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Some of you may have been confused this past Sunday as to whether you were watching The Apprentice or Fear Factor. Here’s how to spot the difference: Fear Factor is a show full of people with little or no common sense, whereas The Apprentice is a show full of MBAs with little or no common sense. It’s tricky, but you’ll get the hang of it.
This week’s trainwreck featured…a horde of killer bees! Sadly, they did not turn into giant man-eating killer bees hellbent on the destruction of downtown L.A., but we’ll take what we can get. Papa Bauer can handle the rest.We begin as we always do, with the losing team awaiting their fallen leaders. We also get a replay of the last episode’s boardroom where Marisa gets fired. I have to say, I’m a big fan of this. The utter humiliation of getting fired on Donald Trump’s reality show gets played out on national television for all future generations to cherish not once, but TWICE. Take THAT, Chicken Suit Lover.
Anyway, Aimee and Heidi return to their team, and while Aimee is greeted tepidly, Heidi gets a bunch of hoots and hollers. Subtle, kids. Aaron returns to his team to complain about how Trump yelled at him for not saying anything in the boardroom. I think Trump should have been thanking his lucky stars that Aaron refrained from opening his chin donut mouth, but that’s just me.
The next morning, Trump is having a mini-conference with last year’s BritWinner, Sean. I don’t know about anyone else, but for the entire last season all I ever wanted to do was slap Sean across the face. Trump suppresses that urge (though I suspect it’s raging in him as well), and tells him that he’ll be out of town, so for the next couple of days it’s The Sean Show: The Musical! He greets the candidates, who all happen to be dressed in pastels like they’re at some sort of May Day celebration. He blares on and on about California’s amazing economy, which, as it turns out, includes honey. Never heard of it? Well, it’s one of the Donald’s FAVORITE THINGS. The teams have to harvest, market, and sell bottles of Sue Bee honey at Ralph’s grocery stores, and whoever earns the most honey wins. Hey, at least it’s a step up from The Great P’Eatzaa Catastrophe of ’06.
The teams don protective “spacesuits”, as Stefani calls them. Stefani, as it turns out, is deathly afraid of bees, and she doesn’t appreciate a “thin, white suit separating your skin from really really angry bees.” Well, Stefani, maybe the bees don’t appreciate you calling them angry. They were just peeved. Now they’re out for vengeance. And don’t forget – they can smell fear. She whines and wimpers as she and the rest of the team attack the poor things with smoke and general pussiness. But all ends well, and Stefani makes her peace with the bees. That sure was compelling!
Over at the Sue Bee Brain Trust, Surya is throwing all sorts of nonsense around, such as phrases like “the typical honey consumer” and “honey versatility” and “the first moment of truth” and “reason to believe” and “this is what I do for a living.” All equally laughable. Dude, it’s HONEY! Everyone knows what honey is. There isn’t one thing that would change my mind about whether or not to buy honey, no matter how many “reasons to believe” you throw at me. Surya continues to exasperate his teammates, while xylophone music plinks away in the background. And you know what that means. Xylophone = certain failure. Not as bad as the tuba, but certainly worse than the oboe.
Meanwhile, the other team manages to harvest the honey without any spacesuit-related incidents. Derek gets stung a few times, but he’s so puffy anyway I’m sure no one will notice. They return to find Aimee and Jen sitting around with their thumbs up their asses, without a product and without any semblance of a marketing campaign. So on a whim they all come up with the brilliant slogan of: Bee More Honey. That’s right. Bee More Honey. What does this mean? Scientists could work on it around the clock for months with high-tech machines and robots and still not make heads or tails of it. Kristin, very upset with Aimee’s lack of effort, channels a bit of the ole’ George and calls it “a disaster. A total disaster.” Oh, George. I miss you and your cookie-loving ways.
Some misguided producer decided that it would be a good idea to let Team Arrow run a factory. I can’t think of a better way to grind the commerce of America to a screeching halt than to hand it over to these morons. Frank decides to narrate this foray into the blue-collar world with large hand gestures and outrageous sound effects. We know how a factory works, Frank, thanks. When Tim screws up on the assembly line and causes a massive buildup and the senseless destruction of several bottles of honey, Frank of course goes off on him, whipping out the best honey zinger I’ve ever heard: “There was definitely no honey bottling class at Harvard!” Hey-o! Shut up, Frank. You’re a walking Olive Garden commercial. Nicole finds this all quite charming, since she’s got a raging hard-on for Tim for reasons I can’t surmise. She even goes so far as to say that Tim and Frank bickering is the funniest thing she’d ever seen. To be fair, all she’d ever seen before that is the entire season of ‘Til Death, so I suppose she can be forgiven.
Over at Kinetic, Aimee is barely staying conscious while the rest of her team loads the honey, prices it, and hangs a pathetic little “Today is honey day!” sign out on the front of the store. Did you get some fourth-graders to help you with that? Because it looks terrific! Muna keeps venting her frustration onto poor Derek, who is admirably able to take all that Jamaican yelling with a straight face. It’s like Cool Runnings all over again, except instead of bobsleds it’s honey, and instead of me bawling at the end, I feel slightly nauseous.
Arrow seems to be faring slightly better. The kids are selling their little hearts out. James even throws out a “God bless you” or two to a few frightened customers. Yep, God sure is happy about all that honey you’re pushing. The only snag seems to come when Surya saunters over to Stefani’s Table of Total Honey Selling Madness to put in his two cents worth. He informs a hapless customer that Stefani squeezed the honey right from the bees herself. At 2am in the morning! And uphill both ways! In a fire-raining blizzard! Now he’s just making stuff up.
Tim and Nicole get it into their heads that they need to go off into the field to make some bulk sales. Ah, so that’s what the kids are calling it these days. We’re then treated to a little Montage of Failure as Tim and Nicole are shot down by every local area honey enthusiast.
Aaron, in the meantime, appears to be shooting for new levels of uselessness, mournfully taking a sample tray from Stefani and muttering “I hate sales.” Even Sean disapproves. That’s gotta hurt.
Kinetic couldn’t really get any more pathetic (hey, that rhymes!) but they’re not licked yet. A blare of trumpets sounds to inform us that Derek has resurrected a beekeeper spacesuit from the trenches and is now parading around in it for all to see. This somehow convinces people to buy honey, more out of pity than anything else, I’m sure. And as if the second coming of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man wasn’t enough, Kinetic decides to set up a table featuring Angela Ruggiero, Olympic Gold Medalist!! Remember when they pulled this shit all the way back in Season One, when they set up an autograph stand for Kwame Jackson, Wall Street’s Finest? Except that this is honest, whereas that was misleading and deceitful towards children. Oh, who am I kidding? I miss you Kwame! And Troy! Come back and save this season from eternal blandness!
The minions assemble back in the boardroom, where a lonely, fish-faced Sean greets them bemusedly. He tells them that Mr. Trump is away on business but he will be expecting their call. So he gets Trump on the horn, but um…his “business” is apparently a speech in front of a stadium full of people. No matter. The Donald can take a call WHENEVER AND WHEREVER THE DONALD WANTS. He halts the inspirational speech and shouts at the candidates over raucous conventioneer cheering. He screams into the phone and the mike simultaneously, so that everyone can get in on this little conclave of intrigue and honey. He informs the convention crowd of the candidates’ brush with death, as they had to bottle honey amongst “KILLER BEES”. I’m pretty sure this whole circus was set up just so that Trump could yell even louder than he already does. Anyway, Sean reads the results, and Kinetic won. I’m guessing Derek’s astronaut impersonation is what put them over the edge. Their reward is to hang out at the Lakers Training Center with some old Laker fogies. James, the President of the Laker Girls Fan Club, is probably fuming right now. I predict an eruption of screeching and bad hair.
Back at the mansion, the candidates commence with the house/tent swap. ARROW, GET BACK IN YOUR TENT. Nicole, sick of “living like dogs,” has a mini freak out. I don’t care. Her voice makes me want to beat myself up for allowing my ears to take it in.
Kinetic’s reward is a bunch of basketball tracksuits and the pleasure of chilling out at what appears to be a high school gym with such Laker luminaries as Phil Jackson and Kareem Abdul-Jabar. After a ri-goddamn-diculous fake announcer voiceover introducing the players and then “another team that knows how to win – Team Kinetic!”, Phil introduces himself to the kids and splits them up into two teams. A quick coaching session, then a game. Personally, I would hate this reward. Not only would I be forced to display my terrible athletic skills in front of a national television audience, but I would also have to do it in front of actual professional athletes. And Kareem Abdul-Jabar, no less. I’d probably just end up following him around, demanding that he spout out each and every one of his lines from Airplane.
The strident cry of a demonic rooster greets the dawn, as well as James’s grating voice saying that Aaron will be fighting for his LIFE. He needs to stop. Just stop. Aaron is formulating a plan, and by plan I of course mean a case against Surya. I wish he had a plan for the unfortunate multitude of hair spewing forth from his armpits, but I digress. Nicole briefs Surya in a separate area of Tent City, and he knows that he’s on the chopping block because the rest of team is already more closely bonded and he’s the outsider. He insists that he has NO idea what to expect. Yeah, it’s not like the boardroom sessions are televised or available to the viewing public or anything. He consults Derek from the other side of the shrubbery, which results in a fairly Home Improvement-esque scene. Ah, Wilson. I miss the upper third of your head.
Andie (it’s probably with a -y but she seems like more of an -ie girl, maybe with a heart over the i) welcomes them into the mansion and the boardroom. Trump asks what the hell happened, as he always does, and Surya blames it all on a lack of leadership. Trump then points to the fact that Aaron hardly said anything when he was allowed into the boardroom last week, that he didn’t take the opportunity to grill the other team and he wouldn’t step up when Trump was seeking advice from him.
Aimee, quickly picking up on the “Trump hates silent advisors” thing, starts going after Aaron like he’s made out of ham. Aaron says Surya is great at jargon and making up ridiculous phrases and everything but ultimately he failed to bring anything creative to the table. Aimee sticks up for Surya and then keeps talking. And talking. She blinks really funny. Like, one eye at a time. Watch for it next week. Trump then dusts off the old chestnut that the team loved Surya when they won, but now that they lost they hate him. Yeah, yeah. That happens EVERY WEEK. Keen powers of observation, THE DONALD. He encourages Aimee to keep talking, nay, “keep killing.” Egh.
Trump returns to last week’s Silent Aaron issue, and Aaron defends himself by saying he would have loved a 30-second pep talk before the boardroom last week, just so he would have an idea of what to expect and what to deliver for His Royal Highness. Trump doesn’t get a chance to answer because Sean sneers, “Just to be yourself. Just be yourself, that’s all he wanted.” Thanks for the Oprah moment, Sean. Remember your spirit.
Trump calls Aimee tough, maybe a little too tough. She’s not insulted though. Glad we cleared that up. But now it’s time for the Love Connection, with our host, Donald Trump. Tim mentions that he was out on bulk sales with Nicole, at least they were trying to make bulk sales. Trump fires back “So would you fire Nicole? No? Do you think she’s a STAAAR?” At this point I’m thinking, hey, I would love to hear Frank’s opinion on this. And luckily, Frank pipes up with “ASK IF HE WOULD MARRY NICOLE!!” Trump repeats the question to Tim, and Nicole quickly laughs it off and says that they should move on. But oh no. The Donald would do anything for love. “Wait, wait, let’s get into this,” he insists. He asks if something is going on, and when Tim fesses up Trump says that if he can pull it off he might just become the apprentice. Why? Because he’d be Trump’s hero. I see.
Enough of this foolishness. Onto another kind of foolishness. Trump asks Frank for advice, and Frank shouts that Surya should be fired. Whatever. It’s time. Aaron decides to bring back Surya and Nicole, even though he doesn’t think she should be fired. Trump releases the rest of the team to “go back to your…tent. That horrible tent. That disgusting, mildewed, dirty, filthy tent.” I’m starting to get the feeling that Trump sneaks into Tent City at night and sprinkles maggots and fertilizer all over their beds and sink area while quietly laughing maniacally. Oh, who am I kidding, Trump doesn’t do anything quietly.
After the commercial Trump has Andie bring them back in. What? No behind-their-backs conferencing? I feel ripped off. He asks Nicole what she’s doing there, and before she can give an answer he informs her that Tim is smitten. Yep, he uses the word smitten. He then goes on to say that getting the Harvard guy is very easy for her, and that she shouldn’t break his heart. Watch your back, Dr. Phil! The Donald is in the zone!
But back to the heart of the matter. With this show, I’m not even sure what that is anymore. Surya defends his marketing skills. Trump asks which team he likes better, and he predictably says he prefers Kinetic. Surya and Aaron bicker for a little while. Surya says the word “absurd” about 17 times. You know what’s really absurd? Surya’s facial expressions. They’re hilarious.
Aimee goes after Aaron for not selling, but the little guy is just full of excuses. He’s hiding extra excuses in his chin dimple. Trump blames the sales, and therefore blames Aaron. And he HATES the fact that he wouldn’t pipe up in the boardroom last week. So Aaron’s fired.
Surya tries to pull the “SircanIjustsayonething” act but Trump blares “JUST GO, YOU JUST MADE IT BY THE SKIN OF YOUR ASS ANYWAY.” I don’t think that’s an expression, The Donald. So Aaron gets into the cab, leaving Surya to keep babbling on and on to poor Nicole about how irritated he is that Aaron would lie like that. They play the intense “returning from the boardroom” music that usually signifies the end of the episode, but just before the credits we get some more snippets of Surya complaining, with echoes of “skill set” and “absurd” wafting away into the night air.
I thought this was a meh episode. Not much happened, there wasn’t much drama, except for the SCANDALOUS romance, and even that is painfully boring to watch. I do enjoy Trump’s persistent meddling, though. He’s like a modern day Cupid. Thoughts? Comments? Ever been ravaged by a swarm of killer bees and/or Ladies’ Man Tim?