The Apprentice: Martha Stewart
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The Conference Room Hiring (or as I like to call it, "I am so glad that this (^_^)ty show is finally finished!") - December 21

It’s nighttime in Manhattan. The opening of the show is edited to seem overtly sexual. Martha rasps, “Are you ready?” Charles says, “I’m ready and I’m excited.” Alexis, actually looking more attractive than her typical ‘I haven’t told my mom I’m a dyke yet’, addresses her mother, “…and are you ready?” Martha responds, “I am very ready.” Charles says, “Well, let’s go and do it.” [Obviously they fail to understand their target demographic: people who have failed to change their season pass on TiVo and recappers who have been shamed into doing recaps for yet another sucky chick-oriented reality show…] They go into the parking garage and get into Martha’s big black car that so tastefully matches her horses and the color scheme of her houses.

In the back of the car, Martha says that it’s been great to have the time to think about Bethenny and Dawna. Charles says that it all boils down to who Martha thinks would fit into her organization. Alexis says, “One is more creative and the other is more businesslike. The question is which candidate is the best one.” Martha says, “This is going to be very exciting for everyone.” [Not for me, Martha!]

They arrive on the set of Martha’s morning show to the theme of the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams.” The audience is on its feet and the old castoff, rejected former candidates can be seen in the audience grasping for minutes number 14 and 15 of their fifteen minutes of fame. Martha welcomes everyone to the set. She says that they started out with 16 candidates, and now they are down to their final two candidates: Bethenny [who used to sleep with Charles’ son] and Dawna. Martha says that she gave them each tough events to coordinate. Bethenny was asked to manage a circus benefit, while Dawna was asked to run a Liz Claiborne fashion show.

A Liz Claiborne executive, Linda Greenblatt, talks to Amanda and doesn’t seem happy with anything that Amanda has to say about the upcoming fashion show. Dawna says that Linda Greenblatt seems like the toughest executive they have met through the interview process. Dawna says that her job is to make Linda happy, but she is not sure she can do this. [Hey, it’s good practice for working for Martha.] Amanda irritates Linda by calling the company Liz Clay-burn, rather than Liz Claiborne. Dawna says that there was so much work to do that she had to trust Amada to handle the fashions and accessories.

At the Circus, Bethenny talks to the circus folks and offers them pizza. The head circus guy, Jim, isn’t totally confident that the event is going to happen without a hitch, but he seems less disgusted by the chaos.

Dawna and Amanda talk on the phone and Amanda tells Dawna not to worry about the fashion show, she will handle things. Dawna and Howie decide to finish the gift bags, then go to Liz Claiborne to finish helping with the show.

Psychotic Jim [not to be confused with Circus Jim] and Carrie trash Bethenny in the loft for being so unorganized. They talk about the fact that the VIPs are not being taken care of, nor have tasks been delegated to them. Carrie snarkily comments to Jim, “At some pint, we will have to assume leadership or watch her fail.” Bethenny says that she understands that her team doesn’t “get” what she is doing, but she is hoping that they will just trust her.

Late at night, Dawna and her team are working on the accessorizing for the fashion show. Dawna really wants to get the accessorizing finished so that the program can be completed.

Back to the live show where Martha comments that both Bethenny and Dawn are off to a rocky start. She also says that she will make her decision live. [Well, not-so-live for me here on the West Coast, but we can pretend.]

Dawna and her team work on last minute details of the fashion show. Amanda goes over the fashion show with Linda, who catches a few mistakes on the program, namely the fact that a skirt was called a shirt, and a cape-sweater should be called a capelet. Linda gives Amanda, who is now worried about the program, the news that she is going to trust her to get things done properly, then leaves.

At the Circus task Bethenny is decorating her VIP room. She says, “I have to maximize my mind and my creativity to utilize the resources I had been given. I had to use the product from the sponsors and I had to think outside the box.” She gives her team directions: “Just take stuff and make it look great.” [Wow, how profound!]

Amanda calls Dawna and tells her about the changes that Linda made to the program. Dawna asks her to email the changes, but Amanda doesn’t think that she will have time, so they go over the changes via cell phone. Sarah says that the great thing about Dawna is the fact no matter how stressful the situation, she always remains calm. Dawna worries that the programs will not be printed in time for the fashion show.

At the Circus event, people marvel at the beautiful program. People are lined up for the event and Bethenny orders the house to be opened. Martha arrives and Bethenny escorts her through the event. Bethenny shows her all of the silent auction items. As Martha chows down on Pringles, Bethenny tells her that a trip to trapeze school is up for auction. Martha says that she wants to buy it for Alexis.

At the fashion show, Dawna has Howie work on gift bags. She is careful to thank him as she orders him around. Howie is totally on-task until a model, wearing a provocatively short skirt, walks by. Sarah shows up with the programs and realizes that they suck. Dawna explains that they really wanted to do something special but they didn’t have time. Linda from Liz Claiborne is disturbed by the fact that the company logo isn’t on the program, nor is the title centered.

Martha watches as the circus folk do their things. Ryan comments that the circus event went off without a hitch and he is impressed. Charles compliments Bethenny on the good job that she did. Bethenny says goodbye to her team, who later grouse that she gave “a lukewarm handshake as she drove off into the sunset.”

Just before the event opens, Dawna went to the front of Liz Claiborne to greet Martha. Martha tells Dawna that her dentist got married in the same venue last year. The show starts and goes off without problems. Dawna is a bit teary-eyed as the executives come up to her and compliment her, even the previously bitchy Linda. Dawna thanks her team, there are group hugs and everyone tells Dawna that she deserves to win.

The applicants pack their belongings in the loft. Bethenny says that she went through the process to prove that she is as “strong and as special” as she thought she was. Bethenny also says that out of the sixteen applicants, she is the only person who truly understands Martha’s brand. Dawna, who thinks that she is more experienced than Bethenny, says that she wants this more than anything else she can remember. Both Dawna and Bethenny are confident that Martha will be giving them the job.

In the conference room, Martha says that she was very impressed with the Circus Program. She says that the Liz Claiborne people were not as impressed. Dawna tells Martha that the Liz Claiborne people kept making changes with the clothing and the order of the models, so it was impossible to produce a really nice program for the fashion show. [Yeah, that and the fact that Amanda was a total fuck-up on this task.]

Now it’s time for the contestants to trash each other. Dawna talks about how Bethenny rubs people the wrong way and that most of the other people in the loft didn’t enjoy working with Bethenny. Bethenny says that there is nothing special about Dawna. Bethenny says that she is looking for a life, not just a stepping stone. Dawna says that the job wouldn’t just be a stepping stone for her, that it’s about media and publishing. Bethenny says that Dawna really doesn’t care about Martha. Martha says that she is going to make up her mind and thanks Dawna and Bethenny for their efforts.

Martha welcomes Bethenny’s team (Jim, Carrie and Ryan), along with Dawna’s team (Sarah, Howie and Amanda). Martha next welcomes Bethenny and Dawna. Martha asks Charles what he thinks about Bethenny. Charles said that Bethenny has shown passion, creativity, and has grown a lot, but has a problem playing and working well with others. Martha asks Alexis about Dawna. Alexis tells Martha that if she really wants to know what she thinks she will have to tune into Alexis’ radio show on Sirius. Everyone laughs, but then Alexis says that Dawna is dispassionate, but would be a better fit for Martha’s company.

Martha starts asking questions of the final teams. She asks Amanda what qualities Dawna lacks as a leader. Amanda says that Dawna is one of the strongest leaders she has ever met, so she can’t think of any qualities Dawna lacks. Martha asks Jim if Bethenny chose her team well. Jim says that Bethenny showed great management skill in picking her team, and since the event went off without problems, she is obviously good at picking out talent [meaning himself, of course]. Martha comments about the fact that the Liz Claiborne executives weren’t happy, and asks Sarah for her opinion. Sarah says that she doesn’t think that they were mad at how the event went off; they were upset about the timelines and how little time there was to get things done. Martha asks Bethenny why she didn’t praise her team after they did so well at the Circus task. Bethenny says that she did say thank you, but that her team was disgruntled and didn’t want to be there. She says that she had to have a more “passive” management style. Martha wonders if Bethenny has the business skills to work at her company, but Bethenny says that she has the skill to make things happen. Martha comments that Dawna is a detail person and a people person, but the client remarked that she didn’t have an overall vision for the fashion show. Dawna comments that her event went off without a hitch, and even her harshest critic Linda said that she couldn’t believe that Dawna pulled off the event. Dawna says that she felt comfortable with the executives at Martha Stewart and would be a good fit. Bethenny says that she would fit in at Martha Stewart because she understands Martha, her vision and is inspired by her.

Martha says, “Bethenny, you are spunky, you are a showoff, you feel that you have to make a physical impression, which is not necessary at Martha Stewart.” Martha continues, “Dawna you are clearly a talented manager and we could always use somebody with your business acumen at Martha Stewart Omnimedia and I would like to offer you the job as my apprentice.”

The audience applauds and hugs are traded. Martha tells Dawna that she will be working for Martha’s magazine ‘Body + Soul’ and then tells the audience that if they would really like to help Dawna they will subscribe to the magazine. Dawna will be the Development Director of the magazine and will be in charge of finding advertisers for the magazine. Martha gives champagne to everyone except Dawna, who is given A BRAND NEW CAR! Yes, Dawna leaves in a Buick Lucerne. A voiceover says that souvenirs from the show are available at [I checked out the auctions and there are bargains to be had…some T-shirts are listed for $0.99 because there have been no bidders.] Dawna goes out to her new car and drives off into the streets of New York, likely never to be heard from again.


(C-Note: and thank God for that)

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