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The Apprentice 5, Episode 8: P’eatzza My Mindby Betsy Wasser -- 04/11/2006
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By now, I’m sure you’ve read my recap of the last episode, so let’s get right to it, shall we?
Synergy has a team meeting while Gold Rush is in the boardroom. Andrea tells Michael that she didn’t like his not making decisions. Michael disagrees. Roxanne says they’re lucky they won, because they should have lost. I have to say, if I were on a team that spent 9 hours choosing paint colors, I’d be surprised to win, too. Allie agrees that they should have lost, and Michael gets up and leaves. He says in an interview that they’re turning on him, a blow to his character. Gold Rush returns without Lenny. Everyone’s disappointed, but not really surprised.
Lee looks really sad. In an interview, he says that he has lost the one person he could trust. Charmaine goes to talk to him and says that this is the first time he has shown his age. She thinks it was stupid of him to say that Trump should fire her over Lenny. Lee says that friendship and loyalty are important to him, and maybe that’s a weakness of his. Charmaine encourages him to be more objective. Lee says he likes to speak up on principle. “I like Lenny” is not a principle.
The candidates sleep as the Trump Phone rings. Charmaine finally drags her bleary eyed self over to answer it. The candidates have one hour to meet Trump in Central Park. It would be awesome if they all showed up in sweats, baseball caps, and holding coffee cups, but no such luck. Trump arrives in some sort of silver Car of the Future with doors that open like Marty McFly’s time machine. He says that Gold Rush has lost three tasks in a row. Would anyone on Synergy like to move over and make them winners? Michael volunteers. Allie says in an interview that they were all psyched. “How can we lose?”
This week’s task is to promote the new P’eatzza sandwich for 7-11. Each team will have a promotional giveaway item based on 7-11’s new sandwich and their racing car. The team with the greatest increase in sales wins.
Lee is happy to have Michael on their team. As they walk away, Lee pats him on the shoulder, probably wondering if Michael can be his new Best Friend Forever since Lenny is gone.
We begin with Synergy and with the p’eatzza. The sandwich consists of two slices of pizza with sandwich filling in between. In totally unrelated news, there is an obesity epidemic in the United States. Andrea is project manager basically because she loves being in charge. In an interview, she admits that she’d prefer to be project manager always. They start to brainstorm ideas – cups, drink holders, hats, keychains – and Andrea is totally stuck on hats. In an interview, Andrea says that people have accused her of being a total control freak. But she figures she has a nice life, so things are going well with her in control. It’s not a problem for her. Sure, but it might be for anyone who comes in contact with her, ever. The rest of the team makes an argument for cups- it would tie in well with the sandwiches, but Andrea won’t hear of it. She tells them, “I’m letting you know right now, it’s hats.”
And now for the Trump Lesson of the Week: “Know Your Customer.” Trump says that his father used to talk to people on the street and design buildings to meet their needs. This week’s Betsy Lesson of the Week: when NBC sabotages your sleep schedule by putting two episodes of The Apprentice on in a row, plan extra time the next morning for a Starbucks run.
Leslie is finally the project manager at Gold Rush. She wants to pick the promotional item, then choose the price point for the sandwiches. In an interview, Lee says that since she’s waited so long to be project manager, it won’t look good for her if she loses. He tells everyone that he is their target customer, and in fact, he knows the neighborhood. It’s right near City College of New York, where he went to school. The team chooses a 6-pack can cooler as their giveaway, figuring they can price the sandwich higher because of their cool gift.
The team goes to 7-11, and Lee asks the manager if they can remove all of the other sandwiches the day of the event so they can push the p’eatzza harder. He agrees. In an interview, Lee pats himself on the back hard, saying that’s the kind of thing that Trump would do.
Over at Synergy, Allie and Sean do a photo shoot with the race car driver eating the sandwich. Their tagline is “Tasty Food for Life in the Fast Lane.” They pass out flyers to promote the sandwich. I am so sick of candidates on this show passing out flyers and calling it marketing. In an interview, Sean admits that people probably aren’t going to put those flyers under their pillows and come in the next day, but it’s worth a shot. He suggests a $4 price point, and Andrea is fine with that. Sean thinks their plan is good, but if the other team has a better giveaway, they’re in trouble.
Gold Rush works on trivia questions to attract passers by. Tarek suggests, for example, to name the four basic food groups. He admits that he does not know them, and before you laugh at the Mensa member for not knowing that, laugh at him harder for his not knowing that the USDA no longer goes by the basic four, but rather by a food pyramid.
Charmaine, Lee, and Michael return. They need to come up with a price. Leslie is thinking $7.99. Lee thinks that’s too high. Charmaine is annoyed- she thinks that Lee is just having the opposite opinion of everyone else so that if they lose, he can say I told you so. Leslie declares that the sandwiches will be $7.99 each, two for $8.99.
You have got to be kidding me. Who in their right mind is going to pay eight bucks for a sandwich wrapped in cellophane that you’re going to eat either in your car or standing outside the 7-11? You could get an entire value meal from McDonald’s for less than that. Leslie is nuts if she thinks that’s a good price.
The next morning, Lee sets up the sandwiches. Leslie says she’s determined to win, and is confident that her team will sell well. Michael has a tray of free samples, and Tarek is out on the street trying to get people’s attention with the trivia questions. He is getting no response, not even when he promises, “Your lives will never be the same,” if only people will try this sandwich.
Lee tells Leslie that he heard two managers talking, and they agreed that the price was too high. Leslie doesn’t want to hear it- now is not the time. Charmaine says he’s being totally negative. She thinks he’s going to sulk rather than sell since Leslie told him no.
The Synergy team starts out all enthusiasm and new hats, but they’re not getting much traffic. Someone tells them that they’ve got the wrong market for racing caps, which I suspect is true. That might play better in the country than in the city. Carolyn doesn’t like the gift, since there is no connection between hats and sandwiches. Allie and Roxanne run into a guy watching a bunch of dogs who they gave a flyer to the night before. In fact, several people come in who they’d given flyers to. Looks like I will continue to be frustrated by flyers used as a marketing tool for a while longer. In an interview, Roxanne says that Andrea was the only one not selling well. Now, Roxanne is not an Andrea fan, but it does look like she’s out of her element. Roxanne says that if they win, it won’t be because of Andrea.1 2 Next-->
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