The Apprentice: Los Angeles, Episode 11 – Greyed Outby Betsy Wasser -- 04/02/2007
Previously on The Apprentice, James sent Nicole over to Kinetic. Nicole spent the rest of the episode sulking about it, while Tim chose to use that time mooning over her and showing questionable loyalty to his team. Nicole suggested that Trump ask Tim if he wanted to go to Kinetic, which was kind of dumb and a waste of everyone’s time. And ironically, Olympic medal winning goalie Angela could not defend herself, so Trump fired her. It was inevitable, considering that Trump’s admiration for Angela didn’t really seem to have anything to do with her performance in any of the tasks. It’s not like he’s hiring a hockey player.
And before the show starts, let me throw out a prediction: double firing tonight. Yes, we had one earlier this season, but it feels like this season is really dragging. It’s time to narrow down the field and get rid of some of these people already. There are far too many candidates left who I really don’t see winning. Let’s cut some fat!.
Kristine and Heidi play a little prank on Tim, making him think for a second that Nicole was fired. He’s happy to see his lady is still around. Heidi says the whole thing makes her feel like she’s in high school again. Nicole and the other Kinetic women tell Tim what Trump said about him, his loyalty, and how Nicole should dump him. James returns also and tells his team what’s going on. Tim wants to know everything. James fills them in, including the part about inviting Tim to join Kinetic. James asks Tim to be honest – is that something that he and Nicole talked about? Tim says that he’s torn. On one hand, he wants to be with Nicole, but on the other, he loves Arrow. Frank is incredulous about the whole thing, since Tim hasn’t even known Nicole for that long. Tim can’t imagine why anyone would think he’s being disloyal. He’s amazed that he was attacked in a Boardroom that he wasn’t even a part of. Tim insists to his team that in the task, he showed his loyalty. Stefani says that if he doesn’t give 110% in the next task, they’ll go after him.
The next morning, the candidates meet Trump at the print facility of the L.A. Times. Tim is apparently in business casual, the only guy not wearing a suit and tie. Way to phone it in, Tim. This week, the teams will develop an advertising supplement for the newspaper to promote Smart Mouth. Using a photographer, studio, and graphic designer, the teams will handle the design and photography for the supplement. The team with the best supplement wins.
Frank and Tim smell each other’s breath to see how well the stuff works. Stefani tries the mouthwash, which the guys say is not useful, since they didn’t check hers first. Tim starts brainstorming ideas, and in an interview, James says he’s trying a little too hard to prove himself. Tim says that he’s in a “do or die situation.” If they lose, they’ll say he was disloyal and that they lost trust in him. If they win, he feels like he’ll be redeemed and will be safe.
Kinetic photographs a gorgeous Heidi, who is the project manager again. That really speaks poorly for Nicole, considering that she’s the only member of the team who has not been PM yet. She should really have volunteered to lead, rather than have Heidi repeat. Kristine and Heidi also get their pictures taken, the idea being that the mouthwash is effective for every occasion throughout the day. Nicole says that by being the models, they’re showing Trump that they have the brains and are gorgeous. That didn’t work last time when she tried to have them been cute girls on roller skates, so I’m not sure why she loves it this time. Kristine jokes that they have narrowed down bad breath to “hot chicks.” Heidi wonders if they were a little too specific, making it look like a women’s product, but she thinks it was the right decision. The executives do not look impressed.
Meanwhile, Frank meets with a group of regular people. Stefani explains that they wanted people of every age, race, shape, and size, since the demographic “is everyone.” Could they not be more obviously about to win? Frank art directs the photo shoot, but Tim doesn’t think he’s doing very well. Tim says that Frank needed to give the models more specific instructions. After the photo shoot is done, Frank wonders if they should try something different. He thinks that the pictures isn’t bringing across the message. The rest of the team doesn’t really want to make a change so late in the day. James says it’s fine to question ideas, but not at the last minute. It throws the team off, he says. Stefani says she sees Frank’s point, but that it’s awfully late to set up another shot.
Kinetic then takes some beauty shots of the product. Heidi explains that she spent a lot of time with the photographer while the rest of the team met with the designer. Nicole has questions about overall look of the piece, but Heidi puts her off so she can work with the photographer. Kristine is not impressed. She says Heidi “knows exactly what she’s doing.” If they lose, she’s not accountable for the creative, but if she wins, she gets all of the credit.
The next morning, James reports that they’re all exhausted and got basically no sleep. Stefani says that since she’s giving the presentation, she needs to go home and shower. She and Frank take off, with James and Tim planning to meet them in a few minutes. But after they leave, James says maybe he and Tim should just work through. Tim is concerned because he doesn’t have a suit or shoes – he is in his jammies. James figures they’ll bring his clothes, but Frank doesn’t have his phone, so they can’t make sure. Later, at the mansion, Stefani is surprised that the others didn’t show up. She quickly calls the studio to check in, but before she can find out where Tim and James are, the cell phone battery dies. Uh-oh!
Tim shrugs that “PJ’s and all,” they just need to make the presentation. James still hopes Stefani will bring his clothes. Tim tries to figure out a way to cobble together a suit out of what James has and his t-shirt. James tells him that’s nuts, but no worries – Stefani and Frank have a suit for him. Stefani forgot socks, but other than that, Tim is ready to go.
Stefani gives the presentation, and as always, she’s totally smooth. She shows the image of a wide variety of people with bad breath, a beauty shot of the product, and then a page that graphically shows how the mouthwash works. She is an amazing presenter and Arrow is lucky to have her.
Kinetic is up next. Their supplement has a cool die-cut of the product, and lovely pictures of the women, but Heidi isn’t nearly as effective a presenter as Stefani.
The two executives talk briefly, then send in the teams and Trump for the results. Both teams, of course, are happy with how they did. Arrow had an interesting use of diversity, but that it was unclear that the people had bad breath. Trump thinks they look bored. They also don’t think the insert about the science flowed with the rest of it. They love Kinetic’s die cut and think it was a wow. Kinetic wins, and Smart Mouth intends to run the supplement. Trump congratulates Heidi on her win. They’ll have dinner at the mansion prepared by world-class chefs. Heidi says, “I’m back” as she walks out of the room.
Kinetic and Arrow swap locations. Nicole crows about the fact that she’s back in the mansion and quickly mixes drinks. She says the team is “about to see Nicole unleashed.” She is thrilled that they creamed Arrow. Arrow sits outside and listens to Frank noisily eat a bag of chips. Stefani sighs, “at least we’re not missing out of a really fantastic reward.”
Time for the reward. The chefs are Nicole’s mom, Heidi’s mom, and Kristine’s husband. Nicole says she “couldn’t have been more happier.” That’s a direct quote, by the way. Heidi explains that her mom lives in Michigan and has never been to California to visit her. Kristine tells us that her cute husband Blutto actually is a chef, but he says that he’d rather spend time with his wife than cook. Tim peeks in through the hedge to meet Nicole’s mom, then admits it’s totally awkward. Nicole tells her mom all about what happened while Tim paces nervously. Tim cannot believe Nicole is now involving her mother in the issue. “Give me a break,” James says. Why let himself be scrutinized like that? “This woman is killing him,” James sighs.
Heidi says that her mom is a hospice nurse and takes better care of other people than of herself. Heidi’s mom says she’s very proud of her daughter and that it’s a dream come true to see Heidi there. Heidi says the reward is more important than just winning a task.
The next morning, the newspaper arrives at the mansion, featuring their ad. The family members are totally thrilled. Nicole says her mom was really impressed and proud of her. Nicole is not interested in praise for a job well done, preferring instead to focus on the Tim issue. Nicole’s mom says not to worry about Tim, but to just focus on the tasks. That’s what she’s there for. Well said, Nicole’s mom! I’d use your name here if we’d ever learned it, but I will say that you are a smart lady. Nicole agrees with her. Good, maybe she’ll drop the whole issue. Kristine says she’s totally recharged, though she won’t elaborate on what about her night with her husband recharged her.
James doesn’t know who was worse on the task, Frank or Tim. He tells Stefani that Frank freaked out, but Tim was hard to manage. He asks her if he was a great PM, and she reassures him that he did well. James is afraid he’ll be fired, but intends to fight, though he knows everyone else will do the same. Stefani thinks Frank might go home for second guessing the concept. Tim suggests they talk about the task before the Boardroom. No one is interested. It’s kind of like on Survivor when someone wants to build consensus on who’ll be voted out, as if there will be no hard feelings and the losing person will happily get their torch snuffed. It just doesn’t work that way. Tim knows he’s on the hot seat, since the ideas were his. However, James approved them, so he thinks he has an out.
The executives from Smart Mouth tell Trump that they liked James as a leader and loved Stefani’s presentation. The candidates arrive to face their fate. James says that the team didn’t work well as a team. They had a big argument the night before the task, and some of that mistrust bled through. He says that they weren’t sure where Tim’s loyalty was, after Nicole. James says that his loyalty is mixed now. Trump can’t believe that would happen and that Nicole would respect him more if they won.
Tim says that loyalty is first to people, then to a team. He loves Arrow, but he doesn’t stop caring about Nicole. Ivanka says that in this scenario, he needs to work with his team towards a common goal. Anything else hurts the team. Tim says there’s no ambiguity in the task. Trump says Tim gave bad ideas, though James agreed them.
Ivanka says that the other team’s ad was much better and that they missed the mark. Tim says that the fault lies between him and James. He says that he should share both the credit for wins and for losses. James thinks they were distracted both by Tim and Frank. He says that Frank’s second guessing made them uncomfortable. Trump asks who art directed the photo shoot that the executives criticized. Frank admits it was his responsibility. Should he be fired? Frank says he had his doubts and articulated them.
Heidi asks why the science part of the supplement was loose. James explains that they used an insert instead of a multi-page spread. Ivanka says that they could have explained the science in a less literal way than drawing a graph.
Stefani says she’d fire Tim, and Frank agrees. Frank says it’s a job interview, not grade school. Stefani says Frank was less of a distraction. Tim asks her to explain what he did that was a problem. Tim says that if Trump were to ask Nicole, she’d say he’s a loyal person. I’m not so sure. Ivanka says that his saying that suggests he’s not loyal to Arrow. Tim complains that he can’t finish a sentence. Trump criticizes him for cutting off Ivanka, which is rich considering how rarely Trump lets someone else get a word in edgewise. Trump doesn’t want to fire James, because he’s otherwise done well. He won’t fire Stefani, because she’s not responsible for the loss. It’s between Frank and Tim.
Tim says that on tasks, he comes up with big ideas. Sure, sometimes it gets them to the Boardroom, but other times, they win. Stefani says that Frank does step up to the plate. James agrees. Tim says that Frank is smart “in certain ways,” and agrees that he’s street smart. But, Tim doesn’t think he’s creative or good in brainstorming sessions. Frank disagrees. Heidi asks what was so distracting about Frank and Tim. James says that Tim holds onto his ideas hard and isn’t good at compromise. Tim says he’s been the one to come up with big ideas. James resents that and says it’s more of a team effort. Heidi asks if they like each other, because they argue a lot. Trump says they only like each other when they win. As usual, Trump is simplifying things. Arrow doesn’t just argue when they lose. They’re a noisy group of people, they argue, and then all is forgiven. There are certainly families that operate that way, and Arrow is one of them. Heidi is definitely not part of a team like that, so it’s hard for her to relate.
Trump asks James who he would fire, and James has clearly given it some thought. He says that he is looking for someone who can follow direction and who compliments the rest of the team well. Tim offers creativity, but James feels that he has the same skill. They need a workhorse, and Frank’s it. Trump tells Tim he’s not doing well. Tim says he respects Frank and they’ll be friends, but it’s easier to find someone to work than to come up with big ideas. Frank’s a great workhorse, but his skills are limited to that. Tim says he can do that too, but so far it’s been Frank’s role. Frank hasn’t done anything yet, Tim claims.
James names the things Frank did, which Tim dismisses as errands. Frank doesn’t appreciate that one bit, and Stefani says that Frank’s contributions are much more important than that. Frank tells Tim he’s “wet behind the ears” and should concentrate on the task, not on some girl. Tim says that’s life and that he didn’t let it interfere. Ivanka isn’t so sure. Why are they talking about it? Tim thinks it’s an easy target. Trump says that when he brought up Nicole, Tim told him it was inappropriate, but now Tim will talk about it. Tim says he didn’t defend her when James moved her to the other team because it’s about business, not her. Trump says she is a distraction and they lost the task because of his bad ideas. Tim is fired.
Tim says he was a “blatant scapegoat,” and hates that he was attacked for loyalty. He admits he was a fool for getting romantically involved during a job interview. He then laments the fact that now that he’s been fired, he’ll be “greyed out” on the NBC website, which he hates. Hee!
I think Trump was right to fire Tim, but not for the reason given. Arrow lost both on their idea and execution. Kinetic’s idea was slightly better, in that it showed a positive, people looking fresh and happy with good breath, compared to Arrow’s negative. Kinetic also showed a much more cohesive product – it just flowed better than Arrow’s. Tim was responsible for the negative idea and for an execution that didn’t flow smoothly. That is a good, solid reason to get rid of Tim at this stage in the game.
But the Nicole thing? Almost completely irrelevant. I thought it was disloyal and inappropriate of Tim to tell Nicole what James intended to question in the Boardroom. It gave her an unfair advantage and showed that he was more interested in keeping Nicole around than any other motivations. But that didn’t come up at all (largely because the rest of the team didn’t know about it). Instead, there was a namby-pamby claim, never well explained, that we was distracted. We never saw Tim lose focus on the task, nor do we have reason to believe he sabotaged Arrow’s chances.
While he was at it, Trump might have fired Frank, too. The Smart Mouth executives thought that it was unclear that the people in the picture had bad breath. Frank was responsible for art directing the photo, so he was at fault for the problems they had. He also did question the concept at the eleventh hour, something that is never helpful to a team. Both are good reasons to let Frank go.
Next week’s episode looks intense. The candidates work on a Trump building, and we see tears from Heidi and Kristine. James thinks Trump is going to fire “a lot of people.” And Trump doesn’t just say “You’re fired” – he yells it! See you all then!
Betsy Wasser is the Associate Editor of Reality News Online. She can be reached with comments at BETSYWASSER@GMAIL.COM