Pamela Day gets forced to switch 'Apprentice 2' teams, becomes fifth candidate to be ousted
By Wade Paulsen, 10/08/2004
One of the ongoing worries about the "tribal swaps" on Survivor is that a swapped contestant will promptly be booted by his or her new tribe. That same scenario occurred on the fifth episode of NBC's The Apprentice 2, and the swapped contestant, 32-year-old hedge fund manager Pamela Day, became the fifth person fired from the game.
In the episode, Pamela, the only woman on the men's team, Mosaic, was asked by Donald Trump to take over as project manager for the women's team, Apex, due to the fact that the women had lost three straight challenges. One more loss by the women would equal the four-challenge losing streak established by the men's team (VersaCorp) in Apprentice's first season. The men then selected 30-year-old stockbroker Chris Russo as their team leader.
Only once before had The Donald dictated the team leader: in the first season's third episode, when perennial screw-up Sam Solovey, who was on the verge of dismissal, was asked to take over VersaCorp ... and was promptly fired when his team lost. As a result, Pamela had to be feeling more than a little jumpy.
The task for the week was to hawk products on QVC. Apex picked cleaning blocks, which (at Pamela's direction) were priced at $27.23 for a set of 30. Mosaic picked a panini grill, which it priced at $71.25. Although the task was certainly photogenic, as two members from each team appeared on-air for 12 minutes to hawk the product, we note that viewers had no idea what type of pricing information or constraints had been given to the teams to set these prices, if any -- which made the pricing arguments seem more vapid than intended.
When all was said and done, Apex sold 659 sets of cleaning blocks (at $27.23 each) for total revenue of $17,944.57. Mosaic sold 252 grills (at $71.25 each) for total revenue of $17,955, making Mosaic the winner by the grand total of $10.43. (We wonder why total revenue was used as the measure instead of gross profit. Apparently that will be another of The Donald's little mysteries -- perhaps episode sponsor QVC was wary of revealing exactly how much it profits in hawking its wares.) As a result of its razor-thin triumph, Mosaic was allowed to go hit tennis balls with Anna Kournakova and John McEnroe, while Apex prepared for a boardroom session.
On the courts, egotistical Mosaic member Raj Bhakta was humiliated by Anna when he was unable to return even one of her five serves (had he done so, she would have gone out on a date with him, so she was probably reaching her highest-ever service velocity...). For losing the dare, Raj had to jog around the Flushing Meadows tennis stadium wearing only his boxers -- a scene that had to represent a near all-time low for the series.
Meanwhile, the women of Apex, who had now tied the record for most consecutive challenge losses, naturally blamed the newcomer, Pamela, for their defeat. For reasons known only to themselves, The Donald and henchman Carolyn Kepcher agreed, and Pamela soon became the newest ex-apprentice-wannabe.
Interestingly, the existence of the QVC task had been already been spoiled. However, the spoiler information misleadingly said that the "women's team, tasked with selling a cleaning set, sold more than the men's group, which was tasked with selling a panini maker." Technically, this was correct, but the challenge wasn't judged by how many units were sold but rather by gross revenue. Back to the old spoiling boards....