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. 

"The Company Picnic: Tokyo" - December 21

Last time, two fixer-uppers were fixed, as Candida survived yet another hit on her head, sending Steve home. Next stop on the adventure... Tokyo. Before that, though, Richard challenges the seven remaining players to sell the Japanese on the Upper Class Suites of Virgin Atlantic Airways. They'll have 24 hours to plan, and five minutes to present. And all in a place where much of the population has only a functional understanding of the English language.

Team Gabe: Heather and Candida
Team Erica: Shawn, Nicole, Sara

Candida suggests several things, all of which please leader Gabe. And of course, no one on the team speaks Japanese. Their idea: reenact a Japanese historical kung fu fight with Richard Branson offering the winner a seat. First of all, kung fu is Chinese, alright? Gabe later converts that into a funny idea about Richard fighting a sumo wrestler. But can they find willing athletes? It's crazy... it's challenging... it could work.

Shawn, meanwhile, has the idea of using live music and cheesy dancing women. "Total Vegas style" with Shawn fronting a live band. "Unfortunately we're going to embarrass the hell out of ourselves."

Gabe tries to find a sumo, while chatting up Richard to be part of the sumo presentation. Meanwhile, Shawn finds a Japanese rock-and-roll band to front... and he's got a band. Now we need dancers... Three women... How about you three! Nikki is chosen as choreographer, but there is hidden tension between her and Sara. Shawn catches wind of this.

Gabe needs a sumo wrestler, meanwhile. Candida is confident that she'll get one. "I am leaving no stone unturned trying to find a sumo wrestler in Japan." Gabe meanwhile has a plan B: dressing up in a sumo suit. Candida is feeling left out as Gabe and Heather start talking more.

The teams meets Richard and his Japan team for breakfast, while they get wind that the businessmen will be assigned to the tasks as well. One business thinks (if not hopes) that the sumo idea is a joke. Just need the sumo and the mawashi for Richard. Oh boy. Well, at least they find a talent agency for sumo.

Meanwhile, Shawn proves how affeminate he really is by givnig the girls a dancing lesson of his own. He tells Sara not to worry about speaking ill of people, and if we're in for trouble, then Shawn will take over. Gabriel still has no idea what's in store going into the presentation, as they have nothing to work with. They go to an audition to find a sumo for the presentation. Gabriel finds... two sumo. Shawn sees the sumo and believes that the competition will be close.

Both teams must now present to Richard. The winning team will present their idea to a Virgin party with a lot of hopping Japanese businessmen. "I expect excellence."

First up, Gabe's team... and Richard taking on a sumo. Then we get to the specs, as we see reclinable chairs, in-flight services, and a mixture of work and play. Gabe was missing uniforms. Richard says he was missing a connection with the audience. He wasn't very sold on it.

Then comes Shawn with the dancing and singing about a product, "that's worked for the last half a century." Things go well.. until the kicks. Then it's a disaster, but it's okay for spits and giggles. It needed a bit more information, but the jingle was catchy. And now... the party... as Richard says a heartfelt "domo arigato gozaimas' ta" to everyone for showing up. But who'll show off? It'll be... Erica's team! Meaning that Gabe will be heading off to challenge, but will he choose his friend Heather, or his virus Candida (okay, so technically Candida is a parasite, but...)? He goes with Candida.

Now we're back in London, as we go to challenge. Candida is convinced that the others are positioning it so that she is the one eliminated, as everyone is ignoring her. She's sick of it. Nikki, though, is the main arbiter of that sentiment, and Sara is tired of it. Gabe talks to Candida about it, and she says that she doesn't have it in her heart to exclude someone. She's been misunderstood the whole journey, as Shawn gathers everyone except Erica and Nicole. He and Sara lay out how mean those two have been to the others. Candida agrees. Gabe wants to be "rude back".

Gabe, Nicole, and Candida talk about what the next challenge could be, as Candida says that she will not be Nikki's monkey. Sara calls it the same way. Heather calls it opposite, even though she said the opposite before (she calls it tact). Nikki thinks that "what you see is what you get." Nikki tells Shawn what Heather said, and Shawn calls Heather a liar. Shawn reports this to Gabe, who says he can now not trust Heather. Gabe is unsure whether picking Candida was the right thing. He admits to Candida that he wishes he could change his decision.

Can he? The company picnic is the next venue for elimination, with Gabe as a sumo and Candida as a geisha. The challenge involves supporting each other on a line 50-feet in the air. If one falls... they both fall. First attempt... The wire is thin, and the key to success is using every  muscle in your body. First attempt... FAILED. If they fall again, they could BOTH be eliminated. Second attempt... Nikki hopes for a fall... No such luck. Both make it to the other side! So once again, the decision is on Richard as to who to eliminate next.

Time to go to the tarmac. The time has come, the plane is fueled, and Gabe is a favorite to stay, though Shawn notes that leadership of a losing team will weigh heavily. Gabriel is good with people and very creative. Candida has proven herself to be very honest. The decision... very difficult.

Who does Richard bring back with him? It's Gabe. Candida was lacking in respect from the others in the group. It's better to keep Gabriel in that respect. So the question remains: no doubt Richard made the right decision, but did Gabe?

Candida isn't the only one headed back to America, as we visit Wolvie's neck of the woods. Branson's big adventure takes Florida by storm, next time.

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