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The Rebel Billionaire - Episode 8 Summary

'The Sayonara Show' By Swami
Original Airdate: December 21, 2004

I missed the first 30 seconds of this episode because I was busy setting up my DVR to record TAR. I have my priorities you know—and an episode of The Amazing Race is worth 3 (maybe four) episodes of The Boring Branson. So I missed it when Branson opened his bottle of champagne. Could he exhibit a more classic display of his obsession with Virgin and all things virgin? I mean, popping the cork on a very phallic bottle while everyone cheers his prowess! Freud probably has a chapter on that in one his books.

They are off to Japan! Their task this week is to come up with a presentation which introduces Virgin’s new Upper Class Beds to the Japanese Business Community. This presentation will take place at a party in Tokyo, probably after the said Japanese Business Community men are all blotto drunk and beyond caring what Branson does so long as the Virgin liquor keeps flowing.

Because even Branson is bored with the team choosing process, he tells them to stick with the same teams as last week. This has the added bonus of getting all his favorites on the same team and all the losers on the other team. So our teams are Candida, Heather & Gabe, and Erica, Nicole, Sara & Shawn. Gabriel winds up heading his team because Candida was up last time and Heather is still playing an under-the-radar role (since she has no other talents). Erica wins a spirited game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.

They arrive in Japan and we see an aerial view of a busy street/shopping square with people and vehicles scurrying around at hyper speed. You may think this was speeded-up footage, but it wasn’t. Trust me. I have been to Tokyo and yes—it really is that frenetic!

So Team Gabe has their brainstorming session. Even though Gabriel is the leader, Candida occupies stage center with her list of 87 Really Dumb Ideas. Gabe & Heather listen with barely controlled boredom as Candida drones on and on. Eventually, they decide on the dumbest Really Dumb Idea. They will have Sir Richard put on a white thong and go one-on-one with a genuine Sumo wrestler. (Actually, I think Gabe came up with the Sumo wrestler thing based on Candida’s suggestion of “something involving Japanese history,” but I was wrapping Christmas presents at the time so I may have missed a nuance or two.)

This? Is an appallingly dumb idea. Sumo wrestlers are not the Japanese equivalent of the WWF—they are totally respected cultural icons. I’m trying to think of an example that shows just how culturally insensitive this idea is. Maybe it’s like going to Yemen and trying to find a mullah to sing Danny Boy at your drunken birthday party. Probably if you looked hard enough you could find a mullah stupid enough to do this but it would not be A Good Thing. KWIM?

When they pitch this dumb idea to Branson he is visually dismayed and flat-out tells Team Gabe “You just lost!” But, being clueless idiots, they do not reformat their Sumo wrestler idea into something more appropriate. They just forge ahead. Flash to the hotel and Candida on the telephone trying to scrounge up a Sumo wrestler. We all know she will find one because Candida can find anything or anyone on the telephone. Okay. She can’t find a clue. But anything else is no problem!

Team Erica decide to run with one of Shawn’s ideas. The women will wear skimpy clothes and shake their booties while he sings and pounds the piano. Since time is short he finds his back-up band in the hotel kitchen, disguised as busboys and dishwashers. The girls throw away their bras, put on red halter tops and practice shaking it while kicking in unison. Turns out? Nicole is a combination lawyer/choreographer. She throws together a genuine High School Dance Line worthy routine in about 5 minutes then drills the girls endlessly. Sara look kind of pissed and complains to the camera, but tries to be a good team player and just learn her stupid steps. Nicole is such a butchy-bitchy dominatrix, pushing the rehearsals! Also, at this point Nicole and Erica actually merge into one person I call Ericole. I can’t tell them apart anymore. If there is one thing Ericole knows it is that Sir Richard likes hot women in pairs.

When Team Ericole pitch their routine to Sir Richard he kind of notices that they don’t actually explain much about the Upper Class Beds thing, but they shake their booties so fine, Shawn belts out a reasonable decent Virgin Beds jingle, and they don’t want to put Sir Richard into a white thong in front of all his business contacts. It’s a no-brainer. Team Ericole wins and gets to perform at the party. Candida is crushed. Gabe is resigned to his fate. Heather has about 6 confessionals where she calls Ericole and Sara “bimbos”. Sadly, Heather is the only female in the group who would NOT be asked to shake her bootie under any circumstances—but of course that has no bearing on her put-downs. Girl has standards, is all.

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