We start off this week with Branson telling the teams that they are going to Africa. For this mission, the teams get to choose the leader for their team…from the other team. The women’s team chooses Gabriel as their leader, and the men choose Nicole. The plane lands, and the teams find out they are staying at a lodge in Zimbabwe. Steve is confident that the guys will be successful and beat the women, while Gabriel brings the women together and tells them that there won’t be any petty talk between the group, they are going to be a team this round.
Sir Richard brings the teams to their challenge. They are overlooking a cliff that overlooks the Zambezi River. The teams have to appoint a catcher, and the person that is the catcher is suspended over the river. The other five team members have to jump out into the arms of the catcher. If they’re caught, the team gets a point. If they aren’t caught, they fall into a long arcing swing over the Zambezi. Scaaaaary stuff. Whichever team gets the most points wins the challenge, and the losing leader has to compete against someone in another challenge. The men choose Jermaine as their catcher, and the women choose (surprise!) Gabriel.
Nicole is the first jumper for the men’s team. She counts down from five, four, three, two, one, commercial break. *taps foot, looks at watch* And we’re back, aaaand Nicole misses and we are treated to her fallllllllling. Jermaine says she needed more loft, and Nicole tells the guys the same thing when she returns from her swing. The first woman jumper is Heather, and Gabriel misses her and she takes her own swing. Right now it’s 0-0.
Jermaine catches the next guy jumper, so the guys are up 1-0. The jumper for the girls is Sara. Yes, that’s right, the same Sara that’s afraid of heights. So she shies away from jumping at first, because, well, she’s scared to death (poor Sara…there’s been a challenge with heights every episode so far) but eventually she jumps…..and Gabriel catches her! And Gabriel gets a big smooch from Sara for not letting her plummet to her doom.
The catchers are now moved back a foot. The next two jumpers both make it, so we’re tied at 2-2. Then Shawn jumps and misses and takes a long fall. Candida jumps and misses too, and she hurts her arm on the way down. An ambulance is called to patch up her arm, and there are a few shots of her screaming in agony ( *snort* ). It’s down to Steve and Erica. Steve does his yelling and screaming and jumping up and down before launching himself into space and gets caught by Jermaine. So now the pressure is on Erica….who squarely jumps into Gabriel’s waiting arms. So the teams tied 3-3, so now we’re going to a tiebreaker.
Steve and Erica have to do a standing long jump. Whoever gets the shortest jump jumps over the abyss first. If they miss, game over for their team, if they make it, the other jumper has to jump, and if they miss game over, if they make it, game over for the other team. Erica beats out Steve by a half-foot, so it’s up to Crazy Steve. He’s excited, he’s ambitious, and he makes the jump. The men’s team goes wild! It’s once again on Erica’s shoulders to make the jump. She’s about to jump, she’s about to jump, she jumps and COMMERICAL BREAK.
Gotta love Fox and their suspense.
We’re back, AND SHE MAKES THE JUMP. Wow, I was just on the edge of my seat for the four minutes of commercial. Dang, yo. So the men’s team has lost. But before Nicole has to pick somebody, Branson says that he promised that anything they’d do he’d do. So Gabriel volunteers to catch Branson in his own jump. Sir Richard states that he has an irrational fear of bungee-jumping, so this particular task will be hard for him. Branson fakes Gabriel out about twelve times, saying he’ll jump and then not jumping. “My legs have gone jelly!” the billionaire exclaims. Finally, though, Sir Richard Branson takes the mighty leap, and….Gabriel drops him, and we are treated to the billionaire swinging out over the Zambezi River. You have to wonder if maybe Sir Richard tried to miss on purpose, just to make good TV and so he could swing. One of the men in a voice-over says “I felt bad for Gabe, he let a billion dollars slip through his hands.”
Branson says that it’s the most beautiful fall and dive that he’s ever had. He comes back up, and one of the women notice that Branson is bleeding, to which he responds “Oh no, I’m bleeding!” Go Sir Richard, you are my hero.
Now it’s time for Nicole to choose who she’s up against. She asks the team who they think she should choose. Jermaine says he can’t choose since he saw every one try to make the jump. The other four are in agreement though, that Shawn should do it, including Shawn himself, because he missed the jump. It’s obvious that Nicole will choose Shawn, as she said that they were a team and it should be a team decision, and since the team says Shawn, she chooses Sam! DUH! Why didn’t I see the logic in that.
Shawn says that Nicole has just lost all the credibility she could have had with the guys. One of the guys says that Nicole probably sensed that Sir Richard was taking a liking to Shawn and he’d probably be tough to go up against. Sam states that “Nicole, you no longer have a chance to win this game, I’m not ready to go home right now.”
Sam and Nicole show up and realize that Sir Richard wants them to go over the Victorian Falls in a barrel. Sam and Nicole are absolutely flabbergasted. One of the guys starts going over safety instructions with the two, saying that this particular barrel has never been tested before, and that it could be unsafe, you could break a few bones, and then he hands them a paper. Nicole starts asking all sorts of questions about the barrel and the drop down, and she starts getting worried. Finally, she says she won’t do it. But Sam says “you only get one life to live, right Richard?” and he and Branson get in the capsule with their safety helmets on.
Before they close the door, the safety supervisor says that if at any time Sam changes his mind prior to the drop, to press the big red button in the middle and they’ll bring the barrel back to the ground. So they’re up, the barrel hoisted up by the crane, and Sir Richard keeps asking Sam, you sure you want to do this? And Sam says yes, yes, yes, let’s do this. So finally, Branson says “3…2…..1….”
….and the barrel doesn’t drop. Branson grabs Sam and says “you’re a brave man, but this is about intelligent risk-taking.” Sam looks confused. He asks if they were ever going to actually drop the barrel, and Branson says no. If they had gone over the falls, they would have both been very dead. On the ground, Branson tells Sam and Nicole that Sam was near death, and that this was a very cruel test. He takes them to a viewpoint over the falls and says that “350 feet is still 350 feet.” And going on the falls would have been instant death.
Back at the lodge, Nicole goes on and on about how she was asking questions and decided not to go over the falls, all in front of Sam. The men think that it’s incredibly rude for Nicole to gloat in front of Sam like that, when it’s obvious Sam isn’t feeling too hot. Branson says that between Sam’s poor performance in the challenge and Nicole’s boorish behavior at dinner, it will be a hard choice on who to eliminate.
It’s time for the tarmac elimination. Branson tells Sam that he jumped into the challenge without ever questioning him, and that they would have both died. Nicole, on the other hand, while she questioned the safety, as leader should have stopped Sam from going. He hands them both the tickets….
…..and on board….Nicole shows up. Sam has been eliminated. Nicole goes on and on about how she’s glad to be here, and she blabs on and on, and everyone on the plane looks like they’re about to shoot themselves. Steve says that Nicole is the “most smug, oblivious person he’s ever met” and she has no idea how much everyone else hates her. Sam, in his final words, says that he thanks Sir Richard for the great opportunity, and he’s going to go out and do something in his life with this.
Next episode, they’re still in Africa, and they’re going on a safari with big animals, and Jermaine gets scared.
My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m thinking Steve, Shawn, or Sara is going to take this game home.