The Apprentice 2, Episode 7: Dog Eat Dogby Betsy Wasser -- 10/22/2004
The candidates hang out in the suite, wondering what’s happening to their collegues in the boardroom. Everyone knows that John brought Kevin and Andy into the boardroom and wonder what will happen. Kelly says that Andy is at risk because he asks too many questions. Wes, however, thinks Andy is creative, and that he contributed more to the fashion task than John did. Sure enough, Andy and Kevin return – John was fired. Wes says people should think twice before taking Andy to the boardroom, as obviously Trump sees something in him that he likes. Everyone sits down to dinner when the Trump Phone rings. Everyone is surprised to learn that they need to report back to the boardroom immediately. In my favorite line of the night, Andy says he doesn’t want to go to the boardroom again – “I just got back. I wanted to eat my taco.”
Everyone files in to the boardroom, and Trump notes that some of them are not as well dressed as he’s used to seeing them. He’s surprised they weren’t prepared. Right, like they should be sitting around the suite in their suits at all times. Trump tells the teams to pick project managers right away. After some huddling, the men choose Wes and the women choose Jennifer. Trump tells them that it’s time for a corporate reshuffle. But in a cruel twist to the always cruel practice of picking teams, the project managers must choose three people that they don’t want on their teams. Jennifer gets rid of Sandy, Maria, and Stacy. Good choices all – Sandy doesn’t seem to contribute much, Maria hasn’t done anything too impressive yet, and Lil Stacy seems to be an annoying mosquito that everyone just wants to swat away. Wes sends Raj to the women, then Chris and a surprised looking Kevin. I’m not sure why Wes chose as he did, but I think it was a smart move to hang on to Kelly, who has done really well in several tasks.
Trump tells the candidates that Jennifer’s team will be Apex, and Wes’s team will be Mosaic. He wonders aloud if the players will be happy to be where they are, or annoyed to have been traded. Sandy obviously has the latter attitude, and says in an interview that she’s determined to make Jennifer regret sending her to the other team.
Back in the suite, Wes gathers new Mosaic together so that he can learn more about his new teammates. He says that he already knows that Lil Stacy is good at “arguing and asking questions.” Obviously, her reputation has preceded her. Stacy tells him that her questions helped the team. Yes, that must be why she went to the boardroom so very many times. Then, in an interview, she says that the guys have the perception that she’s very opinionated, and she proudly says it’s true. Then, we see her blathering a million miles a minute, asking rapid-fire questions about how the men operate. In an interview, Wes says Lil Stacy never shuts up, and that her constant second guessing wastes a lot of time.
Meanwhile, Jennifer asks her new team members to discuss their strengths and weaknesses, but she’d like to hear the answers from their teammates. Kevin says that Raj has great ideas, but can be long-winded at times, and can also be a little too creative. Jennifer promises to stifle that creativity. Hee! In an interview, Raj wonders how Jennifer will be as a project manager. He says that she’s analytical and calculating, as well as beautiful, an especially dangerous combination. Laws, does Raj love the ladies. I have a feeling that if Trump fires him later, on his way out of the boardroom, he’ll ask the beautiful Carolyn what she’s doing after.
The next morning, the Trump Phone rings, and the candidates learn they need to meet in Central Park. There, Trump gives them their latest challenge: they must create a dog service business of some kind. Whichever team has the most money at the end wins. George is away on business, so Allen, who you might remember from last season’s interview episode, will be taking his place. As the candidates get ready for the task, Lil Stacy says in an interview that she’s not really a dog person, but she’ll do whatever it takes to win.
It’s time for the Trump Lesson of the Week! This week: “Sell your ideas.” Trump tells us that if you have a good idea, keep selling it. Some of the best ideas were initially met with resistance.
The new Apex team is made up of Chris, Jennifer, Raj, Kevin, Ivana, and Elizabeth. Chris says that he doesn’t have the education his teammates have, but that he’s been an entrepreneur since he was 11 and makes more money than the rest of them do. I didn’t hear anyone ask, Chris, but okay. Jennifer quickly decides that they will start a pet grooming business. They have $1,000 seed money, so she sends a delegation to a pet supplier for shampoo, dog biscuits, and so forth.
The team gets to work right away. Elizabeth promotes the service as “doggie makeovers,” which is a cute gimmick. Their price is $20, prompting one potential customer to say, “You just lost me.” Raj is worried that their plan isn’t working. The dogs either hate baths or their owners don’t have any cash on them. They’ve only washed 10 dogs so far, and Raj is concerned. He suggests to Jennifer that they send some people to the other side of the park to set up a second location. She says no, that she needs him there to sell. Raj thinks it’s a mistake, saying, “I think we’re moving down a path towards defeat and doom.”
Wes, Andy, Sandy, Maria, Kelly, and Lil Stacy are the new Mosaic team. Kelly is worried about how to work with Lil Stacy. She can be really annoying, and the pitch of her questions gets on his nerves. Wes says that they’ve decided to do a dog wash, and to give the proceeds to charity. They’d like to work with the Fire Department of New York, but soon discover that plan won’t work. Lil Stacy is frustrated because they wasted a lot of time pursuing that idea. I didn’t hear her come up with another one, but no matter. In an interview, she says, “But that was not my responsibility. Our failure was attributed solely to Wes.” Ever notice how nothing is ever Stacy’s fault?
Meanwhile, Andy, Kelly, and Maria are off buying supplies. Andy gets a call from the rest of the team and learns that they won’t be able to work with the fire department. He calls the pet store and asks them for animal-related charities that they could donate to. The only one that’s open is called Kitty Kind. Andy calls them up and offers their services. The Kitty Kind rep is a little surprised by the suggestion because, as she puts it, ‘But we’re a cat shelter.” Andy says they’re all in favor of helping animals, and seals the deal. Well done, Andy… except that when he, Maria, and Kelly get out of the cab, they quickly realize that Andy left his cell phone behind. Now the groups can’t split up because they wouldn’t be able to communicate. Kelly says it’s a potentially huge problem.
Back at Apex, Raj suggests again to Jennifer that they start a second location. This time, she agrees, and sends Chris and Ivana to another dog park. They offer dog massages at $1 a minute. Chris says in an interview that the idea was “freakin’ nuts,” and that if someone offered him a dog massage, he’d want to kick them in the head. Once again, Chris really needs to shut up. I didn’t see him come up with a better idea. Then, he tells us that he’s wearing an expensive Rolex watch, and that it is thus degrading and embarrassing for him to be massaging dogs. I don’t care how much money Chris spent on that watch; it doesn’t make him any less of a jackass. I wonder if the pet supply store sells muzzles big enough for Chris.
Mosaic is finally up and running. While Andy hustles customers, the rest of the team sets up. They are offering “Extreme Doggie Makeovers” for $15. Kelly is worried about how they’ll do, since they missed the lunch rush at the dog park. The team attempts to make some extra sales by offering Polaroid before and after pictures of the dogs, which is a cute idea.
Stacy thinks they should run with the photography idea by buying some outfits for the dogs, dressing them up, and selling pictures. Honestly, it’s not a bad idea. They could probably do a lot of pictures, sell them for five or ten bucks each, and turn a lot of customers fast. The question is, do they have the time and money to make the plan work? Wes thinks the costumes will be too expensive, so he and Lil Stacy go to a pet store to find out. The costumes are in the $30 range. Since they’d need to buy several, and in different sizes, for Stacy’s idea to work, it looks like it’s out of reach, so Wes tells her no. Stacy keeps arguing with her. In an interview, Wes sums it all up by saying, “Instead of having good ideas and speaking about them, she argues about it, and that’s a waste of the team’s time.” Wes tries to drag Stacy out of the pet store, and she gets distracted by some studded and jeweled collars, a half-assed costume if I ever saw one. Those too are in the $30 range, so Wes tells her no again.
Jennifer and Kevin work together to cut dogs’ nails. Jennifer says she’s just looking for as many ideas as they can get. Their first dog manicure customer, naturally resists. Kevin isn’t so sure cutting nails is such a good idea, since dogs have a lot of nerve endings in their claws, and it’s easy to cut their paws. He holds and calms the dogs while Jennifer clips. Kevin says that the task was a real team effort, and it will be close.
Carolyn watches Mosaic, and thinks they’re doing well. She says that Kelly and Sandy are washing the dogs. Maria is “looking provocative” in her short skirt and spiked heels. Carolyn’s not sure if Maria is selling the service or herself. Hee! Andy is chasing after customers, and Stacy is… well, Carolyn’s not sure what exactly Stacy is doing. Uh-oh. I love Carolyn. It’s worth noting here that the women are all wearing FDNY shirts, even though they aren’t actually giving money to the fire department. I suspect they bought the shirts before they found out they wouldn’t be able to use that part of their plan. If I’m right, that’s an unfortunate waste of money.
Carolyn isn’t the only one noticing Stacy’s lack of cooperation. Sandy is hard at work washing dogs, but Stacy hasn’t offered any support. Sandy says Stacy never offered to bring her a glass of water or to help wash the dogs. Then when the task was over, Stacy said she was filthy. Since Sandy was on the ground washing dogs all day, she isn’t exactly sympathetic. Wes says that they had some good traffic, and that every dollar counts.
Over at Apex, Chris notes that the sun is going down, so time is running out. He thinks they’re going to lose. That’s the spirit! Once the task is over, the team showers up, changes out of their nasty dog clothes, and goes out for dinner. Jennifer says in an interview that she’s a dog person, so she felt like the best place for her was in the trenches, with the team, washing dogs. She tells the team she’s proud of the fact that she only got two bleeds while cutting nails. Ivana is less impressed. She says that Jennifer doesn’t know how to lead, as opposed to being a member of the team. Something tells me, though, that if Jennifer had taken a more hands-off role, Ivana would have said that she wasn’t involved in the task. Really, there’s more than one way to be a leader, and Jennifer opted to lead by example. We’ll see if it worked.
The teams head to the boardroom. Jennifer says she was pleased with her team, and Wes thinks his team worked really hard. Carolyn says that Mosaic got a late start and earned $122.12, which she deems “okay.” Allen says that because Apex diversified their locations and services, they did much better, with $307.41. Apex wins! Their reward will be to meet New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg at Gracie Mansion.
Apex is excited to see the mayor. They ask him what it’s like to be in politics compared to business. Bloomberg says that business is dog eat dog (which I swear was the title of my article before he said it), and that politics is “the exact opposite.” Raj thinks Bloomberg’s opinions are especially valuable since he’s been a success in both business and politics. Bloomberg advises the candidates to never compromise their standards and objectives. Raj concludes the reward portion of the show by saying that he finds the opportunity to talk to successful people to be a much more valuable reward than just a nice dinner.
At the suite, the pre-boardroom sniping is in full swing. Lil Stacy says that they could have “struck gold” with her pet photo idea. She adds that she never would want to give dog massages, suggesting that was a bad idea. Well, it was a bad idea that beat you, wasn’t it? Wes says that there is no way Stacy will be the next apprentice. She talks and argues way too much. He tells Stacy that he won’t bad-mouth her in the boardroom if she does the same for him. He adds that it’s easy to point fingers at the project manager. Immediately after, the editors show us Stacy saying in an interview that Wes failed, it’s his fault they lost, and that he’ll surely be fired.
The team heads to the boardroom, and Trump questions Maria (who is wearing a flower pin that is almost as big as her head) first. He says that since she’s exempt this week, she can speak freely. What went wrong? Maria says they had a problem with leadership, and that they didn’t have much time to complete a tough task. Trump says the task wasn’t that hard. Kelly says that Wes made some critical mistakes, and that his slow decisions caused them to miss the lunch rush. Carolyn asks him how many dogs he washed in two hours. He’s not sure – maybe eight? Carolyn says that it was only four. Sandy says that she washed dogs also, and that she did as many as Kelly did. Trump asks how many that was – four or eight? He says that he hates people who exaggerate. I don’t think Kelly really meant anything by it. He was just giving a guess as to how many dogs he washed in those first few hours.
Sandy adds that there wasn’t enough traffic in their location and that they didn’t charge enough. Trump agrees that it was the wrong location. Wes says the location was fine, but it was just slow. Well, then, the location wasn’t fine, was it, Wes?
Wes says that they weren’t able to switch locations or to start a second branch because Andy lost the phone in the cab. Trump says that he’s been sticking up for Andy for weeks, but now he’s not so sure that was a good idea. He calls Andy a disaster. Andy says that’s not true, and that he closed more deals than anyone else.
Trump asks Wes what the problem is with Andy. Is it, once again, that he’s too young? Wes says that Andy requires too much management. It’s interesting – project managers keep saying that about Andy, but we really haven’t seen it yet. I suspect it’s true, since we’ve heard it so many times. Andy points out that he made a huge contribution by finding the team’s charity, Kitty Kind. Trump thinks the charity was a bad choice, since it’s for cats, not dogs, adding, “The last thing dogs want to know is that they’re helping cats.” Hee! Allen thinks they should have offered more services, like the other team did. Trump can’t believe dog massage exists, and says he’d rather stick to building buildings.
Trump asks Stacy if she is at all to blame for the team’s loss. Stacy maintains that she had nothing at all to do with it. She says she’d fire Andy, because Wes had his faults, but is stronger than Andy overall. Andy says he’d fire Wes.
Trump asks Wes who he wants to bring to the boardroom. Wes chooses Andy and Lil Stacy. He explains that Kelly and Sandy did a great job, and that Maria is exempt, so he has no reason to bring a third person with him. That makes sense. The candidates leave so that Trump, Allen, and Carolyn can talk about them.
Carolyn says that Stacy didn’t produce anything, that Andy was all over the place, and that Wes was a poor leader. I have a feeling that if Carolyn had the choice, she’d fire the lot of them right now. Allen says that Andy’s losing the phone was a huge problem, but that Stacy didn’t put in enough effort. He asks, “What did she do other than debate?”
Stacy is so screwed, I just know it.
Trump calls the three back into the boardroom. He asks Wes why he chose Stacy. Wes says that Stacy wasted time with bad ideas. Her pet costume thing was too expensive and they didn’t have enough time to execute it well. Yet, she kept bringing it up, which wasted the team’s time.
Stacy, of course, argues with that. It was, she says, a great idea. Carolyn asks her if she’s just bad at selling her ideas. Then, she bluntly asks Stacy what she contributed. Stacy says she did promotions, but Carolyn says Maria did the same thing. Why didn’t Wes use Lil Stacy’s ideas? Stacy blames Wes for failing to see her wisdom. Andy says that Stacy has good ideas, but doesn’t do a good job of convincing others to buy them.
Trump says that’s crucial to sell your ideas (and maybe at that moment, he thought, “Hey, that would make a great Trump Lesson of the Week!”). Carolyn says that sometimes you have to fight to get your point across. Allen agrees, and says that you have to convince the leader, not just stand in the way. Wes says that’s why he is such a good leader – people listen to his ideas. Trump basically tells him to forget that notion, that he was a lousy leader. Andy’s losing the phone was a horrible mistake. But he hates that Lil Stacy never takes responsibility for anything. Stacy says she’d like to be responsible and would love to be project manager. That’s funny, because I never heard her volunteer. Carolyn says it’s not up to them to make her project manager – she needs to convince her team to put her in charge. Trump says that Lil Stacy is always complaining and consistently blames the project manager for what went wrong. Even though Wes and Andy made some big mistakes, Stacy is fired.
Really, any one of these three could have been reasonably fired this week. Wes wasted a lot of time with the charity idea and got a late start, which was a big problem for the team. Because Andy lost the phone, the team wasn’t able to work more than one location, which definitely cost them business. And Stacy not only didn’t offer anything to the team, she actually hurt them by being a constant negative voice. In the end, it looks like Andy and Wes have more potential than Stacy does to contribute to the team, so it makes sense that Stacy got the axe this week.
Lil Stacy grabs a suitcase that is almost as big as she is, and heads for the street. Wes tries to give her a hug, but she refuses and shakes his hand instead. In the boardroom, Carolyn is still disgusted with Lil Stacy. “For her to say give me the responsibility,” Carolyn asks, “Go get it yourself.” Trump says that Lil Stacy never took responsibility, and he’s tired of it.
In Lil Stacy’s cab ride home, she says Wes tried to blame her for their failure, which is “amusing” to her, since she tried to help. She says that Trump didn’t get to know her. She has no regrets, and learned a lot. It kills me that every week, the person who got fired claims to have no regrets and to have learned a lot. You’d think that if they really did learn a lot, they’d have figured out why they lost and might regret something that they did.
Next week, Andy apparently decides he’s had enough of being dragged to the boardroom, so he fights back by serving as project manager. And is there a mutiny at Apex? The voiceover promises, “It’s getting vicious.” I am so there.
Betsy is the Associate Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached with any comments at email@example.com.