Last week on The Apprentice…Trump sent Pamela over from Mosaic to try and help the women accomplish the difficult task of working together as a team. Each team sold items live on QVC, and the men beat the women by a little over $10. In the boardroom, Pamela brought Stacy and Maria with her, but was ultimately fired herself for not having a ‘good assessment of people’. 13 are left – who will be fired this week?
We kick things off this week, as we always do, with the survivors of the previous boardroom session arriving back at the suite. Raj points out that he’d like to see Pamela gone, and the rest of the group seems to feel the same way. Stacy comes in first followed by Maria, and there are cheers all around. Wes says that the women did themselves and the men a favour. Stacy brags about her Enron comment, while Kevin points out that Pamela’s leaving might have made the women’s team stronger.
Over at Mosaic, John is chosen as the next project leader. He says privately that he’s confident in his abilities, even though he knows that the task will be unpredictable. Raj asks John to give him some responsibility in the task, and John comments on how sharp Raj is. Meanwhile, the women are gathering before bed and Elizabeth is trying to figure out what they need to talk about. Maria complains about Elizabeth always ‘talking in concepts’. Stacy says that now the women need to be ‘hardcore’.
The phone rings, and Kevin stumbles out to answer it. Trump is at Trump Model Management, and the teams are to meet him there at 9am. Trump is checking out some of the new models as the teams arrive, and he greets them by pointing out that New York is the fashion capital of the world by far. (I don’t know if that’s the case – Paris and Milan might be on that radar as well.) Anyway, fashion is a 90 billion dollar a year business. The task this week is to produce a new clothing line that will become ‘tomorrow’s hot fashion’. They then have to show their fashion line, using Trump models, at the Avon Fashion show. There will be buyers from some of the major clothing retailers at the show, and whoever sells the most wins. Chris is exempt if Mosaic goes to the boardroom, since he was the PM last week.
Just a quick comment here – all the tasks this season seem to be something Trump can cash in on. Watch and see – there will be a whole ‘Apprentice’ line of items out after this season wraps up, with everything from ice cream flavours to clothing to toys to panini grills. Mark my words!
Maria is the Project Manager for Apex, and she brags about the home economics training she has. Sandy is in the background not saying or doing much. Is it just me, or does Sandy always look like she’s very uncomfortable – like someone put shards of glass in her shoes or something?
The men audition designers, and end up choosing Ilsa because she is a bit eccentric but still within the realm of wearability. Apex chooses a designer named Darren because he has some great concepts and knows the industry well. Elizabeth jumps in and starts to waffle on the choice, but Maria steps in and makes the decision. Elizabeth speaks up once again to talk about their target market, prompting Maria to send her off with Jen M. to talk with the buyers.
Apex and Darren gather at a burger joint to discuss ideas. As they eat their meals, the designs flow and the line is drawn up. Ivana gives Maria props for getting Elizabeth out of their hair so they can get things done.
The guys split themselves into two groups – one heads out to talk with the buyers, and the other goes to the Parson’s School of Design with Ilsa. The guys make suggestions to the designer, and she seems confused with what they’re saying. Ilsa goes to the washroom and Kelly jumps in and draws up a design. Chris comments that with Kelly’s military background, he’s astounded that fashion came to him out of the blue. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s wearing pink camoflage underwears”, says Chris.
Our words of wisdom from The Donald this week are “Know Your Market”. When he builds a building or creates a golf course or a club, he always goes after a certain market. He’s shown at a press conference bragging about how his books are number one on the best-seller lists. He says that pinpointing your market is vital to success. Thank goodness I’m writing this all down!
The men meet with the buyers, and Kevin says that they’re trying to generate a little sympathy and set the bar low. The buyers poke fun at the guys, trying to think of all the successful straight male fashion designers. The other half of Mosaic is looking at fabrics. Raj is driving Ilsa nuts with his suggestions while Carolyn is laughing so hard she’s crying. She says that the men are clearly out of their element, but points out that Kelly is once again rising to the occassion and organizing his team. Kelly confesses that it’s chaotic – Raj isn’t helpful in the least and John isn’t making any decisions. He feels he’s doing the project manager’s work.
The women also head out to get their fabric, and things are going much more smoothly. Elizabeth and Jen arrive, and things quickly start to get sticky again. Elizabeth jumps right in with questions and suggestions, irritating Ivana.
Apex gets to the design school and meet with the seamstresses. They use the measurements that were supplied by the Trump agency to create the clothing for the models, and off they go.
The men meanwhile are choosing their models, and decide to call them in to get measurements. Most of the men are gaga at the sight of the models. Andy giggles a lot and Raj babbles and tries to flirt. Ilsa just sits with her head in her hands.
As the women arrive back at the design school, their outfits are all ready to wear. They’re all pretty excited, and start to try on the clothes, pretending to walk the runway. Darren has even finished the ‘line sheets’ – informational pages for the buyers.
Over at Mosaic, they have one and a half outfits ready. There is still much to be done and not much time. Ilsa tells them that she needs to focus on what she’s doing, but Raj keeps getting in the way asking questions and confirming colours. Ilsa walks away saying, “These guys keep asking the stupidest questions!” Kelly calls Raj out, telling him to stay out of the way. Raj says that he needs information and that he has his own way of doing things.
Elizabeth and Stacy are assigned the task of putting fabric swatches on sheets of paper for the buyers, while the rest of the group heads off to the hotel to get the models ready for the show. Elizabeth complains that she’s not ‘in’ with the group the way that some of the other women are.
Meanwhile, Chris, Raj, and John head off to see their models, leaving Kelly, Wes, Andy and Kevin in charge of pricing. Ilsa makes some suggestions, but the guys keep asking her to ‘jack up’ the prices. They pack their things up and head out.
It’s showtime! The women’s designs are out first, and they look pretty darned good. Kelly thinks the women are toast, since they have short skirts and backless tops. The men’s line is second, and Ivana likens the fabrics to her father’s old sofa. There certainly are lots of tweeds and plaid prints! Funny that the male designer made more attractive clothes for women than the female designer did (in my opinion). The buyers huddle together and compare notes, leaving the teams anxious to find out how they did.
We don’t have to wait long for results, as the teams are now gathered together with Trump’s eyes and ears, Carolyn and George. Trump asks the obligatory question: “So, how’d they do?” Carolyn says that the men had a total sales of $7,735. George says the women did a lot better than that – they more than tripled what the men sold. $22,060 in sales! The women are thrilled, and Ivana yells “Finally! Finally!” Trump says that the men went wrong with their pricing – it was far too high. As a reward, the women get to go to a celebrity party next door at Hugo Boss, where Cirque du Soleil will be performing. The men of course will be heading to the boardroom.
In the suite, John says that they’re crushed, disappointed, emotionally drained and miserable. He talks to Raj about who he should take with him in the boardroom, and they think it should be Wes and Kevin since they were in charge of pricing. Raj says that Andy deserves to go home more than anyone else though. They all think that John busted his butt and deserves to stay. Kelly confirms that Andy should go, and John is left to think about his choices.
In the boardroom, Trump asks the men how they lost after four consecutive victories. John steps up and says that it came down to pricing. Kevin takes responsibility for the pricing, along with Wes, but says that John walked out on them at a crucial time. He also thinks that their choice of designer was all wrong.
Raj asks if he may say a few words in defence of John, but he’s shot down by Trump who says he heard Raj was a hound dog with the models. Trump asks Raj who he would fire, and he says Andy because he’s young and it’s been difficult for him to gain the respect of the team. Andy says he would fire John because, although he was a good leader, he led them in the wrong direction. This leads to a bit of a scuffle between John and Andy, with John saying that Andy was delegated to tasks that were mindless and labour intensive.
Trump offers John the choice to keep two or three people with him, and he says he wants to bring two. Trump doesn’t get it – why doesn’t anyone take three? John decides on Kevin and Andy, and the others are sent back to the suite.
Alone in the boardroom, Trump asks Carolyn and George what they think. George likes Andy and thinks he has a lot of potential. Carolyn thinks John is a good leader even though he made a lot of bad decisions on this particular task.
The three boys are called back into the boardroom and Trump addresses Andy, asking why he thinks he’s there. Andy doesn’t know, and John explains that Andy never takes a leadership role in any task, and there’s an understanding among the team that Andy can’t take on anything important. Trump says that he understands why Kevin is there because of the pricing, but wants to know why Wes isn’t there with him. George agrees, and John is silent for a moment. He explains that he’s worked hard every day, and put his heart and soul into this task. He hates being there in the boardroom because his team is so strong and it’s miserable that someone has to leave.
Trump tells Andy that he shouldn’t be in this room. He says that John made some bad decisions, but he thinks that John will be very successful someday. In a very obvious overdub, Trump tells Kevin that he made a critical error by overpricing the designs. But he can’t pick Kevin because Wes isn’t there as well. Trump tells John, in another overdub, that he should never have left the pricing to Kevin and Wes, so John, you’re fired. “Too many bad decisions.”
The Donald tells Carolyn and George that John was outstanding and he hates firing people that are that good. But he had no choice, he just made too many bad decisions. Carolyn doesn’t seem to agree but she stays silent, as does George.
On the cab ride of shame, John says he felt he was hammered in the boardroom by the rest of his team. He feels he worked his butt off, and isn’t sure that anyone else on his team could have done a better job. He thinks he was a stronger candidate than leaving this early justifies, but sometimes you give your best and it doesn’t always work out.
I have to wonder why Trump can base most of his dismissals from the women’s team on overall performance and heresay (in the case of Stacie J), and then turn around and fire John based solely on his performance on that particular task. More and more, the firings seem to be arbitrary, based on stirring things up and getting a buzz going around the show. I think if John had taken Wes or even Raj into the boardroom, things might have been different. I love Raj, but he really didn’t add much to his team this week.
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