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The Apprentice
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
Page Feldman
Eden Gaha
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 Nine
November 11

This episode of the Apprentice starts out like an episode of 90210.

No, there aren't a bunch of anorexic girls running around looking for their next mistake...
I mean one night stand...
I mean future reality show co-star.

No this one starts out with an utter scandal and accusations of cheating! (Wait, didn't we end an episode with this a few weeks ago during Mahsa's ouster?)

The Donald has received information that Anand has been sending text message to request money during tasks, specifically during the Pedicab task. Apparently, Trump believes Anand has been calling in favors to earn cash rather than using his own business acumen.

Again, wait. In business, does anyone really care where the money comes from as long as no one gets sued? Just sayin'

Anand adamantly denies this. Multiple times. And then Trump reads him the text.

"Come to Trump Tower from 10-1:30 pm. Bring at least $50 cash. Pretend like you don't know me need you to buy a pedicab from me or one of my teammates. I'm project manager, so my ass is on the line. I'm getting close to the top. I won't have my phone with me, so just come by and pretend like we don't know each other."


Anand admits that he sent the text, but also says that no one came to provide money so the results of the task were not changed.

Everyone is shocked that he would do such a thing, but Trump takes the only possible action and fires him.

Trump does admit that he's all for taking any steps necessary to gain a competitive advantage, but that you can't break the rules.


I could spend the rest of this recap complaining about the hypocrisy here, but I'll keep it brief for those of you who did not come here to read a diatribe.

Anand's elimination is 100% justified. When you break a rule in the business world, you should be punished as the repercussion you bring upon yourself and the company could be disastrous. Thus, when you are on a reality competition and you are handed a rule book, it is your duty to read it thoroughly and know it inside and out. If you have any confusion, you can consult a producer as a last recourse.

However, in the same breath that you are trying to win the game I 100% believe that you should try to "beat" the game too. This is where the Big Brother 6 Finger strategy, Russell finding Idols without clues and many other great reality TV moments have come from.

This applies to game shows too. Charles Van Doren went too far when he accepted answers from producers on Twenty One. This led to the quiz show scandals and is documented thoroughly in the movie "Quiz Show" (rent it, watch it). Anand, like Charles, broke the rules.

However, Michael Larson who won $110,237 in a single episode of Press Your Luck, did not break any rules. He found a flaw in the game, recognized that the board was patterned and abused it for all it was worth. Michael "beat" the game. Yes, producers freaked out. Yes, CBS tried to deny him his money. In the end, Larson kept his winnings and Press Your Luck revamped the board to make it truly random to make sure they couldn't get "Larson-ed" again.

Mahsa pulled a Michael Larson, not a Charles Van Doren. Whether she realized it or not. Sharing information about earnings after the task broke no direct rules and could be used strategically. She had the advantage over the rest of her team of knowing from the get go whether they had won or lost. This allowed her to posture he statement in the most beneficial manner to her position in the game. Apprentices look the most foolish when the claim to have won and are found out to be wrong. Mahsa never had to accept that risk. However, to be fired a task later for something that didn't break the rules, but rather, according to Trump violated the spirit of the competition... Frankly, that's BS. The show is subjective and Trump can do whatever he wants, but this season would be better off if Trump gave credit to Mahsa for gleaning a competitive edge, yet warned her that she should not do it again (if that was his preference).

Rant Over. If you want to hear more about this in depth, check out the Reality Rant podcast on iTunes. My dulcet voice is very soothing.

Something smells... The teams will be promoting celebrity fragrances for Perfumania. They will be developing a display for a new Kim Kardashian fragrance.

Resisting epic butt jokes.

So while I resist those jokes I'll let you know that Liza has joined Stephanie and Poppy forming an all girls team. Poppy will lead as PM. ON the other side where Brandy is the sole woman between Steuart and Clint, Clint will be the PM. Really.

And they're off!

The ladies of fortitude brainstorm and quickly come to the conclusion that the sexiest way to present Kim Kardashian's perfume is by using Kim herself. They want a life sized cut out of Kim where she is sitting on a suspended metal ring. They think it would be great if people could take a picture alongside Kim. And Glitter! And Boas! And sequins! Poppy and Stephanie channel their inner Tana (remember Miss bedazzler herself?).

Liza on the other hand is not as amused. She voices her concerns in confessional that she thinks all of the fake gems and feathers will make the rest of their display look cheap. Who would have ever thought that Liza would be the contrarian? She may be right though...

Octane heads straight to the Perfumania store to do their brainstorming wisely deciding to check out their space before making any decisions. Upon seeing the space, Steuart comes up with the idea of acrylic suspended cubes. Clint adds that they should be backlit in pink or purple. Brandy says she doesn't know.

Steuart thinks it should be set up like an old Hollywood vanity.

Clint thinks there should be an image of Kim on the back of the display peeking through the window facing the street.

Brandy says she really isn't that girly... and still doesn't know.

<Big Brother> Clint, please report to the Diary Room </Big Brother>

Clint finds Brandy's lack of participation absolutely comical. After all, wasn't she just the woman giving come hither glances lying on the bed half naked in the previous task. Not girly?!? Geez...

Fortitude is making progress on their display and Poppy and Stephanie leave Liza to help the carpenters while they go buy accoutrements (read fake Barbie gems). When they return, Poppy is shocked to find that Liza has actually executed her vision well. They begin bedazzling the display and Liza snarls her lip. She doesn't say much, but you can tell she is displeased. It's like someone painted a mustache on the Mona Lisa.

Octane, also known as the team that doesn't fight has a great elegant display. The only quibble that occurred was when Ivanka visited and spoke with Brandy. Brandy pointed out accurately that she was in a dangerous position as this was a feminine task and Clint and Steuart were already bonded. Thus, she could easily become a target should they lose.

All pretense aside, what's about to happen should be obvious.

First, Kim Kardashian makes a guest appearance. My eyes thank you Mr. Trump. She smiles and nods at both teams presentations and then she and the Perfumania exec meet with the Donald to tell him who the winner is.

Trump reveals the opinions of Perfumania and Miss Kim K. They thought Octane's display was clean, sophisticated and everything Kim represented while Fortitudes display was childish, tacky and cheap.

Octane wins this task Clint will be meeting with the head of Starwood Hotels and he along with Brandy and Steuart head up to the loft.

Fortitude, let's get it on!

Poppy and the rest of the team admit to it being a collaborative concept, but Liza is the only one who flat out says the Octane display was better. Liza also states that she was the only person who was against all the Barbie bedazzling and that her portion of the task, the construction of the pieces, went perfectly and receive praise from Poppy as PM.

Wow, I can't believe it, but for once there is no good reason to get rid of Liza on this task.

As Trump investigates further is becomes clear that Poppy and Stephanie were basically running a Patty Duke show on this task. They veritable agreed on all decisions, especially the bad ones and there is no way that Poppy can shirk her responsibility as PM. A Project Manager need to take all the ideas given to him or her, use the good ones and throw out the bad ones. Seems like Poppy got that confused.

Poppy, You're Fired!

So, in an episode that could be considered a reality recapper's dream, two people were fired and Kim Kardashian became more ubiquitous. 5 candidates remain. Who will be gone next?

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