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The Apprentice 4, Episode 9: Hitting a Sour Noteby Betsy Wasser -- 11/18/2005
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Clay, Alla, and Felisha wait to see who from the other team will be fired. Alla hopes it won’t be Brian. In the background is a tally board where the candidates are keeping score of their win/loss record, which is cool. In an interview, Clay says that at least Randal feels good, since his team gave him an exemption before. Clay, in case you forgot, did not give an exemption after his team won last week, and if you couldn’t tell, he’s not happy about it. He’s sure Marshawn will be back.
Well, he’s wrong. Randal and Rebecca return, Brian and Marshawn both having been fired. Clay is surprised, and Rebecca says that it’s “sobering.” Randal is especially surprised that Marshawn was fired. He and Rebecca talk about the fact that they only have two people on their team. Rebecca tells him that she wants to keep their team dynamic the same, to stay positive and not betray each other to get ahead.
Alla, Adam, and Felisha talk to Clay about their team dynamic. Alla asks him to get over his personal feelings. A squabble ensues about how Clay worded his next comment, and watching it made my head hurt a little bit. In an interview, Alla says that she considers Clay a roadblock. He stands in the way of the team. They’ve tried to change him, but he won’t. Alla suggests again that he not take things personally. Adam says that he didn’t give Clay an exemption because his leadership was below par. Clay declares that they’re done and walks away.
The next morning finds Clay making fruit salad when Rhona calls. They are to meet at Model Management, where Trump is with Miss Universe. Clay thinks Model Management sounds like fun. They arrive there, and Trump introduces Miss Universe to Carolyn and George, who feign interest. Just guessing. Trump tells the candidates that they’re down to the final six, so all of them must show their all every week. There will also be no more exemptions.
Clay says that he is not happy with his team and would like to switch. Adam says that Clay is hard to deal with, but on the other hand, thinks he’s being disloyal for wanting to switch. Don’t fight it, Adam. Randal says he’d be happy to have Clay on his team because he’s very creative. Rebecca says she’d be honored to have him. With that, Trump sends Clay to Excel. He exchanges stiff hugs with Rebecca and Randal.
This week, the candidates must develop new talent. That is, they’ll audition unsigned musicians, write songs for them, and have the artists perform them on the air on XM Radio’s Café channel. Ooh, the Café is one of my presets! The song that is considered the best for the Café channel by the XM executives will win.
Clay says in an interview that he really wants to win to prove a point. He hopes Capital Edge loses so that Trump will call them on the fact that their losing was not his fault. He concludes, “sure will suck to be them.”
It’s time for the Trump Lesson of the Week. This week’s lesson is “Creative Balance.” Trump reports that it’s important to balance creativity with practicality. And now for the Betsy Lesson of the Week. Winter is coming, and with it, dry lips. Every winter I buy a whole bunch of chapstick so that I can have one in the pocket of every coat.
Rebecca is the project manager for Excel and is excited about it because she loves music. Randal says that the key is to find a good fit between the artist, song, and genre. The team auditions Jide and are immediately drawn to him. He says that his inspirations are Babyface, Stevie Wonder, and lately, African music, because he’s Nigerian. That would have been enough for me to turn him away, because those artists are not the kind featured on the Café. But hey, I’m not on the team, so they choose Jide. They think he’s versatile and has a lot of flavor. They think he’ll appeal to the Café’s sophisticated listeners.
Felisha is the project manager for Capital Edge and really wants to show everyone how strong she can be. She absolutely loves musician Levi. She’s confident that he has the talent it takes to endure.
Over at Excel, Clay asks Jide about his background. Jide says that he was overweight as a kid, which didn’t help his confidence. Also, he was a middle child. He and Clay talk about how middle children tend to seek attention. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia! Looking on, Carolyn observes that Jide is a good artist and has an interesting story.
Clay thinks that Jide’s background can make a song. He was sort of an ugly duckling growing up, plus he was always looking for attention. Now that he’s older, cuter, and ready to shine, he can ask, “What about me?” Clay thinks it’s perfect. Rebecca disagrees – it sounds too feminine. Randal quickly offers a compromise – “It’s My Time.” That sounds good to me, but Clay doesn’t like it. He thinks it sounds like bragging. Rebecca counters that Jide needs to sound tough. But that messes up Clay’s chorus, which includes the line “It’s all about me.” Rebecca says in an interview that Clay was completely inflexible. His stubbornness brings the team to a stalemate. She says that they’re changing it to “It’s My Time.” Clay sulks because that screws up the 40 minutes he spent working on the lyrics. Forty minutes! Down tubes! Two thirds of an hour of Clay’s life that he’ll never get back!
At Capital Edge, Adam asks Levi about his life. Levi talks about how important his friends are to him as a musician. They’re all broke, and they rely on each other for help, a couch to crash on, and so on. Felisha and Adam brainstorm on that and Adam comes up with the title “Nothing Can Be Everything.” Felisha starts to sing it. George arrives, and Felisha tells him that the song will be pop rock. George says that he used to work in radio. One of his stations had a heavy metal format, which he didn’t like until he found out how much advertising they were selling. It’s nice to hear more from George. George says that the key to this task is to know your format’s listener. Alla says in an interview that her team is much better without Clay.
Jide rehearses his song with Excel. Rebecca reports that Clay’s “chick lyric” has been changed to a sort of Nigerian Seal-Meets-Lenny Kravitz. Clay corrects Jide for getting the lyrics wrong. Clay thinks Jide is perfect for the Café and is going to be a star.
Meanwhile, Felisha isn’t happy with how the music sounds for Levi’s song. It’s too jazzy, and wrong for the station. It should be pop rock, she says. They agree to change things up. In an interview, Alla admires the way Felisha handled that potential issue.
Over at Excel, Rebecca practices her introduction for Jide. She suggests that the three of them enter the room without him, then let Jide make a grand entrance. Randal and Clay like the idea, and my husband immediately wonders aloud how Clay is going to mess that up. She says that when they first met Jide, he lit up the room with his smile, so she wants to give the executives that same experience. She practices her speech, which includes a short bio of Jide. As she talks about his past, Clay makes the violin playing gesture. Rebecca is annoyed, and demands, “Tell me an idea.” Far be it for Clay to do something constructive; instead he tells her that her presentation is not excited. Rebecca repeats, “Tell me ideas.” In an interview, Rebecca says that Clay is consistently disturbing. She knows she can’t work with him again and be successful.1 2 Next-->
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