Last week on The Apprentice, Capitol Edge went to the boardroom for the second straight week in a row after their lackluster attempt to melt the hearts of Dairy Queen executives during the Blizzard mascot challenge. The Donald sent Toral home. There are now 14 candidates left and Capital Edge is quickly shrinking … will they be able to get back to some winning ways or will the men leave them in the dust?
The show begins with the men of Excel discussing the women’s team. One says that it is the blondes against the brunettes. Another offers that the reason they are losing is because of team dynamics and they are acting like sorority girls that just found out one of their members is cheating with their boyfriend. Enter the women that escaped firing … Kristi, Felisha, Jennifer, Rebecca and Marshawn. The men ask them what happened and the women ignore them. Kristi says they should go back to the bedroom and one of the men suggests that this is a good idea and would like to join them.
The women are huddled together. They have decided that they will never discuss what goes on in the boardroom with the men. Kristi says that what has happened in the past needs to be let go. Task number 5 is a whole new ballgame and bring what you have to the table. Marshawn believes that there has been a false sense of unity and that they need to stop the backbiting and focus on the task. The women all agree to let bygones be bygones.
The next morning Alla answers the suite phone and receives instructions to meet The Donald at 7:30am at Grand Army Plaza on 5th Avenue. Donald and Carolyn are joined by Bill Rancic, the first apprentice winner who will be replacing George for the week. Donald tells Capital Edge that they are dropping like flies and gives them the opportunity to acquire an Excel member as a new part of their team. He tells them they have a minute to confer but they answer in unison that they are ready. The Donald is a bit stunned and asks what this means. They say that they want Randal. Cut to Randal with a big grin as usual and then once he hears his name, the smile disappears. The men of Excel are ticked and Josh is seen mouthing a not fit for prime time word. The strategy of Capital Edge is to choose Randal because they feel he will be an asset to their team but also that losing Randal would hurt the men’s team. Personally, I wouldn’t mind just getting a chance to stare at him … he’s gorgeous and with all the smiles and hugs from the women and Randal, it appears they share my opinion … strategy, yeah right!
Donald explains Task 5 to the newly assembled teams. Trump tells them that they are standing in the middle of NYC. 5th Avenue is famous for its parades and parades mean floats. The teams will work with Sony Pictures to build a float to advertise the new movie Zathura. They will be judged on how they advertise, promote and visually incorporate the spirit of the movie into their float. The director of the movie as well as a Sony executive will judge the teams and choose the winner. Clay was the winning PM from last week and will be exempt. Josh is worried that with Randal on
Capital Edge now that they have a huge advantage because he knows what makes Excel tick. Meanwhile, more hugs and touching from Capital Edge “welcoming” their new teammate. Randal feels the love.
Okay, if you read the recap from the first episode, you will remember that I said that there was a very short man. Well, his name is Brian and he is the PM for this task for Excel Corporation. He knows that he needs to step up and show that he can lead. We shall see if he is a Little Big Man or not.
The men meet with the Sony executive and the director of Zathura, John Favreau. John tells the guys that he made this picture to be a science fiction family adventure. He doesn’t want anyone to think this is a film just for kids. Brian asks if he would share alittle bit more about the movie “Zarutha”. At which point, John Favreau rolls his eyes and gasps. He mocks Brian for butchering the name of the film. John feels that the biggest component of this project is to get the name of the film out there. Zathura is not a name people are familiar with but once they know they name they will not forget it. John shows the men a trailer of the film with the basic premise of a father leaving his children at home and as soon as the children open the board game Zathura, their house is taking up into the sky by a space ship and taken to another galaxy. Wow, I may never leave my kids home alone again … or wait, maybe I will … hmmm. The men clap at the end of the trailer and John says that applauding will not give them any extra points.
Capital Edge meets with the two movie men and again John stresses the critical aspect of this project is the name Zathura and pronouncing it correctly. Their meeting is short and sweet and Jennifer is ecstatic that she is finally getting an opportunity to be the PM.
Brian and the guys are beginning the construction of the float. Brian heard John loud and clear and comes up with the idea that as the float is being paraded there will be a loud speaker that will repeat the name Zathura. Brian is doing well, he is offering praise, he is painting, building and he is concerned about Markus who doesn’t seem to be doing much more than roaming around aimlessly. Brian feels that the only good thing that Markus is good for is to go and get the team some dinner. Markus takes exception at being told to do such a menial task. Markus feels that his team is always marginalizing him and trying to figure out how to position him in case the team loses. He feels that he is the Teflon player and that his team will not ever set him up.
Capital Edge is working on their float. It becomes clear that Kristi is all over this task. Marshawn says that Kristi is miserable to work with and was confrontational and even disobedient to a direct order that Jennifer gave. Jennifer continues to give guidance but Kristi butts in with her opinions. Jennifer tries to redirect Kristi to no avail. Randal is observing that there is a lack of respect and respect has been key to the men winning. Jennifer pulls Kristi aside to tell her that the way that she is communicating comes across as bossy. Kristi says with an “in your face” look that she is bold. Jennifer says that everyone is tired of her attitude and to stop complaining and whining she needs to roll up her sleeves and work. Kristi says that she is doing a lot and she is not complaining … everything is being blown out of proportion. Jennifer confides that she is sick of Kristi and she needs to go.
I am not sure if Kristi is a bulldog or a pit bull…time will tell.
The next morning, it is clear that the men have worked throughout the night. Josh is infuriated with Markus procrastinating and not doing a thing … he’s got to go. Josh goes back to sweeping as Markus pulls Brian aside. He is still steamed about being asked to go get Chinese food. It looks like a ploy to not work. Brian says that for Markus to bring up this petty issue before a presentation is nuts. Josh joins them and says that he is tired of carrying Markus and he needs to get to work. Markus says that no one is carrying him and that he was having a conversation with Brian and that it is now over.
The Capital Edge team divides up and takes Randal, Jennifer, Rebecca and Marshawn on a carpet shopping spree leaving behind Alla, Felisha and Kristi to do the final preparations and clean up for the presentation. Marshawn thought that time was running out and that they should be practicing for their presentation. Bill arrives as the 3 women are running around trying to get the float to finished. Bill asks where the PM is and Kristi acts the coy one and says she is not sure. Alla explains that the rest of the team went to get a red carpet because they are trying to portray a red carpet event. Bill looks anxiously at his watch and shakes his head.
The men are up first for their presentation. Floating in the air is a house suspended by a spacecraft as well as planets, lasers, robots, the solar system with the name Zathura emblazed throughout the float. Brian explains the concept and also demonstrates the voice over feature stating “ZATHURA” he expresses how he even fumbled on the name and the importance of getting the name out there correctly. The other men are waiting in the wings. Brian has done a great job and the two men are beaming. Brian doesn’t sense this and begins to ramble about E.T. and Jumanji and being a kid and it is time for him to zip his lip. In fact, John tells him to stop talking because he is trying to give him a compliment. The director is right but boy is he arrogant. Carolyn thought the men did a great job and was true to the spirit of the movie. She seems impressed.
Capital Edge is seen moving quickly under their float. Jennifer tells the executive and the director how excited they are to show them their float promoting … ZANTHURA … yes, she said it wrong. In fact she pronounced ZATHURA incorrectly at least 5 times. John the director rolls his eyes and smirks. Carolyn and Bill try hard not to laugh and all the other team members are dying inside. Jennifer has no idea of her mistake and keeps rolling. To be honest it was difficult to really concentrate on the float concept because Jennifer explains that the house was the wrong scale and they had to amputate one of the children’s legs to compensate. If there was anything to be learned from the meetings with John, it was the importance of the name. Big mistake. There were zero comments from either judge and the team looks deflated however Jennifer is smiling and puts her arm around Kristi…go figure, I guess ignorance is bliss.
John and Mark are discussing and talking about the first impression of the floats. They both agree that they knew immediately what they liked best. The teams and Donald meet with John and Mark. They show the Excel Corporation float first. They feel that they accomplished the task of getting the name out and making the house look vulnerable. The next turn to Capital Edge and say that there were a lot of problems with the float from scale issues to not being able to see the name clearly and lastly during the presentation the name Zathura was incorrectly pronounced. Therefore, as it was already obvious. Excel is the clear winner. Donald asks the men if Brian will be exempt for next week and they all vote in favor. Donald informs the men that their float will be featured in 6 weeks at the Holiday Parade on 5th Avenue. For their reward they will get to send the afternoon in the recording studio with Wyclef Jean and cut a song. Donald says he is impressed with Brian … let’s hear it for Mighty Mouse!
Randal and Kristi are talking in the kitchen. She is just so tired of losing and that she is trying not to bring negative energy to the team so she is trying to stay positive. She asks Randal what he observed. He says that many times, one person talks and no one is listening. Kristi admits that she is often guilty of that. During his confessional, Randal says that it is obvious that something is broken on this team. Randal tells Kristi a Franklin Covey principle: Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Kristi says right, with a very glazed, open mouth look. To the boardroom, my dear.
Now for the humor of the show. The guys meet Wyclef to write a song. They decide to call the song the “Rubble Man”. Josh has nicknamed Brian, Barney Rubble because he doesn’t have any indentation from his head to his neck. Hey, Barney Rubble was short too wasn’t he? Wyclef has the task of bringing out each man’s, shall I say, gift to music. Do you remember back in the day, when NFL football teams would make music videos and you cringed because you would rather watch them on the field crushing each other and not singing. Well, this was much the same. I will say that Wyclef is patient and a genius because he blended Markus screaming, Brian “rapping” some vocal gymnastics and some bongo drumming and it ended up sounding like a song. The guys were tired but they had a great time and felt great about the creativity of their little ditty.
Jennifer finds solace talking to Paul in the kitchen. She recounts how Kristi was horrible to work with and was so bossy that she felt unnerved. Jennifer gently wipes away a stray tear and Paul does his best to reassure her that she can outsmart Kristi.
It is now evening, time for the parade of losing candidates to face the music in the boardroom. One by one they file through the doors, pulling wheeled luggage, the mood is tense until Rebecca comes into frame and she is hopping on one foot and rolling her suitcase…priceless, get that girl a wheelchair. The Donald enters and joins Carolyn and Bill. As soon as Donald asks why they lost the task, Jennifer and Kristi start pointing the finger at each other. Alla steps in and says that the presentation was terrible and that Jennifer missed the mark. Carolyn agrees and says that Jennifer butchered the name of the movie as well as saying that they amputated a little boy’s leg. Carolyn was downright peeved. Jennifer agrees that she was a little overwhelmed with the task but that Kristi was difficult to manage. Donald adds that she is tough and Jennifer says she is bad tough. Marshawn adds that a PM should not have to put forth so much effort to manage a team member. Marshawn says that Kristi talked over people, was bossy, and she took over. Donald asks Randal his opinion and he says he would fire Kristi because of team dynamics. Marshawn also agrees. Jennifer and Kristi start bickering about whom is better and who is the team player. Donald asks for Jennifer’s decision on who to bring back into the boardroom and she decides that it will be just her and Kristi slugging it out.
Before the ladies re-enter the boardroom, Donald asks for Carolyn’s impression. She feels that Kristi is hard to work with but that is not why they lost the task. Bill says that he agrees with Carolyn because Jennifer was not even present at a crucial time in the task completion process. Jennifer and Kristi are called back in and Bill just gives a look of pity to the women.
Donald observes that the women don’t like each other too much. Kristi says that she would not hire Jennifer because she is not a straight shooter, doesn’t manage well and has difficulties with time management. Jennifer slings back that Kristi is outspoken and does this is a bossy way. Bill wonders why Jennifer didn’t put Kristi on the bench since she was such a liability because this is what a good manager would do. Jennifer said that time was of the essence and she couldn’t afford to not have Kristi involved. Jennifer says that back home she is highly respected and admired by those who work for her and that she inspires them. Kristi says that she was hired by a company to turn the company around in 3 years and she accomplished it in 1 year. Jennifer looks a little worried. Kristi states that she was also highly respected by the team that she assembled. Jennifer chimes in and says that this team does not respect her. Donald shakes his head and says that the team doesn’t like Kristi very much. Kristi responds by saying that she is very outspoken and she has an edge and it is important to have an edge in business. Jennifer gets very emotional and says that she may get a bit tongue tied at times because she is human but she gets results and people like to follow her. Carolyn wonders if it is because she is likeable or a good leader. She reminds Jennifer that this is not a popularity contest. Mr. Trump shakes his head and realizes that this is tough decision because these women are polar opposites and he has not been faced with something like this scenario before. He tells Kristi that she has a really hard edge to her and although this is not a popularity contest she is really hard to work with and is a distraction to the team. Jennifer on the other hand, he feels that she is a really good leader but not sure of her concepts and whether she can lead under pressure. He decides that he will give her another chance and say “Kristi, you’re fired!” Whoa…I really didn’t see that coming.
The women leave the boardroom and Jennifer says she is sorry to Kristi and Kristi with all her edge says to shut up and she doesn’t want to hear about it!
Donald confers with Carolyn and Bill. Bill says that Jennifer escaped by the skin of her teeth. Trump says that Capital Edge was not working and with Kristi it was never going to work. Bill says oh, yeah … is he the biggest yes man around … he just flips according to Donald’s assessment.
Kristi takes her taxi ride … spouting that Jennifer was pitiful for trying to extend her hand in a shake. She feels that she is fake and she only hopes that Alla or Felisha will finish first.
Jennifer glides back to the suite to the sounds of the “Rubble Man” in the background. Get ready to download that single to your iPod quickly.
I really didn’t think that Trump would let Kristi get away since she is good entertainment with her drawl and sharp tongue. But I have been fooled before.
Next week looks like a fun filled hour … Carolyn takes over for Trump and she is enjoying the perks. Something big happens which causes Donald to return to NYC and he doesn’t look pleased. Look for some fireworks.
Has this season been a hit or a miss so far? Give me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.