So after a week off because of some big awards show, The Apprentice is back this week. And better than ever, I would argue. Special guest stars, surprise firings, and an appearance by Squidward! What more could we ask for? If only there were a rap song encapsulating the whole experience…
We begin this week with a replay of Aimee getting fired and mouthing off to her teammates as she got in the limo. Hey do you smell that? Smells like SOUR GRAPES. Team Kinetic is ecstatic to see Derek and Jenn returning without Aimee, since, as Derek so delicately puts it, she was a piece of “riff-raff”. Being a fan of that word myself, I immediately give some extra points to Derek. Plus, he does a very dramatic reenactment of Aimee’s departure, complete with glamor shots. Love it. Jenn informs her team that she is willing to step up and lead the team to victory. Derek informs us, via voiceover, that since Jenn is the last piece of riff-raff that he’d like to see gone, he’s pretty happy about this development. Regardless of how she performs in the task, he’s going to be gunning for her. More points for Derek, for the usage of spite as a tactic.
Meanwhile, over at Arrow, the boys are complaining about how they did all the work but Surya, the useless PM, got all the credit. “He’s like that kid in the playground that wants to be accepted by everyone but just isn’t,” blares Frank. He and Tim and James plan out a possible coup. This is all so exciting I almost just fell out of my chair. But I didn’t. Please, no phone calls, I’m fine.
Trump meets the candidates the next morning. With him is…Squidward! That’s right, Randall has been unearthed from his zombie realm to judge a challenge. This should be interesting. I bet he just shoots down every single candidate, declaring that none of them are fit to be The Donald’s Apprentice. IT’S APPRENTICE, NOT APPRENTI, he’ll yell. I can’t wait. Trump informs everyone that they’re standing at Rodeo Drive, one of the most luxurious shopping places in the world, so this week’s theme is luxury. This really strikes a personal chord with me, since luxury is one of my favorite things. That and classiness.
“I’m mildly interested in this.”
He introduces them to two bland Lexus executives (that’s hard to say out loud). They announce the task: to create a special owner experience for a group of preferred guests to introduce the new Lexus LS460. I have no idea what that means, but it definitely sounds like something these teams can screw up real good, so I’m excited. Each team gets $50,000 in seed money, and when the event is over, the guests will take a survey, so the highest customer satisfaction score will win. He sends them off to…I really don’t know. If I got those very same instructions I think I’d just pocket the money and head on over to the nearest bar and/or mini golf course.
Luckily for Kinetic, this week’s challenge involves chimpanzee impressions.
Kinetic comes up with the theme of “Sixth Sense of Luxury”. Nice work and all, but they also have to create some events that will go along with this. Angela, in charge of marketing, does a lot of umming (through the magic of editing, I’m sure) and ultimately says she doesn’t know. After THREE HOURS of deliberating and no ideas, they finally settle on go-kart races. Kristine points out that they’re trying to convey luxury here, and that go-kart racing sort of destroys that entire notion. Jenn presses on, insisting that for a last minute decision it’s not bad, since it has to do with driving. Why not just set up a soapbox derby? It has to do with driving! And luxury!
Heidi and Muna are sent off to do some product research. They get into a car with a tech consultant to help them learn the vehicle. I think Heidi and Muna must have misunderstood the point of this, as they started rattling off simple driving test reminders, like “put into gear” and “check the mirrors”. They also asked some pretty difficult questions, like “What is this made of?” (the answer: wood), and “You just press ‘trunk’?” The poor tech guy looked like he was giving some pretty serious consideration to running in front of a passing freight train. Heidi of course attributed all this nonsense to the fact that she and Muna are very detailed, but by the end I really think they were just waiting for the guy to tell them they had passed and gotten their licenses.
“Please end my life immediately.”
Over at the Arrow Brain Trust, the team is brainstorming. Surya, meanwhile, is writing a novel on the dry erase board. The rest of the team mock him behind his back, saying that they’ll just get done what they need to get done, and he can just keep writing while they work. And as far as what we get to see, that’s exactly what happened (hi editors!). Tim and Nicole, meanwhile, are acting all stupid and in love, which irks James, who says that they’re going soft. Huh, I wasn’t aware that Tim suffered from that particular affliction. *The More You Know*
Derek and Angela are working with the graphic designer, who can’t guarantee that he’ll be able to get everything done in the next five hours. Great. Angela, who is in charge of marketing, keeps running everything by Derek, who has become totally exasperated with everything. Of course, they miss the deadline, and Derek is going to make damn sure that Mr. Trump knows that HIS portion of the work was done way ahead of time. So Angela’s screwed. We get it.
“I”m built like a Mack Truck!”
The next morning, Stefani and Frank leave the house early to start to get things set up. Stefani says that Surya is still…I’m really hoping she says he’s still writing shit down on the board…but no, he’s still at the house, along with Tim, Nicole, and James. But he is by no means idle, as he goes from room to room, surveying his teammates about whether or not his tie “screams Lexus”. In my opinion, the tie is screaming “I’M GAY!”, but they all agree with the Lexus thing, so that’s cool too. I suspect they’re just trying to shut him up. Way to dream that impossible dream, kids.
Over on Team Kinetic, Kristine is starting to set up the tent. Sure enough, not all of the signs arrive on time, because of the missed deadline, so they have to end up cutting them in half. Or something. Derek is understandably pissed, and Jenn agrees that the situation sucks. I agree. See you in the boardroom!
“Get back in your cage!”
We then cut over to Team Arrow, amidst a flurry of harpsichord music. Luxury! Surya admits that he’s flying a little blind, since he didn’t handle any of the logistics of the task or, you know, anything else at all. Stefani takes us through the luxurious food, which includes “seared ahi” and “beautifully appointed buffet tables”. Who talks like this? Tim and Nicole are taking people through the features of the vehicle when uh oh! It stops working completely, because they ran out the battery. The disappointed people are left standing around with no car features to play with and nothing to do, except perhaps comment on the beautifully appointed buffet tables.
“Do my manboobs excite you?”
Jenn, over on Team Kinetic, explains that she’s a PR and event planner by profession, and this is still the hardest thing she’s ever done. To be fair, the only other events she’s ever organized were tea parties featuring her Easy Bake Oven, so let’s cut her a little slack. She doesn’t really have a speech prepared, so she decides to wing it. This is a bad decision. She can’t see the television screens, so she can’t follow along with the program, and basically just ends up flipping through her papers and stuttering like an idiot. Her teammates all exchange horrified glances.
Cut to a hilariously ridiculous montage of go-kart “racing”. Basically these go-karts max out at a speed of 7mph, and Randall is not impressed. Jenn insists that these antics entertained “about half the people”. Well, why didn’t you say so? We’ve got a winner right here! As exciting as mini-NASCAR is, the real fun is actually taking place inside the tent, where the illusionist has shown up. I remember back in the brainstorming session Derek had mentioned something about a magician, but I had forgotten all about it. So imagine my delight when this freakshow appeared and proceeded to destroy his sterling reputation by totally sucking on national television. Smell ya later, homes.
See, this is what happens when you invite the homeless to your Lexus event.
Kinetic, on the other hand, has the brilliant idea of letting the people drive THE ACTUAL LEXUS. What? No go-karts? What is this madness?! The customers are delighted and really enjoy driving it through the little test course that James had set up. And sweet merciful crap, the car can park itself. IT CAN PARK ITSELF. I’m not exactly a car person, so I was unaware of the fact that vehicles have been evolving and are now slightly more intelligent than your average nine-year-old, so imagine my excitement upon discovering this. I think I’m going to run out and pick up one of these Lexus doohickeys first thing tomorrow.
Boardroom time! Trump asks how the task went, and both PMs gloat about how wonderful their teams were. Whatever. Trump points out YET AGAIN how lovely it is that Tim and Nicole have found love. I’m almost certain he’s going to insist on officiating the wedding. Randall reads the results. Arrow got a lot of positive reviews and an overall score of 94 out of 100. Kinetic got a lot of crap reviews and a score of 84. Arrow wins! “No thanks to Surya,” every team member thinks to themselves. Except for Surya, who thinks “I can’t wait to tell my dry erase markers about this!”
And here comes the belly laugh of the night. Trump lets loose with: “After creating a great promotional campaign for Lexus, you’ll get to do something with a really good friend of mine. You know who Snoop Dogg is?” I literally do a spit take. There is whiskey, er, water all over my television screen. And it gets even better. IT’S A SONG REWARD!!! There is very little in life that brings me more joy than watching Apprentice candidates write songs. Need I remind you of The Rubble Man? FREEEAKIN’! Totally snubbed at the Grammys, but a classic nonetheless. Trump goes on to rave about how wonderful Snoop Dogg is, ending with “F’shizzle.” I am actually speechless.
Back at the mansion, the scheming begins. Derek decides to try and convince the whole team to go after Jenn. Whatever. I can’t feign interest in your team while the other one is “songwriting” with Snoop Dogg. Later, losers. I’m gonna go make some popcorn and watch the musical magic happen.
Arrow walks into the recording studio in awe. Surya, in voiceover, informs us that this is extra special for him because he’s been a Snoop Dogg fan ever since he was a kid. Could there be a new Rubble Man in the house? Snoop singles out James and asks him to freestyle, which he proceeds to do HORRIBLY. Snoop’s posse can’t believe they’re being subjected to this. Frank, cigar in hand, decides to take a crack at it as well, and fails just as miserably. I’m on the floor, of course, because watching these two try to rap is the best thing that’s happened to me all week, perhaps all year. Surya, meanwhile, “stood against the wall like an idiot,” says Stefani. For some reason, he just doesn’t want to play with the other kids…it’s just like Frank said at the beginning of the episode!! Cosmic.
“Please don’t eat me.”
Back at Tent City, the other team is like, so. Snoop Dogg, huh. *Cough*
Arrow finishes up the “song” and thanks Snoop Dogg for everything. He wishes them the best of luck and says that the sky is the limit. Seems like a nice guy. Nicole tells us that “everything that Arrow Corp. is, was defined in that song.” So, did you title it “Mediocre Businesspeople With A Rhythm Problem”?
“Fire my agent!”
Jenn and Angela talk smack about each other in Tent City, but not a whole lot of time is wasted on this. I’m thinking at this point that they’re both going, since A DOUBLE FIRING is what NBC has been promoting for the past two weeks, and both girls royally sucked. Meanwhile, Trump is in his office with the bland execs, who reiterate the fact that go-karts aren’t exactly what they’re looking for to promote a luxury vehicle. Trump asks if there were any stars (a word he’s been dropping a lot this season), and they point out Heidi and Muna. Yeah, if by stars you mean OCD Poster Girls.
Kinetic files into the boardroom and Trump enters, asking what happened. Jenn says she’s genuinely surprised that they lost. You do recall the fact that you totally choked in front of the audience, right Jenn? Randall points out that the other team had more signage, more LCD screens, and balloons. Randall LOVES balloons. Almost as much as he loves megaphones. Jenn doesn’t place the blame squarely on anyone. Trump asks who was in charge of the signage, and Derek pipes up and starts trying to explain himself, saying that he did the best he could in the time that he had and under the conditions he was in. I understand. It’s hard to create decent signs when you’re taking a power drill to the shoulder. Oh wait, Derek’s conditions only consisted of mild frustration caused by his teammate. My mistake.
“I like belts.”
Derek insists that he tried to insert luxury into the signs, which leads to a discussion on how the team put together the customer experience and how go-karts didn’t fit into the theme of luxury even a little bit. Trump randomly asks Derek if he can even fit into a go-kart. Huh? Derek explains that he just threw it out there, and didn’t think about how Lexus consumers might not be fans of that, since he would enjoy it because “I’m white trash!” WELL. Trump goes after him like a badly toupeed hawk, asking if he goes around calling himself that. Derek kind of backpedals and says that it was a joke, but Trump blares that that’s “a pretty stinkin’ statement”. “You think I wanna hire someone that’s white trash? I don’t like it as a joke. You know what? You’re fired. I think that’s so stupid for you to say. You’re fired.” WOW. A firing so nice he said it twice. Derek happily says okay and leaves, noting afterwards that he knew he was going down so he decided to leave as a smartass. Um, okay? You win?
God don’t make no trash!
The girls are still in the boardroom, kissing ass and agreeing with Trump’s firing. All smiles until he says oh, by the way, I still have to fire someone. You know, someone who actually had something to do with losing the task. Heidi and Muna are singled out at doing an excellent job with product knowledge. They both say that Jenn should be fired, both because she didn’t convey the theme of luxury and because she totally screwed up the presentation. Trump asks her what happened with the speech and she explains about the glare, but even a rational explanation doesn’t keep Trump from calling her “a stumbling idiot”. My my, The Donald is in fine form tonight.
Next the blame falls on Angela, who was partly in charge of the creative aspect and also failed to convey luxury. She admits that she and Derek didn’t do a very good job but then turns right back around on the go-kart idea. It is established that everyone hated that idea, but Jenn decided to go with it because it was all they had. Ugh, this is painful. It’s time to drag Surya into this. Trump snaps at him for not saying anything, so Surya better watch out for the Curse of the Chin Donut. He asks Jenn what she felt the go-karts added. Nice work, Surya. That’s one for the ole wipe board.
Trump surveys the team, who all feel that Jenn should be fired. Randall tries to say something but The Donald subdues him with his TrumpTaser. He asks who Jenn will be bringing back, and when she asks if he could possibly just leave it at Derek being fired, he shoots this down immediately and yells at her for making the final decision on the go-karts. Randall interrupts yet again and Trump shoots him down YET AGAIN! It’s awesome. Randall looks like a hurt little puppy dog. I’d love to get a more in-depth update on how this apprenticeship is going. I imagine it involves a lot of beatings.
Stew in your shame, Randall.
More squabbling. Trump says that Jenn’s team doesn’t respect her, and is about to fire her when she interrupts him to make sure that that’s not true. She does a quick survey of her team, and they say that yes, they do respect her. Great. Now that that’s taken care of, Trump fires her. She totally takes it with a smile and says she felt it coming, and genuinely says that the whole thing was a lot of fun and thanks him for everything. Aw. That girl ain’t so bad. Outside, the girls all do a little Oprah hug and say goodbye, saving the eye-gouging for another day.
“I love getting fired!”
So, I admit that this season of The Apprentice has been pretty crappy thus far. Until now. I don’t know about anyone else, but I luurved this episode and thought it was really damn entertaining. Best reward ever, and strangest duel firings ever. I actually liked Derek, thought for sure he would make it to at least the final four, and Jenn seemed pretty well-spoken and sensible too, all things considered. Shows what I know. Thoughts? Comments? Ever made love to a wipe board under the cool glow of a fluorescent light?