Last week on The Apprentice: The teams were assigned the task of showing a group of retirees how technology could improve their lives. The women gave a lacklustre performance and ended up in the boardroom, where Toral was pegged as the weakest link. Going against logic and advice, PM Rebecca chose to send Toral back up to the suite and bring Jennifer W. back to the boardroom with her. Jennifer was ultimately fired, and Trump pondered over whether Rebecca was great or a disaster.
Rebecca and Jennifer M. return to the suite, and Kristi admits that she thought Rebecca was a goner. The sorority girls need an explanation as to why Rebecca didn’t keep Toral downstairs with her, and Rebecca says that she sees a lot in Toral, and guarantees that the next task will prove that. Kristi confronts Toral and asks if she’s been giving her all so far, and Toral admits that she hasn’t. Privately, Toral says that part of her strategy was to slink into the background and let the other girls eat each other up. This doesn’t appear to be working, however, and a smart person would adapt their strategy. Is Toral is smart person though?
It’s time to learn what the next task will be. The teams meet with The Donald and his eyes and ears in the lobby of Trump Tower, right in front of the ice cream parlour. Mmmm, ice cream. With the Trumpster are two bigwigs from Dairy Queen. Mmmm, Dairy Queen. After informing us that DQ is the biggest ice cream conglomerate in the US, Trump announces that the task this week is to come up with a mascot for the Blizzard – you know, the yummy scrummy ice cream treat mixed with candy or cookies or whatever other kind of sugary goodness you happen to fancy when ordering. They will have access to costume designers, but the rest is up to them. Trump mentions that he wants to see Toral step things up this week, and she promises she will.
Team Capital Edge heads back to the suite, and Toral is asked if she wants to be PM. She says she will if everyone else wants her to be, but she has no experience with this kind of thing and if someone else wants it, then that’s fine with her. Way to step it up Toral, nicely done. Felisha takes on the role of PM, leaving Rebecca disappointed in her friend Toral.
Over at Excel, Clay has taken the PM position. He gets right down to business, barking orders and telling everyone that they need to listen to him and do what he asks of them. Look out Napoleon, here comes Clay. Markus gets on the phone to schedule an appointment, and when he announces that it’s set for 11:30, Clay is upset – he wanted it at 11:00, and Markus should have known better. I thought Markus was headed for the corner sporting a cone-shaped hat, but Clay is finished after warning him not to pull something like that again.
Capital Edge brainstorms what they want their mascot to be. Lots of useless ideas come up , including a stream of nonsensical names that all start with “B” from Toral. I guess that’s her contribution to the team this week. They decide to call their mascot “Zip”. Because for some reason, Zip brings them visions of soft serve ice cream. Yeah, I didn’t get it either. They start drawing Zip, and Jennifer suggests a logo on his shirt, but the others think that would be too blatant. You don’t want people to know who your mascot is running around advertising for, after all. Jennifer privately laments that, because she is a beauty queen, no one takes her seriously.
The blonde sorority sisters head off to meet with the costume designer, leaving Marshawn, Rebecca, and Toral behind. Carolyn arrives and notices that these three are obviously the outcasts of the group. As if to prove her point, the blondes all agree that the four of them did a great job in coming up with Zip.
The men, meanwhile, have quickly decided that their mascot will be a genie. They think it will appeal to all ages and demographics, as the genie can be motherly, sexy, and friendly. Their sketch of Ginny the Genie includes a big belt buckle with “DQ” on it. Nice to see that someone’s thinking here.
At the costumers, Excel describes their genie as being “Alaskan, looking edible with ice cream hair and big boobs”. They also request lots of “Dairy Queen bling”. The costume designer asks who will be wearing the outfit so she can take measurements, and it suddenly dawns on the guys that one of them will have to volunteer to be Ginny the Genie. Heh. Mark volunteers, saying that he’s never going to hear the end of this from his friends back home.
Capital Edge goes through the same thing with the costume designer – they present their sketch and Felisha specifies that there are to be no logos or branding on the outfit. They decide that this is Toral’s last chance to get in on the task and make a contribution, so they whip out the cell phone and ask Toral to be the mascot. Toral refuses, saying that she’d “rather not”. Wow. I haven’t wanted to reach through the television and smack someone this much since Maggie on Big Brother 6. Actually, that wasn’t very long ago, was it?
Felisha again asks Toral to be the mascot, and Toral once again refuses. Kristi declares that she’s “so over her”. Privately, Toral says that she thinks the mascot is childish and she’s not going to demoralize herself by wearing the costume. She’d much rather look like a self-righteous slacker on a nationally televised reality show, I guess.
Back at the DQ offices, Excel is planning their presentation, which they will present to Clay when he returns from the costumers. Josh wants to have a jingle, so Randal writes the lyrics and Adam delivers a convincing presentation. George has stopped by, and remarks that they’re getting along and working together very well, although he admits that songwriting can be tricky.
Clay shows up and hates the jingle. As a matter of fact, he hates everything that they’ve put together. Markus tries to defend their ideas, but Clay hushes him and tells him not to speak unless spoken too. Ouch. Josh comments that Clay has turned into a dictator and is wearing his “bitch coat”. I have a bitch coat. Actually it’s more like a “bitch cardigan”, and if I’m wearing it the family knows I’m in a bad mood and they should stay away.
Over at Capital Edge, Felisha has decided that Toral will wear the costume, and when the sorority sisters arrive at DQ, she asks Toral one more time to take one for the team and put the darned outfit on. Toral explains again that she would prefer not to. Alla wants to know why, and Toral says that it would embarrass her family and employer. Kristi says that no one is going to know that it’s her, so what’s the big deal? Apparently none of these women has ever seen the show before.
Privately, Toral says that if Trump asked Carolyn to wear a costume like this, Carolyn would tell him to take a hike. Of course the difference here is that Carolyn isn’t groveling to get a job with Trump – she’s already very successful due to hard work, that may or may not have involved wearing a mascot’s outfit. Rebecca hangs her head and stays quiet, clearly very disappointed in Toral.
Mark and Excel are back at the costumers, where Mark gets to try on his outfit. It’s pretty hilarious, with hair that looks like a soft-serve cone and a face that’s just as white. The clothing is basically a red disco-era jumpsuit, with gold fringe and a humongous DQ belt buckle. The only real drawback is Mark’s manhood, which creates quite the noticeable bulge. Someone suggests that he uses duct tape to make the bulge less noticeable, but apparently this is where Mark draws the line.
Kristi volunteers to wear the costume for Capital Edge, and as she’s getting into the getup she calls Toral a “goober”. Toral, for her part, still thinks that she’s doing the right thing and that the mascot is hideous – therefore she is 100% on target with her judgment.
The women are up first with their presentation, and Zip, to me, doesn’t look anything like ice cream or a Blizzard. It’s a weird silvery boxy thing with huge bulging eyes and he carries a large red spoon, which apparently has the DQ logo on it (in red), but no one can see it. Oh, and he has huge blue feet. Huge. Jennifer explains that Zip would appeal to children (which is totally not their target group), and that the compartments on his back hold Blizzard ingredients. How would the average person know that, I wonder? Jennifer goes on to say that Zip can zip, zip, zip over to anyone who wants a Blizzard. Ugh. Rebecca is embarrassed and Toral doesn’t even crack a smile. The execs wonder why there isn’t a logo, and after a brief yet uncomfortable silence, Marshawn attempts to save the day by explaining that the red spoon and swirl shape are clearly DQ, and they didn’t want to overdo it. I’m still looking for the swirl shape.
Excel is up next, and they show up with a fruit plate for the execs. That’s a first. Mark, as Ginny the Genie, arrives and he looks rather like a man in drag – but it works. The execs get a good laugh out of it, but can also clearly see the branded belt buckle and ice cream hair. Randal notices that the excitement in the room is high, and indeed the execs look like they’re enjoying the presentation. They ask why Excel has chosen to use a female mascot, and Clay answers that women will be able to relate to her and men will find her sexy.
Both teams are brought back in and the execs get Trump on the phone. First, they explain that they don’t quite get Capital Edge’s mascot – they don’t know what Zip is and don’t understand why he doesn’t sport any DQ logos. They also think that Zip misses their target demographic. Ginny the Genie, on the other hand, captures the “magic” of Dairy Queen and will appeal to a much wider audience. Obviously, Excel wins.
Cut to a confessional from Toral, who says that she’s happy that Capital Edge lost. She feels that their final offering was childish and that their analysis was “superficial”. So … why didn’t she jump in and say something before it was too late? And does she not understand that she will be one of three in the boardroom fighting for their spot? Trump already has his eye on her, and this isn’t going to help.
Excel votes unanimously to give Clay an exemption. Interesting. I wonder how badly a PM would have to screw up and still pull off a win for the men to not hand out an exemption. Josh explains that at this point in the game, it’s easy to give the exemptions and Clay did win the task for them. For their reward the guys are headed to play baseball with the Mets and meet their mascot, Mr. Met.
In the suite, Felisha asks Toral once again why she refused to wear the mascot costume. Toral says it was for personal a spiritual reasons. Felisha thinks that Toral is looking for an out now, and religion is a good thing for her to hide behind. Now it’s quite possible that the editing made it seem that Toral hadn’t brought religion into it prior to this, but from the reactions of all the girls it doesn’t seem to be so. Felisha spills her guts to Kristi, who says that wearing a costume can’t be against Toral’s religion, and that it’s all “bullcrap”. Not knowing enough about Toral’s religion to offer an educated comment, I’ll one-up Kristi and pass.
Felisha talks to Jennifer about Toral, but Jennifer shows that she actually has a spine and says that Toral isn’t the reason they lost. It didn’t matter who was in that Zip costume – the fact was that he didn’t have any branding. Now personally I think Zip would have lost even if he were covered in logos and dipped in chocolate, but the branding certainly wouldn’t have hurt. Jennifer asks Felisha who was in charge of strategy on this task, and Felisha squirms her way out of blame by saying that they all were.
It’s boardroom time. The question of the hour is why there was no branding on Zip. The team points out that the logo was on the giant red spoon, but Carolyn pshaws this one, saying that it wasn’t legible and doesn’t count. Jennifer mentions that she suggested they put a big logo on Zip’s chest, but no one agreed with her. Marshawn pipes in and adds that it was a group decision not to brand Zip, but she does recall Jennifer suggesting it. She also says that there are no excuses for not including the logo. Way to go Marshawn – well said.
Toral, who should really just shut up and only speak when spoken to, says that her team knows how to put up balloons and set up cheese trays (even though they did that last week and still lost … ) but they missed the boat completely in the strategic marketing department. Trump asks if she mentioned this during the task, and she says that she did but no one listened to her. Now Trump wants to know why she didn’t step up to the plate (ugh – I hate that phrase) and take on the role of PM, and she says that she doesn’t know much about marketing or advertising, so she let someone who did lead them. For someone who doesn’t know much about the subject at hand, Toral sure has a lot of opinions about the task.
When asked about wearing the costume, Toral says that she couldn’t do it for personal and religious reasons, but she doesn’t want to get into specifics. She adds that wearing the suit would have been degrading, and since she’s an up and coming business woman, she didn’t want to embarrass herself. Trump says that he went on Saturday Night Live and wore a chicken suit – what’s the big deal? Toral doesn’t seem to get the point.
Trump asks if Toral explained to the other women that she had religious issues with wearing the costume, and she says that she believes she did. Everyone else jumps in right away and denies that she mentioned this. Trump wants to know if Rebecca is still a fan of Toral. Rebecca looks heartbroken, staring down at the desk. She says that she had hoped that Toral would have taken on a leadership role with this task, but she didn’t. After a bit more bickering between Toral and the rest of her team, Trump asks Rebecca who she would fire. Rebecca begrudgingly admits that the team won’t work with Toral on it.
Trump decides to skip the formalities and tells Toral that she makes too many excuses and that her team doesn’t like or respect her. Toral is fired, and Trump shoos them all out of the room. Trump tells Carolyn and George that Toral didn’t step up to the plate, and Carolyn and George both agree that he made the right choice.
I’ve got to admit, the only people that I really like on the Capital Edge team are Rebecca and Marshawn. Marshawn is a straight shooter who doesn’t make excuses for herself or anyone else, and Rebecca seems to know when to turn it up and shine, and when to fade into the background and let others take the spotlight. Toral could have benefited from this, but instead she chose to stick to her losing strategy and hope that someone else would take the fall.
In the cab ride of shame, Toral says that she is a business woman first and foremost, and that wearing that costume would have been degrading. She adds that she wouldn’t hire any of the sorority sisters to be her administrative assistant.
Next week, the teams have to promote a movie and there will be some kind of twist or surprise at the end. Anyone else thinking that two people will be fired?
Comments or questions are welcome – send your thoughts to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.