Oh joyful day. Not only was The Apprentice back this week, but we had a full family reunion as The Donald recruited his loyal spawn, Ivanka and Donald Jr. to help decide the fate of one unlucky candidate. I must admit, Ivanka’s waxen visage has grown on me as she’s proven herself to be fairly articulate and somewhat vicious. Donald Jr. — well, he still needs some work. It’s encouraging to see that his hair is no better than his father’s, but chances are we’d probably like him a bit more if he took a few diction classes from time to time and maybe even saw an orthodontist. Nevertheless, having the whole fam around made for fun times, but we must always remember one thing: no one, absolutely no one, can replace George and Carolyn.With it being two weeks since the last Apprentice, memories of the last Boardroom were somewhat hazy for me. Luckily, the show began in said Boardroom with Leslie and Lee going at it in front of Trump. That’s right. It’s all coming back to me now: Lee’s nonstop blabbing, Leslie’s exasperation, those damn P’Eatzzas. The whole thing just made for gastrointestinal malaise. Come to think of it, I bet if we really investigate Bruce’s intestinal blockage on Survivor, we’d find an old P’Eatzza stuck in his colon. Feeling sick now? Good. That’s how my recaps are best read.
Anyway, with Leslie and Lee snarling at each other in the Boardroom, we then cut to Charmaine up in the suite who was trying to predict the outcome of this showdown. “Maybe I’m just DUMB, but I kind of feel like Leslie’s coming back,” she told one of her roommates. Bad news, Charmaine. You’re dumb. Leslie was fired, and in case we forgot, she was canned on her birthday. I felt bad for her two weeks ago the first time we saw this, but now we saw that her buddies had planned a whole celebration for her. They’d even baked her a birthday cake, complete with marbleized frosting. But alas, Trump’s finger gun is a mighty force, and no Duncan Hines creation can fight it. Therefore, Leslie went home without even participating in her own birthday bonanza — just proving that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Or actually, you just can’t have your cake at all.
Well, Lee returned to the suite, and almost everyone gave him superficial hugs and smiles. Everyone but Charmaine, that is. She simply sneered, “Shit!” and walked away. Maybe she was mad because she didn’t have a cake prepared for him as well. She does love having a cake handy at all times.
Okay, I’m making things up. Charmaine was pissed, but that’s only because she just really didn’t like Lee. And after the cocky little stunt he then pulled at dinner, I could see why. You see, Lee was talking about the Boardroom experience with Leslie when he remarked, “She probably fought the hardest out of all the people I fired.” Yes, he said “I fired.” Man, talk about ego. He was making Tarek seem like the Dalai Lama.
Anyway, for those of you who may have forgotten, in the last Boardroom, Charmaine told Trump that Leslie should not be fired, implying that the axe should fall on Lee. Well, that night, as they continued to eat dinner, Lee insisted that he wasn’t even mad at Charmaine. Not at all. Riiight. We’ll see how long this latest self-delusional lie lasts.
Nevertheless, this opening sequence ended with Lee insisting that he had to be the next Project Manager. His butt was on the line, and if he screwed up one more time, he’d be sent packing. And with that, we cut to the opening credits, which were eventually followed by news that viewers could win $10,000 by texting who they thought would be fired that night. Sounded like fun! FOR MORONS. (Meanwhile, one of those morons is $10,000 richer, and I’m still here nitpicking about marbleized frosting on birthday cakes.)
We then cut to footage of the next morning where a veritable Day After Tomorrow rain storm was besieging New York City. Why, there was a goose wading through water! And a dog running from the thunder! And gutters overflowing! And of course, umbrellas blowing out of control — like untamed beasts yearning to escape their human overlords! It was bedlam, I tell you! Harrowing, tempestuous bedlam!
Somehow, our plucky candidates survived the deluge and met up with Trump, who introduced everyone to Donald Jr. and Ivanka, also known as the two most puckered siblings of Manhattan. They were joined by a third man — an executive from Ameriquest who sported an unfortunate midlife crisis goatee of some sort. If someone were to create a hybrid of sandpaper and a Brillo pad, that’s what this guy had growing on his chin.
Ameriquest: Proud Sponsor of the American Goatee.
Anyway, this executive was clearly the third wheel — or fourth wheel, as it were — since today was all about the Trump family. I’m surprised Melania wasn’t lingering around too. “Today, we’ll be working with my true apprenti,” Trump joked, and again, I must remind the world, “apprenti” is NOT A WORD. Neologisms be damned. No one was going to rain on this family reunion (except, of course, for the rain that was raining on it, but that’s neither here nor there.) Trump then turned to his children and said, “You know who to report to, right?” This was followed by polite laughter from all in attendance, and then Trump bellowed out, “REPORTING TO YOUR FATHER IS A THIRTY BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY!”
“Oh look. Poor people.”
“We get to be judged by kids. Yay.”
Okay, maybe he didn’t say that, but what he did do was explain this week’s task. Trump began babbling about Ellis Island, and for a minute, I thought he might reveal his own high-class version called Trumpllis Island — which would be pretty much the same, except it would feature three golf courses and gold-trimmed INS booths. Anyway, Trump talked a bit about the history of Ellis Island and how people came there with an American Dream. Oh, and speaking of American Dreams, a company that has an American Dream is, you guessed it, Ameriquest! This seemed like a bit of a stretch to me, but then again, Trump reminded us that Ameriquest is the Proud Sponsor of the American Dream (which means that if you’re ever denied by Ameriquest, you clearly have a very Un-American Dream, Commie).
For this week’s task, teams had to go to Ellis Island, take some photos, and then create a limited edition souvenir tourist program. Then the next day, they’d have to go out and sell these items, and whichever team earned the most would win. All proceeds would go to the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Foundation, FYI. Trump then turned to Gold Rush and gave them the sort of morale boost that can really motivate a team: “I hope you people start doing well,” he said. You people? They’re human beings!!! Trump is racist! Racist against losers!
And so the teams headed off on their latest corporate journeys, and we cut to patriotic images of American flags and what not. Just in case we weren’t sure if we should be feeling jingoistic, Mark Burnett then piped in a few bars from the National Anthem. Overkill? Just a tad. Luckily, this random Rah-Rah-Rah America moment passed, and we soon found ourselves with Gold Rush as Lee delegated work out to his minions. Michael and Tarek were going to take pictures at Ellis Island while Lee and Charmaine were going to hang back and try to sell, sell, sell. Charmaine came up with the idea of bulk selling to hotels and whatnot, but as big as the idea was, she pretty much failed at every turn. I don’t think it was really her fault. There just simply was not a high demand for dumb souvenir programs in the hotels of Manhattan. I personally would have tried specialty and travel bookstores or museums, but hey, to each his own.
Over at Synergy, Keebler Elf wannabe Allie had stepped up to be Project Manager, and she really felt this was an important task for her because three of her four grandparents came over to American via Ellis Island. That’s great. Where did they come from? SMURF VILLAGE? Okay, that was cruel. Anyway, Allie and her faithful lapdog Tammy decided to go on a tour of Ellis Island to get some background info on the place, you know, for the brochure, and guess who wasn’t happy about this? ANDREA. Yes, the soft-spoken queen biatch felt they were wasting time, and she was not afraid to passive aggressively communicate that through a series of rolled-eyes and mumbled comments. Eventually, Andrea cornered Allie and pressured her to come up with a plan, a confrontation that really only led to the usual Allie nodding in a typically patronizing way. Sorry Andrea, you may be a passive-aggressive bitch, but Allie’s a superficial passive-aggressive bitch. Can’t beat that.
Well, with all the information gathered, Synergy headed back to the Circle Line ferry, but oops! Tammy left all her precious notes at Ellis Island! And worse, the boat was about to leave port! What to do? Hint: it’s called THE INTERNET. Alas, Tammy and Allie had apparently never heard of “Wikipedia” and so they ran off the boat in search of the missing notebook. Bad move. While the two girls were gone, the foghorn sounded and the boat left, leaving poor Allie and Tammy behind. Hahahaha. Suckers. I mean, we knew it wouldn’t be the end of the world — the ship’s captain even said another ferry was coming in — but it still was fairly awesome. And so our perky Project Manager was separated from the group. It was like An American Tail ALL OVER AGAIN! Just remember, Allie. There are no cats in America. Just massive bitches named Andrea.
We then cut to commercial, and when we returned, Trump was babbling about his lesson of the week: “All in the Family,” he said. I was then hoping I’d see him and Melania at a piano, croaking out “Boy the way Glenn Miller played! Songs that made the hit parade! Guys like us we had it made. Those were the days!” And you know they totally do that on the weekends.
But instead of Trump going all Archie Bunker on us, we instead saw him chatting with daughter Ivanka in his office. “Little different than college, right?” he asked.
“A little different. A little more real world experience, I’d say,” she responded. Well, that would make sense, seeing how you’re not in college but the real world now. Anyway, we then cut to Gold Rush where Lee was overseeing the graphic design element of the program. And when I say that Lee was overseeing, I really meant to say that Lee was nodding while Tarek basically ran the task. Yes, our MENSA man was finally having a moment of greatness as he took charge of the whole endeavor. And don’t think that people didn’t notice. Ivanka surely caught on to what was up, and Charmaine, well, she was just pissed because if they won, Lee would get all the credit for Tarek’s work.
Behold! The floating head of CHARMAINE!!
Meanwhile, over at Synergy, Allie and Tammy were still stuck on Ellis Island (truly living out the immigration experience), and so Andrea had become the new de facto leader of the team. You see, she’s had plenty of experience with graphic design, and therefore, she was a no-brainer to lead up the program design. At least, according to her. And so this praying mantis of a woman put together a schlocky brochure that featured such silly images as the Statue of Liberty superimposed on Ellis Island. Needless to say, when Allie finally returned, she was not happy with Andrea’s work. And guess what? Andrea was unhappy with Allie’s unhappiness.
“This is really important; so I appreciate your deep sighs,” Andrea snipped. Oh Allie! Your deep sigh is so BUSTED! Well, the Project Manager denied having a deep sigh, but Andrea totally heard it. “She deep sighed. Right there. I heard it,” she insisted. To be fair, Andrea has a wonderful ear for deep sighs.
The next morning, Gold Rush woke up at 5 AM to stake out the best location to sell the brochures. Sure enough, they hit the motherlode at Battery Park where hundreds of tourists had lined up to take the ferry. The team blanketed the captive audience with their dumb brochures, and by the time Synergy had arrived — a few hours later, no less — nearly all the tourists had procured their extra special tchotchke programs. Yes, Gold Rush had essentially cut Synergy out of the running, something that Sean could not believe. He was so exasperated that he indulged his inner British comic impulses and went on a whole fussy rant about the situation. I think it was supposed to be funny, but, well, there’s a reason why John Cleese is John Cleese and Sean is Sean. On the plus side, I did actually laugh at Sean, but that was more because of the stupid patriotic garb he had adorning his body (New York hat, stars-and-stripes tie — all he was missing was an Uncle Sam hat and some sparklers). To be fair, all the dumb Synergy people were wearing this outfit, which really didn’t make it any better. Hey Andrea, did you hear that? It was a deep sigh… FROM ME.
Someone punch him.
Seriously. Punch him.
Nevertheless, Synergy kept trying to sell their brochures, but it probably didn’t help that poor Roxanne looked like a homeless woman as she dragged a suitcase behind her. Adding to the stress of the situation was Donald Trump Jr. who suddenly emerged from the crowd looking typically smug. I couldn’t be quite sure, but in the past five minutes, I think he had either kicked a pigeon, stolen money from some kids, or eaten a really good hot dog. Possibly all three. I was also amused by Donald Jr.’s unwieldy ‘do. It was as if he had taken the worst elements from his father and Tarek’s coifs and combined them into one truly awful hybrid of hair and styling gel. The occasional gust of wind did not help matters either.
Brushing your hair is a THIRTY BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY!
Anyway, Synergy finally threw in the Battery Park towel and headed across the water to Ellis Island where they attempted to increase their sales at the museum. Unfortunately, it’s hard to boost revenue when everyone in the museum has already been approached by Gold Rush. And let’s not forget Andrea and her robo-sales skills. Her big strategy was to approach tourists, quietly ask if they’d like a brochure, and then about halfway through, walk away, and, you guessed it, DEEP SIGH. I think a psychiatrist would have an easier time prescribing Paxil to Tom Cruise.
Back on the mainland, Gold Rush received wonderful news. One of the millions of people Charmaine had contacted about bulk purchases had actually called her back! It’s a Christmas miracle! She ultimately managed to sell a hundred programs for $85 to this woman, which wasn’t exactly the pinnacle of giant deals, but I guess it was worth something. Lee certainly was excited. “This is exactly what I’m talking about. Thinking differently. Thinking smart,” he said. Hey Lee, it wasn’t your idea. Someone really needs to shove a P’Eatzza in his face.
Over at Synergy, with only a short amount of time left, Andrea approached Allie and mentioned that oh yeah, she’s great with bulk sales. Maybe they should do that instead? Uh, a little late… DEEP SIGH. While Allie certainly appreciated the idea, it was the eleventh hour, and she was totally annoyed as to why Andrea didn’t come forward with her bulk sales expertise earlier. Technically, Andrea had mentioned it, but no one heard because everyone was DEEP SIGHING.
We then cut to commercial, and dammit, NBC, NO ONE WANTS TO GET RICH WITH TRUMP! Do we have to see these promos every break for every show for the rest of the season? Please, just stop. When we returned, the teams all filed into the Boardroom where Trump asked his children how they enjoyed playing with the other kids. Donald Jr. said he had a blast, and Ivanka, a seasoned pro by now, said, “It was fun with my brother this time as well.” This was then followed by a little Donald Jr. smirk, and I’m sure half of America recoiled as incestuous scenarios all played through our heads (let’s not forget The Donald’s icky comment on The View that he’d date Ivanka if she weren’t his daughter. Yech.)
Anyway, Trump then asked Allie how she thought her team did, and surprisingly, the diminutive Project Manager said she wasn’t feeling very confident. When asked who the weakest link was, she quickly ratted out Andrea, completely shocking Trump in the process. He always thought she was a star, he claimed. But no. Not so much. Everyone on Synergy pretty much shook their head at Trump and did the “Yeah… not really. Sawry,” groan. Andrea meanwhile just rolled her eyes (that’s her way of deep sighing. Unfortunately, her lungs can’t take in the proper amounts of oxygen needed for the deep sigh, on account of her skeletal frame).
Well, enough stalling. Results time! Synergy raked in a solid $843.40, but Gold Rush spanked them with a whopping $1,548.68. Wow. Kind of makes that bulk deal seem irrelevant now, huh? Anyway, Trump then told them that their reward would be so good that even HE was going to come along. What could possibly pique The Donald’s interest so? Why, a little man I like to call Mr. Vijay Singh. Yes, the gang would be playing golf with Vijay, a wonderful fella that Trump absolutely loved. “The only thing I don’t like about Vijay: he makes me realize what a bad golfer I am,” he said. He then added, “Realizing you’re a bad golfer is a THIRTY BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY!!!”
Before we went to the big reward, we then moved back to the suite where Andrea once again confronted Allie. “It’s stupid of you to lie!” she sneered, apparently offended for being labeled a bad saleswoman. Later, Andrea sulked away, bristling, “Those bitches lied about me.” Yeah, it’s not so much fun when you’re the new Brent, huh? What goes around, comes around, bitch.
The next morning, Gold Rush went out to Trump National Golf Course where Lee told us, “I’m the Project Manager. I look amazing!” Oh, shut up, Lee. You’re making Tarek seem way too sympathetic. Lee then explained how he had been feeling terrible all these weeks being on the losing team, but now, after one victory, he was sky high. He even unveiled a new mantra: “Winning. Best remedy for feeling like crap.” So eloquent. Somebody get this man a page in Bartlett’s!
Anyway, Vijay soon showed his face and gave everyone some tips on how to hit the ball. I was most amused when Tarek hit a sweet shot, causing Vijay to giggle like a little girl. Seriously, he was out of control. But then it was time for Vijay to step up and make everyone feel lame. Sure enough, the PGA champion hit a birdie, causing Trump to crow, “That’s great, Veej.” Yeah, way to go, VEEJ.
“Hey Veej, check out my hat!”
Back at the suite, Synergy was now strategizing. And by that, I mean, they were acting like a clique. And by that, I mean they were being their normal selves. Allie, Roxanne, Tammy, and Sean all gossiped about how terrible Andrea was, but what they didn’t realize was that the she-devil was standing on the other side of the wall, keenly listening in. If I were her, I would have just stood there and listened for hours on end, but instead, she eventually did the whole “I can hear everything you’re saying,” effectively killing all the good banter. Later, as Andrea tried to curry favor from Sean, Allie told her girls that Andrea was going to be fired. No doubt about it. This, of course, led me to believe that she would not be fired. Classic misdirection. Oh, we’re onto you, Mark Burnett.
Allie then promised to get vicious with Andrea. She seethed, “There will be blood on the walls. There will be blood on the walls. There will be f*ckin’ BLOOD EVERYWHERE!” She then plunged her hand into Tammy’s chest and removed her heart, shrieking violently and smearing the organ all over the walls, occasionally stopping to beat her chest and hiss at anyone who dared approach her. Okay, maybe she didn’t do that, but she certainly revealed that angry, bitter, nasty dark side that we always knew she had.
Finally, it was time for the Boardroom, and right out of the gate, Allie was bashing Andrea. She said she was to blame for pretty much everything, and what did Andrea say in response? Not much. She merely rolled her eyes (natch) and quietly rebuked everyone by saying “That’s not true” and similar phrases of that ilk. Roxanne soon jumped on board the anti-Andrea train by saying that the spindly sticker company exec just gave quit at the graphic design, but that’s not really case. Andrea actually moved over so that Allie could take over since clearly Allie was so unhappy with the work. Nevertheless, it was an all out war against Andrea, but suddenly Trump asked Sean what he thought, and the ever-so-charming Brit broke rank and said that Allie should be the one who gets fired. Wha-wha-whaaa? Oh, he’s so out of the clique now!
Nevertheless, Allie was undeterred by this, and she continued to attack, attack, attack. Not so fast, little one. First you gotta get by Ivanka. Donald’s daughter busted Allie about not being there to oversee the brochure’s creation, and inexplicably, no one mentioned that Tammi and Allie had gone missing because they’d missed the Circle Line ferry. Surely I thought Andrea was going to talk about that over and over again, but it wasn’t brought up — not even once!
Anyway, Allie went on the offensive again, bashing Andrea’s so-called graphic-design experience, but Ivanka countered by saying that the real problem was the location. Soon Donald Jr. jumped into the fray, also bashing Allie for the location and the brochure, and when Allie retorted that the program was bad because of Andrea, DT Jr. reminded her that she was in fact the one who had sat down and redesigned the whole thing. Ouch. Busted by Donald Jr. That’s gotta be humiliating.
Well, soon Tammy, Allie, and Roxanne were all working in tandem to railroad Andrea, but they were momentarily paused by Trump who told Roxanne, “You’re a very good speaker… have you been told that before? Because I would like to have you representing me in court.” Is he even paying attention?
As the Boardroom continued, Donald Jr. then began grilling Andrea about her reticence to reveal her capabilities with bulk sales, and again, I was confused as to why Andrea wasn’t defending herself more. I mean, Andrea’s a major bitch, but was she really to blame for this task? It was Allie who was slow to secure a location. It was Allie who missed the boat and couldn’t oversee the graphic design. And it was Allie who nearly lit the whole tree on fire when she was making her latest batch of E.L. Fudge Sandwich Cookies!
Nevertheless, Andrea proved to be a near mute in the Boardroom, and so Trump bought into the hype. He accused her of ruining team chemistry and not working well with others. Plus, he didn’t like her contributions or lack thereof to this task. And so Andrea was fired without even the benefit of coming back alone with Allie and whoever else. I was a little disappointed that Trump didn’t ask Allie to bring two people back with her because I think that probably would have exposed the cronyism going on in this team. But whatever. It was still a solid Boardroom.
Afterwards, as Andrea marched to her cab of shame, Trump reclined back in his seat and said, “Good job, kids!” Thanks, dad! Now bring back George and Carolyn.
And with that, the episode drew to a close. We watched as Andrea’s taxi drove away, and just as we were getting into that rousing “Dunh dunh, DUNH DUNH, DA-DA-DA DUNH DUNH!” music, a creepy-voiced narrator suddenly said, “Congratulations to Martha Arzate.” Apparently, she had won the $10,000 prize. Do we really need this to be announced like it was the trailer for Silent Hill? Just scroll the info across the bottom of the screen and stop annoying us with your shameless gimmicks to improve the ratings. ENOUGH.
What did you think about this episode?