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The Apprentice 3, Episode 1: Have it Your Wayby Betsy Wasser -- 01/21/2004
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Welcome to New York, a city that Donald Trump says is tough, beautiful, and full of energy. After two seasons of this show, Trump says, “You know everything about me,” which is nice since this way I don’t have to recap his resume. He says he hires only the best people to run his companies, and he needs someone new. Over the next 16 weeks, the 18 candidates will be subject to a grueling job interview. This time around, they’ll be divided up into a team of candidates with advanced degrees versus a team with just high school diplomas. Trump emerges from his limo onto a city street to a cheering crowd. Together, Trump and the crowd ask, “Who will be the next Apprentice?”
The candidates arrive at Trump Tower. Chris says that for him, failure is not an option. Tana looks around and decides that some of the others are not Trump material. John notices Danny, who he calls, “that guy in a leisure suit.” John figures Danny dances to the beat of a different drummer and, “that drummer loves polyester.” John is officially cracking me up, and the fact that he kind of looks like Vince Vaughn isn’t hurting. Bren calls himself “a little man with a big mouth.” Michael thinks some of the women look awfully pampered, like they’d be afraid of hard work. Erin thinks that some of the men are chauvinists, and she intends to prove that women are just as capable.
With those first impressions over, Robin sends the candidates into the boardroom and directs the women to sit on the left, the men on the right. Trump introduces George and Carolyn. Then he gets right to it – the teams won’t be divided into men against women this time around. There will be two groups, and the two groups have roughly the same IQ and are about the same age. The difference is that one group makes three times as much money as the other group. They’ll be divided up as college graduates against high school graduates, and in case you didn’t see this coming, the high school graduates are the ones that make more money. Trump wonders aloud if practical experience is more important than education.
He tells the candidates that once again, if a project manager leads his or her team to a win, he or she will be exempt from firing in the next challenge. Trump then says, “For the next 16 weeks, you’ll be living in hell,” and that the candidates shouldn’t expect to get much sleep. Considering that I have a new baby with colic, I have no sympathy for them whatsoever. If they want hell, they can come to my house and listen to some screaming. Granted, my son Jack is much cuter than Donald Trump.
The candidates head to the suite and ooh and aah appropriately. They break open the champagne and Tana reads the card from Donald Trump. Tana, by the way, is bubblier than the champagne itself, and if she doesn’t turn things down a notch, she’s going to seriously annoy me. The note from Trump instructs the candidates to divide into teams and choose names for their companies.
One of the candidates – John, I think – suggests that instead of being called high school graduates that his group be called the wealthier group. Verna, on the other side, says that the high school graduates had better look out. John says that he feels great because as the less educated group, they have nothing to lose. If some Harvard grad beats him, he can say, “Well, he went to Harvard.” But if he beats the Harvard guy, then that guy has lost to “some schmoe from Tampa.”
Tara says that knowing her group makes more money makes her feel really confident. John believes that attitude and experience are more important than education. He tells the team that they need to work together and work hard. They also agree that whatever is said in the boardroom stay there; in other words, they shouldn’t hold any grudges. That’s a good idea in theory – let’s see how long that lasts! Brian tells everyone that if he has a problem with their performance, he’ll say so. He expects the same from everyone else, so if they try to surprise him in the boardroom, look out.
Over on the book smart team, Danny declares himself the “CMO” or Chief Morale Officer. Stephanie says he’ll be the cheerleader for their team. Danny says in an interview that due to his quirky appearance, the other people on the team will underestimate him. They start to throw out names. Legacy? Triumph? Danny busts out his guitar and tries incorporating the different names into songs. Man, after about half an hour of the guitar antics, I’d be tempted to smash that guitar like Belushi did in the toga party in Animal House. Verna is apparently also irritated and notes that Danny needs to focus. Finally, they choose the name Magna, based on magna cum laude. Alex introduces the team, who you can read all about in my preview article.
The street smarts team is also brainstorming for a name. Brian suggests “Brass Balls,” because you need a pair to win. I have two suggestions: one is that they call the team Brass Ovaries instead, and the other is that Brian should shut up. The team chooses Net Worth, and John introduces all of the people who you just read about in my preview article.
Danny says that they have a lot of work ahead of them, but for now, they should have some fun. He plays the guitar while the others sing. The Net Worth team finds it all incredibly obnoxious. Kristen says, “I guess that’s what they did in college” while her team was, you know, working. By the way, if Kristen looks familiar to you, it’s because she was on the show Murder in Small Town X, which you can read about here.
The next morning, Angie answers the Trump Phone and learns that they should all meet at the top of Trump Tower. There, Trump learns the names of their companies and, in an Apprentice first, likes both of them. Trump goes on to tell them about the challenge. The two teams will work at Burger King restaurants. Six new burgers are being added to the menu. Each team will choose a burger and launch it – they’ll name it, market it, sell it, and manage the restaurant. The team that gets the most money from the new product will win.
The teams head back to the suite to make plans. For Net Worth, John says that he’s got restaurant experience, so he volunteers to be project manager. He says that he’d like for everyone’s opinions to be heard, so he asks that if they have ideas, that they raise their hands. It’s a little kindergarten, but it’s fair, so I think it’s a good way to handle things. They agree that the first thing they should do is choose a product, so they head to the restaurant to meet the chef.1 2 3 4 Next-->
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