LAST EDITED ON 01-07-05 AT 11:37 AM (EST)
Episode 10: HONEY, I SIGNED UP FOR A SUMMARY AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY RECAP
As a new high to this seriously underperforming show we got a “highlights” recap disguised as a new episode. Well, to be totally honest it wasn’t COMPLETELY a recap episode – it was kinda like Full Metal Jacket, the first half was good but it could have ended right there and we would have been OK. I know that cq, Swami and I make up a great and riveted audience, but was the show really that great that we had to relive all incredible those moments…well, I forgot most of them so maybe THAT was the point. Anyway on to the summary, I promise there’s some new stuff in here (besides you watched the show already anyhow, so none of it is totally new any week, right).
PREVIOUSLY on Rebel Billionaire: Since Swami stole Pigs in Space last week, I’m working on B material here, but basically they had to make a commercial for the ‘average’ man who wants to drop $50K on going into space. This is less of a big deal for Shawn, who sells $500 bean bag chairs for a living. Richard tells the contestants to create 30 second adverts, which Shawn hears as per-verts, and off they go. Turns out everything that happened in the episode didn’t matter because this was the Episode where the Fates finally figured out that Ericole were still in this game and put their futures back into the hands of the other players. Bye-Bye Ericole. We won’t miss you. As a consolation, Erica, gets to go on the flight and ‘report’ to Richard on who she wants to see go home. Richard sends the Final Four – also known as the Final Two plus Gabe and Heather – into zero gravity to put the final touches on their commercial, but will Heather’s total freak session cost her team the game? Who will be left on the tarmac? Who will get to go back to Richard’s private island? Who didn’t figure out by Episode 3 that it would be Sarah and Shawn?
The “episode” opens with Heather losing the battle against her arch-enemy gravity. As Sir Isaac Newton pointed out though, gravity always wins in the end. Erica, now divested of her evil twin, shows Heather her softer side…her rear end – and tells her to kiss it goodbye. Gabe gamely goes through the doomed effort of making the commercial anyway and hopes that the albatross ties around his neck doesn’t cause him to lose. Apparently, no one told him about the foregone conclusion thingy. Finally, Heather can’t take anymore and tells everybody that they have to take the plane down because she is going to die from a zero G induced heart attack (the extra pork chops at dinner had nothing to do with it). Gabe somehow manages to keep a straight face as he asks if she wants “the whole plane to go down”. WHAT?!?! No Gabe, they are just taking down the part with the engines (duh!).
Erica reports to Richard that Heather totally blew it and ruined the commercials for everyone – adding more cement to innocent by-stander Gabe’s shoes. In a last push to see if Richard might show some of his trademark disregard for the rules, Erica tries for sympathy by letting Richard know that she was taking care of “the non-feeling good people”, demonstrating her strong compassion for her fellow man and disdain for the human language all at the same time. Richard watches Gabe and Heather’s video first. Well, he had to watch it twice since he blinked the first time and is unimpressed.
The slow, fat pitch has been lobbed over the plate now for S&S to hit it out of the ballpark and justify the foregone conclusion, but their commercial sucks too even if it DOES manage to suck for a few seconds longer.
The time has come – the plane is fueled – a decision has to be made and everyone in the world who is watching this show is once again SHOCKED that I totally misread the reactions of the contestants when they open their envelopes. I mean, I don’t think I’ve gotten a single tarmac right based on those responses. Do they just tell these people to act exactly opposite to whatever the card says? I swear I’m usually much better at reading people – is it just me or are these people just screwing with my head.
Oh yeah – Shawn and Sarah won and are off to Necker; which I’m just thankful they actually put on the screen because you would have seen them heading to Necco island according to this summary – and while those are exclusive treats (you can’t find necco wafers anywhere these days), they are not an exclusive RE-treat. And a new record is set for reality television when bottle 24,601 of champagne is opened. You just can’t beat this stuff.
As we arrive at Necker Island we get a brief overview of Richard’s own private island in the British Virgin Islands. It is gorgeous of course with two lakes in the middle, a pool, a lagoon and life-size replica of the SS Minnow. Apparently, Mel Gibson is WAYYYY behind the times ‘cause Richard’s had his own island for some time now. It was where her met his wife Joan (is it just me or did she look a lot like Heather?) and built his own private playground. As Richard shows the contestants wonders of Necker Island, Shawn immediately notices Richard’s bad taste in bean bag chairs because Richard has the gall not to own a Love Sac. But, it’s OK as Shawn announces to the assembled group plus Red Barbie twins that “his are softer.” Sorry, but that’s not going to win you any points if ‘chix’ really do dig sac.
As they walk around the estate, Sarah notices the kite-surfers (eat my shorts Mary Poppins!) and Richard tells them to watch very carefully in one of the clumsiest attempts at foreshadowing I have ever seen on Reality TV. He also lets them know that it may be one of the numerous challenges that they face and that the first challenge will be to give the “speech of their lives” as to why they should win the game and the yet to be revealed prize.
Richard shows them to their rooms and Sarah gets to stay in Richard’s favorite room on the whole island (perhaps more clumsy foreshadowing?), while poor Shawn gets consigned to the servants quarters. Fortunately the Red Barbie twins get to stay with him, so Shawn feels like he’s right back in Utah.
After some commercials I Tivo’d through (this has happened various times and I’m just way too wordy already to include commercials in my too long summaries – just insert them as you feel necessary. Turn on your TV and watch some between paragraphs if it helps.), we get to see the Shawn and Sarah’s audition tapes. Sarah takes the corporate paradigm of “stepping outside the box” to a new level when she uses her bubble dance fetish as a potential marketing tool for getting on the show. And she reveals that apparently, if she hadn’t made Rebel Billionaire she would have challenged Ant and Bonnie McFarland for the title of least funny comedian. Shawn’s video is basically a challenge to Richard to pick him because Shawn is cooler, Love Sac is bigger, Shawn is even more of a risk taker (I couldn’t believe when he tossed that bean bag off the bridge – wow!) and without question has the bigger ego.
*** WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! *** Private Pyle has just offed himself, everything is downhill from here. There’s some interesting new stuff, but mostly it’s your standard re-crap. Read on brave reader – I promise to keep it short.
Shawn’s cocky attitude and lack of concern for elderly lorry drivers almost got him tarmac-ed first, but Sarah’s plucky determination to have some scones with Richard kept our final four intact. Apparently, in addition to her many other skills Sarah is also the chick to have around if your car ever gets stuck in a ditch – because while Shawn won’t carry a bag for you, Sarah will get out and push.
Richard adds an important aside here that tarmac’s were the hardest part of the game for him as it is not in his nature to take qualified, successful, intelligent people and berate and belittle them – pointing out one of the big reasons why this show had the potential to be much more than the Apprentice and how Richard became the Arthur Fortune to Donny T’s Montgomery Burns.
It’s also pointed out that it is the first and only time that Sarah lost in a challenge – which totally slipped by me and sets her up quite nicely to win.
Then we head to Africa again (or did in the past) to watch Shawn fail at the challenge and Nicole stupidly miss the best chance for anyone to eliminate him. An early example or how her fledgling evil just doesn’t have enough planning behind it for true world domination. We stay in Africa and jump over to the Dumfries village where Shawn has a great time hanging out with the locals, but does a bad job in actually winning the game. Sarah, on the other hand, almost gets killed by the rafting reward, which inexplicably is not shown on television; and then we realize yet another missed opportunity by this show to connect us in any way to the contestants.
The differences between the two are becoming more and more apparent as time goes by – Sarah Plain and Tall knows how to keep her head down and her eyes of the prize (in other words, she can save the drama for her momma and pushhh) and Shawn is obviously just one lucky SOB with “unrestrained creativity” as his redeeming quality – read as, he’s fun to hang out with).
We also got to see that Shawn was the kid who decided to pee in good old Steve’s pool for the sake of some ‘cheap entertainment’. And I thought this contest was only boring for those of us who were watching it, but apparently the contestants required some outside stimulation as well.
The Publicity Challenge illustrated exactly what ‘unrestrained creativity’ can lead to as Richard perceived that Shawn’s plan to broker peace in the Middle East went beyond the limits of reasonable expectations. Sarah once again showed good planning skills and she sent Shawn to yet another tarmac. As an aside, it occurs to me that time and again we see Sarah involved in Shawn’s humbling comeuppance and it would have been a perfect edit to make this payback for Shawn screwing her on the balloon challenge – a continuous consistent story-line that brings something compelling to their competition for the final prize, but I guess I’ve been watching far too much Burnett stuff.
In “real time” at dinner that night, both of the contestants eschew any plans for writing speeches – even though we clearly saw them jotting down some notes earlier in the evening – and will speak ad lib from the heart. Sarah learned that she is OK with knowing when to assert herself and know when to STFU. Shawn learned that you should always carry your own (or even other people’s) bags and that you never know how many weird old guys might be Richard . I could just see him pulling on fake beards and rubber faces all over London to discover ‘imposters.’
Tomorrow they will give their speeches to – GASP! - the other 14 contestant whose names we’ve all forgotten by now in the Final Tribal Council. Will Richard choose Sarah Plain and Tall or the Mad Mormon? They’ll have to face rigorous physical challenges (just like any other CEO – you should see what Iacocca had to do to get his gig), twists within twists and their former, edited to look disgruntled, teammates in order to win the biggest prize in the history of reality TV…or maybe give it all up with a coin flip. Hey, the whole show has been capricious, why change now.
See you next week!