"Toying with Disaster"
- September 9
The Donald is back - and this time, it's 18 people who
want the opportunity to work under him. We are promised
bigger challenges, more cut-throatness, more
competition, and more... "You're Fired!"
We start this season with another skyline, and the
Donald saying that the sky is the limit. Last season, he
started in a helicopter - this season, we see him in a
plane, talking about his accomplishments, as well as his
'new' TV show. When the first season ended, the Donald
went back to real estate and made more money. I'm
noticing that he isn't mentioning his deficit problems
in Atlantic City here - that's probably what he really
needs an apprentice for.
He just came back from Chicago after looking after Bill,
who is in charge of his building project there. Donald
likes what Bill is doing, and now he wants someone else
to head off another of one of his companies. He wants a
leader, someone who is a leader. "I'm looking for... the
Stressing that this is a job interview, not a game, the
Donald has invited 18 people from all facets and
business experiences of life. Last year, Trump had them
start by selling lemonade. This year, thanks to the
ratings (and good old fashioned well placed
sponsorship), the candidates will be working with
Mattel, Toys R' Us, Pepsi, Procter & Gamble, and many
more. The prize? $250,000 - and a chance to work with
the Donald - "The dream job of a lifetime. Who will
succeed? Who will become...The Apprentice?"
Roll Credits. Is it just me or does Kelly look a lot
like Nick? I wonder if appearances in Trump's mind play
any sort of factor in this?
We get the usual spiel from The Donald on how they will
all live together - but will be conspiring to eliminate
each other. "It's brutal. It's tough, It's business."
The action shifts to the same waiting office used in the
first Apprentice, as we await the 18 new candidates. And
Jennifer M. - A long blonde attorney who reminded
me of Darryl Hannah. She finds the place a little
intimidating. You haven't seen anything yet...
Raj - He comes in wearing wing tip shoes, a bow
tie, red pants, and an outfit that looked like the
1920's and the 1940's were combined and on acid. Ok, we
have found this year's Sam.
Andy - Short guy with short brown curly hair, who
immediately goes after Raj and thinks that he looks like
Rodney Dangerfield. He adds that he hopes Raj can help
him tie a bowtie.
Maria - A cropped black haired woman who is in
marketing. She likes to size up her competition, and she
thinks that the guy with the shaved head is the guy to
Bradford - He of the shaved head. The attorney
surveys people and is looking for someone to pick off.
She sees a blonde woman who facial features look like
Cruella DeVille, and he decides that she's the person to
go after first.
Pamela - Miss Deville. She is strikingly blonde
and looks like she has a very hard edge to her.
Ivana - This season's Asian woman. She is medium
height with medium sized hair.
Stacie J. - This season's African American woman.
She seems nothing like Omarosa, which is a good thing -
but can she hold her own?
John - Take Sean from Next Action Star, have him
lose 100 pounds, and you have John, who is really
excited about meeting The Donald.
Wes - a tall short blond haired kid, who makes
his impressions felt as he feels that the guys will
pummel the girls. They haven't in the early rounds,
Rob - an average looking black haired guy that
looks like he's getting a little pudgy.
Kevin - An African American law student. Think
Denzel Washington with a shorter face.
Elizabeth - A marketing firm woman who looks like
a cross between Katrina from season 1 and Liz from
Survivor season 2.
Chris - Looks like a less pudgy Kevin James with
more of a hairline and a New York accent.
Sandy - a blond (what is it with all of the
blondes?) a salon owner who I will confuse with Jennifer
half of the time.
Jennifer C. - A real estate agent with a small
pompadour. She looks like a high crust woman - will she
get her hands dirty?
Kelly - Here's the Nick Warnock lookalike - same
facial features and same voice tones.
See it a little.)
Stacy R. - She looks like the Resident Evil
character - cute brownish hair, but with a smile that
can rip your head off.
As everyone is sizing each other up, The Donald has
Robin the receptionist invite them all inside. As they
get settled, we see that Carolyn Kepcher (Nasty, yet
nice) and George Ross (nasty and not very nice) are
back, and Donald warns them all that New York is the
meanest, most vicious city in the world.
Donald notes that the women started out strong - but a
man got the job. He made it men vs. women the first time
around - and he is going to do it again. He goes over
the rules, with a few modifications. The first one is
that the winning project leader is exempt from getting
fired the next week. Andy hates that word, and he
doesn't want to see Mr. Trump in the Board Room.
The candidates leave the Board Room of Doom - and go
into their pad, which has a nice Greek setting this time
around - columns and busts included. The pants are
actually working for Raj, as he gets chummy with
everyone. The people find the bubbly and start
celebrating, and Wes gets chummy - with the guys, as he
toasts to them dominating the women. That, of course,
pisses them off and Wes is in the hot seat already.
Ivana: "He's sarcastic, but maybe too much. Who wants to
work with a guy like that?"
The girls find an envelope after drinking the guy's
champagne (heh) and they get a letter from the Donald
congratulating them. The letter says that life is full
of curve balls - and here's another one - they have to
send someone from each team permanently to the other
team - and they are the project managers for the first
task. The guys want to either draw from a hat or to
vote, but Bradford volunteers. The guys are surprised,
but it's a great move for the bald guy, as he can now
scope out everyone. "When it comes to taking charge at
the plate, I'm the guy who takes home base, points (the
bat) to the center field, and knocks it out of the
That was a good move - walking into the girls meeting
while they are deciding who to send over to the men
probably wasn't. Maria is happy that every team needs a
Y-chromosome, and Pamela, the hard edged woman, decides
that she wants a lot of them, adding that she wanted to
be the project manager the first time out. She elects to
go over to the guys, and the women don't seem to be
protesting. Bradford may, though, because that's the
person that he wanted to get rid of first, and it will
be tough to do that if she is on the other side.
Jennifer: "Pamela either made a bold good move, or she
made a bold stupid move." As for Pamela going to the
guys side? "My penis is getting larger every minute."
Now back to creating a team name. Raj likes the battle
ship idea - Intrepid, Dreadnaught, etc. while Pam is
looking for something strong, like Empire (which is
actually a pretty cool name). Kevin brings out 'Mosaic',
which everyone votes on over Empire. Raj hates the name,
"I think it's a fruity-toot name. I think it says
nothing, other than the fact that we're politically
correct", and tries to convince people to change the
name if they start losing challenges. Based on what I've
seen so far, they may be changing the name.
The women think about 'Empire', as well as a lot of
better names than Mosaic. Bradford tries to lead the
group - but he's not getting anywhere and Maria has to
reign him in - especially when Bradford thought that
they created a name and he's about to leave. They do
finally vote on Apex - and that's their name. Bradford
isn't too thrilled, though, as he notices that the women
were talking over themselves and he thinks that they may
be in trouble. "What have I gotten myself into?"
Raj pleads his case to the women, who also laugh at the
name. They notice that the women come out with the more
masculine name than the guys. The women tell him to
spend more energy on arguing on the name and less time
worrying about his clothes. Ouch. Raj ends his night
thinking that his ego has been pummeled - which, to a
degree, it has.
At 8am the next morning, everyone gets to meet The
Donald in front of Toys R' Us. Raj still wants his ego
to take a beating as he comes out with a cane. His name
beating, however, will be justified, as The Donald likes
Apex - but thinks that Mosaic is awful. Raj wants a name
revote - and the Donald goes after Raj for the cane.
"You have two good feet, it seems like you can use
them." Donald is impressed with Pamela and Bradford for
volunteering - and he wants to impress everyone else
with the toy industry. The first task - each team has to
develop a brand new toy from Mattel - and they will have
as many resources from Mattel as they need. The target
audience for this toy is for a little boy. At the end of
the day, the teams will be presenting their idea to
Mattel representatives Richie Weintraub, Mark Sullivan
and Evelyn Paiol. The team with the best marketable toy
will win the challenge - the losing team gets someone
Once Mosaic gets into the room, Pamela has everyone take
off their ties, which is a good idea because it sets
everyone in a more casual mood. "I wanted them not only
looking like, but thinking like a Mattel executive." The
ideas go from a water spouting backpack to a magnetic
fish tank as Andy suggests that they create a lobster
with movable appendages called 'Crustacean Nation'.
Kevin adds that there could be teams of good guys and
bad guys, and they all have interchanging parts. The
look on Raj's face says it all, as he wants someone to
desperately move him to the women's team.
Wes says that Rob says that he thought that he wasn't
part of the creative process. However part of the
process includes opening your mouth, and he doesn't
really do that. The only time that he does open his
mouth, he talks about a superficial character called 'Ecstatica',
which is an eel-thing, and the team hates the idea and
kills it almost immediately. Rob says that his strategy
is to not get into people's hair - and if that means to
chill out, that means to chill out. Dude, this isn't
Survivor - you need to be able to stand out, and if you
are not doing that you are just waiting to get canned by
On the Apex side, the women came out with ideas. They
talk about a drag queen collection and an easy bake
oven, and that gives Bradford the willies. He tells the
women that if you break down kid, a kid loves sports and
cars. He had a football game idea, but Jennifer thinks
that the idea is too old-fashioned and 'ho-hum'.
Jennifer goes for a car with changeable parts, and all
of the women seem to enjoy it. Bradford decides to pull
rank and makes an executive decision to go with the
football game, which almost triggers a women's mutiny
and has Maria wanting to strangle Bradford's lights out.
"If I could get a hold of his jugular, I would."
Trump's Rule for the first week - "Be Quick, But Be
Careful." You can't make a decision so quick that it's
going to be wrong.
The women think that Bradford's idea is wrong - though I
think that any idea will be better than the appendable
super lobster. The team goes into the Mattel
Corporation's toy design department as they will be
creating the prototype. Bradford does a smart thing and
asks about the validity of the idea, asking if his idea
has been done before. It's been said that is has been
done and they don't know how successful it is. He then
brings out the women's idea, and the designers like that
better. Bradford acquiesces to the women and this time
it looks like it will pay off as he realizes that a
democracy will be better than a dictatorship.
Mosaic looks to the toys, and they get to see the
lobster pieces, while the car pieces are also looking
sweet. Bradford was very impressed that they could get
the prototype done in 13 hours. How will the prototype
work in the focus group - which in this case, are a
bunch of young kids? George is actually smiling
(sadistically?) as the kids come in while everyone else
is looking at them through a 2-way mirror. They
introduce the 'Metamorphor', and the kids are having a
field day with it, watching it crash into walls and
having the pieces fall off.
Now it's time for the underwater shellfish. The kids
walk over there - except for one of them, who, in the
words of Pamela, "wasn't having any part of our
product... he wasn't believing in Santa Claus anymore."
The kids were playing with the item - but not as
intently as they were playing with the car. Pamela goes
after the surly, kid, wondering who cut his hair and
saying "He looks like a mini-dumb and dumber." Well,
Carolyn hears that, and the look on her face shows that
she isn't thrilled at what just came out of Pamela's
mouth. Everyone turns around, shocked at what Pamela
said, and even the professionals were taking notes.
While the women are waiting for the results, Stacie J.
asks the Magic 8 Ball if the team has won - and the
8-Ball says that things are looking good. That gets the
women happy. Then Stacie starts to ramble about her
history with the 8 Ball - and she wonders why no one is
listening to her. That gets the women scared. She is
accused of people being paranoid while she was accusing
people of being people of calm and uncaring. Stacie is
going off on a tangent. Bradford and everyone else ells
Stacie to chill out, while Sandy is convinced that if
they look into the 8 Ball and asked if Stacie J will be
the first person to be fired, the 8 Ball will say
The Donald cancels a meeting to get to Mattel (which
would be weird, because you would expect him to be at
Mattel when the results would be announced). The
crustacean line was not as fresh as they liked, while
the Metamorphor lets them build on an existing line that
they already have. The winning team is... Apex, who
celebrates by having dinner at twilight with The Donald
and his fiance, Melania.
That's good news for Stacie, who won't get fired. It's
better news for Bradford, who won't get fired on this
show or on the next show. It's really bad news for
Mosaic, who is going to be losing one of the patches on
Melania hosts Apex to their pad as The Donald invites
them in. They are spending time with him - something
that John is seething about, as he would give up every
reward for that opportunity. While Raj is cooking up
frozen dinners, the women are enjoying shrimp cocktails,
and Jennifer C. watched how The Donald ate his food -
and imitated his eating pattern. Uhhh... I don't think
that's what John was inferring. I think he was talking
more about getting into his mind and seeing how he ticks
- like him asking what was up with the guy with the
cane, which got laughter from everyone.
There is also laughter at Mosaic - albeit unintentional
when John puts a basketball through a wall. Pamela
realizes that she really needs to bond with the guys,
but it's the girls who she is talking to in terms of
eliminating the guys and Andy wants to smack Pamela in
the back of the head with a shovel. "No man at any time
knew what they were supposed to do." Andy and Rob are
convinced that they are going to the Board Room. Rob
says that Pamela is going to ask Rob what she did, and
Rob says that he is going to ask what did Pamela ask him
to do. That's a really bad choice of strategy, as the
Donald is looking for a leader, not a follower, and Rob
will be acting like just that. Andy is a nationally
ranked debater, and he promises that if he is called
upon, he will take Pamela out.
He may not need to worry about it, as Pamela is doing a
very good job taking herself out. She first criticizes
Mattel for not following what was on the dossier, then
blaming the kids. Carolyn comes right back at her,
saying that the comments that she made about the kids
were offensive. Donald adds that he has a bad haircut,
which gets chuckles from everyone. She admits that she
doesn't have kids and wouldn't relate. The Donald
wonders why the kids didn't have imagination in terms of
creating toys for boys, and Raj says that he never had
toys when he was a kid. Donald was shocked that the guys
didn't win this, and Kevin said that there wasn't a
plan. Wes says that Rob should be the person to be
blamed, because he didn't utilize himself in any
contributing fashion. Rob counters that he wasn't used
because he wasn't asked. Carolyn asks him if it was his
fault, and Rob snaps back, saying "Excuse Me?" to
Carolyn. That was a disastrous move, and if Pamela
elects to take him to the Boardroom with her, you may as
well send the taxi for Rob right now.
Donald asks Rob if he should have stepped up - and he
said that he wasn't asked. He asks who the blame should
fall on - and he says Pamela. Andy also says Pamela -
because a team should never be surprised, which they
were, because they didn't know what roles they should be
doing. Kelly (where did he come from?) said that Rob
should be blamed, while John goes after Rob and wonders
how people who are supposed to be leaders are going to
mope around in the corner and do nothing. "The people
who didn't stand up and get involved in the mix... you
have to stand up at the table and do something." Pamela,
to Rob, "You were heard - just because you weren't
selected for things doesn't mean that I wasn't
Pamela can either select 2 or 3 people who may or may
not get fired. Pamela wants to know what the benefit of
taking an extra person with her. She wonders what the
advantage is, and while the Donald is wondering why she
is asking that, I am not - it's a smart move, as she
wants to see what the rationale is. According to Donald,
the only advantage is that it gives him more of an
option on who to fire, and she wisely only selects two,
since there is no reason to alienate any more people,
and the people she wants to bring - Rob and Andy - were
earmarked from the start.
Though she made a lot of bonehead errors, I can't see
Pamela getting fired as the first manager. Carolyn liked
Pamela, while George says that Rob should forced himself
to do more things. This one seems pretty cut and dry.
When the three of them come in, the Donald was wondering
why no neither of them extended to help a lady into her
seat, which he considers not very nice, while Pamela
said that there was no need for it. She says that she
has a deeper experience portfolio than both Andy and
Rob. Rob says that he is valued in the right tasks, and
that he was underutilized. Donald: "A lot of people are
underutilized because they choose to be underutilized."
Andy is asked who was worse, and Andy said that he came
here not to say who was worse, but to get a job for Mr.
Trump. He says that he is in the Boardroom because of
his youth - and Rob basked Andy for the first time,
saying that he didn't do anything either and only came
up with the name. Rob has finally figured out what he
needed to do - but it's a little too late in the game.
Trump's analysis - Pamela has a hard edge which isn't
going to disappear - but it needs to for her to win. Rob
- He doesn't have to be asked in order to not do a job.
Andy - Not sure if he has enough experience and is a
project - but he will give Andy another chance as he
tells Rob, "You're fired." Rob thanks the Donald and he
is gone. Donald says that it was a little tough (though
I didn't think so) while George and Carolyn told him
that it's only going to get tougher. Rob leaves and
Pamela and Andy return upstairs. End of episode.
My take? Excellent start to this series. They have taken
the concept and have moved it up to the next level,
showing us that it's not going to just be who can sell
the most of something. Granted, there should be some of
those exercises, but not the majority. Here is my early
chart in terms of who, in my opinion, is where -
Good First Impression - Jennifer M., John, Bradford,
Maria, Wes, Kevin
Need more info - Sandy, Elizabeth, Chris, Ivana, Raj
Bad First Impression - Jennifer C., Pamela
In Trouble - Stacie J., Andy
WHO? - Stacy R., Kelly
You're Fired - Rob
This should be one heck of a fun ride. The next trip
starts next week.