The Apprentice 3, Episode 4 Extras: Firing in Big City Xby Jenn Brasler -- 02/14/2005
We start off with the members of Net Worth and Magna who didn't go to the boardroom trying to decide who will be fired. Michael and Stephanie return, much to the surprise of Erin, who was sure that Trump would waive Michael's exemption and give him the boot. Bren says that the father in him emerged and he decided that Michael needed some discipline. His criticism seems to hit home and Michael says that he needed to be shaken up.
The next morning, after learning that Trump will be speaking to them via TV, the candidates try to figure out what their next task will be. After everyone gathers, Trump gives them their assignment.
As Magna gathers to brainstorm, Erin says that most of the team members don't have experience in advertising. Bren makes his suggestion, which everyone likes (except George and Michael). Michael even calls it "disturbing."
Net Worth is in their studio, preparing for the shoot. Kristen interviews that her boyfriend's a director and she's seen him on sets and lives in Hollywood. Apparently, that makes her the perfect candidate to direct this task. In fact, Kristen says that she should be the director. She wants to take control, because she knows that the finished product will be good. Kristen literally tells John that they don't need him at the studio and sends him and Craig off to work on the music.
Kristen says that the storyboard artist is very important, so she meets with one. Angie wants to stay with John and Craig's original ideas, which Kristen has kind of gotten away from. Kristen says that they'll put everything in and then see what looks best with the editing. Tana interviews that Kristen should have met with the storyboard artist while John and Craig were there, since they knew what they wanted to do. The artist is confused about the body wash; she seems to think it's a power drink. That would make a lot of sense, though it wouldn't be much more creative. Kristen wants a bunch of quick cuts to get the point across. She calls this "metaphorical." I'm not sure what she thinks the quick shots are a metaphor for.
Net Worth sets up for their shoot and the models arrive. Tana says that she was assigned to work with the models because she has good people skills. In the first episode, Tana got on my nerves because she was so excited, but now I really like her. And I completely agree that out of all of her team members (with the exception of John, who was in the music studio), she was the best choice for this job. Kristen talks to the camera guy about creating the illusion of having more runners. Interesting, since she kept telling the models to bunch together, which makes you see exactly how many people are running. Audrey calls the ad "cheesy."
The main runner (who I personally think looks a lot like Antonio Banderas) seems to think the ad is cheesy, too. Kristen has him rub some of the body wash on his arms, and he's mouthing, "What the [heck]?" as he does it. He does this while they're filming and Kristen tells him he can't do that. She directs the runners, and while they're waiting to do the scene yet again, one of them complains to the others. She tells Kristen that they've been there a long time, so Kristen should just tell them what to do and they'll do it and then get out of there. When the shoot is finally finished, Kristen says that they'll sleep and then edit in the morning.
Magna films in their studio. Alex says that Erin has a positive leadership style and put him in charge of directing the ad. Stephanie and Alex are both tickled by the sexual nature of the ad. Michael calls the cucumber scene an "analogy" for the lack of sex among the team members. At least he was closer on the use of a grammatical term than Kristen was. Erin washes one of the actors, then decides that they need to cut this scene, since it looks like porn. Michael wonders how the cucumber scene is any different, adding that at least the scene with the washing advertises the product as a body wash. When Michael is the voice of reason, you know you have a problem.
Net Worth edits their ad the morning after shooting. John is disappointed that they didn't shoot more footage. Kristen seems to be the only person who's happy with the ad. She says that she controls her decision-making and could do the task on her own.
Magna edits their ad. Alex calls the cucumber "gratuitous," but he doesn't seem to think that's a bad thing. Erin says that they gave the ad a "different flavor." Bren jokes to Alex that he's going to Hell for this. Alex interviews that he and Bren are both conservative churchgoers. Alex jokes back to Bren that, yes, he's going to Hell, but Alex will be right behind him. He says that the ad is over-the-top but funny. Michael thinks that Trump will tell Bren to get his head examined. Bren thinks that Michael is a mess anyway, so it doesn't really matter what he thinks.
Magna heads into their presentation dressed in chef costumes. After Donny Deutsch tells them to take off their hats, Erin introduces the ad. Bren says that to have a good product, one must have the right ingredients, and Deutsch gave them the right ingredients - the right product, the right tools, and the right atmosphere. The right atmosphere? Did he provide the "bun chicka wa wa" music? We see Magna's ad. I've now seen this ad about six times, which is six times too many. After the presentation, Magna goes into another room and celebrates. Michael says that they're oblivious to the fact that they just embarrassed themselves.
Net Worth gives their presentation, which Tara introduces. She says that they want to take the body wash out of the house and into the streets. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people lathering up with body wash on the streets. Tara says, "The rat race isn't always won by the fastest runner, but the smartest competitor." Which has… what to do with body wash? We see Net Worth's ad.
Once alone with his viceroys, Deutsch calls both ads "silly." One of the viceroys doesn't like the idea that, in Magna's ad, the men leave together and the woman winds up with a cucumber - does that mean women who buy this product wind up with a cucumber? Heh.
The teams return and Deutsch calls Trump. Deutsch says that both teams had big problems and big misses. There's no winner, so Trump says that both teams will go to the boardroom and only Angie is safe.
The teams head to the boardroom, where Erin tells Trump that her team worked together well. Trump points out that they still didn't do a good job. We have to watch the ad again. George notes that the ad is emphasizing the odor of the body wash, not the wash itself. He says the ad shows "just smell and innuendos." Erin says that they wanted to make an ad that was memorable. Okay, but there's memorable for being good and memorable for being ridiculous.
Alex agrees with Deutsch that their ad was bad. Stephanie says that their team was effective and hit their timelines for the first time. Trump doesn't seem to care, since their ad was offensive. Erin says that he shouldn't fire someone from her team because they had the better ad, worked better together than Net Worth, and the team members care for each other more. Is it just me, or do a lot of the things Erin says sound like she's rehearsed them?
We see Net Worth's ad again, which Carolyn can't help laughing at. She says that she can't even watch it. Kristen thinks that their main problem was not having the actor wash the body wash off of his face. Angie calls Kristen out as a bad leader and says that she didn't delegate well. She's embarrassed by their performance. Tara thinks that Kristen took the safe route. She allows that Kristen remained calm throughout the task, though Tara wasn't sure she would. She adds that Kristen listened to her team members, since she took John and Craig's idea. She obviously didn't listen well enough, since she didn't pick up all of the pieces.
Carolyn points out that people use body wash in the shower, with water. Kristen says that they would have used water, but the models were being difficult. Way to demonstrate good leadership, there, Kristen. Tana argues that the models were perfectly happy. Well, except for the fact that they didn't like Kristen very much. Chris is asked for his opinion and this leads to the homosexuality and Will and Grace discussions. Are NBC executives slipping Erin money under the table to promote Will and Grace? Decision time comes, and Erin chooses Bren and Michael to accompany her to the boardroom while Kristen chooses Audrey and Tana.
After Trump chats with Carolyn and George, the six candidates return to the boardroom. Kristen and Audrey get right into it and Audrey says that Trump should fire Kristen rather than a member of Magna. Erin says that Trump should fire someone from Net Worth. Michael, surprisingly, says that his team did come together and points out that they took a risk. Trump tells Kristen that her team turned on each other. Kristen picks on Audrey, who says that she's making things personal. Audrey doesn't need a babysitter and says that she supported Kristen during the task. Tana also blames Kristen for the problems with the ad, but she's a little more tactful.
Audrey argues that Kristen didn't have the same ideas that John presented. Trump asks why Kristen didn't bring John in and Kristen says that she didn't want the ad to be funny. Audrey says that she did say she wanted the ending to be funny. Trump asks if the whole thing boils down to a matter of control.
Kristen complains that it was hard to lead her team members. Trump asks if she thinks Magna would be an easy team to lead. He thinks that of the two teams, she had the one that was easier to lead. Kristen points out that Magna didn't do well, either. That's not going to help. Trump replies that at least Magna held together. Kristen tries the as-yet-unsuccessful Apprentice method of arguing one's way out of a firing, but it remains unsuccessful and she's fired.
In the cab, Kristen says that Trump made a mistake by firing her. She thinks that she was one of the strongest members of her team. She took initiative because her team doesn't know how to take control. She says that she did an "incredible" job. She thinks that Trump would have been happy if he'd hired her. She wishes John, Craig, Tara, and Tana luck. Somewhere, Chris is wondering what he did wrong. Kristen says that everyone pointed fingers at her after they lost. They respected her before, but not after they lost. I'd say that's debatable.
We get to see both ads again, but there's nothing new to them.
Next week: poor Trump.
Jenn Brasler is an aspiring writer from Falls Church, VA. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She's trying to decide whether to use her powers for good…or evil.
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