for miscategorization.

The guys are still looking for a celebrity to referee. Steve calls in a favor, going straight to the President...'s daughter. The one who isn't a boozer. Steve tries it... and fails.

The girls get the dress on time, and everything fits. The game ball goes to Candida. But the game is still going for Steve and company, as they try to contact every news outlet they can. All the while recreating the Beatles' "Abbey Road" cover.

Candida starts handing out flyers to any bloke who will listen. One guy agrees to show up for the 1pm nuptials.

Steve finally finds two Jews to play in the match. From this, Shawn predicts that nothing can do wrong. Little does he knows that in London, it rains... a lot. And there is no press. And there are only three players. "Disappointing, but not surprising." They count their losses and decide to play a Judeo-Arab team vs. the Americans.  Shawn decides to see it through, because "it's a good thing. Definitely was not a grand event, but it was a sincere event."

The girls have little success on the front end. "There are more press than there are suitors. In fact, there are ZERO suitors," says Candida. I guess finding a groom for a supermodel is harder than she thought.... but not impossible, as James volunteers for the anti-wedding that never was that almost wasn't. ... I'm confused, too. So Candida figures that they get press, and then they get press pissed, because apparently the British have a thing about marriage between two people who love each other.

But as Dr. Dre once said, "Any press is good press." But will it fly over Richard? Yep. Richard calls it a "fun hoax" that got press to turn up. So now the guys have to go to challenge to see who gets sent home. Shawn decides to take Michael with him, as he says that he's got a better chance to survive against him. "What a load of crap!" 

So the two go with Richard in an odd car. 1) It seats in the middle. 2) It's quite cozy. 3) It drives on water... Oh, did we forget to mention that? Michael thinks that Shawn may be a bit stronger, while Shawn thinks that Mike is the best team player, but a poor leader.

Now to the challenge: the tallest building in Britain... and a chance to get the word out about Lovesac... by rappelling 700 feet down a building with flags with letters, 12 or less letters. You have 90 seconds to spell out your slogan. Just to so that it can be done, Branson starts his descent. "Billionaire dangling from the building." It's getting a bit windy. Pay attention. Windier still. Michael and Shawn start their rappelling and flag-hanging. Shawn has no problem with the flags. They each get their flags up, and just when the clock hits zero... all the flags are blown off.

The slogans, "BUY D LOVE SAK" and "CHIX LOVE SAK", both incredibly wrong double entendres, both scattered to the four winds. Fate is now in Richard's hands. Erica thinks Michael isn't creative, while Heather thinks Shawn is rubbing people the wrong way. Now to the tarmac for the final judgment. Both are commended on the physical stunt, but Shawn took a big risk on assuming control. Michael was a big team player, but got straight to the point on the flags. But now the plane is fueled and the time has come. Who will Richard keep on board?

Branson returns to the open bar (a plane with open bar... nice)... with Shawn. Everyone is sad to see Mike go, but you can't say that it wasn't deserved. Too much of a stick in the mud. He'll take with him the dealings with other people.

Next stop... "The Atlas Mountains.... Marrakech... and Morocco!"

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