The Apprentice: Martha Stewart
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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

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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Web design by Jason Elliott. Logo by Chico Alexander. 

Every Dog Has His Day - October 27

Last week on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart –
Crazy-man Jim survives another trip to the conference room [most likely because the producers think he is unpredictable and makes for good television].

We’re back in the big city, as Primarius discusses their essential problem: Jim. Carrie wears a short skirt to give the audience a clear crotch-shot, as she waxes philosophical about how they can harness his power for good, rather than evil. Sarah remains skeptical. Howie discovers his feminine side and wears a pink shirt.

Jim walks back in and flashes a peace-sign to the Matchstick crew in the kitchen when they say, “Another one bites the dust.” Jim meekly tells Carrie and Sarah that he feels really bad Jennifer had to go home. [Is this the softer side of Jim? Or just a simple deception? I vote for the latter.] But then he regains some bravado and says, “I warned her not to take me in there. Now she’s gone.” He assures the ladies that he’ll be a team player, let bygones be bygones, water under the bridge, and all that jazz. [Insert evil laugh here…]

There’s a buzz at the door: [begin Men At Work tune] “Who could it be now?” [end Men At Work tune]. Everyone is puzzled, as if the whole concept of a buzzing noise is totally new to them and not associated with a person requesting entrance. Buzz, buzz, buzz…Open the freakin’ door already!! It could be Martha, and she might be pissed! Howie opens the door. Oh my god, it is Martha! And Howie’s standing there with a roll of paper towels in his hand like a schmuck.

Martha is just checking up on them to see how they have been doing. David says he took a nap, and seems very proud of himself. Howie says he was catching up on some reading, as he quickly picks up one of Martha’s books and pretends to peruse it. Martha starts nitpicking: The rosemary plant is dying, Who’s on trash detail?, let me see your bedrooms… Howie, a slob by nature, runs out of the room to quickly make his bed. Martha likens the candidates’ lack of privacy to her little 5-month vacation courtesy of Uncle Sam.

And now we find Martha’s ulterior motive: She finds Jim and confronts him about not having been Project Manager yet. Jim says that he’ll do it, and she warns him to expect a possible mutiny on his hands. Jim spouts some barely relevant baseball metaphors, and then Martha leaves.

The next morning, Leslie runs to pick up the phone. They need to meet Martha at her Westport Connecticut studio at 9:00 am. They all board a behemoth 15-seater van and travel out of the city. Martha’s studio is filled with cute furry and feathered animals, as if she just robbed a pet store. Martha is holding a little black pug-nosed dog named Francesca Blackbird aka Raven, while Baretta’s cockatoo roosts on her shoulder. Some nerdy guy with a flashy multicolored parrot on his shoulder [Aye, mateys!], a white turtleneck undershirt and faux-Crocodile Hunter [over]shirt says that pet-care is a $34 billion a year business.

The candidates enter, and the women all ‘Ooh’ and ‘Ahh’ about the cute widdle animules. Martha introduces the animal nerd guy as Marc, host of “Petkeeping with Mark Morrone” [Nope, I’ve never heard of it either]. Marc’s show is produced in the studio where they’re at [as if that is relevant], and their next task is the Beneful Celebrity Dog Auction. Each team will be assigned four celebrities with dogs, and they need to create a “personal experience” with each of the celebrity-dog combinations that will be auctioned off for the charity ‘Broadway Barks’ that provides funds for dog shelters and food for homeless dogs. [How do they do that? Do they dump food in alleys? Do they put ads in the newspaper inviting homeless dogs to show up at a certain location? Is it even a good idea to feed homeless dogs, rather than find housing for them?] Whoever raises the most money wins, of course.

The Primarius celebrities are:
Paul Sorvino and his daughter Amanda [Not the famous daughter Mira]
Susan Lucci
John Lithgow & Joanna Gleason [How exactly were these two paired up, and why?]
Todd Oldham

Marcela is Project Manager for Matchstick. Their celebrities are:
Chad Pennington [NY Jets Quarterback]
Fran Drescher
Bruce Vilanch & Jordan Ballard [Current stars of ‘Hairspray’]
Merv Griffin
[There certainly are more Gameshow ties in this second group, eh?]

Marcela, Amanda, and Dawna meet with Fran Drescher and her ugly chocolate-brown yapping ankle-biter. Amanda tries to butter Fran up by saying how much of an inspiration Fran’s breast cancer story was to her when she was diagnosed with cancer. What kind? Eye cancer. Amanda still has her left eye, but she can’t see out of it. Amanda wants the auction winner to appear on Fran’s new TV show ‘Life with Fran’, and Dawna hopes they can get a tour of the lot as well. Dawna thinks that Marcela didn’t really take control.

After the commercial, Martha explains that they often use pets in their photo-shoots. Dogs will make the room seem warmer and cozier.

David, Leslie, and Ryan go to see Chad Pennington and his Basset Hound Chloe. Ryan is really impressed with everything and thinks that he and Chad would be good friends if only not for the distance between them [Go on dreaming, Ryan]. Ryan tries to see if the auction winner could enter the training area or locker room: No. Leslie suggests a dinner/barbecue the night before a game, with the dogs, and then going to the game the next day: Sure. Charles notes that David is mostly standing around, writing notes.

The Sorvinos meet Jim, Howie, and Carrie at some park with their mixed-breed mutt. Jim describes Paul as a giant teddy bear. They work out a plan where the auction winner’s dog would get a bit-part on a film. At parting, Carrie thanks Paul for “leaving the machine-gun at home”. [Yeah, that comment’s gonna win you some some friends.]

Sarah and Bethenny meet Susan Lucci and Oscar, her snow-white Bichon Frise, in an upscale pet boutique. They work out a plan for a “Diva Doggie Day” with lunch and spa treatments for the humans and the pets.

Howie, Carrie and Jim meet with John Lithgow and Joanna Gleason in the theater where they both appear on “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”. The plan is for the winner to get a tiny walk-on part at the end of the play. The actors don’t seem overtly pleased with this plan, but Jim thinks it’s awesome. [And how are the dogs involved with this one?]

Amanda, Dawna, and the ever-decreasing-in-importance-to-the-task Marcela visit Bruce Vilanch and Jordan Ballard in the theater. Bruce says that they might do anything except get the auction winner on stage. Amanda suggests that the winner might also get a trip to any vacation home that the celebrities might have; Bruce says that they can use his room at his mom’s house in Hackensack, NJ. [Again, the dogs have nothing to do with the prize.]

Merv Griffin asks his dog Charlie Chan, a Shar-Pei, to sniff the applicants for drugs. David is busy with a laptop computer, and Merv asks if he’s in a chat-room [or looking at porn]. Merv finds this annoying, and Charles is watching too. Leslie suggests a “Living the Good Life with Merv and Charlie” package that might involve Merv’s resort in Scottsdale, AZ. [Leslie is doing a much better job now that she’s not Project Manager.]

The Primarius team breaks for dinner at Outback Steakhouse [A restaurant I can strongly recommend you never eat at. I’ve eaten at 3 different locations, and everything had way too much salt on it. My kids call it ‘Outback Salthouse’.]. Carrie wants this to be a working dinner, but Jim says that they’re pretty much going to “get drunk and have sex”. Jim orders a “beer bong, a keg, and three bottles of [Jose] Cuervo.” Then he puts his feet on the table, knocking around a couple of mugs. The show is edited to make it appear as if he is making bedroom eyes at Carrie. He plans to go full tilt, because if they win he will be “invincible”. Carrie just can’t stand him and says, “You better win, Jim,” implying that he’ll be leaving if they lose.

Bethenny, Sarah, and Howie meet with Todd Oldham and his terrier [of some sort] the next day. Todd will design some sort of matching owner’s and pet’s furniture for the winner.

The Beneful Broadway Barks event is populated by people with way too much money to spend on their pets. Many of the dogs are dressed in tuxedos, hats, dresses, and crowns. Bernadette Peters opens the auction event by introducing Martha Stewart, who says some ineffectual words and then leaves the stage. Then the actual auction begins, starting with Matchstick and alternating with Primarius packages. [Mark my words, the team going second has the advantage, since bidding usually escalates as auctions proceed. To make it fair, one team should be 1st, 4th, 5th, and 8th, while the other gets 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 7th.]

Chad Pennington. Opening bid = $500. Final bid = $3200.
Paul Sorvino. Opening bid = $500. The bidding is fast and furious, ending at $15,000.
Fran Drescher. $28,000, and Jim is about ready to explode.
Susan Lucci. $3600. Primarius thinks they’re dead.
Vilanch/Hairspray. $1900
Lithgow/Scoundrels. $8500
Merv Griffin. The bidding paddles are up before the auctioneer even starts. $7250

One more Primarius lot to go, and they need $13,250 to tie. If not, then Jim is going home, according to Carrie.

Todd Oldham. The bidding is by increments of $1000, but isn’t very fast. The bidding stops at $13,000…Jim is dying…the auctioneer calls fair warning…and some old biddy raises her paddle for a bid of $14,000. Primarius rejoices, and the bidding stops again at $17,000. Jim’s ass is saved. He says, “The win. My first win. [He gives an odd salute to his team] Thank you.”

In the conference room, Martha calls Jim the “best in show”. Primarius gets the reward of having raised money for charity [But wait, didn’t Matchstick do that too? So there is no reward you stingy bitch!]. One of the Matchsticks will be going home. [How much you wanna bet it will be Marcela?]

The next morning Dawna and Leslie bitch about both Marcela and David, who must be intimidated by the other, older team members. David asks Ryan who he is behind; Ryan says it’s better to ask who he thought did worse [implying that Ryan didn’t think David did a good job]. Ryan says he didn’t like Marcela’s performance. Ryan and David think that Marcela’s only strength is cooking, and they feel bad about their win last week was mostly due to this ability. David prepares some notes to take with him into the conference room, but they are a bit messy. [Danger Will Robinson! Danger!]

Martha asks David how things went. He says that their plan from the beginning was to avoid having all three team members bombard the celebrity with ideas; Charles says that David certainly held to that, as he was too quiet and uninvolved. Ryan says that two of the packages flopped, including the Chad Pennington one. Ryan blames the lack of leadership; Marcela wriggles in her chair. Dawna and Amanda also think lack of leadership was an issue. Marcela says that her style is to be quiet, but to be a “Quiet force. A quiet force to be reckoned with.” Marcela says that David should go home, due to his lack of input. Amazingly, Leslie also says David should go. Martha makes an executive decision, and says that only Marcela and David need to return to the conference room.

Charles tells Martha that this is a tough choice, because Marcela wasn’t a strong project manager. Alexis speaks [! For the first time this episode!] to point out that David hasn’t shown any particular strength throughout the entire show yet.

On their return, Martha asks David why he wants to be an executive with her company. He says he wants to run the Internet portion of the business. Because it is ‘Omnimedia’ it has Television, Print, and Internet. She adds that there’s also Merchandising. David continues by saying that her webpage does not give him the full “Martha” experience and that there are problems in navigating and finding particular items, like recipes. [Dangerous ground here, David. I hope you can pull this one off.] David wants to improve the site and make it the “staple of the internet”. [Huh? Maybe the ‘flagship’ would have been a better metaphor.]

Marcela tries a different approach, by saying she owns every Martha Stewart magazine from the last ten years and that she wants this job more than anything else she has ever wanted professionally. She knows food, publishing, and what people like, and what you [Martha] like. Charles asks, however, about this last task, and Marcela says that she takes 100% responsibility for it. Martha asks Charles what he saw David do on the task. Charles says that David didn’t do much, but that he thought David’s speech about how he would improve MSO was “eloquent”.

Martha tells Marcela that she’s not a good manager. Then she tells David that all his prior accomplishments were done as an individual, and not as a team-member of a large company. She doesn’t think he’s ready for an executive position; he needs more experience. David, you are the Weakest Link…Goodbye!

David stands up to shake Martha’s hand, and personally thanks her, Charles, and Alexis. He interrupts Martha’s comments to say that he has really enjoyed the experience, and Martha smiles at him as he leaves the room, as if she wishes she could change her decision. After the candidates leave, Charles says that he really wants to know David’s ideas about how they can improve their website, and Martha says that she will write to him and ask for more details.

The Letter:

“Dear David,

Thank you for your effort and your good-natured smile. I’m afraid that for this position, you really need some more business experience. And if and when you are ready to talk ‘internet’ to my internet department, we’d love to accommodate you. I admire your entrepreneurial spirit and I know you will be successful.

Hope to see you again,

Martha Stewart.”

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