The Apprentice: Los Angeles, Episode 4 Extras – Fowl Playby Kathy Lonergan -- 01/31/2007
Welcome to another edition of The Apprentice Extras. I’d like to kick off this week with a little joke:
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
For those not in the know, this week’s task required the teams to create, market, and sell a new dish for the El Pollo Loco restaurant chain. The team that generated the most revenue from that new dish would be declared the winner. According to Marisa, her team’s marketing strategy would be to have people dressed as chickens, standing at intersections, in order to draw customers into the restaurant. Yes, that’s right – chicken suits. Poor Marisa; it seems the pollo ain’t the only thing that’s loco.
We begin the webisode with a voiceover from Trump, reminding us how Kinetic had been killing Arrow, thus precipitating the transfer of someone from the mansion to the camp. We see several members of Kinetic volunteer to move to Arrow, with Aaron selecting Surya. As Surya leaves the mansion, he reminds Team Kinetic to keep doing what it’s doing.
In the yard, Aaron greets Surya warmly, tells him the team members are thrilled to have him on board, and offers him a beer. Surya declines, reminding him they have a task tomorrow morning. Not that I disagree with his logic, but I’m guessing Surya is somewhat on the conservative side. The fact that in the swimsuit task, he modeled board shorts instead of something like Carey’s “mankini” might have been my first clue.
It’s morning, and Arrow is ready to go. Surya thanks his new team for choosing him and asks them to help him get validated. For some reason, this tickled my funny bone; all I could picture was him having a parking stub in need of a stamp. It’s not all that funny now that my cough syrup has worn off, come to think of it…
Anyway, Surya says he can tell the members of Arrow are deeply emotionally invested. He’s going to dig deep to help them get a win, but not just any win – he’s wants to win BIG, by a 2:1 ratio. James asks the group if they can put someone in charge of logistics; they need someone to develop a schedule and manage the details. He thinks Surya’s just the man for the job. Surya says he’s “totally a big picture guy” and that he hates details. James facetiously says, “No! You don’t hate details!” but Surya insists.
James suggests to the group that they try to have more order than has been the case in previous tasks, and Surya asks if they have a problem talking over each other. The team says yes, and Surya proposes a plan. He suggests that they choose an object and during meetings, and only the person holding that object may speak. He picks up a small rock to illustrate his point. By utilizing this system, he rationalizes, the team will restore much-needed order and will be able spend more time listening.
In an interview, Aaron remarks that Surya is making a very “Kinetic” move here, but in all fairness, it’s probably a good idea, considering that Kinetic has been “whooping (our) butts.” He gives the idea the green light. They’re ready to rock (pun intended) and roll. (Note: Here’s a little something you should know about me: the pun is ALWAYS intended.)
Cut to Arrow riding in the van en route to El Pollo Loco. Sure enough, they are employing the “rock system” and it seems to be working beautifully. They are actually taking turns talking and responding to one another. There are a lot of good ideas coming forth from this discussion. Tim wants to secure bulk sales by delegating one person to look in the phone book and call all the businesses in a 10-block radius. Frank agrees. James says that sales are going to be important, but the other key to success in this task is their marketing strategy. Nicole interviews that the rock is working; she’s excited and says now people have the opportunity to listen to everyone. Rock on, sister!
We then see Arrow at the restaurant, using a trial-and-error method to create their product. Meanwhile, Surya worries. In an interview, he says that the other team has been all about execution, while this team is “big picture.” While they may have energy, they lack focus. He says Arrow could have been undefeated if only they would have had someone on them, keeping them in check. He says Arrow needs someone to hammer home schedules, logistics, and discipline, and he’s going to give it to them, whether they want it or not.
Just in case you weren’t convinced, we see Surya writing furiously on a pad of paper that bears the heading “OPERATIONS.” While we can’t read the details, it’s clear that it’s a division of personnel, duties, etc. In an interview, Stefani remarks that while every member of Arrow is a Type A personality, Surya is a Triple A!
She says she has never seen a person fill so many pads of paper with what appears to be the same list over and over again, just in a different order. “For the love of GOD,” she rails, “we’re at El Pollo Loco. Talking about what you need to do is not going to get it done!” She then suggests that Surya loosen up a little bit. This leads me to wonder if he wears a tie to bed, er, perhaps I should say sleeping bag. Speaking of El Pollo Loco, the webisode wraps up with a montage of Arrow’s successful sales and their ultimate Boardroom celebratory hug. Trump congratulates Aaron on his team’s win, but I can’t help thinking Surya felt it was HIS team to lead.
There are a number of replayed scenes; we see Tim and Frank securing the bulk sale, Surya packing up for Tent City, and dueling scenes of the teams selling their respective “pollo bowls.” We are also treated to a replay of Marisa’s numerous calls to Heidi. In case you’d forgotten, Marisa wanted to have people dress up in chicken suits to draw attention to the restaurant. Heidi said no. She also wanted to call Kinetic’s creation “The Bravado Bowl” (though she said later this was Derek’s idea). Heidi said no. And did I mention the chicken suits? Again, a “no,” which is apparently a word absent from Marisa’s vocabulary.
Finally, we see Team Arrow enjoying its reward. As I was watching the beach soiree, I remarked to my husband how nice a reward this was, compared to, say, having to feign interest in Hugh Hefner’s self-aggrandizing. Speaking of Hef, I wonder if that ubiquitous smoking jacket has lots of pockets for storing, say – oh, I don’t know, perhaps a certain pill that rhymes with Niagara? Just curious! Oh, by the way, my husband wasn’t as impressed as I was with the whole serenade-at-the-beach thing… unless, he added, it had been Pink Floyd.
The most interesting part of this week’s Extras were, as usual, the deleted scenes. We see Marisa and Derek, just before the Boardroom. Derek tries to prepare Marisa, telling her she has a strong personality and a tendency to interrupt. Marisa becomes defensive, asking Derek if he thinks she has a strong personality just because she dares to disagree. He tells her to save the fire for the Boardroom. Taking that as a cue that she is likely to be fired, Marisa channels Aesop’s fable, “The Fox and the Grapes,” and tells him that she didn’t want to be on the Kinetic team anyway.
She reminds him how she volunteered to be the one to move from Kinetic to Arrow, and how she would have been much better on “the guys’ team.” She also points out her many contributions to previous tasks, specifically noting how her swimsuit was the winning idea. Spurred by the word “suit,” Derek chuckles as he mumbles something about her infamous chicken suit idea, but it ricochets off Marisa’s soapbox and onto the editing room floor. It’s too bad, because it was probably a good one. Between this and his Shamu impression, it’s clear Derek has a good sense of humor. Of course, when you’re sequestered with Marisa all day, the material just presents itself!
And speaking of Derek and Marisa, the final deleted scene is one in which we see him call Heidi to tell her that the two of them will be late getting to the restaurant. The team is in the process of being trained to work the registers and prepare the food orders, but Derek doesn’t think they’ll get there anytime soon. He says they have a few hours of work left before they’ll be ready. Honestly, I can’t figure out what in the world they were doing that entire time, as one of the main reasons Kinetic lost was due to their poor marketing. Perhaps Marisa was making Surya-esque lists of why “Bravado Bowl” was a better name than “Paradise Pollo” or was trying to get Hugh Hefner to slip a chicken suit over that smoking jacket. Whatever the case, Derek is adamant that they’ll have to be trained in the morning.
The restaurant manager tells Kinetic that Derek and Marisa will have to be trained by his personnel, which means they must be there before 11 that night. This information is relayed, and a very unhappy Derek and Marisa get into the van to head to the land of the crazy chicken. In the van, Derek asks aloud how long it could possibly take. He tells Marisa he is going to be the “best badass cashier.”
Unfortunately, his dream is never realized, for he and Marisa arrive too late. The manager tells Kinetic that while the girls did a great job, Marisa and Derek missed the training and therefore are not allowed to work in the restaurant or even wear the uniform. They stare at him, incredulous. What is interesting is that the original broadcast led us to believe that Derek and Marisa handing out samples in the drive-through area was a calculated step, while in actuality, they had no other recourse. Furthermore, mention was made that it was an odd choice to have them do so while wearing suits; the truth is, they weren’t permitted to wear what their teammates were wearing. Those crafty editors!
Our coverage ends with uncut scenes of the Boardroom. Before the teams are called in, we see Trump meeting with the restaurant executives, who make specific mention of the importance of marketing and how Kinetic should be held accountable for their poor performance in this area (coughforeshadowingcough). Moments later, Trump meets with Kinetic. He asks the team members how they like the tents. Heidi says it’s okay; she’s a camper. Kristina says she prefers the mansion, but the tents are okay. It’s clear that none of them wants to be called a “Michelle” (who has been inducted into the Reality TV Hall of Shame for quitting). Trump asks if any of them prefer the tents. They tell him it’s not the tents they mind, it’s what the tents represent. Ooh, deep. Trump’s all over it like a comb-over.
Moving along, we see mostly what we’ve already seen, but Sean brings up some good points I don’t think were mentioned in the original show. He asks about the name of Kinetic’s dish. While he and Trump think “Paradise Pollo Bowl” is not a bad name, they do note that it isn’t as self-explanatory as Arrow’s “Tortilla Bowl.” Heidi admits they had talked about that. Of course Marisa mentions that she wanted to use Derek’s “Bravado Bowl” but no one listened to her. Aaron points out that the key to winning the task is converting the customers into sales of the featured product. He adds that having to explain what’s in the dish uses up time, which translates to fewer sales.
The conversation turns to Marisa, and during the finger-pointing, Heidi tries to be diplomatic by saying that, while she might not be good at sales, Marisa will make an outstanding senator someday. Trump balks, asking, “You’re saying she’s great to run a country but not a company? Give me a break!” Of course, as we all know, Marisa is fired.
In her exit interview, Marisa describes herself as someone with great ideas who had a generally positive rapport with everyone. She says she is someone who won’t just sit back and go with the flow, that she will dissent when she thinks something is wrong. She describes her final task again, if for no other reason so we can hear about chicken suits just one last time. She insists that “one or two chickens by the side of the road could really make a stir about the bowl.” Sorry, Marisa – when I hear “chickens” and “side of the road,” I’m thinking “redneck cookbook.”
To illustrate how isolated from her team Marisa was, we see a shot of Team Kinetic preparing for the Boardroom without her. When Heidi asks her team what they could have done differently, Derek offers, “Chicken suits?” Lest they take him seriously, Derek clarifies that he only mentioned that because that’s all he heard all day: “Chicken suit, chicken suit, chicken suit, Bravado Bowl, Bravado Bowl, Bravado Bowl, move on, move on, MOVE ON!” he says. Heh. He’s a hoot.
Marisa continues her exit interview, saying that she was very much prepared for the ambush that awaited her, and that she felt she had a solid defense. She pointed out that both Trump and Sean admired her spirit, but admits when it was clear that everyone on her team wanted her fired, she felt Trump’s hands were tied.
She felt that the best part of her Apprentice experience was the personal growth she had. She states that she learned she is not a person who can play a game, and that she has to make sure to maintain her integrity. She admits to having political aspirations and says she plans to run for Congress. In true political form, she says that despite being fired, she believes Trump would be a great president and that she would support his candidacy. She feels he could get this country back on track. “Trump in 2008!” she suggests enthusiastically.
And so, gentle readers, that wraps it up for this week’s Extras. Next week, The Apprentice will be pre-empted by some football game or something, but rest assured that it, and I with it, will return the following week with all your Trumptastic high(and low)lights. As I have no more to say for now, I will pass the proverbial rock to someone else. See ya!
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Kathy Lonergan is better known as La Maestra Loca, but is proud to say she has never worn a chicken suit. As a proud Chicagoan, she also wishes to clarify that she knows the Super Bowl is next Sunday. (Go BEARS!) She welcomes your comments, questions, and monetary donations. Feel free to contact her at email@example.com.
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