“Some Rules are Made to be Broken … Or Not” – The Apprentice: Season 3, Episode 3
By: Cori Linder
Romper room, filled with a quitter, slacker and an indecisive free spirit, moves into the boardroom in this week’s episode.
Listen children, there’s music! Tune into Danny, wistfully strumming his guitar, delighting in Vern’s return to the show. Upon learning that Brian was immediately fired, Michael confidently remarks, “Rules can be broken. There are no rules in Trump’s boardroom.” Well, there is one, Michael, but you will find this out later.
Next, let’s take some time out for athletic sport so that the candidates can practice their indoor basketball techniques. But wait, poor Verna needs a hug. She can’t play very well with the other children for she has a tummy ache. We’re all here for you, Danny says. You just rest while your support group does all the work. Get real, thinks Erin. “This isn’t the Apprentice; this is clearly kindergarten,” she says sarcastically.
They all sit in a circle while Verna says she just cannot cope with it all. Apparently, she needs her mommy. To Danny’s dismay, Verna quits, and I wonder if this causes the show’s producers to scramble to modify the season’s episode schedule. Based on the exciting preview that ran all week advertising that somebody has quit, this whole situation involving hugs and sugar-coated words is a bit anti-climatic.
The candidates get to play outside on the streets of New York. “Does anybody want to quit?” asks Mr. Trump. “No!” shout the candidates. I’m sure this inspires a sigh of relief from the show’s producers.
Their task is to work with Nestle’s Nescafe’ Taster’s Choice coffee (get your free 2-week supply at www.tasterschoice.com) and will have $75,000 to create a marketing campaign. Ideas should be big. The team that generates the most buzz wins.
Assigning project managers:
On the Magna team, Danny seems the best person to project lead for he’s experienced with creativity and marketing. Costumes, a big coffee mug, mopeds, strippers, and a beautiful European model (courtesy Michael) are all ideas that are tossed around to promote the coffee. Stephanie is horrified. Do everything my way, implies Michael. “We’re here for you, Michael,” says a sarcastic Danny. “We’ll make it all happen…just for you.” Okay, boys, play nice.
On the Net Worth team, everybody is getting along with Ms. Sandy as the stern teacher, I mean project manager, standing in the front of the room. “Hey, everybody,” she commands, with a snap of the fingers. “Let’s focus.”
Stephanie on the Magna team decides to hire an event planner who wants over $47,000 for the project. Wait, let me think, pleads Danny. “As a group let’s vote.” He cannot make a decision much to the other members’ dismay. Finally, he decides to hire them. “What does everybody think of giving out iPods?” Danny asks, again recruiting group consensus. I just want everybody to like me and want to play with me, he seems to really be saying.
Michael is definitely reveling in his exemption this week and decides to become the unfunny and useless class clown, complete with a platter on his head. “Michael is just a plain jackass,” remarks Danny. “Where did he come from?!”
Michael and Danny begin to argue. “Don’t bother me,” says Michael. “I’m making the priorities around here,” answers Danny. Teacher, teacher, put them both in time-out! Soon they exchange curses and insults, and I’m wondering if their time-out should turn into a spanking.
Meanwhile, the Net Worth is doing well on their assignment and is engaging bystanders in a political debate about the benefits of cold or hot coffee. “To drink your coffee hot is cool,” cheers one man. I am suddenly craving a Starbucks Frappuccino®—decaf…no, caffeinated.
As the Magna team optimizes their event planners, Michael takes much pride in his ability to pass out fliers and mimic the mime. He knows he is safe this week, so why should he even bother? Michael, haven’t you seen the show before? Don’t you know that The Donald will do anything for ratings?!
“Who feels lucky today?” asks Danny to the crowd. I’m thinking, Danny, it probably won’t be you.
The two groups meet with the Nestle executives who decide that the Net Worth team won. Net Worth team members get to ride in a helicopter and sip wine while they tour New York. Back in the suite, however, the Magna team wonders if Danny or Michael should be fired. Michael, who slacked off during the project, has exemption; does he still deserve this? Only Mr. Trump can decide.
In the boardroom…
In the principle’s office, known to many as the boardroom, the Magna team debates with Mr. Trump whether Michael’s exemption should hold. We have to stick by the rules, says Mr. Trump. Erin, the lawyer, argues that there are exceptions to every rule. Michael abused his gift of exemption, and I’m hoping at this moment that smug Michael will be kicked out.
However, to Danny, Mr. Trump says, “You’re the team leader…sort of…like…a little bit…I don’t know…you’re not much of a leader, unfortunately.” This unscripted comment from Mr. Trump feels more real, more entertaining, than those other one-liners he has to memorize or read off the teleprompter. He is disappointed that Danny brings in Stephanie (who made the smart decision about the event planner) and Michael (who is exempt) back into the boardroom. Apparently, the exemption rule cannot be broken. Poor Danny is fired.
In the taxi, Danny breaks out in song again—too bad it’s on a sad note.
Until next time…
Quotes of the week:
“I’ve rarely seen a leader that has been able to lead by consensus. A leader is somebody that oftentimes goes against everybody.” – Mr. Trump
“Nestle is worth more than $100 billion dollars. So that is $96 billion dollars more than I am worth. And I’m not happy with that.” – Mr. Trump “Maybe you’re not,” I answer. “But I would be.”
“Take my idea and make it reality…that’s the best thing I can tell you.” – Michael (proposing a stripper/European model idea for the marketing campaign)
“There I was, strung out in the boardroom…” – Danny (strumming the guitar in his taxi ride home)