The Apprentice: Los Angeles, Week 12 Extras – “Deep, Deep Doo-Doo”by Kathy Lonergan -- 04/11/2007
Hello, all you people with impeccable taste in reading! I’m assuming you missed me last week, and for that, I must apologize for my absence. (You did notice I was gone, right?) Whatever the case, it seems there was a technical mishap and my article never made it through. Unfortunately, I saved my article on my classroom computer, and since I’m on spring break this week, I won’t be able to retrieve it for you. Now, now- dry your eyes. There’s always this week’s recap to enjoy, and with no further ado: here it is!
This week we begin, as ever, with a voiceover from Der Trumpster, whose infamous coif is safe and sound, thanks to his wrestler’s victory over that of WWE chief Vince McMahon in the much-hyped “Battle of the Billionaires.” For those of you out of the loop, Trump and McMahon each chose a wrestler to represent him in a match. The losing mogul would have to get his head shaved by the winner. Unfortunately, Trump’s hair “don’t” is staying. I suspect he might have brought along some items from his shiny object collection to distract McMahon’s contender, Trump watches, anyone? But as usual, I digress.
Trump begins the webisode by reminding us that this week, he revamped the teams. He finally did away with the tents and invited the remaining three members of Arrow to move into the mansion. No one is more excited about this than Stefani, who tells us in an interview that if she ever wanted to go camping, she’s gotten it out of her system. Her idea of camping now is to stay in a hotel (a Trump one, no doubt).
As she, Frank, and James prepare to leave camp for the last time, they reminisce over their experience. Frank tells us he has a lot of memories of both good times and bad, and admits that at the end of the day, (a cliché I loathe) the camp’s not that bad- it has character! James tells the other two that the saddest part is that Arrow is no more, since Trump will be splitting them up. He says that whatever happens from here, it’s been a pleasure, he appreciates everything they’ve done, and that they are awesome!
The teammates form a small huddle, with their hands in the center. Frank says for every member of the team who’s been fired, this is for them, and with that, they give a final “1, 2, 3, Arrow!!” cheer. As they head to the mansion, they promise to be friends forever. I’d really like to know how many of these contestants do stay in touch. Is it a “Will you be my bridesmaid?” kind of friendship most of them develop, or is it more of a “Here’s a card; Happy Holidays” thing?
The Donald instructs the candidates to divide themselves into three dyads (my word, not his…..shocking, I know!) and reminds us of the task, which is to develop a promotional campaign for the Trump Condos in Las Vegas. While we know how the candidates divided themselves, Trump does not, and in a deleted scene, he gathers with them in the Boardroom to ask how this process occurred.
James tells him he wanted to work with Stefani and she with him, so that was an easy decision. Trump asks if they feel good about that, and James says yes, very good. Stefani nods in agreement. He asks Frank how he went about deciding to work with Heidi, and Frank says he wasn’t sure how Nicole’s emotions were (assumedly after Tim being fired) and once Nicole picked Kristine, he said he told Heidi, “We started this; let’s finish it.”
Trump interrupts to ask Nicole if it’s true she picked Kristine over “his superstar Heidi” and Nicole confirms this to be true. She explains that she and Kristine worked amazingly well together on the last task, and Kristine adds that she’s happy to work with Nicole. Gosh, I just love a good love-fest. Trump declares that he thinks there are three really great teams.
He reminds them that there are no more PMs (oops, Stefani—you’ll never get your chance to lead; hope this doesn’t come back to haunt you.). He says they’re on their own and must lead each other and follow each other, and with that- he sends them off!
After all the candidates are flown to Vegas via Trump’s jet, we see James and Stefani making a number of wise strategic moves, such as meeting first with Trump’s business partner, and then with his Las Vegas sales team. Throughout both of these meetings, James and Stefani gather an abundance of information through careful listening and by asking intelligent, relevant questions. Unfortunately, such thorough research makes them late for their final appointment, in which they were to go up to the building site.
Upon meeting the contractor, they are told there isn’t enough time to go up because they were late. He seems more than a little annoyed, throwing in a comment about how the other teams were on time. (Yes, Mr. Contractor, but the other two teams stank, so it’s all good.) Stefani asks if there’s anything they can tour on their own, but she is told no.
James interviews that missing out on the construction site could cost his team later, but he feels that if their presentation is a “wow”, then they’ll be okay. Having been blessed with the gift of foresight, I think they’re okay.
We shift away from James and Stefani (“Jeffani”) and on to Frank and Heidi (“Fraidi”). Like Jeffani, Fraidi hired videographers to take footage of the buildings. In one replayed scene, we see Frank instructing the videographers to ignore Jeffani, referring to them as “the bad guys”. In this scene, Frank says he isn’t worried that his competitors have decided to hire professionals as well. He feels confident that he and Heidi will prevail.
In another scene, Frank explains that they have instructed their videographers to shoot footage from a helicopter, as he feels this will provide potential buyers with the view they will enjoy once they buy one of Trump’s condos. He is smug about the fact that the other teams didn’t think of this and that it will give his team the edge. Later, we see that Frank and Heidi have only a short amount of time to get to the airport or they will miss their flight back to LA, and they have yet to collect the helicopter footage Frank feels is key to a win for them.
En route to the airport, he talks to the videographers by phone and finds out they are too far away to pick up the tape in time. Frank is understandably upset, given the amount of time and effort he has put into the video presentation. We see him hard at work with the editor and graphic designer, and as always, he’s giving it his frenetic best.
Meanwhile, Heidi is struggling with the brochure. She complains about Frank spending so much time with the graphic designer, and says she’s really frustrated. In a replayed scene later, Heidi says she’s overwhelmed, and Frank is concerned they’re not going to finish in time. In an interview, Frank says he expected more, since Heidi is supposed to be, to use Trump’s words, a “superstar”. Frank says she’s lost in la-la land, in “Heidi-land”, as he calls it. We see Frank offer to help her, and she sharply refuses. Keep that in mind for the Boardroom.
Meanwhile, things aren’t going so well in the land of Kriscole. Gosh, I love making up these Hollywood-style names. (“Brangelina” who?) We see Kristine working on their video while Nicole sleeps. Note that Kristine says Nicole wanted to sleep for 20 minutes, but Kristine didn’t bother to wake her up. She says she just wanted to get her work done, and then she could “own it.” I have to say, I was more than a little irritated with Kristine at this point. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a 20-minute cat nap, provided the napper had earned it.
Thanks to the editors, we don’t know what Nicole had contributed, but Kristine herself later said in the Boardroom that Nicole has lots of energy. This is something we’ve heard about Nicole on every task. It seems to me that despite her many faults, she’s never been accused of being a slacker. To let someone continue to sleep because you don’t feel like waking her up seems like you’re lobbying for martyrdom.
To prove my point, we see Kristine pouting alongside the graphic designer. There’s a close-up of him typing in the contact information, including the notorious wrong phone number. Rather than looking at the screen, Kristine is distracted by her irritation with Nicole. The designer asks, “Happy?” to which Kristine replies, “As happy as I’m gonna get, which isn’t real happy.”
Had she woken Nicole and asked her to check it over, perhaps one of them might have caught what ended up being a fatal error. Of course, Kristine was fired in an ambush, so the issue didn’t come up for discussion in the Boardroom. Too bad, because I would like to have heard what was said.
We see a replay of the presentations, in which Stefani is amazing as always, and Heidi has to admit she was 100% impressed. She adds that she’s not worried, but then we see her presentation and we have to wonder what she was thinking. She makes errors, stumbles over her words, and seems to forget what it is she’s supposed to say, leaving Frank holding the proverbial bag. On top of all this, Trump criticizes her team’s brochure, which as we heard her complain earlier, was all hers.
As if one bad presentation wasn’t enough, we see Kriscole give its presentation. Nicole can’t get the Power Point show up and running, and despite Trump telling her to relax, and Don, Jr. adding “no pressure,” she continues to struggle and Trump soon turns on her, letting her know he isn’t impressed. He later refers to their presentation as “choppy” and “broken down.”
Trump looks over their brochure and notices that there are two phone numbers listed. He has James and Nicole call both numbers and they discover that one of the numbers is completely unrelated to the building. He finds this completely unacceptable and feels that between this blunder and Fraidi’s horrendous brochure, he should fire four people! Since this would screw up the network’s programming, he’s reconsidering his original plan to fire one team and instead may fire one member of each team (other than the team made up of golden children James and Stefani).
This week, there was no winning team/losing team format and no PM to choose members for the hot seats, so the Boardroom was a little different, and the scenes flowed smoothly from the presentations to the firings. What we didn’t see in the network broadcast was the fact that Trump solicited opinions from James and Stefani on many of the issues, most notably who they would fire.
All the candidates agreed that what James and Stefani put together was excellent, and what Trump liked was that they had an entire campaign. In fact, Don, Jr. reiterated that they were assigned not to design a brochure, but to design a promotional campaign from which a brochure could be created.
While Kriscole had a few technical problems at the beginning, their video wasn’t bad. They had a clear theme, which was the “Las Vegas is turning gold” concept. He even liked their brochure much better than Fraidi’s, other than the fact that it had the wrong phone number!!
As for Fraidi, Trump didn’t have much to say that was positive. He felt their presentation was awful. He thought the video was terrible. When Trump found out Frank was in charge of the video, I believe he thought Frank did the actual filming himself, complaining the camera work was shaky and that Frank didn’t even show the best things about the building.
Don Jr. agrees, saying the interior shots were poorly lit, making it look gloomy and cave-like. Frank begs Trump to see it one more time, but Trump refuses, saying that they managed to take one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and make it look ho-hum and boring. Superlatives from Trump—shocking, I know.
Enough about the video; now they’re back to the brochure, which Trump and Don Jr. criticize on every level, from the black cover that’s not glossy enough to the lack of pictures and overabundance of text. Trump exclaims that it’s like a book, and if he wanted to read, he’d get a novel. Yeah, right—like he’s got anything other than The Art of The Deal in his house.
Heidi argues that the brochure was done literally 15 minutes before the deadline. When asked whose fault that is, Heidi tries to say that both she and Frank were responsible. Gee, Heidi, that’s interesting, because earlier you complained about how Frank was so wrapped up with the video that you had to do the brochure by yourself. Now that your brochure is under scrutiny, you’re trying to throw Frank under the bus.
Don Jr. is right there with me, asking Heidi pointed questions about the text and demanding to know who put that “diatribe of stuff” in there. Heidi has no choice to admit the truth; the girl was double-teamed by Don Jr. and Frankie Suits; I mean, come on!
Spurred by desperation, Heidi begs Trump to look back on her past record, reminding him how he’s used that tactic with other candidates in the past. While she admits being embarrassed by her performance on this particular task, she points out how well she’s done over the course of the season. Frank counters by reminding Trump that he’s never been asked back to the Boardroom once, by any teammate, in 11 weeks.
This was a shrewd move on Frank’s part, as Trump appears to have neglected to recall that and is impressed anew. The scene quickly devolves as Heidi calls Frank distracting, while he defends his work ethic. When Trump questions whether Frank has the polish to make it in the Trump organization, he says absolutely yes. Heidi says Frank needs discipline to stay on task, and Frank says he’s a workhorse who takes on more than his share. Stefani supports Frank by agreeing that he’s always 100% committed to his task.
Speaking of Stefani, Trump asks who she would fire on each team. Stefani says it’s a case of misinformation (Kriscole) vs. no theme (Fraidi). She says she doesn’t believe she ever received a straight answer as to who was responsible for the wrong phone number being printed on the brochure. When she’s told it’s Kristine, she concludes that Kristine should go, saying, “You can’t sell if they can’t find you.”
As for the other team, she places blame for their loss on the lackluster brochure. She says she hasn’t worked with Heidi, but she has worked with Frank on 11 tasks, and she knows he didn’t write the content because it’s not his forte. Trump jumps on that, asking if it’s because Frank isn’t smart, but Stefani, cool as a cucumber, says he’s very bright, but he prefers to be better utilized in other areas.
Trump asks James his opinion on the other teams’ performances. He says he’s never worked with Heidi. Trump reminds James that Heidi has the best record of all the candidates (a statistic I feel is misleading). Stefani interjects and says while that may be true; she wouldn’t buy one of Trump’s condominiums based on that brochure. She likes the other team’s much better and says she’d rather watch their DVD and try to figure out the phone number. Hee hee!
Stefani says that Fraidi’s brochure has no allure at all for selling real estate. She wants to see pictures, to get an idea of the kind of lifestyle she could be living. Speaking of allure, I just have to say I think Stefani is awesome. True, she was never PM, but I’ve never seen anything but quality work from her, not to mention the woman is absolutely gorgeous. I wish I had her looks. Sigh. But I digress—again!
Trump asks James who he’d fire, and he says he’d have to go for the person responsible for the lack of theme. Trump asks Heidi what their theme was, and she says it was “world class amenities in the privacy of your own home,” but Trump points out that her team never conveyed that. After pointing out the good job the other teams did in selling their theme, Trump makes it clear how disappointed he is in Heidi.
Frank and Heidi argue and Frankie Suits finally gets Heidi to admit to being responsible for the brochure. He also calls her on her propensity for changing her story and dodging blame, a point Don Jr. substantiates. After Frank goes all Sopranos on her, Heidi crumbles. She tells Trump that if he wanted to fire her for this task alone, she would 100% agree with him. He takes her up on her offer, then without any buildup, fires Kristine as well. Kristine protests that she didn’t get a chance to defend herself, but since Trump sees her error as indefensible, she’s gone.
In Heidi’s exit interview, she tells us that she is originally from Unionville, Michigan, but now resides in Santa Monica, California. She feels she could have been the Apprentice because she is hard-working, dedicated, and a “solutions person.”
She reminds us of her 3-1 record as project manager and points out that she was PM more than anyone else. Consequently, she had more wins as PM than anyone else. She is very proud of her record and says she feels Mr. Trump recognized this and that’s why he frequently referred to her as a “superstar.”
She recaps the final task and her experience with Frank. She refers to him as a “ball of energy” and says while there’s a lot of respect there, he is her polar opposite. He tends to get very excited, while she tries to stay calm. She laments that on the final task, there was no PM, yet neither of them took the authoritative role, and this led to their downfall.
She admits freaking out when she saw the other two teams’ presentations. She said she hadn’t slept in 50 hours, and it caused her a great deal of stress and led to her poor presentation. While she says she is to blame for losing the task, she holds Frank equally responsible. She takes more of the blame for the poor presentation. Interestingly, we then see footage from the Boardroom in which she says they are equally to blame. I guess hindsight is 20/20, eh?
She goes on to say that she felt she would be fired, and she felt that based on the final task alone, she deserved to go. She had hoped that Trump would look back on her overall performance, but unfortunately, that was not to be. While she is shocked that Frank is not sitting next to her (meaning fired), she says, “more power to him!”
She holds no ill will toward Frank, a guy she calls passionate, nuts (in a good way, I think, because she laughs as she says it) and someone who can fight his way out of anything. She says she learned a lot about herself throughout this process: that she can stay up for 50 hours straight, that she can get a lot more in life accomplished than she thought, and that she can do whatever she puts her mind to. She plans to apply everything she’s learned to her personal and professional life as she returns to her job, her friends, and living her life.
Kristine’s exit interview tells us that she’s from Studio City, California, and felt she could be the Apprentice because she’s worked in so many different fields and she kinds of “gets it”. She feels you have to be able to go with the flow, be a hard worker, and be willing to do whatever it takes to succeed.
She too recaps the final task for us. She claims she executed the entire task by herself, because Nicole didn’t do much. She says she put together the promotional video and all the static marketing materials, so she took care of about 90% of the work. Nicole’s only job, she says, was to put together the Power Point presentation, since Nicole claimed to be an expert in this area.
This presentation was intended to explain to Trump the entire marketing campaign, but Nicole was unable to begin the presentation without technical help from James, which didn’t make a good impression. Kristine doesn’t hold back as she says in reference to Nicole, “Are you flippin’ kidding me??? You’ve got one responsibility on this damn task and you can’t make it work?”
Throughout her interview, we see footage of the presentation. The topic then turns to the brochure, where we see the footage where Trump points out that the phone number on her brochure is different from the other brochure. When she realized their error, Kristine says she wanted to crawl in a hole and was afraid she would “projectile vomit on Mr. Trump.” Well, it might have improved his hairstyle, if nothing else. (As a side note, I’d like to point out that this is the second time this season that Kristine has used the word “vomit”. In the episode where Nicole came over to Kinetic, Kristine said that Nicole was willing to “vomit information” about her former teammates. Note to self: get Kristine a thesaurus.)
Kristine says to this day, she doesn’t know who pulled that phone number. She says she’s not trying to sidestep the issue, but she honestly doesn’t know where that phone number came from and states she does not recall writing that down. In reflecting on the Boardroom, she says that going into the Boardroom, she told Nicole that they win or they lose together. However, after hearing Trump say he was thinking of firing only one person from each of the two losing teams, she thought, “What the hell is this man talking about?”
All the attention was on Heidi and Frank, so she was shocked when Trump fired her without warning. She didn’t get to defend herself, and began to argue with him, which resulted in his yelling at her. She felt that the focus had been on Frank and Heidi and what a piece of crap they put together and not on her performance.
She admits that the fact that Nicole is going into the final task has caused her to be so bitter and “pissed off” and she feels it’s just not right. Nevertheless, since Trump will have to work with whoever he hires, Kristine says he must see something in Nicole that he didn’t see in her.
She concludes by saying that the best part of her experience is learning that you can do anything you put your mind to. She never in her life thought she would be able to do some of the things she did throughout the show, and she feels like she’s been a slacker for the first 30-something years of her life. In short, she’s learned a lot about herself and thinks down the road, Mr. Trump will realize he shot himself in the foot by letting her go so early.
And so we have it: Nicole, Stefani, Frank, and James: the final four, all from Arrow, the Cinderella team. Who will win? E-mail your predictions and rationales to me and I will include them in next week’s article. Until next week, I’ll see you over at Foxes on Idol!
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Kathy Lonergan is currently on spring break and therefore has all kinds of time on her hands to answer e-mail. She invites you to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions, comments, predictions, opinions, recipes, jokes, and oops – she digressed… AGAIN.
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