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The Apprentice, Episode 8: Water Worldby Betsy Wasser -- 02/27/2004
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Before we launch into this week’s episode of The Apprentice, let me address some reader emails. I heard from a lot of people about the confrontation between Katrina and Troy last week about who got what apartment. The response was overwhelmingly in favor of Troy. People thought that his maneuvering with Katrina was not only ethical, but smart. Another alert reader pointed out that it was unfair for Katrina to criticize Bill for only negotiating a rent of $1,650. When the team met the night before and looked up comparable rents on the internet, $1,650 was the target price they agreed on. Bill got exactly what they wanted. With that old business cleared up, it’s on with the show!
The candidates once again gather in the suite, wondering who will come back from the boardroom. Nick says that things got heated, which is bad for the team. Ereka hopes that Tammy will be the one sent home. When Katrina and Bill return, sans Tammy, she squeals with delight. Katrina grins at her, happy to be back.
Versacorp meets to discuss their boardroom experience. Katrina says it feels weird to be back together after such tough confrontations. Ereka tells Bill that he was never meant to be in the hot seat. That’s interesting, because I just re-read my recap of last week’s episode, and both women seemed to think that Bill’s poor negotiating skills in renting the apartment were a big part of why they lost. Bill’s not buying it either. In an interview, he says that it wasn’t fair for Katrina to take him to the boardroom, and he is not going to let himself get screwed over by her or Ereka again.
Protégé has selected Heidi as their next project manager. Heidi says she plans to delegate work and keep everyone positive. She’s excited about the challenge because in her job, she doesn’t manage other people, just herself. Amy suggests that they dedicate the task to Heidi’s mother, who Heidi learned last week was diagnosed with cancer. Heidi is moved by the idea and vows to focus on the team so they can win the task.
Heidi’s biggest concern is Omarosa. In an interview, Heidi says, “Omarosa brings nothing to the table but negativity.” Now, Heidi, that’s not fair. Omarosa brings more to the table than negativity. She also brings bitchiness and a condescending attitude. Heidi says that Omarosa is still claiming to be injured from the chunk of plaster that fell on her head at Trump’s building site. Heidi says that if Omarosa really did hurt herself, she’s sorry, but at this point, she seems to be milking it. As Protégé discusses the upcoming task, Omarosa goes to bed early. Protégé notes that every time there’s work to be done, Omarosa’s head hurts. How convenient!
The next morning, Omarosa, clad inexplicably in a hot pink sarong, answers the Trump Phone. The contestants are directed to meet in front of Trump Tower at 8:45. Over breakfast, Bill asks Omarosa how her head is. Omarosa reminds us in an interview that a “hunk of cement” hit her on the head. Funny, everyone else has called it plaster. Go figure. Omarosa bravely informs Bill, “I’m actually used to the pain now.” Omarosa tells us in an interview that she’s had headaches ever since it happened, but she’s not complaining. Nope, she doesn’t complain. She makes dramatic faces and avoids work instead. Amy is not impressed. In an interview, she says that Omarosa has elevated a minor bump into something huge, and that the rest of them are laughing at her behind her back. Then she says, “She is a scheming, conniving bitch.”
The next morning, Trump meets the candidates and shows them a box truck for Trump Ice water. The man actually has his own brand of bottled water, with a big Trump face on the labels that is delivered all around town in a truck with his face on it. Can you imagine drinking water out of a bottle with Trump’s face on it? The teams are challenged sell Trump Ice – by the case, by the pallet, or best of all, by the truckload. The team that sells the most water will avoid the boardroom, plus the project manager and two team members will get a helicopter tour of the city.
Protégé gathers in the suite for a planning meeting. Troy says in an interview that he only has a high school diploma, but his team has picked him to be the closer. Amy says in an interview that she thinks Troy is a bit of a sleazy used car salesman. She doesn’t think his country charm will work this time. I think she’s wrong – from what we’ve seen Troy could sell water to a fish. His country charm has been extremely successful. Troy practices his sales pitch on Heidi, who is playing the role of a tough customer.
Ereka is very excited to be the project manager for Versacorp because she hasn’t been in charge since the lemonade stand challenge. She says in an interview that she just wants to give it her best shot, and if she fails, she fails. The team meets to plan strategy. Nick reads from an information sheet that Trump Ice has a very low mineral content. Ereka thinks that is an important selling point. Bill disagrees, saying that customers will be more interested in getting a good price.
In an interview, Bill says that he knows a lot about what motivates people to buy more. In his Cigar of the Month business, he offered subscribers who bought six months a seventh month for free. Unfortunately, he says, Ereka has not been interested in any of his suggestions. He thinks that Ereka can be emotional and combative, but if she can keep it in check, they should do well.
The next morning, Ereka and Bill visit a bunch of restaurants together. Ereka takes the lead, telling person after person that they are there to “create a buzz” about Trump Ice. The restaurant owners seem unimpressed. One of them actually says, “And that’s the pitch?” expecting there to be more. Seriously, that’s an incredibly lame sales pitch. All she has to say is that they’re creating a buzz? We didn’t see Ereka tell any of them why they were creating a buzz, or how. Why would anyone buy from her based on that? Bill seems to share my frustration, stepping in at one meeting to offer a good price. The restaurant owner responds to that and orders two pallets. Bill says that the key to their success is to offer a good price. It’s about the numbers not, “you should buy this product because I’m cute.” Well said, Bill.
It’s time for the Trump Lesson of the week. This week: “Beggars Can’t Be Choosers.” Trump says that in business, you should never beg, because that won’t sell. I rush off to find a needle and thread so that I can embroider these words of wisdom on a pillow.1 2 3 4 Next-->
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