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Season 10
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Sixteen candidates, hit hard by the recent economic crisis, are chosen by the most powerful name in real estate for the ultimate job interview.

Recaps by Eric Pierce, GSNN
Host Donald Trump
VO Joe Cipriano
Judges Donald Trump Jr.
Ivanka Trump
Creator Mark Burnett
EP Mark Burnett
Donald J. Trump
Jay Bienstock
Packager Trump Entertainment LLC & Mark Burnett Productions
Origins Trump Tower, NYC
Web nbc.com/apprentice 
Airs 10p ET Thurs, NBC

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Week One: Welcome to Your Second Chance
September 16

Can you believe this is the 10th season of The Apprentice? Crazy, right? Crazier yet, we're going back to civilians! That means no Joan Rivers (yay!), no Annie Duke (boo!) and no preconceived notions.

Wait, I take that back... One of our contestants hold the title of "Miss Cougar" Yes, we are judging that early.

However, titles and back history mean nothing. It's all about business sense. Show me skills and be praised. Show ineptitude and be fired by The Donald.

After a brief powwow in the board room, the contestants return to the loft in their new teams. While both teams toyed with naming themselves Phoenix, the men named themselves Octane and the women, Fortitude.

I'll put my vote in the men's corner on the name game, but names mean nothing. Gene will be the Project Manager for the men and Nicole steps up for the women. Note: Gene was forced into the role and Nicole grabbed the role by the reins.

Don Jr. and Ivanka have returned to be Mr. Trump's eyes and ears. Each teams has been charged with creating a unique, ergonomic office space, with the winner to be selected by Mr. Trump himself. Prize to the winning PM, and a firing to the losers. Shall we begin?

The ladies of Fortitude examine their space and begin brainstorming. Kelly suggests they focus on luxury because Trump will be the judge. Decent calls considering his passion for gold. Tyana has a background in new home sales and feels this task is right down her alley. She wants to turn it into and urban downtown loft with round tables. Nicole as PM is confused by something. She can't understand how Tyana has all of this design experience when the black and white frock she is wearing is so ridiculously drab. Remember Boys and Girls: always judge a book by its cover, if you do you may get a 1 in 16 chance to win a job with Donald Trump.

Side note: This comment does come from a former Miss California, so insert your own Caite Upton, Miss South Carolina, "umm the Iraq and stuff" joke here.

Side, Side note: Go figure Caite Upton was on the Amazing Race. Seriously! can we stop putting pageants girls on Reality TV! Save it for Toddlers and Tiaras!

Over with the men of Octane, Anand apparently has commercial real estate experience, but he hasn't offered a lot of great ideas. Gene as PM thinks that it might be a great idea to make it an environmentally green office space. Former attorney James thinks this is a great idea, but also thinks Gene might not have a clue how to do that. That would be a problem. Interesting how none of the other 8 men are stepping up to help flesh out Gene's idea. Looks like the men are ready to let Gene hang himself.

The architectural designer shows up and the only information Octane has for him is what color the drapes should be. Who knew that the rejects for HGTV's design star got to have a second chance on the Apprentice? Octane's going to have to get things together in a hurry.

Is Fortitude doing any better. Nicole as PM has decided to go with the style of "modern executive", She calls it functional with an edge. Speaking of edge, meet Mahsa a former Assistant District Attorney from Brooklyn who has more sass than J.Lo has ... (you can fill in the rhyme). Anyway, Mahsa prefers clear communication and she is not getting it. Nicole as PM split the group up with half talking to the architect and half getting supplies, Mahsa being on the supply team. She then told Mahsa to get food.

Now some people would be up in arms over the fact that a minority was just told to fetch food. They would be stupid. Instead Mahsa is upset over the fact that first she was told to get paint, then to get food, then to get both, then to do the hokey-pokey... you get the picture.

I'll side with Mahsa here on the importance of clear communication and that Nicole could be better, but much like the men are doing with Gene, it seems like Mahsa is looking for a reason to hang Nicole out to dry. Being a self-starter is just as important at this stage in the game and you know that to save the team time you should get the paint and order a bunch of pizzas. Get in the car, call Domino's on the way and stop whining in confessional!

Octane time. James tells Gene that they need to stop wasting time on choosing paint colors and work with the architect before he has to leave. Gene tells James in effect to stop worrying and James refuses to oblige. He then scoops up Anand and sits down with the architect to begin sketching. Looks like someone wishes they were PM and is now overstepping their bounds. Mind you this is The Apprentice, so things will get messier still. Clint, a struggling real estate developer is frustrated that James and Anand have corralled the architect preventing Clint from inserting his ideas. Apparently anyone who has ever worked in Real Estate is a certified design genius. I'll put that memo in my back pocket.

Stephanie and Nicole are clashing. Nicole loves Stephanie and brings her along to purchase desks and structural features for the office. According to Nicole, Stephanie was the closet to her while working with the architect, so bringing her along is the best idea.

Stephanie disagrees. Stephanie says that she has no background in design and that if anyone should be with Nicole at this point, it should be Tyana. Stephanie goes as far as to suggest to Nicole that they pick Tyana up from her pain purchasing duties and utilize her expertise.

And then Nicole drops the bomb. Nicole says that Tyana was getting on her nerves and she doesn't want to have to deal with her. It's episode 1 folks and people already hate each other. That's bad news for actual business, but great news for future boardrooms (Crossing fingers)

Let's keep the fights catty with a battle of Blondes and Brunettes. Mahsa and Kelly (brunettes) are scraping letting off of and shining the windows while Poppy and Brandy (blondes) are painting the walls. 24 hours away from presentation, Mahsa complains about how tough the windows are. Poppy counters with saying that the painting needs to get done today, but the windows can be done tomorrow. This infuriates Mahsa who wants that perky little blonde girl to get over here and try the windows to realize how tough they really are. Poppy mimes to Brandy about how big an idiot Mahsa is.

Judgment: Blondes. The paint needs to dry and painting any later than now will result in fumes when The Donald inspects. The windows can be done anytime, ideally after the painting is done. Since when did the blondes become the smart ones?

Back at the more Zen Octane, Gene has charges David and Clint with buying plants. Sticking with the green theme, this office needs foliage. Clint is also charged with the A/V purchases and this becomes a problem with there being only one phone. Clint and David bicker over who gets to use the phone first. Not kidding. It's like the Olsen twins fighting over the last cracker topped with ex-lax. David, by being the bigger jerk wins and gets to make his calls first, but Clint places the blame on Gene for not showing any leadership as PM. They way this is going, if Gene doesn't win, he's in for a bloodbath.

At Cort furniture, Fortitude has picked up Tyana, and she is a lifesaver. in 45 minutes she picks out everything for the office space. Nicole is impressed and admits that she may have been wrong.

Gene meanwhile has found his testicles and has scratched the Zen garden. David doesn't like the new more forceful Gene and tries to confront him. Gene's ex-military background comes out and David is put in his place. That doesn't mean he will stop whining though.

The next morning Octane wakes up and Gene has his troops in line. He hands out tasks and everyone seems to appreciate the new level of leadership. Even David who is placed in charge of Technology seems to be willing to take orders. That is, after he placed a call to the state of Michigan to re-confirm his unemployed statues. David is supporting 5 children on an unemployment check (mind you, based off of a 6-figure salary). It's a tough world out there.

And now the visits. At Fortitude, Nicole told Donald, Jr. that Tyana was both her most valuable and worst employee (based on different times during the task). Tyana only overhears the negative part and proceeds to throw Nicole completely under the bus when she gets time with mini-Donald. Their space has been sectioned off into numerous different rooms, but lacks color or personality. A portrait of an old man hangs over the executive's desk. They nickname it "Uncle Forty", short for Fortitude. We'll see where the corniness gets them.

The men don't do much to impress Ivanka, who believes Ames is the leader when she arrives. James definitely took a leadership role in the absence of Gene who was getting supplies. The Octane space is more modern, but may be bordering on childish (think Romper Room). The men's plan is more open and less corporate which honestly, may not appeal to Daddy Trump.

The Donald visits for presentations and it is more of the same. The women of Fortitude show him their space while pretending to work in the office that they love ever so much. Tyana acts as a receptionist greeting Mr. Trump and Nicole comes out as the exec to show him around. Trump questions the Uncle Forty portrait, but like the plasma set up at the end of the boardroom.

Octane greet Trump in a military style. They stand and deliver while Gene explains the decisions they made. Trump is not impressed with the anemic boardroom that has no privacy and only seats 6. The big whoops however happens in the communal area when not 1 but 2 cameramen take a digger, falling on their behinds after slipping on some area rugs. Can you say lawsuit?

In the Boardroom, claws come out early, before the winning decision is announced. Trump does set this up though by saying that he didn't truly like either workspace. The men are semi-civil but point out that Gene was not effective until the second half of the task. Gene points out that James and David were difficult at different points of the task and James is shocked. Yes, James, when you PM tells you to paint straight lines and then to take artistic license to make them crooked, that is being difficult. David on the other hand gets defiant in his defense, but really needs to STFU. If you don't know what that means, Google it.

And now, get out your scratching posts because here come the claws. And by scratching post, I mean Nicole. She's ineffective, she's wishy-washy, she's a bad leader, she's self centered, she's afraid to get her hands dirty... All this and more comes from the lynch mob known as Fortitude sans Nicole. The leader of that mob? Mahsa, who comes out with more seething criticism than Sue Hawk during her "Snake & Rat" speech from Survivor.

The remarkable thing is that Nicole barely defends herself. She denies the accusations with such a meek nature, that we all know what is about to happen should Fortitude lose.

As Trump hands down the final ruling, he reiterates that he didn't like either space. (Fire two people then!). He feels that Fortitude's space completely lacked character while the Octane space at least exhibited some modernity, so Octane, you win this task!

The men celebrate and we learn that each winning PM will get the opportunity to spend time with a high-powered executive. This week that means Gene will get to spend time 1-on-1 with Trump. Not shabby if used right. The men head upstairs to watch the bloodbath on the TV in the loft while the ladies prepare for hell.

But you know what? They actually already had their boardroom. Really. They put out so much hatred before they even knew they lost that their private time with Trump is nothing but redundancy. Nicole continue to pathetically err in not defending herself. The banshees shout in louder and more shrill pitches, requiring Ivanka to point out that maybe Mahsa, the leader of the banshees should be fired for being unprofessional.

I need to take a moment to state my opinion on our friendly Assistant District Attorney Mahsa. Yes, she is loud. Yes, I have identified as the leader of a lynch mob and a group of screaming banshees. And yes, she clearly has some kind of a pact with Tyana to protect one another. However, her arguments are solid, I agree with her that she (Mahsa) worked hard and Nicole didn't and I'll never disparage someone for fighting for their lives and what they believe in on a reality show that could garner them a six-figure job. Especially when trying to rise from the depths of the economic depression.

All that said, Nicole is asked who she would bring back in to the boardroom and she identifies Tyana based on the fact that they lost on design and Tyana was responsible for the aesthetic and Mahsa based on her "disloyalty" the difficulty of working with her.

Note to future reality show contestants: you can never bank on loyalty. It'll bite you in the butt every time. Look at Britney from Big Brother 12. All loyalty got her was 4th place and a boatload of tears (...and the $25K check as America's Favorite player, but that is beside the point).

The safe ladies are now back in the loft and Nicole sits beside her two executioners. Nicole finally decides to defend herself and states her case that the design was something she delegated to Tyana who failed to deliver the best possible look. Tyana points out that she could have done better if she had more than 45 minutes at the furniture store (time-management, blames Nicole) and that Nicole was with her approving the choices as they were made (50% of the design was Nicole). Ivanka adds that you can't approve the design and then skirt out on it later.

Trump asks why Nicole wanted to bring a bulldog like Mahsa in here as opposed to some other more meek female. Nicole points out that Mahsa's demeanor makes her impossible to work with and that she has a bad attitude and isn't a team player.

Trump then asks who he should fire. Nicole says Tyana. (way to shoot yourself in the foot)

Again, note to future contestants, don't build your argument against one person and then try to eliminate the other. should you survive such a tactic (which you won't) you'll only be left with an enemy in the game.

So, some 3 minutes of shrill bickering from Mahsa later (she just doesn't stop folks). Trump slams his finger down. Nicole, you're fired.

Finally! The obvious has been delivered. Nicole exits gracefully and might even have a tear in her eye, but Trump says he does see a leader in her and would like to set her up with an interview with the Miss Universe organization. Good luck with that.

Next week the Apprentices will tackle the hard-hitting world of Ice Cream sales. We'll see who can avoid a sticky situation when The Apprentice (Now Celebrity Free!) continues!

To see this episode in its entirety, visit the official website at www.nbc.com/apprentice.