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Celebrity Apprentice, Episode 4: Overmatched?by Brian Towers -- 01/28/2008
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Last week, Donald trump convinced Gene Simmons to even up the numbers by switching sides and becoming the PM of Empresario. Despite a (self-professed) better understanding of Kodak’s needs than Kodak, Gene could not pull out a win. In the Boardroom, Gene flawlessly engineered events so he was the one to go home.
For your reference, here are the team rosters as this episode begins:
Action begins back in the suite with contestants discussing recent events. Piers points out to Nely that Trump wanted to fire her, and she says, “Oh, I know that!” In time, innocent Olympian Jennie returns to tell everyone that Trump fired both Omarosa and Gene. Several people believe her, but it’s a fake-out as we all know, and Omarosa pops around the corner and ruins most everyone’s evening.
Nely tells us, “Gene got fired and took a bullet clearly for me. I really had no idea that he respected me that much. Maybe Donald Trump doesn’t like me, but Gene Simmons certainly does!”
Nely has no clue that Gene went home because Gene wanted to. Hey, when Gene decides what he wants to do, that’s what Gene does!
Piers Morgan admits in a cameo that he’s glad Gene is gone, because it improves his own chances of winning.
Lennox asks Jennie why she was even brought back to the Boardroom in the first place. Jennie says it’s because she can’t compete against these other businesswomen.
Tito Ortiz’s charity is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In an incredibly touching scene, Tito presents the check to a sweetheart of a young girl named Elizabeth who suffers from brittle bone disease. The irony of a man who makes his fortune being hit hard and often having his donation received by a wee shy lass who’s bones could have been broken by any touch until she was more than a year old… man, I got it. That’s reality!
In the next scene Trump meets with the remaining contestants, accompanied by Ivanka and (gasp) WWE’s head honcho, Vince McMahon. Trump lauds Vince’s undeniable record as a promoter. He then outlines the next task. The Apprentices will sell tickets to eight popular Broadway shows. The PMs and one other team member will negotiate how those titles will be split up so each team has four shows to promote. They’ll each have a sales booth in Times Square, and the sales window is a mere two hours.
Trump asks Vinny if he was on Broadway, and the reply is, “I’m going to be in “Chicago.” This befuddles The Donald, unsure if Vinny means the city or the play. I think a rim shot is called for here; alas, it goes a-wanting.
Trump calls for the teams to nominate their PMs right now, and turns to Hydra first. At least three guys name Vinny Pastore, and he stumbles out a reluctant acceptance. Empresario is to be lead by Marilu Henner, who has appeared on Broadway six times. She appears ready and willing to take this challenge on. Advantage, Empresario!
Trump announces that winnings will be split between the winning PM’s charity and what Trump identifies as Broadway’s favorite charity, “The Fund For Public Schools.” I’m not sure how Marilu’s or Vince’s charities feel about that.
But let’s get back to the project of the week. As PM, Marilu hits the ground running. She requests that Omarosa be her negotiation partner when they meey with Hydra to split up the tickets, and Omarosa quickly agrees. Smart move. Then, Omarosa cleverly asks which of the eight shows is generating the best sales. Marilu makes a quick call to find out the answer. I just hope that they rated the other four shows too, since it seems improbable Hydra will not take “Chicago.”
Over at Hydra, Vinny starts his team’s meeting by asking Piers to read the rules to him. Instead, Baldwin and Piers start talking over each other and it devolves into a hearty argument over the necessity of reading the rules. Soon almost everyone but Trace is arguing about arguing. Several minutes pass without meaningful work being done, and to make matters worse, Vinny still isn’t clear on the rules!
It’s negotiation time, where the duos meet to negotiate the four plays for which they will be selling tickets. The assistant negotiators are Omarosa (good choice) and Lennox Lewis (not good choice). We see Baldwin ask for the job, but Piers and Lennox feel he is more valuable exploiting his Rolodex and making phone calls.
In the negotiations, the men fumble badly. Omarosa says, “It was like playing Monopoly with three-year-olds.” Vinny is only interested in a quick negotiation so they can go do something more important. Vinny takes “Chicago” and lets the women choose the four they want. The result is that Empresario manage to claim three of their top four choices.
The women feel they were big winners. Perhaps. I’m going to guess that the actual product doesn’t matter, because I think this is another “biggest Rolodex wins” week. After all, if you are asking someone to spend $1,000 for charity, does the actual product really matter?
Nely is proud of her contact list and feels her black book is even better than Gene Simmons’ book. She assures us that she knows Latinos and “many successful women.” When she starts to make calls things seem to be going well for her, although holding a phone, dialing a phone, and patting herself on the back is a challenge to her dexterity. Getting a $7,500 commitment from a real estate company, Nely informs us confidently, “I’m a star!”1 2 3 Next-->
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