Celebrity Apprentice, Episode 10: A Good Day For Reality TVby Brian Towers -- 03/07/2008
Last week, the teams created ads for Dial Yogurt Bodywash (no, really!) to be printed in Redbook. Both teams went edgy (sort of), but Empresario backed off in the end and lost the task. Tito Ortiz was sent home for poor leadership and a worse presentation.
For your reference, here are the current team rosters:
Before we get rolling, let me take a second for a brief flashback into Apprentice history… specifically, to Season 1, Episode 9. The task was to interview some artists, then select one and sell their work in an art gallery. Citing her falling plaster dust wound of two episodes earlier, Omarosa slacked off, taking a lengthy lunch break when she was needed to help with some grunt work. What really makes that episode meaningful is, IT’S THE EPISODE WHEN OMAROSA WAS FIRED!! What I see as especially encouraging for this season is, she wasn’t fired over anything related to the task, but for generally being a contentious and disruptive teammate.
Can history repeat itself? Certainly the faults all remain! (Though it is amusing to look back at Omarosa’s interview with RealityNewsOnline after she was fired and see her complaining about the editing making her look bad after her further Reality TV Hall of Shame behavior this season!)
But let’s get back to this season. The episode starts with Hydra awaiting Empresario’s return to the suite. When they come in, Piers is surprised Tito was fired and suggests (probably jokingly) that Trace knifed him in the back. To us, Trace says he was just playing it honest. I‘ve already said that firing Tito was the right move, and that opinion hasn’t changed.
Next, Trump (not wearing a pink tie) meets with the teams in his fantastic apartment to assign the next task. Wife Melania and son Baron are with him, as are Ivanka and Don Junior. Baron, now 18 months old, babbles unabashedly like some of our contestants are prone to do.
Trump reveals that so far, $630,000 has been given to charity. Umm, by my figures, it’s $320,000. Don’t get me wrong, that is still an impressive amount!
Trump outlines the task ahead. They must select an artist from a group, price their work, and sell it in a gallery. The team with the greater sales win. Money won above an unspecified minimum goes to the winning PMs charity.
Trump wants the PMs named now. Omarosa and Piers step up. Tempting fate, Omarosa reminds us that this was the task she was fired on before.
I notice there’s no film of Carol presenting her charity with a check this week. Why not? I’ll mention for her that her charity is a family foundation targeting kids, and she won the traditional $20,000.
Omarosa talks with the gallery owner to learn the tricks of the trade. He suggests all the artists can be sold and recommends, “Follow your heart. Whoever appeals to you the most is who you should go with.” Trace admits in a solo interview that he doesn’t “get” most art. Baldwin imagines that Piers will take the most expensive artist. Omarosa figures Piers has the contacts to pull that off.
Next, Hydra meets with the gallery owner as Carol tells us the team has no real experience in art. Piers asks if space is an issue with any of these artists and instead learns that they can sell multiple copies of some work by “new media artist” Shirley Shor. So although Shirley only offers about a half dozen different designs, there are more total pieces of her work to sell than any of the other artists. The team all agrees that this is the right way to go.
Back on Empresario, Omarosa asks the team to rate the artists. Again, the choice is unanimous, and they choose David Kramer. The reasoning is that he has the most pieces and the lowest price point. Alas, the decision is based on incomplete information, as they did not find out the details of Shirley Shor’s work. Omarosa confidently informs her team she’s going to call in her contacts. Baldwin is also calling friends, asking them, “Buy a piece of art from Stevie B tonight.” At least one thinks the price point is too high.
Piers is doing similar phone work on Hydra. One of his contacts is chef Gordon Ramsey, who appears on Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares, among other shows. Potentially, Piers seems to be nailing down some big sales. He is very serious this week and tells us, “This wasn’t business, this was personal.”
Omarosa wants Baldwin to stop calling his contacts and learn about the artist instead. She then changes her mind and asks him to do both. He says he can’t do both at once. Omarosa asks him, “You can’t multi-task, is that what you’re telling me?” He says he cannot read and talk to someone at the same time. She responds, “That’s funny, because I’m doing okay. Can you give it a try, maybe?” He asks which she’d rather him do, and she says both. Baldwin recognizes that Omarosa is setting him up in case they lose this challenge.
Hydra goes to the gallery and is disappointed they have been assigned the back gallery. The owner tells them it’s been predetermined because of the artist chosen (oh, sure). When Empresario comes, Omarosa immediately recognizes the need to keep customers up front in their part of the gallery. Yes, that’s quite an advantage they’ve been given. This is Celebrity Apprentice for charity, let’s keep the playing field level!
Baldwin is seen at least three or four times attempting to listen in on Piers’ conversations. He pretends to be shocked at repeatedly being asked to step away. One time when he pretends to be going to the washroom, Piers threatens to hit him, because he can see through Baldwin’s attempts to spy and interrupt Hydra’s operations. Baldwin, in love with his wisdom, chortles. This is when he looks most like Barney Rubble, when he has impressed himself.
Piers notes that Baldwin is often at the center of the “unethical behavior” he claims to abhor. I ask, has the Vinny Pastore lesson been forgotten already? “Listening in” is a valid strategy, but when you’ve been caught, quit it or you’ll be swimming with the fishes! And why is it okay for Baldwin to spy, but not Vinny? That’s another example of Baldwin’s inconsistent outlook.
The start of the sale is imminent and both teams are still mounting their work and fiddling with the lighting. Trace says Omarosa claims to know art, but he’s not so sure she does. She doesn’t want to take time to display prices, because they have lists of the prices themselves. Uh-uh, they are told it doesn’t work like that! They quickly mount some price labels.
The sale begins and Omarosa does a great job diverting most of the initial potential customers into their gallery. To counteract that, Piers sends Lennox out to steer people to Hydra. It’s a good idea, but Lennox goes mute and is ineffective. Predictably, Empresario’s gallery is busy and Hydra’s room is empty. Piers is beginning to worry about his contacts showing up in time.
The next clips are interwoven sequences of Piers and Omarosa trying to close sales to (different) prospective buyers who are clearly on the fence. Eventually, Omarosa’s guy fades out because of the price, while Piers reels his lady in. Meanwhile, Baldwin reports to us that his contact people are showing up, but not buying.
To make matters worse for Baldwin, Lennox poaches one of his clients when Steven is too busy talking to someone else. Carol tries to make a sale to him, and Baldwin comes around the corner to find his contact and warn him off. However, he does it in such a quasi-serious and vague manner that Carol is able to close the deal!
Baldwin says it’s disheartening to see them stoop to that level. Grow up, man; it happens on Main Street every day. Piers says that for letting that happen, Baldwin’s “a complete dunderhead.”
Some of Piers’ heavyweights now show up and he closes several sales. One is a representative of Ioan Gruffudd, who plays Reed Richards in the Fantastic Four movies. Piers is pleased to tell us that all aspects of their strategy seem to be working.
Trump’s kids turn up to see how things are going. Piers shows them that many of their pieces are sold out. Meanwhile, Baldwin is giving restaurant advice instead of selling art.
In the next scene, the teams have been assembled in the Boardroom. Hydra tells The Donald they are confident of victory. However, Omarosa confesses they only sold four paintings, two by her and two by Trace.
That propels us right to the results. Ivanka reports that Hydra sold 14 of 20 pieces, for $164,000. Meanwhile, Empresario only sold three (not four) paintings out of 16, for only $7,000. Alt-F12! I mean, Hydra wins!
Omarosa comments that she doesn’t have the kind of contacts that can spend $15,000 on a painting. Don Junior raises the point that she had said it was all about price point this time, and wants to know what happened. Without a real defense, she simply says, “It’s disappointing, Don.”
Trump announces, “This is the biggest slaughter in the history of The Apprentice!”
Piers admits this was personal, and that he made a mistake in losing his cool before. He continues by saying that a genuine celebrity has the power to call on important friends, and Omarosa doesn’t belong. Ever the Teflon lady, Omarosa says that what Piers just said is questioning Trump’s judgment. Piers responds by calling on Trump to fire two members of Empresario. You know, I don’t think he’s targeting Trace.
Seriously, every time Omarosa attacks Piers, he gets in the better digs and the better points.
Omarosa admits to Trump that the men have done well. Trump says that Carol doesn’t look like a man to him, and Carol points out that she sold $37,000 worth of art herself, plus helped close a couple of Piers’ sales. Don Junior notes that this is four times the business of Empresario. It’s actually more than five times…
Discussions continue with an incredibly low energy level, because this was indeed a slaughter and no one of Empresario is defending too effectively. Trump asks Empresario who should be fired. Baldwin says Omarosa.
Ivanka queries Omarosa about her sales volume, and Omarosa attempts to put the blame on her sales team. Ivanka isn’t buying it and Omarosa concedes that they all must take the blame for the loss.
Trump sends Hydra back to the suite, where they can watch the ensuing events. Piers asks, and Trump reports that he won another $51,300 for his charity, the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. This brings Piers’ season total to $116,300!
Trump probes for the reasons Empresario lost. Trump asks Omarosa and she brings up Baldwin’s absence of sales. Back in the suite, Hydra grudgingly acknowledge how Omarosa is trying to get Trump’s focus elsewhere.
Baldwin tells of Carol scooping up his client. Trump asks if they were fairly scooped up. From what we know of Trump, I shudder to think what he considers “unfairly scooped up…” Maybe if they were forced to change galleries at gunpoint? Trump doesn’t really buy Baldwin’s complaint as valid.
Trump asks them if he should fire two people. Maybe he’s trying to get some emotion out of them, because they are beaten down flat. Of course, they think one is enough.
Omarosa tells the tale of Piers’ threat to hit Baldwin, without mentioning Baldwin’s questionable behavior. It’s agreed that Piers was fired up today, and Omarosa admits that she provided the fuel to that fire.
Ivanka asks if, looking back, Omarosa ought to have handled things differently and not fired up Piers so much. Omarosa replies that she was greatly insulted (I won’t repeat the names, but Piers says he never said the worst of them)… then, she admits she said some vile things, too. She quietly adds, “because I know some things about him.”
Prompted to flesh that out, she says, “He’s in the closet.” Whuzzat?? Her reasoning is that he always wants the guys to be taking their shirts off. For those of you keeping score at home, this is yet another great way to guarantee you will be fired in the real world!
Trump asks if Piers wants to come back and defend himself. Yup!
Piers hustles to the Boardroom and strides up to the Empresario side of the table. He leans over, kisses Trace on the cheek and says, “Trace, you’re a beautiful cowboy!” and walks out again. Ha! Classic moment, that!
Almost everyone laughs, but Omarosa half-heartedly pretends she thought Piers was going to hit her. Baldwin has a smile he’s trying to suppress, but Trace is visibly quite upset, to the point where Trump actually has to tell him it was a joke! My estimation of Trace just slid a little.
Trump asks Trace who he should fire. Trace takes a long time to say that all he did was make two prearranged sales (meaning Omarosa exaggerated her sale) and is disappointed in his own results.
Trump turns to his kids for opinions. Don Junior is disappointed in Steven, plus he notes this is Omarosa’s third loss as a PM. Ivanka says Omarosa acted defeated ever since she came into the Boardroom. Trump agrees with Ivanka, and she’s fired.
Let me type that again. Omarosa (perhaps the inspiration for the stylized picture that accompanies this article) is fired!
Once more, just for me:
OMAROSA IS FIRED !!
As they leave, Trump says, “Well, that was pretty easy, to be honest. That one was obvious.” The kids agree. It was actually obvious in week one too (and probably week six, also), but Trump has his own agenda.
In the cab, Omarosa publicizes her charity, the Positive Vibrations Youth Mentoring Program at the Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum. She says, “No man is your friend; no man is your foe; but every man is your teacher.” I say, I cherish my friends, stay wary of those who would do me harm, and never accept the advice of anyone Baldwin-ish.
Next week: Selling a designer sandwich. Who’s in a pickle, who’s a ham, and who doesn’t cut the mustard? We’ll find out!
My Comments: It would have been completely appropriate for Trump to fire two people after the biggest defeat ever, and even dumping the entire trio has a lot of merit. Baldwin mailed it in and Trace was also ineffective. At this stage of the game, are they holding back?
Join me here next week for more of the same… sans Omarosa!
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Omarosa’s Legacy of Shame in the Reality TV Hall of Shame:
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 email@example.com. He’d like to hear your opinions and promises to respond to all serious email.
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 Project Runway and The Biggest Loser. 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!