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Game Show Lineup
Sixteen men and women have been
chosen by the queen of good things for a 12-week job
interview, in which only one can be named president of one of
will Martha Stewart choose as his next Apprentice? Keep track
Recaps by Julie Suchard, GSNN
Assistants: Charles Koppelman and Alexis Stewart
Creator: Mark Burnett (based upon "The Apprentice")
EP: Mark Burnett, Donald Trump, Jay Bienstock
Packager: Mark Burnett Productions, Trump Productions
Airs: Wednesdays at 9:00pm ET on NBC
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Once Upon A Time... - September 20
Once more into the breach
Wm. Shakespeare, Henry V
New-age happy-music plays as the camera pans over rich
farmland, split-rail fences, and happy black horses
frolicking in their paddock. [I read in Vanity Fair that
the horses arent allowed out in the paddock when the
sun is shining because Martha doesnt want their hair to
change from black because it will upset her black and
gray color scheme.] All is well with the world
Martha Stewarts droning monotone interrupts the idyllic
[This lady has virtually no vocal inflection. She sounds
the same no matter what her mood, or what she is talking
about. I doubt it even changes when she is having sex:
That is the correct method. Please continue with that
technique for the time being. Yes, I have come. Its a
There is no place like home. And for me, it provided
the inspiration for my entire business empire. [Well,
she certainly isnt lacking in self-esteem or ego.]
Martha, dressed in a sedate gray suit and black top,
walks towards the camera reciting a prepared speech
about how great she is, and how her company is now one
of the most prestigious and well-known brands.
Then we cut to establishing shots of Manhattan, and
Martha smiling in front of the paparazzi, as she
continues giving her verbal curriculum vitae. 1982: she
writes her first book, Entertaining. Then more books.
Then she signs with K-Mart in 1987 to be their
spokesperson and lifestyle expert. [So, wait a minute
here. Shes proud to be associated with the least common
denominator of retailing?]
Then shes riding on a private Lear jet and jabbering on
her cell-phone, Making a good impression is critical.
Remember that. [She is looking more and more like
Cybill Shepherd (who depicted Martha in a made-for-TV
movie that is constantly advertised during the
commercial breaks), but not in a good way.] In 1990 she
made a deal with Time-Warner to publish her magazine,
Martha Stewart Living. [By the way, you might want to
check out the parody publication, Is Martha Stewart
Living, available at bookstores everywhere. I have read
in an interview that Martha read the parody and said
that she could have done a better job putting it
Next came the daytime TV shows. Then she stepped out on
her own, borrowing $85 million and buying back control
of her magazine. In 1997, her company went public on the
NYSE, making her the first American female self-made
billionaire. As she steps into her gas-guzzling Chevy
Suburban Marthamobile [tactfully color-coordinated to
her suit and horses], she smirks and says; It felt
The path to success has not always been easy. Then she
briefly mentions her run-in with the law, without giving
any details, and says she has learned from her
experiences and never lost her optimism. I surround
myself with creative, hard-working colleagues. Now, I
want to add to my chain. Im looking for someone with
big creative ideas, possibly even one big idea. Im
looking for a team player, because thats the way we
work here. Im looking for THE APPRENTICE. [Umm
TV on Thursdays and features Donald Trump. You know the
guy who is co-producing this show. Whoa! Too
self-referential for me.]
Martha parades through her cube-farm office, stopping
intermittently to pretend she gives a shit about what
her underlings think. The candidates for this show, as
she calls them, will also live on the same floor of this
office building. The 16 candidates will live together in
this loft for 13 weeks, and well get to see what
happens when people start getting real and stop being
polite. [Yet again, too much internally-referential
stuff going on between all these reality shows.]
The candidates start to arrive with their rolling
luggage. [The receptionist, Julia, looks alarmingly
similar to SuperNanny Jo Frost, and has an English
accent as well.] Shawn is the first to arrive; she is a
32-year-old TV newscaster in Orlando, FL [http://www.local6.com/news/1227165/detail.html].
Several more arrive, but are not yet introduced. Howie
Greenspan, 33, a fashion company owner, is the next to
get some individual face-time. He says that he is very
similar to Martha, except that shes rich. Bethenny
Frankel, 34, is a natural foods chef. She says that she
fits in with Martha Stewart [maybe it was all that
jail-time they shared].
My god! Its already been 5 minutes, and they finally
start the theme-music. Its Sweet Dreams [Are Made of
This] by the Eurythmics, but they tweak it, decreasing
my enjoyment by a considerable margin. The teams are
introduced [even though they havent picked teams yet on
the show]: Cue Martha looking longingly at her big black
Carrie, 31, owns a PR company in San Diego
Jennifer, 32, a prosecutor from Orange County, CA
Ryan, 28, works for daddys employment agency, and wants
to be a lawyer
Amanda, 30, attorney for Dept. of Veterans Affairs
Howie, 33, Fashion Company owner
Sarah, 25, championship coxswain at the University of
Virginia, who presently works as an Event planner
Leslie, 36, Marketing Company owner, named one of 100
Most influential Hispanic Women
Dawna, 37, is the founder and publisher of "Her Sports"
magazine, a national women's sports magazine
Shawn, 32, TV Newscaster
Jim, 36 Ad Executive
Dawn, 33, PR Consultant
Chuck, 38, Interior Decorator Firm Owner
David, 22, Internet company owner
Bethenny, 34, Natural Foods Chef,
Jeff, 42, is both owner and creative director of
Strychnine Design, a graphic design and consulting firm
in New York City
Marcela, 27, Cooking instructor, hometown Tijuana,
The logo for The Apprentice Martha Stewart has the
familiar businessperson with a briefcase, but unlike
Donald Trumps version, its a woman in a skirt. Also
Martha is SMILING, yes actually SMILING [she must be
thinking about the big black horses.]
Martha comes into and directs the candidates.
Immediately one notices that this will be a more
egalitarian Apprentice, rather than Ms. Stewart this and
Ms. Stewart that, everyone calls Martha, Martha. Martha
welcomes everyone to her company. Beside her are her
daughter Alexis and Charles Koppleman, Chairman of the
Board, and they will be Marthas eyes and ears. But
Martha says that she will make the ultimate decision
about who stays and who goes.
Alexis says that she is there because she knows her mom
better than anyone. She says that she was the original
Apprentice and hasnt been fired yet.
Charles spent his early career in the music business. He
built and created the worlds largest independent music
publishing company. He joined Martha a year ago and they
have had a great time ever since. Charles then reveals
that he knows contestant Bethenny. Bethenny and Charles
say that each didnt know that the other person would be
on the show. Charles goes on to say that Bethenny dated
his son and he has known her for 15 years. [Charles is
holding a large, rather phallic looking cigar in his
Martha says that there are many things to learn at
Martha Stewart Omnimedia. Martha is looking for somebody
who will take a job in some aspect of the company and
work with Martha very closely to create something new
and something different. Martha goes on to say that her
offices do not have a boardroom. Meetings are held in
various conference rooms. The specific conference room
they are in will be the conference room from which
Martha will be asking people to leave.
Martha wants people to have fun and succeed. Carrie says
that meeting Martha is the culmination of everything
that she is and everything that she has been up to this
point in her life. Working for Martha is like a dream
The candidates go see their living quarters, which are
housed in the Martha Stewart Omnimedia headquarters.
Champagne, fruit and cheese are waiting for the
candidates and a toast is proposed to All Good Things.
Martha has a left a message I am very pleased to
welcome you as candidates. I hope that you have a very
good time competing, whatever the ultimate outcome. As
the first order of business I would like you to divide
yourselves into two teams of eight. Find something that
each team has in common, the first task begins tomorrow.
Enjoy and let the games begin. Martha Stewart.
But first, everyone wants to know about Bethennys
relationship with Charles. Bethenny says that she lived
in Paris with Charles daughter. Then she dated his son.
[I am guessing that Charles has seen her naked at least
once, most of the other people in his family have
Leslie says that it was obvious that half of the group
were corporate types while the other half were artist
types, so the group divides along this line. Jeff says
that its obvious that there are some people on his team
that need to be baby-sat. The teams come up with names.
The creative types are team Matchstick. Dawn immediate
dislikes Jim because he says inappropriate things at
inappropriate times. Jim confesses Ive always had a
problem with people who want to control my actions. You
dont control my actions. I control your actions. Get it
The next morning the phone rings. Marcella answers. Its
Martha who is working at home [with an attractive ankle
bracelet]. She tells the teams to meet her in the lobby
of Random House Publishing
At 8:00 and she doesnt want them to be late.
Martha, Charles and Alexis are at Random House quizzing
editors Chip Gibbs and Anne Schwartz. Martha asks, What
makes a childrens book a success? Anne replies, Its
a marriage of words and pictures. A new way of looking
at the world. Martha wants to encourage young children
to read and learn.
The teams stand in two groups. Jeff is the head of Team
Matchstick, the creative types. They say that the name
means that they are the start of something big. Martha
says that she likes the name.
Dawna is the leader of the other group, the corporate
types. They want to be first and the best so they name
themselves Primarius. Martha doesnt seem as thrilled
with this name.
Martha introduces Chip and Anne to the candidates and
says that they will be the bosses during this task. Each
team will have the job of adapting an established
well-known fairy tale and making it pertinent to todays
children. Martha says that the goal of this task is for
people to learn how to connect with their audience, not
only connecting with children, but also with their
parents. Martha says that she and Alexis read childrens
books. Martha says she is still hoping for grandchildren
(as Alexis grimaces).
Each team will have access to a designer and an
illustrator. At the end of the project, the teams will
have a childrens book to read to a group of first
graders. Chip and Anne will tell Martha which book is
the winner of the competition. The winning team will be
celebrated and the loosing team will be sent to the
conference room where somebody will be asked to go home.
Martha says that its important for business executives
to know the importance of connecting with the customer.
Whether that customer is a leader, a television viewer,
a consumer of retail products, making the connection
with the customer is essential to that business.
In the Rudyard Kipling room of Random House, Primarius
develops an action plan. Carrie comes up with the idea
of adapting Jack and the Beanstalk she says that the
fantasy element will appeal to the kids who like Harry
Potter. Leslie comes up with the idea of telling the
Dawna thought that the group would be more respectful,
but everyone talks at one. She had to find a way to get
them under control so she decides to split the group
into two. One group will find people off the street to
be a pre-focus group focus group, while the other half
finishes the book. Dawna says that the most important
thing is that the kids love the book.
Team Matchstick works in the Dr. Seuss Room. Jeff
decides to adapt Hansel and Gretel in an urban
setting. He says that the story is all about running
away and the city is a scary place to run away. Everyone
agrees that Dawn would be the best person to write the
book since she comes from a background of literature and
publishing. Dawn asks the group to respect her personal
space while she is writing.
Jim says that it was a shock when Dawn said that she
need quiet to concentrate, he has never worked with
anyone who needed absolute quiet to create. As the group
works on the book, they ignore Dawns plea for silence
and grow increasingly noisy. Dawn is exasperated and
Jeff says that Dawn doesnt like the noise and chaos and
really cant do the work. Jeff decides to marginalize
her completely. His background as an Interior Designer
makes him an ideal candidate to write a childrens
story, so he will write the book instead of Dawn.
Primarius does a great job finding kids off the street
to listen to their story. The kids loved the story and
especially enjoyed hearing Howie read the story. Amanda
says that she would never have learned to change certain
aspects of the story if it hadnt been for the kids.
Being in the Dr. Seuss room has rubbed off on Team
Matchstick. They decide do their story in rhyme. As Jeff
reads the story, his team members listen to the awful
rhymes with barely disguised contempt. Dawn questions
the story what message will it give to the kids, if you
dont like your name, you wont have to listen to your
parents? Marcela and Jim warn Jeff that the story is
too dark, but does he listen. No. Jeff tells the group
Shut up now and listen which offends many. Jim says
that nobody is happy with the executive decisions that
Jeff makes. Jeff says I could spend 10 more hours
working on this [the story], but this makes me happy,
this floats my boat. At this point, his is the only
Matchstick looks at their mockup. Jeff decides that Dawn
will be reading to the children and he wants to see how
she will do. She asks if she can go get a banana before
she reads and the team freaks out. Bethenny is appalled
by Dawns need to have a banana and says that Dawns
lack of urgency towards the group was disrespectful.
After Bananagate dies down, Dawn tells Jeff that she
wants to sit down on the floor to read do the kids.
Jeff says, We do not need you to be a likeable person
to the kids. We need you to be a powerful presenter to
the executives. Dawn says that they are not on the same
page. She says that if she were a kid, she would be
terrified if somebody came into a room and read her a
story standing up and staring down at her. They argue
some more. Dawn says, If details like that matter, then
I would like to hear from everybody to see what they
think. Jeff says At this point I am the project
manager and I am
Dawn mockingly bows tell me what you
want me to do and I will do it, do you want to pick out
my wardrobe too? Jeff has enough contempt and tells
Dawn to step down. Shawn is elected to become the new
Jeff decides to take a shower, Dawn says You are a team
player and this is good for the team?
Jeff retorts if you dont see that this is good for the
team, then you are not playing for the team. I am not
engaging you; I dont care what you think. Stop engaging
me. If you want to join me in the shower, you may (as
Dawn grimaces), but I will be naked. I am not kidding.
Dawn says, I am trying
Jeff says I dont care what
you are trying, you are failing.
The children are gathered in a story room to listen to
the stories. Amanda reads first, Hansel and Gretel were
their names, but their names were uncool and their moms
were to blame. Lets go to the playground, lets go
alone, she wont even notice if we are not at home
Chuck says the children were engaged, but they werent
roaring with laughter. We didnt reach the children the
way that we anticipated we would.
The focus group leader asks the kids who liked the
story. About 80% unenthusiastically raised their hands.
Primarius has Howie read their story. One of the little
girls flirts with Howie I like your hair. Howie reads
Primarius Jack and the Beanstalk story. The kids are
engaged and interact with Howie as he reads the story.
The story was written in first person and the kids
seemed to suspend belief and believe the Howie was Jack.
All of the kids love the Primarius team's book.
In the conference room Martha asks the publishers about
the books. Anne says that Matchstick did a great job
with the illustrations. Anne doesnt like the rhyme
scheme of the book and says that the rhyme feels forced.
Chip says that the danger of retelling a story that is
known to a wide audience is that you have to be creative
and different. He says that Primarius was creative,
instead of having the beanstalk go up, it goes down into
the ocean. Also he likes the fact that the book is in
first person and thinks that the illustrations and
endpapers are beautiful.
The winner is Primarius. For their reward, Martha
invites them to a sushi dinner cooked by her friend who
is a cook and owner at Matsuri. Even while eating,
Martha cant help but lecture and manage thats fresh
wasabi, it grows under running water. Its so beautiful
to go to a wasabi farm. Martha and Howie do a little
bit of flirting. Martha says I heard that Howie did a
great reading, I would love to hear you read. Howie
says that he loved the chance to catch Marthas eye. He
says, I could possibly be falling in love with Martha
Stewart, but lets keep that low.
At the loft, Jeff tries to turn his teammates against
Dawn. Jim speaks strategically to Bethany. He wants to
vote out Jim because he is a strong player and Dawn is
such a weak link that she can be voted out at any time.
Bethenny doesnt like this approach, tells Jim, then
Jim confesses the reason we failed is that Jeff took on
too much. If he doesnt go up again, I will never get
him off this team. He screwed up so hes gone. In the
business world, this is the best thing to happen to me.
This game rocks! This is exactly who I am. Kill or be
killed. Eat or be eaten. What could possibly be better?
We need some sacrificial lambs
Dawn says, Jeff will go into the conference room with
guns blazing and will be in for a big surprise. He is
the person solely responsible for the failure of the
task. Jeff says If it comes down to me and Dawn in
the conference room, if I cant whoop her ass, then I
deserve to go home and hang my head in shame.
In the conference room, Martha tries to look stern, but
just looks smug. Alexis smiles, as does Charles.
Martha says that Matchbook is the creative team, but she
found some things as a parent that she just couldnt
understand. Charles says, What were you thinking.
Marcela said that she always had problems with the
content of the story. Alexis says that the story is too
complicated for children. Martha wants to know if Dawn
wrote the book and Dawn says that she didnt. Martha
said that she doesnt like the story.
Martha wants people to name names. Marcela blames Dawn.
David blames Dawn but says that she wasnt given
creative space to write. Chuck dislikes Jim. Bethenny
says that Dawn is very negative. Dawn tries to defend
herself, but Jeff says that its all Dawns fault. Jim
says that Jeff took on too much responsibility. Jeff
decides to bring Dawn and Jim to the conference room.
Charles says that Jeff didnt organize the group while
Alexis says that Dawn causes too much conflict. Martha
calls the three back into the conference room. Martha
wants to know why Jeff chose Dawn and Jim. Jeff says
that Jim was a bundle of destructive energy. Dawn
defends Jim and says that Jims contribution; the design
of the book was impeccable. Jim says everything Martha
Stewart did not like about his project was Jeffs
fault. Dawn says that the team followed Jim to their
demise publishing is a business, we are here to make
money by selling books to kids that the will like.
Martha says that at her company they need editors who
care about quality and designers who care about beauty.
The reason why Marthas company has been so successful
is that they connect with the consumer, are trustworthy
and messages that appeal. Martha says, Jeff you didnt
hear me when I said that you need to connect. The
message was off and Jeff it was your message. I dont
think that you even connect with your own co-workers. So
You just dont fit in. Good-bye.
Jim whispers in the lobby, Sorry Jeff, its just
business. Jeff says, I will look for your failing,
next week, I am sure.
Martha being Martha decides that the proper way to send
Jeffrey off is to send him a personal good-bye note.
Read it here: