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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Final Approach - December 7

Establishing shot of the loft at night:

Jim, Bethenny and Dawna are trying to guess who went home. They know that it isn’t going to be Ryan. In walk Marcela and Ryan and Bethenny whoops it up. Ryan, “kindly” reminds Marcela about his record compared to hers. He has a 7-2 win/loss record with two wins as project manager; Marcela’s record is 3-7 with two losses as project manager. Bethenny tells Ryan that he shouldn’t even worry about being in the final four because he is so strong.

Ryan and Marcela discuss the next task and Ryan agrees to be Project Manager. Marcela is pretty sure that if her team, Matchstick, loses she will be going home. Bethenny decides to be project manager for her team. Jim and Bethenny discuss the next task and say that with three people on their team, it would be embarrassing if they didn’t win. Bethenny says that Primarius is going to cream the other team and at her words, Jim jumps on the counter and starts jumping around and beating his chest like a demented gorilla. Jim confesses that the craziness is all part of his strategy to have people misunderestimate him (to use a George Bushism) so that he can win the game.

The next day the team is given their task via Martha on the big screen [since Martha probably went over on her parole minutes for the month, although she rationalizes this by saying that she is in a furniture factory]. Martha tells each team that their job is to create a 30-second commercial for Song Airlines (the now-defunct cheap-ass alternative from Delta) to promote the brand. A plane full of Frequent Fliers will judge each commercial to see which team does the best job of promoting a $99 flight between New York and Los Angeles. [I love flying on Song because they make great martinis, have excellent food service, and have trivia games onboard the planes.] Each team will be supplied with actors and a production crew to help with production. Executives from Song will also be available to answer questions. The loser of this task will visit Martha in the conference room. After Martha’s video, Jim jokingly asks, “So, what are we doing?”

Ryan and Marcela leave the loft. Ryan says that he is excited and asks Marcela if she “will have fun with him.” Then he tells her that he is going to get her to bed early. [I thought that she was married!] Ryan comes up with a concept for the video. He wants to show a baseball player missing his team flight and only having $100 to get to Los Angeles for his game. [Presumably baseball players don’t have credit cards, nor do they have to pay the airport fees and taxes that make a $99 ticket cost $120, nor do they have to pay for a cab to get to the airport…] Even though Matchstick has the idea, they call the Song Executives who tell them that Song’s target audience is females over the age of 40. Since Ryan’s idea doesn’t mesh with the target demographic, Marcela questions Ryan’s idea, but Ryan just doesn’t want to listen to her and the team goes with his idea.

Martha gives her advice. “Ask your customer all of the questions you need so that you can come up with a good solution that your client needs and wants.” [So, if I sell this stock now because of an FDA ruling, will it be considered insider trading?]

Jim, Bethenny and Dawna work on their idea in the loft. They do extensive research about the airline on the internet, and then call the Song Executives. They ask about the target customer, then Bethenny does some ass kissing by talking about the quality of food aboard and says that on Song you can have a “hip, happening lifestyle at a low cost.” Jim asks a totally off the wall question about the type of clothing of a typical Song Customer while Bethenny and Dawna roll their eyes in irritation. As the team leaves the loft, Bethenny whispers to Dawna, “Let’s just let him talk and we will do what we want. I am pretending that I am just working with you.” In the car, Jim is actually helpful as he storyboards the commercial, although he makes rude comments about the physical attributes of the women in the commercial. [Jim apparently has a leg fetish, by the way.] They go to the casting agency and cast their commercial. Charles comments on their organizational skills and professionalism.

In order for Matchstick to save money, Ryan decides to star in as well as direct his team’s video. Marcela comments that Ryan isn’t the best actor. Charles thinks that it’s a big gamble; he is trying to “pitch and catch at the same time.”

The teams also are able to film some Song planes at the airport. Ryan is having a good time and Marcela gradually is warming up to the concept of the video. Jim directs his team video and Bethenny worries that Jim is trying to be Fellini, “I would love to do a Fellini film, but I have twenty minutes to film a thirty second in-flight commercial.” On the plane, Dawna asks the Cabin Steward not to give Jim any kind of alcohol since “He is already crazy as it is and he doesn’t need any alcohol in his system.” Jim finds a way to get a martini to the dismay of his teammates.

Matchstick starts editing their video. Ryan and Marcela have a great time as they watch their footage. They have an even greater time when they find out that the facilities have beer in the refrigerator. Ryan is shown drinking at least four or five beers. After the fourth Sapporo and before the fifth Heineken, he comes up with the slogan “Need we play more?” [a really lame joke regarding the fact that the character in the commercial is a baseball PLAYer] which doesn’t make sense to anyone but his own drunk-ass self. After a few more beers, Ryan decides that it would be wonderful to insert subliminal messages into the video. Ryan even comments that if he drinks more he will come up with even better ideas.

The next day Primarius, dressed in “Song Lime Green” makes their presentation in a Song Plane and presents their video. They include people from wide ranges of ages and ethnicities in their video and the crowd smiles as they watch the happy faces in the video. The crowd fills out their surveys and scores of “4s” and “5s” out of five are seen. Next Matchstick does their presentation, also wearing touches of “Song Lime Green.” The crowd seems both confused and bored by the video, though at the end they are smiling. [Happy that the video is over?] The teams leave the plane and Ryan says that he thinks that their team “nailed it.” [These poor people watching the videos apparently had their flights delayed just for this lame competition; I’d be pissed if it were me, and would mark both videos down accordingly.]

In the conference room, both Matchstick and Primarius tell Martha how happy they are with their finish videos. Like a Middle Schooler afraid of being left out of the clique of popular people, Martha comments that she is the only person in the room not wearing Song Lime Green. Charles reveals that Primarius had an average rating of 4.2 while Alexis says that Matchstick’s average was 2.8. Martha says that she watched both of the videos and agrees with the scores. Charles says that Song Airlines was so impressed by Primarius’ commercial that they are going to run it, as is, on their airplanes.

As their reward, Primarius is invited to Martha’s house in Bedford for horseback riding and a game of Scrabble. Since it’s a cloudy day, Martha’s horses are frolicking in the field. [I read in Vanity Fair that Martha doesn’t let the horses out into the sun because she doesn’t want their black hair to turn red because it will no longer match her black and grey color scheme.] Jim uses the opportunity to kiss Martha’s ass. They sit down to play Scrabble, which Dawna has never played [nor has she evidently played any kind of boardgame. She is clueless]. Martha seems impatient about Dawna’s ability to grasp the game. As the team is leaving, Martha hears Jim call her “cute”, and she calls him out on the comment, but she seems to enjoy the attention.

Back at the loft, Marcela wonders if Ryan slacked off and drank during the task because he knew that her record wasn’t as good. Ryan says that he worked hard and the large amount of alcohol he drank had nothing to do with the team’s loss. [“And I’m eleven feet tall, and if you don’t believe me, then just ask my pet unicorn.”]

In the conference room, Martha comments that this is Matchstick’s third loss in a row. Martha reviews the video with Ryan and Marcela. Charles says that the subliminal message was a horrible idea. Martha doesn’t get the “Need we play more?” concept. Alexis wonders whether or not the team talked to the executives about what they wanted. Ryan says that he doesn’t feel as though 40-year-old women have a problem with seeing sports figures. Martha reads comments from the Song customers “The acting was bad.” “The athlete thing made no sense.” “I felt that I watching a bad sitcom with clowns.” Martha says that the team missed the message of “High Class for Low Fares.” Charles says that Ryan tried to do it all and it backfired and also questions the amount of alcohol that Ryan drank during the task. Martha says that both Marcela and Ryan both messed up.

Martha wants to know what Ryan wants to do at her company. He says that he wants to be in business; Martha says that he needs to go to business school and get more education. Martha says that she worried about Marcela’s lack of passion and losing record. She says that neither Ryan nor Marcela fits in. So they both get canned.

Martha writes letters to Marcela and Ryan, which you can read here:

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