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Celebrity Apprentice, Episode 5: I Smell A Rat… Or, Is It A Mole?by Brian Towers -- 02/01/2008
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Last week, in a task that on the surface was about selling Broadway tickets but really was another battle of Rolodexes, Team Empresario came this close to winning. The key was that a Piers Morgan contact delivered in the last minute for Hydra, while one of Nely Galán’s contacts just missed the closing bell. In the Boardroom, Jennie Finch was sent home, essentially for not being a cutthroat you-know-what.
For your reference, here are the team rosters as the episode begins:Hydra
Action begins back in the suite with contestants discussing recent events. The women indicate that Carol is the one they want gone. Trace asks why, and Omarosa responds, “It’s personal. She’s a twit. I don’t like twits.” Well, if that isn’t the pot cal… ahh, let’s not go there again. I think the real reason is because they know Carol could potentially win and they know Jennie never had a chance of winning.
When Carol and Marilu return, Omarosa is somehow the first to hug Carol. A few minutes later, Omarosa hides her disappointment by whispering to the camera, “Everybody has to go at one point in this process. As long as it’s not me… oh well.”
Action shifts to Vinny delivering his check to his charity. You may remember that he is playing for the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, donating in honor of his deceased friend Mitchell Berke. For them, $50,000 is a very significant amount.
In the next scene Trump meets with the surviving contestants in Macy’s department store. Daughter Ivanka, son Don Junior, and two sponsor representatives accompany him. Trump announces that due to another commitment Tito is not here this week, so the Hydra advantage will only be one person.
Trump tells Empresario they have one last chance, and then he’ll have to give them some help. He encourages Carol Alt to be the PM for Empresario, and that’s what happens. Piers is going to be the PM for the men of Hydra.
The featured product this week is the footwear, Crocs. Two sponsor executives step up to explain that they want the celebrities to create an awareness campaign for a new program called “Soles United.” The program solicits the donation of old Crocs that the company recycles, making new shoes to be donated around the world. This sounds worthy. The teams must build collection booths for the shoes. The winner will be decided by the subjective decision of the Crocs executives.
In the van ride back, Carol says their approach should be “simple, direct, and from the heart. This is really a ‘heart’ campaign.” She thinks their focus should be “brand recognition, creativity, and overall design.” Omarosa notes there is no specific logo to work with and it is the shoe itself that is recognizable. It sounds to me like they are on the right track! Carol tells us she knows her team is demoralized and fractured, and if they don’t win, she’s probably done for.
When it’s time to sit down for some serious planning the teams discover their two war rooms are right next door to each other, separated only by frosted glass walls. Very subtle planning, Mr. Trump!
Piers starts off by telling Hydra that the two main things are “brand messaging and creativity.” That sounds somewhat familiar. Trace comes up with the knockout slogan, “Wear them, share them.” I love it!
Trace thinks he detects the women outside their door, trying to overhear the Hydra discussion. The way they keep shouting their slogan that wouldn’t really be necessary, but let’s get past that. Vinny takes a peek into the hall, and one of the ladies is seen returning to their room. They seem to be walking at a normal pace and not running, but the clip is so brief, I cannot identify them for sure. I think it must be Nely, though. The men believe they have been spied upon, and devise a counter-plan.
Piers has the idea that he will fake a fight with Vinny so Vinny can leave their room and hang about outside, possibly eavesdropping right back. Every member of Hydra is smiling, laughing, and visibly supportive of this joke.
In a solo moment, Vinny insists he has been given an assignment and is just following orders. So, he decides to take it one step farther. He knocks on Empresario’s door, tells them he’s been cast out, and asks the girls if he can work with them instead. The ladies send him outside while they think it over. Inside Empresario’s room, Marilu wonders if this is a setup, but business-savvy Omarosa is sure it is not. They decide to take Vinny up on his offer. Really?
Vinny comes back to Hydra ostensibly to collect his belongings, and there’s time for a moment of talk. Piers asks him to infiltrate Empresario and report on their plans. Vinny agrees, with no reservations. No one else from Hydra is on camera, but we definitely see no discussion or disagreement to the plan.
Watershed moment, here. What started out as a joke has passed the point of no return. Buckle up; it’s going to be a bumpy ride!
In a cameo, Piers points out that Trump told the women this was their last chance to show they could do this without the men, yet the first chance they get, they jump at the chance to enlist the aid of a man. He’s sure Trump will see this as a weakness on their part. He says they should have seen though this plan, and it’s a bit embarrassing for them that they didn’t.
Vinny tells the women he’s angry with Piers and wants to see the women win. As best I remember, he’s working harder at this task than any we’ve seen so far.
Marilu puts forth the slogan, “Soles United: Share the Love.” Not bad, but I like the Hydra one better. Then Omarosa offers the idea that they design their booth like an oversized croc shoe. Vinny suggests that it’s time for Carol Alt to use her celebrity and put her image in the display.
Regrettably, no one suggests that Omarosa dress up in a crocodile costume. Too bad – she has the jaws for it! Nonetheless, I’m very impressed how well this team is working together. Everyone is contributing and everyone is animated.
Omarosa then shares with us how pleased she is with Carol’s progress from “a twit” to “a really smart cookie” who is a strong project manager.1 2 3 Next-->
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