The Apprentice, Episode 6: For a Good Causeby Betsy Wasser -- 02/13/2004
This week’s episode of The Apprentice starts the usual way – the players that didn’t have to go to the boardroom are clustered near the door wondering who was sent home. Troy tells everyone that things got rather personal and heated in the boardroom. In an interview, Jessie says, “If Omarosa comes back from the boardroom, then I’ll really question what this is all about.” That’s interesting, Jessie, because I remember last week you blamed your team’s loss on Project Manager Kristi, not Omarosa.
The suspense ends as Heidi and Omarosa return to the suite. Ereka squeals with joy, happy to see Heidi back. Tammy is visibly shocked to see Omarosa back again. Seriously, Tammy’s jaw pretty much hits the floor like a surprised cartoon character. Omarosa smoothly says, “Oh, are you surprised, Tammy? Did you think I was not going to hold my own?” Omarosa says that seeing the team’s reactions to her return was valuable. She doesn’t elaborate on how they were valuable, but she has two choices now that she knows how everyone feels about her. She can either change her ways and be nicer to everyone so she won't be so disliked. Or she can embrace it and be an evil super villain. Lex Luthor is a bad genius, and his evil ways and lack of ethics allow him to claw his way to the top. Perhaps Omarosa is doing the same.
We’ll find out soon, because Protégé is ready to plan the next task, that is, after Heidi has a refreshing cigarette. Omarosa tells the team that she is “very interested” in being the next Project Manager. In an interview, she says, “During the last task, seeing a very, very weak Project Manager made me want to step up. Either I remain a team member and let someone else choose to put me up, or I’m Project Manager and I choose to put someone else up.” I’m glad to see that she’s taking charge. For weeks now, Omarosa has been telling us how smart she is. Now we’ll find out if it’s true. Jessie says in an interview that she’s glad to have Omarosa as Project Manager. If she’s as good as she claims to be, they’ll win. If she’s not, she might be going home. Omarosa is confident that she’ll come out on top.
The Trump phone rings, and Omarosa pounces on it. The candidates are instructed to meet Trump at the Wollman skating rink in Central Park.
Trump tells the candidates that he’s very proud of the Wollman rink. The City of New York spent, according to Trump, many years and millions of dollars to build a skating rink in the park, but was unsuccessful. Finally, Trump got tired of looking at the eyesore from his apartment and offered to build it himself. He did, in only three months and for less than two million dollars. He’s glad to be doing something for the city because, “It’s all about giving back.”
Trump tells the candidates that their next challenge will focus on giving to a good cause – the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation . Each team will meet with five celebrities to negotiate a donation to an auction for the foundation. The auction will be held at Sotheby’s, and whichever team raises the most money from their donations wins the challenge. The team that raises the least amount of money must face the boardroom.
Versacorp meets to choose a Project Manager. Bill and Tammy are the only team members who have not yet taken the helm, and because the team thinks Bill is better suited to the task, he’s in charge. Versacorp must meet with Regis Philbin, celebrity chef Rocco Dispirito (no stranger to reality TV himself, as he starred in another Mark Burnett production, The Restaurant), Carson Daly, NFL player Tiki Barber, and Ed Bereno, executive producer of Third Watch.
Protégé will be meeting with Russell Simmons, Cosmopolitan Editor-in-Chief Kate White, Nicole Miller, the Fab Five of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and Isaac Mizrahi. Omarosa has trouble pronouncing “Mizrahi” (it’s miz-rah-hee, if you were curious), and vows to learn it before she meets him.
At Versacorp, Amy is hard at work scheduling meetings. Ereka says that she’s not usually star-struck, but she can’t believe she’s actually going to meet Regis Philbin. That is just about the cutest thing ever that she’s so excited to meet Regis. They decide to split up the team into two groups so that they won’t overwhelm the person they’re meeting with. Good idea. Ereka, Tammy, and Amy will meet with Carson Daly, while Katrina, Nick, and Bill talk to Tiki Barber.
Meanwhile, Omarosa schedules meetings with Russell Simmons and Isaac Mizrahi. Protégé also divides up into two groups. Jessie calls Omarosa on her cell phone to ask for a phone number for a contact person at Elizabeth Glaser. Omarosa wants to know why. Jessie explains that she wants to get some background about the charity so she’ll know what she’s talking about when she asks someone for a donation. That’s a really good idea, and shows that Jessie respects the fact that they’re asking these stars for some pretty generous things. Omarosa demands to talk to Kwame, who repeats Jessie’s request. Omarosa says that she also wants to talk to their contact at the charity, so she refuses to give them the phone number. She then hangs up on Kwame.
Let me repeat that: Omarosa hung up on Kwame.
I see where she’s coming from; I really do. Omarosa doesn’t want to overwhelm anyone with a million phone calls, and as Project Manager, she wants to be the central contact person. But instead of explaining that to her team, Omarosa rudely hung up on them. Kwame looks at the phone in stunned disbelief. Omarosa dismissively says that Kwame and Jessie weren’t listening to her. In an interview, Jessie says, “Omarosa creates such negative energy… I think it would be best for everyone on the team if Omarosa was fired.”
It’s time for the Trump Lesson of the Week. Trump tells us, “Know What You’re Up Against.” If you’re negotiating, it’s best to know as much about your opponent as possible. Thus endeth the lesson.
The entire Protégé team arrives at Russell Simmons’s office. Kwame explains that for each meeting, there will be a pilot (in this case, him) and a co-pilot (Omarosa) that will take the lead in negotiations. Kwame says that he’s very excited to meet Russell Simmons, as he has admired him for a long time. But in Russell’s office, Kwame is a little stiff and uncomfortable, prompting Russell to ask Kwame if he’s a lawyer. Kwame says that his background is on Wall Street, and starts throwing donation options to Russell. He suggests a New Year’s Eve concert and after-party. Russell says no. How about one year’s unlimited backstage passes? Russell flatly says, “No. Next.” Kwame says in an interview that he felt like he couldn’t be himself. Omarosa steps in, using her patented smooth evil purr to see if that can convince Russell to give a donation. No such luck.
Then country boy Troy steps up. He drawls that Russell should donate a special night for one person, really focus on that person, and make him or her feel special. Russell is taken aback by Troy’s accent and asks him where he’s from. Thanks to Troy, Protégé is able to break the ice and get Russell to agree to a donation.
Team Versacorp meets with Carson Daly. Ereka and Amy ask Carson if he’s planning on hosting any concerts or events that he might be able to donate backstage passes to. Carson offers that he’s hosting Z-100’s Christmas Jingle Bell Bash. Amy asks if he’d consider giving a limo ride and eight tickets to the show. Carson loves the idea. Then, Tammy chimes in, pointing out that Carson is friends with Tiger Woods. How about a round of golf with Carson, Tiger, the winner of the auction, and a guest? Carson politely says that Tiger is awfully busy, so it won’t work out. Carson clearly says no to any golf-related ideas.
The rest of the team is mortified. Amy says that Tammy came across as not caring about Carson and what he could offer so much as focusing on who he knows. As Tammy speaks, the rest of the team silently will her to shut up. They are absolutely right to be embarrassed. When you think of Carson Daly, do you think, “That’s a guy I’d like to play golf with?” Of course not – the prize that Tammy suggested was not about Carson; it was about Tiger Woods. In a way, it was insulting. Tammy implied that Carson himself is not enough of a draw, that he’d need to throw in a few famous friends to sweeten the deal.
Tammy then suggests a romantic weekend with Carson. Carson, rather understandably, is not interested in a weekend away with someone he doesn’t know. Amy returns to the Jingle Bell Bash plan and asks Carson if he’d be willing to give the winner backstage passes and introduce them around. Carson says yes. Then Tammy keeps talking and says, “Back to the golf,” and wonders if Carson has another famous friend who he might offer up for an outing. Carson pretty much ignores her. Tammy cannot take a hint. In an interview, Amy calls Tammy a loose cannon and says that if she had her way, Tammy would never go to another meeting with them again.
Next, Protégé meets with the Fab Five. Troy says that he wanted to come into the meeting with a strategy. He explains, “Their job is to criticize straight men. You can’t find a straighter man than a kid from Boise, Idaho.” Really, Troy? I’ve got two words for you: leg wax. Before going into the meeting, Troy removes his belt and puts it in his pocket. Immediately, fashion maven Carson notices and tells Troy that without a belt, he might as well be naked. The Fab Five all tease Troy, who takes it good naturedly. Troy says, “I was a virgin on prom night to those kids.” Protégé suggests that the Fab Five donate a day on the golf course with the winner in which they act as fashion patrol. Carson is intrigued by the footwear possibilities, but Kyan has another idea. He says, “Or a similar activity we like to do that also involves balls.” Get your minds out of the gutter… or into the gutter, in this case, because they’re talking about bowling! The Fab Five agree to donate a night of disco bowling with the Queer Eye guys. Everyone loves the idea, and Heidi is jazzed about how well she and Troy worked together. He turns on the good old boy charm, and she’s the tough New Yorker who seals the deal.
If only Kyan had been given a chance to talk to Heidi about those eyebrows.
Katrina is excited to meet with Tiki Barber because she’s a huge fan of his. That’s pretty much all we hear about Tiki Barber or Katrina this episode, so I hope everyone enjoyed it.
Ed Bereno agrees to auction of a walk-on part on Third Watch. Nick says that he loves the challenge of working with his team to raise money for a good cause.
The next stop is Rocco’s, for a meeting with Rocco and Mama. Yay, I missed Mama! Tammy starts the preposterous negotiations by suggesting that Rocco rent a chateau in Europe to go on vacation with the winner of the auction. Rocco says that’s more money than he’s able to donate. He looks really uncomfortable. Amy says that they “pretty consistently count on Tammy saying something we wish we could erase.”
Jessie and Omarosa meet with Kate White. Omarosa mentions some charity work Kate has done in the past, and Kate is impressed that Omarosa has done her homework.
Nicole Miller offers an internship to work with her. Wow, that’s a cool donation. Heidi says that it’s important that everyone’s spirits be high, or they won’t be successful.
Next, Protégé meets with Isaac Mizrahi. Jessie takes the lead and starts very slowly explaining what an auction is and how it all works. Isaac says that she’s talking to him as if he’s never heard English before. Jessie apologizes, and he says it’s okay, “You’re a doll.” Yet Jessie continues to talk down to him. In an interview, Omarosa says that Jessie’s manner of speaking was clearly irritating Isaac, it was annoying the hell out of her, and she noticed Trump’s viceroy George cringing.
Omarosa obviously thinks she can do better, so she starts interrupting Jessie to add her own ideas. Someone suggests that they do something during Fashion Week, and Isaac hates the idea, since it’s his busiest week. Isaac looks miserable. He obviously wants to help, but the team hasn’t made a single suggestion that he likes.
It’s country boy to the rescue again! Troy suggests that Isaac offer a preview of his next collection, along with eight outfits. Isaac loves the idea. “Fun!” he cries, and he and Troy hug. Omarosa almost torpedoes his good will however, when she mispronounces “Mizrahi.” Isaac looks stricken. Omarosa apologizes and says he should forget it. Isaac asks if a potential president of one of Donald Trump’s companies just told him to forget it. Still, in spite of Omarosa’s blunder (and I do have more to say about that), Troy says that when it comes to negotiating, Jessie is the weakest link.
Isaac Mizrahi isn’t exactly a minor celebrity. He’s had his own TV shows, he’s been in movies… the even man designs clothes for Target! Shouldn’t Omarosa have heard his name pronounced enough times so she’d know how to pronounce it? And even if she’d never heard of him before, shouldn’t she have taken the time to make sure she knew how to say his name? Finally, wouldn’t you think that someone with an unusual name like Omarosa would be a little more sensitive about pronouncing someone’s name right?
At Versacorp, the team is talking about how crazy Tammy’s ideas are. Someone (Bill, I think) says, “She’s not only not on the same page; she’s not reading the same book.” Amy starts to say something and Nick shushes her. Playful banter ensues about whether Nick’s shushing Amy makes him the sort of strong man that she claims to like, or if it makes him an annoying guy who shouldn’t shush her. It’s very flirty and cute.
Versacorp’s next meeting is with Regis Philbin. Bill says that he has “a high level of concern about Tammy.” Amy pitches the first idea to Regis: a day in the life of Regis Philbin. Regis thinks it would be boring – on a typical morning, he gets up, has some cereal, and feeds his cat. In an interview, Tammy says that while the rest of her team has some simple plans, she’s all about the big ideas. She busts out what is indeed a big idea when she suggests that Regis donate a trip for four with Regis, his wife Joy, the winners, “and maybe another couple” to Regis’s favorite vacation spot in the world. Like Carson Daly, Regis is dubious about the idea of going on a vacation with someone he’s never meet, so Tammy suggests it be for just two days. Amy gently steers the topic into rational territory. With Amy’s help, Regis agrees to donate a limo ride to Atlantic City, passes to see the dress rehearsal of one of his shows, and a late dinner with the man himself. As the group leaves Regis’s dressing room, everyone touches a good luck sign above the door, except for Tammy, who claims to be too short to reach it.
I’m starting to wonder if Tammy was raised by especially socially awkward wolves.
It’s auction night at Sotheby’s, and all of the candidates are dressed up and ready to see who wins. Katrina is confident that her team will win. Jessie is all agog, because she usually goes to farm auctions.
Bowling with the Fab Five sells for a fab $9,000.
A day with Regis Philbin nets $6,000.
Isaac Mizrahi’s fashion package goes for $7,000.
Rocco Dispirito has donated a private party at Rocco’s for fifty guests. Wow, that’s really generous. The crowd must agree; it goes for $13,000.
Something described as a “Cosmo day” with Kate White sells for $6,000.
A walk-on for Third Watch is worth $7,000.
To be Nicole Miller’s apprentice, you don’t have to go on TV; you just have to donate $6,000.
The “Tiki Barber lot,” whatever that is, goes for $4,000.
Russell Simmons’s donation gets a bid of $7,000.
The last item up for bid is the night with Carson Daly. Bill is worried, thinking that the package with Carson won’t sell for more than the Regis Philbin package. Bill didn’t count on a young lady in the audience who is apparently Carson’s biggest fan. She bids $10,000.
A happy looking Trump instructs the candidates to meet him in a conference room to review the results. The two teams raised $75,000 for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Protégé brought in $35,000, which is excellent, but Versacorp beat them with $40,000. There is no reward this week because, Trump says, raising money for a good cause is the reward. As for Protégé, Trump says, “I can’t be overly upset. I can’t be angry,” since they raised so much money. But nevertheless, they must meet him in the boardroom.
Looking at the auction itself, most of the items sold for around the same price – $6,000 to $7,000. Versacorp had the lowest selling item with the Tiki Barber package selling for only $4,000, but they more than made up for it with their higher ticket items – the party at Rocco’s and the day with Carson Daly. It’s hard to say that one team really did better than the other, especially because we don’t know the details of what was included in all of the prize packages. The main difference between Versacorp and Protégé seemed to be that the Versacorp team members went in to their meetings with ideas that were generous but realistic (with the notable exception of every idea we saw from Tammy). On the other hand, Protégé appeared to go in a little colder, hoping that the celebrity would have a good idea of what to offer. Again, it’s hard to say why Versacorp beat Protégé this time, but they did seem to be a little better organized.
Versacorp goes out for drinks to celebrate. Amy cries, “I love this team!” Nick does a very funny imitation of Troy explaining himself in the boardroom. They all tease Tammy about how crazy she is (Tammy’s craziness is funny so long as they continue to win challenges). They tell Tammy that’s she’s in left field while the rest of them are in right field. But if they throw the ball to left field, Tammy says she’ll catch it.
Nick and Amy head back to the suite, where they do some serious flirting. Amy tells Nick about her past relationships, and Nick says that he wants to get married and have kids some day. He has already chosen the names: Jake for a boy, Brooke for a girl. Amy teases him, saying that men usually don’t get to pick the names. Nick and Amy both admit that they like each other, but don’t want to let their flirtation get in the way of the competition.
Omarosa says she’s not worried about going to the boardroom. She can talk circles around farm girl Jessie, country boy Troy, New Yorker Heidi, and MBA robot Kwame. That was a real insight into the way Omarosa seems to see this situation. Not only is she not the one who deserves to be fired this week, but she seems to think that she is truly better than all of the others. She really managed to compartmentalize and put down all of them.
Next, Omarosa talks soothingly and condescendingly to Jessie about why she deserves to go. “You were horrible today,” Omarosa tells her sweetly. Jessie disagrees, and Omarosa continues to patronize her. She says that not only did Jessie mess up the negotiations with Isaac Mizrahi, but she did it in front of George. In an interview, an emotional Jessie says that the character behind a person is what really matters. Troy thinks that Omarosa and Jessie are the two most in jeopardy.
In the boardroom, Trump asks Troy how Omarosa was as a leader. He says that he questioned her at first, but she ended up doing a great job. Heidi agrees, saying that she was pleasantly surprised at how well Omarosa did. Trump pressures her to say who should go, and after trying to get out of it several times, she finally admits that Jessie had trouble negotiating. Kwame agrees that based on her trouble negotiating with Isaac, Jessie should go. Trump asks Jessie if Omarosa was a good leader. Jessie says that even a good leader can succumb to pressure, and that’s what happened to Omarosa. Huh? In response to that, Omarosa says that Jessie is just trying to protect herself, because Jessie was clearly responsible for their failure.
Next, Trump asks Omarosa how Heidi did. Omarosa says, “Heidi was fantastic.” She goes on to say that Heidi is unprofessional and doesn’t have any class or finesse, but… A laughing Heidi interrupts to say that she has plenty of class. Yeah. Remember when Heidi badgered the customers at Planet Hollywood to do more shots? Or the time that she whined and did a dance to convince a guy to knock ten bucks off the price of the gold bar? Or the time that she showed off her cleavage in a business meeting? Or when she went all around the suite swearing and screaming about Kristi? Yep, she’s a classy one, all right. Trump says that Omarosa’s “you have no class” comment was probably the worst compliment he’s ever heard. Does Heidi still like her after she said that? Heidi says that she does, and that Omarosa is entitled to her opinion. Trump can’t believe it.
Trump turns back to the negotiation with Isaac Mizrahi. Carolyn asks Omarosa how to pronounce the designer’s last name. Omarosa gets it right, but Carolyn points out that she learned that lesson too late. Jessie says that she and Omarosa were the two paired to talk to him. Omarosa fixes her best condescending look at Jessie and says, “Weren’t you the lead?” Jessie agrees that she was. Omarosa patronizingly asks Jessie if she wants to take responsibility. Trump can’t believe the way Omarosa is talking to Jessie. How can Jessie like her after she’s talked to that way? And how can Heidi claim to like Omarosa after the worst compliment ever? He says, “Either you’re not telling the truth or you’re not very bright.” He says that Omarosa has been very rude to two people. As expected, those are the two people she chooses to go to the boardroom: Jessie and Heidi.
George says that Omarosa was a good leader, but a bit abrasive. He thinks that her mispronunciation of Mizrahi’s name was a real misfire. Carolyn says that she did not see good leadership from Omarosa that day. By that, I’m guessing she means in the boardroom, rather than at the challenge. Trump says he’s fairly certain of his decision and sends for the candidates.
Trump asks Jessie why she should stay. She says that Trump is choosing someone to represent him, so character should be important. Heidi has great character, and while she likes Omarosa, her character isn’t as good. Heidi is clearly more upset about the “no class” comment than she was before, and admits that she doesn’t personally like Omarosa, but she does respect her. Omarosa tells Trump that he’s looking for leadership, and he can find it in her. Heidi says that she was insulted by Omarosa and would not work for someone who’d talk to her that way.
Trump tells Jessie that she is overly nice “and I don’t love that.” Heidi, on the other hand, is tougher. Omarosa was incredibly rude to them, and Trump doesn’t know how they were able to put up with it and still claim to like her. Trump tells Omarosa, “You are rude. I’ve seen it.” But Jessie’s willingness to put up with it is worse. Jessie sees the writing on the wall and asks Trump if he wants someone like Omarosa running one of his companies. He says, “We’ll see.” Jessie begs, “Please don’t fire me, Mr. Trump.” Trump says that Jessie didn’t stand up for herself. Omarosa’s behavior was “repulsive,” but Jessie was worse for putting up with it. As Trump and Jessie are talking, each time he says something negative about her and it becomes more and more obvious that she is going home, Omarosa allows a smirk to form on her lips before quickly suppressing it so Trump won’t see. But we, the viewers, do. In the end, though, Jessie is fired.
As Jessie leaves, Heidi hugs her goodbye, and unsurprisingly, Omarosa doesn’t. Trump says that he ultimately chose to fire Jessie because she didn’t stand up for herself.
This was a very interesting episode, and I have a lot of thoughts about it. First of all, I can understand why Heidi wasn’t more mad initially at Omarosa’s non-compliment. Heidi had just finished saying that she hadn’t expected much from Omarosa, but that her leadership impressed her. In a way, Omarosa was responding in turn, saying that Heidi’s style is different from her own, but that she ultimately appreciates the results Heidi gets. Omarosa’s word choice was pretty lousy, but Heidi understood what she meant and wasn’t angry. But after Trump pointed out so many times what a lousy “compliment” it was, after Omarosa selected her for the boardroom, and after Heidi had a few quiet minutes to think about it, she was more offended than she had been. I think that’s understandable, too.
Heidi was never a serious candidate for firing this week. Trump’s decision was clearly between Omarosa and Jessie. Did Trump make the right choice? I think he did. Omarosa can be rude, patronizing, and obnoxious. Pronouncing Isaac Mizrahi’s name wrong was a major blunder. Jessie, on the other hand, did a horrible job when she took the lead negotiating with the designer. Even after he told her that she was talking to him like he was a child, she didn’t change her tone. She had no good ideas to offer, and Isaac just looked frustrated. Omarosa’s rudeness was absolutely not a factor in their losing the challenge. We saw no indication that she was anything but professional the entire time. Jessie had an awful exchange with Isaac, but thanks to quick-thinking Troy, they negotiated a donation from him that netted $7,000. Her terrible negotiating skills also didn’t lose the challenge. It’s hard to say why Protégé lost this week. It’s difficult to predict what a crowd at a charity auction will bid on, and both teams had a respectable showing. Trump had to base his decision on something else.
In the end, I think his decision came down to the women’s performance in the boardroom. Omarosa was a raging bitch, but Jessie was a doormat. In business, you can be a raging bitch and still get results for your company. As a doormat, though, you’ll just get stepped on. Trump may very well be planning to fire Omarosa in the near future, but for now, she was a better choice to keep around than the submissive Jessie. Trump’s words in the boardroom should serve as a stern warning to Omarosa to treat her teammates more kindly if she wants to stick around.
Next week, the two teams will be challenged to renovate and rent an apartment. Omarosa gets hurt, claims to be unable to work, and then gets caught playing basketball. An emotional Heidi may be forced out of the game. And Trump has to make his toughest decision yet. Who will it be? We’ll find out next week.
Betsy is the Assistant Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached with any comments at email@example.com.
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