This is it! The season finale for all the bananas. We start off with a small recap of the fact that Shawn and Sara have to make a 3-minute speech about why they should win, and the shock of seeing all their former competitors there at Necker Island with them. Sara is first, and she starts by saying that “she’s never done brainstorming in a bathroom.” She then proceeds to talk about how she founded Spanx, her company, and about how she wants to free herself up to help women in other ways. Candida remarks that she knows the Spanx story, but she wanted to know more about Sara as a person and wanted to connect with her. Jermaine says that he felt a bit alienated since she only talked about helping women. Sara, in a rehash of her audition video, says that her life goal isn’t to make women’s butts look better. She also reminds them that after the first day she never lost a challenge, and they should look at how much farther I had to step out of my comfort zone to get to where she is.
Now it’s Shawn’s turn. He starts off by saying that the last 8 weeks, Richard told him that he was big-headed, confident, and cocky. He says he deserves to win because he wants it so bad his teeth hurt. Tim comments “His teeth hurt? That doesn’t separate him from Sara!” Shawn continues and talks about LoveSac, saying it’s not just a little beanbag company, it’s 600 people and he can get more people with the prize money, and that everyone has a dream. Candida comments that Shawn really touched her, she realized he had a profound respect for all human beings. Shawn says that love has brought him this far, and he’s brought loyalty and productivity.
The next challenge is a physical one. They have to go out on the water to a little island on the reef and get back. Shawn has to use a sailboat, and Sara is going to kite-surf. Shawn is frantic as he’s never touched a sailboat before, and Steve comments that it was fun to watch Shawn panic in the final challenge. Because of the increased wind, Sara finds a way around the rules in the challenge, and jumps on the back of an experienced kite-surfer and lets him do the kite-surfing. While Sara speeds away, Shawn kind of flounders around in the water. Shawn is shocked, as he doesn’t realize until Sara is on her way back that she’s not actually the one doing the kite-surfing. Sara wins the physical challenge!
The third challenge is a grueling interrogation by their peers. Branson tells them that a successful leader surrounds themself with the best people, so they should choose people for their team that will support them and help cross-examine the other person. Shawn and Sara both try to choose Gabriel first, and Gabriel sides with Sara. Gabriel says that he was uncomfortable having to choose between them, but he worked better with Sara and he had a few questions for Shawn. Shawn’s team consists of Candida, Tim, Nikki, Erica, Jermaine, and Michael, and Sara picks up Heather, Steve, Jessica, Sam, Jennifer. Jennifer comments that from the looks of the teams, Shawn is going to get killed.
Both teams have a pow-wow meeting to discuss the faults of the opposite person and what they should ask. Tim tells Shawn that they should ask Sara what abilities and characteristics she thinks Shawn has that makes him deserve the million. Jessica tells Sara to ask Shawn what everyone on their team does because he probably won’t know. Heather, in a confessional, gives another remark saying that “Shawn rubs people like sandpaper sometimes.”
Shawn is the first one to be grilled. Sara asks him what his three biggest weaknesses are, and he says he’s a bad listener, he’s very cocky, and he has trouble reaching out to and helping people. Gabriel asks Shawn why he snapped in London and Hong Kong, and Shawn tells him that it’s hard for him to be an Indian and not a chief, and he pushed his perogative. We then see flashes of Sam, Jessica, Gabriel, and Heather all talk about Shawn’s bad characteristics. Shawn comments that “they began with challenging questions and ended with lectures on what I’d done wrong, it became an attack against me.” We then see Heather ask the question that Jessica proposed: Name the jobs of everyone on Sara’s team. Shawn only gets Sara’s job right, and almost gets Heather’s. He completely stumbles over everybody and looks very uncomfortable. Branson says that Shawn stumbled and you could tell it damaged him. It’s not looking good for Shawn.
Sara is grilled, and the first question is about getting to know her and how most people felt that they hadn’t gotten to know Sara at all. Sara says that I don’t like walking up to people and telling them about myself. Michael comments that he still felt that Sara was being political, and he felt like she was still hiding. Tim asks the question that some of your teammates felt that you undermined their authority when they were leading. Sara says that she stands by her gut and her gut hasn’t failed her. Nicole asks the loaded question: Name some qualities that Shawn possesses to be a winner. Sara looks dumbfounded and can’t answer at all, she stumbles over her words and doesn’t give a direct answer. Nicole says that she was disappointed that Sara couldn’t answer the question.
The questioning is over, but Branson asks about whether they’d give half of the prize money (if there is some) to charity. Sara agrees whole-heartedly, but Shawn says that he feels he’d do better to use the money and multiply and then be able to give more to charity. It’s time for a lovely dinner, and everyone chats like old friends about their favorite places on the trip, and we are treated to snapshots of the entire experience they had. Steve decides to make a public apology to Jessica about what happened, and while he confesses later that “I think she was moved by what I said” Jessica, at the dinner table, whispers to Heather “Oh please spare me.” Rut roh, sorry Steve, you aren’t getting lucky tonight!
Shawn comments that he’s been open about his weaknesses, and people have jumped on him because they don’t have as much dirt on Sara as they do him. Branson has a nice chat with both Shawn and Sara about different things, and he feels that Sara has a step up on Shawn in terms of business. Sara confesses that since Shawn doesn’t know half of her team, she feels she’s got an advantage because to lead people you have to know them.
It’s time for the final challenge. Sara and Shawn both have to choose someone to be an advocate for them. Both, again, choose Gabriel, and once again, Gabriel chooses Sara. Shawn, in a surprising move, chooses Heather to represent him. Heather says that “choosing me is a compliment to Shawn’s intelligence.” Branson then drops the bombshell: These two will be deciding who wins the game. Shawn immediately regrets choosing Heather. Candida says that she would have fought for Shawn, tooth and nail. Tim comments that Shawn picking Heather sealed his fate and put him in second place. Sam says that Gabriel has been teetering back and forth though, and he had a real special bond with both.
Gabriel and Heather call in each of the contestants individually and ask them who they think they should win. Michael says Shawn, Tim says Sara, Steve says Sara, Candida says Shawn, Jessica says Sara, Nicole says Shawn. It’s basically 50/50 and Gabriel and Heather get nowhere with questioning. The two then begin a two-hour argument over who should win. Gabriel says that Shawn was polarized, either people loved him or hated him, but Heather comes back with the fact that Shawn has the edge on being Richard Branson. Gabriel says that there is a fine line between being a hero and a leader, and while Shawn is a hero, Sara is the leader, and while he’d go into space with Shawn, he’d go into business with Sara. The argument continues, as both Gabriel and Heather make good points and don’t back down. Gabriel remarks that while Shawn will jump off planes, Sara talks to people and people trust her. Heather says that Sara feels that “liberating you from your G-string is saving women.” Gabriel points out that Shawn’s lost his temper before. Gabriel comments in a confessional that it feels like they’re going in circles, and Richard is expecting a decision.
It’s time to choose a winner! Branson stands in front of Shawn and Sara, with Gabriel and Heather behind him, and the rest of the cast behind them. Branson says that as successful entrepeneurs, you sell yourselves, and they did that in their speeches, and then in the cross-examination their speeches were critiqued. He then goes to Gabriel and Heather and tells them to reveal who they decided on. Heather starts off by saying “I’m sorry Shawn…” and then says that they came to a stalemate and couldn’t decide. Shawn and Sara both look kind of relieved, and Branson says that the whole decision now rests with him. Branson tells Shawn that the group has concerns about you being a team player and a better leader. He tells Sara that she has shown an even-keeled leader style, but that’s prevented the group from knowing the real you. He says he looked at personal visions, and that both of them would be excellent choices, but he could only choose one….and that one is Shawn.
:whoohoo: :whoohoo: :whoohoo: :whoohoo:
Shawn says that he is immediately fluttered with a million emotions, and everything he’s done has been completely validated. Heather remarks that if she hadn’t been Shawn’s advocate, anyone else would have caved against Gabriel. Richard then shows Shawn his prize….a check for one million dollars. Shawn is flabbergasted. But that’s not it. Richard tells Shawn that it’s not just about the money. He tells Shawn he can give up the money and take one more risk, flip this coin. If he wins, he gets a prize even bigger than the million dollars. If he loses, he gets nothing. Shawn is confused. He doesn’t know what to do, whether to take the risk or take the easy million. He comments “This isn’t another keg over the gorge is it?” It then goes to a flashback of Sam and Branson over the gorge, and Branson saying “you can take risks, but take calculated risks.” Sam tells Shawn to go with his gut. Steve, from the sidelines, is motioning for Shawn to flip it, and says his first reaction is for Shawn to flip the coin because he wants to know what the bigger prize is. Shawn is sitting for thirty minutes, trying to decide what to do. Gabriel walks up to Shawn and tells him to manage his curiosity. It’s easy for them to say risk it, but its not their money. He reminds Shawn that that money is HIS money now, and would he take a million out of his company for a flip of a coin? Shawn says no. Sara becomes the devil’s advocate and tells him that she thinks he’s a risktaker, and she looks at him and says he’ll make a million easy.
Shawn eventually comes to a decision. There’s too many people in his company to take a risk on 50/50 odds, so he takes the million dollars. Branson then tells Shawn that if he’d taken the coin toss, he would have lost all respect for Shawn, to put all that money at risk after all he’d done for a 50/50 shot would have been sad. He then asks what Shawn thinks of the Virgin empire, and Virgin says that “Virgin is the only brand I would emulate with my own company. The way they dress and the way they act is exactly what I want to do.” Branson says he’s happy Shawn said that, because he’s going to make a position at Virgin Worldwide, effectively making Shawn President of the company. Shawn’s mouth hangs open, and he says “No way.” Branson continues, that for 3 months Shawn will share his job, and after 3 months he can either because president of a Virgin subsidiary permanently, or he can go back to being a part of LoveSac, and with either decision the money is still his. Branson then flips the key to Virgin to Shawn, and Shawn remarks that it’s “so bizarre that it’s real.”
Sir Richard isn’t done yet. First he tells Shawn that it wouldn’t be right for him to celebrate this moment by himself. Then Tiffany, Shawn’s wife, sneaks up behind him and gives him a hug, and Shawn is absolutely ecstatic. (I would be too, his wife is gorgeous!) Shawn says that to travel the world and have no moral support was disheartening, but seeing Tiffany helped him a lot.
But wait, there’s more! Sir Richard isn’t done! He then tells Shawn that he can choose one person from the cast to go with him and help him in his new position. Shawn chooses Gabriel, and Gabriel is shocked and runs up to Shawn and gives him a great big bear hug. Gabriel says that since he was eliminated he never contemplated winning a prize in the end. But Branson still isn’t done yet! He turns to Sara and tells her that he’s going to donate $750,000 to her charity to help women. Sara is awestruck and starts crying. Heather comments that “I guess I got the shaft” since she was the only one of those four that didn’t get anything. Aw, poor Heather.
Branson then takes Shawn to his “office,” where Shawn sits down in a hammock, but Branson remarks “Shawn, the hammock’s still mine.” I found that cute. Branson then takes Shawn on one final adventure…Shawn and Richard go flying around the island dangling from a helicopter. Branson says that he enjoyed the journey, and he’s definitely learn a lot from it…..and that’s the end of that.
Well I definitely enjoyed recapping this show! Sir Richard Branson is definitely a warm-hearted and very sincere individual, the kind of person I love to see with several billion dollars. Shawn emulates Richard in a lot of ways: Gabriel scorned Shawn twice when having to choose between Sara and Shawn, and when Shawn had the chance to scorn Gabriel, he chose Gabriel to share in his prize. A real class act. I must say, my winning streak with columns has continued: First Chip and Kim won TAR5, Dominic got second in Benefactor, Chris and Twila were the final 2 of Vanuatu, and now Shawn wins Rebel Billionaire. I think a lot of good has come of this. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’m out until Palau!