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The Apprentice 3, Episode 13: That Was Easyby Betsy Wasser -- 04/22/2005
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Tana, Craig, and Kendra hang out in the suite, wondering who will get the axe. It would be awesome if they took bets. Imagine Bren walking back into the suite and Craig turning to Tana and saying, “Well, it looks like I better make you dinner.” Anyway, Tana thinks Chris will go. Craig and Kendra think it’ll be Bren. Pay attention, as I do believe that’s the last time the two of them will agree this episode. Kendra explains that Bren is funny, “but on tasks, he’s a big zero.” Alex and Bren return to the suite, and there are hugs all around. Alex says that the suite just isn’t the same without his buddy Chris.
Alex and Bren report that Chris was pretty upset at getting fired and that he teared up. Both of them admit to thinking that Bren would be the one fired. Bren is afraid that at this point, Trump has a pretty low opinion of him. He tells everyone about how they criticized his writing. Tana asks him if it hurt to bite his tongue, and he admits that it did. In an interview, he elaborates, “Quite frankly, I’m tired of the blood in my mouth… Or is it making me thirsty for more?”
Alex and Bren go out for drinks. Bren says in an interview that he never thought he’d come on the show and meet a new best friend, but that’s what happened. Aww! The two of them smoke cigars as Alex tells us in an interview that Bren is his oasis of normal in a group of morons. Bren, he’s found, is steady and will always do a good job. If you delegate a task to him, he’ll do it. Ooh, is that foreshadowing? The two of them agree to work hard on the next task.
The next morning, Tana gets the phone call from Rhona, who tells them to meet Trump in his office “right away.” Tana is wearing a pink hoody and some kind of argyle pants, and she’s yawning – are the other candidates even awake? As I imagine them heading out to meet Trump in various jammies and bunny slippers, we see a grooming montage that shows that “right away” means “after you take the time to get pretty.” And is Alex blow drying his armpit hair? What the hell? Who does that?
Trump is meeting with two executives from Staples, and you’ll never believe it, but business is great at Staples! They’re huge! Who knew? I notice that Trump has a framed picture of himself on a ledge behind his desk. Awesome. The candidates arrive, and Kendra should have spent more time on her hair, because it looks like she just stuck a clip in it on her way to the gym. Trump blathers about the wonder that is Staples (they’re doing great!), then cuts to the chase. Every year, Staples has a contest in which people invent new office supplies. The candidates are challenged to come up with a new product to manage office clutter. Trump indicates his own cluttered desk and says he could use something. The teams will have access to a design and manufacturing team that will put these products together for them, then the teams will present their new gizmos to a group of Staples executives and office managers. The team with the most innovative product will win. Kendra, Trump reminds us, is exempt and is guaranteed a spot in the final four. But after this, there will be no exemptions.
Alex volunteers to be the manager of Net Worth. He says in an interview that he wants to put himself in a do or die situation. It’s time to take a risk – either do great and impress Trump or get fired trying. He thinks they should call office managers to do a focus group, and Bren volunteers to do that. Bren says it’s imperative that they win.
Craig is in charge over at Magna, and he begins by asking his team to put any ideas down on paper. Kendra, he says, is his biggest obstacle. He wants her to respect his leadership as he respected hers. Huh, I must have missed that part of last week’s episode, because as I recall, he didn’t really listen to her, then went home early. Kendra suggests that they talk to some office managers, and Craig pretty much shushes her and tells her to put it on the paper. He says he’s looking for tangible ideas. Also, Craig apparently likes his brainstorms to be as quiet as possible. More like a brain misting that a noisy storm, if you will. Kendra says in an interview that Craig is a poor communicator. Most of the time, she has no idea what he’s talking about. She vows to keep her mouth shut, let Craig talk, then do what she was planning to do anyway.
Alex and Bren go to Smart Design and learn about the different materials they might use. What kind of materials? I have one word for you: plastics. They try to call one of the Staples executives, but they have a bad connection on the cell phone and keep getting cut off. Alex explains in an interview that he made the decision not to meet with the Staples execs personally, because it could all be done in a conference call. Also, they are “just judges.” Right, no need to put any extra effort into impressing those who will directly determine your fate.
It’s time for the Trump Lesson of the Week. This week: “Take Control.” Trump tells us that you must control your subordinates, or you’ll be a lousy manager. He adds that this is true, “whether it’s a he or a she.” Huh? And now for the Betsy Lesson of the Week. If you’re having a hard time picking out a wedding gift, I’ve found that Christmas ornaments make a great gift (that is, if the bride and groom celebrate Christmas, because if not, your gift pretty much sucks). It’s a keepsake that they’ll use every year forever, and if the bride and groom are young, they may not have very many yet.
Magna goes to Staples to meet the executives in person. What a novel idea! Tana asks them if they have a slogan they should know about, which frankly she could have found out in about ten seconds by looking at their website. The slogan is “That was easy” because their customers want an easy shopping experience. The product they’re looking for doesn’t have to be revolutionary – last year’s winner was a padlock with a word as the combination instead of numbers. In an interview, Kendra says that they learned that they don’t need to invent something new, just improve on something that already exists.
The three of them go to a Staples store, and Kendra and Tana immediately start interviewing customers. They meet an office manager who is buying supplies for new employees. He has a ton of stackable file holders, which the two women make a note of. Meanwhile, Craig wanders the aisles and looks at desks. Kendra says in an interview that she has no idea what he was doing while she and Tana were gathering information.1 2 3 Next-->
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