Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
The Apprentice 5, Episode 4: Don’t Squeeze the Charmaineby Betsy Wasser -- 03/21/2006
View Printable version of this article
First of all, big thanks to Jenn Brasler for filling in for me at the last minute last week. I was absolutely sick as a dog and could barely stay awake to watch the show, let alone recap it. Jenn is even an even better substitute than Bill Rancic- I dare say Jenn is my Ivanka.
Lee says that the boardroom was much worse this time around. Leslie thinks the screaming was worse, but Lee is especially worried about the team dynamic. “It can rip a family apart,” he says. Lenny and Tarek return, sans Theresa. Tarek says that he dodged a bullet, having been to the Boardroom twice now. He’s pretty sure that if Trump sees him there again in the next few tasks, he’s a goner.
Everyone wants to know why Theresa got fired. No doubt they missed David Bloomberg’s weekly “Why X Lost” article and feel… lost… without it. The guys say that the fact that Theresa didn’t bring Charmaine back played a big part in it. Charmaine looks totally shocked and asks, “That’s why she got fired?”
Allie says in an interview that she’s really happy to be on Synergy right now. Gold Rush is being torn apart, she says. Charmaine, for one, is so upset that she curls up on her bed and cries. Leslie comes in to talk to her, and Charmaine tells her that she feels awful. Leslie tries to reassure her- it must have been more complicated than that. It was, although not bringing Charmaine in sure didn’t help. The two of them agree that they are a team divided and must pull together for the next task. The scene ends with Charmaine still blinking back tears.
The next morning, Charmaine is the first up to answer the gold Trump phone. The teams are to meet at the Trump Grille. There, Trump is having a fake conversation with the chef about how important breakfast is and how everybody loves cereal. Trump greets the candidates and indicates that George is back and that Ivanka will be filling in for Carolyn. Trump claims that at this restaurant, they serve lots of cereal, which I highly doubt. Other than Jerry Seinfeld, who goes out to eat and orders cereal? It’s not like it’s hard to make it yourself or to clean it up afterwards. But I digress. The teams will be working with Post to design billboards promoting Post Grape Nuts Trail Mix Crunch. That is one long name. The two executives from Post will be judging.
Tammy is the project manager for Synergy because she has marketing experience. No one really has anything in particular to say about Grape Nuts, except that Allie remembers her dad eating them. The team heads to Post headquarters, and Brent volunteers to do the presentation, saying that he has lots of experience with presentations. Tammy, of course, is busy employing Andrea’s technique of giving Brent no responsibility. She thinks someone else would be better and asks him to help coordinate clothing for the presentation. That is the fakest bit of busy work I have ever heard. It’s not enough to just keep Brent out of the way; to really control him, you have to make him feel like what he’s doing is important. Andrea had that down last week. In an interview, Sean says that there’s no way they’d let Brent present- nobody trusts him.
Ivanka arrives as the team starts brainstorming. How can they capture attention? Brent thinks they should show a scale, but Allie disagrees- they don’t want to focus on diet. Brent still likes the idea and suggests, “Kick start your ten-plus pound weight loss today.” Tammy tells him that they’re not doing the weight loss thing and to suggest different ideas. Allie suggests that they show a dad passing Grape Nuts down to the next generation. “Finally, a cereal for everybody,” she suggests. Sean likes the idea, as do Andrea and her incredibly distracting yellow eyeshadow.
They agree that Tammy and Sean will present. Brent tells Ivanka that he’s in charge of coordinating the clothing, and it’s not exactly hard for her to figure out what the team is up to. She doesn’t think it’s going to work- Brent won’t quit so easily. She’s right. Brent takes Tammy aside and asks her to reconsider allowing him to present. He really thinks it’s a strength of his. Tammy says that she and Sean will handle it, and since they’re not talking about weight loss, she doesn’t think Brent would be an appropriate presenter. Brent takes this to mean that she doesn’t want him to do it because he’s fat, and he is fighting mad about it. In an interview, he snaps, “I can’t stand her face.”
I’m not sure if Brent’s interpretation is right. The reason Tammy doesn’t want him to present, as we all know, is that he’s a crazy, unpredictable mess. There’s nothing that makes her believe he’d do a good job. She doesn’t want to tell him that because he’ll freak out. So, she basically came up with an excuse on the fly, and what I think she was trying to say is that he’d be a bad pick because in the brainstorming he was so focused on weight loss as a selling point. There will be more about this later.
And now for the Trump Lesson of the Week: “Keep It Simple, Stupid.” Trump says that in marketing, a complicated message goes over people’s heads. Simple is better. And now for the Betsy Lesson of the Week. When you’re sick, like I was last week, try to keep yourself occupied with something light. I made the mistake of trying to watch The Constant Gardener and could not follow it to save my life. An old episode of Fraggle Rock was much more what I could handle.
As I’m sure everyone predicted, Charmaine has volunteered to lead Gold Rush because she wants to prove herself. Lee, obviously having listened to the Trump Lesson of the Week, thinks they should have a simple concept. Everyone talks over each other, debating if they should use an animal mascot, and Charmaine does her best to control the group. George arrives and says in an interview that she is keeping order effectively. Leslie notes that their billboard would only have a split second to make an impression. Charmaine agrees and wants to hone in on what’s important. George notes that Gold Rush is a difficult group, but that she is making them focus. Bryce suggests that they show an image of a guy chugging a box of cereal with the tagline, “It’s that good.” Charmaine loves the idea and declares the brainstorming over- it’s time to move forward.1 2 3 4 Next-->
View Printable version of this article