The Apprentice 3, Episode 15: With Friends Like Theseby Betsy Wasser -- 05/06/2005
Kendra and Craig are in the suite waiting to see if Tana or Alex will survive the boardroom, like candidates always do. The one thing they’re not doing, though, is speculating with each other as to who it will be, since that would involve talking to each other, something the two of them are not about to do. Craig says in an interview that this is the toughest boardroom yet to predict. He thinks he and Tana are the best candidates, but Alex is a smart guy. Kendra tells Craig (hey, they’re speaking!) that she thinks Alex will be mad that he lost again. Just then, Tana bursts in the door with a “Honey, I’m home!” Craig gives her a big hug. In an interview, Tana says that at this point, it’s destiny. She and Craig say a prayer together. Kendra notices and says that their closeness makes her nervous. She feels like it’s two against one, but notes that tomorrow, there are no teams.
The next morning, the candidates meet at the penthouse of Trump World Tower. It’s gorgeous, with hardwood floors and an incredible view of the city. Trump congratulates the three of them on getting as far as they have. For their next task, they’ll interview with four top executives. They are David Brandon, the Chairman and CEO of Domino’s Pizza, Darlene Daggett, the President of QVC, Howard Lorber, the Chairman of Douglas Ellman Real Estate, and Greg Brenneman, the Chairman and CEO of Burger King. After the interviews, Trump will talk to the execs, find out who the two strongest candidates will be, and then Craig will be fired. Well, I’m just assuming that last part.
Tana is excited as she heads to Darlene’s office. In an interview, she says that at this point, it’s all about who you are and what you’ve done. She knows she has to sell herself. Darlene begins with what will probably be a frequently asked question about Tana: How would a small-town girl from Iowa fit into the Trump Organization? Tana picks the hayseeds out of her teeth and says that wherever she is, she will fit in and will make the best of her situation. She talks about her mom, and how she influenced her to be an entrepreneur.
David asks Craig about the most challenging business problem he’s experienced. Craig says it’s hard hiring the right people. David asks him for specifics, and Craig stammers about delegating, but doesn’t really seem to get anywhere. That doesn’t look good.
Howard asks Kendra what her ideal job would be. Kendra says she’d love to sell real estate or work on the construction of one of Trump’s buildings. Although she sounds great, we see a shot of her wringing her hands. Howard reminds her that she has no experience in construction. Kendra says that you have to start somewhere, and Trump can either hire her or face her as competition in the future. This answer makes Howard grin.
Greg points out that Craig has had an array of different jobs – what does this say about Craig? Craig stammers once again. Darlene asks Kendra when it’s okay to bend the rules, and Kendra talks about loopholes in real estate law that she uses on a regular basis. Howard discovers that Craig would like Trump to build low-cost housing. But then where would you put the gold sinks? Kendra says she’d choose Tana as a business partner. Tana would choose Craig, and Craig would pick Tana. Kendra calls Craig’s leadership approach “narrow minded.” Craig thinks Kendra is unfocused. Meanwhile, Tana says that she has never had a negative confrontation with anyone on her team. Craig tells his interview that although he values education, he chose a different path. Tana says that she opted to have children instead of going to college. Finally, we see a montage of interviews and worried looking candidates.
With that, it’s boardroom time. Trump thanks the executives for their time. David tells him that while all three of the candidates were good, he found Craig “hard to pin down.” He gave vague answers and had little substance. Kendra, he felt, was a little too assertive. He’d hire Tana, who he found solid and capable. Darlene says she would hire Tana. She admires her entrepreneurial spirit and notes that she is very much aware of the struggles of balancing marriage, a family, and a professional life. Craig was interesting, but Darlene agrees that he lacked substance. However, Darlene had the most questions about Kendra. She found Kendra’s answers to be a little too scripted.
Howard, on the other hand, is a big Kendra fan. He admits that she’s young, but figures Trump could mold her into whatever he wants. He wasn’t impressed with Craig, in particular because he’d want to change the Trump Organization. As for Tana, he thinks she’s nice, but would have trouble adjusting to the big city life. Greg says that he wants to like Craig, but that he too found him lacking in substance. He did like Kendra a lot and thinks she is smart and talented despite her age. Tana, he thinks, is a balance between Kendra and Craig, but he wonders if she could be a leader.
Well, that seems pretty cut and dried, doesn’t it? With no discussion with George and Carolyn, Trump sends Kendra, Craig, and Tana back to the boardroom. He asks Craig what he thought of the executives. Craig says they impressed him and that he had a lot of respect for what they had to say. Trump doesn’t beat around the bush and tells him that they didn’t think Craig was deep enough, that he lacked substance. To the surprise of no one, Craig is fired.
In his final cab ride, Craig thanks Trump for the opportunity. He says his wife and children will find him to be new and improved.
Back inside, Trump congratulates Kendra and Tana. They’ll face their final task the next day. The two women look absolutely thrilled. They return to the suite, exclaim over how exciting it is, and hug. They find a bottle of champagne waiting for them, along with a photo album. In the grand tradition of Survivor’s Fallen Heroes, the two flip through the album and remember the other candidates.
Todd was handsome. Brian had a worthless green book that he carried with him. They admire Verna and her suitcase, then Kendra notes that Danny was a disaster as a leader, but fun. Kristen is a pretty girl, but never smiled. Michael had “big ideas.” Tara was cute in her spray painting outfit, and Audrey was beautiful. They pause at a picture of my ex-boyfriend John and call him a rock star in his cowboy shirt. They laugh at Erin “workin’ it” at Home Depot and admire a really good picture of Stephenie. They both miss Angie. Chris, they agree, was cute. The two women also coo over a picture of Bren, then talk about how handsome Alex was, and a great friend as well. Finally, they talk about what a great smile Craig has in his picture. Kendra says, “I hate that we fought.” Kendra says that all of the other candidates made an impression on her. Tana clinks glasses with Kendra and asks, “Which one of us beautiful broads gets the job?”
The next morning, the two women head to the boardroom, and they could not look more different. Kendra is wearing a very conservative grey pantsuit with a simple white shirt underneath. Tana, on the other hand, is decked out in red, sequin (or maybe bedazzler beads) and what appears to be a Muppet pelt. On a TV screen, Trump appears and gives them their tasks. Kendra will run the Best Buy video game world championship. Tana will host the NYC 2012 Athletic Challenge to promote New York as the site for the Olympics in 2012.
Before they begin, Carolyn and George have employees for them. Kendra will be working with Erin, Michael, and Danny. Ouch. Tana gets Brian, Kristen, and Chris. Also ouch. The teams leave, and George tells the candidates that they are in charge and should feel free to use or not use their teams as they see fit. In other words, fire Omarosa, Kwame! About two seconds after the door shuts behind the employees, Tana asks if they can switch up their teams. George says no, and asks Kendra if she too has someone on her staff that she’s not thrilled about. Kendra says there is. George tells them that part of the task will be working with people they might not choose to work with. Fair enough.
The two women return to the suite somewhat deflated. Tana says that she has all of the bad tempers, but Kendra has all of the scatterbrains. The two of them laugh, because what can you do? Kendra thinks Tana will have some confrontation ahead of her. She, on the other hand, feels like she’s being tested to see how she can handle people with a “degree of incompetence.” It scares her that these people will have some hand in if she wins or loses.
Kendra calls her team on the cell phone and says she’s excited to be working with them. Lies make baby Jesus cry, Kendra. Michael figures Kendra called to boost morale and questions whether she’s actually excited about working with them. No one ever said Michael was dumb. Kendra fills her team in on what they have ahead of them. She cannot believe she’s in charge of a video game championship.
At the event site, they meet general manager Martin. He gives them a tour, including the grand ballroom, the main location. Electronic Arts will provide the game, and Sony will provide the consoles. Kendra says she needs to figure out how to lay everything out. Erin says in an interview that Kendra will deserve to win if she can manage her team, but that Tana should win “the medal of honor” if she can manage hers.
Tana hugs her team and thanks them for helping her. She says in an interview that the three of them have explosive tempers. As they walk into Chelsea Pier, Kristen claims that they all love each other, a remark that Brian scoffs at. Chris starts rattling off ideas. Tana tells her team that she will have faith in them to make any decisions relating to their area of responsibility. She says she trusts them. That’s going to either be a really bad or really good idea.
Kendra plans a preliminary meeting to make sure everyone is on the same page. Erin has to go upstairs to get Danny when the execs arrive for the meeting. But for some reason, Kendra isn’t ready yet. Not good, Kendra. Danny asks if they can wait ten minutes for her, and they say no. He feels like he has no choice but to start without her. He begins the presentation with a jingle and seems to get no response from the executives. Erin sits there like a lump and plays with her bangs. In an interview, she says that Danny was scattered and unable to communicate clearly. The execs are worried because they haven’t seen anything practical, like a timeline or a layout. Finally, Erin goes to find Kendra. Why didn’t she do that in the first place?
Kendra arrives at the meeting, only to find a stammering Danny. Kendra is furious that Danny took over. She apologizes for being late and walks the execs through the plans. In an interview, she says that she was frantically trying to regain the credibility that Danny lost for her. One of the execs thanks her for going through it all so quickly, and David from Electronic Arts says he feels better about the event now that he can see her vision.
Meanwhile, Tana decides to meet with Peter and Amy at NYC 2012 to find out what they’d like the even to accomplish. She gets in the limo with Carolyn while her team follows in the van. Tana tells Carolyn that she wasn’t thrilled with her team, but so far, so good. She knows that they’ll bicker. And of course, she’s right – we cut to the van, where Kristen and Brian are having a heated argument about whether or not Kristen should wear hats (for the record, I’m on Brian’s side). In the limo, Tana expresses her concern that the abrasive members of her team will rub somebody the wrong way. Chris, driving the van, can’t keep up with the limo and is getting lost. He calls Tana, and she can actually hear everyone feuding in the background.
Finally, everyone arrives, and Tana, Carolyn, and Brian go to the meeting while the rest of the team parks the cars. Tana begins the meeting by asking what the planners’ expectations are. She learns that it’s very important to provide a great experience for the athletes. Just then, her phone rings. It’s Chris, and he can’t find a parking spot. Tana has Brian take over while she gets the call. Bad move, Tana –she should have had Brian deal with them while she handled the presentation. Tana isn’t too sympathetic with Chris’ problems finding parking and says in an interview that if she has to fire him, she will. Meanwhile, Chris and Kristen argue some more. Kristen says that she just realized that since no matter what happens, she won’t get fired, she doesn’t really care what happens to Tana. Uh-oh.
Over in Kendra-land, crates have arrived. Michael offers to take care of storing them in the basement for Kendra. Kendra notes that, by contract, they are to only have Electronic Arts games in the ballroom. She meets with Aimee, a Sony rep. Since Playstation is a major sponsor, it’s important to keep Aimee happy, Kendra says. Kendra shows Aimee the space, and Aimee is most certainly not happy. The disco ball, red velvet ropes, and taxidermy décor, which looks like Danny’s wardrobe in room form, is not what she had in mind. Kendra apologizes and says it’s not as they planned. Aimee says, “Don’t be sorry. Just make it good.” Aimee explains in an interview that she expected her area to be more cool and to have more of a Playstation motif to it. If the room doesn’t look better the next day, she’ll consider yanking her sponsorship.
And with that, the episode ends. Next week, we’ll hit the finale, which mercifully is not three hours long. Go, Tana!
Betsy Wasser is the Associate Editor of Reality News Online and intends to direct some serious gloating towards Kendra fan Mike DeGeorge when Tana wins next week. She can be reached with any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org .