Celebrity Apprentice, Episode 7: Missing – Horse Sense and Common Decencyby Brian Towers -- 02/15/2008
Last week, Baldwin tried to quit but Trump convinced him to change teams instead – and then Baldwin took time off! Despite Lennox’s passive leadership, Team Hydra won again. And though Omarosa developed a theme that didn’t please The Donald, it was Nely who took the fall.
Action begins back in the suite with Hydra awaiting Empresario’s return from the Boardroom. Piers says, “Omarosa is one of the most venomous poisons I have encountered in 25 years of business!”
Omarosa and Marilu return to the suite. In an interview, Omarosa comments that Nely is an awesome person, but didn’t she fight to save herself. She concludes with a derisive, “Ha-ha, my dear. I’m always controlling what’s happening with my team!”
Back in the suite, Omarosa tells Carol and Marilu that she has the worst record in the history of the game.
The teams are not sitting together. Over in Hydra’s room, Piers comments that Baldwin is a broken man, and Tito adds how Baldwin now has four female bosses. There’s really only three, as Nely is gone. Piers says that he wouldn’t go to Empresario even if Trump asked him to. Then, Trump’s secretary calls the players back to the Boardroom. We all know where this is going!
They file in and Trump tells them not to bother sitting. He’s going to switch up the teams, because he’s tired of Empresario losing. Lennox asks him not to, but is overruled. So, Trump splits the teams, sitting them down in their new groupings.
Tito is moved to Empresario, while Lennox stays on Hydra. Marilu is told to sit beside Tito, then Carol is located beside Lennox. Thirdly, Trace is placed beside Marilu, and Omarosa beside Carol.
With only Baldwin and Piers remaining, we all know where this is going. Sure enough, Piers gets the seat beside Omarosa. Steven smiles and Piers buries his head in his hands. He says, “We fought two World Wars and (points to Omarosa) never had to deal with this.”
Prompted by Trump for a reaction, Omarosa delivers: she calls Piers scum. Trump questions the validity of that response. It’s going to get WAY worse! Meanwhile, Baldwin, having avoided the prospect of working with either Omarosa or Piers, is gleefully grinning ear to ear.
For your reference, here are the new team rosters:
Trump explains the task. The teams will run a hansom cab service (that’s a horse-and-buggy operation) in Central Park. Trump informs them that currently, rides cost about $34… but he expects them to do better than that. Since the winner will be defined by total sales, it’s round three of the battle of the Rolodexes. Keeping an eye on things will be his daughter Ivanka and his friend George Ross.
As the only one yet to take the lead, Trace will be PM of Empresario. He tells us his daughter has severe food allergies, and his charity is the Food Allergy And Anaphylaxis Network. Team Empresario starts making calls right away. Baldwin promises brother Billy, Tito has a friend who can deliver $1,000, and Marilu’s restaurant-owning sister will provide champagne. It sounds like things are rolling nicely!
Meanwhile, at Hydra, Piers is the PM. He and Omarosa vow to bury the hatchet. Yeah, I don’t believe it either. Piers informs his team that should they lose, the ones he will bring back to the Boardroom are the ones who drum up the least amount of money. We see Piers getting a commitment for $10,000, then Lennox and Carol getting unspecified commitments from their own contacts. However, Piers notes that Omarosa doesn’t have powerful friends and is struggling to solicit donations.
We see no other task details. No advertising or marketing plans, no nifty slogans, nothing. Not even a trip to Kinko’s or a jaunt to the dollar store to refill their Bedazzler. I know this season is about the people and their rich, famous friends, but jeepers, toss a dog a bone, can’t you?
The next day, teams are traveling to Central Park. Omarosa passes Piers a list of her contacts, with his name spelled incorrectly. He tells her to correct it, saying she should know how to spell the name of her boss correctly. She insists he is not her boss, crumples the paper, throws it at him, and the battle is on.
In a self-congratulating tone, Omarosa tells us her intention is to bring Piers down. She knows his weak spots and she intends to exploit them. Her comments include at least one obscenity, and she brings his kids into it. Piers refers to it as “sickening” and fires back that she’s “a disgusting little tramp.” Were I a short hobo, I would be discouraged to be compared to Omarosa!
Only joking a little, Lennox says, “We want to get out!” After the men leave, Omarosa tells Carol, “That was so refreshing!” Meanwhile, Piers tells Lennox that Omarosa is “a pointless celebrity wannabe idiot.” So much for team unity!
Empresario are also on their way to the Park. Marilu feels energized by the new team lineup. Along the way, they stop and get champagne and roses for their customers. Smart move!
In the Park, the teams are working side-by-side, with each team assigned three hansoms. Trace is proud of how his three teammates are selling so energetically.
At Hydra, things are not any better. Piers fires Omarosa, and she refuses to leave. In fact, she’s in his face. She refuses to acknowledge his authority and says, as she follows him around, “If you touch me, I will punch you in the face.” Carol and Lennox try to intervene, but about all they’re getting is a wonderful tale of peace and love to one day share with their grandkids.
Seriously, this is crossing a line. There is no longer entertainment value in the childishness that’s on my TV screen. It’s ugly, and it’s embarrassing. Piers is not innocent, but Omarosa is WAY out of bounds.
Early on, Empresario are having good success getting customers. Billy Baldwin shows up, and Steven suggests that Marilu auction off a ride with Billy. She does so, and another $2,000 is added to their coffers. But Hydra is holding their own as several of Piers’ high rollers arrive and he collects some hefty contributions of his own.
The rules state that sales only count if a ride is delivered… just selling a ticket isn’t enough. This means that managing the resources (the hansoms) matters. Piers gets the idea to hold back one of the cabs, as he doesn’t want to lose credit for a big sale because they are unable to deliver the goods. Very smart!
Ignoring Piers, Omarosa keeps trying to sell tickets to passersby, and makes up another insult about how his kids are disappointed in him. Lennox comments that her comments are mean and nasty. Of course, this all takes place in front of dozens of onlookers.
Marilu notes that the Empresario carriages are always on a trip but the Hydra ones are not. Viceroy George drops by to see how things are going. So far, about $12,000 has been raised. George notes they are hustling rides very effectively.
A bit later, Tito’s girlfriend Jenna Jameson buys a $1,000 ride with Tito. It’s always nice to see Jenna. In a blond moment, she doesn’t know they are in Central Park. She probably doesn’t hear the Strauss waltz we’re getting, either. It’s all very nice for Valentine’s Day, but while he’s on the ride he’s not making any sales!
Back at Hydra, Carol and Lennox each make a $5,000 sale. This is adding up to a nice sum for someone’s charity!
Ivanka arrives at Team Hydra. Omarosa explains to her that she was fired but she won’t leave. Piers counters with, “She’s a disgusting piece of slime.” Lennox relates to Ivanka how when he tried to break them up, they told HIM to be quiet so they could argue! Piers wants to be sure The Donald hears about this. Ivanka’s pretty sure it will come up. Me too.
Ivanka tells us she is disappointed in Team Hydra. Really? Could she not see that complete and utter collapse was inevitable when her father put the team together this way?
Trace is upset that his horse takes 30 minutes to make a 15-minute trip. His not-serious suggestion of back-door encouragement for the horse is not ASPCA-friendly, so I’ll skip it. Marilu tells us Trace is a good leader and one of their strongest players. Meanwhile, Trace’s friend John Rich (of Big And Rich) arrives to make a $5,000 cash donation
Omarosa and Piers argue again. Omarosa asks if there’s another man raising his children. That’s a low blow – there is, as Piers is divorced. We know how defensive Trump is over family in general and his kids in particular; I wonder how he’ll react when he hears some of these comments?
Reprising a scene from a couple of weeks ago, Piers, Carol, and Lennox all await big donations for Hydra that are in transit. But that’s all we see of it.
In the next scene, the task is over and the teams have assembled in the Boardroom to hear the results. Piers retells the story of the first cab ride, when he fired Omarosa. Lennox compares the battle to his fight with Tyson.
Piers calls Omarosa “a piece of trash” and expounds for Trump how she was disrespecting his kids, and delivers an expletive-ridden sample. He says it’s inappropriate for a show raising money for charity to have such behavior.
Piers says he will not work with Omarosa again. He will not quit, but he insists that Trump separate them next week. He says that if Omarosa were a man, “I’d have punched you to the ground, as Lennox did Tyson.”
There’s more slime, mostly with Omarosa laughing at Piers and continuing the attacks, because she has no defense. She says she didn’t talk about his kids, which is, of course, a bald-faced lie. Did she forget about all those cameras around them when she was attacking him? Or does she just not care about lying so blatantly?
Trump says that if Hydra loses, it’s going to solve a lot of problems. I think Carol and Lennox have just been told they are not going to be fired no matter what happens next.
Trump turns his attention to Trace and Empresario. Trace says he had a great day, personally, and they all did well. He cannot identify anyone as a “star,” because, “they all performed to the best of their abilities.”
It’s time for Trump to announce the winner. George reports that Empresario generated $29,673. Ivanka is reluctant to report that Hydra made $35,184. Hydra wins, for the sixth time in seven weeks! Trump changed the players, but not the result.
Trump announces that the whole $65,000 will go to Piers’ charity. Piers explains that his charity is the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which helps the families of soldiers who have fallen in battle. He adds that his brother just returned from active duty in Iraq. Even Omarosa knows not to make a stupid comment at this point.
Trump moves Omarosa back to Empresario. Piers does not react. As they leave, Lennox says it seems like a hollow victory, because he can’t get excited about it.
Back in the suite, Piers is very subdued. He describes it as “a foul victory.” Clueless Omarosa toasts with no one and has a small laugh alone.
Trump now turns to Empresario. He tells them this is probably the hardest firing to date. Trump makes Trace identify who worked least hard. He can’t name anyone.
In turn, Trump asks Baldwin, Marilu, and Tito the same question, and none can identify anyone as “worst.” Even George cannot come up with a name and says he’s glad Trump is the one who has to make the decision.
Trump asks if any of them want to resign. They laugh, but he’s serious. No takers! Trump then asks Trace if, as PM, he would like to resign. Trace says if he were only representing himself, he might consider it, but he’s here fighting for somebody else, so the answer is still “no.” That’s the right answer!
Trump says this is “the single hardest firing I’ve ever had.” Trace says the next time he has to raise money, he’s calling Trump, and all laugh. Trump jokes that if he’d given them $7,000, his current task would be much easier.
Donald continues, “The other team was a total disaster. I wish I could have fired one of the members of the (other) team, and we know exactly who I’m talking about.” So since this team knows this is all about charity and he’s feeling charitable, he’s firing… no one! He tells us it’s the first time that’s even happened. Did the season just get a week longer, or will there be a double execution in the near future?
Trump’s parting shot is to say that Marilu will be moved to Hydra (to keep the numbers even). That sucks for her.
The closing shot is of the driver of the empty limo, waiting to escort the fired player away. No limo ride this week! At least it’s not raining on him.
Next week: a return to the selling mecca known as the Home Shopping Network. And someone on Hydra (either Marilu or Carol) is stricken with verbal diarrhea. Based on the new team alignments, I note Baldwin and Marilu have gone the longest without being PM, so perhaps their turns come up.
Website Note: For those who are unaware, Vincent Pastore has now been officially accorded a Reality TV Hall Of Shame Moment for his hapless reincarnation of his glory days. To relive the sad details, click here to read his article.
My Comments: Although he’s doing pretty well here, I am not a huge fan of Piers Morgan and his tabloid journalism. However, after this episode I personally could not have less respect for Omarosa. There’s just no excuse to sink that low on a TV show where celebrities are helping charities. I don’t think there’s a place for such behavior in the business world, either.
Well, I guess my opinion is clear. The question of the week for you readers is: Do you feel Omarosa should be inducted into the Hall Of Shame… again? Even before I got this article completed, a couple of you requested she go in – but what do the rest of you think? I’m interested in hearing from both sides, not just those who agree with me.
Readers are invited to share their opinions at the eAddress below. And next week, join me here for a recap of all the new action, sprinkled with my own reactions and opinions.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Apprentice articles:
Brian lives in Toronto. He spent a couple of decades working in middle management at The Prudential, primarily hiding behind the coffee machines in generally unsuccessful attempts to avoid his pointy-haired bosses. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’d like to hear your opinions and promises to respond to all serious email.
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