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Thread: 'Rebel' competition just might fly

  1. #1
    Picture Perfect SnowflakeGirl's Avatar
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    Feb 2003
    In the Limelight

    'Rebel' competition just might fly

    From USA Today Online: http://www.usatoday.com/life/televis...lionaire_x.htm

    'Rebel' competition just might fly

    By Robert Bianco, USA TODAY
    Only reality TV could turn a one-of-a-kind person into one of the crowd.

    Surely there can be no doubt that Richard Branson, the adventure-seeking founder of the Virgin business empire, is a true original. If only we could say something close to the same for his Rebel Billionaire, a somewhat shaky marriage of The Amazing Race and The Apprentice, with a touch of Mark Cuban's The Benefactor thrown in.

    As on The Apprentice, you have a set of contestants competing to work for a high-profile billionaire businessman, though in this case, Branson says, the winner won't just get a make-work job. He or she will become president of Virgin Worldwide a development that we'll believe when we see it.

    The twist is that the challenges take place all over the world, from London to Hong Kong, from cities to jungles, from sea to sky. Throw in the stunts, says Branson, and you get "an adventure like no other." Unless you've already seen The Amazing Race, in which case you get an adventure just like that.

    Still, while Rebel may not be original, it could still turn out to be entertaining, depending on which players stick around and how their personalities blend. When the process works, you get an entertaining mix, like the current crop on America's Next Top Model. When it doesn't, you get a snooozefest like Survivor: Vanuatu.

    On the plus side, the show does have two major factors in its favor: its global challenges and its globe-trotting host. Branson comes across as an appealingly upbeat boss, savvy enough to realize that eccentric billionaires are best used in small doses, a lesson he may have learned from the failure of The Benefactor. He even borrows a Benefactor trick, basing some early eliminations on secretly observed bad behavior. But this time the contestants get bounced for abusing the help, not for mocking the host.

    Those who survive the first test get to tackle a Fear Factor-ish stunt that finds them walking a plank between two hot-air balloons. The people who fail that test have to then climb to the top of a balloon, which would seem to be a test for knowing when to say, "No way, you Brit git."

    My guess is nobody ever made John D. Rockefeller or J.P. Morgan climb hot-air balloons, and they turned out to be pretty good businessmen. But since Branson has a billion and I don't, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on this stunt.

    I'm not quite sure what to make of the coming attraction that seems to show a woman baring her breasts to a cheering crowd. There are jobs where that skill comes in handy, but president of a major corporation wouldn't seem to be one.

    It makes you wonder what sort of business Rebel is running.
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  2. #2
    ref guy
    I must watch it. My last name is Branson I wish I had applied to be on it just for the name recognition.

  3. #3
    fortfan shyra's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
    Ontario, Canada

    From Calgary Sun


    Fox gets its own 'Billionaire'
    Rebel Billionaire: Rich with heart & thrills
    By SARAH KENNEDY -- Calgary Sun
    Richard Branson may have trumped The Apprentice.

    The billionaire -- who is like a more cuddly, adventurous Donald Trump, without the comb-over -- is searching for the perfect person to replace him as president of Virgin Atlantic.

    And he's doing it on national TV.

    Branson's elimination tactics make Trump's challenges seem like summer camp.

    It's likely none of Fox's Rebel Billionaire: Branson's Quest for the Best, premiering tonight (9 p.m. on HC and W), will take place in the boardroom -- something the 16 contestants shockingly discover in the first episode.

    In fact, when executive producer Lori Levin-Hyams and Branson first discussed the show, it was going to have nothing to do with boardrooms and instead, would be an international scavenger hunt -- more along the lines of The Amazing Race.

    The two mulled over several ideas, but settled on the current format.

    Rebel Billionaire begins with the contestants, chosen from thousands of applicants, being driven to meet Branson for the first time.

    What the contestants don't know is that the taxi driver is Branson in disguise. Due to the disrespectful way two of the contestants treat the "driver," they are automatically sent home. Branson says he wanted to see how the contestants would treat "average" people.

    A tactic that Levin-Hyams says fits with Branson's character.

    "Richard's not someone who's impressed by titles," she says. "He'll spend as much time talking to flight attendants as he will with the CEO of one of his companies."

    Branson's first and unexpected firings -- that are nothing like The Donald's harsh "You're Fired!" -- end with a hug.

    But if contestants think the challenges are going to be all flowers and kittens they're dead wrong.

    The first challenge sees the contestants, who believe they are simply on the show to meet Branson and have a fantastic adventure, walk across a beam elevated more than 3,000 metres in the air, between two hot air balloons. Those who touch the wires for support have to return to the basket and start again.

    Clips for future episodes show the stunts become more wild -- barrel rides over treacherous waterfalls, run-ins with lions and free-falls.

    Branson, a risk-taking adrenaline junkie, is testing the group to see who has the guts to follow in his footsteps and presents them with the same sort of challenges and dilemmas he faced on his own path to becoming one of the world's most successful entrepreneurs.

    Levin-Hyams believes the Rebel Billionaire will attract the same viewers drawn to both The Apprentice and Amazing Race.

    "I think it has all the ingredients to be a big hit," she says. "It's not mean like The Apprentice, but there is enough controversy amongst the cast to keep it interesting."

    Levin-Hyams adds that Branson's personality also helps.

    "Richard is great. He has a lot of charisma which appeals to women and the adventure appeals to men."


    Fox gets its own 'Billionaire'

  4. #4
    Levin-Hyams believes the Rebel Billionaire will attract the same viewers drawn to both The Apprentice and Amazing Race.
    Really? Like I'd want to support a copycat of the beloved TAR. Riiiiiight...

  5. #5
    Miz Smarty Britches queenb's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
    running for the border
    I'm looking forward to this big-time. I don't think it will be too much like TAR, because it's an individual competition. I think the TAR comparison comes from the tasks they have to do.
    It's probably right in front of my eyes, but I don't see it--what's the reward for the final player?
    Last edited by queenb; 11-09-2004 at 05:40 PM.
    I have found the Truth and it doesn't make sense.

  6. #6
    JR. is offline
    Drummer / Model JR.'s Avatar
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    Sep 2002
    42 22' N 71 2' W
    I don't get it. How is a Fear Factor/TAR type of show going to help find someone to run the company? It just doesn't make sense to me

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic-TARmaniac

    Really? Like I'd want to support a copycat of the beloved TAR. Riiiiiight...
    Why not do both? Watch Rebel Billionaire at 8pm, then flip over to TAR6 at 9pm. It's all good!

  8. #8

    Rebel is the Game, eccentric is the man

    For anyone who may have questions on Branson's choice of methodolgy in choosing and heir, read his autobiography, "How I lost my Virginity". The game is about running a business, yes. But billionaire Branson is more sentimental about Virgin (with more pride in his companies and his people than in himself--Trump) and wants more than just a savy business person. He wants a rebel, a daredevil, someone who is willing to take the risks he has taken all his life.

    I watched the show last night, and I'm ready to predict the outcome. To me, the only one who stands out as the type of person Branson is looking for, who isn't a flake, is Shawn. That spikey haired rebel seems to be the only one on there who also has some depth and smarts. We'll see...

    His website I found this morning: shawndnelson -- or search for lovesac... good luck Shawn!

    anyone else has predictions?

  9. #9
    FORT Fogey did_it_again's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
    Dude,I don't have a vast amount of reality tv knowledge ,but has there ever been a reality tv show in which two pepole got wacked in the first 10 minutes? That was absolutley ruthless. I love the way Banson just come out there like that and sent a message about what kind of person he's looking for. Aisha just melted.I bet she would have been burned off quickly even if he didn't pull that trick and Spencer was like a sterotypical car sales man.

  10. #10
    FORT Fogey candor's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
    I like this show so far! I especially like Branson, the anti-Donald. He seems genuine and polite.
    "Totalitarianism demands, in fact, the continuous alteration of the past, and in the long run probably demands a disbelief in the very existence of objective truth." George Orwell

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