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The Apprentice 1 - Episode 7 Summary

'Chump Change II' By AyaK
Original Airdate: February 19, 2004

Previously on The Apprentice::

Episode 6: In the most boring episode so far, the Chumps are forced to rely on star power and NBC’s desire to cross-promote its shows (from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy to Last Call with Carson Daly) to solicit contributions to a charity auction. In a series of totally real, not at all fake “negotiations,” each team ended up with some great prizes, and the bidding ended up as a close battle won (through sheer luck) by VersaCorp, with no management lessons in the entire show except that luck always plays a role in business success. In the boardroom, the episode turns into a repeat of Episode 5, as project manager Omarosa and Heidi (both for the second time) and Jessie face the firing squad. Trump berates Omarosa as “repulsive” and “rude,” but, like Kristi before her, Jessie gets the axe for not standing up for herself in the face of Omarosa’s blistering (albeit stupid) insults.

And so…

Part I: The Ultimate Product Placement

The suite door opens, and the Chumps eagerly look to see if Osama-rosa had been returned to al-Queda. Heidi comes in and gets mobbed. But then … Omarosa returns, to stunned silence and a few angry glares. Then the sniping begins. Osama-rosa says that “it got hot, but I’m here.” Not for long, b-tch, now that Heidi’s told everyone how to deal with you in the boardroom: since Trump clearly hates you, all that’s required to send your butt back to Bill Clintonville is to respond naturally to your angry but loony diatribes.

Heidi tells all because she’s angry that Oafarosa called her “unclassy and unprofessional.” Heidi tells us this in a confessional in which she’s dressed like a $25 hooker. (No, I don’t know what a $25 hooker dresses like, but if I were ever looking for one, I’d look for someone dressed like Heidi is here, OK?) Yep, that’s a classy look … on the street corner at 3 AM, maybe.

Morning. The phone rings. Amy answers it in her pajamas. The Chumps are told to meet The Donald at Trump Park Avenue at 9 AM. They do. It’s a construction site, with “Open Spring 2003” posted all over it. Uh, just when was this show filmed again?

OK, since this next bit is simply a product placement for all the unsold condo units in Trump Park Avenue, I might as well address the whole project. Trump Park Avenue is the old Delmonico Hotel — yes, as in the legendary Delmonico Restaurant, the place which created “Chicken a la King,” “Eggs Benedict,” “Lobster Newburg” and the “Delmonico Strip Steak” (now more commonly known as a “New York strip steak”) in the 1800s. The Delmonico moved into this building, located at Park Ave. and 59th St., on October 1, 1929 … and folded shortly thereafter, when the stock market collapsed at the end of the month and wiped out many of its clients. Certainly a great ad for the building, isn’t it?

Since then, the Hotel Delmonico survived as a faded relic of Old Manhattan. Ed Sullivan, the newspaper columnist turned TV star, lived there for years ... but his show ended in 1971 and he’s been dead since 1974. Trump bought the faded building, which is just a couple of blocks from Central Park after all, for $115 million in 2001 and spent at least $70 million renovating it. From his own figures at the time, he hoped to make $487 million selling units at prices ranging from $835,000 (for lower-floor efficiencies) to $30-35 million (for the 6000+ sq. ft. penthouse). But expensive housing ($5 million and up) isn’t selling in Manhattan right now, and Trump even has some renters living in the place. How nice of NBC to provide The Donald with a nice free plug in his bid to unload the big-ticket condos (all the condos on the top 13 floors start at $12 million).

The whole scene with the Chumps is a plug as blatant as all the Coors served in The Restaurant … albeit just a little pricier. The “contractor” tells Trump how well the work is going, and Trump tells the Chumps how his units will be sold to “very rich people.” If you’re interested in helping The Donald out with his overhyped and overpriced condos here, you can see the sales information for the condos at their web site. Hey, like the Chumps, you too have now been subjected to the sales pitch for Trump Park Avenue (frankly, I think Delmonico is a classier name than Trump, but maybe that’s just me).

Part II: Chump Change Redux

After the selling comes the game. The Donald says that Protégé has been “decimated.” No, Donnie, “decimated” means that they’ve lost 10% of their strength. Instead, they’ve lost 2 out of 6, and they’re still stuck with Omarosa, who counts for 0, so I’d say they’ve been halved. To make up for this decimation … we get Chump Change, Part II! In this change, Protégé will get two minutes to pick one member of VersaCorp to switch sides. Protégé needs but a few seconds to agree that it wants Nick’s #1 draft choice, Amy. Ahh, too bad for the Nick-Amy “romance” (I’ve seen more convincing romances among first graders) … though why someone with Amy’s looks and abilities would want to have anything to do with Nick anyway is a question that cannot be rationally answered. I guess women like Amy do sometimes get involved with men like Nick, or there wouldn’t be a book entitled Smart Women, Foolish Choices … but that has to be the exception, not the rule.

Amy hugs Heidi and says that she’s “ready to win.” Well, of course she is. She’s been in six competitions and been on the winning side in each one. Is it Amy, or is it Katrina, Ereka and Tammy? Maybe we’ll find out this week.

Now it’s time for the real task … after the Trump product placement, that is, with the Chumps feigning suitable awe and wonder at The Donald’s renovation skills. The teams will be shown two apartments in Brooklyn and “negotiate” to pick one of them. They will then have two more days to renovate and rent the apartments, and they have to be done with the whole process by 5 PM on the third day. Whichever team gets the highest markup over the market rent wins. And once again, George of the Urban Jungle is off doing the real work in The Trump Organization, so Bernie Cubic Zirconium is filling in for him, along with Carolyn the Killer.

Nick tells us that Amy reminds him of his mom. His mom? And you want to sleep with Amy, Nick? Uh, doesn’t it seem like Nick should meet Colby Donaldson when Survivor: All Stars is over? Maybe they could exchange notes….

Before the teams leave Trump Park Avenue, one of the most significant things that will happen on this show takes place: a small piece of plaster, falling from the ceiling, hits Osama-rosa on the head. We hear her screech. All right! It’s about time that NYC buildings started attacking the terrorists instead of letting the terrorists attack them. Bill says that it was a piece about an inch long and that it “didn’t appear to be that threatening of an injury.” But Omarosa hears the call of a lawsuit … what, did she spend some time with one-time sleazy personal injury lawyer John Edwards while she was in the White House? I can just see her lawsuit against Mark Burnett and Trump now … “I would have won this game if not for the substantial physical injury I suffered in Trump Park Avenue, so I should get $25 million in compensation.” And I agree … Osama-rosa should get 25 million in compensation after this show. 25 million angry killer bees, that is, delivered to her bedroom while she’s sleeping.

Osama-rosa says that she has a “little bit of a headache” but she’s a “trouper.” We’ll see just what it means to Osama-rosa to be a “trouper” before this show’s over.

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