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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 his companies.

Who will Martha Stewart choose as his next Apprentice? Keep track at the Portfolio.

Recaps by Julie Suchard, GSNN


FACT FILE:
Host: Martha Stewart
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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No infringement of copyright is intended by these fan pages; production companies of shows this site covers retain all rights to the sounds, images, and information contained herein. No challenge to copyright is implied. 

Web design by Jason Elliott. Logo by Chico Alexander. 

Sweet Suite - October 13

We start this week with a brief recap of last week’s disaster for the Matchstick (artsy-fartsy) team. They made a wedding cake that nobody bought, and Shawn was hoisted on her own petard.

Cut to the Primarius team, celebrating their victory on a balcony overlooking Manhattan and toasting one another with wine. They go back inside the loft to find that all the Matchsticks are missing, although some of them left their luggage behind. Where did they go? Did they all quit, or get canned?

Back in the conference room, Martha puts her foot down and fires Shawn, even though project manager David didn’t nominate her to go on the chopping block. When Matchstick returns, the Primarius team members are a bit shocked that Shawn is gone. Carrie, sporting a button-down vest with a Union Jack design that anyone over the age of 7 would be embarrassed to wear, says that Shawn was one of the stronger members of the opposing team. Jim regales the Primates [my shorthand term for the Primarius team members] with the story of “Fake It ‘Til You Make It!” Jim tells the camera that the Primates were too smug, and he can’t wait until they go to the conference room so he can “drink their tears like nectar of the gods.”

A new day dawns, and Amanda [the freaky bird-woman] answers the phone. Martha’s secretary Julia tells them all to meet with Charles and Alexis in the conference room at 9:00 a.m. Jim helps Howie tie his necktie while Marcela blow-dries her hair. Martha joins them from a remote location, because she’s a busy woman [with an ankle bracelet]. She’s at her farmhouse on Turkey Hill Road working on a project [but she won’t tell us what it is]. Martha and her husband had a VISION in restoring and decorating this farmhouse and the grounds, and she wants the applicants to use their own VISION in the next task.

Each team will get an empty two-bedroom suite at the Westin hotel at Times Square. Westin has a new marketing campaign about RENEWAL. The teams need to design a “lifestyle suite”, but they have to have a VISION. [Does eating hallucinogenic mushrooms count?] They will be judged by a group of Westin executives and members of their Platinum Preferred Guest Program, and the team that loses [Who wants to bet now that it will be Matchstick?] will see Martha in the conference room. Because Matchstick sucks so badly and has lost three members so far, Martha and her cronies have devised a plan [Anyone wanna bet that some member of the Primates has to switch sides?].

Alexis asks, “Primarius, which one of you thinks you’re the strongest team leader?” They all raise their hands and beam smiles like in the Orbit chewing gum commercial. Then Charles asks, “Well, who thinks they can lead Matchstick to victory on the next task?” They all immediately [and appropriately] put their hands down [cuz nobody can lead those losers effectively]. After a short pause, Leslie raises her hand again. [Leslie who? I really don’t recall ever seeing her on the show before now, so I guess it’s a good thing for her to step up to the task or we’d never get to see her at all. There are still a few other Primates who I don’t know by name yet either.] Charles instructs her to join the Matchstick team, and says that TPTB at MSO recognize someone who has the courage to take a chance [and yet, they don’t offer her immunity if her team fails to win this week, which is the obvious reward].

As the teams leave the conference room, we hear a voice-over from Leslie saying that she knew she was the only one who could pull this off. Then Amanda tells the camera that the Primates were perfectly happy with Leslie leaving, because she was the weakest person on team anyway. “The fact that she left didn’t hurt us at all. We were pleased.”

The teams all travel to the Westin to check out their new project space. Primate Jennifer explains that they had a huge space that has been totally stripped bare, with no curtains or even light fixtures. She doesn’t think anyone could renovate and furnish the space in the time they have allotted [We aren’t told how much time that is, but it seems like only a day and a half]. Amanda asks if it’s OK for her to be project manager, and the other Primates agree. She starts the brainstorming by saying, “It’s almost like we need to have a niche-market, but then again it can’t be too niche-y.” [Wow, what vocabulary!] Sarah suggests an Entertainment theme, and they go for it: “Westin Entertains”. They want to make the suite about dinner parties, movies, and with games scattered all over the suite [5,200-card Pick Up, anyone?]. Carrie already has a color-scheme picked out, but Amanda wants to use a professional interior designer.

The continuing debacle that is Matchstick Corp. also starts to brainstorm. But it’s more of a brain-drizzle accompanied by light zephyrs. Leslie says that she knows they can win if they organize themselves better, but she’s obviously not the one to do it properly, since it takes over 6 hours before they anything resembling a cogent plan. Both Dawn and Jim agree that Leslie, frankly, sucks.

Ryan found an interior decorator for the Primates. Carrie keeps trying to interject her own color and print suggestions, and gets shot down by Amanda again and again. Amanda goes with the decorator’s suggestion of a wallpaper that literally looks like filthy tiles with moldy grout for the bathroom [WTF!]. The overall color scheme is [hold onto your seat] grey. Ryan isn’t happy with his team’s choice, but says “I’m not feeling as confident I was with the past tasks, but there’s one thing I’ve learned is that [you should] never overestimate Matchstick. No matter how bad we do, they will always find a way to do worse.”

Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’…into the future, as Matchstick talks some more about their plan. David tells the camera about a team of 8 contractors they have hired, who are waiting in the suite for something to do, but his team still has no plan: “Contractors sitting around does not sound like a winning formula.” Jim suggests the idea of FLOW, “It’s like zen, it’s like feng shui.” Leslie wants to go with the FLOW, and wants to use it as an acronym. Jim rapidly comes up with “For Leisure Or Work” and the team all cheers. Dawn says that 6 hours of brainstorming was “just bad time management”.

Amanda checks out the newly wallpapered bathroom and she really likes it. Everyone else gives her looks as if they think she must be doing drugs. Howie specifically says that the bathroom looked like “Atlantic City on crack. God-awful.” Carrie and Sarah think it’s very industrial-looking with all the grey. Jennifer says it’s “a dismal, bleak environment.” Amanda tells them all to stop worrying about the paint color, because there’s plenty of other stuff to do.

Matchstick goes to Crate & Barrel to order their furniture. But it’s nearly closing time (9:00 p.m.) and they’ve only got a few minutes. Bethenny rips through a catalog and orders everything they need, while simultaneously ripping Leslie a new one for her terrible time-management skills. If he is paid on comission, the store clerk probably had his most profitable 5 minutes ever. Total sales were $3996 with tax.

Marcela returned to the suite, and then calls Leslie to let her know that the contractors [who haven’t done much, if anything] had to leave a midnight. Before they left, the contractors told her that the only way to finish is if the painting was done tonight. Although everyone is upset, Dawn basically states that she won’t, under any circumstances, stay up all night to paint. Jim, David, and Marcela are up at 2:15 a.m. painting, but Dawn is lolling around with her eyes glazed over; Leslie calls her the laziest person in the entire loft.

At 5:30 the next morning, Leslie starts to wake her team up. David fell asleep with his glasses on, reading a book. Everyone is dressed and ready by 6:15, but Dawn is still sleeping. David tries to wake Dawn up, but she is resistant and is wearing ear-plugs. Marcela wants to know why Dawn wasn’t getting ready to leave by 6:30, and Dawn says no one told her what time to get up.

At the suite, the Matchstick contractors start their work in earnest. Hardwood flooring is installed, lights are put up, and it begins to look like a spartan quasi-Oriental tea house. Marcela is shown bent over, and we would see her butt-crack except that the angle is too obtuse.

As the Primates get ready to leave, Amanda gives them all a little gift. Because they are all so SHARP, she gives them sharpened pencils with a cute little note attached. It’s majorly hokey, but they all appreciate the gesture. They decorate the suite with games, poker chips, jars of candy, and a popcorn stand: all to foster the entertainment theme. Charles and Alexis approve [or at least Charles does, because Alexis doesn’t say anything, as usual].

Over at Matchstick, Charles likes the wood flooring, but doesn’t know where anyone would sit. Most of the furniture hasn’t arrived yet. Two hours before the Westin execs are supposed to come, Bethenny is screaming into the phone asking where the furniture delivery truck is. The phone calls and screaming continue, but to no avail. At the last moment, they think the furniture may arrive only 7-8 minutes beforehand, and they all run down to the hotel loading dock, but the truck doesn’t make it in time.

Dressed in her best impression of a 1980s stewardess outfit, Amanda greets the Westin evaluation team. “We thought of a room that is called ‘Westin Entertains’, and [in] every single area you will touches of entertaining.” [Including those unexplained spots on the sheets?] She shows them the poker chips, candy, kitchenette, wide-screen TV, and the popcorn making cart. The Westin folks aren’t terribly impressed, but at least they’re not disappointed.

Matchstick is lolling around, wondering how they will possibly cover up the fact that they basically have no furniture. Jim sums it up as, “No couch-ie, no win-ie!” Leslie bows with hands folded across her chest as the Westin execs enter. She knows that she’s “basically selling air,” but won’t let that affect her overly obsequious demeanor and outright bullshitting. She makes up some crap about doing market research, and finding that the customers are all looking for FLOW [and apparently furniture messes FLOW up]. “We didn’t put in a lot of big fluffy sofas, because you would expect that….Instead we’re focusing on zero gravity.” One of the Westin execs says, “This reminds me of my first apartment, graduating college, when I couldn’t afford any furniture,” and they all laugh…except for Leslie.

Martha enters an anonymous boardroom to meet with the Westin executives. The matronly Westin lady says that they were “really blown away” with what the teams could come up with on such short notice. They understood the Primate teams concept right away, and the popcorn machine acted as aromatherapy. They liked the wood floors and the idea of openness that Matchstick created…but there wasn’t anywhere to sit, except on the floor. Surprisingly, they liked the Primarius suite better [really now?]. Amanda pumps her fist in the air. Martha awards Primarius perhaps the most useless team reward ever: they get to return to their suite and relax. That’s it, just sit on your butt. Martha comes up to the suite, chows down on some M&Ms, and gazes nostalgically at the Jersey side of the Hudson River where she grew up. They all pretend like they enjoyed this “reward”.

Dawn expects to be called back to the conference room for the 4th time running, since she’s sure Leslie will try to blame her. [Well why not, when you refused to help paint overnight?] Leslie pulls Bethenny aside to tell her that she thinks Bethenny did an amazing job, but that she’s planning on calling her into the conference room along with Dawn; she wants Bethenny’s support in putting all the blame on Dawn. Even though she deserves to go the conference room for the missing furniture fuck-up, Bethenny doesn’t understand why she should be placed at risk, and refuses to blindly follow Leslie’s lead. Both Dawn and Bethenny think Leslie should go due to her incompetent leadership and time management. Leslie says that if Matchstick is ever going to win they have to lose some dead weight, “and the biggest anchor on all of us was Dawn.”

In the conference room, Martha asks whose idea FLOW was; she says it was a collective effort, but Jim came up with the actual acronym. [And for once, he acts very reasonably, and accepts this small accolade with grace and humility.] Martha liked the design idea, but knows that it was frankly an unfinished room. Leslie blames Bethenny for the lack of furniture, then both Dawn and Bethenny try to shift the blame on Leslie due to poor time management. They both state that the team spent about 6 hours initially brainstorming, and Leslie denies this easily provable fact. For unclear reasons, the only times that Charles and Alexis talk is to underline the missing furniture issue, but without making it clear who they think is at fault. Martha chimes in saying how responsible and efficient she is.

Leslie remarks that Dawn is consistently negative and unhelpful, defusing another attack at her atrocious management skills. Martha is appalled that Dawn refused to help paint. Leslie reports that Dawn was late in waking up that morning, and Dawn tries to deny it. Dawn eventually admits that she’s a heavy sleeper and sometimes ignores the alarm clock; Jim laughs out loud, seeing Dawn’s defenses crumble. Dawn wonders why she wasn’t told when to wake up, and Martha wants to know why Dawn didn’t ask. Dawn’s response to every criticism is that it isn’t true [Must be nice to live in your little perfect world].

Martha asks Marcela who should be sent home: Dawn. David says that Leslie is most responsible. Jim says, “Anybody but me.” When pressured to name names, Jim meekly suggests Dawn over Leslie. Leslie says Dawn should go. Then Leslie chooses to bring Dawn and Bethenny back to the conference room. Once they leave, Charles points out that everybody keeps bringing Dawn back, and there must be a reason for it. Martha says, “Her attitude is just not a good attitude.”

They re-enter the conference room and make all the same arguments as before. The only small surprise is that Bethenny announces Leslie’s plan to bring Bethenny into the conference room to augment the anti-Dawn crusade, even though Bethenny was the hardest worker in the group. Alexis says, “Dawn, I like you, because I’m usually the person everyone likes least on the team. But no one has ever said that I didn’t work really hard.” Dawn says that she did work hard, but Alexis reminds her that everyone else agrees about her crappy work ethic. Martha asks Bethenny if Dawn worked hard, and Bethenny says that Dawn has been the weakest link on every single task. Leslie thinks that Matchstick can win the next task, but Dawn has got to go for that to happen [That’s a good one, Leslie].

Martha isn’t happy with Leslie, but wants to give her another chance because she had the guts to leave a winning team and join the losers. She’s not happy with Bethenny’s lack of furniture, but she did like the design concept. But Dawn is making excuses and not functioning as a member of the team, so she has to leave. She thanks Martha, shakes her hand, gives Bethenny a hug, and makes the ‘walk of shame’. Charles tells Martha she made the obvious right decision [even though he said just a few minutes ago that the choice was too close to call], exhibiting his excellent yes-man skills. Martha suggests that some reshuffling will have to take place [so look for that next week].

Read Martha’s letter to Dawn: http://www.nbc.com/The_Apprentice:_Martha_Stewart/letters/index.shtml

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