The Apprentice: Los Angeles, Episode 7 Extras – Putting the Go-Cart Before the Horseby Kathy Lonergan -- 03/06/2007
Welcome back, gentle readers! I hope you enjoyed The Apprentice’s brief hiatus. Get used to it, because if things don’t shape up in Trumpland, I fear the next one may be permanent. This week’s episode is covered in detail in Betsy’s recap, but for those who need a Cliff’s Notes-style refresher, I will be glad to oblige.
Basically, the teams were asked to put on an “event” (read: sales pitch) for Lexus “guests” (read: customers) in which the latest Lexus automobile, the LX 460, (read: overpriced car) is hyped up to the point that everyone involved feels compelled to buy one, just to keep up with the proverbial Joneses. Guests at each event were to rate their experiences and the team with the highest approval rating would be declared the winner. With that, let’s move on to this week’s web extras.
As always, we begin with the webisode. This week, we see the lovely Stefani making phone calls to confirm that all the food and décor are ready to go. She and Frank discuss what they have planned, and Stefani reiterates that it’s all about luxury. She wants elegance, and says if anything doesn’t come off right, it’s on them.
We next see the showroom, where Tim and Nicole are giving separate informational presentations. In an interview, Tim says people are asking a lot of questions, so he’s damn happy he learned so much about the car!
Our last glimpse of Arrow’s event takes us outside, where James is setting up the road test course. In an interview, he explains that there are three stations for drivers to experience, and as he is explaining, we see footage of these activities. The first, on a stretch of road riddled with potholes, will accentuate the excellent stability control of the Lexus. The second station will demonstrate the car’s amazing ability to parallel park automatically. The final station will require the drivers to make a U-turn, which allows them to see first hand how well and how easily the car accelerates. This montage concludes with very excited and satisfied-looking customers who thank James profusely for his assistance. It is no surprise when later in the Boardroom, we learn that Arrow’s approval rating was a 94.
Since Arrow scored so well and did in fact win the task, they are treated to their reward: an evening in the recording studio with “The King of Izzle,” Snoop Doggy Dogg. (Sadly, I was again forced to watch James and Frank try to rap just so I could bring this recap to you. I think it’s safe to say my place in the afterlife has been made clear.) Not much new to report here; they’re still ridiculous, and Surya is still pouting in the corner, but this time around, we do hear the ladies adding a little something to the mix, per Snoop’s request. What a guy, fo’shizzle.
And so ends the webisode, with not much we haven’t seen already. The next few scenes are replayed scenes, such as Derek coming up with the infamous go-cart idea, and Angela and Derek meeting with the graphic designer. I’m not sure why the editors of the website felt compelled to show these scenes again, especially since the site offers the full episode. Go figure.
There is one deleted scene this week; it’s a montage of Kinetic getting ready for their event. We see the tent being erected and Angela driving one of the cars, which she quips is the most expensive car she’s ever driven. In an interview, Jenn explains the division of labor for the task. She says Kristine is in charge of the logistics and budget, while Heidi and Muna are to learn everything there is to know about the car. Of course, as we know all too well, Derek and Angela are the creative team. Jenn says they’re all scrambling to pull it off, but everybody’s working hard and she thinks they can win. I’m wondering if perhaps Jenn was a cheerleader at some point in her life.
The clip continues with the arrival of the go-carts. Derek is visibly excited, and probably wondering how to fit his considerable frame into such a vehicle. Hey – if the Shriners can get onto those tiny flying carpets, anything is possible, Derek – keep the faith.
Speaking of go-carts, though, while Derek sees them and declares them “bad ass,” Angela seems skeptical. She tells him, “we’ll see, we’ll see,” and says they could be hit or miss. In an interview, Angela feels it’s a risky strategy. She doesn’t think go-carts speak to the Lexus clientele because they’re not upscale. Speaking of things that don’t speak to the Lexus clientele, we see the Spartan tent that is Kinetic’s event. There’s much wringing of hands over the lack of signage.
Meanwhile, over at Arrow, there’s a replayed scene of the dead battery debacle. That had to stink. As Surya said, it was most unfortunate. Tim interviews how frustrating it was that they couldn’t show off any of the features!
The next clip is an uncut version of the Boardroom. We begin with Trump meeting with the Lexus execs before bringing in Kinetic. Both execs feel the go-carts were not a good idea and both praise Heidi and Muna for their tremendous effort.
With that information under his belt, Trump brings in the members of Team Kinetic. He asks them if they are surprised to have lost. Jenn says she is proud of her team because they worked hard. Randal, who is serving as the viceroy du jour, interjects by praising the job the members of Arrow did on their task and claiming there is “no comparison” between their performance and that of Kinetic. Jenn defends her team, saying no one was a “colossal screwup.”
Kinetic’s lack of signage is brought up for the first of many times. When asked for his opinion, Surya offers that the key to Arrow’s success was their realization that every touchpoint had to be “premiere” and all their signage had to echo the luxury theme, which directly appealed to their demographic. When asked which members of the team were assigned to that task, Surya says that he, Frank, and Tim worked that aspect of the event.
In further clips, we are treated to more uncut scenes from the Boardroom. We see Randal asking Jenn about Angela and Derek’s creative output. Angela is grilled about the go-cart issue, and when she says she did not want the go-carts as part of the event, blame is placed back on Jenn’s shoulders. A quick poll of the team members indicates that no one wanted the carts except for Jenn! Furthermore, both Muna and Heidi blame Jennifer for their loss, citing her poor presentation skills as a reason for their decreased scores.
Trump asks Jenn why she presented and goes on to imply that she isn’t a very good presenter. He suggests Muna should have been the one to give the presentation, but Jenn insists she was the right person for the role because she does it all the time within her job capacity. Trump criticizes her for her lack of poise and attempts to goad her by asking if she looked like a “stumbling idiot.” To her credit, Jenn deflects this childish behavior and sticks to the facts. I must give Jenn a lot of credit. If it were me, I would have stood up, pointed at Trump and yelled, “YOU”RE the stumbling idiot!!”
And while we’re on the subject of Trump’s idiocy, I must address the issue of Derek’s unexpected firing. Up until this week, both my husband and I were consistently impressed with Derek for a number of reasons: he was smart, hard-working, creative, cool under pressure, and had a great sense of humor. He seemed to work well with his fellow teammates and interacted well with customers and clients on the various tasks. Truth be known, we predicted he would be in the finals, if not the winner of the whole enchilada. Why, then, has he made an unexpectedly early departure?
Throughout the course of the Boardroom, Derek was identified as the one who came up with the idea of go-carts, an idea that was panned among his teammates and the Lexus executives. Derek himself wasn’t all that big a fan of the idea, and admitted it was just something he suggested off the top of his head. Unfortunately, Trump was in “a mood” and this didn’t sit well with him. Apparently unfamiliar with the concept of brainstorming, Trump criticized Derek simply for coming up with something off the top of his head. The fact that Derek himself admitted it wasn’t that good an idea and in fact, agreed with his teammates that it didn’t gibe with the Lexus luxury theme, was lost on Trump. The fact that Jenn made an executive decision to go with the go-carts despite unanimous disapproval from her team was lost on Trump. What Trump latched onto was something Derek said in jest – a self-deprecating remark that showed a character flaw which cannot be tolerated in Trump’s world – humility.
Let me clarify one thing—I loathe the term “white trash.” To me, it implies that were it not for the addition of the word “white,” that all minorities are, by default, trash. This kind of thinking is inexcusable. However, as is the case with many questionable slang terms, it has become a part of the vernacular and, like it or not, people use it frequently. Was it the best choice of words for Derek to use? No, not at all. Could people have been offended by his remark? Perhaps. Was it his intention to disrespect anyone? Absolutely not, and to cause him to be fired is, in my opinion, ridiculous.
Anyone who watches police or legal dramas knows that the difference between manslaughter and murder has to do with intent. Yet despite the most benign of intentions, Derek was fired simply because Trump didn’t like hearing that Derek referred to himself as “white trash.”
Perhaps if Trump ended the love affair between his voice and his ears, he would have been able to grasp what Derek was saying: that, as someone who grew up in a small town and was, by his own description, unsophisticated, he was therefore not the typical Lexus owner. In the clip, Derek demonstrates a healthy self-esteem in his ability to poke fun at himself by joking that he only eats in restaurants with deep-fried appetizers. His fellow teammates laugh at his remarks, but Trump isn’t having it. When Derek tries to explain that it’s a joke, Trump attacks him further, telling him not to joke about that and telling him it was a “pretty stinkin’ statement.” Trump blasts Derek, saying he thinks it’s stupid to say such a thing, and Derek is fired. You want to know who I think is stupid? I’m not mentioning any names, but it rhymes, fittingly, with “chump.”
To conclude this week’s Extras, we see exit interviews from both Derek and Jenn. Since he was fired first, we’ll start with Derek. In his interview, he reveals that he is the Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs for a motion picture studio. He feels he could have been the apprentice because of his brains and personality. As a lawyer, he doesn’t get to do much in the creative vein, but he realizes after doing these tasks, he’s more creative than he thought. He feels it’s kind of cool to expand his skill set.
He says going to the Boardroom was weird; he didn’t see it coming. He felt he made great signage and thus was safe. Once in the Boardroom, he claims Trump “lost it, completely lost it, and went all ‘Mr. Cranky Pants’ on me!” Derek feels that going out like that was exactly the way he wanted to go out – it’s who he is: a jokester, a smart ass. He adds that if people can’t appreciate that, he doesn’t want to work for someone like that anyway. He says he had a good experience, he’s proud of what he did, and that he went out the way he wanted.
In Jenn’s exit interview, she says she tried out because she thought it would be an insane experience and she wanted to see what it would be like to actually compete for a job. We see lots of footage from this week’s task, and in a voiceover, Jenn says that going into the Boardroom, she had a feeling she would be fired. As the Boardroom progressed, she felt like Trump was screaming at her, saying, “you’re terrible!” and “you suck!” At this point, she thought to herself, “Just send me home, baby!!”
She feels you have to have a sense of humor and realize that regardless of the outcome, it’s such a great opportunity. She had a great experience, working so hard and wanting to win, but when you lose and feel like crying you know you can’t because Trump hates crying! She loved being there and being part of the process. She feels fortunate because she can say to people that she had a chance to be Donald Trump’s apprentice!
And with that, we conclude this rather lengthy recap. Thanks to those who sent in their opinions of Apprentice candidates of yore. If you have not already done so, it’s not too late to submit your nominees for the best and worst candidates. I will publish the findings in the next few weeks. Until then – see you Tuesday night after American Idol!
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Apprentice articles:
Kathy Lonergan is a teacher of high school students with emotional and behavioral disabilities. She is proud to say that none of her students demonstrate the current emotional instability and poor judgment of Donald Trump. They also have better hair and fewer shiny objects in their homes. If you’d like to donate a shiny object, you can contact Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to sign up for our e-mail update so you can stay informed about new articles on the site! And take a look at the rest of the site. You can find all of our recent articles on this show at our The Apprentice page and take a look at our sections on Survivor: Exile Island and American Idol 5. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!
For more news about The Apprentice, be sure to check out SirLinksALot: The Apprentice!