The Apprentice 4, Episode 2: Get Out of My Dreams, Get Into My Carby Betsy Wasser -- 09/30/2005
Before I launch into the recap, I’d like to thank all of you who wrote to me wishing me the best with my new TV boyfriend Josh, especially in light of how Season 3’s TV boyfriend John disappointed me so much. I really appreciate all of your support in my imaginary relationships. It means almost as much to me as if this were all real – honestly! Anyway, my new boyfriend Josh and I will have to have you all over for dinner sometime.
The candidates, as always, are speculating as to who will make it back. The general consensus is that Melissa will be fired. Chris says that the men would prefer that Kristi get fired, since she’s tougher competition than Melissa. He wants the women’s team to be weak. No such luck for Chris- Kristi returns to great cheers. She says in an interview that she was really scared she’d get fired, and that as tense as the Boardroom was before, it was even worse when it was down to her and Melissa. Her team wants details, but Kristi says, “I’m done talkin’ about it.”
The next day, Trump welcomes the candidates to his latest luxury building, Trump Park Avenue. He says that just a year ago, it was under construction – in fact, it’s the building where, in Apprentice history, Omarosa got hit in the head with the piece of plaster that we’re all now in love with. Trump adds that to hear her talk about it, you’d think it was a brick. Everyone laughs. If Omarosa won’t be so kind as to get off of my television, then at least I’m happy to see people laugh at her.
Trump says that this week’s task will center around a luxurious car, the Lamborghini. Teams are charged with creating a 30 second ad and a print campaign for the car. They have access to two cars and a team of people from an ad agency who will help them put their pieces together. Judging the task will be Linda from the agency and Aaron from Lamborghini. The most original idea will win, and Trump adds that Markus is not exempt, so no one is safe.
The men immediately start tempting fate by talking about how they have this one in the bag. Markus says that he sells cars, so he knows they can do this. And in an interview, Mark says that because their men and have always dreamed of sports cars like this, they’re bound to win. Poor Mark has forgotten how much reality show editors love irony.
Chris tells the team that he works in advertising, so he volunteers to be the project manager. He says that the first thing they need to do is meet with the client and the ad agency, obviously learning from the mistakes of past candidates. He directs his team to come into the meeting with no preconceptions at all – no commercials, no slogans, nothing. After all, they don’t know what the client wants. Two seconds later, Markus tells Chris that he has a “winning slogan.” Oh, Markus. He suggests that he tell them about it in the meeting. Chris looks incredulous, but very nicely asks Markus to tell it to him now so he’s not surprised. The slogan? “Smooth as silk.” Eh. I’d say that’s “Dull as dishwater.” Chris diplomatically tells Markus not to mention it in the meeting, but instead to wait and see what the candidate has to say.
Well, this is going to go just fine.
In the meeting, Aaron tells the men that Lamborghini is going through a period of regrowth, and that one model in particular is selling very well. Markus, ignoring what Chris said before, asks Aaron if they’d have any interest in his “smooth as silk” concept. Aaron flatly tells him no. Chris is livid that Markus went against what he said and tells us, “It’s a prime example of why he’s a weak player.
Meanwhile, at Capital Edge, Marshawn is the project manager. She figures since Alla is a multi-millionaire, she’d have a good handle on what a Lamborghini customer might like, so she puts her in charge of the videography. Alla admits that she has no experience in this sort of thing, but she’s confident she can pull it off. As she directs the cameraman, she says in an interview that because she acted professional, she got results. Well, she certainly sounds like she knows what she’s doing. Kristi is not impressed with Marshawn. Marshawn, Kristi says, just sat back and watched while the rest of the team did all of the work. Kristi says that it would be “such bullcrap” if they won and Marshawn got all of the glory. Language, Kristi!
It’s time for the Trump Lesson of the Week. This week’s TLOTW is “Be flexible.” Trump over-explains that if you can’t adapt, you won’t be successful. The Betsy Lesson of the Week is, “Don’t read the titles to these episodes if you don’t want the ending ruined for you.” Once I saw the title of this episode, I didn’t have much trouble figuring out which team was going to lose, which was kind of disappointing. And no, I’m not about to tell you right now what it is because the last thing I want is for you to quit reading my recap and get back to work. That would be crazy!
Excel is ready to film their commercial. They rented a vintage Lamborghini, and the idea is to show it driving down the street, then morphing into the new model. That sounds cool. The problem is that they can’t stop traffic on the street to film, as much as my boyfriend Josh would like to. Hi, Josh! Markus gets a walkie-talkie and volunteers to coordinate traffic. Chris says in an interview that seemed like a good task for Markus because, “How hard could it be?” Again, the men are giving those irony loving editors a great time this week. Markus attempts to direct the cars, and confusion ensues.
My boyfriend Josh is fed up. In an interview, he says that Markus is the weakest player, so much that instead of helping his team, he seems to be helping the women. He adds that there seems to be a “synapse disconnect with his brain.” Markus continues to confuse things with the traffic coordination, culminating in his wandering into the shot. Chris takes the walkie-talkie away and tells the driver not to listen to Markus anymore. Chris says that at this point, Markus has nothing to do on the task. In an interview, he wonders how Markus could run one of Trump’s companies if he can’t even direct traffic. He says that he can’t trust his fate as project manager to Markus.
Over at Capital Edge, Marshawn explains that she’s opted to work on the print campaign because they have a tight deadline. Alla, Kristi, and Jennifer M. will handle the commercial. She’s confident that Alla will do a good job. The three women head over to the editing area to work on the commercial, and Kristi is astonished that Marshawn isn’t even coming. They put their ad together as George looks on. He says it’s a bit of a hodgepodge, but the point comes across.
Alla starts thinking about the copy. She doesn’t want to use the words “I deserve it,” because, she says, a powerful man never wonders if he deserves something. It’s nice when things you learned as a stripper help you in a business setting. Jennifer suggests the phrase, “Do you need permission?” and Alla absolutely loves it. Conversation turns to their missing project manager. Alla likes that Marshawn delegates, but thinks she also needs to oversee, which she’s not doing. The three women feel a little weird approving the ad without Marshawn, but that’s what they do. Kristi is frustrated, asking, “Dammit, where is she?”
Some of the guys at Excel work on the print ad. Their tagline is “The Rebirth of Italian Intimidation.” Mark asks the designer to put “Italian” in the same typeface as Lamborghini, but he doesn’t like the way the capital I looks. The designer retypes it with a lower case I, and Mark thinks it looks much better. Carolyn arrives to watch them work, and she thinks the men are too confident. They’re in love with their ads, so they don’t see the flaws that she sees. One of the ads is a picture of a green Lamborghini with the headline “Green with Envy.” Markus wonders if it should have a question mark at the end. Mark says absolutely not – there is no question that someone else seeing that car would be green with envy. My boyfriend Josh and Chris agree with him. The ad stays as it is. I can see an argument for it both with and without the question mark, and I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if someone other than Markus had raised the question. Regardless, Mark feels great. Tempting the irony lovers once more, he says, “I am guaranteeing a victory for the men.”
On a more serious note, Randal gets dressed for his grandmother’s funeral. Josh gives him a hug goodbye. Randal says in an interview that his team was very supportive and assured him they’d be okay on the task without him. He takes the Trump helicopter home to Philadelphia and attends the services with his family. In an interview, he says it was a beautiful service. He hopes that he can now focus on the tasks and be a tribute to his grandmother.
It’s time for Capital Edge to make their presentation. The women file into the room, all dressed in black with their hair pulled back. They fan out in front of the screen, and each woman holds a mockup of the ad. They each use one word to describe Lamborghinis, pivot to show their ads, then play the commercial. We don’t get a good look at the print ads, but they look black and sleek. The commercial shows quick shots of phrases like “Can you handle it,” and Jennifer M’s “Do you need permission?” along with quick shots of the car. As they file out of the room, Trump talks on his cell phone about how he’s on his way to the advertising agency to see how the teams did. My nine-month old son has a phone very similar to Trump’s. It’s green fabric, rings when you push it, and just like Trump’s, isn’t actually connected to anyone, so he too can pretend to talk to someone.
The men of Excel are still confident they’re going to win. Man, they are so screwed. To the delight of everyone, Randal returns just in time to join the group for the presentation. Chris start the presentation with a brief speech about how excited they are. He shows the commercial (which is awesome), then shows Aaron and Linda the ads, explaining the imagery behind each one.
After they leave, Linda turns to Aaron and says, “Men say it, women feel it.” Trump arrives, and Linda says they have a clear winner. That’s interesting, because I’m really not sure who it’s going to be (except that I am, thanks to the Betsy Lesson of the Week). Trump takes a moment to welcome Randal back, then we get the results. Linda says that Excel used too many words. Aaron wonders if “Green with Envy” needs a question mark. Markus leaps in to say that he said the exact same thing. Shut up, Markus! Trump asks, “So, you’re fighting your team before you know if you’ve won or lost?” Linda and Aaron also don’t like the lowercase I in Italian. Trump asks if they’ve got something against Italians, and Mark explains why he thought it looked better. It doesn’t matter, though – Linda says that the women were just more exciting. Capital Edge wins.
The women all cheer. Trump asks if project manager Marshawn should be exempt. Several women, including Alla, who was critical of her before, say yes. Only Kristi hesitates, and Trump asks why. Kristi says that Marshawn never quite “got her feet wet.” She’s outvoted, though, so Marshawn is exempt next week. She looks fairly disinterested in this news. Trump announces the reward – they’ll play hockey with the New York Islanders.
The women gear up for the game. Kristi admits that she doesn’t know anything about hockey. Rebecca falls and hurts her ankle. One of the players takes her to ice it. Toral comes to check on her and learns that the trainer recommended she see a doctor. Rebecca is touched when Toral offers to go with her. They both watch in horror and fascination as Rebecca’s ankle swells. Ouch. But what is it with ankles tonight? Between this and Amy’s hurt ankle on Survivor, I’m going to be walking carefully tomorrow.
In the suite, my boyfriend Josh asks Chris who he’s taking back to the boardroom. Surprise, surprise – it’s Markus. The two agree that he is out of his league.
Markus tells Toral that he’s not exempt, and this would be much easier if he were. He says he begged them to listen to him about the ads. He feels like he’s not part of the fraternity, which is fine with him, since he’s not there to throw high fives and talk about who used to play football. He says in an interview that Aaron “didn’t like what he tasted,” and “I’m not the cook.” He says he’s looking forward to “the dance.”
Trump arrives in the Boardroom in a tuxedo, saying that he prefers ballrooms to boardrooms, and that’s where he’s headed next. This seems as good a place as any to mention that Trump and his wife Melania are expecting a baby. Congratulations to the parents to be, and may the baby love gold things.
Chris says that they lost the task because of distractions. George breaks in and says that’s not the case; they were too confident. Well said, George. Markus, of course, agrees. I keep waiting for him to channel Season 1’s Tammy and say, “I think we were duped.” Chris says that the campaign was a collective effort. Mark admits that the lower case I was his decision and that it was a bad one. He also says that not punctuating Green with Envy was his idea.
Carolyn criticizes their presentation, saying that they explained things too much. Chris says that he wanted to show them the subtleties in the ads. Carolyn isn’t buying it and says it was boring.
My boyfriend Josh says that he would fire Markus because he’s a disaster and a distraction. Markus says that he’s not in the clique and blames Chris for their loss. Chris starts to explain why it was Markus’s fault, and Trump interrupts him, saying he figures Chris will bring Markus back. Chris agrees that he will. Trump tells him that’s not such a good idea, since Markus was the only one who disagreed with their bad decisions. Trump says he believes in team loyalty, but in this case, you have to admit that Markus was right.
Carolyn says that they didn’t lose because of distractions, but because of a lack of creativity. She asks who was in charge of it. Chris says he handled the video and Mark did the print ads. Clay says he would fire Markus, because among other things, he talks too much. Trump asks James who he would fire. James thinks they could have done more market research and says he would fire Chris.
Trump asks Chris who he wants to bring back to the boardroom, and he names Markus – and only Markus. Wow, just like last week! Trump questions his decision. But that’s what Chris wants to do.
The candidates leave. George thinks Chris made a critical error by only bringing back Markus. Markus, though, needs a muzzle according to George, but is not the reason they lost. George is on tonight!
Markus and Chris return. Trump expresses his amazement that Chris only chose Markus- why not Mark, since he admitted his fault in two critical mistakes. Chris says that throughout the task, the team would be moving forward, except for Markus, and he constantly had to reel him in. Markus says he was marginalized, and after some prodding, Chris admits that’s true. George wonders if Markus could have performed well if given the chance. Chris argues that Markus kills team synergy.
Trump asks Chris why he didn’t bring back Mark, who so clearly has responsibility for the loss. Chris says that he agreed with Mark, so “his mistake is my mistake.” Fair enough. And honestly, while Mark made some bad decisions, I think choosing not to use a capital I is not a firing-worthy mistake, especially since the rest of the team agreed with him. Trump’s choice is really between Markus, who is a bit of a mess, and Chris, who was the leader.
Trump says this is a tough choice. He thinks Markus is “a disaster,” but on the other hand, Chris made an emotional decision, rather than a business decision, as to who to bring back to the boardroom. Trump gives the table a mighty slap and fires Chris. Chris looks sad, and Trump tells him he has potential. He then adds that Markus won’t last long. Markus says he’ll prove Trump wrong, then can’t leave well enough alone, throwing extended goodbyes to Trump, George, and Carolyn. Markus! Shh!
Trump says he hated to fire Chris, but George reminds him that Chris brought it on himself. In his final cab ride, Chris’s focus is Markus. He gives a long metaphor about how they’re on a boat, and Markus isn’t rowing with the team, but rather drinking a martini and chatting with the captain.
Next week, Rebecca’s ankle seems to be broken. Plus, the candidates have to teach senior citizens how to use electronic equipment. Ooh, can we have them bring my grandmother so she can learn how to use her computer? I’d feel bad about saying that, but hey, she can’t figure out her computer, so it’s not like she’s going to read this. Also, I love you, Mimi! (It never hurts to send out some love.)
A few thoughts on how things are going so far. We haven’t seen a lot of superstars yet, but there are two candidates who I think have real potential. Mark, despite his many mistakes this episode, seems pretty sharp. He was wrong about the question mark and the lower case I, but he had solid reasoning behind it and was willing to take responsibility for it. And I think after this task, he’s learned a big lesson about not being too cocky. The other candidate who is impressing me is Alla. Marshawn put her in charge of the commercial, and even though she admittedly didn’t know what she was doing, she ran with it and did a great job. I like her and will have my eye on her in the future.
As for Markus, he is indeed a mess. Chris might have been able to get rid of him if he’d taken a slightly different tactic. Instead of stressing that he was a distraction, Chris might have had more success if he’d said that Markus is not a team player. He went against the team by talking slogans in the meeting, after everyone agreed not to do so. He put down the team’s ads in front of the judges. They need a unified front, and because of Markus, they don’t have one. It still might not have worked, but Chris might have had a better chance. Well, that’s it for this week. See you all next Thursday night!
Betsy Wasser is the Associate Editor of Reality News Online. Now that you’ve finished the article, she’ll tell you that the title of this episode was “There is no I in Team.” See? Gives it away, doesn’t it? She can be reached with any comments at email@example.com