October 29 2005

The Apprentice:Donald Trump 4, Episode 6

As The Apprentice 4 opened this week, Felisha and Alla were hoping that Kristi would be the one to return to the suite, but instead, Jennifer was the one to walk through the door. Awwww poor Blonde Squad didn’t get what they wanted. Oh well, that’s life girls.

Both teams were told to choose their project managers and meet in the board room the next morning. Alla was PM for Capital Edge and Josh for Excel. Once in the room, they discovered Trump and George were both away on business, so only Carolyn and Bill, winner of Apprentice 1, were waiting for them. In Trump’s abscence, Carolyn took over the boss’s seat and asked Alla to choose her three weakest members and move them to Excel. She chose Jennifer, Rebecca, and Marshawn. In turn, Josh was asked to name three and he picked Clay, Adam, and Markus to go to Capital Edge. So to recap, the team line-ups are now Marshawn, Rebecca, James, Jennifer, Brian, Mark, and Josh on Excel and the new Capital Edge is Alla, Clay, Felisha, Adam, Markus, and Randal.

They were then given their task which was to set up an “interactive sales event”, based on a sport of their choice, at a Dick’s Sporting Goods store. The team that generated the biggest increase in sales, based on percentages, would be the winner. Capital Edge listened to Markus (insert me fainting here) and went with golf, while Excel chose baseball.

As Capital Edge tried to set up their event, Alla and Clay were at odds over how to set up the display but finally went with a fairway theme. They chose to focus on three main golf categories:apparel, golf clubs and golfing tips and family & fun. However, the next day, Clay continued whining about everything and took Alla aside, and while holding her hands, told her how displeased he was at how his ideas were being torn apart. Don’t worry, I didn’t understand his whining either. When Carolyn stopped by to check it out, she asked Markus who on the team knew golf as they appeared to be unknowledgable in the industry, which she would know working on it for Trump. Markus admitted none of them played golf. A personal comment here, my dad worked in the golf industry for over 20 years, the majority of which he spent as a salesman, he has never played a round of golf and was one of his companies top salesman. While I see Carolyn’s point, golf is somewhat of a business that can take care of itself.

Excel seemed all gung-ho on doing a baseball diamond with a sales station at each base with a batting cage for people to try out equipment. When they arrived the next morning, they discovered the batting cage was bigger than expected and made seeing the products more difficult, as Marshawn pointed out, but they kept it anyway feeling it would all be fine. During the actual event, Mark ran the pitching machine while James gave pointers to the people playing in the cage. While the line was long for the cage, Brian expressed concernes it was distracting from sales.

At the end of the day, the teams went back to the board room and Carolyn called Trump to inform him of the results. Capital Edge increased sales in the golf department by an impressive 74% over the average. Excel…well…Excel DECREASED sales by 34% in the baseball department. It was fairly obvious it could almost all be blamed on the cage. As a reward to Capital Edge, they were flown by a private jet up to Montauk in East Hampton where they enjoyed deep sea fishing and a dinner on the beach with a private chef.

As Excel prepped for the board room, Mark and Josh discussed who should go. Mark wanted James to go as he had always planned to float and not do much, Josh was for Jennifer going as she had promised she could sell the high end items with no problem, but had instead spent most of her time working an outside vendor to sell hot dogs. They promised they would help defend each other though.

In the board room, Trump returned and immediately expressed his anger over such a huge defeat. Rebecca said the batting cage was to blame, which James took credit for suggesting. Jennifer said it was all Josh’s fault as a bad project manager, but he immediately jumped on her lack of sales on the high end items like she said she could deliver. Trump finally cut everyone off and told Josh that due to the size of the loss, he was not going to have the usual project manager luxury of choosing he would come back in the room. Trump said Brian (because of his exemption from last week), Rebecca and Marshawn (the two of them because everyone thought they both had done well) may return to the suite while Josh, Jennifer, Mark and James would all come back in.

Trump discussed it with Bill and Carolyn before bringing them back in and Carolyn summed it up best “I can’t pick one of them!” When the four returned, Jennifer tried defending herself, but it was pointless. Trump said to Jennifer the she let him down. Funniest moment of the episode had to be Jennifer saying to Trump “You shouldn’t fire me Mr. Trump. You would be making a big mistake.” The look on Trump’s face was priceless.

Trump then spoke to Josh saying he was a lousy leader, that James’ batting cage was a horrible idea and to Mark he reminded him that he failed to sell a single item. After a few more seconds he said “You’re all fired. All four are fired.” The look on Josh’s face was total disbelief. As they sat their amazed, Trump finally had to say “Go home…go home.” to get them out of the room. The cab ride with four people all sitting in total silence was another amazing moment.

A few comments on this one. First of all, I just have to say how much I love Carolyn and I want to see more and more of her. Her part has been stepped up, but honestly, I want to see her even more she is so interesting. The other thing is just how good this episode was. It was a brave move to fire four people since it means shortening the show by three episodes, but it makes the show that much more real.

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