Our two teams take on a renovation challenge on this episode of Trading Spaces, oops I mean – The Apprentice: Martha Stewart.
Last Time on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart…
David brings Dawn and Marcela into to the Boardroom blaming the miserable Matchstick failure on cake design…but then the editors run a clip of Shawn saying “Fake it until you Make it” and Martha decides to pull a Conference Room first and brings back the whole Matchstick team…and decides fire Shawn. (Funny note – on this episode, after their reward is over, the Primarius group comes back to the empty loft and is quite perplexed as there are 4 suitcases of Matchstick members and no players in the loft… “where did they go?” they wonder aloud.) Eventually, in walk the Matchstick team members and Primarius is shocked that Shawn was the one to go. Jim (my least favorite by far) gives the blow by blow of the conference room, doing his not so great Martha impersonation about “Faking it” (Which did however make me crave a sandwich like the one from that scene in When Harry Met Sally.)
As Jim blows off about what Martha said, and Sarah steps up and says, that’s right, there aren’t any cheesy salesmen here…which made me laugh because they are all cheesy salesmen but none are cheesier than Jim who is easily the smarmiest guy on the show. Wait till you see what he says in the Conference room! But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Cue the Intro Music, and we cut to Amanda answering the silver loft phone. It’s Julia from Martha’s office (who seems to have a British Accent) inviting both teams to join Alexis and Charles at 9am in the conference room to hear about their next task.
Everyone is gathered anxious waiting for Bosley to turn on the video screen so Martha can give her obviously pre-taped and not-at-all-live video instructions. Martha looks lovely with her Turkey Hill Road Farmhouse in the background…which she uses to intro their task – a renovation challenge!
Each team will be given a 2 bedroom suite at the Westin Hotel in Times Square to create a design around Westin’s new theme of “Renewing the Body, Mind and Spirit of their Guests”. The most important element will be the team’s vision for the room. (Martha says the word vision at least 5 times in the video message. Someone is taking notes while she talks.) The teams will be judged by the Westin executives and platinum members of their guest program.
Martha closes by reminding us that the loosing team will come back to the Conference Room where we will say goodbye to someone– and gets in a nice dig on Matchstick and how much they suck – loosing 3 tasks in a row. But never fear, Martha has a plan – and Charles and Alexis will explain it to the little ones. Martha – Out!
Alexis addresses Primarius – “Who here thinks they are the strongest team leader?” Cue every hand on the team to raise immediately.
Then our cigar clenching Charles asks, “Well, who thinks they can lead Matchstick to victory on the next task?” – and every hand drops. After a semi-painful pause, Leslie puts her hand up, takes the role of PM for Matchstick, and beams while 5’O Clock Charlie praises her courage.
Leslie gets the first testimonial about why she rose to the challenge – and Amanda gets the second testimonial and slams Leslie for wanting to leave…even though nobody on Primarius will miss her anyway so there!
Both teams check out their empty spaces at the Westin and get down to business.
Amanda stands up to be PM – they start brainstorming the vision, and settle fairly quickly on an Entertainment theme. (Watch a movie, play poker, games, etc.) Carrie chimes in with some color samples she’s pulled. Amanda listens, but doesn’t really care about the colors Carrie is showing her – she wants an expert opinion.
So Ryan finds an interior decorator and they all go to meet her. Carrie again tries to bring in some vivid rich colors that she’s found for wallpaper, but Amanda sticks with the design that is recommended by their consultant, and goes for a more modern metallic looking wallpaper that everyone ends up hating during installation. (I believe they said it was Industrial looking. None of the team members seem to like it except Amanda.)
Leslie knows how to fix the problems on Matchstick…it just takes a bit more organization! She announces they will have a two hour brainstorming meeting, and
S I X... L O N G... H O U R S... L A T E R...
They are still talking! After listing every single possible option for themes from Aromatherapy to Zebra Print - they have finally come up with their theme… F.L.O.W. – (Jim the annoying comes up with the Acronym – For Leisure or Work). All the members of Matchstick give camera confessionals saying they think the team wasted time in the too-long brainstorming session. They are all right.
Okay – we’re back from commercial and we finally get to hear Martha’s lesson of the week – “A great idea is only as good as you can sell it”… and it doesn’t really apply to the lesson of this episode – which is if you don’t finish on time you will never win…but who cares anyway?
Over in their hotel suite, Primarius continues to make progress, but the contractors for Matchstick can’t start because they don’t have supplies due to the gross misuse of time in the previous segments. Leslie says that’s okay – they will just paint all night themselves if they have too! (Leslie seems to have high energy level!) Dawn refuses to paint and decides instead to be a pain. (By the way – I should have mentioned this…Dawn complains the whole episode. I’m not going to detail each individual comment but she was a lazy whiner for most of the show.)
At some point you get to see that Bethany is in charge of furnishing the suite – looks like a trip to Pier 1 to me – and she seems to quickly pick out some lovely pieces for the FLOW suite.
Welcome to Trading Spaces Day Two!
It’s early in the morning in the loft and Amanda at Primarius gives everyone on her team a pen with a little ribbon and a poem. (It seemed like an incredibly hokey moment) “And it may be cheesy, but it really worked to bring our whole team together,” gushes Ryan…but it seemed to be true – the rest of the shots of the Primarius team is of them seemingly having fun finishing the elements of the suite, getting the poker chips and candy dishes filled, etc.
Over on Matchstick…all the team members are up and ready to go – except for Dawn who is still sleeping. Finally, one of the team members (David?) wakes her up, and the entire team rails on her to hurry up so they can go. They finally get out of the loft 30 minutes behind schedule.
Alexis and Charles pop in to see how our little teams are doing – and seem to be really pleased with Primarius’ design, progress, & concept. They were really nice. Matchstick is not as far along – but Alexis and Charles seem to like the overall theme, but are disappointed with the lack of furniture. They expressly ask, “Where will people sit?” and Bethany and Leslie both promise the furniture will be there on time. Of course, from this statement we viewers now know – the furniture ain’t going to make it, and it doesn’t, even though Bethany spent 30 minutes on the phone screaming at delivery drivers.
It’s a crushing blow to Matchstick… oh well! Let’s show the executives your suites! Amanda and Leslie (the PMs) are the only ones in the Hotel Suites doing the presentation. It was a nice touch.
Primarius – they loved it. Lots of special details and you pick up the theme right away – The room looks great with the poker table, dominos, playing cards, movie theater room with an authentic popcorn machine, a bar, big jars of candy, all sorts of cool elements that focus around entertainment for families and the business traveler..
Matchstick – they are devastated the furniture did not come in and there is no couch, chairs, nothing. Jim says it so eloquently “No couchie – no winnie” (Man I hate that guy).
Leslie does her best during the presentation, and tries to spin it as a “zero gravity room” and they went with the unexpected… but the executives can’t help but notice there’s nowhere to sit. No amount of acronyms can make up for the fact that you have no furniture.
The Westin folks of course pick Primarius as the winner – and Martha is most disappointed that Matchstick did not finish, and that they lost again. Primarius gets the reward of “going up to the suite they just designed” (WTF?) and Martha will join them later…Matchstick – back in the conference room and Martha is really disappointed.
The Primarius “let’s trash our suite” party starts upstairs and Martha comes in and looks around, tries a few M&Ms, tells a story about growing up in Jersey, and leaves them to relax without the boss man looking over their shoulder. (Worst reward ever in Apprentice History, but I couldn’t help giggle and think - what if Matchstick had won and they all had to hang out all night in their room with no furniture to sit on?)
Back up in the loft, Leslie tells Bethany in advance she’s going to bring her and Dawn into the Conference Room and Bethany says it’s a mistake to bring her in as she will fight for her life in there. Leslie says they will go after Dawn together and Bethany again says, “It would be a mistake for you to bring me in there.”
Flash forward to the Conference Room. All our Matchsticks are sitting neatly in a row and Martha starts to grill them. She wants to know who’s responsible for the idea – and the credit goes to Jim for coming up with the acronym. But now Martha wants to know why the room was unfinished– and whose fault that was? Leslie says the furniture delivery is the main reason for the loss, but that Dawn’s attitude was a drain on the team as well.
Bethany fights back fiercely, and Leslie handles herself okay, but seems to smile at odd places during the brawl. Dawn does an awful job of defending herself, and displays the exact negativity which is why her team hates her. Someone brings up the fact that she woke up late – which really ticks off Martha. “How can you not get up in the Morning?” Martha asks no one in particular, offended that anyone would voluntarily sleep past 5:00 am when its time to feed the horses!
Finally, Alexis spares us all from more mindless bickering and breaks it down for us … The problem, Matchstick, is that you just simply didn’t get it done…
Now pay attention, because this is the best part of the whole episode – Martha gets all riled up by Alexis’ comment – and goes into a little Martha rant… “You didn’t finish – why…I have a Garden Tour this weekend and today I had to get the driveway coated with beautiful little pea stones…get the gardens edged…” and here is where I can’t hear anything Martha is saying anymore because I am screaming with laughter as the editors have picked this perfect moment to pan the camera left to Alexis – who is rolling her eyes at the ridiculous comments Martha is spewing about what she just absolutely had to get done that day ...as if getting the driveway coated with beautiful pea stones is something that any sane person would have on their to do list! It was a great little moment and I decided right there and then that I liked Alexis a little more after the eye rolling than I did before.
Decision time – Martha goes around the table asks everyone who she should fire. Everyone picks Dawn or Lesile, until she asks Jim. Jim, I kid you not, actually says, “Anyone but me.” What a tool. Martha calls him on it and says – “Give me a name,” and he weasels around and finally says very indecisively, “Well it could be Leslie but I could get behind firing Dawn too.” I hate this guy. I wish he would go away. Martha continues asking everyone BUT Dawn who they’d fire – but she doesn’t give Dawn a chance or it was edited for time. Martha asks Leslie who she’s bringing back. Leslie decides to bring back Dawn and Bethany, and they are sent to wait in the lobby with Julia while the others are sent back up to the loft.
Martha starts dissecting the Apprenti…and Cigarlie Charlie chimes in and says basically, yeah, you can fire any of these folks and lists their weaknesses. (And yes, if you can believe it, he is still clutching his unlit cigar through the entire meeting!) Alexis stays silent as children are taught to do, so Martha calls Julia and invites them back in.
Here we get one last stand from Leslie and Bethany, and then Alexis tries to lend an olive branch to Dawn, saying she’s used to being the least liked on a team (and Dawn says, Thanks!) but then Alexis presses on and says, “But no one has ever said I didn’t work really hard”. (Ouch nice backhand compliment)
Martha finally stops the bickering and says she doesn’t have time for this, “I don’t want to loose my patience…none of you want me to loose my patience!” (Cue an all too knowing look from Alexis and another eye roll.)
Martha: “Leslie – your time management was awful, but since you volunteered to go from loosing team to a winning team I’ll give you another chance. Bethany – I’m disappointed that you weren’t more effective in getting the furniture there on time, but because the design was good, you get to stay – and Dawn, your attitude is awful, you make too many excuses – and we’ll have to say – Goodbye!” Then she writes an especially snarky little letter to Dawn about how after she’s lost four times it’s obvious she doesn’t have much to contribute to the team, and oh yeah, we wish you good luck…Sincerely Martha.
Next time – on Martha Stewart: the Apprentice – the teams will be reorganized (finally!) and their challenge will involve making and marketing a limited edition salad dressing. You see shots of the teams in the kitchens and actually trying to move product at a grocery store. Jim apparently offends someone (big surprise there) and someone complains that “It was very vulgar”. Sounds like our man Big Bad Jim might be on the block next week. But that’s probably just my wishful thinking…