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The Apprentice 2, Episode 9 Extras: Black Tie Firingby Betsy Wasser -- 11/10/2004
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The extras from the latest episode of The Apprentice, available on Yahoo, revealed a lot about what’s happening behind the scenes with the Apex team. Chris alluded to bad chemistry, and the extras show us just that. Here are the highlights of what wound up on the cutting room floor.
We start with the candidates waiting for people to come back from the boardroom. Wes is pretty sure Elizabeth will be the one to go. Maria says that none of the guys want to work with Elizabeth because she drives them crazy. She adds that if Elizabeth does return, her team will “claw her eyeballs out.” Well, it’s a good thing that didn’t happen, then. As you’ll recall from the full episode, the team returns without the second act in the boardroom – Trump fired Elizabeth without one. Andy says that in the boardroom, you should expect the unexpected. He cites Elizabeth’s sudden firing and Bradford’s firing in spite of being immune as examples.
Apex wonders who should lead next. Jennifer doesn’t want the job – she thinks it’s too soon after her last stint as project manager. Kevin wonders in an interview if she’s trying to fly under the radar. Good question. Jennifer thinks they should choose a project manager, not just pick a name out of a hat, but the rest of the team disagrees. Well, I agree with you, Jennifer. Why not choose someone whose skills match the task? Anyway, the team chooses Raj’s name at random, so he is in charge. Kevin thinks that Raj is a bit on the hot seat, since he supported the military approach to the NYPD recruiting campaign. Raj asks Kevin for advice on how to be a stronger project manager than he was in his first go-around. Kevin suggests that Raj make an effort to keep all of the team members in the loop at all times.
Once the task begins, Sandy takes charge of her team at Mosaic. She reviews all of the projects she wants to get done and has each team member be in charge of a particular room in the house. That’s a good way to organize things. Sandy says that it’s very important to her that they don’t leave anything halfway done. Ah, if only Raj had followed that same philosophy! Jennifer C. thinks that Sandy is acting frantic already. Wow, I thought they were friends! Sandy reviews all of the jobs that need to be done. Later, Jennifer asks the rest of the team if they think they have a prayer of winning under Sandy’s leadership. Again, I thought they were friends, and that’s pretty harsh. Once the team hires their contractors, Sandy meets with them to review what all she wants to have done. They give her some feedback based on her time constraints – for example, she wanted to redo the bathroom floor, and they suggest that she just cover it instead. All in all, it looks like Sandy took a strong leadership role in this task… despite what her supposed friend Jennifer seemed to think.
Next, we see Sandy giving the appraisers a tour of the house. They are impressed. Sandy says it’s a miracle that all of the plumbing was completed in time, but she knows that adding another bathroom would increase the value of the house. Over at Apex, Raj shows off the new siding and walkway that give the house added curb appeal. The trouble is, the inside of the house looks, as Raj puts it, “obviously unfinished.” He wishes it looked better.
We see a bit more of Mosaic’s Hamptons reward. Before lunch, they wander through a hedge maze and get thoroughly lost. Andy finishes the maze first, for those of you looking for hints as to how this thing might end. Denise Rich serves lobster for lunch, which makes Andy reminisce fondly about his Crustacean Nation toys. Denise admits that she also gets lost in the hedge maze.
Raj and Jennifer talk strategy before going into the boardroom. Jennifer encourages him to go after Ivana. She says that three of the four previously fired people cannot stand Ivana, which must mean something. I assume Rob is the one who doesn’t hate Ivana, since he probably didn’t really get to know her at all. Jennifer adds, “She’s sold all of them down the river at one point or another,” which is true when you think about it. She and Jennifer C. hated each other, she brought Bradford into the boardroom after he foolishly gave up his exemption, and she told Trump that Stacie was insane. Raj says he’s reluctant to go after Kevin because he’d be hard to beat unless he was “weakened substantially.”
Jennifer then goes into Kevin and Chris’s room and asks them if they have a problem with her performance on the task, saying she heard from Ivana that they’re going to go after her. I wonder if that’s true or if she’s just stirring things up. Jennifer says in an interview that she thinks Kevin and Ivana are forming an alliance, and that it’s a big mistake on Kevin’s part. She’s certain Ivana will be the next one fired, so by backing her, Kevin will build resentment from the rest of the team. Pretty ironic that her ally Raj ended up being the one to go, isn’t it? Kevin and Jennifer argue about which of them needs to calm down. (Answer: neither. They both seem pretty level headed at the moment.)
In an interview, Kevin says that he thinks Jennifer is trying to save herself, but that in the process, she’s made the rest of the team angry. Kevin thinks that Raj has overstayed his welcome. Looking back on some past tasks, Kevin doesn’t think Raj is a very strong member of the team. It’s time for him to go.
In the boardroom, Raj says that his gut instinct was to not trust the contractor, but he ignored it. “He was the devil I knew at that point,” he explains. Raj regrets not trusting his instincts. Carolyn says they shouldn’t blame the contractors completely. For one thing, they did what they were told. She also thinks that Raj gave them too much to do in just 48 hours. Raj thinks a more competent contractor could have done it. Matt points out that Mosaic accomplished a lot more in the same amount of time. He asks who made the decisions, for example, to tile the basement, take out a bedroom, and to leave the brown cabinets in the kitchen. It wasn’t the contractor; it was the project manager.
Bradford tells Trump that he likes everyone in the room, but that he wants Trump to know that Raj confided in him that he didn’t trust the contractor Kevin recommended. Bradford says that shows that Raj has a strong business gut. Trump points out the obvious- that doesn’t matter if Raj ignores that gut.
When Raj, Kevin, and Ivana return for the second part of the boardroom, Trump asks Kevin why he pushed so hard for that contractor. Kevin says he believed in the contractor. He thinks they lost because Raj took the wrong course of action. Carolyn asks incredulously (and Carolyn can be incredulous better than just about anybody) if the loss is 100% Raj’s fault. Kevin says it wasn’t, and that by advocating for that contractor, he gave Raj a bad option. That was a pretty wishy-washy way of taking responsibility, if you ask me. Trump tells Raj that he shouldn’t have brought Ivana to the boardroom – although he, Carolyn, and Matt don’t think she’s that great. Does everyone else figure Ivana’s days are numbered? Trump concludes by saying that he loves that Raj is taking responsibility, but thinks he’s taking too much responsibility.
We all know what happens next. Trump fires Raj, and Raj valiantly hits on Robin before he heads home. In his final cab ride, Raj says he thinks he lost because Trump was focused on this particular task, not on everyone’s performance overall. He may have a point. Raj regrets not firing the contractor, as well as not trusting his intuition about him in the first place. He doesn’t regret bringing Ivana and Kevin into the boardroom over Chris and Jennifer – he still thinks they were the best choices. Raj says that if the object of the game is to figure out who Trump wants to fire and to then bring that person into the boardroom, then he definitely failed. He believes he would have been an asset to the Trump organization, because at least he makes decisions and accepts the consequences.
As for Robin, Raj thinks she was just nervous and that’s why she didn’t give him her phone number. He vows to keep at it. That’s the spirit!
Next week’s episode should be interesting. I think Ivana and Chris are on very shaky ground. But because the task is wedding-related, if Sandy’s team loses, she is in serious trouble, since she owns a bridal salon. I can’t wait!
Betsy is the Associate Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached with any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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