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The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, Episode 10: Super Villainby Betsy Wasser -- 12/01/2005
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While Matchstick is in the conference room, Jim crows to Dawna about his pep talk with Marcela. He says that he literally told her what to say to save herself. If anyone thought Jim was doing that to help Marcela out of the goodness of his heart, you can forget it, because he says that he wants to keep Marcela around because she’s weak. In an interview he quotes The Art of War and says that he has the strategy to create victory for both himself and for his team. To Dawna, he says that maybe Marcela could run one of Martha Stewart’s companies, but that he and Dawna could both beat her in the end.
Dawna tells him that she’s playing things differently. She wants to compete against the absolute best at the end so that if she wins, she can say it was a good victory. In an interview, she says that she thinks Jim is very insecure. She thinks that his strategy of intimidation has gotten him where he is, which makes her all the more determined to beat him in the end. Jim says that people don’t remember how they won, just that they won. Could this be the pride that goeth before a fall?
Marcela and Ryan return, and Bethenny is so excited to see Marcela that she tackle-hugs her. Huh, I didn’t think the two of them liked each other that much, but I guess they do. Marcela says in an interview that she underestimated herself for a while, but now she is back and ready to fight. Jim congratulates her. In an interview, Jim says, “Jim is a mastermind of strategy.” Betsy thinks his talking about himself in the third person is creepy.
Leslie answers the phone the next morning and gets Martha herself. Martha sends them to her house at Turkey Hill to see her garden and learn about their next task. Turkey Hill was featured prominently on Martha Stewart Living, so Leslie and Bethenny are very excited to see the house. At Turkey Hill, Martha talks about her garden to three executives who don’t seem especially interested. The teams arrive, and Martha introduces Doug, Margaret, and Rene, all of whom work in marketing for Buick. The candidates are to create launch displays for the new Buick Lucerne. The name Lucerne amuses me because it is also the store brand of dairy products at Safeway. So you could get Lucerne ice cream to match your car. Anyway, each team will be given a showroom at a Buick dealership to set up their display – plus a whopping $65,000 budget.
Leslie will be the project manager for Matchstick and really wants a win. In an interview, she says that at this point, she has no time for nonsense. She tells Ryan and Marcela that they need to come up with a clever concept. Ryan suggests showing the car seated at a table at a five star restaurant with the tagline “It’s that nice,” suggesting that you’ll love your car so much and it will be such a member of the family that you’d want to have dinner with it. Marcela immediately loves the idea, but Leslie isn’t sold yet and wants to do more brainstorming. Ryan says in an interview that Leslie can be quite stubborn, which causes her to shut down good ideas. He thinks that stubbornness could really hurt them. Leslie does agree that the car at dinner idea is a clever one. I think so too, but it would have to be executed just right to make sense.
Over at Primarius, Dawna is in charge and really wants to create a display that will wow everyone. She’d love to get her third straight win, especially so late in the game. Bethenny suggests the tagline “Driven By Elegance,” adding that she likes that it implies that the driver is elegant. I like it. Bethenny says in an interview that she doesn’t think it’s always a good idea to spend too long trying to come up with the perfect idea. Sometimes you just need to pick something and go with it. The team loves the tagline, so they’re ready to go. They arrive at the showroom, and Dawna thinks the car is beautiful. Jim thinks that the grill is “predator-like,” which he then emphasizes by crawling on the floor and growling at it. Yeah, I don’t know what to do with that one.
It’s time to Ask Martha. The question this week is, “Should you follow trends?” Martha says that if you likek something don’t second guess yourself. Be the one to start the trends. One of my readers recently decided to Ask Betsy the best way to get blueberry stains out of a baby’s clothing. My son, at 11 months old, has table manners slightly less refined than John Belushi in Animal House so I certainly understand the question. My best strategy is to keep a stain stick right next to the laundry basket in his room so that I can pre-treat stains right away.
Ryan directs a video of the car for their display. It shows the car driving to a restaurant. Ryan explains that this will tie in with the car, which will be seated at a tabl set for dessert. He thinks the idea is great.
Primarius hired experts to help them build the display, and Jim and Bethenny fight over the details of how it’s all going to work. They are squabbling so much that I can’t really even keep track of what the argument is about. Bethenny says that they argue like a married couple, but she’s especially mad this time at the way he snapped at her. She is going to the prop house and refuses to go with Jim. He mocks her for that, then adds, “It’s all on you.” Yeah, if you lose this task because Bethenny bought the wrong task, then she’ll be sorry! All of this is happening in front of the vendors that the team hired, and Dawna immediately notices how uncomfortable they all look. She asks the two of them to knock it off. I think Dawna does a good job of handling this awkward situation.
At Matchstick, Leslie is still not loving the dinner table idea, so she hires a PR consultant to help her. They come up with the line, “Those who enjoy the luxury of choice choose Buick Lucerne.” My world is not on fire, but Leslie now feels a lot more confident. Her new direction means she needs to change the way the video is put together. She tells Marcela and Ryan that she’s got new copy that she absolutely loves. Ryan doesn’t think the new video works. Leslie cut out the restaurant stuff, so now it doesn’t make a lot of sense to show the car seated at a table. That’s a problem.
Dawna says that Primarius has a schedule set up so that the fabricators can come first, followed by the printer, the lighting people, and so forth so that the display will come together smoothly. The trouble is, the fabricator is late, so all of the other vendors are sitting around with nothing to do. She gets on the phone and tells them to get there as soon as possible.1 2 3 Next-->
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