Before we get into the recap, I want to address the e-mails I’ve received about Stacie J and last week’s episode. It seems that most of you agreed with me, that Stacie didn’t really come across as a nutcase. There have been quite a few articles written that go so far as to suggest that Stacie should sue for defamation of character. While I don’t think it’s that desperate a situation, I do feel that the other women saw a scapegoat in Stacie and ‘ganged up’ on her to get her out. No, I don’t think Stacie would have won the whole thing. She did freak out a bit in the first task (although I don’t recall any of the women being frightened of her at that time), and she went off and hired temps for the second task without even thinking to ask the rest of her team. She wasn’t my favourite contestant on the show, but her departure was fishy at best and Trump should have demanded to see the tapes of the episode in question before firing her. A group of women with a lot at stake are not the most trustworthy people to base such a big decision on. And now, as they say, on with the show!
Last week on The Apprentice, the teams had to come up with some buzz for a new Crest flavour for Proctor and Gamble. Apex went over budget and ended up in the boardroom. Project manager Elizabeth brought Stacie and Maria into the boardroom, where the whole ‘Stacie debacle’ unfolded. Trump ended up calling the entire team back to the boardroom, and they all swore that Stacie was a whack-job who had them fearing for their safety. Trump fired Stacie, citing the fear of having someone who is unstable running one of his companies. 15 are left – who will be fired this week?
As usual, the rest of the Apprentice hopefuls are waiting in the suite to see who has been fired. They all seem to think it’s Elizabeth, but find out it’s Stacie when the women return. Raj and Kevin are both surprised that things that occurred during the first task were brought up now. Kevin points out that no one there has a background in psychology, and could not make that kind of call about Stacie. Jennifer M points out that they all kept Stacie’s behaviour on the backburner until they needed to use it against her. She says privately that Stacie was not the reason why they lost that task. Everyone then turns on Elizabeth for being a lousy project manager, and Elizabeth says privately that she felt she’d been punched in the stomach and she was not sure she was going to be able to get up.
Jennifer M and Elizabeth argue the point further, while Maria complains that someone is sitting on her designer suit. They all talk over each other, Maria waves her finger around, and Jennifer walks away telling Elizabeth that she’s not ‘getting in the sandbox’ with her and to grow up. See, this is why a team of women is a bad idea.
The phone rings the next morning, and we’re treated to a shot of Raj in his underwear answering the call. I love Raj – he’s probably my favourite guy on the show, but this was a little too much Raj, even for me. Anyway, Rona tells him that Trump wants to meet with everyone at Jean-Georges Restaurant at 9am. At the restaurant. Trump is there with Carolyn and Bill Rancic, last season’s winner, who is standing in for George Ross who is away. The apprentices arrive to find out what their next task will be.
Trump tells them that Jean-Georges is the best restaurant in the country, in his opinion. He explains that the bible of rating restaurants is called the Zagat survey. The Zagat survey rates establishments on food, service, and decor. Each team will be supplied with a chef and an empty restaurant property. They have to transform these properties into functioning restaurants by the following evening. The team who earns the highest Zagat score wins the task and avoids the boardroom.
Jennifer C is the project manager for Apex, and she tells everyone that she’s adamant they will keep things simple. Stacy wants to have an Italian eatery, but Jennifer decides that she’s tired of Italian food and makes an executive decision to go with Asian food. Stacy keeps talking however, prompting Jennifer to call her one of the most irritating people she’s ever met.
Meanwhile, Mosaic is checking out their property. Raj is the project manager this week, but Chris really wanted the position since he’s worked in restaurants his whole life. Chris decides to tell the other guys how to schmooze the clientele, giving a colourful little tutorial with many a censored word. He says he hates the public, but he knows how to turn on the schmooze. Raj has faith that he will be able to overcome his hatred for the public and put on a good show.
Over at Apex, the women go to see the restaurant and Jennifer decides that she can’t get any work done without a computer and an extra phone, so she hauls everyone back to the suite. Side note – Ivana is carrying a laptop and I’m sure they all have cellphones – where’s the problem?
The guys have hired people to clean their restaurant while they eat pizza and discuss their plans. At the suite, the women find out that the guys have professional cleaners, and it suddenly dawns on Jennifer that maybe their place needs to be cleaned as well. Apex heads back to their restaurant, and at 4am they’re still scrubbing floors and cleaning the place. Ivana says privately that they all need to be in tip top shape to be able to pull this one off, and there’s no way that will happen on an hour and a half of sleep. Things are not looking good for the ladies.
Trump chimes in with his weekly words of wisdom – be respected. He points out that all leaders are different, but the common trait is respect. People have to respect you or you cannot be a leader.
It’s 6am and Apex is back up and at ’em. They’re all complaining about how the guys had a good nights’ sleep and they didn’t. At the establishment, they’re receiving food, dishes, tables, decor – everything they need for the opening.
The guys are also on the go, and John is painting stuff. Chris is on his back about having no artistic ability, but at least John’s making an effort. Later, Chris admits that John’s paintings look good – and they do.
Elizabeth asks Jennifer C if she can take Stacy, Maria and Jen M to go hand out flyers and ‘promote the crap out of this’. Jennifer says she can’t have Jennifer M, and Elizabeth breaks down. She’s inside crying, and Maria tries to comfort her. Elizabeth just feels like she can’t do anything right within the team, and wants to get working. She eventually takes off with Maria to hand out the flyers. The rest of the women stay behind and set things up. Jennifer C tells Stacy that she needs to stay there and oversee everything, and when Stacy doesn’t agree with her she blows up and starts another argument.
Somehow the Apex restaurant is open for business, and the customers start filling the place up. Sandy was in charge of decor, and indeed the place looks welcoming. Two elderly ladies complain that the decor is a bit strong, and instead of smiling and nodding, Jennifer C decides to argue with them.
The Mosaic restaurant is also open, and Chris is having a rough time with four gay men who are complaining about their appetizers. Chris decides to give the table to John, who is easily the best-looking guy on the team. Chris suggests he unties his shoe, walk over near the table, bend over, and do up his shoe. Instead, John decides to smile and be friendly and offer them t-shirts instead, and the men leave happy.
Over at Apex, Jennifer C is WAY overdoing the happy hostess act. She sounds phony and forced, and is making the customers uncomfortable. Ivana notices a lot of ‘clumping’ – girls gathering together and standing around. She tries to disperse them away from the seating area as much as she can.
At Mosaic, Andy confesses that he’s clueless as a waiter. This is proven when he gives the wrong entrees to a couple of women who are dining, but they have a sense of humour and Andy rolls with the punches.
Both teams close the door behind their last customers and try to relax a bit. Jennifer C comments that she’s great at bringing people together and pats herself on the back for getting beyond the cattiness. Meanwhile, Jennifer M says that they’re all working towards staying out of the boardroom, and if they win this task they will have won it in spite of Jen C, not because of her.
It’s time to find out how the teams did. Everyone meets up in the boardroom, and Trump asks Carolyn and Bill for the results. Bill has the scores for Apex. The survey takers loved the food, but hated the uncomfortable chairs, slow staff, and many women dressed in black milling around like ‘a bunch of uptight stewardesses’. They end up with a food score of 22, 16 for decor, and 19 for service, for a total of 57.
Carolyn reads the survey results for Mosaic. They get the thumbs up for their food and decor, but also have complaints about their chairs. The waiters are called ‘hot eye candy’, who are anxious to please. They have a food score of 22, decor is 18, and service gets an 18, for a total of 61. Trump is impressed with Mosaic, and asks Apex how they feel. Jennifer C says she’s shocked, since this is the best her team has ever been.
writer’s note: I know the scores don’t add up, but I copied them exactly as Bill and Carolyn read them.
Mosaic, as their reward, gets to meet Rudy Guiliani, former NYC mayor, who will talk to them about leadership. They meet with Rudy and Judith Guiliani at his office, and he shows them a tiny plaque that he keeps on his desk that says “I’m responsible”. The guys get to ask him questions, and he hands out autographed copies of his book. Rudy has always seemed like such a sweet, unassuming man, and this reward must have left an impression on Mosaic.
Meanwhile, the women are doing what we do best – gossiping and talking behind each others’ backs. Jennifer C and Sandy moan and groan about Stacy and Elizabeth, while Ivana and Elizabeth worry about who’s going. Jennifer C starts bad-mouthing and swearing about the ‘two old Jewish fat ladies’, who she thinks are solely responsible for their bad reviews. Stacy is offended because she’s Jewish, and I have to add that I’m offended and I’m not Jewish, old, or fat. Stacy asks the other girls what Jennifer C is talking about, and then says that she thinks Jen C mismanaged the team. Jennifer is standing right behind her, and calls her out. Jen loses it and makes things personal, telling Stacy that the funny thing is that she thinks she’s popular and liked. Jen says that Stacy is ‘contaminating their living quarters’ just by being there. If Jennifer C isn’t fired tonight, there’s something seriously wrong with this show.
Boardroom time, and Trump asks Ivana how the leadership was on this task. She responds that Jennifer lacked a lot, and that they didn’t get a lot of sleep. Jennifer has some quote from her father to defend herself, but no one’s buying it. Carolyn pipes in that where they went wrong is that they were all decked out in chic outfits, while the people on the street were all dressed in blue jeans. The restaurant was just wrong for the location. Bill adds that the energy level was low, and the women were tense and peering over the people as they ate. Jennifer says that they’re lacking comraderie, and Ivana interrupts asking where that might come from. Ivana, Jennifer and Stacy start talking over each other which causes Carolyn to raise her voice and ask them why they can’t work together and get along. Carolyn tries to keep talking but Jennifer interrupts. Carolyn is angry and tells Jennifer to be quiet. She says she’s embarassed to be a business woman right now, and Jennifer again pipes up. Carolyn gives up, exasperated. Sandy and Maria are both asked who they would fire, and they say Jennifer C.
Trump tells Jennifer that she can choose two or three people to stay with her, and she chooses Elizabeth and Stacy. Carolyn points out that it sounds personal, and Stacy and Elizabeth both agree it is. Bill gives Jennifer some advice – first and foremost this is not a game. If they think they can make alliances with people or pull people into the boardroom for the wrong reasons, then that’s the quickest way to get sent home. Jennifer interrupts Bill, who asks her to let him finish. He again reinforces that this cannot be personal, and she quips “Okay” in a deadpan, sarcastic voice. Trump sends the four women who are safe this week back to the suite, while Jennifer, Stacy, and Elizabeth wait out in the lobby.
Carolyn thinks that Jennifer should have picked Sandy, who was in charge of decor. Bill thinks Jennifer needs to lead by example, which she seems incapable of doing. The women are called back into the boardroom.
Trump asks Jennifer why she picked Stacy to stay, since she didn’t do anything wrong. Jennifer says that Stacy is a constant thorn in her side, who continually tried to undermine her decisions and wreak havoc on the task. Stacy is asked if she likes Jennifer, and after a pause she says she would not like to work with her. Trump then asks Elizabeth why she thinks she was brought back into the boardroom. Elizabeth responds that Jennifer has been spending the entire day trying to figure out who she could bring into the boardroom so she could pin this on someone other than herself. Jennifer says that Elizabeth has been on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Elizabeth calmly explains that yes, she was emotional, but that was because she felt she was being set up for failure. Jennifer says that she had to take Elizabeth by the shoulders and tell her that they were going into task and she cannot do this, and Elizabeth is flabbergasted – that certainly did not happen.
Stacy asks Jennifer why Sandy isn’t there, since she was in charge of decor and that’s where they scored the lowest. Jennifer says that Sandy did a lot of work, and Carolyn jumps in saying that Jennifer just doesn’t get it – she failed. “You failed you failed you failed” because of decor and service, she says. Jennifer says that she will take responsibility for Sandy then, and Stacy says ‘because they’re friends’. Trump interrupts her to say that she chose not to be a leader, her entire team hated her, and when she had the chance to bring one person in who really did mess up, she chose not to do it. “Jennifer, this is really easy – you’re fired” says Trump, and with that the meeting is adjourned.
Carolyn, Bill, and Trump agree that this one was way too easy and she should have seen it coming. Jennifer, however, comments from her taxi that she’s happy that she played honestly because she stayed true to Sandy, who was her best friend in the game. She thinks it’s ironic that Sandy threw her name out there when asked who she would fire, and she’s learned not to trust anyone. But she doesn’t want to live like that. All I can say is that things might go better for the women now that she’s out.
Let me just say one more thing before signing off. I’m not against women – I am a woman. But women can be catty, especially under pressure. There are very few women on this show who feel that they need to rise above the pettiness rather than jump in and become a part of it, and that, to me, is embarassing.
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