Remember how last week on The Apprentice the girls all ganged up on Stacie J. because she was a supposedly toxic member of the group? And remember how her ejection from the game was supposed to restore peace and tranquility to Team Apex? Yeah, well, it’s a funny thing how those scapegoats work out. Turns out deep social issues really don’t go away when you kick out the woman with biggest hair. That’s probably why the bickerfest which started last episode only escalated this week with the girls engaging in cat fights all hour long. Way to go, gals! I’m sure all the professional women just love the image you’re putting forth!Last night’s episode started off with the women still licking their wounds from their rough and tumble board room experience. When the guys discovered that the ladies had completely ganged up on Stacie, they reacted the way, well, America reacted. What the hell were you thinking? Are you in Middle School or something? Kevin in particular seemed fairly disgusted by the catty group dynamics and easily deconstructed the women’s mentality, essentially accusing them of engaging in a witch hunt.
Faster than you could say “implosion”, the women all pointed fingers at each other and made up excuses for their behavior. Suddenly it was all Elizabeth’s fault that they hated Stacie so much. She was the one who started it, they seemed to say. Yes, it was Elizabeth’s fault that we made a scapegoat. Everyone blame Elizabeth for the scapegoat! Everyone! Let’s shove her out!
Double talking and trying to stave off the pack of pirhannas, Elizabeth explained that she brought Stacie in because she underperformed. Ohhhh. See, after all the girls made it sound like Stacie was a raving lunatic wielding some sort of 8 Ball of death, I thought Elizabeth chose her because she was crazy. I didn’t realize that it was only because she underperformed. Well, I’m really glad they kept that quiet. I mean, it’s way more fun to ruin someone’s reputation on national television rather than cite an unspectacular work record.
For the record, Ivana was quick to shift blame onto Maria who looked about ready to wash her hair in Ink of India again. Not happy to be the brunt of the drama, Maria scowled with such intensity that I thought she was maybe trying to channel some character from The Shining. Eventually, when the discussion became too heated, Maria cut right to the heart of the matter: “Most importantly, get off my designer suit!” she snapped. I really thought she’d take out a whistle and a nightstick and club everyone off her bed.
The next morning, Generic Secretary A called the apartment to announce the next meeting time. This was a generally unpleasant moment as we got to gaze upon Raj’s doughy physique. Did anyone notice that he appears to wax the top portion of his chest hair? There was an odd semi circle of bare skin that.. oh never mind. Let’s just move on.
Trump greeted the crew – sans trumpet fanfare! – at a luxury restaurant and reintroduced us to an old friend, Bill Rancic, who’s maintained his porcupine coif quite well. Apparently George was away on business again so Bill was filling in (why doesn’t Carolyn ever go? For all her talk, she’s apparently never needed elsewhere). This week’s mission? Fairly interesting. Start up a restaurant in one day and the group with the highest Zagat’s rating would win. Zagat’s, according to Trump, is the highest measure of restaurant quality. Here’s what I think about that:
Foodies “may” think “that” Zagat’s is “great and useful” although “sometimes” indecisive “in its patchwork” “reviews.” Anyone who “really cares” about restaurant “quality” usually “reads” more “realiable souces” such as “The New York Times” or “Relais & Chateaux.” But “who” are “we” to “pass judgment” on “Zagats”? With a little “work,” this “plucky” dining “guide” could have the “goods” to help someone “choose” between “The Olive Garden” and “Applebees.”
Anyway, the teams headed off to get moving on their projects. Both groups chose leaders randomly from a hat: Apex selected Jen C., Mosaic picked Raj. We first visited the ladies who were amidst a brainstorming session for their fine establishment. This was accompanied by circus music which, of course, was Mark Burnett’s way of saying “Women are idiots.” As project manager, Jen C. established a mandate: keep it simple yet creative. But basically, keep it simple. By the way, did I tell you that the approach this time was simple? Going along with that idea, chipper Stacy suggested an Italian restaurant. Ah yes. Italian in NYC is the very definition of simple. Jen C.’s response? “Too basic!” Uh, wait. What happened to simplicity? Apparently “simple” means Asian Fusion, because that’s what this week’s “executive decision” was. Now, whenever I think of Team Apex and the word fusion, I have chilly flashbacks to the ice cream mission and Old Bay Ice Cream. Maybe with a restaurant these gals will finally be able to sell some of that Red Velvet Cake flavor they were so proud of.
Having freshly spurned the Italian idea, Jennifer C. noted in an interview that Stacy was “one of the most irritating people I may have ever met in my 31 years of existence on this planet.” Apparently Jennifer had never met herself. Nor had she met her bangs. ZINGER! Score a point for B-Side! Anyway, the show paid a little visit to the men who, as usual, had everything under control. Chris, one of my favorites, imparted his advice about the service industry, finally concluding: “I hate the public.” Did I mention that I think Chris is awesome?
Back with the dysfunctional Team Apex, the girls all trudged down to their restaurant space where I half expected to find Rocco DiSpirito holding a cardboard sign saying “Will cook for TV exposure.” Luckily, he was nowhere to be found (I just now remembered that Rocco did actually show up on the Apprentice last season. Man, he really sucks). Around this time Ivana debuted her Urban Outfitter’s shirt, “Gettin’ Lucky in Kentucky.” Okay, memo to the world. Everyone has this shirt. You are not funny or indie or vintage if you wear this. So next time you think of wearing the “Gettin’ Lucky in Kentucky” shirt (or even the “Everything’s Bigger In Texas” one also), please return it quietly to your boudoir.
Over on the men’s side, John decided to spruce up the restaurant with a little artwork of his own. Using an air brush and some elbow grease, John pumped out a handful of surprisingly well-made abstract paintings. I sort of felt bad for all the artists in the world who spend weeks trying to achieve what John had in only twenty five minutes or so. Oh well. Sucks for them.
The guys really seemed to have it together this episode, and whether or not you like Raj, he did little to invite my derision beyond his usual annoying quirks. Jennifer C., however, was going down in flames. First she brought everyone down to the restaurant. Then she brought everyone back to the loft. Then she realized the space needed to be cleaned, so the group headed down to the restaurant AGAIN to tidy up until the wee hours of the morning. By 4 AM, the sight of Maria channeling all her rage through a mop was about as scary as it could get.
If these women were bad before, imagine seeing them under stress and with only two hours of sleep under their belts. It didn’t take long for the first tears to be shed. Elizabeth broke down when she felt Jen C. was setting her up for failure. Frau Maria put on her steely cold concerned face and tried to comfort her teammate, but her robotic design just doesn’t seem to mesh with compassion. When Elizabeth said “I’m being put in a position to fail,” Maria noted that it happens to all of us. Yeah, like that time when Stacie was put in a position to fail. Who were the two bitches that did that to her? Oh yeah! Elizabeth and Maria!
Elsewhere in the restaurant of chaos, Jennifer C. honed her generally haughty style and focused it on Stacy by treating her like a child. “Go get dressed!” she ordered. This was followed with “Would you look at this one? She doesn’t listen.” Earlier in the show she referred to Stacy as her “little munchkin”, which solidified Jennifer C. as this episode’s Idiot of the Week.
Eventually, it was time to open the doors and welcome in the diners. First up? Two very New Yorkish old ladies who questioned the presence of bread in the restaurant. “Well, it’s fusion,” said Jennifer C. as if that made up for it. I tend to think that’s her response to a lot of things. “Hey Jen, what’s with the bangs?” “It’s fusion!”
At the head of the restaurant, Maria assumed the role she was born to be: hostess. A cross between C3PO and Mary Hart, Maria welcomed patrons with her usual hyper-Stepfordness, saying to one couple “We have this table prepared just for you; so why don’t we head in that direction!” Uh, what other direction would they head in? Did she expect the couple to say “You have a table set for us? Well, why don’t we turn to an arbitrary direction and walk forward until we hit a wall!”
Meanwhile, Jennifer C. acted like the typical creepy manager. You know the type. You’re eating dinner and then suddenly he or she comes up to you and then won’t ever leave and as you nod politely in reaction to whatever the stupid banter is, you’re just thinking “I really want to eat my food now.” Well, Jennifer was THAT woman at the restaurant, incessantly bothering customers without any noteworthy banter beyond “Good… good.” Seriously, you have to hear her.
Team Mosaic meanwhile had their own problems to deal with: a table of gay men. Of course, gay men are known for never being picky or caustic, so it was a total shock that these guys complained about everything, including the slightly hard crust on parts of the goat cheese. Fearing a negative review, Chris encouraged John, the best looking guy in the group, to give them a blowjob. Seriously. When that was nixed, he said John should just bend over in front of the table. That was turned down also. John did take over as the waiter and amazingly the guys were suddenly all smiles. Oh those silly gay people!
The missions finally ended and surprise, surprise – the guys won. The panel accused the women of milling around their restaurant like a bunch of uptight stewardesses. This observation was punctuated with a closeup on Maria. So that’s where I’ve seen her! On every single flight I’ve ever taken! She’s the ultimate composite of every pert, chipper, and passive aggressive flight attendant I’ve ever met!
Anyway, the guys went off to meet Rudy Giuliani while the girls returned to the loft where they clawed their eyes out. Jennifer C., the aforementioned Idiot of the Week, blamed the team’s failure on the two old ladies who balked at the menu. “Those old, Jewish, fat women,” started Jennifer C. as she commenced an angry outburst tinged with anti-Semitic undertones. No, actually, they were overtones. Of course Stacy R. was not going to stand for that, nor should she. The two went at it in full catfight mode. “Stop wreaking havoc!” Jen yelled, adding “The reason this team is losing is because of the havoc-wreakers!” Well said! We also would have accepted “Stop being stupid. The downfall of this team are the stupid-being-ers.” Stacy stood her ground though, causing Jen to really flex her maturity muscles: “The funny thing is that you think you’re popular and liked.” Did she really just say that? Yes, yes she did. When Stacy rebuffed her for being personal, Jen denied it. “I’m not being personal,” she insisted. Um, exactly how is calling someone unpopular and unliked not personal? That’s it. Jen is now officially Idiot of the Week. Wait, I already did that? Man, she’s a real dumbass.
Oh, and she wasn’t done yet either. Jen then poked her head into Stacy’s room and added “You’re contaminating this team.” I was a little afraid she’d elaborate by saying something dumb like, “You’re contaminating this team with your bagels and your hook noses and your general Jewishness!” Hmmm… I wonder who will win this argument? The Jewish attorney or the woman without the law degree who just said the somewhat anti-Semitic comment? Congratulations Jen! You’re not only the Idiot of the Week, but you’re also the Anti-Semite of the week, making you America’s most embarrassing byproduct for September 29th, 2004!
Amazingly, all this Jewish stuff never even made it to the boardroom, at least from what we could see. You would think that Stacy would say “Mr. Trump, Jennifer was unapologetic about a questionable comment that seemed anti-Semitic. That attitude makes her a liability to any company,” but instead she just opted for the more catty “She’s a finger pointer, but she never points the finger at herself!” Stacy then stuck her tongue out and said she was telling mom. Actually, I’m glad Stacy didn’t bring up the whole Jewish angle because honestly, that wasn’t even the point. Jennifer did a terrible job, and even worse, she didn’t bring Sandy into the boardroom , even though Sandy caused the team to score poorly in the decor category. Instead, she brought Stacy (no surprise there) and Elizabeth.
The choices were blatantly personal, making Carolyn furious. Granted, she was already pretty mad this episode, saying that Team Apex made her embarrassed to be a businesswoman. Ouch. Very ouch. The Donald pretty much sat back this episode and let Carolyn do all the barking. She looked like she was ready to slap Jennifer when she kept interrupting. Then when Bill tried to get a word in edgewise, Jennifer cut him off too. Mark Burnett didn’t even try to build any suspense as Trump quickly dismissed Jennifer. Afterwards he just slouched over and said “That was really easy.”
Jennifer, piled into a Carrie-Ann Moss trench coat and drove off in a cab which, incidentally, nearly got into a car accident when pulling away from Trump Tower. That would have been awesome. Oh well. Not a good day for Jennifer. Hey, at least she’s got her bangs. They’ll always be loyal to her.