The second part of the premiere episode starts off with Branson telling the contestants that the next assignment will be divided into two teams, the men vs. the women. Both teams need a team leader. The women choose Sara, who says if she loses her neck will be on the line again, and she wonders if it wasn’t a strategy from the women. The men want to pick Shawn because he’s been to China and speak Chinese, but he doesn’t want to, so Jermaine steps up. Branson then makes the revelation that the men’s leader will be leading the women’s team, and vice versa. Rut roh!
The challenge is called InFlight Service. The teams will have $500 and 24 hours in Hong Kong to create something that will better the Virgin airline upper class area. Steve has a bean bag pillow that he wants to use in his idea for the men’s team. Candida on the women’s team is afraid that Jermaine isn’t taking her seriously, and isn’t listening to her ideas. The plane lands, and Gabriel for the men says they were going to hit the ground running, and wanted to create a little supply kit of a mirror, fortune cookie, and bean bag pillows. The women’s team is to create a small morning-after kit. Candida is once again complaining about Jermaine, saying he’s letting Erica steamroll over the team and her ideas aren’t being acknowledged. The men’s team can’t find anything, so they decide to get some sleep. Steve feels that going to sleep without getting anything done is a bad move.
Both teams receive a note from Sir Richard about visiting the largest Buddha statue that is in Hong Kong. The men’s team decides to get work done first and not go. Jermaine thinks that it’s something Richard would do, and they should have time to go see the Buddha first and then get the task accomplished. Candida feels like it will probably cost them the mission.
In the morning, the women’s team is off to see the giant Buddha, while the men’s team is hard at work. The boat to the Buddha isn’t going as fast as promised though, and a supposed ten-minute trip takes an hour. Back with the men, Shawn runs into a kiosk in a Hong Kong mall with the bean bag pillows. They aren’t sure what shape to get the pillows so the entire team comes to look. The team gets 45 pillows within the budget, and they get the other things they are looking for, and are very proud of themselves. Meanwhile, the women’s team enjoys the Buddha, but then gets in some very unBuddha-like arguments.
Jermaine splits up the teams, and while his group finds exactly what they’re looking for, the other team is too busy arguing to find what they needed. So Jermaine’s group takes up the slack, and they find less than par items, not the ones they wanted originally, however it’s better than what the other group found. Jessica is a tad annoyed that her group had to pick up the slack. Erica and Candida obviously don’t like each other, as while Erica complains about Candida to Jermaine, Candida complains to the camera that Erica is barking orders and being rude. Jennifer says that the game is getting ugly. Sara, the men’s team leader, says her biggest concern is that they didn’t see the Buddha. Jermaine, however, says he is confident his team will win. (At this point I can’t stand Jermaine, because he has such a monotonous tone of voice, he is so dreadfully boring in his confessionals too. Him replacing Sir Richard, who is very entertaining and fun to watch, would be blasphemy.)
Back in England, Branson calls the women’s team to meet with him first. Jermaine decides to explain the kit to Branson, explaining he felt seeing the Buddha was important and it’s something that Sir Richard would do himself, and then he talks about what’s in the kit. Candida points out what I don’t like about Jermaine, that he uses too many words and he talks too slow. After it’s over, Jermaine feels he made an outstanding presenation and that the team will win. Yeah, yeah, we get it Jermaine. Now it’s the men’s team’s turn. Sara explains their kit, first the mirror that will attach to the TV to help the passengers clean up. Then they have fortune cookies with Virgin-like fortunes. Sir Richard reads one, and it says “It’s not the size of your carry-on, it’s how it fits into the bin.” (That’s not very virgin-like in my opinion, but moving on.) Then there’s the bean bag pillows (I have one of these, actually. And I agree with Steve, once you sleep on one, you’ll never want another pillow again.) with special Virgin tags on them. Branson then brings the women’s team back in, and with no real surprise, the men’s team wins.
Branson says that the more serious team had better things in their package, and that maybe if the other team hadn’t seen the Buddha, they would have done better. Jermaine now has to select somebody to go against him in a challenge, where the loser will be eliminated. Jermaine feels that Jennifer and Candida have formed an alliance to undermine his leadership. Candida speaks up and says that Erica has been acting like a prison warden. Jermaine and Candida get into a shouting match (well, more like kinda talking a little louder than normal in Jermaine’s case) and Jermaine picks Candida to face off with and then walks off, leaving Candida yelling at his back. Candida feels that she’s being used as a scapegoat by Jermaine.
Branson then tells Jermaine and Candida the challenge. They each have to stand on the wings of an airplane and pass a baton between the two planes, while in flight. Cah-razy. However, there’s a problem. Jermaine is a big guy, so he is too heavy to stand on the plane’s wings, so he has to choose a surrogate. If the surrogate fails, he will be eliminated. Not surprisingly, Jermaine chooses Erica, and it’s Erica vs. Candida, battle of the loudmouth outspoken women.
We are then treated to a random shot of Jennifer calling home. She says that even though it’s only been a week, but it’s felt like months. And then we go back to the challenge. Erica and Candida have two tries to complete the challenge. One plane will be upside-down, and the other will be right-side up. Now, the one thing that I really like about Branson is he does the challenges himself. He goes flying up on the wings of his own airplane along with Erica and Candida. Candida says that being on the wings against the wind is like fighting against an enormous weight. Erica is the one with the baton, and she is upside-down. They have 30-seconds to pass the baton, but they fail to do it on the first try. (Call me crazy here, but isn’t it in the pilot’s hands as to whether they can pass the baton? Candida and Erica are kinda strapped in and don’t have any real control over how close they are to each other. Meh, anyway.)
Jermaine is 2000% confident that Erica will pull through for him. Well, you have to admire this guy’s optimism, but it gets kind of annoying that every confessional he has is about how confident he is. On the second attempt, there is a lot of dramatic music and changing of camera angles, but Candida manages to snatch the baton and they are both safe! Until later when Branson has to eliminate one. Aw. Anyway, back on the ground, Erica says that her and Candida have had a bonding experience, and even though they had a spat, this helped them bond. (Does anybody really believe that? I give it two episodes before the two ladies are spatting and fighting again.)
It’s time for the tarmac elimination. Jermaine and Candida are left behind and Branson gives them their spiel. Branson says that Jermaine did a good job in picking Erica. He tells Candida that it’s good that she’s strong-willed, but she needs to find a balance, to talk and to listen. He then hands the tickets to Candida and Jermaine. They both open their tickets, and Candida starts crying. We then go to the plane, where the contestants are waiting to see who is chosen. Sir Richard walks in…followed by Candida…….AND Jermaine. Say what? Branson says that there’s a special situation. Jennifer has decided to go home, because she says that she isn’t going to put her life in jeopardy, and she feels like someone else shouldn’t be eliminated when she knows she’s not willing to do things and they are. (Oh, yeah, remember that 30-second bit on her missing home? Yeah, that was supposed to be forewarning that she was quitting. You know, it would have been sad, except…who was Jennifer? She was barely introduced.) Anyway, Jermaine in his monotone says that Jennifer has given him and Candida a second chance, and Branson says he’ll have his eye on Candida and Jermaine for the rest of the game. I must say that I highly doubt either is going to take home the prize.
Next episode, we see a reality TV first as Branson puts one of the contestants (it looks like Candida) in an ambulance because of his task. And Branson and somebody (a male) are going over the Victorian Falls in Africa in a barrel, the first time it’s been done.
After the two-hour premeire, I am definitely liking this show. It seems to me that each elimination will consist of a team task, and two people from the losing team will go head-to-head in an extreme challenge, and from that Branson will decide who stays and goes. It’s a unique format, like a cross between The Apprentice and Road Rules. Branson is a great guy, and a good host. Right now, from current exposure, that either Sara or Steve will take the money. Steve is my current favorite, with the “I’m going to make everyone my bitch” comment and his bean-bag pillow. Go Steve!
Comments? Questions? Wondering when exactly this show is on? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you next week!