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The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, Episode 9: Coffee Breakdownby Betsy Wasser -- 11/17/2005
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The candidates are in the loft, and Dawna tells them that the conference room was “horrible.” She absolutely hates being there. She just can’t talk that way about other people. In an interview, she is in tears, saying that she’s afraid she really hurt Bethenny. She feels awful. Dawna would be an absolute basket case on Survivor.
Bethenny and Jim return to the loft, and Amanda gloats a bit about Howie getting fired. Dawna and Bethenny hug, and Bethenny assures her that there are no hard feelings. I’m pretty sure she even means it! Amanda says in an interview that she’s confused as to what Martha is even looking for at this point. If she likes Jim, Amanda reasons, she won’t like her. It would be pretty baffling to see Jim escape firing week after week. Amanda says that maybe she’ll just screw off in the next task, adding again that she just doesn’t know what Martha wants.
Just a guess, but I’m pretty sure what Martha wants is not someone who will blow off a task.
The sun rises, and we find Dawna, Bethenny, and Marcela working out. Marcela has some impressive yoga moves. The candidates meet Martha at the monitor in the loft. Amusingly, everyone is in business attire but Ryan, who is wearing shorts. Martha, holding a pristine cup and saucer set, says that everyone is always looking for the perfect cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa. The Tassimo hot beverage system, Martha product places, can do that with the touch of a button. The teams’ task this week is to create a retail space to sell the Tassimo coffee makers (I am not going to type “hot beverage system” over and over again). Each team will be given a $40,000 budget, and the team with the highest gross sales will win.
Dawna, Bethenny, and Jim agree that with only three people on their team, it’s going to have to be a collaborate effort, but officially, Jim is project manager. Jim notes that the last time he was project manager, he was up against Marcela (in the dog auction task). He won that time, and he’s confident he’ll beat her again.
They agree that this is an awfully big task for just three people to do. Dawna finds a company that specializes in setting up retail spaces just like they’re planning to do. They handle promotions, set-up, staff, and so on. She thinks hiring them is the way to go. Bethenny asks if they have any experience with coffee in particular. Dawna says that they don’t, but that she doesn’t think the food and drink are as important as selling the machines.
At Matchstick, project manager Marcela is already having problems with her team. She asks Ryan to write a list of questions, and he snaps at her that he has to wait for his computer to boot up first. In an interview, Amanda says that she doesn’t feel like she can defer to Marcela’s leadership. Marcela tells Ryan that she’s sensing some attitude and asks him to knock it off (though in a nicer way than that). Marcela says that it’s key to have her team on her side. She’s afraid that she’s being set up for a fall. Wow, that’s not a very good start, is it?
Dawna books an appointment with the promotions company. She’s determined to win, and explains in an interview that because Bethenny and Jim are tight, if they wind up in the conference room, she’s sure the two of them will gang up on her. I can see why she’s suspicious, though I think Jim would try to get Dawna fired not because he likes Bethenny, but because Dawna is probably bigger competition. Jim notes in an interview that Dawna did not want the two of them to come with her to the meeting. He declares that she has “gone rogue.” He’s not sure what she’s up to, but “it’s not good.” I know this will come as a big surprise, but I think Jim might be a wee bit overdramatic here. Did Dawna “go rogue,” or was she allocating their staff effectively by not having three people go to a meeting that just one could attend?
And now it’s time for Ask Martha. The question this week is, “Why is passion important?” Martha says that to be successful, you must have a drive and a love for what you’re doing. She says that she makes an effort to say that she’s going to garden, not work in the garden because she doesn’t want something she loves to feel like a chore. And now it’s time for Ask Betsy. If you hadn’t heard already, NBC has announced that this will be the last season for The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. Why is this show no more? I think the answer quite simply is that people didn’t want to watch two Apprentice shows at the same time. I have a feeling that most of you do not watch the shows while taking notes like I do, and even for me it can sometimes be difficult to remember, say, which blonde is on which show.
Matchstick checks out their retail space. Marcela says in an interview that she cannot lose to Jim again. To her team, she says that they should have pastries to go with the coffee. Amanda thinks that Marcela is losing focus. Marcela is passionate about food, but they’re not selling food; they’re selling coffee machines. Mmm, coffee. Sorry, lost my focus. Leslie and Marcela go for a walk around the block to get to know the neighborhood. As soon as Marcela leaves, Ryan scoffs at her leadership abilities. “No direction, no delegation,” he says. Meanwhile, Marcela confides to Leslie that she feels like Amanda and Ryan challenge everything she does.
Amanda thinks that they should bring people into the store with a celebrity appearance, figuring they could get someone to do it for $15,000. She and Ryan take it upon themselves to start making phone calls, even though Marcela isn’t back yet. They’re on the phone when she returns, and Marcela is not happy. She says that they were supposed to find her a celebrity pastry chef, not a celebrity. She feels like the team dynamic has turned into “let’s lose, let’s prove a point.” Amanda tells Marcela that she is reluctant to give her any input because she doesn’t want to step on her toes. That sounds like an excuse to me. You can certainly offer suggestions and give feedback without overstepping your bounds.
Meanwhile, Ryan has a lead on a potential celebrity – the actor who played Big Pussy on The Sopranos. He thinks it would be great, but Marcela most certainly does not. She can’t imagine promoting it or making flyers that say “Big Pussy” on them. In fact, in the interview in which she recounts this, she can barely bring herself to say it, which is pretty funny. Finally, she says that chefs are celebrities also, so she wants to bring in a celebrity pastry chef, end of discussion.
Charles and Alexis arrive, and Marcela tells Charles that their concept is to bring in a celebrity pastry chef. Charles asks how they’re going to promote that, and Marcela doesn’t really have an answer for him. Just then, Ryan comes to her and says that they can’t get anyone to do it. Marcela is furious that he said that in front of Charles. She gets on the phone and finds a chef herself. In an interview, she says that if she had to, she could have pulled off the task alone.1 2 3 4 Next-->
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