The Apprentice, Recap Episode: Business as Usualby Betsy Wasser -- 03/19/2004
Donald Trump reminds us that his search for a new apprentice to head one of his companies began with sixteen candidates from all walks of life. Ten have been fired so far, and only 6 remain. In this recap episode, he’ll share the highlights, some new footage, and give us a preview of the weeks leading up to the finale. In this recap article, I’ll mainly focus on the new stuff. If the episode inspires you to relive some of your favorite moments, might I suggest checking out my fabulous recaps? Good, let’s get to it.
We start at the very beginning as Trump introduces himself, George, and Carolyn to the sixteen candidates. What we didn’t see the first time around is that candidates then introduce themselves to Trump and to the rest of the group. Most of them pretty much give a short description of where they’re from and what they do, but a few stand out. Jason brags about the fact that he manages rental properties, and if one of his tenants is just one day behind on their rent, he’ll start the eviction process. If he is trying to impress Trump, he fails, because Trump says that you have to have a heart sometimes. Jessie uses her kindergarten voice to talk about how she didn’t go to college and just bought a farm and sounds like ten kinds of hick. And Sam begins his own introduction by saying, “Mr. Trump, I’ve read every book you’ve written. Twice.”
The first task is the lemonade challenge. Versacorp picks a location surrounded by smelly fish. David has really weird and ineffective selling techniques. And crazy Sam attempts to sell a single glass of lemonade for $1,000. Meanwhile, the women flirt with the customers and rake in the money, earning twice as much as the men. In the boardroom, Sam continues his craziness. He stands up and tells Trump, “I’m going to stand right in front of you and if you have to punch me in the stomach to get me to sit down and shut up, I’ll shut up.” So that’s how you get Sam to shut up! In the end, Trump fires David. David, in his post-firing interview, is philosophical. He thinks Trump had a good command of the details, and says that as far as he’s concerned, there’s no prize but first prize. “If I wasn’t going to win it, I might as well get cut early. Avoid all the hassle.” Right, David. Tell that to Troy, who is already fielding job offers.
In week two, the candidates are challenged to come up with an advertising campaign for Marquis Jet. Amy calls the client to set up a meeting, and Jason makes the infamous decision that such a meeting isn’t worth the time. We see Tammy’s famous jet plane as phallic symbol idea. Trump says in a voiceover, “Tammy’s crazy idea showed that she was willing to go all the way.” That comment, juxtaposed with the image of Tammy holding a penis ad, is hilarious. Kudos to the editor. Meanwhile, at Versacorp, Sam curls up into a fetal position on the floor and takes a nap.
Protégé wins the task, but there is tension between Ereka and Omarosa. In an argument, Ereka comments that something Omarosa says is like the pot calling the kettle black. Omarosa accuses her of making racist remarks, and Ereka is stunned. In my interview with Ereka, she made a point of saying that she is not a racist and was very hurt by Omarosa’s statements.
Back in the suite, Amy tries to mediate some peace between the two women. She tells Omarosa that her style of talking to people is confrontational and not productive. Omarosa scoffs and tells her that all of the women are catty, all of them talk about each other behind their backs, and yet she is the only one who is being called out for it. She then goes on to tell Amy that all of the other women talk about her all the time for her lack of organization and poor management skills. Then in an interview, Omarosa laughs and says that she was just playing “a fun mind game” with Amy. Wow, she is evil.
In the boardroom, Jason tries to blame Sam’s nap for Versacorp’s loss, but Trump isn’t having it. Jason’s decision to not meet with the client is his downfall. He’s fired. In his post boot interview, Jason says that he’s done a lot of thinking about what went wrong and, “In my eyes, I didn’t go wrong. When Sam was sleeping on my shift, what’s to say he isn’t going to be sleeping on someone else’s shift?” If you want to learn more about Jason’s experiences on the show, you can read about them right here in my interview with him.
In between tasks, the candidates have a day off. The men of Versacorp opt to get in touch with their feminine sides by taking a spa day. Troy is nervous about his first massage, wondering if it’s going to be “a rub and a tug.” He asks Sam if she should get naked, and Sam advises him to strip down to his boxers. Troy says in an interview that he was nervous about his massage, but when it was over, he loved it.
The next task is the negotiation task, in which Sam, as Trump puts it, leads the men “into complete chaos.” After Protégé wins once again, Sam calls his dad for a pep talk. After he hangs up the phone, he tells the guys that he asked his dad what the most important thing is on a team. His dad told him a strong leader, which cracks everybody up. In the boardroom, Sam’s lack of leadership is too much for him to overcome. Trump asks, “Isn’t it over, Sam?” and fires him. We get a nice, lingering shot of Sam’s death stare, but Trump explains, “He wasn’t angry. He was just passionate about his job.” In my interview with Sam, he said that because he didn’t have the respect of his team, he couldn’t have possibly succeeded as a leader. In his post-firing interview, Sam jokes that “a lot of people think I’m certifiably insane.”
The teams face off in the Planet Hollywood restaurant management challenge. Trump notes, “The women relied on their usual tactics,” as we see them parading down the streets in short skirts and tiny t-shirts. Troy causes controversy by having Kwame sign autographs, while Bowie does an ineffective job of selling merchandise. Versacorp loses – again – and Trump fires Bowie, citing his failure to sell. In my interview with him, Bowie claimed that the men’s team actually sold more merchandise than the women’s team did. In his post-firing interview, Bowie says that he regrets that he didn’t make himself a leader, and says that if he had been project manager, his team would not have lost.
Because the number of men had so greatly dwindled, Trump called for a “corporate reshuffling” before the next task, and the project managers chose new, co-ed teams. Trump notes that Amy was the first one picked. In the flea market task that follows, Trump says, “Kristi choked, and her lack of leadership frustrated her team.” The one nice thing, though, is that Heidi and Omarosa bonded, at least for a moment, to talk about the terrible location that Kristi chose and how long it takes her to make a decision. Kristi’s team actually misplaces money and ends the task with a loss. Kristi confides to Jessie that she’s planning to take Omarosa and Heidi to the boardroom. Heidi overhears them and blows up, saying that Kristi stabbed her in the back. Heidi later explained to me in our interview that the reason she was so angry was that Kristi had promised that she would never, ever take Heidi to the boardroom.
In the boardroom, Omarosa administers a very smooth and polished attack on Kristi. Trump fires Kristi, saying that she failed to defend herself. In her post-firing interview, Kristi says that halfway through the challenge, Omarosa handed her the money and receipts and said, “I can’t do this. It’s your problem.” As a result, she was shocked at what Omarosa said in the boardroom. “It was so obnoxious that I felt I didn’t have to defend myself.” Oops.
The next challenge is the charity auction, and Jessie has trouble negotiating a donation from Isaac Mizrahi. When Protégé goes to the boardroom, Omarosa attacks Heidi, and much to Trump’s surprise, Jessie claims to like her in spite of it. In my interview with Jessie, she explained that she likes Omarosa as a person, but doesn’t approve of her management style. It’s a distinction that’s apparently unimportant to Trump; in the end, he concludes that Omarosa was rude, but Jessie was a doormat, so Jessie is fired. Jessie says in the end that she is proud that she was true to her morals and character. She has no regrets.
Before the real estate challenge begins, Protégé chooses Amy to even out the numbers. Trump notes that she was selected once again by her peers and says, “I was impressed.” But before the task begins, Omarosa gets hit on the head with a piece of plaster. She has a doctor come to the suite to examine her. The doctor says, “You’ve got a little bump there,” and advises Omarosa to take some Advil. Trump says that Omarosa was still not convinced that she was okay, so she went to the hospital to have her head examined. It’s kind of cool when you can literally say that someone had her head examined. Anyway, Trump reports that the doctors there didn’t find anything “terribly wrong” with her. He says that he would show us that scene, but that the cameras were not allowed into the hospital.
We next go from exaggerated drama to a real problem: Heidi learns that her mother has cancer. Heidi is very upset, but says that her mother wants her to stay. She’s grateful to have something else to focus on, but her mother is never far from her thoughts.
Project managers Katrina and Troy check out the two apartments, and Troy completely flusters Katrina by writing, “I want what you want,” on a slip of paper, in clear violation of the rules that she made up for how they’d negotiate for the apartments. Katrina is hopping mad and vows to win the task. She doesn’t, though, and in the boardroom tries to take Troy to task for his supposedly shady tactics. Trump says that they were duped, and Katrina and the rest of the team say they weren’t… except for Tammy, who thinks they were. For her disloyalty, Tammy is fired. Tammy says in her post-firing interview that she is a loyal person, but she will point out someone’s shortcomings if she has to. In this case, it’s that Katrina was duped. She totally was, but Tammy probably shouldn’t have said so in front of everyone.
In the next challenge, Troy’s salesmanship leads Protégé to a big win in the Trump Ice challenge. Nick and Bill suspect that Ereka will take the two of them to the boardroom, so the two of them have dinner together and discuss how they’ll handle her. Nick says, “I’m ready for it. I’ll back you up in there.” Bill says that he doesn’t want a full-on character assassination, but Nick is up for whatever it takes to “get rid of whatshername.” In the boardroom, Nick and Bill present a unified front, and Ereka makes lame excuses for not taking Katrina. Ereka is fired. In her interview, she says that “the boys” are deceptive with each other. She calls Nick a dud and says that Bill was a chicken in the boardroom, shaking in fear.
Trump has Versacorp select a new member to even out the numbers, and they once again choose Amy. In the art challenge, Versacorp chooses a more conventional artist, and Protégé goes out on a limb with the unusual Meghan. Heidi and Omarosa get into a huge argument about whether or not to stop for lunch, and Kwame and Troy seem relieved not to be a part of it. Versacorp decimates Protégé in sales. In an interview, Heidi says, “I was offended by some of the artwork.” Heidi doesn’t strike me as a woman who is easily offended, so that’s probably saying a lot. She adds, “As a team, we chose the wrong artist. We can’t blame anyone but ourselves.” In the boardroom, the Heidi-Omarosa conflict comes up again, and Omarosa is fired. What? Did you want to hear that again?
Omarosa is fired.
In her post-firing interview, Omarosa says that she can hold her head high, because she knows that she is an incredibly accomplished woman. She can do anything she puts her mind to. Except, apparently, winning this game. I’m just saying.
The final seven players go out for drinks. Bill asks everyone to give a toast in his honor if he gets fired… and then to never mention his name again. Katrina says that the game is no longer about friendship; it’s about getting the job.
In the most recent challenge, the teams are charged with running a fleet of rickshaws. Protégé offers incentives to the drivers and creates a punch card system. But for Versacorp, Amy comes up with the really impressive idea of selling advertising on the rickshaws. During the challenge, Heidi says that she’s exhausted, and that because of her mother’s illness, her head isn’t fully in the game. Protégé loses the challenge. In the boardroom, Carolyn says that Heidi has never shown her anything impressive. Heidi is fired. In her post-booting interview, she says that the worst moment was finding out about her mother’s illness. She’s happy to report now that her mother is doing much better. I must say, Heidi seriously grew on me over the past few weeks. At first, I found her crude, crass, and one of the worst offenders in women’s team’s constant use of their sexuality to win tasks. But she proved herself to be an amazing seller, and I really admire the dignity with which she handled the incredible stress she must have felt at juggling the show and her mother’s illness. I also respect the fact that unlike Amy, Ereka, Kristi, and Katrina, Heidi chose not to pose for sexy pictures in FHM. Heidi may be a little rough around the edges, but that was a smart decision..
Now, only six candidates remain: Amy, Bill, Katrina, Kwame, Nick, and Troy. They have some tough challenges ahead. They’ll have to work in a casino, tackle high-end real estate, oversee golf tournaments, and manage rock concerts. In the end, there will be only one winner.
Next week, on an all-new Apprentice, the candidates head to Atlantic City to work in Trump’s Taj Mahal casino. Amy is at war with Katrina. We see Amy telling her, “Turn off the sexual (bleep) and let’s talk business.” Go, Amy! Amy and Nick continue to flirt, and Trump finds out about it. And in the end, someone makes a huge mistake that gets them fired. I am so there.
Betsy is the Assistant Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached with any comments at email@example.com.
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