We’ve had the song-writing episode. We’ve had the filmmaking episode. We’ve even had the real estate makeover episode. But one thing we hadn’t had this season on The Apprentice was the always enjoyable fashion episode. Well, fear not. Just when you thought this season might pass without a casual nod to Project Runway, the producers pulled out a sartorial mission that would have had Diana Eng running to the magnet store. Yes, the teams had to design uniforms for the employees of Embassy Suites, and not only that, they had to stage a fashion show too. I could not have been more excited. There’s nothing quite as wonderful as watching buttoned-up, corporate types attempting creativity. On the downside, Carolyn and George were replaced once again by Ivanka and Donald Jr. But on the upside, I discovered that suddenly I LOVE IVANKA AND DONALD JR.! Talk about a twist!This week’s episode began in the Boardroom with Roxanne and Allie viciously ganging up on poor Tammy. Hold on — must pause for a second. There are baby penguins on TV. Must observe and have my heart warmed. Okay, now Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston are on — my heart has now returned to a sub-zero temperature. Anyhoo, while the girls clawed out their eyes downstairs, Sean prepared a lovely salad for them upstairs. I hope it tasted good. Wouldn’t want to face a chorus of rolling eyes — I mean, raised eyebrows.
Sean then told us that he was rooting for Tammy to return (ha, sucker). “If Tammy comes back, I’m gonna be over the moon. I’ll probably just want to like grab her, take her into the bedroom, and just give her a big hug,” he said. Technically, he didn’t have to take Tammy into the bedroom just to give her a hug. He could do it in the foyer. Or the living room. Or anywhere really. Of course, “give her a big hug” could just be British for “bone her.” But that wouldn’t make much sense, on behalf of Sean being a foppish dandy and whatnot. Tally ho!
Nevertheless, he continued his annoying speech, saying, “My heart is telling me that Tammy will come. My head is telling me that she’s gonna be fired.” He then added, “And my British Sense tells me that she’s a bloody good chum, guv’nah! Top of the mornin’ to ya!”
Okay, Sean didn’t launch into random British-isms. Instead, we saw Tammy get fired all over again, and then we watched as Allie and Roxanne triumphantly returned to the suite. Sean was understandably upset. His little moppet was off in a cab somewhere, recording her goodbyes to America. Even worse, he now had to deal with the double-headed monster of Roxanne and Allie, or as I now call them, Roxallie. Sean complained that he didn’t want to hear their voice for another week, which is kind of the same way we feel about Sean. So you see, we all lose!
Anyway, everyone sat down for dinner, and while Sean sawed away at his slab of beef, Roxanne and Allie talked about the Boardroom. Roxy mentioned how Tammy had ganged up on her for things she could have easily ganged up on Allie for too. Oh, Allie wasn’t going to like that. I thought she’d spew fire at her “friend” for suggesting that she was just as culpable in the task’s failure, but instead, she just decided to engage in her weekly dose of self-delusional observations. Allie claimed that in the Boardroom, she wasn’t trying to gang up on Tammy. She was instead trying to mediate between her and Roxanne. Memo to Allie: rolling your eyes does not count as “mediating.”
Ultimately, Allie announced, “There was no ganging up.” No. Of course not! And there never has been, despite all those weeks when you, you know, GANGED UP ON TEAMMATES AND RAILROADED THEM OUT OF THE BOARDROOM.
Well, the opening credits rolled, and then suddenly it was morning in Manhattan. And what a beautiful morning it was! The sun rose like a giant orange in the sky, birds tweeted, and somewhere in the city, Melania emerged from her oxygen chamber to commence her day’s activities of staring at things. Meanwhile, over in the suite, Rhone-Rhone called up, and who was the lucky person to answer the phone? Why, it was Sean, wearing what looked to be skivvies from 1905. Rhona told him that Trump was meeting with an Esté Lauder executive, which was all well and good, but one question: Rhona, why are you whispering? Is this a secret meeting? You can speak up!
We then cut to the four remaining candidates marching into the Esté Lauder building, and conveniently, the cameras zoomed in all nice and close to everyone’s HP Laptop Bags. They were cool, but they had nothing on Tammy Trenta’s line:
While the kiddos entered the building, Trump was upstairs babbling to a girl named Robin (no relationship to the receptionist) about Trump Fragrance. I don’t know who in their right mind would want to wear Trump Fragrance, but then again, SMELLING LIKE DONALD TRUMP IS A THIRTY BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY! All of a sudden, a spritely young woman named Jen let the teams in. And hey! Ivanka and Donald Jr. were back with us. How delightful. Can’t wait for DJ’s monosyllabic observations. I wonder if he and his sister wear Trump Fragrance, or as they call it, Fragrance.
Well, before we dove into this week’s task, Trump talked to Allie and Roxanne about their previous Boardroom experience with Tammy. “You two were a tough team. What you did to her was not nice, but it’s called business, isn’t it?” he said, adding, “CALLING IT BUSINESS IS A THIRTY BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY!!”
Trump then babbled about his fragrance, and then Esté Lauder Robin revealed that the cologne was presented in a bottle the shape of Trump Tower. Interesting. I can’t even imagine what Frank Gehry’s fragrance bottle looks like.
Aaaaand speaking of design (which is what we were sort of doing for about two seconds), we then moved onto the challenge which was ever so tenuously linked to all this fragrance chat. The teams would be working with Embassy Suites to design new uniforms. Get it? They’ll be designing new uniforms, much the way Esté Lauder designed a cologne bottle for Trump. Perfectly logical segue, no?
Nevertheless, teams would be creating uniforms for four different departments: the front desk, the breakfast cook, suite keeper, and the bell man. Everyone would have their own fashion designer, seamstresses, models, and hair and makeup people. Then there would be a fashion show for all the Embassy Suites employees who would vote on their favorites. Yay! The only thing that could make this better would be if Nina Garcia appeared out of nowhere to seethe criticism in four different accents at once.
Before anything had even happened, I already had two predictions. A) the girls were gonna lose simply because they’d be overconfident and ridiculous (note all the failed men/car challenges). B) I also expected Lee to proudly boast, “I know this stuff! Fashion? I live for it! I used to be a fashion person! That’s WHO I AM!!!”
Well, Lee never actually said that, but he did volunteer to be Project Manager again. I feel like he’s Project Manger every week. This was actually his fourth time, which is a lot for The Apprentice. Most people only get three chances. Anyway, as he contemplated how to proceed with the task, Sean indulged his bitter side and bashed the girls of Synergy. “Can you imagine being stuck with the aesthetic creativity of Allie or Roxanne? They’ll be bloody awful. Roxanne this morning looked like a fruit sundae. She’s wearing a ridiculous pink jacket and green trousers. The kind of thing your grandmother might wear at some kind of wedding,” Sean bashed. So wait: did Roxanne look like a grandmother or a fruit sundae? Maybe Sean’s grandmother IS a fruit sundae!!!
Anyway, Sean concluded his rant by commenting, “I never thought I’d be proud to be referred to as metrosexual.” And you shouldn’t be, Sean. You shouldn’t be.
Later, Sean and Lee met up with the Embassy Suites execs to find out about the brand. The execs said the uniforms should be “crisp, stylish, and show some flair,” which immediately had me wondering what Maria Boren was up to these days. Oh, how I miss her so. Part of me feels like if you say “Crisp, stylish, and show some flair” three times in the mirror, she’ll magically appear in a cloud of smoke.
Anyway, with Ivanka observing quietly, Sean and Lee then headed down to the hotel to talk with the employees about their likes and dislikes. No one really had much to say. I think everyone was fairly intimidated by the cameras. But at the end of the day, Lee concluded that the workers didn’t really want a lot of change. They just wanted more functional updates to the uniforms. With that, Lee then hugged all the cleaning ladies goodbye, which was nice but also completely random. Maybe they gave him a bunch of turndown service chocolates.
Over on Synergy, the girls met with the execs, and before even talking to the workers, Allie had a vision for this project. She and Roxanne were going to change the uniform from the ground up. Total overhaul. No tweaking. We then found Allie talking to a big, black, cleaning lady, telling her that she already looked great in her uniform. The woman just looked back blankly as if to say, “Oh yeah? I don’t see Denzel knocking down any doors to get to me in this.”
If Allie were paired in a sitcom with a black woman, this would be her.
It was around this time that Allie introduced this episode’s buzzword: the “culotte.” For those of you not in know (including me), culottes are wide-legged pants cut to resemble a skirt. “There’s no way that the men came up with a culotte idea!” Allie boasted. That’s right, Allie. You can have complete ownership of that insanely idiotic idea.
Allie then stated, “I truly believe that Sean and Lee are gonna have to do something really great to beat Roxanne and beat me on this task.” Oh, she’s laying down the culotte gauntlet! Well, Allie, maybe they have something up their own sleeves. Maybe capri pants? Or capelettes? OR BOTH???
Ivanka then found the two Synergistas, and to her surprise, there was no Project Manager yet. Uh oh. That could be a problem. She made the two women choose on the spot, and Allie ultimately stepped up to take charge. But even though she was technically the Project Manager, she assured us that she and Roxanne would take on the same amount of responsibility. Yes, because that worked out so well for Alla and Felisha last season…
We then went to commercial, and when we returned, Trump revealed his lesson of the week: “Work vs. Friendship.” Technically, it wasn’t so much a lesson as it was a scenario. Nevertheless, The Donald explained that you can’t let friendships hurt goals and business. We then saw him at the Learning Annex, bellowing to the crowd, “I owed billions and billions of dollars, and I had so many friends that were so happy. They were all happy!” BEING HAPPY IN THE FACE OF TRUMP’S DEBT IS A THIRTY BILLION DOLLAR A YEAR INDUSTRY!
Trump then yelled, “I fought like hell, and I just beat the crap out of it with my success!!!” Beating the crap out of it is a thirty billion… oh never mind. I can only say it so much. And yet, I can’t stop! BEATING THE CRAP OUT OF IT IS A THIRTY BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY! Ah, sweet release.
We then found the Gold Rush guys entering their design studio, and before you could even say “Make It Work!”, we met their designer, a guy named Edward (who’s probably some famous dude that I have no clue about). The three of them got to work designing their uniforms, and as usual, Lee was more than optimistic. His only fear was that the girls would come up with something crazy and innovative that might appeal to the employees more than they ever had expected. Beware the threat of CULOTTES!!!
Over at Synergy, the ladies arrived at their studio where they met their designer, Ashley Parker Angel! Oh wait, it was just Marc Bouwer. Turns out he’s a big deal, hot shot designer who apparently has Melania Trump on his long list of celebrity clients. However, I prefer to think of him as the guy who told bulimic Cassie she had big thighs on cycle three of America’s Next Top Model.
Anyway, Allie told Marc that the employees all wanted to brighten up their uniforms. She then told us, “It’s probably more important they be stylish than functional because their current uniforms were outdated and frumpy!” Yeah, who cares about functionality… when you’re trying to work in these clothes… every. single. day. As long as you look hip, that’s all that matters! BRING ON THE CULOTTES!!!
Well, the great Allie-Roxanne tandem experience began to crumble quietly when Allie told Marc that she wanted the front desk women to have a skirt. Unfortunately, Roxanne was annoyed because she knew the front desk workers wanted pants. Uh oh. Can’t we just compromise? Isn’t there some middle ground between skirts and pants? I’ve got it! CULOTTES!!! By George, it’s GENIUS!
Over at Gold Rush, the guys headed out to the fabric store to begin buying everything they needed. Sean was mightily impressive in this area. Little did anyone know that he was in Fabric Of The Month Club back in Britain. Okay, I just made that up. But it wouldn’t surprise me if it were true. Anyway, Lee babbled on about how great they worked together. “We like to move fast and have a good time,” he said, hopefully with the double entendre not intended. Gross, Lee!
Back at Synergy, things were heading into awkward territory. Let me put it to you this way. What happens when you have a prissy, gay designer and a prissy, passive-aggressive Cabbage Patch doll working together? Lots of angry glares. Yes, Allie had complaints up the whazoo about Marc’s designs. First she wanted a smaller cuff on a uniform. That alone was probably enough to draw his angry ire. But then she launched into her passive-aggresive corporate speak: “I would love for this not to stick out so much. It’s too dramatic for me. And I would love if you could change that for me. It would be great.” Seriously, she would LOVE it. Almost as she would LOVE to go running through a culotte factory.
Allie then began harping on another uniform, saying that she didn’t like the zipper on it. Oh, and then she accused him of using the wrong fabric. He was supposed to use the charmeuse! My God, Marc Bouwer was going to bash her head in! I wouldn’t have been surprised if he suddenly dropped his fake English accent and yelled, “Lady! I am MARC BOUWER!!!”
Side note: who else would love to see a road trip movie with Marc Bouwer and Jack Bauer? That would be the best!
Roxanne then told us that she couldn’t believe how rude Allie was being to Sir Marc Bouwer. It was the equivalent of telling Spielberg how to direct. You know, I wouldn’t put it past Allie to direct Spielberg either. Finally, this scene ended on one last awkward, terrible note as the girls left the studio and Allie called out, “Thank you, Michael!” Uh, it’s MARC. Looks like she has too many culottes on the brain.
We then went to break, and when we returned, we saw both teams preparing for the fashion show. This wasn’t really very interesting; so let’s just get to the big event. First up was Gold Rush’s design for the front desk. By the looks of the crowd, the women loved it. Yay! Not faring as well was the Synergy front desk uniform, which seemed to be a bizarre take off on a flight attendant outfit. Sure enough, the Embassy Suites employees were not too impressed.
Next was Gold Rush’s breakfast cook uniform. It featured cargo pants and vented armpits. Roxanne scoffed at the design, saying it looked old-fashioned and stuffy. Synergy’s breakfast cook uniform came out next, and it featured a khaki, fitted jacket, asymmetrical lines, and rolled up sleeves. And guess what? The cooks didn’t like it! 0 for 2, MARC BOUWER.
Gold Rush’s bell staff uniform was next, and again, the emphasis was on functionality. The outfit came with a long coat with a removable fleece lining to adjust to the seasons. Oh, and there were aviator glasses too, but I didn’t know if that came with the uniform or not. Overall, it seemed like a pretty cool outfit. And then there was Synergy’s take…
Let’s just say, it looked a tad, uh, swishy? Even Sean noticed the rampant feyness of the uniform. “I would feel completely demasculized wearing that thing,” he said, creating a new word in the process. He continued, “I’d feel like an absolute asshole. And I bet the model felt like a bloody ass!” I doubt it. It’s physically impossible for male models to feel like asses. Exhibit A:
Finally, Gold Rush showed their last uniform of the day: the suite keeper. The maids all liked it quite a bit, especially one lady named Gloria. As for Synergy’s outfit, um, it was a disaster. Puffy shoulders and culottes? It was just all wrong. “You know what, Synergy?” Sean told us, “The cast of Dynasty just called. They want their shoulder pads back!” ZING! Wow, Sean finally had a good zinger. Well done, Sean!
With the fashion show over, we went to commercial, and upon returning, we found Trump joining his kids and the whole gang to hear the results. “So this is really a contest of men vs. women,” he said, never afraid to state the obvious. After recovering from this bombshell observation, Ivanka read the Gold Rush results. They received all positive reviews, and overall, eighty three employees preferred their uniforms.
Donald Jr. then read the Synergy responses. People complained about everything — the material didn’t look comfortable, the designs were nice but had bad colors, and overall, everything was too edgy and wouldn’t complement all body types — ie., the uniforms would look bad on fat people. Of the 120 employees, only thirty-seven voted for Synergy, which meant that by a wide margin, the boys had defeated the girls.
“That is a ‘uuuge difference,” Trump said. Uuge! Ivanka then piped up with some kind words for Sean, saying that he knew things about fashion and tailoring that she’d never heard of. “I think his metrosexuality paid off,” Donald Jr. joked. He speaks! He actually speaks!
Trump (dad) then revealed this week’s big reward. “You’re going to do something that I’d love to do with you. This would be my all time favorite reward. You’re going to have dinner with Don and Ivanka.” Awww. That was nice. But kind of a lame reward.
“You’re going to learn all about me through dealing with my two ultimate apprentii,” The Donald then said. Listen. “Apprentii” is NOT a word. Stop Randal-izing everything!
Anyway, we then cut to the big dinner where Ivanka talked about growing up in a household of discipline. Despite their father’s riches, the kids had a strict upbringing. Donald Jr. said he was only allowed $300 a month for college. The conversation then somehow veered onto the diamond reward from a few weeks ago, and Sean revealed that he was thinking about giving his diamond to Tammy so she could make some earrings. Wow, is he in love with her? I always thought it was a joke. But no. He then told us that he and Tammy were going to possibly “meet up” after the show. I wonder if “meet up” is British slang for “hump like bunnies.”
The Trump kids then talked about their dad, explaining that what you see is what you get. Ivanka noted that Trump hates people who speak for the sake of speaking and that overall he really cares for the people in the Boardroom. Then something strange happened. In the middle of this Trump gabfest, I discovered that I really liked Ivanka and Donald Jr. Maybe it’s because they were laughing and making jokes, but I suddenly was so jealous of Lee and Sean. I wanted to be at that table. I wanted to be talking about Donald Trump! It’s official: I’m an Ivanka and Donald Jr. fan!
Anyway, we learned a few more quirky details about Pops. Ivanka said that he wears a pink bathrobe (she then cackled at the mere thought of it — as if she’d been waiting years to reveal that). Donald Jr. said that when Trump gets home, he drinks a big glass of milk and eats a cheeseburger (yes, we can definitely tell). This caused Lee to giggle, but to be fair, how can one not giggle over hearing Donald Jr. say “cheeseburger”?
All this was fun and everything, but sadly, we had to return to the world of Allie and Roxanne in the suite. The two BFFs were moping around in the bedroom, lamenting the fact that they had lost.
“It sucks because we totally nailed it,” Allie said. Uh, clearly you didn’t. Still, she really believed her uniforms were awesome. Allie sighed, “You can’t say they weren’t stylish.” Actually, you can. Very easily. It’s why you LOST. Eventually, this all led to Roxanne and Allie hugging in the bed, enjoying the last few moments of their tenuous friendship before it would all be ripped to shreds in the Boardroom. Yay, reality TV!
Before we headed into the Boardroom, Roxanne reminded us that she wasn’t about to throw Allie under the bus for Trump. Uh huh. We’ll see about that. Especially since we all know Allie will be more than happy to engage in the character assassination at the drop of a hat.
Finally, it was time for the big showdown. Trump asked Allie what went wrong, and the plucky Project Manager replied that nothing went wrong! Uh, then why are you sitting here? “Roxanne and I are extremely proud of our final product,” Allie said.
“So proud that you lost,” Trump replied. Oh SNAP! Taken down by the Trumpinator!
Ivanka then revved up her big guns and attacked Allie about the maid uniforms. I’m sorry, I meant “suite keeper uniforms.” “The puffy sleeves? Come on. They were these mushroom sleeves. If you had a big arm, they’re not going to look good,” Ivanka complained. FYI — if you have a small arm, they’re still not going to look good.
Ivanka then proceeded to ream them even more, attacking their choice to have a chef’s uniform in khaki instead of white. Turns out, the reason why chefs are always dressed in white is so that stains can be bleached out. To quote Johnny Carson, I did not know that. Ivanka bashed the khaki color, saying it rendered the outfits into one-time wears, and when she was done beating down the contestants, Dad stepped in to really stir the pot. He asked Roxanne if she’d have done a better job had she been Project Manager. Poor Roxy. She wanted to say “YES YES YES. HELLLL YES!” but she didn’t want to sell her friend down the river, so she did one of these “Y-y-y- [sigh] – uh – yeh” and so on.
Finally, Roxanne admitted that there were things she would have done differently, like designed pants for the front desk workers as they had requested. Well, this got Allie all mad. No one crosses a Cabbage Patch Kid! She viciously accused Roxanne of never speaking up about anything (which as far as we could see was actually true), but Roxanne insisted that she had mentioned all her reservations. Bad news, Roxanne. Mentioning it to the segment producers during your interview does not, in fact, count.
Allie then tried to shirk responsibility for the design onto Roxanne by saying that it was a 50/50 input situation. Yeah, but Allie, you’re the Project Manager. It doesn’t have to be 50/50, Ivanka noted. Burned again by the Ivankatron!
Roxanne then said she was a better competitor and that Trump should regrettably fire Allie, but no sooner had Roxanne started her speech than Ivanka attacked AGAIN! “You don’t have much conviction in ANYTHING YOU SAY!” Ivanka said, foam dripping from her mouth. She’s thirsting for blood today!
Roxanne replied that she was a great mix of instinct and education, a lame response that caused even Donald Jr. to awaken from his catatonic state. “That’s very generic,” he said, in an ironically generic way.
Things went from ugly to Star Jones (that means very ugly) when Roxanne brought up Allie’s demeanor with His Royal Highness Marc Bouwer. She correctly noted how Allie disrespected him, but Allie denied the charge. She claimed she was very apologetic with him. Uh, not quite. I’m pretty sure Marc Bouwer’s still constructing his life-sized Allie dummy that he can burn in effigy. Just when it seemed like Roxanne may have refocused the ire of Trump on Allie, The Donald then asked why Roxanne had never said anything before about how she thought Allie made a mistake with the way she dealt with an expert. Sorry Roxanne. You just can’t get anything right.
Then Allie engaged in her favorite pastime: character assassination! She complained that Roxanne had an attitude and was difficult to work with. It was a smart move, referencing something that Trump had pointed out during the last Boardroom. Sadly, I really wished Trump would realize that it’s always Allie who’s saying other people don’t get along with the group. Did anyone ever pause to think, “Hey, maybe Allie’s at the problem?” No, of course not. Because who would say a mean thing to a cute little Cabbage Patch Kid?
Nevertheless, Allie insisted that she was a breeze to work with. “[Roxanne] is more difficult to work with than me. I am a CHAMELEON!” Allie insisted. And just like that, she turned into a pair of culottes! It was amazing!!!
“Mr. Trump, I am FIRMLY in the Taylor Hicks camp. SHE likes Katharine McPhee!”
Okay, she didn’t physically transform. Instead, she and Roxanne began to bicker and bicker and bicker — talking over each other as if their lives depended on it. Finally, Trump told them to be quiet and commenced one of his more amusing monologues of the season.
“Here are two women that really like each other, but they lose. Losing is a terrible, terrible thing,” he said. “And because you lost, you’re going at each other like cats and dogs. And you like each other. And it all has to do with losing. Losing is shit, you know that?”
“It’s total shit,” Allie replied. I didn’t know Cabbage Patch Kids could curse! I’d hate to see what she’d have to say if she ever ripped her favorite pair of culottes!
Anyway, Trump continued: “When you lose, your whole world just changes. You lost, and you went at each other. I really am disappointed that both of you walk into this room as close friends, and then you start attacking each other.” Yes, it’s a shame that they just viciously fought. It’s almost as if there was some person asking them instigative, incendiary questions…
“In all of the Boardrooms I’ve had, I’ve never seen two people that were closer than you two people. I’ve never seen it,” Trump said, clearly forgetting our favorite buddies, Kwame and Troy. He continued, “And then at the end, what do you do? You attack each other. Unbelievable.” And with that Trump hastily fired Roxanne and Allie together.
Wow. I can understand dropping them because they were failures or immature, but because they were mean to each other? Didn’t Trump just spend this whole episode saying how friendship can’t get in the way of business, and now he wanted them to respect their friendship. Oh well. I suppose there’s merit in his decision, and as Ivanka later said, their bickering showed a complete lack of loyalty.
And so the two girls were spit out of the Boardroom, and as they headed to the elevator, they hugged. Roxanne asked, “Are we still friends?”
“Of course,” Allie replied, even though her eyes seemed to say, “NO, YOU STUPID BITCH!”
Later, in the taxi, Allie said that you have to sometimes “say some less than positive things about the other person, but we didn’t do it by attacking each other’s character.” No, of course not. You just mildly harassed each other’s character. In the end, the girls concluded that they still had their friendship, and if that’s what they want to believe, then fine. Who are we to begrudge them that?
“Hate you!” “Hate you more!”
Now we only have Sean and Lee in the final two. Ugh. Who to root for? The annoying Brit or the annoying kid? Sigh.
What did you think? Did Trump make the right decision? And what do you think about the final two?