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The Apprentice 3, Episode 6: American Graffitiby Betsy Wasser -- 02/25/2005
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As always, the candidates are hanging out in the suite, wondering who will be fired, but this time, there doesn’t seem to be a consensus as to who it should be. Erin thinks it should be Michael, because he has no “hustle.” If this were a soccer team, he’d definitely be fired! Alex hopes it’s Stephanie. Not only is she really negative, but he thinks she’ll hold a grudge if she stays. And there’s no point in trying to change her personality, because she is who she is.
Erin is the happy one, because Stephanie and Bren return. Stephanie says that she won’t take anything said in the boardroom personally, and that she appreciates their honesty. Fighting back tears (and wiping her eyes in that careful way so as to not smudge her mascara that I know very well), Stephanie says that she appreciates everyone’s constructive criticism and is there to learn. In an interview, she vows to change, saying, “some people look at honesty as negativity.” Also, some people look at your “Will Work For Shoes” t-shirt and have trouble taking you seriously. She vows to communicate more clearly in the future. Everyone says they respect her for wanting to change her ways and for not holding a grudge.
The next morning, Angie answers the Trump Phone, apparently the person in the suite who most consistently wakes up early enough to get it. She’s excited to learn that they’re meeting Trump in the offices of Sony PlayStation. There, Trump tells them about a new form of urban advertising – graffiti. He doesn’t like it personally, but says some of it is amazing. The candidates will be challenged to create a billboard for PlayStation’s new game, Gran Turismo 4. They’ll choose an artist to paint the ad on a 20 foot tall wall in Harlem. A focus group will provide feedback, and two Sony executives will choose the winner. Once again, Jill is filling in for Carolyn. I miss her!
Net Worth kicks things off by playing the game. My boyfriend/favorite candidate John tries it and admits that he’s not very good at it. Tara says that she will be project manager. She says that she wants the imagery to have a positive spin, showing a transition from “the mean streets to a new, revitalized city.” John asks if social consciousness is really that important to the ad. Audrey agrees – it’s just a racing game. Tara says that she wants the ad to be fun, but also wants to be sensitive to Harlem residents. They meet with the Sony executives, and Tara asks for the target market. It’s men from the ages of 18 to 34, and they want “a hip, urban demographic.” Tara declares, “I am the hip, urban demographic.” She is confident her team will win and admits that she’ll lose “street cred” if she loses to Magna.
Speaking of Magna, they are getting started as well. Alex volunteers to be project manager and says he’s sick of losing. He feels qualified, adding, “I play video games – I went to college.” Bren and Stephanie meet with the Sony execs to learn what they want conveyed while Alex, Erin, and Kendra meet artists. Alex asks all of them what their philosophy is when it comes to their art. He immediately likes Lady Pink, who says she wants her art to be fun and lively.
Net Worth is meeting with artists, too. John says that they have three main criteria – have they played the game, do they have a great portfolio, and can they work fast? Ernie fits the bill. Tara says that her vision is to show the mean streets with scowling buildings, a car coming through, and maybe a guy with an Afro waving it on.
Magna can’t believe how big the wall is that they’ll be working on. They’re envisioning a tricked out car breaking through a New York skyline background, with jungle vines at the bottom. As they discuss this, Stephanie and Bren return from their meeting with Sony. Stephanie tells them that Sony wants a hip urban look to broaden their demographic. Bren asks why they’re painting plants. Erin tells him that it’s to show the “urban jungle” and also to fill space. Yeah, that’s compelling. Stephanie questions if that’s hip and urban. She and Bren agree that it isn’t hip hop. Alex admits that he really doesn’t know what is hip hop – he’s just not familiar with it. In an interview, Stephanie says that Alex needs to choose a concept fast, because they’re running out of time.
It’s time for the Trump Lesson of the Week! This week: “Shut up and listen.” Trump says that he doesn’t always do what other people tell him to do, but that if he listens to what they have to say, he might learn something. And now for the Betsy Lesson of the Week. Thanks to all of the great readers who emailed me to tell me they enjoy the Betsy Lesson of the Week, and to those readers who congratulated me on my new baby. For you people, I offer a special crossover baby-related Betsy Lesson. This week’s lesson: Baby socks are adorable because they’re so tiny, but it also makes it hard to keep track of them in the laundry. Put all of the little socks in a mesh lingerie bag. They’ll all get clean, and you won’t lose any in the dryer.
On with the show! Jill visits Net Worth and admires the progress so far. Tara explains that they’re showing the transition from the old buildings in Harlem to the new brownstones. Jill says it’s good for the neighborhood, but is it good for Sony? Tara says, “these people live with it,” so they should be respectful. It’s a good point, but doesn’t really answer Jill’s question. Craig says in an interview that the game doesn’t show any “mean streets,” and that Tara is being selfish, choosing to put forth her own agenda instead of considering the client or the customer.
Tara, obviously not knowing how little Craig thinks of her vision, asks him to be in charge of the painting. He’ll assist Ernie and assign tasks. Almost immediately, Craig clashes with Mike DeGeorge’s TV girlfriend Audrey. Audrey feels like he’s talking down to her, like she’s one of his kids. Craig tells Tara that he will not deal with Audrey’s attitude. Audrey tells Tara how bossy he is. Tara agrees that he can be abrasive, but says he’s in charge. She wants one line of communication with the artist. In an interview, Tara says that Audrey has had the most conflict with different people on the task, and that’s telling. If you clash with one person, then maybe it’s the other person. If it’s everybody, Tara says, “That’s you.” Good point.
It’s late at night, and Magna still doesn’t have a concept for the ad. Alex is having everyone work on the background. He admits that his team is a little lost in trying to come up with a hip, urban ad. Erin “looks like she’s a Barbie doll college girl/Hooter’s waitress.” Bren is a country club lawyer. Stephanie’s daddy had a 45 million dollar Gulf Stream jet (I’d like to learn more about that). And Kendra is doing “monologues for dummies.” Wait, there’s a Kendra on this show? Anyway, since Magna is so far from the target demographic, Alex decides to talk to some locals to see what ideas they have. One guy suggests they show money falling from the sky, and all of them introduce Alex to the terms “mad props” and “bling bling.” Alex, by the way, sounds about as comfortable saying “mad props” and “bling bling” as… well… I do. Anyway, he decides to listen to the guys and incorporate those ideas into the ad. Bren suggests showing a fist wearing a PS2 ring. Alex says that it will be “tight.” Please don’t say that, Alex. Still, he’s confident they’ll win.
The next morning, Tara has her team add the tagline “Tear It Up.” Then, Trump arrives “Trump style” in his limo to check out the work. Tara introduces him to the artist, Trump calls it “very good,” then leaves. Tara is overjoyed. Next, he drives over to Magna’s wall, but just slows down and looks at it, not bothering to get out of the car. He calls it “interesting” and heads back to the office. Alex notices this and is really worried. Does Magna look like losers? He says in addition to working hard, he threw out some prayers because “that never hurts.”1 2 Next-->
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