The Apprentice: Los Angeles, Episode 3 Extras – Hollywood or Bussedby Kathy Lonergan -- 01/23/2007
We begin this week’s coverage with the “webisode,” a term The Donald will surely attempt to brand in his own Trumptastic way. (If it hasn’t caught on already, trust him – it’s gonna be YUGE!) According to its title, the week three webisode focuses on Michelle’s indecision and the adverse effect it has on her team. Yeah, saw that one coming, didn’t ya?
Michelle kicks off the webisode by interviewing how she completely underestimated the difficulty of the process and the conditions she’s had to face. Hmmm… I wonder if the whole “I’m going to quit because I didn’t sign up for this, yada yada yada” debacle can be traced back to this moment?
Flash forward to the team, comprised of Michelle, Tim, Nicole, and Frank, brainstorming in the “war room” (their term, not mine). Tim makes a pitch for his “Hollywood Scavenger Hunt” idea and Frankie Suits is all over it. Say what you want about him, but he’s never apathetic. Michelle throws ice water on Tim’s idea, asking if that would really be interesting to someone visiting L.A. Tim looks perturbed and interviews that it was at this point that he realized it would be very difficult to work with Michelle. It was, as he called it, a “wake-up call.”
Michelle goes on to tell her team that she is feeling very overwhelmed and she thinks things are chaotic. She asks the group to work together and not to roll their eyes or make other negative nonverbal indications of displeasure. Everyone assures her that none of this kind of behavior is going on. I’ll bet there were some fingers and toes crossed when that statement was made. Frank interviews that Michelle is just upset from things that were said within the group last night, and that she is too caught up in her feelings. Michelle states that they are going with “A Day in the Life of the Rich and Famous” as their tour theme. The team looks less than thrilled.
Nicole interviews that the entire team went to check out the bus and found that it was very nice – clean, inviting, and even humorous. On each side, the lettering advertises “Starline Tours’ Topless Fun Bus”! While the rest of the team appreciates the humor, Michelle is having none of it. She instructs the others that they will have to make sure they cover the word “topless” with signage. Nicole, complaining about Michelle’s apparent Puritanical streak, interviews, “It’s a topless bus! The bus has no top! It’s FUNNY!” and makes sounds of frustration.
Michelle reminds Frank not to make hand-lettered signs; this isn’t the car wash challenge! Frank assures her he will get suitable signage, but he will need to measure first. Michelle tells him she needs him to go with the others back to the war room. He insists it’s an easy task that will only take five minutes; that way he won’t have to come back later. I have to agree with him – it makes more sense to get it done now. Unfortunately, he then loses me by adding that he’ll do whatever she wants, however – she’s the boss. Pssssst! Hey Frank – the passive-aggressive fairy called, and he wants his modus operandi back.
After a lot of very chaotic discussion about who will do what, Michelle decides she and Tim will take a ride to map out their tour. Frank again mentions that this would be the ideal time to measure the bus, but she insists he should get in the van to head back to HQ. Frustrated, he again throws out a “you’re the boss.” He interviews that he can’t believe he’s listening to this “girl” (his chauvinistic word, not mine) and that she’s a terrible leader. Meanwhile, Michelle is complaining to captive audience member Tim, who does his best to assure her that everything’s okay and that the tour is going to be great! Yeah, and Trump’s going to dinner with Rosie O’Donnell.
Speaking of Trump, he tells us in a voiceover that after a sleepless night, Michelle’s team headed out early. This would be a good time to interject one of the other video extras – a replay of the whole “You’re not going to sleep”/”I am going to sleep” disagreement between Nicole and Michelle. Nothing really new here, just lots of strong personality from Nicole… and not a lot of sleep. Michelle interviews that they are headed to the bus to meet their driver and decorate. Whaaaaaa? Does she call hanging signage “decorating”? I guess so, because there was nary a balloon or streamer in sight.
Frank tries to hang the sign, and lo and behold, it’s not quite long enough to cover all the lettering on the bus. Michelle complains that the measurements weren’t taken properly, and Frank blows a gasket. He tells her he wanted to measure and he was told to leave. Michelle argues that he was supposed to come back later and do it. Frank replies by asking “When? At 4 AM?”
Frank interviews that he couldn’t believe Michelle had the audacity to say this to him, and that he almost jumped off the second deck – he wanted to strangle her. Flabbergasted, Frank says he should have stayed and done it then, no matter what she said, and adds to Tim, “She’s driving me crazy – you don’t know!” Tim replies with, “Oh? I don’t??” Hmm. I’m guessing Michelle isn’t going to win any popularity contests at this point. Trump’s voiceover tells us, “Michelle’s tour was a total disaster.” Gee, ya think?
As if more proof were needed, we are treated to a montage of scenes of squealing microphones and Tim’s lapse in judgment involving the demise of John Belushi. Oops! The best part of all, though, was saved for last – Don Jr., who was, poor soul, aboard their bus. We see a scene of him in discomfort, then what appears to be embarrassment for the candidates. In case there were any doubts about the fate of this team, Don puts them to rest with these words: “I’ve been fortunate to spend a couple of days with the rich and famous, and I’m not getting the same kind of vibe. I didn’t see anything really pertinent, or anything, in my opinion, that the rich and famous do on a daily basis. For Aaron’s team to lose, the bus would basically have to explode. People would have to be running out on fire.” Sorry, but that was just too good to paraphrase. Hilarious. On a more somber note, the webisode ends with Michelle’s resignation.
Other than the webisode, the extras are somewhat lacking – no Boardroom means no Boardroom extras, unless you count the scene of Michelle throwing herself under the bus (pun intended). We do see a few replayed scenes in addition to the aforementioned Nicole/Michelle argument. We see Michelle waffling with Tim about what to include in their tour, Tim making his passengers more than a little uncomfortable with the introduction of the term “speedball” into their vernacular, James the Ritalin poster child screeching at his passengers, and finally the folks at Kinetic enjoying the luxuries of the spa. I don’t know why that scene needed replaying other than Derek’s very funny Shamu impression.
There is a deleted scene that highlights how dull Aaron is as a tour guide (though after seeing manic James, I think I’d take Aaron!) and an uncut version of the scene in which Stefani takes over for their team. What a great job she does – very poised. I’m sure her poise the reason my husband is so interested in her. Yeah, that’s right.
The best deleted scene is one I can’t believe they didn’t include on the show – it’s of Team Michelle’s bus making its one and only scheduled stop. Tim interviews that the stop features the Kodak Theatre, (where the Academy Awards are held), which is across the street from the famed Chinese Theatre. He also notes you can see the Hollywood sign from there. He remarks, “if they see nothing else of value, they’ll see this.”
One might think that the eagerness with which the passengers disembark is attributed to the landmarks which they are about to see – but alas, no, they’re just happy to be away from the tour from hell. Lest you think I’m joking, we are treated to Michelle’s voiceover saying, “You can’t give up until the end – ever” (paging the Irony Fairy!) while we watch the mass exodus. Tim confirms that most of the passengers bailed, saying they lost about one-third of the group, and he thinks those who stayed only did so out of sympathy. Ha!
Finally, we come to Michelle’s exit interview. It is interspersed with bits from the Boardroom scene and the disastrous bus tour, but mainly it is Michelle defending her decision to walk away. She says at the beginning she thinks she could have been the Apprentice based on her sheer straightforwardness, integrity, and intelligence, but as she went through the process, she realized she would be jeopardizing that integrity.
She cites some of the reasons she believes her team lost the task – microphone problems, a double-decker bus with only one person giving information – and says it was devastating. She goes on to say that all the factors she faced led her to her decision, and that she doesn’t regret it at all. Conversely, she feels it was empowering, she feels liberated by her decision, knowing it was her choice to make. Is it quitting? It’s a matter of semantics, so she says.
And with that, we come to the end of the recaps for week 3. I hope you didn’t feel trapped like the passengers on Michelle’s bus, but rather were enraptured, like the tourists listening to Stefani’s narrative. This is my first submission for RealityNewsOnline, and with any luck, it won’t be my last. I’d sure hate to hear “You’re FIRED!”
See you next week!
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Kathy Lonergan is a teacher of high school students with emotional and behavioral disabilities, which might account for her affinity for the dysfunction of reality television contestants. Feel free to e-mail her with comments and questions at email@example.com.
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