There was so much bickering on last night’s episode of The Apprentice that the producers didn’t even have any time to throw in the opening credits. From nearly the top of the hour until the very end, the show centered on petty squabbles, usually with Audrey in the middle. Not that I minded. You see, I’m ruled by the shallow desire to watch silly people make fools of themselves on national television; so witnessing the various meltdowns, spats, and name calling really helped me ease into the weekend. Gotta problem with Audrey? BRING IT.Tonight’s episode began with the artistic shot of a golden rose turning red. It was a lovely (read: bizarre) image that foreshadowed a subtle debate regarding the role of beauty and success. Oh what am I saying? This show has no layers. It was just a cool shot. Actually, it wasn’t even that. It was just… a shot.
Returning from the boardroom, Audrey quietly isolated herself in the little cubby hole she calls a bedroom and read/lipsynched a book. Did anyone else notice how she moved her lips while she read? Maybe it was Hooked On Phonics. Anyway, after her literary foray, Audrey explained how devastating it was to hear that she was considered the team’s weakest link, noting that she’s worked just as hard as anyone else. Thankfully, she did not describe the slight as “demeaningful”, lest she mine her new lexicon of Audrey-isms too deeply. Wouldn’t want to overuse those tasty nuggets of grammatical violations.
Later that evening, Audrey and Angie shared a heart to heart on the loft terrace. The intimate moment soon turned into a torch song for Aud as she detailed the various obstacles of her life, starting with her parents both going to jail. Ouch. But even worse than parental incarceration, Audrey was just simply too ravishing as a child. She described how she often wanted to cut or scar her face, just to bring a ceremonious end to the unbearable burden of genetic perfection. “I was so beautiful!” Audrey cried, nearly thumping her chest with a Celine Dion level of rapture.
Interrupting Audrey’s impassioned melodrama was Jon, the heartless bastard who kicked off this chain of “Sistas Are Doin’ It For Themselves” catharses. He wanted to clear the air, but Audrey was too fired up to talk to him. Despite her pleas for him to leave, Jon remained and served to do nothing but anger Audrey more. Great. And to think, had he not walked in, we might have heard the story about how ten people died after she got her first period. Well, if there’s anything Audrey hates, it’s being told that her greatest asset is her physical appearance. So what did Jon do? He put on his Patronizing Cap and said she’ll make it far because “you’re gorgeous and a sweetheart.” Sorry Jon. WRONG ANSWER.
Audrey immediately jumped all over Jon, saying that he was insulting (I wouldn’t disagree) and boorish. The verbal sparring came to a fever pitch as Angie and Chris tried to play referee. Angie was fairly effective, telling everyone to just shut up. Chris, meanwhile, simply yelled “AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!” and then threw a potted plant off the side of the building.
Luckily, evening turned into morning, as evidenced by a dramatic view of the city at dawn. Then suddenly over the city came a giant hand. Was this the all powerful extremity of some ethereal deity? Mayhaps God himself was ready to smite New York City for the Sodom and Gomorrah activities in the Apprentice Suite? Or maybe it was the omniscient palm of Mark Burnett silently orchestrating his reality pawns? Or maybe it was just a really cheesy image superimposed over the Manhattan skyline. Yeah, it was probably that. One word: Emmy.
Behold the celestial hand of Mark Burnett!
The next morning, teams were instructed to meet Trump down in the boardroom. Apparently he now takes meetings on TV sets. The promise of a new task clearly got the better of Craig who came stumbling out of the faux-elevator. Robin immediately jumped onto IM and typed “Rhona, you will never believe what Craig just did. He tripped out of the elevator!” She then stopped when she realized her computer was nothing more than a cardboard box slapped on her desk by the set designer.
In the board room, Trump reacquainted everyone with Carolyn. “You know Carolyn. She’s a legend,” he said proudly. He then gave her a tiara and a sash that said “LEGEND!” Filling in for George this week was Ashley Cooper, some dapper gentleman from deep within the Trump empire. The challenge this week was to design, build, and market a miniature golf course. The team that earns the most money after a day’s worth of business wins. Trump then extolled his legacy of un-miniature golf courses, saying “I build big, beautiful golf courses.” He then added, “Sometimes I make love to my golf courses. Sweet, passionate love. You may not know this, but Melania is actually a golf course.” I guess after Ivana and Marla, Melania would be the third hole. Rimshot! Do you like how I wisecracked my own fictional comment? I need therapy.
We then paused for a brief commercial break. A Law and Order: SVU promo managed to sufficiently freak me out by bathing Martin Short’s face in red light and having it linger on the screen gratuitously for about fifteen seconds. Mommy, why is the bad man staring at me? And why isn’t he performing his usual brand of effeminate pratfall comedy? Shivers.
Upon return, Trump’s great lesson of the week was “Play Golf.” Okay. I guess he’s run out of interesting business tips. That’s okay. There’s only so many different ways they can show footage of that backhoe tearing into some Chicago building. Speaking of golf, Audrey made a determined case to be her team’s Project Manager because she had an extensive background in miniature golf. Well, actually, her vast experience really only equates to her having played it a few times. So based on that rationale, I must be close to earning my doctorate in the mini putt putt sciences. (For a fun time, I heartily recommend the Red Rooster in Brewster, NY). Jon expectantly protested Audrey’s nomination for PM, but the feisty gal campaigned hard, saying that she has every intention of keeping it all business. As she said, there’s “too much personalness.” Come on, Audrey. As long as you’re making up words, you might as well throw in an “irregardless” or a “supposively” too. So demeaningful.
Over on Team Magna, Stephanie announced that she was Project Manager because miniature golf “is something I have a background in.” Stephanie suddenly revealed her colorful portfolio of windmills, barns, and historical figures standing akimbo with their feet a golfball’s width apart. She then said “The Abe Lincoln: That’s my Passion of the Christ.” Actually, Stephanie’s background with mini putt putt seemed to be strikingly similar to Audrey’s: basically, she’s played it. Nevertheless, Stephanie was determined to score a hole in one with this competition as she opted for a safari themed course. “Safari Sunday!” She then told us that the course would be so packed with plants and creatures that the kids would actually believe they were on a safari. We’ll see how that works out…
For better or worse, Magna seemed to be on top of their mission. Erin and Kendra smartly cut deals with all the local businesses on the Chelsea Piers and essentially gained the exclusive rights to cross promote throughout the entire area. Looks like those college-education noggins are finally cranking to life. Less promising was Net Worth whose entire operation seemed to be collapsing at an alarming pace. While the gals galavanted around a costume store, the guys needed some direction from Audrey. Should they put together the golf course or move ahead on the promotions department? Audrey made an executive decision: it’s your responsibility, figure it out. That’s great leadership work there. Take absolutely no responsibility whatsoever. Somewhere, a bell tolled.
To be fair, while Audrey wasn’t necessarily stepping up as a Project Manager, Jon wasn’t helping either as he constantly antagonized her and essentially slowed down operations. This is what we call a little of the old sabotage. It was painfully obvious that he wanted the team to lose and precipitate Audrey’s demise in the boardroom. At least he could have enjoyed himself a little. Tana, for instance, became positively giddy at the notion of dressing up like a fairy. Even though the idea was shot down, you just know she probably prances around Human Resources with a tutu and a wand, saying things like “And here is YOUR interoffice memo! Have a great day!”
During the commercial break, we had the double-take moment of the night as the local NBC affiliate here in Los Angeles happily chirped “The latest on that chimpanzee attack at 11.” What the? I liked the haughty assumption anchorwoman Colleen Williams had in saying “that chimpanzee attack” as if everyone already knew. Sorry Colleen, but I haven’t been checking my Zoo Newswire service lately. For those curious about the attack, check out the article here. It’s all sort of funny… until you get to the line “the monkeys that attacked Davis chewed most his face off.” Hello, Maury Povich? We’ve got your next guest! [update: the monkeys also severed the guys balls and a foot. Savory!]
Now that you’re back from vomiting, let’s get back to The Apprentice. On day two of the miniature golf challenge, the teams tended to the final touches of their courses. Stephanie loaded up all the tropical plants she had been babbling about, and sure enough, her golf course DID look like a safari, provided that safari featured sparse vegetation and concrete surface areas.
Wow! It’s like I just stepped into Africa!
Net Worth meanwhile slipped into clown costumes for their appropriately chosen circus theme, and believe me, the irony was not lost on anyone. Chris, always the bastion of warmth and agreeability, greeted visitors with not just his usual scowl, but with a charming gob of chewing tobacco in his mouth. Honestly, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say we were one black van away from an Amber Alert. Still, Chris tried his best to entertain the kids, but unfortunately, he just couldn’t connect. “I… AM… AN… ANGRY… CLOWN!!!!” he yelled before slamming a putter into a parent’s forehead and running off the pier.
Suzanne Somers has really let herself go.
No sooner had the challenge begun than it came to an end. Honestly, all I can really remember were lots of green scarves. Was it me, or was every single person wearing a green scarf of some sort? Okay, I guess it was me. Anyway, after a few more Audrey/Jon battles, the teams gathered in the boardroom to hear their results. Predictably, Magna beat Net Worth by about $200. As a reward, they were taken to one of Trump’s “beautiful” golf courses in New Jersey. Once there, The Donald descended on the peons in his eardrum-busting helicopter. Yes, there’s nothing more appealing to a golfer than a giant aircraft flying just overhead. It’s like the commercial for Trump National Golf Course says: come for the greens; stay for the gaudiness.
While everyone seemed to be having a jolly time on the links, Erin expressed difficulty at connecting with the golf ball. It just wasn’t her thang, she explained, noting that in high school, the closest she came to playing sports was being a cheerleader. Oddly enough, Erin was the only cheerleader on the squad to use her hair as pompoms, but at least if she got too high on the human pyramid, she could always lower her Rapunzel-ish tresses for assistance.
Later, in the boardroom, the always hectic Net Worth team immediately performed to expectations by engaging in a six way shouting match. Audrey and Jon covered tired ground with her saying that he was patronizing and antagonistic and with him saying that she was disorganized and ineffective. Trump interrupted the proceedings though to corner Chris about his chewing tobacco. “I had a dip in,” Chris said calmly. Under further scrutiny from the boss man, Chris admitted that he’d been dipping since he was fifteen, and yes, he was addicted. He suddenly flipped the boardroom table and yelled “I CANNOT STOP CHEWING TOBACCO AND YOU WON’T MAKE ME!” Chris then let out a primal scream as he fell to his knees and reached to the heavens above.
Soon enough the focus returned to Jon and Audrey. Jon pegged all of Audrey’s shortcomings on the fact that “she’s a 22 year old girl.” He then slapped on his “Good Ole Boys” sweatshirt and lit up a cigar. As usual, Trump lit in with a bizarrely personal question, this time asking Jon “Do you consider her beautiful?” Oh, Audrey HATES that. Ultimately, the beleaguered Project Manager pulled in Jon, Craig, and Angie into the boardroom, causing Trump to tell Tana and Chris “Go back and enjoy the beautiful views from Trump Tower.” Wow, Donald Trump just does not stop. I’m surprised he didn’t work in a plug for Trump Ice as well.
Anyway, round two of the boardroom predictably unfolded with the whole team turning against Audrey. Even Angie, her greatest supporter, seemed to turn sides in response to being called back into the boardroom. Audrey’s defense — or lack thereof — reached idiotic levels not seen since Brian when she declared that everyone except Tana should be fired from the team. Cue the crazy calliope music…
Of course, Audrey bit it, and even though she scoffed at people’s remarks about her appearance, she later gushed, “He DID call me beautiful!” That’s the spirit! See ya in Maxim!