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"Cruise Control" - March 27

Returning from the boardroom, Synergy is ecstatic, except for Andrea, Andrea is aggravated that Roxanne attacked her in the boardroom calling her insensitive.

[Yes, because berating co-workers after a boardroom isn’t insensitive at all.]

Roxanne stands her ground and Andrea is convinced that Roxanne is way too weak to ever become the Apprentice. Time will tell.

Round 5: Norwegian Cruise Lines

This week the candidates will have to create a 30 second commercial to promote the cruise line and the freestyle sailing program. They have to shoot all of their footage by 3pm and disembark the ship to ensure that they are not whisked away. The team with the best ad as judged by Norwegian Cruise Line execs will win.

Running around frazzled, Dan acts as the project manager for Gold Rush and is forcing work into everyone’s hands.

After Dan proposes a montage with text subtitles such as “on your own time,” Lenny proposed an idea of having a castaway be rescued by the ship. Everyone on Gold Rush seems warm to Lenny’s idea and the team is off and shooting

Synergy is being led by Roxanne this week. Andrea is fully displeased with Roxanne’s leadership saying that everyone else on the team is taking the reins. We find out that this is true when the lead of the camera crew stresses to Roxanne that it is important for there to be only a single voice. Roxanne affirms this but continues to remain silent.

[Roxanne up until this point has positioned herself very well, but if she doesn’t shine on this task, or at least win to hide her faults, she could be in serious trouble. After all, who wants the red headed menace (Andrea) shouting at you in the boardroom?]

Gold Rush is shooting their talent lying on a bed like King Tut.

[This is Norwegian Cruise Lines not Egyptian Cruise Lines, Right?]

To no surprise, disorganization is becoming the problem. Dan is working the shoot almost entirely by himself and the rest of the team is getting aggravated that they are being underutilized. Leslie and Charmaine are primping in the bathroom because they have nothing better to do.

Then the real truth comes out. Leslie has a broadcast journalism background. So what is really happening here is that Leslie is bitter that she isn’t being given the power and more decision making control.

[After all, these Type A candidates are rarely more than a horde of control freaks.]

Back at Synergy, Roxanne is trying to create a contrast by showing a couple not having fun that will later be compared to a vibrant Norwegian cruise. As she steps away from the scene, Andrea steps in and suggests that the actors do it “more happy this time.”

[And you thought hijacking only happened in cars and on airplanes]

Roxanne calmly tells Andrea that she has a vision and that alternative takes have already been completed. Andrea steps off but makes it clear that if they lose this task that the blame will fall squarely on Roxanne. Roxanne tells us that she unlike Andrea knows how to play in the sandbox.

[Sandbox skills, one of the required abilities of an Apprentice. This proves that a candidate need not be more capable than an average kindergartener to succeed.]

It’s 3pm, Time to debark.

In the edit suite, Andrea and Roxanne continue to go at it. Andrea feels that the Cruise is being made look crappy because of the five seconds of unhappiness at the beginning. Roxanne stills wants it in and does not think that it will be confusing or defamatory to the cruise line. Roxanne then proceeds to tell all of Synergy that all she expects from them is simple respect. Whether she has been getting it is up in the air. Whether she will be attacked in the boardroom in the case of a loss is a sure bet.

Gold Rush is also arguing. Lenny doesn’t like the lower third titles and feels that it would be more appropriate if they used a voice over. Dan, however, puts his foot down and the titles stay in.

Presentation time.

Synergy shows their commercial and it makes clear and easy sense. A couple is shown bored in an old movie tint and then the viewer is asked, “When you think of cruises do you think of tedious schedules and boring routine?” Then we are treated to how Norwegian Cruise Lines has changed all of that with Freestyle cruising. Simple and to the point but not excessively creative.

Gold Rush presents and we see a man in tattered clothing come through the ship’s doors with seaweed on his head. This is followed by him enjoying a drink, sitting by the pool, taking in a show, etc. The execs do not get the cast away theme until it is explained to them after the commercial, but they feel the commercial shots themselves are beautiful.

The verdict:

Intriguing and clear will beat intriguing and confusing every time when it comes to making a sales pitch. Synergy takes this in a walk and the battle between Roxanne and Andrea will have to take place another day

[Maybe they can be on Celebrity Boxing? Nah, let’s save that for the Donald himself.]

As a reward, Synergy will be going on a tour of a diamond vault and will be taking home $30,000 of diamonds.

[And we all know where someone from Gold Rush is going. Back to obscurity.]

Dan and Tarek are conspiring before the boardroom, and Tarek is reminding Dan that Lee did nothing but schmooze during the task. Further, Tarek tells Dan that walking into that boardroom he has no friends. Dan falsely interprets this as meaning that Tarek is no longer on his side, but we’ll wait to finish explaining that.

When Leslie mentions that she had a background in broadcast journ., Dan claims that she never said that. Bickering ensues and becomes so garbled that Carolyn points out that they sound like a bunch of 12 year olds.

Bill Rancic then points out that lacking a voice over is a fatal flaw. Then the Donald takes another opportunity to knock Tarek on being a member of MENSA.

[Again, MENSA is based on IQ, Intelligence quotient which only measures a person’s capacity for learning. It DOES NOT mark a person’s actual intelligence!]

Lenny is then scolded for a bad idea, but Lenny mentions that the whole team liked the concept and this issue is dropped quickly.

Dan is asked for his decision. He chooses to bring back Lee and Tarek, and then Trump asks if he would also like to bring in Lenny.

[By now we should know that if Trump “wants” somebody you serve up their head on a golden platter. It not only increases your odds of survival, but it also prevents you from looking bad]

Not heeding the previous advice, Dan declines Trump’s invitation, and the rest are sent back to the suite.

In conference with his associates we learned that Trump feels Lenny should be the one leaving tonight. Once Dan, Lee and Tarek re-enter, Dan is under fire. Dan claims that he brought in Tarek because Tarek told him that he had no friends.

[Back to that sandbox training. Someone needs to go back to the pail and shovel]

Tarek rebuts and Trump points out that Tarek has been weak this entire interview process. Further Trump cannot understand why Lee is in the boardroom as he did nothing wrong. Dan points out that Lee has been playing the politician, but Trump points out that he did nothing which caused their team to lose this task. With those points mentioned, Trump’s laser hand can only be focused on one person. Due to his poor decision making and lack of leadership, Dan, You’re Fired!

Next week, bring your earplugs as the Apprentice candidates will be cutting singles.

[This will prove that the singers on American Idol are not as bad as everyone says they are]

All the pain and agony will be right here, so see you then.

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