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Celebrity Apprentice, Episode 3: A Rooster in the HenhousePage 3
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At any rate, Trump tells Tito that $20,000 will go to his charity, the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that St. Jude’s is well known for their work in cancer research. The men are sent back to their war room, where they can watch proceedings on TV.
Trump begins to dig to find out what went wrong. Gene insists, “We could not have done a single thing better.” He says he respects Kodak, but if they don’t agree with his vision, Kodak is wrong.
Even Trump has no reply for that, so he turns to Omarosa. She says they had no plan, and because they never met with Kodak, didn’t understand what they were supposed to deliver. Her tone is way more subdued than when she was attacking Tiffany or Nadia.
Ivanka relates that the biggest complaint she heard from the Kodak executives is that they felt Empresario never heard the message that this is all about the ink. Gene’s response is to call his presentation “seductive” and to say, “Kodak can be wrong.” Carol and Omarosa smile… little smiles, but the camera caught them.
Ivanka (dressed in something that would get you booted in Week 3 of Project Runway, by the way) opines that Gene stuck to an idea he believed in, even if it isn’t the right concept. Gene interjects, “We succeeded, and the client didn’t recognize it.” Ivanka responds, that won’t fly in this environment. In the war room, the lads gleefully sense Gene is in trouble.
Trump turns his inquiries to Nely. He reports that the clients said she talked too much at their meeting and didn’t listen. Carol Alt is called on for details, and I’m sure Tiffany at home notes how she is surprisingly slow to comment this time. Trump forces a response, and Carol admits “we” talked a lot. Trump tries to get her to say that Nely is the big talker, but Carol seems committed to shielding Nely. Eventually, Gene interrupts/wants the spotlight back. He takes ultimate responsibility for the final product.
Gene starts to reiterate his thought that Kodak is wrong, but for a change Trump interrupts him to call him a loser. I swear, he’s never said those words more gently in his life. The Donald is clearly biased heavily to keeping Gene and his fat-wallet friends in the game.
Omarosa jumps in to report that Gene didn’t know the name of the printer. Even reading the information still written on his wrist, he still gets it wrong! “I don’t care,” Gene says, “I sell emotion!”
Trump now has his traditional trip around the table asking, “Who would you fire?” This question comes every week (even if we don’t see it) and I remain dumbfounded how many times it catches people off guard.
Carol is first. She takes a long time to say that it should be either herself or Nely. Gene interjects, “You couldn’t be more wrong on both counts. She’s wrong. I would hire both of them.” A version of Mr. Trump I’m more familiar with fires back, “Good, congratulations, because you might get the chance!”
Jennie is asked next. She also stalls, and the men in the war room encourage her to, as Piers says, “Fire the bullet!” Finally, she nominates Gene. Omarosa agrees, as does Marilu.
Nely names Jennie, which catches Trump (and most everyone else) right out of the blue. Apparently her fault is following direction well.
Or (gasp) dare I say it, could it be, her real fault is that she nominated Gene? Shocking!
Trump asks Gene to pull two people back into the final Boardroom. Gene asks if it can be one person, and he names Omarosa. Trump says Omarosa is not the reason they lost, and after further discussion Trump makes him pick another name, and even goes as far as to suggest the sponsors don’t like Nely. Gene reluctantly names “Miss Finch.” Viceroy Jim has an instant migraine.
In the middle of all that, the fact that Trump is quite willing to sacrifice Nely has not gone unnoticed in the war room.
Trump sends the candidates out of the room so he can discuss things with his viceroys. Trump shakes his head; he is clearly uncomfortable over what is certainly one of the clearest, most obvious decisions in the history of the show, right up there with Vera and Bradford. The guys in the war room are as astounded as we are, or more, at how this is transpiring.
With just the three of them there, Ivanka has no help for daddy this week either. Viceroy Jim suggests that Gene’s choices are “insolence” to Trump.
Trump clearly doesn’t want to fire Gene, because he knows how ratings work. Jennie offers slight hope, because she doesn’t defend herself well. Lord, two of her PMs were Omarosa and Gene Simmons, how does she show leadership in those environments?
Trump says Gene is trying to assert his independence by being contrary, and it degenerates into mutual admiration/butt kissing over the next two or three minutes. This removes all doubt about the levelness of the playing field (or lack thereof).
Finally, Trump says he cannot fire either of the ladies, so it’s, “Gene, you’re fired.”
It’s time to go. Gene (who has zero luggage) gets into the elevator and says, “Down, Jeeves,” to the operator, and it makes me want to reground myself by rereading my P.G. Wodehouse, or possibly watching early Hugh Lawrie in my Jeeves and Wooster DVD set.
On the walk back to the suite, Omarosa whispers quietly to Jennie, “Trump wants to fire Nely!”
In her cab ride to the airport, Gene reiterates his feelings that he stands by his decisions and blah-blah-blah, I’m not typing that out again. Suffice to say, Gene will not be a spokesperson for Kodak anytime soon!
My Opinion: Clearly, Gene was bored and wanted to go home. Many of us saw this implosion coming, but we just weren’t sure exactly when it would happen.
Nely has had two horrible weeks. She’s in over her head.
And that’s all I have to say about this episode. It was an interesting one, and sure to generate some buzz.
This week, the obvious question is to solicit your opinions on Gene’s behavior – idiot or genius? Let me leave you with two quotes that seem on point this week.
Let me know what you think about it all at the eAddress below! And next week, join me here for a recap of all the action, sprinkled with my own reactions and opinions.
Brian lives in Toronto. He spent a couple of decades working in middle management at The Prudential, primarily hiding behind the coffee machines in generally unsuccessful attempts to avoid his pointy-haired bosses. He can be reached at email@example.com. He’d like to hear your opinions and promises to respond to all serious email.
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