The Apprentice 5, Episode 9: Missing the Boatby Betsy Wasser -- 04/25/2006
It seems like ages since the last episode of The Apprentice, but we get a quick recap, including poor Leslie getting fired on her birthday. Back at the suite, though, they don’t know it yet and have a cake and candles all ready for her. Poor Leslie! At least we don’t see any footage of everyone else eating her cake.
Lee returns from the boardroom, and Charmaine is not happy at all, swearing under her breath. Lee says he liked Leslie a lot, adding that she fought hard for herself. Charmaine wonders if Trump thought anything about her stopping and giving her opinion that Leslie should not be fired. Lee says no. That was a bit of a risky move on her part. On The Apprentice, if you’re safe, keep your mouth shut or Trump will remember you’re there and fire you, too. Lee says that he was instructed to be PM in the next task. He’s glad to do it and is determined to win.. “That seat in the boardroom has my ass imprinted on it,” he says.
It’s time for the next task, and this week, it will be especially Trump-tastic: filling in for Carolyn and George are Trump’s children Ivanka and Donald, Jr. Trump says that at the last boardroom, Lee barely escaped. Trump says it was closer than Lee realizes. Lee says he thought it was all right. Trump introduces the task, and draws a fairly insulting comparison between all of the people who pass through his hotel and all of the people who passed through Ellis Island. Way to not take it seriously, there, Trumpers. The sponsor for this task will be Ameriquest. Because Ellis Island is a symbol of the American dream, Ameriquest often donates money to them.
The teams will take Circle Line boats to Ellis Island, take photos, then work with designer and printer to create a souvenir program for the national park. All proceeds will benefit the Statue of Liberty Ellis Island Foundation. The team with the most money at the end wins. Trump scolds Gold Rush and tells them they’d better win.
Speaking of Gold Rush, we’ll start with them. The team springs into action quickly. Tarek will write, Michael will take pictures, and Charmaine will specialize in “inside sales.” She is thinking about selling large numbers of brochures to hotels. Good idea. In fact, everyone on the team seems so confident and together that Lee is happy to delegate a lot of work. Michael and Tarek will go to Ellis Island while Lee spends the day with Charmaine working on sales. He finds leads on the internet and she makes the calls. Charmaine cannot believe it when Lee hands her 68 pages worth of leads. She says sthat they need to be more focused no chains, only locally owned places. She’s hoping that selling in bulk will be the way to win. In practice, though, it’s a lot harder. Charmaine gets shot down hard over and over again. In an interview, Lee says really wants to impress Trump. He is convinced that if they lose, he’s gone. He adds that selling on the street will not win the task.
Allie volunteers to be the project manager at Synergy because three of her four grandparents came through Ellis Island. She hopes to make them proud by winning. Allie and Tammy go on a tour of the park so that they can learn more. Tammy takes notes and will write the copy. Andrea, walking with Roxanne, thinks it’s a waste of time. Roxanne says in an interivew that Andrea can’t stand not being in charge. Her sole goal in life is to make the PM’s life a living hell.
To that end, Andrea finds Allie and demands that she come up with a schedule for everyone- not just for that day, but for the rest of the task. Allie says to concentrate on taking pictures. Allie says she just wanted “to shoo her aside.” Andrea is “counterproductive and condescending,” and tries to make her feel insecure about work. The team gets ready to leave and Andrea asks Allie if she has everything. Allie says yes, but then we get a shot of a notebook. It turns out that Andrea was right about making Allie feel insecure in this case, huh? The team gets on the boat. Suddenly, Tammy realizes she’s left behind her notebook, the one with all of the notes about the copy! Allie panics. She and Tammy get off the boat… but it’s moving! Tammy and Allie are left behind. Allie feels totally helpless.
And now for the Trump Lesson of the Week: “All In The Family.” Family and business are both priorities, Trump says. He has a really fake sounding conversation with Ivanka as he tells us that both business and family are important, so you should, “Try getting them all in there.” Yeah, that’s not really helpful, is it? And now for the Betsy Lesson of the Week. If you go to Costco at lunchtime on Saturdays, you’ll get all kinds of free samples. Sure, it’s more crowded, but you get a free lunch. Plus, this is how I discovered that my son, who has started a minor vegetable boycott, loves, of all things, spinach nuggets.
Gold Rush is working on their program. Tarek wants to use black and white photos and tie them to appropriate quotes. That sounds nice. The cover and inside cover, though, will be color. Lee says that’s exactly what he wants. Either that’s a huge coincidence or Lee is more than willing to delegate a lot of work on this task. Ivanka arrives, and she agrees with me. She thinks Lee is depending totally on Tarek, a huge responsibility. She wouldn’t have delegated so much if she were in charge. Charmaine thinks that Tarek seems to be the PM. She doesn’t want to win under Lee’s leadership. He does not deserve to be rewarded because everyone else is doing the bulk of the work. She has a very good point, though to be fair, the team seems to be doing really well.
Synergy is working on their program too, though Allie and Tammy are still stuck on Ellis Island. Allie put Andrea in charge of design, because as Andrea has been telling us for weeks, she is an expert in this kind of thing. Andrea thinks Allie made a big mistake staying behind on the island. She works on the cover. The photograph is a big picture of Ellis Island, and Andrea has the Statue of Liberty ghosted in the foreground. Allie arrives and doesn’t like it- it looks like that statue is just floating in the water. I agree with her- it looks weird. In an interview, Allie says she expected more of Andrea, after Andrea spent so much time touting her resume. She asks to work on the cover, and Andrea quickly backs away, saying Allie can work on it. It comes across as really passive-aggressive. Tammy says that Andrea is not a team player at all.
Gold Rush, including a shirtless Lee that I could have done without seeing, is up at the crack of dawn to get the best location. Lee thinks price, position, and selling are the keys to winning the task. Lee says that 90% of people who go to Ellis Island leave from Battery Park. People standing in line at the ferry are a captive audience, and that’s who Gold Rush is going to go after. The programs look great, and Tarek and Charmaine are really excited. They hawk the programs, talking up the charity angle. Lee says that he’ll lower the price to a quarter, badmouth the other team, whatever it takes, if Synergy shows up in the same place.
Synergy arrives and finds Gold Rush selling to tons of people. Sean is freaking out = the other team has a huge head start. Sean is wearing Gold Rush’s team outfit: a red NY baseball cap, jeans, a black top, an American flag tie, and a big tote bag that says New York on it. They all look a bit silly. Gold Rush, by the way, went simpler in matching red fleece jackets. But I digress. Tammy reports to Allie that Gold Rush is selling programs for $3 and that they are much nicer. Roxanne tries to sell, finds that people have already bought programs from Gold Rush. Andrea thinks they should go to the museum and sell there. Allie agrees. Don is watching all of this and thinks it’s a mistake. They’ll be hitting up people who have already been approached by the competitors.
They arrive at the island, but things aren’t much better there. Sean says that everyone has already brought a Gold Rush brochure. He’s very frustrated. Unfortunately, he doesn’t call anyone a wanker this time around.
In contrast, all of the members of Gold Rush are selling like crazy. Better still, Lee gets a call from one of the places that Charmaine had tried the day before. Lee says she made hundreds of calls, and someone actually bit. Charmaine quickly sells 100 for $85. Nice work, Charmaine! Lee thinks it’s all about thinking differently and thinking smart. He hopes that their risk will turn into a victory, but he doesn’t want to underestimate Synergy.
Synergy continues to try to sell, and one thing becomes very clear: Andrea is terrible and awkward. Allie says, “Andrea bombs at sales.” She is terrible at schmoozing with people. She’s just bad at it, Allie says, and everything we see sure seems to bear that out. Andrea offers to do bulk sales. She says that she’s good at it. Allie can’t believe she’s busting that little skill out at the eleventh hour. If they lose, she intends to blame Andrea.
In the boardroom, Don says it was an interesting experience. He thinks they’re good, smart people. Ivanka had fun doing this with her brother. Now for the results. Allie admits they’ve done better on other tasks and that she feels less confident. She adds that Andrea is weak at sales. Trump thought Andrea was a star. Roxanne says she’s not as strong as Trump thinks. Trump can’t believe it. Andrea says she’s shocked to hear all of this.
Don reports that Synergy sold at Ellis Island, bringing in $843.43. Lee thinks they won. Is he right? Ivanka says Gold Rush sold at Battery Park, playing to a captive audience and cutting out Synergy. They brought in $1,548.68! Gold Rush wins by a landslide. Lee smiles and says, “It’s about time, Mr. Trump.” Trump says that Ameriquest is so happy with both programs that they are going to donate additional money to Ellis Island. And since this is not the Martha Stewart version of the show, there is another requard, and Trump is going to join them. They’ll be playing golf with pro player Vijay Singh. Trump says when they play together, he remembers what a bad golfer he is by comparison. Plus, each Gold Rusher will get a set of clubs. Synergy looks bummed.
Back at the suite, Andrea is furious that Allie and Roxanne questioned her selling abilities. Andrea says she had $110 at noon. Andrea tells Allie it was stupid of her to lie. Allie says her statement wasn’t based on a number, but rather on the experience. Andrea calls Allie a liar, saying that by the end of the day, she’d made $210. She thinks that the rest of the team contrived to blame something on her. Andrea says she’s pissed, but Allie is too. In the kitchen, Andrea mutters, “bitches” as she breaks into the chocolate. I think we’ve all been there, right?
At the Trump National Golf Course, Lee is very proud of himself. He broke their losing streak, won a reward, and gets to hang out with Trump in an informal setting. He feels amazing and comes up with this line: “Winning: the best remedy for feeling like crap.” Charmaine says it’s a bittersweet win for her because this makes Lee look good, which he does not deserve. They all have a good time playing golf. Tarek helpfully ties things together for us, saying that Vijay Singh is a consistent golfer, and that they all need to be more consistent.
During the commercials, we learn that the majority of people vote to fire Andrea. Will Trump?
Allie says that they need to convince Trump in a short period of time that Andrea was not a star. Sean is reluctant to vilify Andrea and wants to learn the truth about what happened. Andrea listens outside the door. Allie, Tammy, and Roxanne tell Sean to go talk to Andrea and make his own decision. Andrea tells them that she heard everything. Roxanne says, “That’s fine.” What else can you say? Sean says he’s in an awkward position and is not taking sides. The others, he says, are convinced that he is brainwashed for thinking well of her. Allie, Roxanne, and Tammy think that they can go after her and she’ll be fired. Sean wants to stay above politics. Andrea says she intends to go after Allie. Allie says they’ll tear her apart and it’ll be the ugliest boardroom ever. She repeats several times, “There will be blood on the walls.” It’s really creepy.
It’s boardroom time, and for those just reading this, now is a good time to mention that Donald Trump has some beautiful children. This must be due in large part to his love of beautiful women, because little baby Barron is pretty darned cute, too. Anyway, back to the subject at hand. Allie says several things went wrong, but would blame Andrea for the loss. Trump thought she was a star. Roxanne says that’s not the case. Because they’ve won four tasks in a row, Trump doesn’t quite know what’s happening with their team. Roxanne thinks Andrea is difficult, not a team player. Roxanne doesn’t think she’s a strong leader, either. She adds that Andrea quit at putting together the program. In crunch time, you have to keep working.
Andrea says she thinks the team is going after her because she’s strong. Sean says he supports Andrea, that she is a great leader. He does not agree “wholeheartedly” with the team. Don tells him to take a stand and asks who he’d fire. Sean hates to say it, but he would fire Allie. There’s a lack of ability to manage relationships- she doesn’t adapt to the different personalities. Sean says that both Andrea and Allie don’t adapt well to working together. Ivanka points out that as the project manager, it was Allie’s job to make their relationship work. Allie says she gave Andrea a large role - coming up with the graphics. Andrea had touted herself as a graphic design expert, but Allie thought the program was “shoddy.” She tried her best to make it better. Ivanka thinks she Allie should have been there herself, not wandering around Ellis Island. Allie says she trusted that Andrea knew what she was talking about. When that proved not to be the case, Allie made drastic improvements.
Invaka says their biggest obstacle was having to concede their location. Don agrees. Roxanne says they sold more at Ellis Island than they had at Battery Park. Allie says that’s true, because Gold Rush’s brochure was so much better. Don points out that Allie supposedly changed it, so wouldn’t the poor quality be her fault? Man, Trump’s kids are tough! I wonder if they used to do this kind of thing around the dinner table at night. Maybe right after their money fights. Allie says the program was so bad that they couldn’t save it.
Trump asks Tammy if she can defend Andrea. Andrea murmurs, “of course not.” Tammy says Andrea questioned all of the decisions. She created stress and is “exceptionally difficult to be with.” Not only is she incapable of being managed, but Andrea also fails to inspire people as a leader. Andrea thinks that’s not true. Allie says that they won Andrea’s tasks in spite of her. Allie claims she totally outsold her on the 7-11 task. Tammy and Roxanne agree. Roxanne says she likes Allie because she’s smart, charismatic, and has a good heart. Trump tells Roxanne that she’s a good speaker. He’d like to have Roxanne represent him in court. Roxanne agrees that she would be “semi-devastated” if he fired Allie instead of Andrea.
Andrea says that they lost because they didn’t do bulk sales. Don seems to recall that Andrea is an expert in bulk sales, and Allie lights up like Christmas. Ivanka thinks that Allie should have asked Andrea to do that. Andrea says she told Allie how well she’d do. Allie says she should have known from the beginning. Maybe Andrea is good at bulk sales, because she certainly can’t sell face to face. Trump says he should have told everyone about this strength. Andrea says she is not the best salesperson- she hires great people. Same with graphics. Her expertise, Andrea says, is in operations and implementation. Andrea tried to help Allie, but Allie doesn’t like her and wouldn’t listen.
Allie says she likes all types of people. Trump points out obviously not Andrea. He then asks Andrea if she gets along with people. Andrea pauses. Trump doesn’t think they’re “a vile and vicious group.” God knows that by now, Trump should be able to recognize a vile and vicious group. He thinks she might be the reason they lost. She caused a lack of chemistry in the team. Plus, a really great leader can also follow. Andrea can’t follow and destroys the chemistry on the team. Andrea is fired.
Andrea hugs Sean- and only Sean. Trump thinks was the right choice. Don says there was no choice. Ivanka agrees that there’s no chemistry. I think, though, that if you talked to Ivanka alone, she’d say Allie would have been a good choice. Ivanka really seemed to be going after her. Trump says he’s surprised that he ended up firing someone who he thought was a star. He then adds, “Good job, kids!”
Andrea says it was a great experience. It sounds like she’s learned from it, because she says, “I guess there’s a reason that I work for myself.” The one time she got fired, it was by Trump, so that’s pretty cool. She wipes away a tear as she says that she thinks Trump respects her.
This was an interesting episode. Gold Rush really did an incredible job, and it was nice to see them win. I tend to agree with Charmaine that Lee didn’t have a lot to do with it. Tarek and Michael put the brochure together and did a great job. She pursued the high-volume sales (though that one sale really wasn’t needed, they were so far ahead). Really, Gold Rush won because they were smart and demonstrated good team work. The biggest thing they did was to wake up early and get to the ferry line first.
Andrea was a natural choice for firing this week. She seems to be very difficult to work with, which is not a good thing if you’re hiring a manager. She is unwilling to listen to anyone else’s opinion and does have a tendency to undermine. Allie made some mistakes- she really should have stayed on the boat, leaving just Tammy behind, for one- but none of them were really game-losing tasks. It was time for Andrea to go.
Next week, egos clash and my boyfriend Sean might just be having a fling with Tammy… or is he just playing her? We’ll find out in a week. See you then.
Betsy Wasser is the Associate Editor of Reality News Online. She can be reached with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org