November 10 2005

The Apprentice:Martha Stewart Episode 8

Martha Stewart Apprentice opened on the amusing scene of Jim explaining to Matchstick why he was the only one to come back so far from the conference room. He explained that Sarah had said he was the strongest member of the team on the Tide To Go task, which made Leslie do an obvious, and hillarious, double take. Things lightened though when Bethenny and Howie returned, and everyone learned of the double firing.

As the teams met up in the morning, Martha asked Matchstick who had the best track record. Dawna reluctantly raised her hand and was moved over to Primarius. As Bethenny had not yet been a Project Manager, Martha informed her she would be this time. The teams were told the next task was to go to QVC and sell an outdoor-related product of their choice (from QVCs existing inventory) on the air for 10 minutes. The team to generate the highest dollar amount would be the winner.

Bethenny decided enroute to QVCs headquarters that Howie and Dawna would be the on-air personalities, and after that, Jim and Howie turned into buffoons enjoying the bus they were on. Dawna was not impressed with her new team, but she was stuck.

On the Matchstick bus, Ryan stepped up as project manager and opened the floor to discussion of strategy, which meant Amanda rambled on, not allowing anyone else to talk, much to the dismay of Marcela and Leslie.

Once at the QVC warehouse, Matchstick chose an automatic hose winder to be priced at $99.97 and Primarius went with an automatic air inflator priced at $44.78. Both teams then set about dressing their sets and practicing their pitches. It was quickly discovered that Howie was not going to work out as the on-air person, so Bethenny replaced him with Jim, which made Dawna fearful of what random thing he would say. Funny thing was…Jim feared it also!

Over at Matchstick, Ryan chose Leslie to be the lead-host and Amanda as the demonstrator, this did not sit well with Amanda, who it seems now has to be the center of attention and she argued with her fellow team members in front of Charles and Alexis who were observing. That’s always a wise move! Her desire to be the center of attention also carried over to the rehearsal where she tried to order the QVC camera people around. Again, such a wise move. Once on air, Ryan took over from the control room and handelled almost like an old pro. I was impressed QVC allowed them so much control over every aspect of the production, but I think it was a good idea.

As Primarius was about to go to air, Howie has taken over the technical aspects since he wasn’t going on the air, and he couldn’t seem to get anything right to save his life. Jim complained about his lack of rehersal time, but they had no choice. Just before air, Jim started to go loopy, but seemed to pull it together as they went on-air, and actually seemed to be effective. As he started to talk about the ways the auto air could be used with the kids on vacation, they saw a spike in sales on the sales tracker. After it was all done, even Dawna admitted to being impressed.

In the end the results were Primarius selling 266 units of the air compressor for a total of $11,911.48 while Matchstick sold 143 units of the hose winder for a total of $14,295.71, making them the winner. Again, it was based on money, not number of units. And folks, let us marvel at the fact that 20 minutes of airtime on QVC, done by amateurs, generated $26,207.19. What the heck do they do in a busy time? Boggles the mind. Matchstick was rewarded with a helicopter ride to, and a tour of, one of Martha’s houses. It was more interesting than it sounds, I promise!

In the conference room, Bethenny was asked what went wrong, and she never did give a straight answer as she thought the task went ok. Hello…YOU LOST! NOT OK! Idiot. Anyway, Martha asked Dawna what she thought of Bethenny as PM, let us just say it was not flattering. Jim felt it was the product, but Martha and Alexis disagreed and thought Jim’s presentation was horrible. Jim reminded them he replaced Howie at the last minute though and hand no rehersal time.

Dawna was sent back to the loft while Jim & Howie would come back in the room with Bethenny. It was at this point, with Dawna gone, that Bethenny launched an attack on how Dawna was infelxible, but but Charles cut her off saying it was pointless. In the end, Martha felt Howie lacked passion and told him “goodbye”.

Sorry folks, I picked Howie to win, I failed you!

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