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Sixteen up-and-coming businesspeople have come to the biggest jungle of their lives - New York City - to take on each other and the business savvy of Donald Trump to win the job of a lifetime as an apprentice with the Trump Organization.

Recaps by Gordon Pepper, GSNN

Donald J. Trump
Assistants: George Ross, Carolyn Kepcher
Creator: Mark Burnett
EP: Mark Burnett, Donald J. Trump
Packager: Mark Burnett Productions, Trump Productions
Airs: Thursdays at 9:00pm ET on FOX

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Episode 1 - January 5

This is the show that I've been waiting for. I'm not going to start the show, though - I'll let the Donald handle it.

"New York - my city. Where the wheels of the global economy never stop turning. A concrete metropolis of unparalleled strength and purpose that drives the business world. Manhattan is a tough place - this island is the real jungle. If you're not careful, it can chew you up and spit you out, but if you work hard, you can make it big - I mean really big.

"My name is Donald Trump, and I am the largest real estate developer in New York. I own buildings all over the place - model agencies, the Miss Universe Pageant, jet liners, golf courses, casinos, and private resorts like Marle Island, one of the most spectacular estates anywhere in the world.

"But it wasn't so easy. Fifteen years ago, I was seriously in trouble. I was billions of dollars in debt, but I fought back and I won - big league. I used my brain, I used my negotiating skills, and I worked it all back, Now my company is as big as it ever was, as strong as it ever was, and I'm having as much fun than I've ever had.

"I've mastered the art of the deal, and I turned the name 'Trump' into the highest quality brand, and as the master, I want to pass along my knowledge to somebody else. I'm looking for - The Apprentice."

Hence it starts. Sixteen people from all walks of life will be competing for the spot as The Donald's protégé. Just like in Survivor, the 16 people are divided into 2 teams, and the teams have to complete a task. The winning team stays intact, while the losing team will send 3 people up to The Donald, who will 'fire' one of them.

Before we get to the firing, we must see the 16 people who are being hired.

Jessie (21) only has a high school diploma and sells real estate. She looks like a thinner version of Survivor's Jessie Camacho.

Kwame (29) has an MBA from Harvard and works for a wall street firm. He's the lone African-American male in the group.

Ereka learned her trade right in NYC from her family's pizza place. She is a marketing manager from an international cosmetic company.

Troy only has a high school diploma, but he is the president of his own linen company. He is the stereotypical cropped brown hair, blue eyed mid-western accented guy - from Idaho.

Amelia is from Austin, who got caught in the dot com bust. She works for a high tech agency and is hoping not to be dot gone.

Bowie Hogg (there's a name for you) is also from Texas (Dallas) and works for an express delivery service. He's not a hog, but he is plump.

Kristi is from CA as she owns a restaurant and other real estate property. She's a long haired blonde.

David is the only doctor. in the group, and earned his MBA at NYU. He now works as a health care medical venture capitalist.

Omarosa came from the projects and is a PhD candidate. Her resume includes working at the White House for the president. She's the lone African-American woman in the group and I like her chances.

Self-described as the hardest working salesman in California, Nick works at 100% commission. The blonde Californian is impressive - but is he too full of himself? "If I don't see, I don't eat."

Katrina is in the top 3 of all realtors - and she's 23. She's blonde/brown haired, leggy, and sexy - and it seems like she's aggressive. I like her chances as well.

Sam is a business director of an internet company that he founded. Those people are either very smart - or very weird. We'll see where he fits.

Heidi is a senior account executive for a telecommunication company in Philadelphia.

Bill started the "Cigar of the Month Club". He's turned it into a multi-million dollar operation. Hopefully, he won't be the butt of the Donald's ire.

Jason built up a real estate development firm and gives it to lesser developed families. He's only 23 years old and is from the west coast.

Tammy is from Washington, and she is the top stockbroker for a firm on Wall Street. She's the lone Asian in the group - and when she comes in, she doesn't talk.

Neither does anyone else. It seems like they care only about impressing one person - Donald Trump. These are all a bunch of high strung individuals with high strung personalities. This ought to be fun.

The 16 people are brought into the Donald's office, where Trump introduces everyone to his 2 cohorts. The first one is George Ross, executive Vice President, The other person is Carolyn Kepcher, Chief Operating Officer. Those two people will be Donald's eyes and ears, and will be helping Donald in determining who stays and who goes. 'This isn't a game - it's a job interview.'

Donald divides the teams into men and women. He also tells someone to select a project manager. The manager is accountable for both victory and defeat, and the losing team will be called into the board room - which is where he eliminates people. The winner will be the president of one of his companies for a year with a nice ($250,000) salary.

The Donald dismisses everyone and sends them into their suites, where caviar and other goodies await them. They start mingling - until Tammy wonders why the women are mingling with the 'enemy'. Nevertheless, the people start talking. Sam, who is in love with Donald, can't relate to David, who's been buried in the classroom instead of in the business world.

Omarosa finds the first assignment, where she calls the ladies over to read the note. The first task is to create a team name. The women take a long time to determine the names, and the bad names from both sides get tossed around. The men decide on Versacorp, while the women choose Protege. I think the women's name is cooler. Nick hates Versacorp, and we are already sensing rifts with the guys.

The teams are invited to go to the New York Stock Exchange at 5:45 am the next morning. At the exchange, Donald invites them all - and tells them their first assignment. The teams are given $250 to create their own lemonade stand. Whoever makes the most amount of money will win the competition. Donald notes that the women are more excited about this, Will he be prophetic?

The team captains are Troy for the guys and Ereka for the women. With that, the Donald sends them off as the competition begins. Troy says that the best spot is location - and he sends Kwame to get the best site for them. Kwame decides to use the seaport and the rest of them will get supplies. The women are more concerned about the product, as some of them want a table and the other people are yelling at each other. Omarosa accuses Ereka of being emotional and irrational as they continue to squabble.

Kwame, meanwhile, gets a deal with Duane Reade as they get the table, ice and cups for free in exchange for people to show up at the store. ON the women's side, Kristi and Amy split up to get the supplies while the rest of the girls scoped out for location. Troy is being the cheerleader - and it looks like they are selling lemonade.

The women set up shop all the way uptown - 59th street. After they all get profusely lost, the women start selling as half of a group. They finally all meet at 53rd and 9th - and they have lost precious time behind the guys. Tammy who 's feet hurt, decides to take a lunch break - something that pisses off the women at no end. Omarosa confides with Tammy and tells her that the women feel like she is not carrying her weight and she says that to not worry about it if she just works. What does she do when they get back? She blows up in front of the group. There's a good way to get sent to the board room.

What's another way to be sent to the Board Room? To act on their own and not listen to the rest of the group. This is what David is doing - and the fact that Carolyn is taking notes on what he's doing is not helping. What isn't helping for the group is that Trump is angry that they are trying to sell the lemonade at the Fulton Fish Market. "It's a smelly fish market and no one is there." The guys realize it and decide to switch to a new location.

It's the guys turn to waste precious time while the women will be capitalizing. They sell $5 a glass - and the horny men are going for it. In the words of George, 'I'm spending $1 for the lemonade and $4 for the kiss.' The women are using sex to sell - and it's working beautifully.

The men are slowly moving uptown - and they are not finding anyone here either. Sam is convinced that the women are selling products better. Sam wants to get hot women to sell the lemonade, which in theory works - but it's something that should have been thought of hours ago.

Sam is getting desperate - especially after Troy yells at him and Carolyn is taking notes. He tries to get someone to spend $1,000 on a cup of lemonade - and hopes that Donald will be impressed by it. The person approached, though, isn't too impressed and does not go for the pitch. Sam feels like he is in trouble - and he's probably right. They do move up to the village and get some more sellers, but it seems like it's too little, too late.

It will be too late for someone as the Donald gets called into the office. He calls Carolyn to give a report for the men, who doubled their money to $500. George says that the women made...over $1,200. The women win in a rout. The women as a reward get a tour of Donald's apartment. The men will be seeing the Board Room.

While the men are grumbling, the women get to see the suite. Nice. Everything is bathed in gold and the women meet his girlfriend Melania. The Donald comes in and tells them that if they are really successful, they can live in this. Donald gives them the tour and all of the women enjoyed it.

The men are finding it less enjoyable, as they know that they will be losing one of their own, Troy knows that he is going to the Board Room - and he will be bringing 2 people with him. Sam decides to make notes - and say both positive and negative things about people. He's also getting bad energy from David - but can he get rid of the doctor?

It's Board Room time. Kwame tries to defend his actions and David is asked if things would have been different if he was the leader. David says that sales isn't his forte, and I think he dug his own grave right there. Jason, meanwhile, doesn't help his cause when he interrupts the Donald. Jason accuses Troy of not listening - and Sam backs him up. Troy said that he was trying to be positive. Carolyn thinks that Troy was inconsistent. Everyone asks who was the worst leader - and they all say Sam. He defends himself by saying that the only person that he respects is Donald Trump. That pisses all of the guys off, and even if Sam gets out of this one, he will be the target of the guys ire every single time.

Donald asks Troy as to who else is the most responsible for the disaster. Troy replies Sam and David - and all three of them are on the chopping block. While they are outside waiting for the axe, Carolyn explains that Sam didn't break the line - and Carolyn may have saved Sam's bacon. Sam keeps bragging on how he will be the president - and George likes him as a risk-taker.

Donald tells all of them his opinion. He tells Troy that he did a lousy job as the leader - but he does have potential. Donald tells Sam to be careful - but he could be great - or he could be a total disaster. Donald keeps the project named Sam - but tells David that he just didn't step up and his saying that he couldn't have done a better job damns him. There are 2 elevators - one goes up and one goes down. David will be taking the elevator that goes down to the street. "David, You're fired." David leaves the building and we leave the episode.

My take? This is a cool show and Burnett has another winner on his hands. If this show stays the course, then this will be a good show. Next week, we'll see if any of the people who are on the bubble can get themselves off - or if they burst.

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