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The Apprentice Los Angeles Sneak Preview: Pitching a Tentby Betsy Wasser -- 01/05/2007
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It’s almost time for the sixth season of The Apprentice. If you want a quick snapshot of this season’s changes and an introduction to the candidates, check out my preview article. If you’re really excited about the show and just can’t wait until the premiere on Sunday night, then you’re in luck. NBC has posted the first 20 minutes of the show on their website. Here’s a recap of what happened.
Trump calls his wife Melania from his car phone. He tells her that he’ll see her in Los Angeles soon, and we hear their son Barron coo adorably in the background. Trump introduces himself, as if we didn’t know him already, especially given his current feud with Rosie O’Donnell. Trump drives past some palm trees in a gorgeous convertible and tells us that he loves L.A. and is building a house there. But at the same time, of course, he is looking for someone to run one of his companies. He wants to find someone who is a problem solver and an ace negotiator – someone who will be his next Apprentice. There are 18 candidates vying for the job, and Trump says that they are a talented group with diverse backgrounds.
Trump arrives at the mansion where he has a temporary office, complete with boardroom. Melania and Barron (who is totally cute) greet him. The three gaze seriously at the camera (okay, Barron might not look that serious) as Trump tells us that only one candidate will be the next Apprentice.
The candidates arrive in the reality TV standard fleet of black SUVs, meeting Trump in the driveway of the mansion next to his. Trump welcomes them and promises them “a very, very tough time.” All of the candidates briefly introduce themselves. They all seem very confident in their impressive resumes, but one of them in particular seems to make an impression on those assembled. That’s Angela, an Olympic medalist and Harvard graduate. Trump says he saw her play and gives her a hug. Several more candidates introduce themselves, then we come to Martin, who tells Trump that he’ll hug him too if he can take a bathroom break. Trump, ever the harsh one, tells him to hold it. If I were in a job interview and the prospective boss wouldn’t let me use the restroom, I’d be out of there in a flash, but none of the candidates seem to see this as a red flag.
Introductions over, Trump tells the candidates that they’ll get to know each other by completing a task together. He directs them to the yard next to the mansion and tells them to assemble a large tent. Once the tent is up, they will meet him in the boardroom.
The candidates swarm on the tent box like very well dressed mice on a glob of peanut butter. Things are pretty chaotic at first, but Heidi yells for everyone to pay attention to her. She says she’s done a lot of camping and knows what she’s doing. People follow Heidi’s directions. But then, Angela tells us in an interview, Frank decides to take over.
Frank does that loud whistle with his fingers in his mouth, which my mom used to do and I could hear from about six blocks away. He tells them to pull together all of the bases, to make sure they have all the pieces they need. James says that Frank is frenetic, like a cartoon character. Trump, watching from a window, observes that Frank has a loud voice and yells at him to keep it down. Ironic.
Let’s step back for a minute and look at what’s going on. Frank’s idea – having everyone find the bases so they can start there – is a good one. It’s kind of like putting together the flat edges when you make a jigsaw puzzle. Unfortunately, his approach was off putting. Heidi was doing just fine leading the group. Things seemed to be running smoothly. But Frank, it seems, couldn’t leave well enough alone. Heidi wasn’t quiet when she took charge either. It’s not like her yelling was more pleasant than his whistling. But the difference is that when Heidi got everyone’s attention, there was no one steering the ship. He was desperate to take charge, so he steamrollered over everyone else.
Anyway, the tent building continues. Frank notices that Martin is standing on a rock watching everyone else. In an interview, Martin explains that he was taking “a supervisory role,” to unify the group. Something tells me that others won’t see it quite the same way. The tent is complete, and everyone gives a group cheer of “TRUMP!” They group walks over to the mansion, wondering what’s going to happen next. Aaron thinks maybe someone will go home already.
The candidates meet in the boardroom, where they are joined by Trump and his awesome daughter Ivanka. Trump tells everyone that Ivanka will act as his eyes and ears, and that he will have “a special guest” join them in the other chair later on. He asks the group if putting up the tent was hard, and someone says that there were too many chefs. Frank, though, says that the tent is nice and, “I’d sleep in it tonight.” Poor guy. Little does he know that’s a real possibility. Trump asks him who the best leader was. Frank, too modest to answer himself, names Heidi. James says that both Frank and Heidi were active, vocal, and stepped up to take charge. Trump names the two of them team captains and the first project managers.
The two pick teams. Heidi gets Derek, Amy, Marissa, Angela, Surya, Christine, Muna, and Jenn. Frank selects Carey, Tim, Aaron, Nicole, James, Stephanie, Michelle, and last of all, Martin. Martin is upset at being last picked. In an interview, he says that people don’t like him at first, but tend to warm up to him later. “At first, they can be standoffish.” Oh, Martin. Do you really think that every other person in the universe is at fault here? That it’s not, maybe, you who is the problem?1 2 Next-->
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