I must admit that I was beyond excited at the outset of the latest episode of The Apprentice because for a brief moment, I thought our corporate wannabes might actually be rapping their way through a challenge. But my dreams of a Rubble Man Redux were quickly shattered as Trump informed everyone that people would be wrapping not rapping. Oh, that little “w” makes all the difference, doesn’t it? That’s okay. I was still able to enjoy this episode for all its goofy perks like the scandalous megaphone subterfuge and of course the gratuitous Shania Twain cameo. If that’s not a Thanksgiving gift, I don’t know what is.The big turkey day episode kicked off with that oh-so-catchy (but not really) song by Levi, XM Café newest big star (see last week’s recap). You remember how it goes: “Nothing is something for everything or nothing or blah blah blah.” I may have the lyrics wrong. You might want to cross check that… Well, this was not just an underhanded way to sell more Levi albums (which in turn would benefit Trump management, I’m sure). Turns out Felisha had the tune in her head, and as she and Alla and Adam waited for Team Excel to return from the Boardroom, our favorite blonde bombshell sang the song to her teammates — surely a triumphant dirge in this most stressful of times!
Excuse me one moment. A homeless man down on the street below is yelling and being distracting. Must wait for the BumRant to end.
Okay, it’s over. Rather suddenly too. I’m sure there’s an interesting story behind that. Anyway, as Capital Edge waited and waited, Alla unexpectedly expressed sadness that Clay might be fired. Whaa? Turns out our swishy stallion cooked breakfast for Alla every morning. Sort of surprising. After all, who would have thought Clay would prepare a meal for one of his enemies? And who would have thought Alla would have eaten it? Helloooo? It’s called arsenic.
Well, Rebecca and Randal returned to the suite, but they were not nearly the animated couple I thought they’d be, and that includes adjusted expectations for gimpy crutch celebrations. You see, amidst all the Clay drama last episode, we kind of overlooked that Rebecca had asserted that Randal didn’t step up on the latest task. Well, this did not make Randal very happy. It was the equivalent of Spongebob going around Bikini Bottom and talking shit about Squidward.
It never gets old to me…
Anyway, Randal told Rebecca that he wasn’t happy with what she had said, and she apologized, and well, that was it. I know, it’s very disarming. Two people on The Apprentice squashed their beef professionally and maturely? They do realize they’re on reality TV, right? I’m so disgusted, I can’t even continue.
Okay, I’ve taken a breather and have now found the strength to power on. The next morning, we found Trump at Trump Bar in Trump Tower as he grilled Trump Bartender, Chris. We learned that business at the bar couldn’t be better! As evidenced by ALL THE CUSTOMERS! Granted, it was probably 8:00 AM, but still, any good bar will have its loyal winos lining up by sunrise. Anyway, as the teams approached the bar, we suddenly had a super close-up shot of Trump’s profile as he declared, “Chris, that’s a great job. I appreciate it.”
Zooming in on Trump’s face is a THIRTY BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY!
Well, with the teams ready for their next assignment, we discovered that George was gone once again (hey, the soda jerk doesn’t run itself!) and in his place was the always bewildered (and delightfully spiky-haired) Bill Rancic. Trump then announced that the teams would be promoting something by “one of the most celebrated names in music: Shania Twain.” Yes. Feel the celebrations roar through the TV. I mean, who doesn’t love her completely mediocre music? Nevertheless, Shania’s launching a new perfume — “Shania By Stetson” — and the teams were to promote via a very specific technique. I’ll let Trump explain. “There’s a thing that’s new. It’s called wrapping.” Now, imagine my excitement when I heard that. Because, of course, when you’re listening Trump and not reading his words, you don’t hear that silent “w.” DAMMIT! I got so excited!! Alas, Trump explained that this would not be another embarrassing foray into the hip-hop world. No, the teams would literally be wrapping objects with promos, and whoever managed to get more people to dial a toll-free number for a free sample would win. Okay kids! Get to work!
On Excel, Project Manager Randal had lots to prove after Rebecca’s Boardroom slight (and it didn’t help that Trump singled him out by saying that his estimation of him had dropped. Whatever, Randal’s such a shoe-in for this thing. Trump’s just trying to make this vaguely unpredictable). The Rand-Man’s big plan was to get an army of people to blanket the city with this wrapping. At first he tried to summon a crowd of thirty people, but then he managed to actually secure sixty workers. Randal was so pumped, he blurted out, “That is the illest! Soak it up!” Yeah man! Hired labor! That shit is da bomb! Or as Tana from last season would say, “Krunky!!”
Over on Capital Edge, Alla stepped up to be Project Manager and immediately opened up the floor to ideas. Unfortunately, Adam, who seems to have a lovely career in middle management ahead of him, came up with the bizarre idea of wrapping horse-drawn carriages, but he wasn’t going to stop there. He wanted to wrap THE HORSES! Look, there’s a line between “out of the box” and “dumb.” Still, he was hooked on this idea, even if it meant Shania’s face would be stuck literally on a horse’s ass. I guess it’s a somewhat appropriate visual commentary on her music. Wow, I’m just full of the Shania haterade today. Sorry Shania. It’s not you, it’s me.
Well, Adam may have wanted to play with horses, but Felisha was in a Randal frame of mind as she pushed for wrapping an army of people as well. You see, the wrapping is a point of sale, she explained, and a person could sell the number a lot better than a carriage — which may or may not be trotting away. Alla agreed to employ both tactics; although clearly Adam wanted this to be all horse all the time. He quietly had Alla cut the humans down to a small portion of the budget, thus limiting Felisha to a mere 20 person workforce. Doesn’t sound good…
After the commercial break, we learned our big Trump lesson of the week: “Be A Gladiator!” I half expected Trump to then come on screen and bellow, “Are you not entertained???” but instead we got something much better. From his golden throne, he blared, “There are time when the only choice is confrontation!” This then led to Trump yelling on his cell phone, “Do you understand me? And I’m gonna sue you if I HAVE TO!!!” And with that, he hung up his phone and threw it into some dark nether region of his limo. Dunh Dunh DUNH!!! GLADIATOR!!! Oh, but he wasn’t done! Trump then got back on his phone and barked, “Let me tell you something. I don’t know what he bought. I don’t know what he did. All I know is that I’m f*cking finished, OKAY??” Hey, that seems like an awfully rude way to talk to Rhona.
Well, after this Donald blow-up, we returned to Excel as Randal tried to procure some megaphones for his Shania army. Unfortunately, megaphones aren’t very easy to find in Manhattan, and when Randal called RadioShack, he learned that all the company’s megaphones were being culled together for one order elsewhere in the city. Yup, turns out that order was actually for Capital Edge, and in a bold and risky move, Randal and Rebecca decided they were going to intercept the order! That’s right. They were essentially going to steal them! Methinks I know who the gladiator is this episode!
Sure enough, Rebecca hobbled into Radioshack and swiped those megaphones while Randal stood outside on lookout for what he called, “Operation: Sabotage!” But would they be successful? Would Capital Edge ruin this entire shady operation? I was literally on the edge of my seat. At one point, the doorbell rang in the store, causing Rebecca’s heads to raise up. Was this Capital Edge walking in to bust her? No, it was just a random customer. Fakeout! Who knew Radioshack could be so exciting?
Well, Excel snuck off with all their booty, and when Alla called up to say she was on the way, the person at the desk said someone had already picked up the megaphones. “One had crutches,” said the Radioshack employee, adding, “And the other one, I think he’s on Spongebob.” As expected, the news totally blindsided poor Alla, but she kept her spirits up, saying that it’ll be all the sweeter when Excel loses. Um, Alla? Did you even SEE Trump’s lesson? Gladiator! Gladiator! Do something bold and confrontational. I know! Kidnap Randal’s army! He’ll never see that one coming.
Anyway, the next morning, it was time to get the big marketing blitz underway. Felisha’s workers all arrived, but sadly, very few of them could actually speak English (as evidenced by the sudden presence of Spanish-themed music on the soundtrack). “I wanted clean-cut,” complained Alla, which was her subtle way of saying, “White.” Even worse, wrapping the coaches turned out to be a major hassle, mostly because the material was supposed to go on flat surfaces, not ornate, oddly shaped carriages. And to add insult to injury, the producers swapped out the “Look at the Latinos!” music for the ever goofy “You’re a dumb idiot” score. Of course, Adam put a positive spin on his wonderful idea, saying, “The coaches and carriages looked great!” Yeah, wonderful. Except for that giant gash right through Shania’s face. But whatever. No one needs to know who the celebrity backing the brand is anyway.
Don’t worry. It’s only Shania’s FACE.
While Capital Edge marched around Union Square, Excel attacked Spanish Harlem. Their theory was that since most of their workers were native Spanish speakers, it made sense for the army to be in an area where they could not only communicate clearly with people but also relate to them as well. But let’s be honest. A free sample is a lot more attractive in a poor neighborhood than a ritzy one. Sure enough, Capital Edge hit the ground running and found patrons left and right. Even a fake Usher called the Shania number. Yay!
As for Capital Edge, well, they still had a major case of the stupid music going against them. Adam, as always, had a splendidly awkward approach. “Want to smell some of this perfume? It’s delicious!” he said. Oh, pleeeease sing the Delicious Wishes song! PLEASE! I rue the day that I did not make an mp3 of that gem.
Eventually, Carolyn reared her poofy head, and within seconds, she was ready to attack. Okay Carolyn. Let ‘er rip! “They also decided to wrap horse-drawn carriages, which really didn’t look so great. The appearance of these signs is quite embarrassing, and if I was Shania Twain, I’d be embarrassed.” Why? Because her music sucks? Oh, because Capital Edge is doing such a shitty job. Got it.
Well, Alla honed her inner pushy Russian and managed to get a whole grip of people to call the number, but in the end, it was too little too late. Excel wrangled in 978 calls while Capital Edge fell just short with 973. Ouch. No one likes to lose by those numbers. For Randal and Rebecca’s reward, they were to spend some time with Shania and go horseback riding. Oh, and guess what? There was a special saddle just for Rebecca. Now she can break her other ankle. Fantastic!
We then caught up with the two victors as they trotted along with the country superstar. And let’s be honest. Nothing says “country” like riding a horse in Manhattan. Nevertheless, it seemed like a grand old time, even if Randal’s horse was somewhat disobedient, and later, the three had a lovely dinner together at Oceana. All in all, it was a pretty solid reward, but I did wonder what these two would have to talk to Shania about. How to make stupid pseudo-pop songs? That don’t impress me much!
And yes, I just quoted a dumb Shania song. All for the sake of art, I tell you! Hey, at least it wasn’t “Man, I Feel Like A Woman!”
Having less of a fun time was Capital Edge, who after some scheming the suite were now duking it out in the Boardroom. Adam immediately gunned for Felisha, saying that she didn’t provide the quality or quantity of staff that she had promised. Well, yeah, you cut it out of the budget, jerk. Trump asked why Felisha didn’t hire more people, and she pointed to the budget which called for fourteen carriages. Bill piped up for his three words of the day when he accused the team of not thinking big, and then somehow the discussion moved onto the megaphone scandal. Alla explained the whole scenario with the glee of a seasoned tattler, but instead of spouting sympathy, Trump asked, “Don’t you think that’s wonderful?” At which point Bill hopped on and said, “I commend them.”
It’s official, Excel. YOU HAVE BEEN COMMENDED!
After more crosstalk, Trump then asked Felisha who she would fire, and of course she suggested Adam. But here was the real question. Who did Alla think should be fired? Sorry Adam, but Alla said that Felisha was the stronger candidate. With that in mind, Trump sent Alla back up to the suite and then barked, “Adam, move over!” GLADIATOR!! As Adam slid over next to Felisha, Trump then added, “C’mon pussy boy. Don’t be afraid of the women!”
Okay, Trump didn’t say that, but the attacks did come strong, especially from Carolyn who declared, “There are five people remaining right now. I think by far, you two are the weakest.” To which Felisha gasped with fear, “Oh my gosh!” Way to prove Carolyn wrong…
Trump then polled his sidekicks and asked which person they’d fire. Carolyn wanted to ax Felisha; Bill wanted to ax Adam. Hmmm… That didn’t solve anything; so Trump had the candidates state their cases once again. Felisha harped on Adam’s lack of experience, but the youngster rebuked her argument by insisting, “I’m curious!” I mean, not sexually, but in other ways, yes, he’s curious.
Well, the two candidates went at it ferociously, and while Felisha received her fare share of heat from everyone in the room, in the end, Trump fired Adam, who simply could not believe it. Yes, he was more shocked than the time he found out about the birds and the bees — which coincidentally was about three days prior. As Adam shuffled out of the Boardroom, Trump explained that both candidates did a terrible job, but that Alla and Felisha would be a better team vs. Randal and Rebecca. And I couldn’t disagree.
So now it’s final four time, baby! The pressure is on! Who will go next? Will Alla and Felisha pull out a surprise victory? Or will Felisha finally bite the dust?