Apologies first for missing last week’s episode. Let it suffice to say that the Norwalk virus has hit my neighbourhood and I was sicker than Jessie Camacho in Survivor:Africa. All’s well now though, so let’s carry on!
Last week on The Apprentice, the teams were asked to create and pedal candy bars. Jen and Sandy decided to finally use their blonde hair and long legs to their advantage and dressed provocatively, while Ivana desperately offered to drop her skirt for $20. Needless to say, Ivana, Kelly, and Kevin ended up in the boardroom where Ivana was unceremoniously fired. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I grew to like and appreciate Ivana as the season went on, and was sorry to see her go. Four candidates are left – who will be fired this week?
Sandy and Jen are preparing dinner and speculating on who will return fron the boardroom. They both think that Ivana will be gone, and are proven right when Kelly and Kevin return. Sandy says that this whole process is a marathon, and now is the time to start sprinting.
Privately, Kelly asks Sandy about Jen’s behaviour when Trump delivered the task and asked for a project manager. Sandy says that Jen had said “If you really don’t want to then I guess I will”. Jen overhears the conversation between Kelly and Sandy, and jumps in to defend herself – but this comes after the clip in the intro showing Jen taking no responsibility to step up as PM.. She tells the camera that Kelly is a coward and speaks in whispers. She tells them both that she definitely wanted to go in and lead the task.
The following morning Rona calls, and Kelly answers the phone in his underwear, making him the official telephone-stud of The Apprentice 2. Rona tells them to meet with Mr. Trump at Trump World Tower.
Trump welcomes the group, and congratulates them on making it to the final four out of over a million job applicants. He tells them that there are no more teams, no more project managers, and no more exemptions. They are about to be interviewed by four of the greatest executives anywhere in the world. The execs are: Alan Jope from Unilever , Dawn Hudson from Pepsi, Ace Greenberg from Bear Stearns, and Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots. Combines, these companies have over half a million employees, and gross over 80 billion dollars a year in revenue. After the interviews, this panel of execs will report back to Trump with their recommendations. Two people will be fired, and the other two will move on to the final task.
The execs fire questions at each candidate, and we see clips of them all struggling though their time in the hot seat. Sandy has to defend the fact that she’s never been involed in a corporate environment, while Jen gives glossy answers that require deeper follow-up questions. Kevin trumpets his extensive education, and Kelly relies on his vast experience and military training.
Trump meets with his panel, who reflects on their interviews. Everyone likes Kelly, and are impressed with his military background. They are unsure of Kevin, and Alan Jope says that he is intense to the point of agressiveness. Meanwhile, in the apartment, hugs are going around while Jen confesses that this isn’t about friendships or alliances; she’s in it for herself now. The panel thinks that Jen said all the right things, but wonder if she’s prepared to roll up her sleeves in the real world. They’re impressed with Sandy as well, and think she’s ready for a new challenge. They do, however, agree that Sandy might have a tough time transitioning into the business world.
Trump thanks the panel for their time and input, and sends them on their way. It’s boardroom time for the final four now, and Robin sends them in.
Kelly is immediately asked why Trump should keep him over Kevin. Kelly says that he’s got more experience, is trained in leadership, and is more creative. Kevin steps in and says that he is more receptive to learning the business and being the apprentice than Kelly is. Trump tells Kevin that his education is impressive, but at 29 years of age he should have decided what he wanted to do and started doing it. Trump adds that the panel had a hard time seeing where he was going in terms of direction. So, to start the evening off, Kevin is fired. Trump adds that Kevin will be a great success one day, and Kevin thanks him for the opportunity.
In his final words, Kevin says that he considers himself one of the two strongest candidates, but he respects Trump’s decisions. He’s thankful for the opportunity and will go on to work hard and hope that his talents speak for themselves.
Back in the boardroom, Trump says that firing Kevin wasn’t easy. He then tells Sandy and Jen that Kelly is safe now unless he says or does soething really stupid. Jen starts right in selling herself, saying that she has the intellectual horsepower and experience to make it. Sandy says that she’s been out there and worked hard, which you can’t learn from a textbook. They bicker with each other, with Jen saying that going to Princeton and Harvard was a risk and Sandy countering that graduating and making a six-figure income right out of college wasn’t risky, it was lucky.
Trump asks Kelly who performed better, and Jen pipes in that she only worked with Kelly one time. Kelly responds with, “He said Kelly, not Jen”. Kelly says that after the task he worked with Jen on, he sent her to the other side because he felt she was weak. He also says that she’s shied away from leading her team. Jen thinks that’s ridiculous and says that Kelly wants to weakest player to stick around so that he has a better chance of winning. Trump asks Kelly if this is true, and Kelly says that he thinks he can beat either one of these women.
Jen then tells Trump that she admires him and respects him as a leader, and she knows his company backwords and forwards. Trump asks Sandy if she knows how many employees he has, and she admits she doesn’t. Jen does of course, and says that Sandy should see how deep the water is before she jumps in the pool. Jen keeps talking circles around Sandy, and finally says that she doesn’t want to insult Sandy, but she herself is at a much higher level than Sandy is and would make a better employee for the Trump organization.
The insults and arguments fly for a few more minutes before Trump steps in and tells Sandy that he didn’t like the way she attacked Jen, but loved the way Jen attacked and defended herself. He says that running one of his companies is complex and he just doesn’t see Sandy being equipped for that. Sandy is fired. She thanks him for the opportunity and leaves, while Jen grins into her palms.
Sandy says in the cab that she thinks she performed much better than Jen, but she has no regrets. It’s been an amazing experience and she never realized how much she could accomplish in such a short period of time. She sees her future is wide open.
Trump congratulates Jen and Kelly and sends them back to the apartment, adding that they will get their final task the next morning in the boardroom.
Things are uncomfortable in the apartment, as Kelly and Jen avoid each other. Kelly says that he has no respect for Jen and wants to stay as far away from her as possible. Jen says that she knows that she can kick Kelly’s butt in the final task, and is ready for the prize.
You didn’t think we’d get through an episode without Trump’s words of wisdom did you? This week, it’s “Winning is Everything”. As we watch footage of Trump carrying the Olympic torch, he says that to be a winner you have to think like a winner. You have to be positive, and you cannot stop.
The next morning our final two meet with Trump. Carolyn, and George in the boardroom. Trump tells them that they’re the best of the best, and they really have done a great job. For their final task, they will each be managing a “really huge event”. Kelly will manage the Genworth-Trump Polo Cup, and help raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. Jen will be in charge of the Genworth Charity Basketball Classic and raise money for the NBA’s “Read to Achieve” charity. They both have the same client, Genworth Financial. They are a new company looking to gain more awareness and raise their profile. Trump wants to see who’s the best at running the event, and based on their performance one of them will be chosen as The Apprentice.
Of course every manager needs employees, and this task is no exception. Trump brings in John, Raj, Chris, Elizabeth, Pamela, and Stacy R. He tells Jen and Kelly that even if they don’t get along, they now have to rely on these people to do a good job for them. Kelly gets the first pick, and he takes Elizabeth. Jen takes Chris, followed by Pamela and finally Stacy. Kelly selects Raj and John.
Trump reminds Jen and Kelly that they are the bosses, and he hopes they have assembled a good team. He reminds them that Carolyn and George will be watching them on their tasks. He send them on their way, saying that the employees will be driving in vans while the bosses will travel in a chaffeur-driven Maybach.
Jen gets on the phone with Chris and tells him about the event. She says privately that she needs to prove herself and if she can do a great job then it’s a very convincing argument that she can make the transition into the business world.
Meanwhile, Kelly asks his driver to stop so that he can give the details of the task to his team. Raj says that he has no interest in Kelly winning this task; he’s doing this because he likes winning. He couldn’t give a damn about Kelly, and adds that he’s a bit envious that there’s another man sitting in that Maybach striving for the win. Ah Raj, it’s good to have you back.
Kelly and his team arrive at Greenwich Polo Club, and are very impressed with the grounds. Kelly says that it reminds him of his home in Kentucky. He says that he senses some level of respect from Elizabeth, and that although he’s never worked with her before he’s heard that she does very well when given a specific task. Raj and John both think that Elizabeth has something to prove here and will work hard for Kelly.
They meet with a rep from the club, and find out that they need to get the Genworth sunburst logo on the field, which is a new thing for Greenwich.
Meanwhile, Jen is hashing things out with her team. She tells them that NBA star Chris Webber will be the emcee for the event, and asks Chris and Pamela to contact the NBA with their questions. Pamela says that contacting the NBA was huge, and it should never have been delegated by Jen. The gentleman on the phone asks who is in charge, and when Pamela answers “Jennifer Massey”, he asks where she is.
Over at the polo club, John says that Kelly has been stuck to his laptop the whole time, creating spreadsheets and lists. John, Raj, and Elizabeth all head out onto the field to take a break, leaving Kelly to wonder where his team is and worry that they don’t have anything at stake here.
Early the next morning, the teams are up and out the door. Jen says that she’s given her team a long list of to-do’s, and we see Chris struggling with dozens of boxes, trying to get them loaded on an elevator. George shows up and ask Chris if he’s being over or under-utilized, and Chris says that he’s definitely being utilized. George wants to know if Jen has spoken with the NBA, and when Chris says that he and Pamela did that, George confirms that Jen didn’t speak with them herself.
Jen meets with Genworth reps, and shows them what they have so far – which isn’t much. They reps want to ask Jen a lot of questions, and after talking with her one of them admits that she is very frustrated with Jennifer, and thinks that she is waiting for Genworth to come back to her to let her know exactly what they want and how to do it. She’s nervous and hopes the event isn’t a disaster.
Over at the polo club, the guys are trying to get the Genworth logo painted on the field, but Mother Nature has other ideas. It’s raining like mad, which puts the entire event in jeopardy. Raj finds out that Tony Bennett is coming to the match, which means that they have to add a stage setup, adding even more to their to-do list. One of the men from the polo club tells Kelly that if the rain keeps up, the event might have to be cancelled because the field will be too wet to play on. Kelly is very worried because he doesn’t have a “Plan B”.
Jen gets a call the night before the event an finds out that Chris Webber is trying to cancel. Jen says that she’s not letting him go without a fight and will do everything in her power to make sure that he is there. She tells the agent on the phone that they should never have confirmed him all day if there was a chance he wasn’t going to show. They’ve been selling this event with Webber’s name, and his cancellation basically ruins the entire thing.
Jen says that this 15-week interview has been more than she ever expected. She would love the opportunity to be Mr. Trump’s apprentice, and would savour every moment. She says that she has the passion and has what it takes to be the next apprentice. Kelly says that he has treated this whole process as an interview, and has kept his eye on the prize the whole time. He wasn’t there to have a good time, even though he did end up having a very good time. He came here to be the last man standing.
Will Chris Webber show up? Will the rain subside? Will Jen pull it all together and ease the fears of the Genworth folks? Will Kelly’s team pull together? Find out next week, when The Apprentice 2 wraps up and a winner is declared!
Send me your comments, your questions, and your predictions! Heck, just forward me a joke – I love hearing from you. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.