The Apprentice 2, Episode 13: Candy Strippersby Betsy Wasser -- 12/03/2004
Welcome to another exciting episode of The Apprentice. In case you’re wondering, yes, I will be writing a recap of the extras on Wednesday night’s clip-show episode. Watch this space, and I’ll fill you all in on the new material. But until then, let’s get right into this week’s episode, which was a really good one.
Kevin, Kelly, and Ivana are hanging out in the suite, wondering who will go home next. They’re thinking it’ll be Jen. Kevin says that she contributes, but she contributes very little. He doesn’t think she’ll win – the powers that be are on to her. It turns out, of course, that he’s wrong. Jen returns to the suite, along with Sandy. Ivana spies Jen and whispers the news to the guys.
Ivana immediately starts asking what went down in the boardroom. Did Andy get fired because it was all his idea? Jen says that since they’re so close to the end of the game, she really doesn’t want to give anything away, so she prefers not to talk about it. In an interview, Sandy says it was the most intense boardroom she’s ever experienced. She and Jen go off together to talk about what happened, and Sandy asks Jen if she thought Sandy would go over Andy. Jen says she really doesn’t know – anything can happen. In another interview, Sandy says that Jen takes the game very seriously, and she’s not there to make friends or be popular. The two women agree that they’re looking forward to working on the next task, just the two of them. They think Trump wants to see them working well together.
The Trump phone rings, and for those of you keeping score, a shirtless Kelly answers it. Yay, topless boys! The candidates are to meet at the Trump International Hotel and Tower. When they arrive, Trump sends them into the next room, finishes his fake meeting, then joins the candidates. It’s a weird little interlude. Trump tells them how successful his hotel is and that he believes in quality. Their next task will deal with quality as well. He says that he loves chocolate, and that M&M Mars is one of the biggest sellers of chocolate out there. The teams will work on the assembly line to manufacture the new M&M Mazing bar. They’ll then sell any chocolate bars that they produce which pass a rigorous inspection process. The team that makes the most profit wins.
Kelly, as project manager of last week’s winning team, is exempt from being fired. He’s got the golden ticket! Ivana will be in charge of Apex. Sandy and Jen spend a few minutes talking it over and agree that Sandy will lead Mosaic. Trump says that starting next week, they’ll be working as individuals rather than as teams, so there will be no more exemptions.
It’s time for the Trump Lesson of the Week! This week: “Know Your Enemy.” Trump says to never underestimate your enemy. Interestingly, I believe Master Yoda taught Luke Skywalker a similar lesson. Both Yoda and Donald Trump agree that underestimating your opponent can lead to your downfall.
Apex heads to the chocolate factory. Kevin says that they only have a limited amount of time to produce the chocolate bars they’ll be selling. He admits to being a little disappointed that there is no chocolate river and no oompa loompas lurking around (though I suspect he’ll find a world of pure imagination right here in my recap). He learns how the assembly line works and decides that one part of the line should move more slowly. In an interview, Ivana says that she appreciates the fact that Kevin will notice problems and try to solve them, but that he doesn’t always ask first. No, he doesn’t. It’s called taking initiative, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing, Ivana. I note that although Ivana knows Kevin made this decision, she doesn’t do anything to stop him.
Sandy says that it’s interesting to work with Jen because she is truly all business. Sandy says Jen’s a little on the plastic side, like a mannequin. The two of them get to work on the assembly line, and alas, there is no I Love Lucy style wackiness from the two of them. Carolyn peeks in and notices that in two and a half hours, they’ve produced exactly 10 usable candy bars – not so good. Then, the physical comedy does begin, as Sandy falls on the floor and several trays of chocolate fall off the conveyer belt. Quick, stuff them down your blouse!
Sandy says that she wants to take the time to produce the best quality bars possible, since it’ll be a wasted effort if they don’t pass inspection, anyway. The inspectors arrive to look at the chocolate, and Sandy is a little bit sad every time one of her babies is rejected. In the end, they have 290 candy bars to sell. Sandy wishes they had more to sell and is a little worried that Apex will be able to produce a lot more, since they have three team members.
She’s right to be worried, it turns out. Apex has 323 candy bars to sell.
The next morning, Sandy and Jen get ready to do battle. They’ve arranged for a van with an M&M Mazing bar wraparound graphic to drive them around the city, which is a smart idea. They’ve also decided to wear matching outfits. They tease up their hair and don red tank tops and short skirts. In the spirit of teamwork, they share some glitter spray for their cleavage. That’s hot (sorry, but I did recap two seasons of The Simple Life). Sandy credits Jen with coming up with the idea of having them match. The two of them drive to Wall Street, and Sandy declares that they’re selling “candy from the eye candy.” Jen says that they must sell all of the candy bars, and that it’s imperative that they do anything “within reason” to do so.
Apex is also set up near Wall Street. Ivana, Kelly, and Kevin are outside a subway station trying to catch the morning rush. They’re selling the candy bars at $2 each or two for $3. Kevin is having a hard time selling them at that price, so he quietly offers to sell a woman one for a buck. Ivana is not happy and points out that she did not approve Kevin’s cutting the price. Okay, then go over and tell him not to do it anymore, Ivana. She doesn’t, of course. Instead, she tells Kelly that the two of them should continue to sell at the higher price point. Herein lies one of Ivana’s major flaws. She’s not trying to win the task so much as she is trying to make sure she doesn’t get fired. You can just imagine her thinking about how she’s going to tell Trump that she never authorized this. It’s a really weak way to go about things. Ivana’s not the only candidate guilty of this, but she’s definitely one of the worst offenders.
Meanwhile, Sandy and Jen find a group of men and pounce on them immediately, selling the candy bars at $5 each. That’s a lot of money for one candy bar, but it’s working. Sandy says that Jen was a great salesperson and did a really good job of relating to their customers. She thinks their outfits were a great idea. They’re sexy, but not over the top. They didn’t just sell to men, but to women and kids as well. You know, I don’t like it when women on this show rely on their sex appeal to sell something. The women in the first season were especially bad. But I don’t think Jen and Sandy were inappropriate. They looked sexy, but they didn’t look trampy. More importantly, they didn’t act trampy – more cute and friendly. I wouldn’t be embarrassed to wear one of those outfits on the street. Okay, I would, but only because I’m 9 months pregnant and would, in fact, have looked like a red M&M in one of those outfits.
Apex continues to sell away, and a man passing by tells Ivana that someone else was selling the candy bars for $5 each. Ivana is intrigued and asks him if it was working. He says it was, and describes their outfits, adding that he didn’t find either of them especially attractive. Ivana panics, knowing that if Sandy and Jen can sell the candy bars for that much more, her team is sunk.
Kevin doesn’t think they can sell candy bars for that much money. Ivana doesn’t break into a chorus of “the candy man can,” and instead suggests that they move to Sandy and Jen’s territory and undercut them. That’s not a bad idea. They find Jen and Sandy, and Ivana is quick to put them down for their outfits. She says they look like strippers “in a cheap beer dive in Texas.” Another note to Ivana: putting down other women does not make you a feminist.
Ivana declares that this is a street fight, and she’s not going to lose it to a couple of hookers. Then, in a textbook definition of irony, she finds a man on the street and offers to drop her skirt for $20. Oh, and he’ll also get a chocolate bar. She says that if Jen and Sandy are going to use sex to sell, then she’s going to get drastic. She keeps offering to strip, and someone finally takes her up on it. Ivana drops her skirt to the ground, revealing what I must admit are a very cute pair of boy-short style undies. Carolyn watches the whole thing in disgust. Kelly says in an interview, “Ivana single-skirtedly raised our average significantly by offering to drop her skirt.” He laughs, and it’s a funny comment, but then he adds that her actions don’t reflect too highly on her as a business person. Well said, Kelly. It’s also worth nothing that before Ivana spotted Jen and Sandy, she was wearing a very short skirt and had her M&M’s t-shirt tied up to show off her midriff. I’d also like to add that Jen and Sandy might have been using sex to sell, but Ivana came a lot closer to actually selling sex.
Will it work? It’s time for the teams to gather in the boardroom for the results. Apex made 323 candy bars, which it sold for a profit of $560.75. Mosaic, on the other hand, only made 290 bars, but netted a profit of $1,023.11. Trump is impressed. Jen and Sandy are thrilled, and say that they worked well together. Trump is surprised, considering how the two of them acted in the last boardroom. Sandy says that they wanted to win together. Trump tells them that their reward will be a trip to Chicago to meet Season 1 winner Bill Rancic.
The women fly to Chicago, where Bill gives them a tour of the building he’s been working on. He shows off a model apartment, which is Trump-tastically ornate. Then, he asks them if they want to talk strategy. Jen says that being there, talking to Bill, she can really imagine winning. Bill says that they need to show heart, passion, and desire. Sandy says that like Bill, she might not be as educated as the other candidates, and asks him what advice he could give her. She says in an interview that she really sees a lot in common between the two of them, and she thinks she has a real shot at winning. Bill says that in the boardroom, it’s not about bringing the other person down, but rather showing what you yourself have to offer. Apparently, Bill has been listening to a lot of the complaints that some viewers have had about this season of the show! Jen says that this was the best reward yet.
Sandy and Jen return to the suite and talk to Kelly on the balcony. Sandy asks Kelly who he thinks should get fired. He hedges, saying that Kevin and Ivana are very different, and it’s just a matter of what Trump is looking for. He doesn’t want to give them a direct answer just yet and says after the boardroom is over, he’ll tell them what he told Trump. It’s a smart idea on his part. You never know if one of them would go back to Kevin or Ivana and blow his whole strategy. Kelly says that he’s disappointed that Kevin or Ivana will go home instead of Sandy or Jen.
Kevin and Ivana have a talk of their own. Kevin says that they did their best, and that he has nothing bad to say about Ivana. He considers her a friend. Ivana tells Kevin that she thinks he has a lot of integrity. Then, in an interview, she says that it’s either Kevin or her, so she has no choice but to go after him. In other words, I suspect she’s trying to figure out how to skin him alive.
The three enter the boardroom. Trump points out that they were beaten badly by two people who were at each other’s throats last time. What happened? Kevin says that they were quite simply outplayed. Ivana says that she was fighting for a higher price point, but that the guys just couldn’t sell candy bars for $5. Apparently, she’s never awake when her two hottie teammates answer the Trump Phone shirtless, or she might not be so sure. Kelly says he thinks they underestimated Mosaic, and George tells him that was a big mistake.
Kelly then tells Trump that Ivana couldn’t control Kevin on the price. Ivana says that she didn’t approve Kevin’s selling the candy bars at only a buck each. Carolyn points out that Ivana didn’t stop him, either. Kevin says he didn’t think they could sell a fifty cent candy bar for $2, so he sold them for what he could.
Kelly says that Kevin was the one who set the pricing so low. However, he says he’d fire Ivana. He adds that his team is the strongest, and he thinks it’s a shame that Kevin or Ivana has to go. Trump then asks the simple question: if they’re so strong, then why did they lose?
Trump next asks Ivana if she flashed people on the street – what happened? Ivana immediately gets defensive and says that she was wearing “bikini shorts” under her skirt. Carolyn says, “We haven’t said anything yet, so relax.” Ivana says it was just a gimmick, and that it worked. Of course, the team lost, so it didn’t really work, did it? George cuts to the heart of the matter as he says sarcastically, “You sold a candy bar for $20?” Ivana starts to answer him, leading with, “Look.” Carolyn tells her not to address George that way. She says that dropping her skirt was her decision alone, and in retrospect, she regrets it. Carolyn still looks disgusted and tells Ivana in no uncertain terms that what she was selling was not a candy bar. Trump sends the three of them out of the room, and he, Carolyn, and George all look livid.
George says that all three of them could have done better. As for Ivana, at least she tried something. Carolyn says she cannot respect the stripping. “This is someone who’s going to run one of your companies. Period.” Carolyn looks so mad about the whole thing that I get the impression that if Trump doesn’t fire Ivana over this, he can expect to find Carolyn’s letter of resignation on his desk tomorrow. Trump sends in the candidates.
Trump asks Ivana who she would fire. Ivana says that she’s worked more with Kevin and knows what a good leader he is, so she would fire Kelly. That’s not exactly a compelling argument. Kevin says that it’s hard to decide between Kelly and Ivana, but since Ivana has lost twice as project manager, he’d fire her. Ivana points out that she has lost twice, both at street tasks (the other was the ice cream challenge). Ooh, good point, Kevin. Trump seems to think so too, and asks Kevin and Kelly what their records are as project manager. Kevin has two wins and no losses, and Kelly has three wins and no losses. Things look pretty bad for Ivana.
Carolyn asks what Ivana has to say in her own defense, and Ivana makes the mistake of again leading with “look.” She then takes a completely off the wall strategy and says that she, Kevin, and Kelly all deserve to stay and makes a case instead for firing Jen. Wow, Ivana is a little bit obsessed with Jen, isn’t she? Trump tells Ivana that isn’t going to happen – Jen isn’t there.
Trump tells Ivana that she has a losing record. “So has Jen,” Ivana insists. That’s not true – Jen was the project manager of the dog task, and her team won. Trump asks Ivana how he can choose her over Kevin. Ivana says that she’s smarter and more creative. Kevin disagrees, and says that he got his MBA in one year and is now a student at the University of Chicago law school. Ivana dismisses that as just education. Trump asks Ivana if she can agree that Kevin is “very good.” She hesitates for a long time, then grudgingly agrees. She tries again to make a case for herself, and Trump says, “But you lose.” Ivana begs Trump to take a chance on her, and says that she makes a great team member. Well, that’s not exactly going to make him want to put you in charge is it?
Trump lays it on the line: “You stripped. I’m not hiring a stripper.” He adds that she made bad decisions. Then, Trump slaps the table, makes a gun with his fingers and says, “Ivana, you’re fired.” It is awesome. The candidates leave, and George and Carolyn agree that Trump had no choice.
This decision could not have been easier. How could Donald Trump possibly hire as CEO of one of his companies a woman who would take off her skirt in the middle of the street for twenty bucks? How would anyone respect her, ever?
As Ivana heads down to the street, you can very faintly hear some singing. Listen:
Oompa, loompa doompadi-dirt!
In Ivana’s cab ride home, she notes that Carolyn was probably the harshest with her. Yeah, and I don’t blame her. She says that she was actually wearing more clothing than Jen or Sandy and that she’s gone to the gym in less clothing. She says that the whole thing was a great experience.
Next week, the final four candidates face job interviews with Trump’s staff. In a final boardroom dog fight, two candidates will go home. Tune in for the last episode before the live finale. I’ll be there!
Betsy Wasser is the Associate Editor of Reality News Online. She thinks Ivana’s behavior in this episode deserves a Hall of Shame moment. Do you agree? Email Betsy at firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know what you think.