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The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, Episode 2: Petal Pushersby Betsy Wasser -- 09/29/2005
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As the candidates wait to see who will survive the conference room, two of the guys talk strategy. Is it best to take out a weak candidate, or to get rid of the best competition? Their discussion is moot, not only because Martha, not the candidates, makes the decisions, but also because Dawn and Jim are back. Jeff is gone. The candidates cheer, but Jim himself cheers the loudest. Jim hugs two guys, then jokes, “Stop kissing me! Last night was enough!” Jim is a whirl of fist pumping and shouting, but apparently for a reason. In an interview, he says that he gave the biggest display of “obnoxious bravado” possible. And you know that if Jim thinks it was obnoxious, it’s really obnoxious. He tells everyone there about his exploits in the conference room, painting himself as incredibly strong and forceful. In the interview, he explains the method to his madness – he wants to show members both of his team and the other team “do not mess with me” in the conference room.
As Jim pontificates about how he felled “the mighty oak,” Sarah tells us in an interview that Jim is showing her is true colors. She thinks he’s unpredictable, and “he’ll whip it out whenever he needs it.” After I pause the TV to giggle and say, “That’s hot,” we resume the show. Sarah says it’s clear that ruthlessness is Jim’s tactic. Jim tells everyone that he is the one who brought down Jeffrey, that his words convinced Martha to fire him. Dawn disagrees – she thinks she had a hand in it, too. Jim scoffs at that, and says that if he had wanted to and if he’d been honest, he could have taken her out instead. Dawn scoffs. In an interview, Jim says that the other candidates have it all wrong. It’s not about being nice or being mean. He says that he is the “most cunning.” Interestingly, in the kitchen, he suggests to Bethenny that she have his back because, “we’re friends.” Jim is truly a magnificent bastard.
Howie answers the Marthaphone and learns that everyone should gather in front of the video screen in the loft. Martha tells them via satellite that she is at her favorite wholesale florists. She starts to name the flowers around her, and Shawn immediately whips out her notebook and notes them. Perhaps she thinks there will be a test later. Martha explains the task – each team will be given a retail space to use for a flower business. The team with the most money at the end of the day wins. Well, that’s simple enough.
We start with Matchstick. David says that he wants Chuck to choose the flowers because he knows a lot about them. As a matter of fact, Chuck tells us in an interview that he has worked as a floral designer before, so he’s confident that he’ll do well. He suggests that they go with a simple spring bloom, nothing time-consuming. The team agrees, so they’re off to work.
Chuck, Shawn, and David go to buy flowers, and chuck stops along the way to admire some lilacs. Shawn suggests that they buy just one kind of flower, namely tulips. They meet with a vendor who can give them 2,000 tulips at 6:00 the next morning. Since their shop opens at 8:00, they think that will give them a decent amount of time to get everything together. Shawn is excited to hear that the flowers are “fresh from Holland” and thinks that’s the theme they can use to market them.
Chuck reiterates again that he wants to keep things simple. However, Jim is on his cell phone, and he has other ideas. He talks about selling the flowers to hotels. Chuck doesn’t like the idea, saying that hotels have arrangements for their flowers well in advance. Bethenny tries to take the phone from Jim, telling him, “No one wants to talk to you because you’re insane.” Good point. She finally wrestles the phone away from Jim and asks Chuck to tell her what his idea is, then she’ll tell him theirs. Such a rational plan is no good to Jim, and a struggle ensues in which they fight for control of the phone. A frustrated Bethenny insists that Jim let her finish the conversation – she’s a smart person, and she can handle it.
In an interview, Shawn says that their team is a mess, they have no consensus. Man, she’s not kidding. Chuck says that he’s very unhappy.
It’s time for the Ask Martha segment. This week, we ask Martha, “What makes a good leader?” Martha tells us that leadership is important, and that a good leader can create a good business. If you were hoping to actually learn something from this segment, I’m afraid I can’t help you. And now for a corresponding Ask Betsy segment. You might be wondering, “Betsy, should I eat when I’m hungry?” I can tell you that the answer is an emphatic yes. I’m glad I could help.
Back in the loft, Matchstick has a team meeting. Dawn says that they were very disorganized – there was no plan for what to do next. Shawn suggests that they order Dutch girl costumes, though Dawn thinks that’s “slutty and trashy.” Dawn wouldn’t have lasted long on Season 1 of Donald Trump’s Apprentice. Bethenny suggests that they draw customers in with kids singing “Tiptoe Through the Tulips.” No one likes the idea. The team argues loudly everyone talking over each other. In a corner, Chuck rubs his face in frustration.
Chuck tells everyone that he’s overwhelmed and has no idea how to direct his team. He says that he wants to give leadership to someone else and leave the loft. Jim tells us in an interview that he wants Chuck to stay because he’ll be an easy competitor to burn off. Of course, to Chuck’s face, he’s much nicer. Jim and the other candidates rally around Chuck, reassure him, and tell him he can’t quit.
Chuck suddenly springs into action. He orders everyone to sit down, then starts laying out a solid, cohesive plan. Among other things, he says that they will keep the task simple because “we can’t do a million things.” Dawn is impressed, and so am I. I’ts like a totally different person. Go, new Chuck!
Hey, did you know that there are two teams competing on this task? Yep, Primarius is still here. Let’s see what they’re up to. They go to their retail space, and Carrie says that Martha Stewart told them to transform this plan storefront “into a gorgeous, welcoming” environment. Um, actually Martha didn’t say that. She said to sell flowers. But whatever. Carrie is the project manager, and she says that her plan is to delegate swiftly and effectively.
Jennifer suggests that they find a famous floral designer to work with them. In an interview, she explains that she thinks that would be a huge draw. Personally, I think she’s overestimating how well people know famous florists, but we’ll see how this turns out.
After several phone calls, the team finds Rene. In the movie version of this episode, Rene will be played by Will Ferrell. Rene is initially not impressed by the idea of working with Primarius, and thinks it seems like a fly by night operation, which of course, it is. He says that everything needs to be done first class, and they can’t be giving out discounts. Carrie understands and says that his art will be of value to their customers. Amanda steps in to both soothe him and sell him on the idea, and she is excellent at it. In an interview, she says that she realizes that Rene’s reputation is in their hands. She also knows that if he refuses to take the job, they are totally screwed. Finally, Rene agrees, and the team erupts into cheers. In an interview, Carrie says that if there’s one thing the corporate team knows, it’s that if you’re not good at something, you outsource it.
I know you all missed those crazy kids at Matchstick, so let’s see what they’re up to. Bethenny, Marcella, and Dawn all put on black dresses and hit the streets. Why? Well, because it’s late (it’s dark outside) and apparently it’s just occurred to the team that they have no marketing plan. The three of them are going to roam the streets looking pretty and telling people about their store. Bethenny admits that the plan is “ridiculous.” Yeah, no kidding. The three of them wander around, flirt with men, and tell them that they’re opening a flower shop. It looks pretty futile.
Meanwhile, Chuck, Jim, and Shawn get the shop ready for the next day. Jim is really, really excited about the brass fixtures on the door and wants everyone to know that if they get some Brasso, it will gleam! Gleam like Donald Trump’s apartment! We must have Brasso! He and Shawn dive in to sprucing up the shop, stapling up wall hangings and adding some green paint.1 2 3 Next-->
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