It’s that time again. Time for the home renovation episode of The Apprentice. In season one, teams had to spiffy up an apartment. Then last year, it was a whole house. Well, what next? How about Extreme Makeover: Wood Panelling Edition? That’s pretty much what we got with this super-sized episode of Trump-mania. The Donald & Co. outdid themselves as each team was assigned the gargantuan task of renovating and running a motel on the Jersey Shoreline. Wow, that sounds like a short-order for chaos. Something tells me Trump approved this mission simply so he could snip “You’re a disaster” a few more times.Like any good Apprentice episode, last night’s show kicked off with the usual predictions of who would be returning from the boardroom. Did I mention that these guesses are always wrong? Mark Burnett just loves making these young professionals look like absolute morons. This week’s idiot in the spotlight was Bren (which is short for Brent, but long for Ben) who surmised that Danny would be taking the long cab ride home (or at least to Starbucks for a gig). Of course, Bren was way off as Danny marched right back into the suite with fellow survivor Alex. The loft burst into jubilee, with many of the women screeching “AhhhHHHH!!!!” Why were they so excited? Did they not expect to see anyone come back? I can just imagine Tana pulling Erin aside and saying “I thought if you get brought back to the boardroom, they shoot you in the head.” To which Erin, of course, would say “Stop touching my bathroom rug.”
Knowing that he had just barely snuck by, Danny knew it was time to ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh oooh Get a New Attitude! The next morning, he dressed like Patti LaBelle. Wait, no. That’s not right. Okay, no more singing during posts. Anyway, Danny did wake up early to hit the treadmill and then later don a sharp power suit. Va va va voom! Sorry Rhona. Looks like we got a new Swan on our hands.
Moments later, we rejoined Donald Trump who was ever so spontaneously perambulating through the lobby of his hotel. He paused to sign an autograph and â€”Â wait, no. That’s not a fan. That’s a worker. “How’s business?” he asked. This is our best year ever, chirped the woman who may very well have been Mary Lou Retton’s long lost cousin. “You better have your best year ever!” Donald responded. Wow, that was pretty rough Donald. She’s only the valet.
After this little completely unscripted interchange, Trump addressed the groups. Net Worth and Magna were to take over two motels over the next two days. They’d be given a budget of $20,000 to renovate and run the business. Guests would arrive on the second day, stay over night, participate in a few drug stings, maybe kill a hooker and dispose of it, and then finally fill out a survey on Yahoo! Local.
Brian, the short bowling ball of Net Worth, volunteered to be project manager. Why? “I’m in ‘real estate’” he said, (skeptical quotes added by me). Brian also has experience in “waste management”, “construction” and “racketeering” – uh – I mean, “badminton”. Amazingly enough, former pro-wrestler Chyna was not so happy with Brian’s position as leader. Oh wait. Did I say Chyna? I meant Kristen. The two of them could be sisters. Or brothers. Or… tranny-doubles. It’s just odd, okay? And as long as I’m piping up about similarities, did anyone else notice Brian’s uncanny resemblance to Goombas, the Super Mario Bros. bad guys? Honestly, there was no pun intended.
Net Worth eventually arrived at their motel in Seaside Height, NJ. “It’s so cuuuute!” purred the girls. Yay! Awnings! That enthusiasm quickly died down as the team explored the various motel rooms. People immediately ranked all the detractions of the property: there was mildew, there were funky odors, dirty carpets, nasty walls, and bugs in the sink. But what no one seemed to give a rat’s ass about was that there were NO BEDS! Mmm yeah. Sort of an important, nay, essential part of any guest’s overnight stay.
Completely repulsed by the motel, Audrey immediately arranged for a dumpster to come by so everyone could toss anything that looked bug-ridden, pee-stained, or dead-hookerish. Chyna, er, Kristen piped up to suggest Brian create a budget before renting out a dumpster, but the spherical PM rejected the idea. The dumpster is life! What was Kristen to do except lick her wounds and unleash some clumsy passive aggressiveness: “I don’t do business that way,” she stated, “but that’s fine.” In fact, she was so fine with it that she repeated the line over and over again. “I don’t do business that way, but that’s fine.” “I’ve had a lot of experience with this, but that’s fine.” “You are a huge idiot and I hate you and I think you’re worthless and you’re going to screw up this entire challenge… but that’s fine.”
With Net Worth off to a stellar start, we cut away for commercial and then returned to The Donald preaching about how leaders must earn respect. This ideal was personified by none other than Annika Sorenstam. Huh? Yeah, I don’t get it either. As The Donald babbled from his golden throne, we watched footage of him hitting the links with Ms. Sorenstam. “Nice shot,” he said in his signature drawl. Yes, Mr. Trump. She IS a professional.
Anyway, this non sequitur of a segment gave way to team Magna arriving at its motel for the first time. Under the aegis of project manager Michael, the college grads had a startlingly similar reaction to the motel as Net Worth had to theirs: “It so cute!!!” Okay, let’s get one thing straight. Motels are not cute. Especially ones in Jersey. They can be retro, they can be cool, they can be quaint, but they are never cute. Unless it’s like a puppy motel. In that case, they’re just darling!
Of course, the enthusiasm came to a halt as everyone toured the premises. Funny how some roaches and water stains can really ruin a motel’s cute level. Fashionista Erin immediately balked at her surroundings, especially when she found out about the mold in the bathroom. She suddenly let out a blood curdling scream of “MOLD!?!?!!” and then swooned into the arms of the nearest gentleman. I mean, mold is gross and everything, but what’s the big deal? Then again, this is a woman who passes off bathroom accessories as fashion. Mold is to Erin what red wine is to a bride.
Elsewhere, a tense battle erupted between Joey Buttafuoco and Robin Quivers. Oh shit, that’s just Michael and Verna. Honestly, what’s up with the C-list dopplegangers? It’s confusing me. Anyway, Michael wanted Verna to help renovate rooms. Verna wanted to focus on customer service. Yawn. In the end, Verna wound up painting walls with her purse bag strapped around her back. A little cumbersome, yes? Apparently she wanted to tote around her luggage as well, but Michael vetoed that. Wow, those crazy black Apprentice women!
Over at Net Worth, master logician Brian felt the need to uproot 18 perfectly fine toilets. Some might call the move “rash” or “idiotic” or “indicative of little intellectual fortitude”, but Brian felt very comfortable with his decision. Never mind that the rooms still had no beds, at least the guests’ poop would flush nicely. Meanwhile, at Target, the ladies shopped around for room accessories. Tana nearly had an orgasm when she found a dowdy bathroom rug on sale. Unlike Erin, however, she did not try to wear it.
Later that night, or actually, early the next morning – 3:15 AM – Brian and John had a heart to heart. John basically just wanted to say Hey, you’re a total screw up. “Soften your tone.” Brian then revealed that “Sometimes I say something I probably shouldn’t.” Oh really? Like what? “Get me 18 toilets”? Amazingly, no twinkling Vanessa Carleton piano chimed in to highlight Brian’s plight as a loud speaker. I guess that’s because this tender moment soon morphed into a macho fight, courtesy of Brian. “Donald Trump is exactly the same person as I am!” he insisted. So Trump’s a complete idiot? I don’t follow. John merely countered with “You’re a silly little man,” which was incredibly funny to me, only because I couldn’t help but imagine John dressed like an extra from “Amadeus” when he said that.
The next morning, Brian finally realized that beds were uber important. Unfortunately, he kinda, sorta spent all his money on toilets and viking hats. Immediately sparks flew as Kristen berated her project manager for completely ignoring her warnings the day before. There was a whole lot of shouting, finger pointing, and bleeps. Tara (not to be confused with Tana) chimed in by saying the team betta recognize. Well, she had more to say than that, but I stopped listening after i heard “betta recognize”.
Over at Magna, Carolyn stopped by to check out how things were going. She immediately pointed out the dangerous wiring, the drying paint, the lack of beds, and the general shabby appearance of the rooms. “I don’t think they’re gonna do very well,” she said. No shit Sherlock. Why don’t you try renovating a motel in 24 hours? George, meanwhile, chatted it up with Brian who babbled on about carpeting and how his team hates him. “You know, when I worked in a soda jerk…” started George. Oy vey. Maybe Brian should have spent less time with George, and more time distributing scissors because his team refused to take the new mattresses out of their plastic wrapping. Yes, they actually made the beds with plastic on the mattresses. These people are idiots.
Eventually the guests all rolled in. I don’t know why anyone would agree to stay the night; so I’m just going to theorize that NBC paid them off. Danny had the inspired idea of creating a party-like environment at the motel. Soon enough, everyone was hanging out on the veranda, shooting the shit. The candidates all laughed and mingled with the guests, joking about how the paint’s still drying in most of the rooms. Ah shabbiness: always a fan favorite. My favorite was one thickheaded customer who exclaimed “So that’s why our room smells like paint!” No. It’s because they used Benjamin Moore air freshener. You should smell their shellac and polyurethane odors! They come in scented candles!
Meanwhile, downstairs, a fat man cannonballed into the pool. Damn! This partay has officially started. Holla! Corona Lights in the fridge, fat people in the pool, and good times in the air. This can only mean one thing: Kokomo! Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take ya…
Not feeling festive though was Verna who paced nervously around the check in desk. Somebody’s tiyad. And cranky. And borderline needing another swipe of deodorant. Over at Net Worth’s check in, however, Tana was holding down the fort with her aggressively perky demeanor. She happily described the motel’s amenities, which, unfortunately, did not include her breasts. Outside, Kristen and Brian began fighting again, but luckily Audrey came by to regulate. She and Angela hauled Kristen into a parked van where they beat her and later dumped her body near the Meadowlands. Actually, no, they did go to a van, but instead of inflicting bodily harm, Audrey and Angela endured Kristen as she kept rambling and rambling (sort of like my posts). A & A requested silence, for the love of God, silence. But Kristen just kept babbling. Please, be quiet. Be quiet. BE QUIET YOU STUPID BITCH. Kristen did a little “You can’t talk to me that way,” prompting Angela to yell back “Honey, shut the f-ck up! How about if I talk to you THAT way?” By the way, Angela may have an eerie predisposition for neck scarves, but wow. She’s awesome now.
The next morning at Magna, two middle aged Jersey women who I’ll name Doreen and Joyce DiAntonucci checked out. But where was the complimentary continental breakfast? Verrrrrrrrnaaaaaa! Well, don’t ask her because she was D-O-N-E DONE. Yes, after a night of stress and intense pressure, Verna decided to call it quits. This meant ambling through the streets of Seaside Heights in a paint-fumes induced haze. Honestly, why did she rove around the town? Why not hail a cab? As she headed to the boardwalk, I feared she’d fall into a life of drugs and prostitution. I kind of wished Mark Burnett had switched to a gritty filter and a shaky cam during this sequence. Maybe even play Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets of Philadelphia”, except, you know, alter the lyrics to “Streets of Seaside Heights.”
Back at the motel, Magna was a flutter with gossip. Erin and Alex â€”Â fresh from a quick cologne spritzing â€”Â took this impasse as a time to bash Verna’s character. During an interview, Erin even revealed her new look. So long bath rug, hello shower curtain! Carolyn showed up, and upon hearing of a wounded soul traversing the Jersey shoreline, she hopped in her sensible vehicle and tracked down Verna. “I trailed her,” Carolyn said. “She was wandering around aimlessly.” Wow, Verna really descended quickly. By the time Carolyn found her, all of Verna’s clothes were tattered and she’d contracted tuberculosis. Luckily, everyone likes a happy ending, and Verna was brought back from the edge. Yay! We love you Verna! Welcome back! You realize we’re going to fire you the first chance we get, right?
Okay, so let’s get this recap out of the motels already, right? When the challenge was done, everyone reconvened in the boardroom to hear the results. Ultimately Magna defeated Net Worth with a star rating of 3.96 to 2.92. Their reward? Dinner on Steve Forbes’s yacht! The team erupted with joy and high fives. Awww shit. Steve Forbes. Oh, wait. Steve Forbes?? I thought you said 50 Cent. Man, this sucks.
At the reward, Bren stood in awe of the boat. “His [Forbes'] yacht is bigger than my house!” he exclaimed. To be fair, Bren lives in a mobile home. Steve-O eventually arrived, imparted advice, and handed out cigars. As Stephanie chomped on a stogie, we saw her dramatically age from 29 to 43. See for yourself:
Stephanie at 29
Stephanie at 43
Anyway, Forbe-fest continued with Kendra babbling on about how wonderful Steve Forbes was and how much he represents this and that and how classy he is and blah blah blah. Kendra then yelled “I LOVE YOU STEVE FORBES!” and flashed her titties. The segment ended with some faux-Enya playing as Forbes flew off in a helicopter. Wow, he is so godly. Behold the ethereal music as he ascends to the heavens. Rahhhhhh!!!!
Meanwhile, having a less Enya-worthy evening was Team Net Worth. The guys tried to give Brian some sort of strategy for the boardroom, but the discussion quickly devolved into John yelling “You f-cked up! You f-cked up!” Oh man. These street smarts kids. They’re gonna be fun in the boardroom…
Sure enough, Net Worth did not disappoint. First Brian was a complete jackass. He tried to take full responsibility, even saying that he should be fired. Trump paused, then laughed â€”Â saying he’d never been put in this position before. Come on Brian. The Board Room can’t be that short. The Donald managed to get the fireworks going though as a few provocative questions made Brian’s cheeks grow red with Napoleonic fury. Angela, meanwhile, sat to the side and served as a mute Greek chorus as her head nodded and shook with each opinion she agreed with.
Brian, meanwhile, began cursing up a storm, somehow using the logic that since this was the first time he’d cursed, he therefore was somehow an effective leader? I don’t know. A tarted-up Carolyn was not amused though as she leveled him with the icy “I would suggest you don’t do it in this board room.”
Brian continued to dig a hole for himself, but for some unknown reason, some angry dude named Chris piped up and started blowing hot air about something. Huh? Who IS this guy? Where did he come from? Surprisingly enough, the one time Angela stopped nodding her head was to recommend that Chris be fired. Huh? What is going ON? Next thing you know, Tana’s going to accuse Tara of murder. Thankfully The Donald was there to keep it real. “This team is a total disaster,” he said. It’s my new favorite tag line.
With his gumption back, as Trump said, Brian suddenly challenged the room by asking “Does a leader give up?” He then added “Are you not entertained???” Of course Trump reminded the little guy that he had in fact given up right in the first few seconds of the board room. Oh yeah. Um… Good point.
So the inevitable happened. Trump fired Brian before he could even return to the Board Room with two other people. Afterwards, Carolyn said Brian was a “waste of time.” Trump concurred, saying he had a complete “lack of judgment.” They then toasted champagne flutes and laughed “Idiot…” In the cab, Brian had a few words to say and then mostly stared out the window silently. Hmm… This is incredibly awkward. Uh, can we speed up these credits? Please?
Man this episode was long. What did you think?