The Apprentice 2, Episode 10: Here Come the Bridesby Betsy Wasser -- 11/12/2004
The candidates in the suite mill about, wondering which of their brethren is about to make that lonely cab ride home. Andy asks if Trump seemed to be leaning one way or the other. Jennifer says that it might be Raj, but she thinks Ivana will be the one fired. That might be a bit of wishful thinking on Jennifer’s part. Jennifer goes on to say that Ivana doesn’t offer much to the team, and worse, she can be disruptive.
As if on cue, Ivana returns to the suite, followed by Kevin. Jennifer’s disappointment is easy to read on her face. Andy says that there’s really no question that Raj should have been fired – he was the one in charge and they only had half a house at the end. Ivana says that their team is divided, and that Chris, who is about to be their project manager, doesn’t believe in them.
Chris tells everyone what happened in the boardroom – that he told Trump that the team as it stood couldn’t win because they had no chemistry. Not to mention that Trump was so unimpressed with that little speech that he told Chris he had to be in charge of the next task. Chris says that it’s “sink or swim” for him now. He believes that by telling it like it is, he actually came across as strong. Huh, that didn’t show up on my TV. I should get that fixed.
Chris gathers the team together for a pre-task meeting. He says that it’s clear that none of them are friends, but this is business and they need to work together. Jennifer says that she likes and respects all of them, which is totally not true, as she clearly cannot stand Ivana. Ivana says that instead of complaining about how other people are doing, they should all look to come up with solutions. Jennifer says in an interview that she thinks their conversation was productive, but she has her doubts about whether Chris can lead a group of people he doesn’t respect.
At Mosaic, Kelly says that he’d like to be the project manager because he thinks he’s the most capable. Andy says that he would like the chance, if they’re willing to give it to him. Maria says no, they won’t put him in charge. In an interview, Andy says that he thinks the rest of the team still doesn’t think he’s capable because he’s so young, but he’s going to keep on trying. In the end, they decide once again to pick names from a hat. I can’t help but notice that Maria never volunteered to be in charge. I give Sandy a pass, since she was in charge last week. Sandy picks a name at random, and Kelly is the lucky winner. Andy looks sad. Poor little guy.
The Trump phone rings, and the shirtless guy of the week (this time Kelly) gets it. The teams meet Trump, George, and Carolyn at Tavern on the Green. There, Trump tells them that at least one wedding is held there every week. I bet that’s both really beautiful and really expensive. Trump says, “I know something about weddings,” since he’s had two so far and is planning a third. Maybe the third time’s a charm. The teams will each be given an empty retail space and will have two days to create a bridal salon. The team that makes the most profit wins. Trump points out that Sandy, who owns her own salon, has an advantage in this task… but that also means that there will be a lot of pressure on her. Actually, there’s not that much pressure on Sandy since she was project manager of a winning team last week and is therefore exempt. Still, Sandy looks very excited about the task, and her team looks excited to have her on board. Chris mutters curse words about the unfairness of it all.
Ivana and Kevin check out Apex’s space, and they’re happy to see that it’s nice and big. Ivana thinks it has a lot of potential. Chris thinks they should pack the place with vendors and offer to split the profits with them.
Mosaic is at the suite making plans. Sandy suggests that they start talking to owners of salons to get inventory. Kelly divides the team into two groups. He, Sandy, and Andy will check out the store and get the merchandise. Maria and Wes will handle promotion. Sandy suggests that they call TheKnot.com to get a list of all of their registered brides who live in the New York area. That’s brilliant.
Andy says that Kelly’s strategy is pretty much to defer to Sandy. By doing so, they’ll win the task and Kelly will get next week’s exemption pretty much for free. Well, that’s true, but can you blame him? Wes snickers to himself and wonders how Chris will do at selling wedding gowns.
Well, we’re about to find out. Chris starts calling vendors, and his usual gruff attitude is not getting him very far. One after another, everyone seems to be hanging up on him. He tells one woman that they’re going to have an ad the next day. She asks what good an ad tomorrow is going to be if the sale is tomorrow and says thanks, but no thanks. Hey, she had a point! That doesn’t stop Chris from calling her a nasty word, though. He says that the task is almost impossible. Ivana cannot believe her project manager has thrown in the towel so early. Chris slouches in a corner, looking absolutely miserable… except for a happy face drawn on his knee.
And in direct contrast to that, we get our Trump Lesson of the Week: “Believe in Yourself.” Yes, the slogan that didn’t quite work for Butch in Survivor: Amazon does guide Donald Trump. Clearly, a man who names everything he owns after himself has no problem at all believing in himself. Hey do you think Chris believes in himself this time around? Could this be a hint at how this task is going to shake out?
Over in the sunny land of Mosaic, Sandy leads Kelly and Andy to meet with some vendors. She explains that discontinued dresses may well be the way to go, since they can get them at below cost. At one shop, she asks the owner how many discontinued dresses they could buy. The response is, “How many can you take?” Andy is impressed to see Sandy in her element and says she’s doing a great job. The two of them meet with one potential vendor and Andy, for whatever reason, does the talking. He says that in their space, they’ll be selling the equivalent of anything from a Honda to a Ferrari. “You’re our Ferrari,” he says, in a way that I bet he thinks is smooth, “And we’re going to make sure you’re taken care of.” There’s a slight pause, and the woman smiles. Carolyn laughs and asks Andy if he’s ever done this before.
Kelly calls in to Wes and says that they have a lot of dresses to pick up and need a cargo van to get everything. Wes says that Kelly has cleverly attached himself to Sandy and left Wes and Maria to handle the marketing. Thus, if something goes wrong and they lose the task, Kelly will be able to blame him and Maria for it. That’s a pretty cynical way to look at it. After all, Kelly is smart to use Sandy, as she is the best resource they can possibly get. And Maria, as she reminded us in the NYPD challenge, works in marketing, so you’d think she’d do a good job.
Maria’s marketing strategy seems pretty sound so far. She takes Sandy’s advice and contacts The Knot. They’ll be able to send an email to all of The Knot’s brides in the New York area. For $1,000, they can send the email to 23,000 brides. Maria says that for that, $1,000 isn’t that much money. I’ll say – to reach that many people with such a specifically targeted list, it’s a bargain. Wes is hopeful that their promotion will work.
Meanwhile, Apex is sitting despondently in their empty space. Ivana says they should actually go meet with people instead of getting them on the phone, and Jennifer thinks it’s a great idea. In an interview, Jennifer says that Chris has become increasingly negative. As they leave the space, Chris says, “No task is easy, but this is frickin’ ridiculous.
Jennifer and Chris go together to meet with potential vendors. Jennifer is friendly and charming, while Chris stands next to her and looks bored and unhappy. Jennifer says that despite Chris’s obvious lack of interest in all things bridal, they secured six different vendors.
Meanwhile, Ivana and Kevin talk to Bernadette at the Bridal Suite in Manhattan. As Bernadette shows them dresses, Ivana and Kevin ask her lots of questions. Ivana asks her if it would be effective to advertise their shop as an exclusive one-day sale. Bernadette thinks that would work. Kevin starts to ask her questions about how to set up the space, then asks if she’d consider coming to look at it. Bernadette agrees. Wow, if they can pull off a win, they will owe Bernadette big time. Kevin and Ivana take Bernadette to their space, and she gives them more advice. She suggests that they take advantage of the big windows at the front of the store. She also tells them to be truthful if a dress doesn’t flatter a woman, but to always offer an alternative. Chris feels much better about their chances.
Mosaic is worried about their marketing – the email went out without a phone number on it. Sandy is livid, and says in an interview that Kelly has too much confidence in Maria. Maria claims that the phone number was in the email, but that someone at The Knot must have removed it after she gave her final approval. Yeah, right. Kelly doesn’t seem to believe Maria either, and says that if they lose, she’d be an obvious choice to take to the boardroom.
It really seems like all of these players are working every task with an eye on the boardroom. They seem more conscious of how to allocate blame if something goes wrong than they are on actually winning. It’s disturbing.
Kelly and Wes load a moving van with dresses. Wes is at the wheel, and he is not exactly the greatest driver in the world. In fact, he crunches into a pickup truck. Hope they sprang for the optional insurance. Kelly says that they could outsell the other team and still lose the task if they have to pay for some kind of damage that Wes did. Then, when they park the truck, they have trouble getting the back open. They finally wrench it open and find the dresses scattered all over the floor of the truck. The guys know what must be done: fix all of those dresses before Sandy finds out!
Sandy dresses mannequins while the rest of the team huddles around a laptop. Frustrated, Sandy pulls Kelly aside for a talk. She says that the team is not hustling like they usually do on a task, and that all of the pressure seems to be falling on her shoulders. Sandy adds, “Usually on our tasks, we rock it out, but on this I have a bad feeling.” She is still concerned about their marketing. It should have been easy – she gave Maria great advice. But they have no plan B, and there’s no way they’ll win the task without customers.
The next morning, Apex divides into two groups to pass out flyers at Grand Central and Penn stations. A cameraman gets a shot of one of them crumpled up in the trash. Jennifer says in an interview that she feels confident that they’re reaching a large potential group of customers. With that, we see another flyer in a puddle on the street… and a foot steps on it. That’s not a good sign.
Mosaic meets with The Knot to talk about the email problem. Sandy asks if they can possibly get a second one sent out. The woman agrees, but says she can’t be as sure that the brides will get it. The woman from The Knot goes on to say that the ad was approved without the phone number. Maria blinks uncomfortably, as usual. In an interview, Sandy says that Maria told “a boldfaced lie,” about the phone number being on the email. Sandy hates that Maria won’t take responsibility for her mistake. It is also worth noting that this is the second time marketing professional Maria has made a mistake in the marketing related part of a task. In the Crest challenge, Maria blew the budget by not getting the pricing confirmed with the print vendor. Now she signed off on an ad missing a vital piece of information. She’s not exactly very detail-oriented, is she?
Apex is setting up their shop when George comes to visit. He asks if they have any marketing plans other than the flyers. They do – they’re going to paint sale information on the front windows. Yeah, that’s not exactly going to reach a huge amount of people, is it? Kevin says he hopes they’ll get plenty of traffic.
When Mosaic opens their doors, there are already 40 people waiting in line to see the dresses. Looks like that email worked even without the phone number. Wes jokes around with a customer, then goes outside to work the line.
Apex opens their doors to find… two people in line. Let’s hope those two women are ready to spend a pile of money, or Apex is in big trouble. The two women come inside, and I notice that the merchandise doesn’t look nearly as inviting as it does at Mosaic. Jennifer notes that all of their merchandise is worthless if they don’t have any customer traffic.
Business is booming at Mosaic. The space is full of excited brides, women trying on dresses, and even the obligatory crying mom. Wes feels pretty good about how things are going, but realizes that Apex could have hired someone with the same expertise as Sandy. Yeah, that would have been a good idea. They were on the right track with Bernadette, but for some cash, they might have done even better. Still, Wes doesn’t think the win is in the bag. Those of us watching at home respectfully disagree.
The teams go to the boardroom for the results. Carolyn says that Mosaic worked well as a team and had a beautiful store. They sold 27 dresses for a total of $12,788.94. George reports that Apex did not do as well. They only sold two dresses, for a profit of $1,067.47. Trump understates, “Big difference.” And this is a nice task to win, because Trump is sending Mosaic to the jewelry store where he bought his fiancée Melania’s engagement ring. They’ll have $50,000 to spend on jewelry. Wow, that is definitely the most lavish reward yet. It sure beats the “You may have a picnic lunch on the lawn of my country house,” of last season.
Apex is glum. Kevin, Ivana, and Jennifer talk about it while Chris sleeps nearby. It’s probably not such a good idea to leave your team alone to talk at a time like this. Kevin says that they got an “old fashioned butt-kicking” by the other team.
But for Mosaic, it’s jewelry shopping time! They meet Melania, and Andy says that she’s beautiful. Sandy tries on a $6 million necklace, and Maria sports some gigantic diamond drop earrings. Andy says that because he’s not married, he’ll be shopping for his mom. Aw, what a good boy! Wes buys a gift for his wife, Sandy chooses a necklace, Maria gets a new ring, and Andy says that Kelly “in typical fashion,” buys a watch for himself. Why is it okay for Maria and Sandy to buy things for themselves and not okay for Kelly? I hope Kelly enjoys his new watch. Why not?
Apex does some last minute boardroom planning. Chris calls himself “a straight shooter” (pronounced “straight shoota,” of course), and plans to tell it like it is. Kevin says that not only was Chris in charge of a losing team, but that he didn’t contribute much. On the other hand, the whole team did so badly that Kevin wonders if Trump won’t just fire all of them. That would be a twist, wouldn’t it? Ivana and Jennifer take a break from trying to kill each other to agree that Chris seriously messed up this task. Ivana says that while the rest of them did their best, Chris gave up early on. Chris says he’ll go down swinging, then mutters more swear words under his breath about bridal salons.
As fans of my recaps know, I cannot stand Chris, so at this point I am positively giddy with anticipation. I don’t know how he could possibly get out of this one.
The team gathers in the boardroom, and Trump cuts to the chase, asking Chris what happened. Chris says, quite simply, that they lost. The team wasn’t gelling before, but they came together for this task. Trump isn’t so sure about that, considering that they lost so badly. Chris clarifies that they gelled personally in a way they hadn’t before.
Ivana says that the team rallied in the end, but that Chris was ready to give up pretty early on. Trump says Chris doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who’d give up easily. Wow, what show has Trump been watching? Just last week, Chris told him that if the team stayed together, they’d lose. They hadn’t even gotten out of the boardroom yet and he was ready to give up. Ivana says that Chris throwing up his hands and declaring the task impossible wasn’t exactly encouraging.
Chris admits that he thought the task would be a really tough one for them to win. After all, the other team had Sandy. Carolyn points out that they had the same number of dresses and the same amount of space, even without Sandy on their team. They even had Bernadette, who was willing to give them the benefit of her experience.
George says that the problem was that they didn’t get customers in to the store. What was their marketing plan? They explain that they thought that by passing out flyers, they’d get their message across to a wide group of people. Trump and Carolyn say that the train station was a terrible idea.
Trump asks Kevin if Chris was a bad leader. Kevin says that Chris is a hard worker, but he’s not exactly a planner. And he didn’t delegate any tasks – everyone pretty much pitched in without a clear direction. Jennifer says that Chris lacked energy and focus. Trump says, as an aside, that he loves Chris’s accent, and that it reminds him of home. He asks Chris who he wants to take to the boardroom. Chris says he has to admit that Jennifer did the best job of the four of them, so he’ll take Ivana and Kevin to the boardroom. Before Jennifer goes back to safety, Trump asks her who she would fire. She names Chris for the reasons she had said before; the team had no focus and he was project manager.
Outside the boardroom, Chris tells an angry Ivana and Kevin that it’s nothing personal. Kevin can’t believe Chris opted to protect Jennifer. Inside, Trump says that the whole team was terrible, and Carolyn agrees. They had no positivity. Carolyn is right, of course, and the same is illustrated outside. Ivana says that Jennifer, “always skates by.” Chris says no, that he really thinks Jennifer did a good job. Kevin thinks she duped Chris. George says that none of the candidates had any spark. Carolyn is ready to send all of them home.
Chris, Ivana, and Kevin return to the boardroom. Trump asks Chris why he sent Jennifer back to the suite. Chris says that Ivana and Kevin aren’t happy about it, but that it was the right thing to do. When he and Jennifer met with vendors, Chris says that they commented that if she weren’t a lawyer, she’d do well in the bridal business. Carolyn says she couldn’t have been that good of a saleswoman, or they would have sold more dresses.
Ivana says that Chris is very good at identifying problems – that is to say, he’s good at complaining. Trump is impressed at what an incredible slap that was. Chris shrugs and says that since Ivana has been in the boardroom five times so far, she’s learned a thing or two. Oooh, good one, Chris! Carolyn agrees that they have seen quite a lot of Ivana. Ivana argues that she keeps getting picked because she takes on so much responsibility. Yeah, you keep telling yourself that, Ivana. Also, maybe they’re all jealous of you. Trump asks Chris if he should just fire Ivana now. Chris thinks that’s a fine idea. After all, he’s never been sent to the boardroom before, and Ivana knows the place all too well.
Frustrated, Trump says that the three of them are showing more spark now than they did on the task. He goes on to remind Chris that he declared at the end of the last task that the team was a mess and would lose if they weren’t mixed up. He sent Jennifer back to the suite, and Trump might have fired her. And Chris was a terrible leader.
I think we all know where this is going, don’t we? Chris is fired.
Really, I don’t think there was much doubt as to how this one was going to go. None of the four members of the team really did anything especially impressive. Ivana and Kevin, at least, brought in Bernadette, who was probably a huge help. And Jennifer really did do a good job of working with those vendors. Chris, on the other hand, contributed nothing but a negative attitude. And that negativity didn’t just come because he thought it would be hard to beat a team with Sandy on it at this task. He was just as negative about talking to the public in the restaurant task and thought he was too good to work with dogs, to name two examples off the top of my head.
All in all, I think this task was lost due to poor marketing on Apex’s part. For only $1,000, Mosaic was able to get 23,000 targeted customers. Sure, Sandy had some inside knowledge that led her to come up with that plan in the first place, but couldn’t Apex have thought of something else? They could have asked wedding planners, florists, and cake bakers to pass out flyers. They could have teamed with a department store’s bridal registry. Apex’s plan to blanket the city with flyers was much more haphazard. Even though they had just as much merchandise as Mosaic did, they just didn’t have enough customers walking through the door to compete.
In his final cab ride, Chris says that he’s disappointed, but proud that he did as well as he did. He has a wonderful wife and a baby on the way (which makes me dislike him slightly less), so he has no regrets. He doesn’t even regret telling Trump that the team was doomed to fail, because he believes in telling it like it is. He concludes by thanking Donald Trump for expanding his horizons.
Next week, only 8 candidates remain, and things are getting personal. Billy Joel guest stars. And NBC guarantees an exclusive boardroom – when you think it’s over, it’s not over. Oooh, this is going to be good.
Betsy is the Associate Editor of RealityNewsOnline and is pleased that Chris will now finally shut up, as she’s been advising for weeks. She can be reached with any comments at email@example.com.