Last time on The Apprentice: Another reshuffling of the Chumps moved Bill to Protégé (proving that Troy and Kwame haven’t gone deaf). Bill’s idea to target the VIP Lounge, on the Pareto principle that 20% of your clients account for 80% of your business, led Protégé to victory behind project manager Kwame in the Trump’s Casino card challenge. Versacorp project manager Amy was a loser for the first time after 10 victories (and Kwame was a winner for the first time as a project manager). Amy took Katrina with her to the boardroom to face the firing squad, and Katrina became the seventh straight woman to be fired. Challenge records of the remaining 5 members of Trump’s Chumps: Amy 10-1 (1 boardroom: E11), Bill 5-6 (2 boardrooms: E7, E8), Nick 4-7 (3 boardrooms: E2, E4, E8), Troy 3-8 (2 boardrooms: E1, E10) & Kwame 3-8. (3 boardrooms: E3, E4, E9)
Says The Donald, “Who will be fired this week?” Suggestion: The ABC programming department, for not making an aggressive play to pick up a good reality show – like this one, on which ABC passed – in place of The Bachelor and Extreme Makeover. Second suggestion: The ad managers who hired Donald Trump to star in a series of undistinguished Apprentice rip-off ads, such as the one for AT&T Wireless … no, wait, Cingular … no, wait, T-Mobile … no, wait, it’s Verizon. (Why do I empathize with Vodafone, which made the mistake of merging its AirTouch unit, which was the best of the original wireless carriers, with hapless Bell Atlantic’s unit to form Verizon Wireless … and would now like out of the low-quality, overhyped venture? Verizon, can you hear your ex-customers now?)
The Last Virgin
In Trump Tower Suite 4, everyone except Kwame is sacked out, since everyone thinks Amy is coming back. Even Amy thinks so; in a confessional, she says, “I was pretty confident that I would be walking out as the last remaining female.” They’re all right, of course, but only Kwame is there to give Amy a “welcome-back” hug. The others wake up so that Amy can talk about losing her boardroom virginity. (Yes, America, it seems that these guys want to hear all about how she lost her virginity ... I wonder if Amy felt used afterwards?)
Bill says that “Amy’s ego has expanded” and that she has a “God complex.” As if she didn’t have reason to feel that way after winning 10 straight challenges and being the ONLY remaining Chump with a winning record plus the LAST survivor from the once-dominant original Protégé team. Maybe the old saying is true: what would be seen as self-confidence in a man is seen as arrogance in a woman.
Bill, however, is pleased to find out that Amy listed him as her toughest competition. Nick, on the other hand, sulks. To excess. Looks like he’s been taking lessons from Sam. In confessional, Nick whines, “She didn’t have to say that in the boardroom.” No, Nick, she could have talked about how great you are … in other words, lied through her teeth. In confessional, Amy says that there is no doubt that she’d rather be partnered with Bill instead of Nick for the rest of the show. Good, it shows that I may have been mistaken when I suggested that Amy read Smart Women, Foolish Choices before actually agreeing to date Nick, the puffed-up peacock.
Nick recognizes that Amy could “stab me in the back tomorrow.” This motivates Nick to think about getting her before she can get him. Hey, mutual trust – a great way to build a lasting relationship …
In the morning, the Chumps are called to meet The Donald on the penthouse floors of Trump World Tower. Trump is accompanied by Carolyn the Killer and Bernie Cubic Zirconium, as George of the Urban Jungle once again is busy doing the real work of The Trump Organization. In an infomercial entitled “Trump Luxury” (or “You Too Can Be This Rich If You Learn How To Fleece Your Investors”), The Donald shows off penthouse 89B, which has 5500 square feet (most of us could fit our entire houses in it) and great views of the Chrysler Building and both Manhattan rivers (East and Hudson). Trump talks about how the penthouse’s floor-to-ceiling windows combined with its 17-foot ceilings give it the largest windows in Manhattan. (sure, just like Trump Ice is the best water in Manhattan and Trump National Golf Course is the best golf course in NY and Trump Poop is the sweetest-smelling defecation in the U.S....)
My first thought is how much fun it would be to bring someone with severe vertigo to that room blindfolded and then remove the blindfold in front of the window. CRASH! Look out beloooooooooooow!
The challenge: rent the penthouse. The Donald has only been getting amounts in the $20K range for use of the room. He wants more. (So do his many creditors.) Each team will have to sign a tenant to an offer sheet for a one-night rental, and the team getting the highest bid wins. No bid lower than $20K may be accepted, and the event must take place within the next 90 days. Oh, and the teams only have 10 hours to do the task, from the current 9 AM until 7 PM that night.
Reward: the winning team gets to fly in the Trump Air jet to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, for a day of living large. He teases Amy and Nick about Katrina’s “revelation” that they have been flirting and tells them that this would be a romantic trip if they won it. Women viewers avert their eyes. Geez, I haven’t seen anyone so overbilling a “relationship” since Mark Burnett’s first Survivor (Colleen and Greg, who were hyped on the show to be ripping each other’s clothes off … but who were really merely flirting, which just wasn’t good enough for the hype-starved producer). But … isn’t it sweet?
Troy is project manager for Protégé. Troy talks about how he has “gotta make an impression every time.” Bill, meanwhile, worries that he is “on the outside looking in” at the Kwame-Troy relationship. Apparently Nick is the project manager for Versacorp, but it hardly matters with just two.
In the lobby, all of the players are banging out calls to event planners, in an effort to get their clients to come take a look at the penthouse. Protégé meets with Elaine, the Trump World Tower employee who actually has the job of renting the penthouse, and learns that the most that it’s ever rented for is $40,000. Troy and the gang set a rent of $35,000 to $40,000 as their objective for the task.
Amy expounds on the difference between her vision of selling the room – “open the door and let the clients create the vision” – and Nick’s style – “very upfront,” which “hinders <the party planners’> vision” Nick tells Amy, “Trust me.” And Amy does. No, Nick, it doesn’t look like she’s planning on stabbing you in the back anytime soon. Even though most viewers wish she would.