"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
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
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
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
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.