Since its inception several years ago, The Apprentice has been notable for its clever (or not so clever) editing. We usually within 15 minutes which team is going to win, and also who is most likely to get fired. As if that was bad enough, this week gave us a new treat – previews told us to expect the first ever “Apprentice Romance,” and showed two indistinguishable people snuggling/kissing poolside. Yet nothing ever happened! I realize that so far this is turning out to be the worst season to date, but the least the editors/producers could do is follow-through on their promises of an Apprentice showmance. For shame.Last week on the Apprentice, Michelle resigned after leading her team (cleverly disguised as waiters) to a horrible defeat. Even though she most likely would have been the fired candidate anyway, her resignation saved the remaining members of her team from the two dreaded words, “You’re Fired!” After learning that nobody else would be fired, Frank shouted and jumped around like the Yankees had just won the World Series. God I hate this guy. It’s too bad this season wasn’t back in NYC so Frank could be more in his element – shouting at drivers and yelling obnoxiously into a cell phone like we’ve seen in seasons past.
Back inside the mansion, Heidi gives Team Kinetic a small pep talk while outside Team Arrow drinks heavily and discusses cheese doodles. Frank’s only been sleeping outside for three days and he’s already reverting to a child-like state. Tim the Temp spends some time flirting with Nicole which is a sorry excuse for the “romance” we’ve been promised.
All of a sudden the phones ring and Aaron and Marisa answer only to find The Donald himself on the other line. Trump demands a sacrifice and that sacrifice must be someone from Kinetic to “step up” and move outside to join Team Arrow.
Team Arrow falls dead silent. Apparently nobody wants to go from “have” to “have not” status, because as you know by now, the haves have stuff and the have nots don’t. Heidi, Surya, Amy, and Marisa all volunteer to leave the house, and Aaron and the rest of Team Kinetic choose Surya, AKA The Hair, to move into Tent City with them. For the record, this leaves Team Arrow with only one man, Derrick, which as history shows us is never a good thing.
Poor Surya packs his backs and heads outside, and we get our first look at him in black-and-white Tent-o-Vision. Surya meets the team and pulls out a journal with his thoughts on how to right the sinking ship that is Team Kinetic. He launches into long list of things Team Kinetic must change. 1) Openness, 2) Clear structure, 3) Always be better, 4) Thursday night is curry chicken night, 5) Nicole has to wax my body hair 6) Frank is never allowed to speak. I think the Unibomber’s Manifesto was shorter than this. His speech seems to go on forever and ends with him saying “I don’t want to do something that’s annoying.” Yeah, too late there buddy.
The next morning, Trump is in a limo with a few business people and last season’s winner, Sean. “PULL OVER HERE!” Trump shouts to the driver, as if he’s unaware of the 14 or so people standing in the middle of the road. I would have liked this much better had he said “DRIVER, RUN THEM DOWN!”
Trump, wearing his orange “Go ‘Cuse” tie, introduces Sean and the two suits who are execs at El Pollo Loco. Trump explains that drive-through restaurants are a 200 trillion dollar business. Today’s task will be to create and sell a new version of the Original Pollo Chicken Bowl. Whoever sells the most, wins. Is this come kind of California thing? I consider myself to be a bit of a fast food expert and I’ve never heard of this place. I’m not entirely sure I’d want to eat at a place named for a crazy chicken. Sounds like bird flu. I’ll stick with Chipotle, thank you.
Team Arrow gets to work creating a new bowl, which looks like it’s a bunch of rice, chicken, and tortilla chips. They give it the simple name “Chicken Tortilla Bowl.” Kinetic on the other hand decides to throw pineapple into a standard Pollo Bowl. Chicken and pineapple? Really? Were there no thumbtacks lying around that they could toss in as well? What about a used condom or two? Like Mel Gibson and a Chassidic rabbi, pineapple and chicken are two things that should never meet. They also decide to call this the “Paradise Bowl,” because…well…they never really say.
Off in some office somewhere, Marisa and Derrick have apparently been put in charge of marketing. Marisa HATES the name and wants to call it the “Bravado Bowl,” which is possibly an even dumber name. I wonder why nobody suggested the “Filthy Disgusting Bowl,” because that’s the impression I get when I think of the combination of pineapple and chicken. Heidi quickly dismisses the idea. But Marisa still has more ideas. She calls back and wants to send chicken mascots out on the street to promote the new bowl. Nixed again. Then she calls back again to ramrod the Bravado Bowl down Heidi’s throat some more. Has she not seen where ramrodding gets you? Marisa is aggravated because her great ideas aren’t being heard. So she calls Heidi again. And again she suggests the name Bravado…I’m predicting the words “baby sit,” and “ramrod” are going to be heard at some point soon. The real confusion here to me is why nobody seemed to think that a pineapple and chicken combo is completely unmarketable.
At Kinetic’s El Pollo Loco, Project Manager Aaron is psyched and tells the team to get ready to move out of the backyard. All dressed up in their new uniforms, they get ready to start the day. Surya looks a little bit too comfortable wearing his drive-through headset, but then again, he seems to be one of the few competent people on Kinetic.
Team Kinetic proceeds to sell, or “ramrod” if you will, the Tortilla Bowl to every customer. Aaron makes an executive decision to send Frank and Tim the Temp out to the streets to try to drum up some bulk sales. I agree with the idea, especially since it gets Frank out of the actual restaurant where he is likely to scare off customers.
Meanwhile, Team Arrow is struggling to sell their Paradise Bowl. “It has rice, a roasted corn blend, our chicken breast, mango pineapple salsa, cheese and tortilla strips.” Jesus Christ, what doesn’t it have? No wonder nobody wants it, it takes a half hour just to describe it. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this show it’s KISS – keep it simple, stupid. Sean comes in to observe and appears to be less than impressed with their selling and marketing efforts. Outside, Marisa and Derrick plead with the drive-through customers to try a free sample. Marisa reminds us that she really wanted those two chicken mascots. Yes, we know.
Back at team Kinetic, the lost manpower of Frank and Tim is hurting the team. They’ve got a line that stretches out the door and about 20 cars sitting idly in the drive-through. But Aaron has a good feeling that Tim and Frank are going to score a big sale.
Cue Tim and Frank bombarding what looks like a car dealership where they manage to sell 22 bowls all in one shot. Congratulations are handed out all around and things look like they might be swinging in Kinetic’s favor for once.
And we head back to the boardroom for the official results. The Donald walks in, now wearing his pink “Ode to Carey’s Swimsuit” tie. Does he only pack two ties when he goes to LA? He needs to put Andi to work. “ANDI – I NEED SOME NEW TIES!”
Sean announces the results and Arrow wins in a landslide. For their reward, they will head to Malibu where they’ll listen to Andrea Bocelli perform a concert on the beach followed by a fireworks display. Aaron will also remain PM until he loses and will also join Trump and Sean in the board room.
Over in Tent City, Team Arrow packs their things and prepares to move into the house. I wonder if they’ll be disappointed when they learn they all have to sleep in the same room. What kind of mansion is this anyway? Eight beds in one room? They might as well be in a trailer. I’d almost prefer the tent.
The two teams cross paths on their switch and Kinetic is shocked, SHOCKED at how they’re going to have to live for at least the rest of the day. Arrow celebrates the only way they know how – by acting like a bunch of 15 year old children and they jump in the pool, still dressed in their El Pollo Loco uniforms. Muna, in her one line of the episode, tells us that she can’t belief the filth they inherited over in Tent City. Thanks for showing up, Muna.
In Malibu, it’s time for a celebration. Forgive my ignorance, but I have never heard of this Bocelli guy either. El Pollo Loco, Andrea Bocelli. Maybe they’re both California things. In any case, Team Arrow seems to be excited by him, especially Frank who says that he listens to Bocelli every Sunday at his family dinners. Man I would hate to be a part of that family.
After they eat, Tim the Temp sits down and plays some piano and Nicole tells us that she thinks Tim is cute but “I don’t know what’s going on.” Is this the romance? Because nothing else happens. NBC is a bunch of liars. At the end of the night, the team is treated to a fireworks celebration of 4th of July proportions. I’m sure this would all be very exciting if they were children, which they sort of are.
In Tent City, Heidi struggles on her decision of whom to take with her to the board room. She asks, “what could we have done better?” to which Derrick sarcastically replies “Chicken suit.” Heidi says the only person she feels she has to manage is Marisa. Oh, so just because Marisa called 500 times to say the same things over and over, now she’s a problem?
Andi leads Team Arrow into the board room for their very first time. Aaron and Sean bookend Trump, who enters wearing…his orange “Go ‘Cuse” tie. Again! Seriously Andi, make yourself useful and get the man some new ties.
Trump wants to know who came up with the Paradise Bowl and says that he didn’t like the fruit and chicken mixture. I can’t disagree with him there. And for some reason, that’s the last we ever hear of the disgusting mixture that was the Paradise Bowl. Sean explains that Kinetic did a great job selling which is why they won and that Arrow didn’t push the Paradise Bowl at the register.
It doesn’t take long for the topic to get to marketing and Marisa’s failures on that end. Marisa said she had some great ideas that got shot down early on, such as people dressed in chicken suits. Sean says the other team did a great job with their marketing, creating a spectacle that showed that something was different on this particular day. Marisa claims she tried to do the same thing, but her ideas were all shot down.
She’s got a point when she says that the team didn’t think that people dressed in chicken suits would maintain the integrity of the restaurant. That’s right. The integrity of El Pollo Loco. That’s like Paris Hilton saying she doesn’t want to publicly have sex with a midget and a donkey because it would ruin her image. We’re talking about El Pollo Loco here, not Morton’s Steakhouse. Once you name your fast food chain El Pollo Loco, you can throw integrity out the window.
Marisa says her chicken suit idea would have been excellent considering they already have a chicken mascot. She also spends a lot of time interrupting every single person in the room. Chicken suit, chicken suit, chicken suit. Trump goes down the line and everyone seems to think that Marisa should be fired. Chicken suit. Christine says that Marisa needs to be “babysat.” I saw that one coming. Chicken suit.
Heidi decides to bring Marisa and Amy back to the board room with her because of Marisa’s failed marketing strategy and because Amy was apparently in charge of sales. Aaron finally chirps in and seems to think the problem was sales and not marketing. Thanks for chipping in there, Aaron.
Amy claims that she sold her heart out, even though they lost by nearly 40%. “Aaron, will you say something Aaron?” Trump yells. Seriously. This whole bringing the winning PM to the board room thing is just not working. Marisa mentions chickens again, and Trump just isn’t buying it. She interrupts Trump over and over which prompts him to ask “Excuse me, are you ready?”
Trump says he can’t believe she could only come up with one idea. “Marisa, you’re fired.” And that’s hopefully the last we’ll ever hear about chickens…
Strike that. In her car ride interview she mentions chickens a dozen more times. We get it. Chickens = victory. Oh well. If you go to your window right now and listen close enough, you can still hear her off in the distance shouting something about chickens.
I am a little bit surprised that everyone banded together against Marisa on this one when the real problem might have been Heidi’s inability to see that a pineapple and chicken combination is just plain gross. Oh well.
Did Marisa deserve to be fired? Will these people ever learn that ramrodding is NOT a good idea? And where the hell is that Apprentice “romance?”