March 1 2006

The Apprentice:Donald Trump 5, Episode 1

Well, after all the back and forth with Martha Stewart you would have thought the premiere of the new season of The Apprentice would be sky-high. Nope. Only 9 million viewers. To give you an idea of how that measures up is the closing ceremonies of the Torrino Winter Olympics drew 12 million and the season finale of Dancing With The Stars drew over 27 million. Oopsie Donald.

Trump greeted the new candidates on an airport runway so he could show off his….plane…yeah, that’s it. He picked the two project managers, Tarek, because he belongs to MENSA and Allie, because he respects the Harvard Business School she attended. They then chose their teams in a schoolyard fashion. The teams broke down as:

Allie’s team – Tammy, Andrea, Michael, Sean, Pepi, Roxanne, Stacy and Brent. (Later named “Synergy”)

Tarek’s team – Dan, Bryce, Charmaine, Lee, Leslie, Theresa, Lenny and Summer. (Later named “Gold Rush”)

After the teams were chosen, Trump told them their task was to use Goodyear blimps to drive business to two Sam’s Clubs. The team to get the most people to sign up at the Membership Plus level would be the winner.

Gold Rush immediately set about trying to cold call resturants in the area to get them to come down the next day to check out the promotion. Tarek tasked Summer with this job because she is a resturant owner. After only one call she gave up though for two reasons: 1) It was time for the dinner rush and 2) Tarek had not given her a clear promotion to talk about on the calls. Speaking as a business owner myself, I had to side with Summer. You have only seconds to grab my attention on the phone and if she had not been given clear parameters, and it’s my busy time of day? Well, all you are going to succeed at doing is ticking me off and getting me to hang up on you.

Over at the Synergy store, Brent threw ideas out ina rapid fire manner. His first idea, putting a karaoke machine in front of the store, was quickly rejected. His idea that was finally accepted was to give away free manicures and massages. On the day of the event though, Brent found himself banished to the blimp to float over the event. He was less than pleased. While inside the store, Sean, and his British accent, got women to pay a lot of attention and sign up.

Lenny and Summer were in the Gold Rush team’s blimp, and Lenny made since because he lived in the area, Summer was there clearly as punishment. Tarek felt she had nothing to offer, so he got her out of the way. Inside the store, the team gave out Sam’s Club tote’s, but Lee felt that wasn’t enough. He dressed up in a suit so he would be taken more seriously, it seemed to work. The funniest bit had to be when Carolyn stopped by and was totally puzzled by their use of the term “gift bag”, because that usally means there are gifts inside the bag, not just an empty bag.

In the end Gold Rosh sold 40 memberships and Synergy sold 43. As their reward, Synergy had a lunch with Trump Wharton Club, while Synergy decided to team-up in the board room and attack Summer. Lee was uncomfortable with this, but I think that was mainly his ge speaking. Tarek later took Lee aside and told him that if he backed him in the board room he was safe, if he went against him, he couldn’t promise him safety. Gotta love blackmail. Meanwhile, Lenny figured he and Summer were the targets and he told her to keep her mouth shut and see what happens.

Once in the board room, Tarek felt his leadership had been fine and that Summer and Lenny had not stepped up. Lenny said it was the leadership, as did Lee. Trump finally asked for Tarek to bring up to three people back in with him. He chose Lee, Lenny and Summer. What a shocker. Carolyn adn George did think Summer’s lack of phone calls was a problem, as did Trump, but he also saw a clear lack of leadership from Tarek.

When they were all called back in, Lee immediately attacked Tarek for being a hypocrite about bringing him back in, and Tarek attacked Lenny. Trump finally focused on Tarek saying it boiled down to him and everything seemed set for him to be fired…when Summer opened her mouth. Oh silly Summer. This annoyed Trump enough to fire her instead, but he warned Tarek he was over rated and to watch his step.

Could someone tell me what up with these names?? Tarek? Pepi? Summer? Lord.

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