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The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, Episode 6: Dog Daysby Betsy Wasser -- 10/27/2005
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It’s time for another episode of The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, and I have to thank Sandy for doing such a great job of filling in for me while I was on vacation last week. Sandy, you’re like Charles without the cigar, or Alexis without the scowl. And as Martha herself would say, that’s a good thing.
I watched last week’s episode, and like most people, I was surprised that Jim escaped firing. After all, his behavior was so out of line that a customer at the grocery store actually complained about him. A person like Martha Stewart is not about to hire a man who would run around suggesting that people massage their wives’ feet with salad dressing. But the thing that Jennifer forgot is that Jim is one silver-tongued devil. He did an incredible job of talking his way out of a tight spot and of convincing Martha that if Jennifer couldn’t manage a nutcase like him, she didn’t deserve the job. Eventually, he won’t be able to smooth talk his way out of being let go, but for now, he’s Teflon.
We begin this week’s episode with the Primarius team talking about the Conference Room. Sarah and Carrie agree that Jim is very smart, but not a little bit unpredictable and nuts. Carrie thinks that Sarah could handle Jim much better than Jennifer did. Sarah says in an interview that whether Jennifer is the one left or Jim is, she will support them and work as a team. What a refreshing attitude- who let her on TV?
Jim returns to the suite, not quite the cock of the walk that he usually is. Carrie says that he got beat up pretty badly in the boardroom. Jim just shakes his head and says that he’s sorry Jennifer is gone. His voice full of regret, Jim laments, “I told her not to take me in there.” Oh, Jim. You just can’t stop, can you? Carrie says that really, Jennifer had to take him to the Conference Room (and of course, for those of us keeping obsessive score at home, Jennifer didn’t select Jim for the Conference Room. Martha said that they were the two she wanted to talk to). Jim repeats that he warned Jennifer not to challenge him. He is really doing his best to make his teammates afraid of challenging him; it’s an interesting strategy. In an interview, Jim says that all of his teammates are preoccupied with what he’ll do next. He, on the other hand, is focused on winning. He tells Sarah and Carrie that he is ready to go forward with his team and win the next task. Since Sarah and Carrie didn’t see that crazy interview, they’re happy to hear it.
The buzzer rings at the loft, multiple, obnoxious times. No, it’s not kids playing a prank – it’s Martha Stewart. Everyone is a bit shocked to see her. She asks what they’ve been up to. David admits that he took a nap. Howie says he was doing some “light reading,” holding up one of Martha’s books. Marcella says that after being a fan of Martha’s for so long, it’s surreal to be hosting her. Martha points out that their rosemary is dying, always the hallmark of a gracious guest. Martha announces that she’d like to see their bedrooms, and Howie scrambles to make his bed! Martha looks at their rooms and notes that they live in very close quarters. It reminds her of “you know where.” Wow, if this loft reminds her of prison, that must have been one nice place. Sign me up!
Martha finds Jim and asks him to be project manager of the next task. Being no fool, he agrees. Martha wonders if he’ll have a mutiny on his hands, and Sarah assures her that he will not. Sarah really seems like a class act. Jim says in an interview that he “will be Babe Ruth,” and will hit this one out of the park.
The next morning, as she prunes her hedges, Martha calls the candidates and tells them to meet her at the Connecticut studios. There, Martha has a not-at-all staged conversation about what a big business pets are. The man she’s talking to is Mark, the host of Petkeeping. This week’s challenge involves a celebrity auction sponsored by Beneful, a dog food company that Martha talks about in an obviously recorded voiceover. The teams will each get four dog owning celebrities and will negotiate personal experiences for them with the winning bidder of the auction. Benefits will go to Broadway Barks, an organization for homeless dogs. The team that raises the most money wins.
At Primarius, Jim is pumped. He says that they have great celebrities – Paul Sorvino and his daughter Amanda, Susan Lucci, John Lithgow and Joanna Gleason (currently appearing in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels on Broadway), and Todd Oldham. He vows to find out what Paul Sorvino is up to these days.
Marcella is the project manager of Matchstick. She says that she wants to control her team, but she knows she can’t be there for all of the negotiations, so she has broken them up into two teams. Their celebrities are New York Jets player Chad Pennington, Fran Drescher, Bruce Vilanch and Jordan Ballard (starring in Hairspray on Broadway), and Merv Griffin.
Matchstick begins with Fran Drescher. Amanda immediately tells Fran how much she loved her book Cancer, Schmancer, adding that it really helped her when she was battling cancer. The two women bond over cancer stories. Amanda suggests that Fran’s lot include an appearance on her show. Dawna suggests adding a tour of the lot as well. Fran likes both ideas. Throughout the negotiations, Dawna says Marcella was silent. She thinks Marcella should participate more. In an interview, Marcella explains why she’s being quiet. She says that Dawna and Amanda were working well together, and if she were to inject herself into the negotiations, it would only be to make her voice heard, not to actually contribute, since the two of them were doing so well on their own. That actually makes sense.
Now it’s time for this week’s Ask Martha segment. If you were dying to know how to incorporate pets into your business, this is the week for you. Martha says that she likes to include pets in photo shoots because it adds a real warmth to the scenes. I am totally going to start putting more dogs into my own magazine spreads, how about you? And now for Ask Betsy. Several readers have asked me why I think so few people are watching this show. I think NBC made a mistake by airing two Apprentice shows at the same time. The two shows are fundamentally the same, and for those of you who do not watch these shows with a pen and paper in hand, it can be confusing to keep track of all of the candidates. So many blondes! One of the shows was bound to fail, and I guess the already established audience and fan base gave Trump an advantage. Of course the fact that Martha is now on opposite Lost isn’t helping matters, either.
Matchstick members Leslie, David, and Ryan meet Chad Pennington, whose dog Chloe is adorable. Ryan is thrilled to meet Chad Pennington. He really admires him and thinks that if they lived closer together, they might be friends. I am not about to make fu of him for that, given my firm belief that Nicole Richie and I would get along famously. Nicole: call me! Ryan wonders if the winner of the auction could go into the training room or locker room, but Chad says no, that’s their sanctuary. Ryan understands and suggests spending time with Chad and Chloe before a game. Leslie ups the ante to include dinner before the game. Charles watches all of this, and in an interview notes that he was really impressed with Ryan and Leslie (as was I), but not so much with David. David spent most of the time just taking notes.
Primarius meets with Paul and Amanda Sorvino. A hyper Jim quickly negotiates a package that includes having the winner’s dog in a movie. Jim explains in a rapid-fire interview what a good prize it is, and to be fair, it really is appealing to pet lovers. Jim declares, “It’s gold!” Jim needs to simmer down.1 2 3 Next-->
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