The Apprentice 5, Episode 3: Shark Baitby Jenn Brasler -- 03/14/2006
Betsy is busy trying to figure out ways to keep Sean from leaving her for me, so I’ll be her substitute this week. I’m going to see how close I can come to how much Ivanka rocked last week.
Previously on The Apprentice: When did Trump shave his head? And when did this show move in front of a live audience? And why is there money and a bunch of people screaming and booing? Oh, wait. Deal or No Deal is just running late. I don’t understand that show and I don’t want to. I could probably care less, but it would take more effort than I’m willing to put forth.
Instead of scenes from previous episodes, they do that thing were they combine scenes from the boardroom with scenes of people in the suite. Andrea says that unless he’s the project manager, Brent will never be held responsible for his actions because he won’t ever be in charge of anything. Allie thinks that Brent will be coming back to the suite. Andrea gives an interview about how awful Brent is. Get used to it, as it’s the main theme of the episode. We see Stacy get fired, followed by Pepi.
Brent and Michael return to the suite, where Brent loudly wishes everyone a happy Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year - more on that in a minute). In possibly my favorite moment of the evening, Andrea barely avoids throwing a hissy fit by running to the bathroom and closing the door. Because she’s awesome, Roxanne tries to comfort her, but because she sucks, Andrea tells her to go away. Allie isn’t happy that they’ve lost two really good team members and are, of course, stuck with Brent. Roxanne tries to talk to Andrea again but gets the same response. Andrea is crying, and you know what Martha Stewart would say if she were there. (Hold on a minute. I need to picture Martha Stewart yelling at Andrea. Ahh, that was nice.)
Lee calls a Gold Rush meeting to tell everyone that he and Dan will spend the next two days attending synagogue services to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. He hopes that the team respects this decision. Tarek thinks that they might be able to communicate via cell phones, but Lee says that they can’t do that. Everyone seems to be okay with this decision, though it means they’re two men down, but Lenny, of course, speaks his mind: this is “f^%@#*& stupid.” He thinks Dan and Lee are using the holiday as an excuse not to work.
Dan defends his beliefs, saying that he’s just stating what he will and won’t do. Lenny says that he’s Jewish, too, but he’ll be working. He tries to compare himself to Israeli soldiers, who fight on holidays even though they’re not supposed to, but I hardly think he’ll be doing anything similar to trying not to let other soldiers kill him. Dan just wants Lenny to know how he practices. Lenny says it’s fine, but if they lose, they’ll blame Dan and Lee. It’s bad enough that Lenny is completely disregarding and belittling someone else’s religious beliefs, but he should really be careful about what he says after the whole Jen C. debacle in the second season.
Andrea finally ventures out of the bathroom and she and Allie talk about how horrible their situation is. Andrea says that if she’s the project manager, the team will win. Allie plays right into her hands and suggests that Andrea take on the role. Andrea says that if they lose, it’ll just be her and Brent in the boardroom. Ooh, a capital plan. She thinks that Trump will see how great she is when she’s able to manage Brent.
In the morning, Lee and Dan walk to a synagogue for service. The music guys are uncreative and insert klezmer music. They talk about how the team could blame them if they lose. Lee says that he’ll be saying a special prayer for Gold Rush. At Trump World Tower, Trump does that thing where he carries on a fake conversation with an employee to kill time before the candidates arrive. Carolyn is back, but Bill is still around. This is because, like Dan and Lee, George is celebrating Rosh Hashanah. Trump knows why Lee and Dan are absent and says, “That’s life.” Yeah, how unlucky Gold Rush is that two of their members are Jewish. What the heck was that? “That’s life.” Yeah, it is. Some people are Jewish! What a wacky world! Trump continues that some things aren’t fair (how unfair that Dan and Lee don’t worship Jesus!) and some might say it’s unfair that Brent is still around. Thus begins Trump’s random, unnecessary singling out of Brent in this episode.
Trump announces that the next task will involve motivating a sales force. The teams will work with General Motors and organize a corporate retreat for dealership owners. They will introduce the 2007 Chevy Tahoe and try to motivate the dealers to sell. They will be evaluated through surveys. As the teams leave to get to work, Bryce says that he respects Dan and Lee’s decision, but they’re good workers, so it’ll be tough not to have them around for the task.
It’s time for the Trump Lesson of the Week: “Plan B.” Trump tells us that we should be flexible. Without a plan B, sometimes things won’t work out. If we’re not flexible, we won’t be successful. The Jenn Lesson of the Week is, sometimes people are dumb. If you can’t do anything about having to coexist with them, you just have to deal with it.
At the GM marketing offices, Gold Rush brainstorms. Theresa tells us that she’s the project manager. She wants to make the dealers feel special. She wants to put on a classy event with models and a comedian, which she’s putting Charmaine in charge of. She wants Tarek to work on the creative end of things. Tarek tries to get the team to come up with a theme for the event, but Theresa thinks they just need to put on a good one. She wants a horse and carriage. Didn’t she learn anything from Adam last season? Tarek is upset that she keeps interrupting and not letting him have any input. He wants fake putting greens and tries to bring up the theme again. Theresa doesn’t care and says she wants to give an experience of class. Lenny says that no one knows what’s going on. He thinks Theresa needs to have a brain bigger than her breasts. As if to prove his point, Theresa asks Leslie if she has any mascara.
Over at Synergy, Andrea is indeed the project manager and has decided that coming up with a theme is the top priority. She may be smart but I still don’t like her. Brent suggests giving massages again but no one agrees. Andrea says that she’s giving him busy work because he’ll feel like he’s a part of the team, but if he screws up he won’t hurt them. Everyone looks at the car, trying to brainstorm something that will click, and Michael comes up with “nature refined.” Everyone loves this because it combines ruggedness and luxury. Brent is, by the way, not paying attention.
Suddenly it’s the next day and Gold Rush is setting up for their event. Theresa reminds us that they’re going for class. Lenny feels like he’s the only one doing anything. The ground isn’t good for golf, and now Bryce and Tarek look dumb, since they’re in charge of the golfing event. Theresa notes that there are no generators or electricity (Lenny’s responsibility), but Lenny says it’s not his problem. Bryce tells him that if one person drops the ball, everyone looks bad. He quickly calls someone for generators and saves the day. He and Lenny start fighting and Bryce warns that Lenny is in trouble. He tells Lenny he saved him.
Synergy’s event will feature a rock wall and skeet shooting. Andrea wants a shotgun in her hands, and though she doesn’t say it, I’m sure we can guess who she wants to shoot. Roxanne and Brent are given the unenviable task of setting up trashcans. The team is informed that they can’t skeet shoot in the park, so that’s off. Hmmm, I wonder if this means they’ll have to come up with a plan B?
Synergy’s event begins. In addition to the rock wall and fly-fishing, there will also be golf cart racing. Sean thinks that Andrea is brilliant, which means that we were never meant to be after all. The dealers are loving the golf cart racing. Two of them have a fender bender and another dealer remarks, “Car dealers can’t drive.” Climbing. Fishing. Riding in a Tahoe. Sean gives a spiel about the features on the car, interviewing that they did a lot of homework on it so they could incorporate it into the events of the day. Bill teases Sean, asking if he knew any of the information before the event.
At Gold Rush’s event, Bryce is assigned to teach the models about the car. He doesn’t think this will turn out well. Not only do the models not seem to care too much about the car, Bryce only has 20 minutes to make them experts. Gold Rush’s event starts. Theresa tries to justify getting the horse and buggy by telling the dealers that they have to do with the “history of horsepower.” Carolyn watches the dealers play golf and says that she’s not sure if this is a classy golf tournament or an event. However, the dealers seem to be enjoying themselves, so she can’t say it’s a total disaster.
Speaking of disasters, here are the models, trying to impart everything they learned in 20 minutes. They’re not good, to say the least. Bill asks a dealer what he thinks. He says they’re not impressive. Bill thinks that Gold Rush’s only hope is to liquor up the dealers and get them to enjoy the models. Things only get worse when the comedian, Cory Kahaney from Last Comic Standing, starts her act. She manages to be both unfunny and offensive. She goes after southerners and models, then swears. She keeps going on about sex and men and everyone is clearly uncomfortable. Charmaine gets her off the stage by gesturing that her time is up. Cory then bluntly asks to be paid. What a charming woman.
The klezmer music starts up again as, back at the suite, Dan and Lee prepare to go to the boardroom with their team. In said boardroom, Trump nicely asks if they had a nice holiday. He then asks Theresa how she thinks she did; she’s “cautiously optimistic.” The teams were scored on interactivity, information, and motivation. Gold Rush didn’t do so well. The surveys Bill reads talk about the team’s poor choice in comedians, their lack of product knowledge, and their bad salesmanship. Synergy, however, had great results; their dealers were very impressed. They win. Their reward is, instead of dealing with sharks in the corporate world, they get to swim with sharks at Atlantis Marine World on Long Island. Trump randomly asks if Brent will swim. He then asks who Theresa plans to bring back to the boardroom. She names Lenny.
Synergy goes to Atlantis Marine World for their reward. The sharks look mean. Roxanne says that one is bigger than Allie and Allie remarks that it’s bigger than Brent. Oh, ha, ha, fat jokes. Those never get old. Everyone except Roxanne needs to shut up. Yes, that means you, too, Sean. Brent wonders if the sharks are tranquilized. (Nope.) He’s the most nervous of everyone about being shark bait. Eh, he’d be shark bait even if he weren’t there, so he should be grateful he’s facing off with a shark instead of Trump.
Allie wants a shark to eat Brent. I want Allie to shut up. Look, I don’t like Brent that much but is all of this insulting really necessary? We get it. They don’t like him. Let’s move on. The members of Synergy get in cages in the water. Brent is incredibly nervous but, to his credit, rides out the whole experience. Sean interviews that, unfortunately, Brent survived. Betsy, you can have him. Enjoy. Sean adds that this was a nice bonding experience for the team. Well, except for you-know-who.
In the suite, Gold Rush is not exactly bonding. Tarek tells Dan that the loss is Theresa’s fault, not Lenny’s. They didn’t have a theme and Cory was awful. Lenny wonders why Theresa tried to blame him. Theresa starts yelling about his screw-ups and Charmaine asks him who he thinks should be blamed instead. Lenny tries his flimsy argument that the absent Dan and Lee are responsible, as well as Theresa and Bryce. Charmaine tries to respond again and he tells her to shut up. Don’t tell Charmaine to shut up! She’s cool! Lenny thinks that Theresa has made a big mistake. Bryce doesn’t get why he’s trying to blame Dan and Lee because he’s the one who had to help Lenny with the generators. He says that he did it for Lenny because he doesn’t like to fail. Lenny says that he did fail, but Bryce says he saved him.
Boardroom time. Theresa says that the team lost because of individual execution and creative problems. She blames Tarek and Lenny. Trump tells her that the other team knew what they were doing, but Theresa’s big accomplishment was getting the horse and buggy. He asks if Theresa thinks she led well. Of course she does. Trump asks if anyone disagrees. Well, Lenny, for starters. Theresa says Lenny is hard to manage, which is a bad argument, since it’ll just get her branded as someone who can’t manage a difficult person. Tarek says that Theresa made some huge errors, but she says that he didn’t do his job. They try to talk over each other and Tarek totally wins.
Bryce thinks that Tarek did well, but Bill disagrees because of the horrible putting green. The team should have changed their plans when they arrived, like Synergy did. Carolyn says that Theresa wanted a classy event but missed the mark. Theresa goes on about how awesome she is, and if I didn’t have to write all this down, I would stop listening. She calls Tarek a disaster and he wonders why she didn’t single him out instead of Lenny if she feels that way. He thinks she’s trying to save herself. When Tarek isn’t being an egomaniac, he’s pretty logical.
Carolyn reiterates that the golfing was bad but Tarek says that the circumstances were out of his hands. Let me tell you something, Tarek - Carolyn doesn’t care. And Trump cares even less. Lenny is asked what he thinks, and he says Trump should fire everyone. He brings up the whole Rosh Hashanah thing again and wonders if he’s the only stupid one there. Trump says “that’s life” again, and it could have been Christmas and all the Jewish candidates could have been the only ones working.
Trump brings up the comedian (Charmaine’s responsibility) and Charmaine tries to defend her choice. Carolyn thinks she should be held accountable for the disaster. She is shocked to learn that Charmaine paid Cory even after the horrible act. She notes that Cory’s lewdness could have cost the team the task. Bryce thinks that Lenny should be fired. He says he’s funny, and Trump says that he’s funnier than Cory. The sharks were funnier than Cory. There’s some discussion of whether or not Theresa hates Lenny. Bryce gets mad at Lenny again for screwing up. Trump still thinks Lenny should have been the comedian instead of Cory. Theresa says he’s a liability. She’s bringing Lenny and Tarek back to the boardroom.
Bill thinks that Theresa dropped the ball and that Lenny is a good worker. Carolyn agrees that the loss wasn’t Lenny’s fault. She thinks Tarek did a horrible job. Theresa, Lenny, and Tarek return and Lenny is asked why he shouldn’t be fired. He thinks he did well because he did what he was told to do. Tarek agrees, adding that Theresa should go because they had no theme and she didn’t manage the people they hired (like the models) well. Trump thinks that Theresa should have brought Charmaine back, which makes me sad because I like her (if you hadn’t noticed). Theresa thinks Tarek was worse than Charmaine.
Tarek and Theresa argue again and Tarek goes on more about the theme. Carolyn says that the candidates and models had no knowledge of the product. Charmaine was bad, Tarek was bad, and there was no leadership. Theresa thinks she did well because she delegated. Carolyn asks why she blames Lenny. Theresa brings up the lack of electricity, but Trump doesn’t think that’s the reason they lost. Theresa says that they had an unfinished event because of Lenny. Tarek speaks up that he finished and the event was successful. Theresa says that’s because they all made it that way. Tarek argues that he and Bryce did that.
Lenny is asked for his opinion and says that Trump should fire both Tarek and Theresa. This is, by the way, the only thing he says in the boardroom, and only because he’s asked to speak. That’s exactly what he should have done - if no one’s talking about you, keep your mouth shut. Bill notes that the models did horribly; Theresa blames Bryce for this. Maybe she should have given him more than 20 minutes to teach them about the car. Bill notes that she should have brought Bryce back, then. Charmaine hired the models, however, so Trump says again that she should have been brought back.
The team also had a bad concept while Synergy’s went perfectly with the Tahoe. Gold Rush… had a horse and buggy. Trump talks about how many mistakes Theresa made. There are too many to forgive, so she’s fired. She says she’s sorry for screwing up and thanks Trump for the experience. Tarek promises to step it up. In the lobby, he and Lenny wish Theresa luck and head up to the suite while she goes out to the cab. In the boardroom, Trump repeats that Theresa should have brought Charmaine in. I don’t like thinking that Charmaine could have been fired, especially since it’s not really her fault Cory sucked and the models didn’t know what they were doing.
I think Trump was right to fire Theresa. She focused so much on class but everything went exactly the opposite of the way she’d hoped. She should have come up with a unifying theme like Synergy and built the event around it. She also should have kept a tighter reign on her employees instead of just delegating and then blaming then when things didn’t go well. Tarek screwed up, but it was really Theresa’s choice to keep the golf event on. Plus, he should get points for trying to keep it going even in bad circumstances. Lenny shouldn’t have been in the boardroom; Theresa was just being petty. She should have brought in Bryce or, as hard as it is to admit, Charmaine.
In the cab, Theresa says that she didn’t lead poorly, her team just didn’t follow through. See what I mean about blaming others when things went badly? She thinks she was an asset. She hopes this isn’t the last Trump sees of her.
Next week: Brent crosses the line… with Charmaine? “Keep me out of the boardroom or you’ll be sorry,” he says. Methinks he’s the one who would be sorry in the boardroom.
Jenn Brasler is an Assistant Editor of Reality News Online and an aspiring writer from Falls Church, VA. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She hopes either Lenny or Tarek warns Charmaine that she’s on thin ice so she can redeem herself.
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