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'Apprentice 2' continues NYC filming... and challenge details continue to leak


By Wade Paulsen, 05/24/2004 

Filming a reality-TV show -- especially a hit like The Apprentice 2 -- in the media capital of the world, New York City, has led to an unprecedented amount of information becoming public during filming ... at least, unprecedented for a Mark Burnett show. In particular, a product placement (a specialty of executive producer Burnett), created a bizarre scene in just the third challenge of the show.

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Last week, the New York Daily News reported that a May 18 marketing tie-in for Proctor & Gamble's Crest toothpaste went awry for one of the teams on the show. Contestants had been recruited to sell a new toothpaste, Crest Whitening Expressions, in "Refreshing Vanilla Mint" flavor with scratch-and-sniff boxes. At least one of the teams ended up in Washington Square Park, where it hired a plump 51-year-old woman (apparently a street person) to haul the empty boxes back to the truck and bring the contestants new boxes for the munificent sum of $20.

As the woman worked, she was reported to mumble, "I have to do a good job for Crest." After about an hour, she had worked herself into a trance, and she started rolling on the ground chanting "Crest! Crest! Crest!" Finally, an off-duty EMT technician and another passerby helped the woman back to the Crest truck -- where she promply had a seizure and passed out across the front seats.

After being out for three minutes, the woman awoke, vomited, and then said, "Where's my money?" So much for hiring the homeless. While the team was happy to see her go, Apprentice co-star Carolyn Kepcher jumped all over the hapless contestants, asking them which idiot had hired her. The Daily News notes that Apprentice cameramen captured the entire incident -- but we have little idea whether we'll even see it on The Apprentice 2 after editing.

Other advertisers have been luckier. Reports received by Reality TV World place the teams selling cups of gellato (basically upscale ice cream) at Toys "R" Us (2 for $5), the ESPN Zone Restaurant ($2 apiece) and the Jacob Javits Center on May 15, generally with 2 "sales people" and a cashier per each of two stands in each location. We don't know for certain whether these six-person set-ups indicate that there are three teams of six each on The Apprentice 2 (since it has 18 contestants instead of the 16 from Apprentice 1), although that seems like a logical conclusion.

Filming on The Apprentice 2 apparently began May 11. According to a Reality TV World message-board poster named "erms", the first challenge, which filmed through May 13, involved creation of a new "boy toy" for Mattel. The May 15 gellato challenge must have been the second one, and the May 18 Crest challenge appears to have been the third one.

We will continue to look for more information about the ongoing production of The Apprentice 2 amidst the seven million residents of NYC. Our only promise is that we will not repeat everything that we know (at least until filming is over), unless it becomes public knowledge from another source....

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