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I have to say, I felt slightly let down by this week’s episode of The Apprentice. I mean, it was still fun and entertaining, but NBC had hyped it up to be Chris’s big, crazy meltdown episode, and honestly, we’d seen better. Yes, I did appreciate his cursing, and yes, some of the finger pointing and customary teeth-sneering was very exciting, but at the end of the day, he never quite reached the fever pitch of that one time when he sassed off to George. Man, that was great. The good news though is that we still have next week, and maybe even the week after that. There’s always room for a Chris breakdown, and if we don’t get what we want, I propose that NBC just follow him around with a camera until he just completely loses it and winds up in the looney bin or at least a holding cell.This week’s episode began with Chris in good spirits, however, as he returned successfully from the boardroom. This was no surprise to Stephanie who happily mixed metaphors by saying “You can only use your sex appeal for so far.” This, of course, comes from a woman whose sex appeal rides back seat to a supernatural ability to age ten years with the flick of a light switch. Honestly, Stephanie has more hidden muscles and wrinkles than… well, I just don’t know. I guess that makes her a freak, right?
Well, Stephanie’s not just a freak; she’s a tormented freak. Losing Erin last week meant that she’d have to deal with the verbal harassment of Angie and Chris all by herself, and to paraphrase her, shapeshifting facial expressions can only protect you so far. Within minutes of her return, Angie was already lambasting Stephanie for not helping out more during the Home Depot mission. This moment was particularly interesting because as the two girls bickered, Christ simply sat next to them and laughed. But he didn’t just laugh. He let out a demented, semi-retarded cackle. It was the sort of sound you’d expect an inmate to make before yelling “Pretty flower!” Up until this point, we’d never actually heard Chris laugh. I mean, we’d seen him laugh with his jaws wide open like a crocodile, but no sound ever seemed to come out. Hearing his actual laugh simply fortified his image as a nut case. I could describe it, but you might as well listen to it here.
Meanwhile, as Chris chuckled with homicidal glee, Kendra, Alex, and Bren gathered together in their cozy confines and elected Bren to be the next Project Manager. It was important to have a founding member of the team as PM because they’ve been the backbone of every mission, they noted. The three made a pact to stick together, and as they sealed their agreement with some limp high-fives, we of course knew this group was not going to last more than five minutes.
The next morning everyone descended on the Trump Grill, deep in the bowels of Trump Towers. As usual, we found The Donald chatting it up with a random employee in a wonderfully staged scene. This time, Trump was talking to the head chef of the Trump Grill, Chris. How’s the buffet, asked Trump. “It’s the finest one on Fifth Avenue!” replied the happy chef. “It’s the finest in the city,” corrected Donald, noting the need to talk things up. Okay everyone. Just simmer down. It’s just a buffet. And besides, this is New York City. The only place where it’s cool to brag about a buffet is Vegas.
Anyway, moments later, Trump alerted the two teams that there would be a corporate reshuffling. Net Worth was ordered to pluck someone from Magna, and after some deliberation, they chose Alex. Well, so much for that Magna core. Oddly enough, Alex hugged everyone with tight embraces as he joined his new team. Seemed kind of like an overreaction. Maybe Tana was secretly holding a gun to his side. They saved his life!
With the new teams now in place, Trump launched into a monologue, noting that the Trump Grill was the finest buffet in the United States. Whoa! It’s getting better by the minute! In two more minutes, it will be the best in the universe! Take THAT, Saturn Smorgasbord! By the way, in terms of best buffet in the country, Crystal from Wilkes-Barre, PA would like to nominate the HomeTown Buffet for its divine green Jello.
Anyway, just as we thought the teams would have to run a buffet of some sort (I was expecting to hear “The buffet industry brings in FORTY FIVE BILLION DOLLARS a year”), Trump then switched gears on us as he noted that he’s supremely proud of the Trump Grill’s pizza oven. Okay, this is a bit excessive. I’m sure it’s a great pizza oven, but honestly, how great can a pizza oven actually be? Next he’s going to tell us how proud he is of a garlic masher or some toothpicks (although, to be fair, Trump Toothpicks are made of gold). Actually, Trump used this pizza oven discussion to segue into the real task: create a pizza for Dominos with new toppings and then sell it on the streets. Hey, that sounds like fun. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the pizza business is a THIRTY TWO BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY. Didn’t see that one coming.
With Alex on their team and Steph elected as Project Manager, Net Worth headed off to Brooklyn to design their pizza and learn how to cook it as well. The camera quickly passed over Domino’s list of ingredients, and I was pretty shocked at how few options they actually have. According to their website, Domino’s only offers pepperoni, Italian sausage, green peppers, black olives, cheddar cheese, pineapple, mushrooms, onions, beef, and ham. Either that’s not a very creative offering, or I’ve been in California too long. After all, this state is home to the most bizarre pizzas in the planet. Want tuna sashimi on your pizza? You got it!
Anyway, Net Worth opted to go for a meatball pizza (seriously, meatballs? How does Dominos not already have that?) because Trump had mentioned that he likes, you guess it, meatball pizza. Alex came up with the name “Meatball Masterpiece” which apparently won based on its alliteration merits. You’d think “Meatball Madness” might be a better Domino’s name, but I guess it’s okay to class things up with “Masterpiece”. Although… it sort of kills PBS’s new youth-skewing series, Meatball Masterpiece Theatre,
As Net Worth got to work designing their culinary masterwork, Chris alerted us that he was chewing sunflower seeds to help him quit tobacco. Angie advised him to get some nicotine gum, but our boiling tea kettle assured her that he’d be fine, albeit slightly cranky. “I may be short,” he noted, adding “I MAY BE VERY VERY SHORT! I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW SHORT I WILL BE, BUT I WILL BE SHORT AND AGGRESSIVE AND THAT IS A FACT!!!“
Luckily, Chris still seemed to be in high spirits on day one of the task, and he and Alex even visited a local construction site and pre-sold six pizzas. Oh that’s wonderful. I’m sure that business decision won’t come back to bite anyone in the ass.
Meanwhile, team Magna was struggling to come up with their unique pizza. Tana offered up a meatloaf pizza idea which technically shouldn’t be too different from a meatball pizza, but honestly, the idea of pizza and a loaf of anything just seems wrong. Kendra’s big idea was a pepperoni based pie. Pepperoni on pizza? OH THAT’S ORIGINAL! Somehow, Craig and Kendra butted heads on this subject, causing Tana, who just happened to be dressed like a slice of pepperoni, to regulate. In an interview, she said, “This is just pizza, okay? Put some sauce on it, let’s come up with some incredible ingredients, and this isn’t rocket scientist.” Oooh, and maybe Uma Thurma can endorse it too! Now we be talkin’! Man, I love Tana. She’s the rare reality star that you not only bash, but you truly root for AND kind of expect to win. Plus, she’s a MILF in Iowa.
Well, as usual, despite her inability to execute a common phrase correctly, Tana saved the day. She suggested a meatball pizza (hey Dominos, maybe it’s time to look into this whole crazy meatball topping idea) and insisted that there should be lots of sauce. To be specific, she said “SAUCE. Saucy, saucy, saucy!” It’s actually pretty fun to say. Kind of makes you feel like the Jan Brady of the pizza world. Tana attributed her idea to her Italian roots, and as she thought up the ingredients, she said she felt like she were back in her grandmother’s kitchen. “This one’s for you, Grandma!” she said, pointing to the heavens. At which point Grandma replied “A pizza? THANKS.”
Magna happily named their pizza the “Mangia Meatball Pie”, although they tragically misspelled the name, resulting in the “Manga Meatball Pie” which technically implies some sort of integration of Japanese animation. Still, it looked like the two teams would be going head to head with nearly identical pizzas. Would Grandma’s recipe beat out the Meatball Masterpiece?
Probably. After all, Net Worth was down to a mixed bag of inadequacy. We knew they’d have problems immediately when Stephanie happily announced that their mobile kitchen unit would be parked just a block from Union Square — aka MILES from that Brooklyn construction site. Hmmm. I wonder if that’s gonna throw a wrench into anything? To make matters worse, there was already dissension amongst the ranks. While Alex was manning the register, Chris became angry (shocker!) that he seemed to be taking too much time talking to the customers, especially the ladies. To be fair, Alex was really working it, asking such time consuming questions as “Where are you from?” and “What sort of accent is that?” Why, he should be fired on the spot! Actually, he should have been fired for his lame attempts at banter. When one girl said she was from Staten Island, Alex responded that he was raised in Seattle and… that’s it. Granted, I’m sure he was the victim of some cheap editing, but still, you’d think he was completely uncomfortable and out of his element talking to girls. You’d think he’d be much happier trolling around the West Village. You’d think– Sorry, I’m just trying to bait the conspiracy theorists who think Alex is gay.
While Net Worth seemed to be showing some wear and tear, things at Magna were just chugging along splendidly. Tana and Kendra hit up some local businesses and drummed up a few lunch orders while Bren and Craig made pizza and spoke like the bi-racial, Southern versions of Mario and Luigi. At one point, our old friend George stopped by to taste the pizza, and wouldn’t you know it? He liked it! He really liked it! Sadly, this did not lead to another tale about the time when he used to work at a soda jerk. Man, that would have been awesome. I bet he once worked in a pizza joint too, but back then, it was probably called a Pizza Jerk. George probably just adds “jerk” to whatever place he works at, which would explain why his resumé says Trump Jerk International.
Over at Net Worth, the chaos was coming to a boil. Stephanie decided that rather than call the construction workers in Brooklyn to cancel the orders and refund the money, she would deliver the food HERSELF. Real smart, Project Manager. Even worse, she was going to take the subway. Honestly, she could have just been fired right then.
But wait! There was more inanity, or should I say insanity on her team. While Steph was trekking across the boroughs, a small altercation broke out. Alex told Chris that they were behind on three deliveries, a comment which resulted in a minor curse-storm from our hot tempered candidate. “Dude, you need to frickin’ stop yelling at me, okay?” said Alex in a calm, but annoyed tone.
“You serious?” responded Chris.
“Yeah, I’m serious. I don’t like you yelling at me like that. You doing this [Alex points his finger like Chris did], I don’t like that. Okay dude?” said Alex. Okay, that was a reasonable and direct thing to say. Surely Chris would have a mature response, possibly an apology.
“Get the f–k out of my face. Don’t talk to me like that AGAIN,” replied an angry Chris. Okay, maybe he’s a little cranky.
“Seriously?” asked Alex, obviously surprised by Chris’s reaction.
“Seriously. You need to get the f–k out of my face.” Chris then slammed a scalding pizza in Alex’s face and kicked him in the stomach fourteen times. Well, maybe that didn’t happen, but surely Chris was fantasizing about it. Honestly, I was surprised we didn’t see more from this dust up. You just know that Chris turned to Alex and yelled, “I AM VERY SHORT TODAY! DO NOT SPEAK TO ME THAT WAY ON ACCOUNT OF MY BEING SHORT AND SUCH!”
Luckily, by the time Carolyn showed up to take a gander at the team’s progress, all tempers seemed to have calmed down, and even Stephanie was back from her odyssey. Sadly, Net Worth was unable to roll out the red carpet for blondie, but they were kind enough to point out a pizza on the floor, apparently the fault of “the boys”. See, I KNEW there was more to that fight!
Afterwards, during a cab ride home, Alex told Stephanie about his fight. “Chris screamed at me,” he said, fairly inaccurately. Granted, Chris was, well, short with him and yes, he cursed and was rude and dumb as usual, but technically, he really didn’t scream. Well, the teams arrived at the boardroom to hear the results of the competition, and Angie, perhaps taking a page from dearly departed Erin’s attempts at sexiness, decided to show off her ta-tas for the occasion. Normally a fan of neckscarfs, neckties, and pretty much anything else you’d find on a stewardess, Angie opted to sport a low-cut top that had her jiggling all the way to her seat. Next week: a bikini top perhaps?
Anyway, Carolyn and George revealed that Magna had unsurprisingly beat Net Worth by about a hundred dollars or so. This meant that as their reward, they’d be having breakfast with Trump in his famously understated apartment. While Magna celebrated, Net Worth pouted back to the suite where the rumor mill could finally get underway. Stephanie, who had previously been told that Chris had screamed at Alex, upped the drama a bit by telling Angie that Chris had actually threatened to kick Alex’s ass. By the time Angie gossiped to Chris, the story was something like “Stephanie said that Alex said that you threatened to chop off his head with a chainsaw and murder his entire family using scissors, a whisk, and some electrical wire.” Chris took the news well with his new patented version of rage: the angry laugh. It’s quite exhilarating actually. What Chris does is he tries to act relaxed by laughing off whatever stress-inducing problem comes his way, but then after a few forced chuckles, his face contorts into repressed rage and pain, taking his homicidal tendencies to a whole new level. Look closely next time and try to find it.
Never one to be slandered, Chris immediately confronted Alex about what he had been saying, and according to the editing, Alex didn’t logically say “Hey, I didn’t think you’d kick my ass, but I also thought you were being rude and threatening in a work environment.” Instead, Alex insisted that he feared Chris would take a swing at him. Looking at the transcript alone, I could see Alex’s fear, but honestly, as crazy as Chris is, this was not his most scary moment. To be fair though, Chris had his own warped perception of the argument. He claimed that Alex had gotten in his face and yelled “Don’t EVER, EVER talk to me like that!!!” So apparently Chris not only spews rage but hears rage. Honestly, just wave a red towel in front of him, and he’ll come charging. Nevertheless, even though his own perception of the incident was completely askew, Chris still managed to throw around his new favorite catchphrase: “I SPEAK FFFFFFFFFFACTS!” Well, it’s more like he yells inaccuracies, but hey, we’ll let him cool off before we tell him that. Sadly, the potency of Chris’s “ffffacts” statement was severely undercut by the lack of a surface for him to drill his index finger into. That, and he tried some lame passive aggressiveness at the end by saying “But whatever. It’s okay. You do what you’ve got to do.” Come on Chris. Don’t even try. Just stick with the borderline psychotic/embarrassing rage.
Much happier was Magna, who the next morning arrived at the golden shrine to Trump that is Trump’s apartment. As The Donald descended from his room, Tana let out a midwestern squeal as she said “Oooh good morning!” Why, had I not known any better, I would have thought he had just entered the lobby of a Days Inn. Breakfast went off without a hitch, and of course there were several “Mangia!” puns to be had. Trump dazzled all with a gripping account of how his dining room table had been moved into his apartment. Apparently he needed to erect a special crane to haul it in. Wasn’t that excessive? Couldn’t he just go to Ikea? And honestly, what sort of real estate magnate doesn’t have a properly sized freight elevator for his own penthouse?
Anyway, enough of these silly questions. Let’s get to the Boardroom. Stephanie immediately blamed Chris for the loss, saying he was difficult to manage, was a nut case, and um, basically, he’s crazy. Then Trump learned about the infamous fight between the two guys. Alex explained that he was giving a promotional model some help and that “Chris sees me, thinking that I’m flirting with her.” Alex then added “I mean hellllooo! I was just inviting her to the Cher concert. I didn’t get this Barney’s sweater just for the hell of it. Bitch.” Anyway, the two guys continued to bicker, and Alex revealed that he thought Chris might take a swing at him. “I’m not gonna hit him. I don’t know why he thought that,” Chris responded with his anger laugh. Yeah, I don’t know why Alex thought that either. It’s not like Chris has a proven track record of being an absolute lunatic. And that is a FACT!
Chris tried oh so hard to be CasualChris RelaxyPants (no relation to SpongeBob SquarePants), but his rage still managed to seep through. I suppose that’s because every time Chris speaks, he curls his upper lip and flashes his chompers in such a way you think he might just bite a piece out of the nearest person. “Do you have a psychological problem?” asked Trump. (The answer is yes, by the way). Unsurprisingly, Chris used a convenient batch of euphemisms to soften up his image. “My level of intensity and aggressiveness can be construed as a negative thing,” he argued. Isn’t that what Hitler said also?
Luckily for Chris, Stephanie did such a horrible job as Project Manager that she began to crash and burn right there in the boardroom. Carolyn bashed her for not making sure the promotional models were working the crowds. George bashed her for targeting NYU dorms which would most likely be vacant at noon time. Of course, the most glaring error she made was her little trip to Brooklyn. Stephanie offered up some lame excuse, saying she wanted to keep her word to the construction workers, but Donald pretty much tore her a new one on that front. Plus, it didn’t help that Alex completely slammed Stephanie by saying that she was the least qualified person to be there. Ouch. Very ouch.
Eventually, it came down between Steph and Chris. Weak leader versus cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. Chris attempted to prove his determination by noting that he had quit chewing tobacco. Trump simply shrugged his shoulders and thankfully noted it had only been for two days. Yeah, I’m not sure that counts as being on the wagon. At the very least, that’s like getting to your feet, seeing the wagon coming in the distance, and getting read to hop on. Still, wagon or no wagon, in the end, Trump fired Stephanie for her inability to show grit and smarts as a leader. I suppose it was inevitable. She really had screwed up the task. Trump, however, seemed unsure about his decision. First he scolded Chris as he left the room, and then, as usual, Trump asked for George and Carolyn to back him up. Of course, they reassured him that he made the right decision, and The Donald finally seemed at ease. Later, in the cab, Stephanie bashed the high school grads, saying that they had no tact, no class, no manners and no loyalty. I would argue that Tana doesn’t fit that mold, and besides, didn’t Alex just feed you to the wolves? That didn’t seem very loyal. Looks like this was one meatball masterpiece that wound up… um… I got nothing. Really wanted a good pun there.
Anyway, I forgot to post this weird picture of Stephanie from last week. Check out those dynamic facial contortions. I didn’t even know people could do that. It’s like a mustache made of muscles:
Do you think Trump made the right decision? And who was in the right — Chris or Alex?