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Eighteen men and women have been chosen by the most powerful man in real estate for a 15-week job interview, in which only one can be named president of one of his companies.

Who will Donald Trump choose as his next Apprentice? Check out the Portfolio to see who is still in the running!

Recaps by Eric Pierce, GSNN


FACT FILE:
Host: Donald Trump
Assistants: George Ross and Carolyn Kepcher
Creator: Mark Burnett
EP: Mark Burnett, Donald Trump, Jay Bienstock
Packager: Mark Burnett Productions, Trump Productions.
Airs: Thursdays at 9:00pm ET on NBC


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"Let's Get Physical" - September 22

Welcome to The Apprentice Season 4! This year should be interesting as Mr. Trump has been very clear in media reports that he was heavily displeased with the cast from the Apprentice 3. As a result he has taken a more direct role in the casting of this season and claims that the candidates this season are by far the best in the history of the series. With that said, let’s meet the mini-Trumps

Capital Edge

Alla, 31. A Salon and Spa Chain owner from Las Vegas, NV.

Felisha, 29. A Real Estate Developer from Kansas City, MO.

Jennifer, 26. An Ad Sales Manager from Los Angeles, CA.

Jennifer W., 31. A Realty Company Owner from Anthem, AZ.

Kristi, 24. A Sales Executive from Gainesville, GA.

Marshawn, 26. A Recent Law School Graduate from Atlanta, GA.

Melissa, 30. A Real Estate Investor from Tampa, FL.

Rebecca, 23. A Financial Journalist from Chicago, IL.

Toral, 29. An Investment Banker from Philadelphia, PA.


Excel

Adam, 22. A Risk Manager from Atlanta, GA.

Brian, 23. A Print Company Executive from New York, NY.

Chris, 27. A Marketing Executive from Dallas, TX.

Clay, 28. A Realtor from College Station, TX.

James, 27. A Sales Executive from Alexandria, VA.

Josh, 30. A Beauty Company Owner from New York, NY.

Mark, 35. A Wealth Manager from Louisville, KY.

Markus, 41. An Inventor from Sarasota, FL.

Randal, 34. A Consulting Firm Owner from Somerset, NJ.


There now that you know a little bit about their backgrounds which will be appropriately irrelevant but then rear their ugly heads when final interviews arise, we are ready to jump head on into the show.

Rather than meeting at Trump Tower, the candidates met The Donald for the first time at Trump National Bedminster, his golf course in New Jersey. He spilt them into teams of Men and Women (just as I did above), and announced their first task.

The Task:

Create a new Exercise Class for Bally’s Total Fitness. The class will be run for one day at one of two gyms in New York and the team with the greatest profits from enrollments will win.

So, wait? If the task was going to be in New York, why has Trump brought them to New Jersey? Well, The Donald decided to light a competitive fire by telling the teams that somewhere on his golf course was a Private helicopter and that the first team to get there would get to send two team members ahead of the pack to New York, giving them a distinct advantage in selecting gym locations.

And off they go!

The men set out on foot while the ladies hijack some golf carts. Eventually some of the women begin running and eschew their heels, but in the end Mark made it to the helicopter first bringing home the win for the men. Mark viewed this as a very strong statement pointing out that he was a winner to The Donald. Now, while he did win, it was only a footrace and business acumen will take him much further.

Back in the city, the men select the more affluent of two locations relegating the women to a location in Spanish Harlem. The men notice that Markus has taken to being talkative and unanimously nominate him to be Project Manager.

The ladies meanwhile decide that Kristi will be their project manager as she has a background in athletics as an All American. They are confident that they can win despite the location disadvantage because of a strong concept. Their concept? The Triple Threat workout consists of Pilates, Abs and Boxing, all things that they learned their customers wanted by polling the members inside of the club. What else did they learn? They learned that they had problems. In attempting to set a price point for the class, some members suggested going as high as $50, while other suggested lower prices around the $10 mark. In the Ten dollar crowd was Melissa who claimed that they had to set the mark at $10 because she was Hispanic and the people they were talking to were Hispanic and if they ask for any more money, the Hispanics will walk out feeling as if they were cheated. Harping on this point, Melissa became a disruption to the group and became labeled a negative influence.

The gentlemen of Excel are arguing the length of the class and Project Manager Markus wants to keep the class at 45 minutes. The rest of Excel seems to feel that the team should be sticking to a 30 minute class because it would allow another class to occur within their precious time window. At this point, Markus loses confidence and asks the rest of his team if there is anything he can be doing better. Josh, in an aside interview tells us that no leader would ask such a thing and that Mr. Trump would never do that. Further he commented that Markus’ leadership was “Bulls.” No, he isn’t referring to the stock market.

Capital Edge is hitting the street marketing their fitness class with flyer marketing. One problem, As Marshawn points out the flyers say “Triple XXX Threat” suggesting a negative porn star connotation. She says that this was Kristi’s (the Project Manager) decision, so she will go along with it so as not to hinder the team. It’s true that Week one is not necessarily the best time to be bold.

Excel is dissolving as no one has faith in Markus. Ironically, Markus has nothing but positive things to say about his team. The Guys have put together a “Rush Hour” which includes kick “butt” boxing, abdominal blast and yoga flex. Everyone seems to be picking up Markus’ slack pretty well and the guys are operating somewhat stress free.

This is good for one person who is dealing with a tragic event. Randal received a call from his wife letting him know that his grandmother passed away. Randal is visibly taking this hard and doesn’t seem sure that he is in the right place right now, but he tries his best not to hinder his team.

The ladies aren’t doing much better. Melissa is whining to Carolyn Kepcher about how she is doing “everything.” After blurting that out she retracts her comment to say that she feels Kristi as a Project Manager is incompetent and that the street marketing is inadequate. Alla is shocked that Melissa is bad mouthing the team to Carolyn, more so by the stupidity than the bad will.

Enough with the bickering how were the sales?

The Result:

Capital Edge: $516
Excel: $527

Excel wins the first challenge and is treated to dinner with Mr. Trump at the Friar’s Club. First though, Excel now has a tough decision. This season the project manager from the winning team only gets an exemption from firing the following week if his or her team votes that they deserve it. Alex speaks up and votes that no one should get exemption ever so that no one ever feels that they can skate through a future task. Adam, meanwhile, does feel that Markus should get an exemption because he stepped up and provided organization in the very first week. In the Final vote, only Adam and Randal felt that Markus should get and Exemption so no exemption was granted.

Trump then had a private word with Randal checking in with him and letting him know that if he wanted to quit that it would be completely understood. Randal thanked The Donald, but stated that he wished to stay as if would be the wish of both of his grandparents. With that, Randal is still in and one of the ladies is about to hit the street.

Kristi in entering the boardroom is adamant about the fact that this encounter is, “not about Kristi vs. Melissa, it’s about Melissa Sucks.” Line of the night, we have a winner!

The Boardroom:

In the boardroom, Kristi is right as nearly the entire team gangs up on Melissa and points out that she was a negative and disruptive influence. Melissa tosses the blame back on Kristi stating that Kristi’s marketing is what lost the task for Capital Edge, not her own negative attitude. Carolyn adds to this pointing out the “XXX” ad suggesting that Kristi surely could not be serious. Kristi defended by saying that the poor design was an error in the printing and that the submitted design had the words “triple threat” commingled through the X’s. Further, Kristi says that she heavily contributed on this task by choreographing the entire class.

With that said, Trump asks Kristi what two people she would like to bring back into the boardroom. Kristi asks if she can bring back only one and her request is granted. Kristi brings in Melissa alone and apparently it is going to be Kristi vs. Melissa after all.

In private, both George Ross and Carolyn Kepcher are concerned that Melissa has overtly alienated her associates.

The Firing:

Bringing the candidates back in, Trump asks what Melissa’s problem with Kristi is and Melissa tells Mr. Trump bluntly that she (Melissa) is incapable of working with women. Melissa feels that women are threatened by her and that when they become intimidated that their only response is to alienate her anyway they know how. Carolyn crosses Melissa asking her how she plans to get through this interview or business in general if she can not work with women and Melissa fails to come up with a suitable answer. This boardroom is quite one-sided and after a little more feeble fighting, The Donald refreshes our memories and brings out those magic words. “Melissa, You’re Fired!”

Kristi begins to smile and is sharply cut off by Trump who tells her that she should not be proud of herself. Kristi’s smile fades immediately and she returns to the suite with a second chance.

One firing down and sixteen to go before we have a new Apprentice. It should be a fun season, and we’ll be here every week with every brutal word. Have a great week, and remember, "You could have it all."

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