Welcome to Rebel Billionaire, the show where a Billionaire with Bad Hair buys a bunch of Good Lookin’ Americans to dote on his every word and obey him without question while simultaneously kissing his ass. Who would have thought this format would become a reality show staple? But it has, so here we are—looking at Sir Richard Branson, hereafter called Sir Dicque to differentiate him from that fat, gay reality TV guy also named Richard.
Actually, I kind of like Sir Dicque. For a billionaire he seems like a straight-up guy. I wish he would throw that pompous idiot The Donald from one of his pretty Virginal balloons, but that’s not going to happen no matter how many times I click my heels. Sad, but true.
Sir Dicque (who was born in 1950) founded Virgin in 1970 when he finally lost his, and grew it into a really BIG company over the next 3 decades. He was knighted in 1999 for “services to entrepreneurship” which I think means that his company raked in enough taxable money that the Queen was able to reupholster some of that shabby furniture in Buckingham Palace and Prince Harry got an increase in his illicit drug budget. As a reward for this, the Queen (who does not actually kiss ass) boinked Dicque on the head with a big ass double-edged sword thus making him an actual Knight of the Realm.
The credits begin as Branson, dressed in a nice formal tux, says in his very British accent, “The name’s Branson. Sir Richard Branson.” And shades of that other Brit—the adventure begins. “I’m looking for a Billionaire in the rough,” he says. Then a voice-over” “Ten Countries, five Continents, one Survivor World.
My head hurts. The show hasn’t yet begun and already this guy is invoking James Bond, Aladdin and Jeff Probst. Somebody save me—please!
The narrator continues. “The contestants don’t know it yet, but the winner of this contest will be handed the keys to the entire Virgin empire—360 companies worth tens of billions of dollars!” I boggle and disbelieve. How can this be?
Episode One. Up, Up and Away!!!
The show opens with our sixteen Good-Lookin’ Contestants (GLCs) getting into one of those cool black, British cabs, two and three at a time. Amazingly, they all get the same cab driver—a scruffy looking old guy who attended the Jared School of Over-Acting While Playing a Cab Driver on TV. Suspicious, no?
Turns out, the scruffy cab driver is actually Sir Dicque in a rubber Halloween mask and uncombed wig. Amazingly, none of the carefully selected contestants are astute enough to realize their driver is wearing a full-face latex mask. Which says a lot about how smart they really are, if you ask me.
Anyway, some of the 16 GLCs behave badly in the cab. Oh, the horror! They are rude to the cabbie and fail to help him with the luggage. (Hello? Handling the luggage is his job, innit?) One of them, Aisha, babbles on and on about Jennifer Lopez while holding her right breast, thus invoking the dreaded J-Lo Curse. Sir Dicque is a suspicious billionaire and understandably doesn’t want to be jinxed by J-Lo. I mean, looked what happened to that nice Ben Affleck guy! They all say a variety of stupid things when the fake cabbie asks them about that charming Billionaire, Sir Richard Branson. Steve has a nice little confessional where he says he will make every one of the other GLCs his bitches. These guys are so toast!
And they arrive at Mill End House in Oxford, Sir Dicque’s country home where they are met by two women in red, who totally scare the pants off me. These women are exceptionally well-groomed and perfectly coiffed. They smile with a warm/cold, friendly/unapproachable sincerity. Since I don’t remember their names, I will call them Thing One and Thing Two. We will see them again several times. They will scare me every time. Do not invite these women over unless your mother is out! Really!
Thing One and Thing Two escort each group of GLCs down to the Mill House dungeon to await Sir Dicque’s arrival. At least I think it’s a dungeon. The heavily beamed ceiling is barely 6 feet high and there are no windows. The GLCs mingle and BS each other for a while. Then Thing One and Thing Two escort them above ground to their welcome party which is being held in a big tent.
A big ass black limo pulls into Mill End. The GLCs ‘ooo’ and ‘ahhhh’. Then, oh the horror! Donald Trump gets out of the limo! Yiiiiyyyyyks!!! No wait! It’s a fat Donald Impersonator! That clever Sir Dicque is just having some fun with us. Sir Dicque pulls up behind the limo in a simple black cab, gives two thumbs up to the watching GLCs and runs over to shake hands with each of them. What a nice guy! He wastes no time getting rid of a couple of the idiots, but first we get to enjoy the priceless looks of dismay on all their faces when they realize that Being Kind to Fugly Cab Drivers was the first Test. Aisha is dumped for invoking the J-Lo Curse while riding in a cab. She cries. Spencer is dumped for, uh, for because Sir Dicque just doesn’t like him. Finally! A reality show that doesn’t pretend it’s going to be fair! Shawn is “warned” that he was almost eliminated for being too cocky and stuff. Sir Dicque keeps him around only because his hair is SO bad that Sir Dicque’s own bad hair looks almost good in comparison. Or something like that.
The remaining 14 are sent to bed without supper, and told they must be up at 4 a.m. the next morning for a challenge so bizarre that even Sir Dicque has never tried it.