The Apprentice: Los Angeles, Episode 6 – Hasta Luegoby Betsy Wasser -- 02/20/2007
Hi everybody – sorry I’m late. On Sunday night, my two-year old came down with an ear infection, or as he put it, “Ear hurts.” He was in a lot of pain, so my husband and I took him to urgent care, or as he put it, “Open mouth, say ahh. Get Elmo sticker.” He’s fine, but when it was all over and done with, I was home late and had completely forgotten that The Apprentice was even on. Luckily, my trusty Tivo took care of it. And since you have all be so lovely and patient, I’ll throw in a Betsy Lesson Of The Week. That is, urgent care centers cannot be counted on to have Elmo stickers. Best to bring some of your own. My little man scored an entire sheet of them, he was so brave. He declined to wear one himself, but his stuffed tiger/best friend wanted both Elmo and “Elmo goldfish” on his paw.
And now, on with the show. Aaron, Surya, and Nicole face the Boardroom. Meanwhile, Stefani says that Aaron was attacked unfairly. Furthermore, the next PM should be Surya. Stefani says, “If he’s such a great salesman, step up. Go ahead.” She is about to get her wish, because Trump fires Aaron, and Surya says he’s going to volunteer. He and Nicole return, and Nicole says she hates the Boardroom. The other team spies and figures out that Aaron is gone.
Surya rants and raves to the team, saying that Aaron lied about what happened during the task. He says they all have reputations to uphold in real life, so what Aaron said was wrong. In an interview, Tim says that Surya was really fired up, eyes bugging out of his head, hair bigger than usual. James tries to calm him down, but to no avail. Tim says that he didn’t know what to do about him. Surya says he wants to be in charge next. Stefani hugs him and says that sounds like a good idea. In an interview, Surya says he likes to be the underdog. He will prove himself “in a big way.” The dude is totally fired up, all big gestures and volunteering to “bleed for this team.” He says they will win.
The candidates meet Trump at the airport in front of his big giant plane. Aimee, Trump reminds us, will be PM again for Kinetic. This week’s task is to promote Priceline at a mall. The team that gets the most people to sign up for a sweepstakes will win. Trump promises an “unbelievable” reward.
Kinetic goes to the mall. Aimee puts Angela in charge of marketing and Muna in charge of timelines and helping Angela and helping Derek with creative. Aimee says in an interview that she learned from the last task and will do better. Muna feels like she’s being pulled in too many directions, since Aimee has assigned her to be in three places at once. Kristine, looking extra gorgeous this week, says people aren’t being utilized well. Muna’s got a ton of different assignments, but her own day is far from full. She says it looks like they’ll have to manage themselves.
The team arrives at the mall. Derek and Jenn get a tour of the mall to choose a location for the kiosk. They learn that the customers are about half Hispanic.
Arrow plans raffles every ten minutes. Tim says everyone loves the idea – there will be a new winner very frequently, so there should be a lot of excitement. Surya puts Frank in charge of external marketing – pulling more people in. Surya says each person will have a defined scope of responsibility, which they’ll present to the group. This is instead of their usual technique of having everybody think about everything. It’s a good plan, especially if Surya assigns people well. Frank suggests they have people in front of each store. Surya wants to know the strategy, not the execution, which frustrates Frank. Frank says in an interview that Surya does not have the “spark” that motivates people. He draws a doodle of Surya on a napkin and giggles like a fool. He passes it to Tim and the napkin makes its way around the conference room as the rest of the team cracks up about it. Surya is as oblivious to this behavior as my 8th grade history teacher, Mr Ybarra, always was.
Kinetic is at the mall setting up their kiosk. Aimee tells us that their plan is to raffle off $1,000 vouchers for Priceline every half hour. Jenn designed the kiosk, and the team looks very tropical in aloha shirts and straw hats. There’s a pink inflatable octopus on top of the kiosk, and Aimee doesn’t like it. She suggests that they take a team vote on removing it. Jenn really doesn’t care and tells her to just take it down. In an interview, Jenn comments on the ridiculousness of it all. The only thing Aimee seems to be willing to lead on, apparently, is a 12” plastic octopus. When Aimee tries to take authority, Jenn says, “she ends up looking bossy and dumb.”
Arrow arrives at the mall, and James and Nicole start telling everyone about the giveaway. The team goes all over the area passing out flyers at coffee shops, on cars, and so on. They also take the mall’s ad spaces to promote it. The team talks up the promotion and hustles hard to get people in while Surya wanders around aimlessly. In an interview, Frank says that he is a selling machine. Where is his PM, he doesn’t know. “All I know is that Frankie Suits is on fire.” Okay, Frank is kind of growing on me. Maybe Surya is scoping out the sales or finding out if this mall has an Orange Julius. Man, I could go for an Orange Julius right now. Anyway…
James and Tim are trying to find Surya to make sure someone is at the kiosk. They have no idea where he is or what he’s doing. What’s he doing? Surya is wandering around the mall, making half-hearted attempts to promote the giveaway. It would have been awesome if he were also eating a soft pretzel and holding an animal from Build-A-Bear, but suffice it to say, he’s phoning this in.
Kinetic is hard at work. Heidi and Angela, in their crazy outfits, walk around the mall to tell people what’s going on. They talk to several Hispanic families, who all look a bit clueless. Angela wonders if they speak English. Heidi just saying, “Mucho dinero” isn’t helping. Luckily, Derek and Muna do speak Spanish, so they translate for people who need it, including walking them through the registration, which is in English. Aimee says that she thinks it’s going to be a close contest.
Trump talks to the Priceline executives. They liked Derek and Muna a lot, but found the booth underwhelming. They also liked Frank and said he was strong. The candidates arrive in the boardroom. Trump is there with Don, Junior. Surya says that they did amazing. Trump predicts that if they lose, they’ll say he was a horrible leader. Kinetic swallows and looks nervous when he asks how Aimee was as a leader. No one answers, and all we hear are chirping crickets. As for the results, Kinetic signed up 326 people. Arrow got 359. Trump congratulates Surya. Surya says that the wanted to correct Trump’s impression of him. Trump says it was a “fairly decisive win.” Yeah, I don’t think so. It was only 33 people. Whatever, Trump.
Arrow’s reward will be private surfing lessons on the beach, followed by brunch at a restaurant called Gladstone’s. Surya will continue to lead, and he’ll also join Don and Trump in the Boardroom. Lord knows he should know to speak up, after what happened to Aaron. Trump tells Aimee that he’s disappointed in her. They’ll move back to the tents because “Life is a bitch.” Ooh, will bitch be this week’s ass? Wait and see.
The teams switch locations. Kristine is not looking forward to the bathrooms or cooking outside. She says it’s pretty filthy. Meanwhile, Frank is cooking steaks on the grill. This whole tent thing is so boring that this is really all the time the show can be bothered to put into it.
Arrow changes into wetsuits. Nicole says she knows nothing about surfing, since she’s from Chicago. This, she says, is a cool opportunity for her. Stefani tells Surya he’s “not bad for a non-swimmer.” I’m fascinated by Surya’s hair, which seems to continue to be big and fluffy despite the salt water. We hear some dramatic music as the waves get bigger. Is one of the candidates going to die? Okay, I wasn’t really worried about it. Turns out that Nicole hurts her foot and gets an ice pack. The guys assign Tim to take her to the doctor, skipping the brunch. They giggle to themselves about how he’s going to take good care of her. Tim says that he didn’t want her to go alone. The doctor thinks Nicole got stung, possibly by a jellyfish. He also implies, but doesn’t say, that she’s being kind of a wimp.
Over brunch, James toasts family and competition, saying they should keep their wins coming. Surya says it’s a great feeling to have led the team out of the backyard. He shouldn’t feel quite so happy. James says he’s amazed that Surya thinks he’s responsible for the win. “I’m sorry,” he says, “the five of us stepped up and got this win. Surya is lucky -- lucky -- to be a part of this.” James is completely right. Surya seems like a very smart guy, but when it comes to actually working, rather than just planning strategy, he seems lost.
Arrow returns to the mansion, and Frank leaves Tim and Nicole alone in the pool, again snickering to himself. Tim says they are acting like they’re five years old, but he’s not exactly sad about it. Tim tells Nicole she’s “very hot right now.” Nicole asks if he’s selling her or trying to kiss her. The two of them cuddle and kiss in the hot tub. In an interview, Tim says he’s trying not to think too hard about this, but the warning bells are still going off. He doesn’t need distractions right now, but you just never know when these things are going to happen. Nicole says that after six weeks, they finally kissed.
It’s kind of boring, to be honest with you. Bring on the Boardroom!
Kinetic talks about the pending Boardroom. Aimee thinks that Jenn made a mistake by not doing anything to address the fact that so many people spoke Spanish. Aimee thinks she did a great job as leader. The team let her down, she says, and no one offered anything but eye rolling and finger pointing. Aimee tells Jenn that she’s going to take her to the Boardroom. Jenn says that it’s ridiculous to blame her for what happened. It would be a big mistake, Jenn tells us, for Aimee to go after her. She intends to specifically site each mistake Aimee made along the way.
It’s Boardroom time. Heidi is wearing a gorgeous cream colored suit that I’d immediately spill coffee on if I wore it. Aimee tells Trump that they didn’t account for the Spanish speaking population. Not only did they not take advantage of this market, but the language barrier also slowed down the process of registering. Derek and Muna both spoke Spanish. Derek explains that it slowed things down “at the point of conversion.” But, he adds, the Spanish thing is “a red herring,” and the real issue was Aimee’s management style.
Derek says she’s a hard worker, but should have been more aggressive. Heidi, he says, is a better PM. Angela says Aimee had trouble delegating and following through. She’d like to have Aimee in sales, but she’s not a good leader. Kristine agrees that Heidi is a better PM. If the Spanish-speaking thing was an issue, it was just because of the extra time it took for people to register. She praises Derek and Muna for their hard work. She thinks they should have hired translators to negate the issue.
Aimee says she was not aware of the issue. Trump says it should have been pretty obvious. Aimee says she didn’t spend much time in the mall. Muna says Aimee is “very caring,” but it was pretty obvious that there were a lot of Hispanic people there. Aimee says she wasn’t there when the issue came up. Derek says she should have known. Derek and Jenn say Aimee never asked her about the demographics. Aimee says she’s trying to bury her. Don wonders why they never brought it up. Aimee starts to talk about how the team let her down. Trump picks up on that and says she doesn’t like her team. Aimee, being no moron, tries to disagree with him. Aimee thinks Heidi had a better team to manage. She selects Jenn and Derek to return to the Boardroom with her.
Don says that Derek and Jennifer should have notified Aimee of the demographic. Surya thinks it was “a big miss” and wonders if they didn’t feel comfortable telling her for some reason. Trump wonders why everyone is against Aimee. Derek says she’s been absent for two tasks. Don wonders why they didn’t specifically tell Aimee about the demographics. Derek thinks it was obvious. Don disagrees – they should have told her. Aimee doesn’t think it was obvious, but admits she wasn’t paying attention to who was walking through the mall. Trump thinks that’s pretty weak. Aimee says that she assumed it was a non-issue. Jenn thinks that if it was an issue, Aimee should have been able to adapt.
Jenn says that Aimee never asked about it. She further says that she should not have had to tell her about it, because “she was in the mall all day” and it should have been obvious. Jenn points out that it wouldn’t exactly be hard for any of them to look around the Boardroom and see how many people are Caucasian (i.e. everybody but Surya). Jenn says that if she were withholding information, Aimee should have adapted, hired a translator, and dealt with it. Trump seems to agree with that. Aimee says that she noticed Latino people in the mall but didn’t know they spoke Spanish. Trump says the whole team was against her, even Angela, who is usually silent. “It’s all about leadership,” Trump says. She’s fired.
Trump says there were too many things against her. “It’s tough,” Surya says. Don says it was “pretty cut and dried.” I’m with Don. This wasn’t tough at all. For one thing, even without looking around the mall, I think it’s a safe bet that anywhere you go in Southern California, there are going to be lots of people who speak Spanish. And if Aimee is to be believed, by her own admission, she apparently spent the entire day at the mall and failed to notice the appearance of the people around her. Heidi and Angela figured out that people spoke Spanish, and they didn’t need a demographic breakdown to tell them.
Honestly, I think the main reason that Kinetic lost the task is because the people on Arrow are just better at this kind of thing. They needed to schmooze people, get them excited, and get them to the tents. Arrow has Tim, Frank, and James, all of whom are awesome at that kind of thing, plus Nicole and Stefani who are also no slouch. No one on Kinetic can touch them at that kind of thing. Nevertheless, Aimee has been an absent leader for the past two tasks. She was an easy choice to fire.
Derek watches Aimee get in the limo and says, “Oooh, she’s pissed.” He and Jenn return to the tents. In the limo, Aimee says that people will lie, cheat, or steal to get ahead. She thinks they could have won if she’d done the whole thing herself. If she’d hired her own people, she’d have been better off. She thinks they didn’t care about the task and wanted to get rid of her.
There will be no Apprentice next week, and the following week the show will begin an hour later, at 10:00 EST. We’re promised a double firing! Tune in to see who it is.
Betsy Wasser is the Associate Editor of Reality News Online. You can reach her with your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org