Branson opens the episode blowing his cork….off of a champagne bottle, nearly killing everyone in the van. He says that having fun is the Virgin way of doing things. The next challenge is going to involve publicity, the teams have to put together a publicity stunt, and Branson says a publicity stunt puts you on the front page. They have 36 hours to pick a company and generate press for their event. Shawn, who is a CEO for his own LoveSac company, decides to be the team leader for the men. The women are off and running with ideas, like a G-String bonfire…nope. They decide to promote Erica as a company, and they are going to get a stranger to marry her. Yay? Candida has problems with the idea and causes a ruckus, and Nicole talks about “Candy’s tunnel vision.” Candida says pitching Erica as a business is an iffy idea.
The men decide they are going to put together a Jewish-Muslim soccer match, the LoveSac LoveFest. Shawn says that it is hippie-retro and that’s what the LoveSac corporation is all about. The women are running around, creating a website called MarryErica.com, and Candida finds a woman that will make them a dress, but she’s too far away for team leader Erica, and Candida whines about it. Erica says that finding a man is more important than a dress, and Candida whines and says that you can’t have a wedding without a good dress.
The men are having trouble, they can’t seem to get anybody because it’s a Sunday and there’s nobody to get in touch with. Meanwhile, the women find the men’s advertisement on the web, and Nicole is “unimpressed” with it. Steve gets the idea to get George W. Bush as the referree for the soccer game, he has celebrity phone numbers and it’s his job to get the celebrity guest that will attract the press. Back with the women, Candida says that the women have put together a hoaxy story, saying that the group of them are women who knew each other in high school and made a bet to reunite in 10 years and get Erica married if she wasn’t.
Steve is having trouble getting any celebrity, and his team is counting on him to do so. It’s getting late and the men are SOL. They can’t even get teams to play, which Gabriel says is a “train wreck.” I think it’s a bit more than a train wreck, buddy. This doesn’t stop Shawn from having a little fun though. He stops the team on Abbey Road to recreate the classic Beatles shot with the four guys. Some of the guys think Shawn is a bit wacko for doing so.
The women are now out looking for suitors. They’re handing out fliers for their own little Bachelorette competition. Several “cute” guys say they’ll be there, and the women are confident everything will go according to plan. Steve, for the men, finally finds a few Jewish kids to play soccer. Shawn is also confident that “nothing can go wrong at this point.” At this point, God presses the “Never say nothing can go wrong” button and the next morning, the teams find out that…bum bum BUUUUUM it’s raining.
The men get to their site, and lo and behold….no press. It’s pouring out, nobody’s showed up. The game turns into a Jewish/Muslim vs. American game with shoddy goalposts, but at least they look like their having fun. (You have to feel sorry for the men at this point, you really do.) The women, the catty catty infighting women, are having a bit of trouble themselves. They have the press! …….But no suitors. Not a single one of them has shown up. Guess Bachelorette won’t air well in Britain. *shrug* Eventually, though, the searching women find a nice redheaded man named James who agrees to go along with the stunt. They get together, Erica and James get married and smooch, and the women are pleased. The press is not happy press, in fact they are a PO’d press. They accuse the women of making “a mockery of marriage” and Erica tries to explain what they were doing but fails miserably.
Back at the mansion, the women (Nicole) barge in on the men, who are sleeping of all things, and Nicole starts bragging about how much press they got and how well they did. Steve and Michael agree that Nicole is obnoxious and Michael says “she makes me sick.” I have to agree with the guys on this one, I hope Nicole loses horribly very very soon.
Branson meets with the two teams. He says that the soccer match was a novel idea and a good cause. He says the wedding was a hoax, but it was fun. He says that the women have won, because they actually got press at their event. Shawn is asked to choose someone to go up against, and Shawn gives a long, drawn-out reason that’s a lot of crap and chooses Michael. Steve said it best when he said “That’s a load of crap, you’re just choosing who you think you have the best chance against.”
Shawn and Michael get in a threeseater car with Branson, and the car turns out to be the Aquatocar, the only one of its kind. Branson drives the car into the Thames River and it turns into a boat, just like a real life James Bond car. In the middle of the Thames, floating in the Aquatocar, Michael and Shawn have at it when Branson interrogates them before their challenge. Shawn says that Michael is a great team player but lacks leadership skills.
It’s time for the elimination challenge. The two men have to rappel down Britain’s tallest building. 700 feet. AND they have to choose ten letters (none of which are the same) and make a slogan for LoveSac, and hang it on their rappeling rope as they lower themselves down. And this all has to be done in 90 seconds. Wow. Branson, true to form, rappels down the building first. He says that “it’s getting a bit windy” and it should be interesting to see the two men go at it.
Shawn, looking down, says it’s “one of those absolutely lose your stomach kinda moments.” The two men have their slogan flags, they’re set, and they GO! The two start going down, but the going is rough because it’s hard to clip on the flags and the wind is really picking up. They both try and try and try, but neither make it to the bottom in 90 seconds. To add insult to injury, right as time expires, most of their flags topple off their ropes. At the bottom, Branson smiles and asks for their slogans since he didn’t see them. I don’t remember Michael’s, but Shawn’s was “CHIX LUV SAK” Ha ha.
It’s time for the elimination. Steve says that Shawn has shown weaknesses in the past few challenges. Erica says that Michael doesn’t have much depth or creativity. Heather says Shawn “rubs people like sandpaper.” Branson looks the two in the eye. He says Shawn took a big risk in being a leader, since this was a hard task. He says that Michael’s effort in the challenge really got the job done. He then hands them both tickets. In the plane, we wait to see who’s joining the crew, and it’s…………Shawn!! Shawn says that he’s been learning a lot from Richard. Gabriel is sad, because he says that there are some people left in the game that should have went before Michael did.
In Michael’s parting words, he also feels that others should have gone before him, but he left knowing more about himself. Branson says that Michael was a great team player, but he wasn’t sure he had the leadership skills, and he was looking for an outstanding person in a lot of areas.
Next week, they are going to Morocco. They have to decorate a hotel room, and the elimination challenge involves the two people searching for Richard…with Blackhawk helicopters. Oh, and they’re fighting between people too.
I will be very disappointed in Sir Richard if the new leader of Virgin isn’t Shawn, Steve, Gabriel, or Erica. In my opinion, Heather is too boring, Sara is to demure and quiet, Candida is too “not think-outside-the-box”ish, and Nicole is too much of a braggart. I just can’t imagine him allowing any of those four to run his company. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Lemme know what you think.