21
Apr
2011

Celebrity ApprenticeThere is a certain point where reality shows run their course, and The Celebrity Apprentice has definitely reached that point.

As with my story of quitting How I Met Your Mother, I have just reached  point with the entire Apprentice franchise where I just can’t stomach it any more.  Having watched everything up to this 11th season, and including the Martha Stewart spinoff, I’ve watched everything that has aired for this series thus far.  However, when we got to the Sunday April 10th episode (which I didn’t watch for a few days), I finally had my suspicions confirmed that Trump doesn’t base his decisions on anything other than ratings potential, and that has made me finally just drop the show.

In this particular episode, Mark McGrath was fired despite the fact that the clients, Trump’s children/advisors and all the contestants called for the firing of Gary Busey.  The problem is, Busey is more marketable than McGrath, so Trump mysteriously decides that it’s actually McGrath that needs to go despite Busey’s horrible performance in the task.  Yeah, that makes total sense.  While I had always figured the more controversial person was kept for ratings chances, it had never been quite this obvious before.

It doesn’t really matter in the larger scheme of things, and I’ve since heard Busey was fired in the following episode, but I just can’t be bothered any more.  Perhaps I was slightly influenced by quitting How I Met Your Mother in the same week, and it feels like it’s time to cleanse myself of shows I am watching now more out of habit than any actual desire.  Perhaps it is my collector mentality from the days of comic books, but I always feel like if I start something than I should follow it through to completion, but I’m learning you can indeed drop a show without feeling guilty.  I’ve done it in the past, but it’s been rare, and now I plan to make it a bit more frequent of a habit as I actually find it rather liberating.

I have no delusions about just how realistic “reality shows” are, but when you’re this glaringly obvious with your manipulations, give your audience some credit for at least having two brain cells to rub together.

Be sure to come back Saturday when I discuss what I think has gone horribly wrong with American television in general.

12
May
2009

carrie prejeanFor some reason only known to Donald Trump, Carrie Prejean is going to keep her crown as Miss California.

Carrie Prejean, the current Miss California, has been embroiled in more controversies than you can you can shake a stick at as of late.  First there was the controversial answer to the question posed by gossip blogger Perez Hilton at the Miss USA pageant, to which you have to say, “Hey, her answer may not be popular, but she’s entitled to her opinion.”  It was what came after that which makes you wonder why this woman still has her crown.

I’m not one for following beauty pageants, I find them rather archaic personally, but when a woman has displayed such flagrant disregard for the standards of the pageant, and more specifically the contract she signed, it becomes a matter of business.  Seeing that Donald Trump, a man who prides himself on his business acumen, is the one running the show, then you really have to question why he would let a woman consistently violate a binding contract agreement without any repercussions.

Here is a list of things she has done to violate her contract.

  • The application specifically asks if the applicant had ever posed nude or semi-nude for any photographs.  She said she hadn’t, but as the first of multiple leaked photos (NSFW image, though no full nudity) hit the Internet, it became obvious she had lied.  There is some debate if these images were taken before or after the contract was signed, but it doesn’t really matter.  Due to the size of her breasts in the image (the Miss California pageant organizes paid for her to get breast enlargement), it appears it was after her application.
  • Her contract states that she has to make appearances at the request of the Miss California organization at their request.  She has been failing to do so, only sending statements through her public relations manager that usually boil down to “I’m busy”.
  • TMZ has uncovered some topless, front-view pictures of Ms. Prejean, pre-breast enlargement, which would indicate there come from before the application.  Which, again, comes back to, ‘she lied’.

Honestly, I couldn’t care less about her or her antics, what irks me is Donald Trump saying today, “Carrie will remain Miss California. We are in the 21st century.”  Oh… okay… I guess this translates to, “it’s the 21st century folks, contracts aren’t worth the paper they are written on, so feel free to do as you please.”

This is a man who hosts a “reality” show based around the principles of business, and this would lead one to believe that if a woman who has signed a contract with you has violated, and is continuing to violate, said contract, you fire her.  Come on, Trump, we all know you know how to say, “You’re Fired”, it’s your blasted catch phrase for crying out loud!

Whatever, it’s his pageant afterall, and it doesn’t mean a hill of beans to anything that goes on in the rest of the world, but it is fascinating to know that contracts apparently mean nothing to Donald Trump.

1
Mar
2006

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.

24
Feb
2006

Well, the war of words between Martha Stewart and Donald Trump picked up more steam on Friday as Martha went on daughter Alexis, Sirius Satellite Radio Show.

Martha informed the listnerers that the Donald’s open letter had been sent to the press before it went to her. She is now referring to him as “juvenile, evil, unethical and immoral”. Tell us Martha…how do you REALLY feel?

My fave part of the article has to be the following:

When Alexis declared, “A normal businessman doesn’t really behave this way,” and described Trump as being “busy riding around town seeing if your name is polished properly on the front of all the buildings you don’t really own,” Stewart replied, “Donald is not a normal businessman. Remember Donald was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He’s a spoiled brat.”

Alexis went on to attack Trump even further, expressing her sympathy for his daughter Ivanka, saying, “I feel sorry for her. She seems like a nice girl. It must be hard to have such a freak for a father,” and also suggesting he shove a silver spoon “up his a*s”.

In response, Trump says, “Nice. What a crude statement. But then Alexis is used to making crude statements.”

Ok, first off, Alexis is correct, Trump does NOT outright own all those buildings. It’s not even possible. He may own controlling shares, but he is not the sole-owner of that much Manhatten property. They are also correct in that he is nto a normal businessman. Everyone sooms to conveniately forget his various divisions have gone in-and-out of bankruptcy several times.

Trump just needs to get over this. Martha did not attack him at the Newsweek article, but in typical Trump fashion, he is blowing this up far bigger than it is. He is the mast of self-promotion, but this is just insane. And trust me, the fact The Apprentice 5 premiers on Monday is not lost on me. I am sure he isn’t use this to boost attention in the least. Mmhmm. No way.

22
Feb
2006

According to this news story, it seems Donald Trump took exception with some things Martha Stewart said in a Newsweek interview this week. Martha said that she felt her version of The Apprentice failed because there were two versions on at the same time and that the original plan for her to fire Donald Trump had been changed. In her defense, I had heard of the plan to fire Trump, I also think two versions at once was not wise and they put her up against the monster known as Lost.

In normal Donald Trump fashion, he decided to make his reply to Martha in to a big production. First he sent her a nasty letter on Tuesday. The letter read:

Dear Martha:

It’s about time you started taking responsibility for your failed version of The Apprentice. Your performance was terrible in that the show lacked mood, temperament and just about everything else a show needs for success. I knew it would fail as soon as I first saw it — and your low ratings bore me out.

Between your daughter, with her one word statements, your letter writing and, most importantly, your totally unconvincing demeanor, it never had a chance — much as your daytime show is not exactly setting records.

Despite this, I did nothing but positively promote you. Your only response to your failed show was that, “I thought that I was supposed to fire Donald Trump!” You knew this was not true — NBC would never fire me when The Apprentice was, for a good period of time, the #1 show on television and my recent finale, where I hired Randal, was the #2 show for the week, easily beating the competing finale of Amazing Race and others. Even Mark Burnett said, “Thank God that didn’t happen,” when asked about firing Donald Trump.

Essentially, you made this firing up just as you made up your sell order of ImClone. The only difference is — that was more obvious. Putting your show on the air was a mistake for everybody — especially NBC.

In any event, my great loyalty to you has gone totally unappreciated.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Trump

P.S. Be careful or I will do a syndicated daytime show, perhaps called The Boardroom, and further destroy the meager ratings you already have!

Martha replied later Tuesday with:

The letter is so mean-spirited and reckless that I almost can’t believe my long-time friend Donald Trump wrote it. I am very proud of the work we did with Mark Burnett Productions and Mr. Trump, who was an executive producer, on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. Many young entrepreneurs learned so much from the show and enjoyed it. Many families sat their children down weekly to watch it. We are even more pleased with our excellent daytime show Martha – syndicated by NBC Universal – which has just been nominated for six daytime Emmys (including best show and best host), was touted by The New York Times as one of the best shows on television, and has been embraced by our wonderful audience throughout the country.

All of this was followed on Wednesday by Trump doing multiple interviews about the new season of The Apprentice. He continued to attack her on Wednesday, and she made a statemant on her daytime show about how she is saddened by this turn of event.

So why do I bring all this up? Well, I have never been a huge fan of Martha Stewart, but my respect for her has grown. She was asked why she thought her show failed, she gave an answer that in no way insulted Donald Trump. For some reason he decided to turn his reply attacks personal. There was no reason to attack Martha, or her daughter, and to bring up her legal problems was just low.

If Trump was truly an Executive Producer in more than name, why didn’t he try to iron out these problems he saw with the show? Why does he insist on calling his show “The #1 show on television” when it’s not even close? Why does he insist on having no class what-so-ever?

I am sure we have not heard the end of this little war of words, but I am hopeful Martha will continue to be the classier one in the fight and let Trump show himself for the classless bag of wind he seems to be.

22
Dec
2005

You know, I thought I recaped episode 12, but I didn’t…oh well. It’s over now, the last two episodes were sleep inducing. The final two were Dawna and Bethenny. Dawna won. It reallyw as not recapping. I defended this show for a long time, but the last two episodes were just plain old awful!

9
Dec
2005

Martha Stewart Apprentice started off this week with the five remaining players going over strategies for the next task and Jim being…you guessed it…Jim. He seems to think that jumping up and down on the kirchen counter would make others wonder about him and work into his stratagies.

The next morning, the teams met with Martha via videoconference. She gave them their next task which was to manke a 30 second promo video for Song Airlines new $99 flight from New York to Los Angeles. The ad would then be shown to a plane load of Song’s frequent flyer customers and the ad to the score the highest on the comment cards would be the winner.

Ryan and Marcela are still a team (who knows which name they are using now..I think Matchstick) and Ryan came up with the idea of showing a baseball player missing his team flight and having only $100 to get to Los Angeles for a game. Marcella called the execs at Song and discovered that their target audience was 40 and older women. Marcella questioned if a sports theme was a good idea with that demographic, but Ryan wanted to stick with it. Also, to save money, they decided Ryan would be the actor. Oh that was probably not wise. He also thought he could be director, producer and editor. Oh Ryan, Ryan, Ryan….

The team of Dawna, Jim and Bethenny came up a bit more sophisticated theme and worked everything out before heading over to the studios to hire their professional actors. Their only problem seemed to come from Jim being too detail driven in his directing of the video.

After the teams finished filming, they headed to the editing stage. This is where Matchstick met it’s biggest problem….free beer. The editing companies fridge was well stocked with free beer and Ryan loved it. After four, he came up with the slogan “Need we say more?” which means nothing basically and Marcella told him so. After two more beers, he decided a subliminal message was needed. It just got worse from there.

After the videos aired, Matchstick scored 4.2 out of 5 and Primarius scored 2.8 out of 5. The prize for Dawna, Jim and Bethenny was to go horse riding with Martha the next day, followed by a game of Scrabble. This may sound boring, but it actually was a good testing of the three potential candidates. For instance, Dawna showed a total lack of thought process. As that stands, I would say Bethenny may be our winner.

As Ryan and Marcella prepared for the conference room, Marcella asked Ryan if he has slacked off on purpose to set her up, knowing she would probably get fired. He denied it, but you did have to wonder. In the conference room, Ryan got raked over the coals by Martha, Alexis and Chrles. Martha hated the tagline, Charles hated the subliminal message and Alexis mentioned how he totally missed the demographic. Then the beer subject came up and that really put the writing on the wall that Ryan was a goner. Martha decided she might as well get rid of Marcella at the same time due to her track record, so it was good-bye to both of them. Oh well.

1
Dec
2005

This weeks Martha Stewart Apprentice opened on Jim being…well…Jim. He was explaining to Dawna how he wanted to keep Marcela in the game as he wanted to have weak players at the end. Dawna, on the other hand, wanted to keep the strong players so that she could prove herself. Jim got his wish though when Marcela and Ryan walked back in to the loft. Bethenny seemed a bit over excited to see Marcela walk back in, but it was amusing when she knocked her over.

The next morning, the remaining candidates were to meet Martha at the most famous of her homes, Turkey Hill. Also there were Doug Osterhoff and Margaret Brooks, two GM marketing executives and Renee Mcguire, co-chair of Buick’s dealer marketing advisory board. The three of them were to be the judge’s for the week’s task which was to come up with an in-showroom display campaign for the new Lucerne by Buick. Both teams would get an empty dealership showroom, an office at the McCann-Erickson Advertising Agency, and a $65,000 budget.

At Matchstick, Leslie took the reigns as project manager. They pitched concepts in the van on their way to the office, with Ryan coming up with an idea of creating a dinner table with the car parked next to it. As he explained it, the car was so special it even comes to dinner with you. Marcela liked the idea, but Leslie was unsure. Ryan worried that her stubbornness would jeopardize the team. At Primarius, Dawna became the project manager with Bethenny coming up with the tagline “Driven By Elegance”. The team agreed that it seemed like a good concept.

Ryan took over directing the interactive video portion of their display which would show Lucerne driving up to a resturant and that would be matched to the display in the showroom of the dining table the car would be parked at. However, in the editing bay, Leslie took over the editing and seemed to be going further and further away from the aspects of the video that would tie it into the physical display. She had fallen in love with the tagline the PR firm had come up with of “Those who enjoy the luxury of choice, choose Buick’s Lucerne”. Ryan expressed his concern they were losing focus, but Leslie brushed it off.

At Primarius, Dawna hired a PR firm to help them finish and build their display, but she spent a lot of time trying to stop the fighting between Jim and Bethenny. Even Jim and Bethenny admit they are like a married couple:fight, make-up, fight, make-up and on and on and on.

The next morning both teams ran into problems with getting their displays set-up, but in the end they both finished them up. Primarius presented well, but I personally found the physical display boring, standard and unimaginative. Matchstick…well…it was a good concept, but was poorly executed. Leslie rambled, the video made no sense and the table was badly constructed. So, in case you couldn’t guess, Primarius won.

The surprising thing to me was the Buick executives liked the Primarius display so much that they were going to make it in to a kit and send it out to 2700 dealerships. Why? It’s some rigging with some television screens? Whoop! Oh well, their prize was dinner at The Four Seasons with Charles and Susan Lyne, President and CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Oddly, Jim took this time to talk about what an amazing strategist he is. Moron.

Matchstick prepared for the conference room. Ryen and Marcela talked over laying the blame on Leslie and she was talking with Bethenny about how she would attack Ryan for his poor idea and Marcela for her lack of contribution. In the conference room, Ryan was quick to say he took full responsability for the concept, but not the execution. Matha, Alexis and Charles agreed that basic concept wasn’t that bad. This changed Leslie to a full on assault on Marcela for not contributing to the effort.

When adding up their past records, Martha pointed out that Ryan was 2 – 0 as project manager while the other two were 0 – 2. She told Ryan that he was working with a group of losers. It was fairly obvious that Ryan was safe, but it was going to be a real fight for survival between Marcela and Leslie. Martha said that Marcela lacked backbone, and even hor posture showed that. In the end though, she felt Leslie had more negatives to her and sent her home. Adios.

17
Nov
2005

Well, if we learned anything from this week’s Martha Stewart Apprentice it was that Dawna should never go near the conference room again as it turns her into a blubbering idiot. It’s a game, get over it. She’s a magazine publisher? How does anything get done at her company if she can’t handle being nasty to people? Oh well, Bethenny “forgave” her and the teams moved on with their lives.

The next morning, the candidates gather around their video moniter in the loft to receive their next task. Note to Ryan…even if it is on a video moniter, camoflauge shorts, a tshirt and flip-flops is probably not the best ensemble during part of your JOB INTERVIEW! Moron. The teams learned they were going to be given a retail space each, and $40,000, to set up a shop to sell the Tassimo coffee/tea/hot chocolate Hot Beverage System. The team to make the most money would win.

Jim stepped up to be Project Manager for Primarius and had an immediate problem with Dawna rebelling against him. She was afraid with the team only having three people that they would not be able to handle everything that needed to be done. She took it upon herself to set up a meeting with a public relations firm that she wanted to hire to help them. Jim was not sold on the idea, but let her go anyway. Here’s what got me, after she left, Jim complained that he had a rogue team member on his hands. Here’s a wacky idea Jim….STOP HER! Don’t let her go. Tell her she does not have the permission to do this and just stop this dead in it’s tracks. Don’t let her go and THEN complain about it. Step up as a leader you flippin’ moron!

Over at Matchstick, Marcela was made PM, but seemed to be having a mini-rebellion on her hands from the start. Amanda and Ryan both seemed to bicker with her over every little detail, even down to how fast Ryan’s computer was booting up. Once they went to set up the retail shop, Marcela said she wanted to bring pastries in also to attract people, but Ryan and Amanda strongly disagreed. The moment Marcela and Leslie left the shop to check out the neighborhood, Ryan and Amanda decided they needed to hire a celebrity to help draw people in to the shop.

There was a confrontation between Marcela and Ryan when he got excited about hiring Vincent Pastore, who played “Big Pussy” on the Sopranos, but Marcela said no, and if they were going to hire anyone, it should be a celebrity chef. When Charles and Alexis stopped by to see how things were going, Ryan embaressed Marcela in front of them by saying it was impossible to get a chef on such short notice. Charles asked what plan B was, but Marcela didn’t have an answer for him. Instead she got on the phone and arranged a chef herself. What makes me think Ryan did that on purpose? Nah!

Dawna had her meeting with Lime PR & Promotions and hired them to help set-up the store and promote it for $30,000. She then called Jim to tell him and he promprtly looked like he was about to fall over since she had not asked permission to spend the money. Bethenny whispered to Jim that he should let her do it, and if that they lost, they could lay all the blame on her. Jim agreed and approved it.

Back at Matchstick, as the worked until 1:30 AM setting up the store, Amanda finally asked Marcela what she planned to do for marketing. Marcela reminded Amanda that she had asked everyone for thir input earlier in the day, which Amanda just brushed off and walked away. The pastry chef did end up drawing people into the store, to the point they had to limit how many people were coming in the door, but they were there for the pastaries, and not to buy the Tassimo. Marcela ended up lowering the price of the machine twice during the course of the day.

Over at Primarius, the store sat empty for most of the morning as the Lime PR people seemed out-of-sorts and unsure what to do. Bethenny finally stepped up and started ordering the PR people around and getting them to spread out wider with their fliers. By lunchtime, business picked up considerably.

After the stores closed, the teams met with Martha, Alexis and Charles in the conference room. The totals were:Matchstick sold nine Tassimos for $1,891, while Primarius sold 36 systems for a total of $6,621. OOPS! Primarius won the prize of a private tour of Martha’s house up in Maine, conducted by Alexis.

As Matchstick prepped to go to the conference room, Marcela wondered if she should even try to fight her probable ousting. Jim stopped to talk to Ryan about the firing and he made it very clear they were going to go after Marcela. Not liking what he heard, Jim went and found Marcela and talked to her about how to fight back against her team members. He was disgusted by the way they were setting up and he felt she had to fight. I have to say, for about two seconds I actually liked Jim, I’m sure it won’t last though.

Once in the conference room, Marcela told Martha that she felt it was lack of support from her team that had led to their defeat. The killer was Amanda admitted she hadn’t supported Marcela because she didn’t agree with her decesions. Martha asked Amanda and Marcela both why did they want this job. Amanda gave some flighty answer about her own life while Marcela gave a very pointed answer of wanting to help Martha take her company more into the Latino community.

Martha asked who Marcela wanted to bring back in and she chose Ryan and Amanda to come back in. Once they entered the room, Ryan made a big show of saying that he never deserted his team. This little display didn’t seem to sit well with Alexis, Martha and Charles and they just told him to sit down. Martha explained she should have controlled her team better, but in the end, it was Amanda’s lack of teamwork that would be the cause of her going home.

Later Amanda, you won’t be missed.

10
Nov
2005

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!

3
Nov
2005

Martha Stewart Apprentice started off with Matchstick wondering if it would be Marcela, or David coming through the door, but the obvious hope was for David. When Marcela walked in, you could tell the team wasn’t thrilled, but Marcela offered the olive branch and said she was just ready to move on.

Over at Primarius, they had already chosen Sarah to be Project Manager, and she in turn picked Carrie to be her second-in-command. They tried pre-planning their strategy for the next day, even though they had no clue what the task would be.

The next morning, Martha was unable to meet with the teams, but instead sent them to meet with Peter Arnell, the Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Arnell Group, a company specializing in brand indentity. Their task was to come up with a mobile advertisement for Tide To Go, the new stain eliminating pen from the makers of Tide. They would work from the back of a flatbed truck and the team to generate the most buzz around the city, as judged by Peter Arnell, would be the winners.

As the teams set up to work on the task, Sarah asked Primarius to sit in silence so they could all brain storm. Of all people, Jim was the one to say the team needed to focus more, but no one paid attention to him. While over at Matchstick they came up with a theme quickly to make a character out of the pen named “Tide To Go Joe” and he would “punch-out” your stains. Following that theme, they decided to put a boxing ring on their truck, and Ryan, the lone male on the team, would dress up in spandex and fight people dressed up as stains.

Primarius continued to struggle for a concept, and time was quickly slipping away from them. Howie and Bethenny decided when Sarah left the room to work on it themselves. They started calling around trying to find street performers who could create buzz on the streets of New York City. (Have these people never been to NYC? Basic street performers are not that unusual to see!) Howie was still dis-stressed they didn’t have a real theme though. In an act of desperation, Sarah sent Howie and Bethenny to a prop shop to just walk around and look for inspiration. Howie saw an over-sized pair of boxing gloves and called Sarah to see if she liked the idea of Tide knocking-out stains. Sarah and Carrie said no, leaving the team, again, with nothing. What makes me think knocking-out stains is an overused idea? And again, Jim surprised me by finishing his portion of the task to come up with a graphic background for the truck quickly and efficently. Guess he is good for something afterall.

The next morning, the last ditch effort at a theme was that Tide To Go was on the go, and they are on a truck on the go and that….oh I give up! They lost ok! There, I said it, I am cutting out 15 minutes of pain for you! It was a horrid, dis-jointed disaster of an ad campaign and Peter Arnett called it “embaressing”. Fine, Matchstick won, I can not sugar-coat this any longer! For their reward, they met Martha and Peter at Martha’s house for breakfast. I have to say, I like how personable Martha is coming off in all this.

As Primarius entered the Conference Room, it seemed obvious Sarah would go, but Martha was so disappointed in the whole team, she brought them all back in for the second round of questioning. During the in-fighting amongst the team, somehoe Bethenny became the target of Sarah and Carrie, although I could not name one thing she did wrong in this task.

Martha asked who Sarah thought did the best job, and she replied Jim. I fell out of my chair. Martha sent him back to the loft. She then asked who did the worse job, and Sarah replied that everyone says Howie is week. Bethenny jumped in calling Sarah a liar because she had never said that about Howie. And speaking from watching the show, I think Howie has done a stellar job each week, I have no clue what Sarah was talking about.

Carrie was asked why she only did the budget and really nothing else. She rambled some non-sense that wasn’t a real defense. In the end, Martha said Howie had been great every week but this one and deserved another chance (huh? He fought them tooth-and-nail this week!) and Bethenny was a hard worker and would be staying. Sarah and Carrie were both told they “just don’t fit in” and they were both sent home. Adios losers!

27
Oct
2005

This weeks The Apprentice:Martha Stewart started off with Primarius wondering if it would be Jim or Jennifer would be returning from the conference room, obviouslly they were hoping it would be Jennifer. Oops! Sorry Charlie! The team took Jim aside and asked him if he could put everything behind him and he said he was willing to do so and work as hard as possible to win the next task.

As the teams relaxed, the doorbell began ringing. Howie finally answered the door to find Martha standing there wanting to stop by to say hello and check out the loft. Everyone was giddy by her visit until she asked to see their bedrooms. This caused Howie to book it to his bed to make it. What made this even funnier was that Howie’s wife had warned him this might happen and that he should keep his bed made. That will teach him to listen to his wife!

While Martha toured the loft she found Jim and talked with him for a few minutes. She informed him that she would like to see him as a project manager for the coming task. He said he would be up to the challange. Oh joy.

The next morning everyone was transported out to Martha’s Connecticut studios to learn what the next task would be. Eash team was being assigned four celebrity dog owners that they were to negotiate an experiance with. The events they negotiated would be auctioned off at the Beneful Celebrity Dog Auction which benefits Broadway Barks, a charity that helps homeless dogs and providing funds for New York animal shelters. The winning team would be the one to raise the most money. Primarius was assigned Paul & Amanda Sorvino, Susan Lucci, John Lithgow & Joanna Gleason and Todd Oldham. Matchstick were given Chad Pennington, Fran Drescher, Bruce Villanch & Jordan Ballard and Merv Griffin.

I won’t bore you with each indvidual negotiation, but they were interesting. Matchstick’s had two major problems. Their project manager, Marcela, was basically a lump in all the meetings, allowing her team mates to control everything. David was also a big zero in his meetings, and evern served as a distraction in the meeting with Merv Griffin when Mr. Griffin expressed displeasure at the fact David was typing on his laptop during the meeting, even though it was for taking notes. I would chalk that up to David’s age, but the idea of clicking keys in such an intimate setting would also drive me batty.

Over at Primarius, Jim was his usual, annoying, egotistical self. Proving this mostly at dinner by drinking far more than he should and not discussing the task, wasting valuable time. Otherwise his team did a wonderful job in spite of him.

As the auction went on, the race seemed strongly in Matchsticks favor, and Jim even started to talk of feeling like he would be the one to go. Sadly, the results ended up being Matchstick $40,350 to the $44,100 total of Primarius. Darn it! Jim won as project manager! At least it was all for a good cause.

Matchstick prepped to go the conference room and it was clearly going to be a battle between David and Marcela as to who was going to be the one to go. David felt it was ok for him to sit back, but Charles, Martha’s CEO, pointed out that maybe he could have contributed an idea that would have given em the winning amount they needed. The team leaned towards Marcela being the one to go while Marcela felt David should be the one to go. Martha finally sent everyone back to loft except for David and Marcela.

As she brought them back in to the room, she asked each why they should be the one to stay. David brought up that he wanted to rework Martha’s internet strategy and Marcela said she wanted this job more than anything and felt she would be a better fit. In the end, David was sent home, but there was some discussion after he left of putting him in contact with Martha’s internet division about his ideas he had stated so nicely. He might have a future yet.

Next week…DOUBLE FIRING!