The Apprentice 5, Episode 11 Extras: Much Ado About Steakby Jenn Brasler -- 05/14/2006
The final six candidates are in the suite following Michael and Lee’s return from the boardroom. As they all eat dinner, Michael tells Synergy that Charmaine was fired because she couldn’t lead and Tarek was fired because he couldn’t follow. Roxanne notes that they’re down to three guys and three women, and interestingly enough, five of the six people left all started on Synergy. I guess that’s either a testament to Allie’s ability to read people or Tarek’s inability to read people. Probably a little of both. Lee interviews that he doesn’t care - he still has to get rid of five other people in order to win. I’m glad he at least understands the rules.
After the Trump Lesson of the Week, Gold Rush plans their approach to the task. Lee announces that they need a big incentive to offer people so they’ll come to Gold Rush’s tent. And when he means “big,” he’s thinking literally. He’s considering fireworks, a blimp (you did that already, Lee), or a chocolate fountain. Let me tell you, my brother and sister-in-law had a chocolate fountain at their wedding reception and it was more popular than the cake. However, I think Lee would need a huge chocolate fountain to make an impression, and that would be more trouble than it’s worth. Even for chocolate.
Anyway, Lee wants to think of other big things, so I helpfully call out, “Your ego!” He leans towards a giraffe. Seriously? A giraffe? First of all, where are you going to get a giraffe in New Jersey? I doubt the zoo just rents them out. Second of all, what does a giraffe have to do with football? (I know that sounds like a riddle, but I don’t have an answer. If you have one, feel free to e-mail me.) Michael suddenly has a eureka moment and suggests an eating contest. If Michael thinks of an eating contest as the perfect big event for this task, he’s exactly as impressive as I thought he was.
Lee then moves on to a sack-racing contest, because apparently when he thinks of tailgate parties, he thinks of his family’s annual reunion picnic. Sean, thankfully, interviews that Lee has a lot of energy and ideas, but he also shows his youth. I doubt youth has anything to do with it - I’m the same age as Lee, and I would never suggest a sack race. Sean continues that he’s afraid they’ll go with a bad idea. Lee keeps brainstorming - a money pit! A seat on the space shuttle! A trip on Willy Wonka’s Great Glass Elevator! He wants to create a “hoopla.” Who says “hoopla”?
Later, Sean and Lee congratulate themselves for being so ahead in their planning. Sean is sure that they’re ahead of Synergy, which apparently takes a while to get going on marketing and things like that. And yet they always win. Hmmm. Sean interviews that marketing is very important. Thanks, Sean. They run into George and tell him they’re going to the pep rally to advertise. I thought that was a great idea, but that they should have also gone directly to the dorms to advertise, or done something in the dining hall. Elsewhere, Allie tells Carolyn she’s talking to students at the pep rally even though she doesn’t have fliers for them yet.
After we see Michael hogging the cheerleaders, Synergy doing their door-to-door delivery, and Gold Rush’s eating contest, Synergy gets to go on their reward. They stomp grapes. Roxanne interviews that it’s teamwork in action. After they make their wine, Roxanne has one of the vineyard employees taste hers. “You can use words like ‘excellent,’” she tells him. “‘Off the hook’ would work as well.” Hee! I love Roxanne. The guy takes a sip, then makes a face. Roxanne starts laughing and exclaiming in shock, but he tells her it’s off the hook. Roxanne interviews that this was a great bonding experience for Synergy.
After Lee and Sean do some Michael-trash-talking back in the suite (during which Sean calls Michael narcissistic, the guys head to the boardroom. Lee thinks that they had a great strategy, they just didn’t sell. He’s surprised they lost so badly. Sean thinks Lee was a great PM and has a lot of respect for him. Michael agrees that Lee was good, but he lost sight of a lot of complexities. They had a lot going on and, for example, there were a lot of things that had to go into the eating contest. They lost because of their flawed strategy, and that’s Lee’s fault.
Carolyn says that there were a lot of events, but not a lot of sales. Lee would fire Michael; he’s a good salesman, but he got caught up in running the events and didn’t, well, sell. This makes Michael sad because Lee told him to run the events. He adds that while he was on the microphone, he told people about their prices, so technically, he did help sell. The events were important and someone had to run them. Sean agrees with Lee that Michael didn’t sell. Trump is confused about the eating contest. But he also things that college students only want to drink and have sex, so it’s not like what Trump doesn’t understand would fit on the head of a pin.
The topic of discussion changes to the cheerleaders. Trump apparently was not aware that they were actual Rutgers cheerleaders. He learns that they were the same ones who were there when he landed at the school. Having established that, yes, those women with the pom-poms were the real deal, Trump notes that they were good-looking women and asks Lee if he tried to pick any of them up. Lee says no, because he’s not Raj. Trump asks if he had any ambitions to do so or if he was attracted to any of them. Lee can now officially identify with Adam from last season. Lee agrees that they were good-looking and, obviously wanting to get the conversation back on track, says that they were there to help them promote. However, Michael thought they should share the cheerleaders with Synergy.
After that whole conversation, Trump says that there’s a difference between being fair and being stupid. Then he points out that Synergy won without cheerleaders or events; they just sold more. He asks the guys who they think the best woman is on Synergy. Lee and Sean both think it’s Tammy, though Sean thinks Allie is better at sales. Of course Sean would say Tammy, but I’m surprised Lee would. Trump is surprised, since he hasn’t seen her shine. That’s because she’s not really there, Trump. She’s an illusion. Michael agrees that Tammy is the best, and Trump is still shocked. After some discussion of Gold Rush’s prices and Synergy’s delivery service, Trump sends the guys out.
George thinks the guys had bad prices and were overconfident. Carolyn can’t get over Michael’s mistake with the cheerleaders. Lee, Sean, and Michael return. Everyone (except Michael, of course) agrees that Michael made a huge mistake by almost giving up cheerleaders. Trump would never give up cheerleaders. I love George and Carolyn, but I want Ivanka back; I don’t think Trump would talk like this with her around. Carolyn wonders if the guys offered the cheerleaders any incentive to go with them. Michael says they offered them some food. Yes, give steak and fried food to the women who have to watch their figures. That’s a brilliant plan. George and Carolyn think the guys should have done more to secure exclusivity. Trump says he’s not saying that’s the reason Gold Rush lost, but he hates Michael’s kind of thinking.
Michael tries one last time to save himself by saying that he was trying to make the cheerleaders and their coach comfortable, but it’s too little, too late. Trump says that for the cheerleader mistake and not selling, Michael is fired.
In the cab, Michael admits that he didn’t realize something seemingly so small could come back around to hurt him. He disagrees that it was that big of a deal. If he had to do it again, he wouldn’t have made the call. Blah blah, making the coach feel like her needs were being met, blah blah. He’s surprised the others thought his mistake was more important than actually losing the task. Michael thinks Lee and Sean just wanted to take pressure off of themselves and went into survival mode. Well… yeah. That’s the point.
Michael thinks the Gold Rush name is cursed and he wanted to change it. He wants Tammy to win and encourages her to play her cards right. He thinks it’s a good sign he made it this far in the process; it shows that he works well with other people and has certain talents that were recognized. Or that he hid in the shadows and just happened to not suck as much as other people. Either way. Michael says it’s just bad to make it this far and then get fired over something so small.
In his exit interview, Michael says that he thought he would win because of his adaptability and his experience. He went over to Gold Rush because he thought he could help them win, and because he might get the chance to do more. He was almost willing to give up the competitive edge on the last task; they would have still had a lot of cheerleaders, but Synergy’s one or two would have made them look pathetic. And… they still would have won because of their delivery service. Michael just wanted the coach to feel comfortable (okay, we get it already) and didn’t want to pressure her to work with them. The only reason he considered giving up exclusivity was because he wanted to play fair. Fair, schmair – if everyone on this show played fair, Randal and Rebecca would never have gotten any megaphones.
Michael admits that he should have sold more, but Lee wanted them to do too much. He announces that Lee didn’t sell either. Michael says that if he’s right, he can defend himself successfully. He was right when the others said that he should have sold more, so he could easily defend himself. He didn’t, but okay. Trump went after him, so it was Michael vs. Trump. Sean and Lee sided with Trump to save themselves, of course, since that’s the goal of the boardroom. However, Michael doesn’t look at it that way – the way to survive the boardroom is to perform well. Yeah, but if you don’t, you have to get yourself out of there somehow. Michael adds that if Trump sees a critical error, you can’t defend it.
Michael’s favorite people were Lee, Charmaine, Pepi (who? Oh, yeah), and Leslie. They were nice, fun, and smart. It’s better when you’re surrounded by good people. Michael is looking forward to going back to Chicago because he loves everything about it.
In a preview for the next episode, we see Michael get fired again, then watch Sean and Lee return to the suite. The women greet them and then they all eat together. Lee notes that going into the boardroom as a losing PM was a change for him. Allie thinks Trump likes Lee. Lee says he must, since he keeps dodging being fired. Roxanne leads a toast to the “fabulous final five.”
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Jenn Brasler is an Assistant Editor of Reality News Online and an aspiring writer from Falls Church, VA. You can e-mail her at email@example.com. At her college, there was no tailgating, since they didn’t have a football team, and they had a dry campus, so there wasn’t much drinking. Plus, everyone’s money went towards tuition, so they wouldn’t have even wanted to pay $5 for a steak.