After last week’s roller coaster episode of The Apprentice, I suppose we were overdue for a quiet, uneventful installment. Yes – we did get some Sweeps-tastic stunts with Bradford, Rob, crazy Stacie, and anti-Semite Jen all returning to the group, but overall, tonight’s episode was rather tame. I mean, I know the idea of renovating a home is compelling television, but a) the show did this last year to more compelling effect; and b) there’s a reason why we’re not watching TLC at 9 PM on Thursdays. Besides, after watching Mischa Barton’s stunning performance on The O.C., nothing else tonight could feel as entertaining.The episode kicked off with the usual boardroom prognostications – this time courtesy of Wes and Maria who win the award for best joint hairstyle. When the entire Team Apex returned earlier than expected, there were the usual “Whoa!” reactions, followed by gabby dramatizations of the boardroom. Unfortunately, without the excitable zingers of little Stacy R. around anymore, this ritual had lost some of it’s “Oh my Gawd!” allure.
The next morning brought the always reliable call from frumpy secretary-cum-morning beagle Rhona. Kelly was the lucky man answering the phone, which is good because last week he looked about ready to beat Andy with a tire iron after the kid snatched the Rhona call for himself. Oh Rhona. Your frizzy hair and slightly bedraggled appearance have broken so many hearts!
Anyway, the teams headed to Trump’s latest real estate venture where they donned hardhats and met up with The Donald. Maria stunned all with her bright green business suit. Very pea pod chic. I particularly enjoyed seeing her in her designer coutoure being forced to wear a blue collar hard hat. There were no closeups, but I can imagine that her face was registering pure rage. If only she had a massive Little Shop of Horrors sized flower broche to balance it out!
Verdant fashion mishaps nonwithstanding, the group got down to business. Trump informed them that they would be renovating houses in Long Island (pronounced Lawnguylind) and the team which increased the property value by the highest percentage would win. Eh. I suppose this was NBC’s lame attempt to cash in on the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition craze that has swept Wisconsin. Raj and Sandy – project managers for Apex and Mosaic respectively – seemed ready to hit the streets, but there was one other little twist. Trump announced that the first four fired candidates would return to assist on the mission. That’s right – Rob (Crustacean Nation victim), Bradford (stupidity victim), Stacie (magic 8 ball victim), and Jen C. (two fat Jewish ladies victim) returned to pump up ratings – I mean, help out the teams with the plentiful manpower they provide.
With everyone feeling suitably awkward, Rob and Jen joined Mosaic while Stacy and Bradford joined Apex. This of course led to instant Jen babbling and more interestingly, a Stacie/Ivana catfight. Stacie told Ivana that she didn’t appreciate being called, you know, crazy, and Ivana said she didn’t appreciate her life being put at risk by crazy people. Now, a normal, rational person would have simply apologized to Stacie and moved on, but we sometimes forget that Ivana is a masive idiot; so instead she maintained her party line that she felt in danger when Stacie demanded people pay attention to the 8 Ball. To Ivana’s credit, she was once beaten into a coma by a black woman holding a Magic 8 Ball, and when she was little, she did have recurring nightmares of giant Magic 8 Balls rolling over her and her family, so I guess her fears were somewhat justified.
Nevertheless, Stacie and Ivana’s tiff did escalate into a fullscale shouting match – which was GREAT. In an interview, Stacie commented that her strategy upon returning would be “Don’t blow up again.” Uh, okay, so I suppose plan B is “Blow up again”?
Around this time the show cut to commercial, and when it came back, we once again received a lovely tidbit of advice from The Donald. “Control your contractor!” he bellowed. Okay, so I suppose the team with the crappy contractor will be losing this one. Thanks for the spoiler, Trump. Jerk.
Anyway, teams began the renovations to their houses with little or no drama. Raj had the brilliant idea of turning a four bedroom house into a three bedroom house. You see, what’s great about it is, uh, three is a prime number! And, uh, there’s more space – so you can sell it for less! Wait, no, that’s not it either. Okay, it was an absolutely retarded decision. Still, he was happy with it and quickly got to work taking down a wall — with his body. It was sort of like watching playdough getting thrown at a trampoline, except less funny. Inspired by this human wrecking ball performance, Ivana chimed in with “Can I try?” NO, YOU CAN’T. This wall is for Raj only! Actually, there were no objections and soon Ivana hurled herself against the drywall and nearly separated her shoulder. I’m sure Stacie relished the moment as she no doubt has been fantasizing about slamming Ivana into a wall for some time now.
Over on team Cohesive – aka Mosaic – Rob was working a mile a minute (is that a mixed metaphor?) in an effort to prove himself. He just wants people to see that he’s a hard worker and a team player, he said. Uh, you know you got fired like nine weeks ago, right? Just making sure. Elsewhere in his group, Sandy was bawling in the rain about her contractor’s shitty performance (don’t worry – we haven’t even gotten to Raj’s contractor). Luckily for her, the local mafioso learned that TV cameras were in the ‘hood and within minutes, a whole crime family was tending to the house. Literally, Sandy’s team had nothing to do except not witness things. I was surprised the cigar chomping landscaper didn’t quietly offload a government witness into the flowerbed.
Unfortunately for Raj, he had no local Sopranos rejects to help him out. Instead, he had Carlos, a blank-faced contractor who came recommended from Kevin’s friend. The group quietly agreed to employ Carlos, but after the fact, the story became that Kevin forced him on them. Always blaming it on the black man. For shame. Anyway, Carlos turned out to be a dud of a contractor and with just two hours left, he still hadn’t put together the upstairs bathroom. When Raj pressured Carlos’s workers to get moving, they just gave him smug looks and said they’d be on it after they finished their tacos. What is it with people and their tacos on this show? Can’t anybody do anything without a taco?
Apparently not. By the time the appraisers came to Raj’s house, the property was a disaster. Paint and dirt had been smudged over the staircase, tools were sitting out in the open, and the new giant bedroom looked unfinished. As for that pesky bathroom? Well, it did have a toilet, sink, and shower – just uninstalled and ugly looking. Raj tried to smooth things over by saying that their goal was to let the homeowners project their visions onto the house, but apparently that vision extends to installing toilets and plumbing.
It really was therefore no surprise when Sandy’s team handily beat Raj’s at the end of the day. Mosaic’s reward? A trip to Denise Rich’s house in the Hamptons. Sadly, the Clintons were not hanging around the estate that day, but I think we can all say that the $48 million dollars her husband stole from the government went to good use! Of course, none of the Mosaic-ites seemed to have any clue of the government scandal surrounding them as they were happy enough to just be up in a helicopter. As he viewed NYC from the chopper, Wes exclaimed: “It gives you a taste of what it’s like to be Donald Trump.” Uh, does Trump have superpower flying abilities? My personal reaction would have been “It gives you a taste of what it’s like to be a traffic reporter.”
Upon arrival at the Hamptons, Denise Rich greeted everyone with her signature toothy smile and giant coif. Then she basically told them to walk around and get out of her hair (which, as previously mentioned, was voluminous). It was a lovely day at the Rich Estate (which is formally known as Weeping Willows or Spring Meadow or Dirty Sanchez – I forget). Maria busted out her va-va-vavoom hot pink bikini while Jen convinced us that she might be better off on The Biggest Loser. It was the bestest day evah!
Not feeling the sunshine though was Ivana, who back in NYC was shocked to learn she was going to be the latest non-performance based scapegoat. Yeah, how could they do that to her? That’s like totally unfair! She’s the only one who’s allowed to jump on the bandwagon and rail someone off the show! Alas, Ivana entered cornered cat mode and hissed her way down to the boardroom where Team Apex met with a surprisingly tuxedoed Trump – another boardroom FIRST!
Anyway, despite Raj taking full accountability for the team’s errors, the accusations towards Kevin started flying. Everyone accused him of picking a crappy contractor, going so far as to say “Kevin was in LOVE with the contractor.” Okay, we know that’s not true. Just because Kevin wrote a little poem for the guy and just because Kevin drew “Kevin + Carlos 4 Ever” in wet cement does not mean that he’s in love! Just mildly infatuated.
At one point Trump took a moment to commend Stacie on her solid performance, to which everyone agreed. Except, of course, Ivana who took the opportunity to take another unnecessarily swipe. “Why you so nasty??” Donald asked, following up with “Don’t put Stacie on blast! Girl, you betta slow yo’ roll, mmkay? I said my name is Starquisha! It’s my birthday! It’s my birthday!”
After some more genial banter with Bradford and Stacie, Trump dismissed them, and smiles were had by all, even Carolyn who had a look on her face that seemed to say “It feels like Christmas today!” But then Chris opened his mouth to say that the team chemistry was bad, and Carolyn’s happy go lucky mood changed to pure disdain and she snapped “Don’t tell me about it. Fix it!” Gulp.
Anyway, Raj chose to return to the boardroom with Ivana and Kevin, and as they shuffled back in, superstar Robin gave a forelorn look as if to say “Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.” Oh, but don’t you worry Robin. Your spotlight will come soon – like in two minutes. You see, the boardroom didn’t go so well for Raj. Trump drilled him on all the mistakes he had made, and Raj became increasingly flustered, sort of like Maria on a bad flower day. In the end, even though Kevin definitely screwed up, Trump dropped the ax on Raj, thus ending his overlong performance as Mr. Dapper. As he waited for his elevator to take him down to the street, he of course asked Robin for her number (bad news Raj, we still don’t believe that you’re a ladies man), and Robin, with this sudden attention lavished on her took the chance to make an impression. Well, actually she just giggled and said “uh”. Brilliant!
I would have to say this episode was fairly lackluster. Y’all don’t know how hard it was for me to write this post today. There was almost no material to work with. Not even Maria did anything of note. Oh well. There’s always next week, and the next boardroom FIRST!