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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The Coffee Achievers - November 16

Establishing shot of the loft night:
Dawna returns from the board room. Ryan and Amanda ask her how it went. Dawna says that it was horrible, she hates going into the conference room and can’t talk bad about people. She doesn’t like to hurt other people and tearfully says that she thinks that she hurt Bethenny and she feels horrible about it. When Bethenny returns to the loft, Dawna hugs her and it seems as though Bethenny has no hard feelings. Amanda says that she is surprised that Howie didn’t return, “I am confused about what Martha Stewart is looking for, I just don’t know. If she is looking for somebody like Jim, she isn’t looking for somebody like me.”

The next day Administrative Assistant Julia calls the loft. The candidates need to be by the monitor at 9:00 a.m. for their next assignment. Martha says that she can’t be with them in person because she is [on parole] choosing a color for the cover for her next magazine issue [How about prison grey?]. Martha talks about how people are addicted to the perfect cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate. She says that the Tassimo Hot Beverage System does all three. [This machine looks fabulous and I am not just saying this because it prepares Suchard brand Hot Chocolate] Each team will be given $40,000 to set up a retail space to sell the product. The team who has the least amount in gross revenues will meet Martha in the conference room, where one member will be fired.

Jim is chosen as project manager for Primarius against Marcela for Matchstick. Dawna points out that since the team is small with only three members, that they should hire a PR firm to handle most of the work. She suggests Lime PR Productions for the task.

At Matchstick, Marcela starts delegating tasks. Ryan and Amanda immediately started fighting with her over little things like the speed of the computer. Amanda says that she doesn’t feel comfortable with Marcela as the leader of the group. Marcela asks for the group to be with her 100%, they say that they are, but Marcela feels as though they are setting her up to fail.

Dawna sets up a private meeting (her only) with Lime PR Productions Company. Dawna says that it’s really important for Primarius to win the task. She says that Jim and Bethenny have an alliance so if they end up in the board room, she knows that she will be the next person from the team to go. Jim says that Dawna doesn’t want him to come to the meeting with the Lime PR, so from the beginning he has a “rogue” member of the team.

Martha talks about passion and drive. [She’s thinking about her horses when she talks about passion and drive…] She talks about her daily rationalizations. Rather than saying “I am going to work in the garden,” she says “I am going to garden.” “Once you attach the word “work” and make it a chore, people’s attitudes change drastically.” [Thank you Martha…from now on instead of saying, I am going to work at folding laundry, I am going to say, I am going to make origami with my towels and it won’t seem like a horrible chore.]

Marcela says that there is no way that she is going to lose against Jim again. Marcela thinks that an interesting way of showcasing the Tassimo would be to bring in a pastry chef and serve pastry to compliment the coffee. Amanda bitches that Marcela thinks about food too much, that everything with her is food-related. She is worried that the coffee is becoming a side note. Ryan snarkily comments that he needs to find a pastry chef for Marcela so that the team can sell pastry instead of coffee makers. Ryan and Amanda further gripe that Marcela is not delegating nor is she giving them direction. They take matters in their own hands by trying to hire a celebrity to come to their event: “somebody with a following.” They are told that they could have Paul Shaffer, Mary Tyler Moore or Vincent Pastore, “Big Pussy” from “The Sopranos.” [When I think of coffee, the words “Big Pussy” always come to mind.] Marcela asks for input from the team, but Amanda refuses to give her any ideas, saying that she is going to lead the team for Marcela. Ryan brings up the “Big Pussy” idea, repeating the words “Big Pussy” over and over again, but Marcela is appalled and says that they can’t do it.

Alexis and Charles come in to see what the team is doing. Marcela explain the team’s concept and while she is doing this Amanda and Ryan are openly defiant and uncooperative to her in front of Alexis and Charles. Ryan says that he can’t find a chef, so Marcela takes matters into her own hands and finds a chef herself. Marcela says that she could pull this task off on her own if she didn’t have Amanda and Ryan to manage.

Meanwhile, Dawna meets with Lime PR Productions. Basically Dawna throws the team’s entire remaining budget of $30,000 at the company so that they will help design, build and promote Primarius’ store. Dawna feels like she is the Project Manager of this task. When Jim finds out, he is really pissed off. Bethenny says to let the blame be on Dawna if the task fails.

At 1:30 a.m. in the midst of a pile of Tassimo boxes, Matchstick gathers to talk about their marketing strategy. Amanda gripes that the team should have had a marketing plan from the beginning. Marcela says that the pasty chef will bring people through the doors. She asks if Amanda has a better strategy and Amanda says no, not at this late time. Marcela reminds her that she asked the team for their input throughout the day but nobody was willing to share their ideas with her. Amanda bitches some more that she and Ryan don’t want to “lead by proxy.”

The next day, at 9:00 a.m. the doors to Matchstick’s store open. Marcela directs the promotions staff and shows them how the Tassimo works. Matchstick’s store was really crowded with people stuffing their faces with free pastries and coffee, but they didn’t sell any Tassimos. Amanda is shown offering the pastries, but not really trying to sell the Tassimo. Alexis comments that Matchstick is “acting strange…they seem a little lost. To win this task they are going to need to find an innovative way of getting costumers to purchase the product.” Marcela talks about the pricing of the product. She started out a $299 lowered it to $249 then lowered the price to $199. [At local stores the Tassimo is selling for about $169 right now.]

At Primarius’ store, there are no customers. The expensive PR firm that Dawna handled is just standing around doing nothing. Jim is concerned that Dawna spent $30,000 on PR, but the team isn’t getting everything it needs like signage. Bethenny complains that Lime PR is “standing around eating cookies” so she was frustrated. Bethenny takes control of the PR staff and makes them blanket the city with promotional materials. Traffic picks up at lunchtime and they start making more sales. Charles comments on the intensity shown by the Primarius team.

Both teams go the conference room with Martha. Charles reveals that Matchstick sold nine Tassimo machines for total sales of $1,891, while Alexis reveals that Primarius sold 36 Tassimo machines for total sales of $6,621. [I should point out that with a budget of $40,000, it would have made more sense for each team to hand people on the street $200 to buy the machines, and then they could have sold 200 of them.] Charles points out that Matchstick simply had no fire for the task.

Primarius wins the task so as a reward they are flown up to Bar Harbor, Maine on a private plane for a tour of Martha’s “most favorite place”: Skylands, Martha’s House. [Since Martha is on parole] Alexis will give them all a personal tour of the house and make them lunch. At the house, Alexis explains that that house was build by Edsel Ford in 1925 as a summer home. Jim comments that he has only had two rewards so far, so he really appreciates the trip. He also talks abut how nice Alexis was to the team, so he likes her more. The team goes out on a speedboat and Alexis made lobster sandwiches for the team. Alexis even remembered that Bethenny was a vegetarian and prepared a special arachnid-free sandwich for her.

Meanwhile, back at the loft, Marcela is seen tearfully packing. She talks about how all she wants to do is to cook for Martha or work for the magazine. She says, “Maybe this whole thing is not for me, I can’t handle this type of competition, that I am a mom and a chef, this is not me.” Meanwhile, Amanda bitches to Dawna that this “was the worst task she has ever been on” and she is worried that Charles might nail her for being unnecessarily cruel to Marcela. Jim talks to Ryan and asks, “You guys are going to crucify her aren’t you?” Ryan thinks that Marcela is just going to give up because she is tired.

Jim tells the camera that he didn’t like the position that Marcela was put in, because he had been put in that position before. People had tried to paint him as a weak player and he wasn’t. He felt that were doing the same thing to Marcela and it was just plain wrong.

Jim, surprisingly, decently, amazingly, goes in to Marcela and tells her that Matchstick was going to crucify her. He tells her to be strong and that she needs to have an offense ready for the conference room. He gives her talking points, telling her to say that Amanda acted as though Marcela wasn’t good enough to lead the team. He tells her to tell Martha that she got the celebrity chef and that she got people into the restaurant and she told the Tassimo machines. Jim tells her to tell Martha that the team was so arrogant that they sabotaged the task so that Marcela would be sent home: Is that the type of person that Martha wants working for her? Marcela says that Jim gave her the best pep talk and she knows that she has a lot to bring to Martha.

In the conference room, Martha asks the team what happened. Marcela admits that some of the blame belongs to her, but says that Amanda and Ryan did not support her. Amanda agrees that she wasn’t supportive, but it was because she didn’t agree with the decisions that Marcela was making as a leader. Charles says that the team didn’t seem engaged in selling the product. Alexis weighs in and says that the team was “dead” “morose” and “unhelpful.” Ryan says “that it would be so easy to blame the project manager” [which is what he is doing] but he is willing to take some of the blame himself. Martha says that there is no excuse for the team to “lay back” while the “lamb is being lead to the lion.” Leslie says that as a fellow Latina, she wants Marcela to succeed. She relates that Marcela had felt the team pulling away from the beginning of the task.
Martha says that a small team really needs to have teamwork and she wonders why Amanda held back her ideas. Marcela says that she couldn’t manage a team that didn’t respect her. Amanda says that she respects Marcela a lot.

Charles asks Amanda about her background. She says that she has a background in promotion and marketing. She also says that she is great with working at people. Martha questions “I thought that you were an attorney?” Amanda replies, “I am, but I also have a Public Relations Degree.” Martha wonders what kind of job Amanda wants in her organization. Amanda says that she loves to decorate and she loves to cook and that her husband loves to mock her for her interest in cooking and decorating. She never really answers the question, but does come with the gem “People love to see people who are real; they don’t want to see somebody who is professional and polished who never makes mistakes.” [A look of utter disbelief crosses Alexis’ face…doesn’t Amanda realize that she is dissing Martha with her comments?] Amanda says that she is flawed and hopefully Martha will be interested in her.

Martha asks Marcela what she can bring to the company. Marcela give an eloquent speech about how passionate she is about food. She talks about how Martha hasn’t tapped into the Latin American Market, how people have called Marcela the “Mexican Martha Stewart”, but she doesn’t want to be the “Mexican Martha Stewart”: she wants to help Martha become the “Mexican Martha Stewart”. [Touche! Good one, Marcela.] Marcela picks Amanda and Ryan to bring to the conference room and Leslie is sent back to the loft.

In the reception area, Amanda and Ryan gang up on Marcela for saying that they weren’t team players. Martha calls everyone back into the conference. Ryan, acting like a pompous jackass, gives a speech when he walks in to the room saying that he is offended that Marcela said that he was disloyal and tried to sabotage her efforts as project manager. Martha is impatient with the whole thing and tells him to sit down. Amanda and Ryan continue to snipe at Marcela who keeps saying that she was never really given a chance to lead the team. Martha comments that she has never had a job interview like this and talks about how there are so many opportunities within Martha Stewart Omnimedia for the winner.

Alexis points out that Amanda was trashing Marcela when she first walked into the conference room, but then changed her tune. Amanda starts to deny it, but Martha reminds her that she did say that she couldn’t support Marcela. Marcela tells Martha that if she wants somebody who is cutthroat, it isn’t her, but if she wants somebody who will be passionate and carry herself with integrity, then Martha wants her for the job.

Martha says that she likes Ryan but that he should know better than to let his leader flounder. Martha tells Marcela that it’s a problem that she had no control of her team. Martha tells Amanda that she sensed weakness in Marcela and didn’t help Marcela. Martha says that teamwork is one of the most important things at her company, and because Amanda hasn’t shown it, Martha has to say good-bye to her.

Martha writes a very generic “good-bye bitch” letter to Amanda which you can read here:

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