A Dose of Reality: The Apprentice - Episode 5: Trading Places - A Few Good Women
by Beth Gottfried
Published: February 6, 2004
Before I get into the play-by-play of this week’s events, be sure to check out www.nbc.com. This is not a plug for the network. There is a really scary picture of David Gest (as if saying his name alone didn’t make us all want to suck our thumbs and crawl under the covers) that should either extract a good laugh or cry. Either way, it’s a fun time. And in light of all the hype about Janet and her tits, it’s a pleasant diversion. By the way, I don’t think there is anything wrong with what she did. The only fault I find is the hypocrisy of the media and that she even apologized for her actions. Janet, what has anyone “done for you lately?” In other words, do what you want and have the conviction to “stand up for yourself.”
With Bowie out and the men’s team reeling from another loss, morale is at an all-time low and DT makes a major decision. He mixes the teams so now there are 2 men and 4 women on each team. In my humble opinion, a little gender blending never hurt anyone. The new Team VersaCorp (led my the malevolent Nick, our resident leprechaun) sports the flashy, frosty people: Amy, Ereka, Katrina, Bill, and Tammy. Rounding out the group is Team Protégé (the one I was rooting for): Kristi, Kwame, Omarosa, Jesse, Troy, and Heidi (the hyper aggressive sales woman who reminds me of a Chihuahua who is constantly nipping at your ankles).
IQ alone would make one think that Protégé had the advantage. However, if there is one thing that this show has taught me is to never assume. The classroom is a very different forum from the streets and the two don’t necessarily mesh. Just ask Nick. Whose major function in this episode is to nod and smile as the women do all the work and he reaps the rewards. Can I tell you how much Nick wears evil better than happy. He is no longer hot when he smiles and this episode is all about the gLeem, the eViL Nick gleem.
And On and On…
The goal of this week’s competition is to once again buy and sell shmatas. For those of you who need to brush up on your “Seinfeld,” this would denote “rags/crap.” Each team is given $1000 to buy items and sell them at a Flea Market at a higher price. Whichever team makes more of a profit wins. It could just be me here, but why does every competition have the same theme? A little originality, please!
Team VersaCorp decides to make cutesy little gal shirts with ribbons. They set out on the mission and everyone is fired up. There are a lot of pheromones in this group. Nick and Katrina are flirty. Amy and Ereka have perma-smiles going on and Tammy is the only broad seeming skeptical of Nick’s capabilities. TGL for Tammy. She tends to keep it all real.
Team Protégé features Jesse, Troy, and Kwame trying to come up with a product to sell. Jesse throws out dirt and Troy flies with it. K, again this could just be me, but how much of a profit is someone going to make on dirt? I mean I know Urban Outfitters does well selling already worn/used jeans at a premium price, but I’m quite certain the value of dirt is pretty much nada. Same as the jeans, mind you, and dirt probably has a longer life span, but still…
By the end of the day, Team Protégé still hasn’t found a product to sell. Heidi is getting increasingly frustrated and vocal about her distrust in Kristi’s leadership abilities. Kristi, Kwame, and Omarosa finally agree to buy umbrella looking hats in Chinatown, while Troy, Heidi, and Jesse are back the homestead apparently doing nothing. This would appear not so productive to me.
Any Time, Any Place
Back at VersaCorp, Team “Rah Rah” is digging in dumpsters for goodies, making the feline shirts, and being just SO giddy. All the while, I’m puking at their level of cheeriness. Just doesn’t seem natural to me. Get a room.
At the crack of dawn (or 6:20), Team Protégé sets out to sell their merchandise. They reserve an indoor booth because of the rain and seem to be selling their stuff. VersaCorp is stuck with a rainy outdoor booth, but their optimism saves them. This team has some major confidence on their side. Protégé (in the form of Heidi) is getting Super annoyed with Kristi’s wishy-washy management style. After some bad communication, they split locations and diversify a little. At the end of the day, they manage to sell their souls to DT and turn a good profit. And then to our surprise, we find out that this has been the covert plan of “The Apprentice.” Where do you think all the “fired” people go? Neighboring hotels? Pshaw…
Despite a slow start, VersaCorp turns it around and sells everything and then some. Both teams done good, but back at Protégé something went terribly wrong…
As Financial Manager, Omarosa is going through the finances/receipts at the end of the day. Low and behold, $$ is missing. $186 worth of money. More shocking is how this could happen when the team’s sure-fire plan of securing the funds was to take the money from Kristi’s back pocket. From one ass to another, this was not a smart idea. Things can get shaken up, tossed around, and seriously lost.
Kristi starts to cry upon hearing the bad news. She thinks Omarosa is setting her up. Little does she know it’s Jesse, her BFF. (at least that’s my theory) And who would ever suspect, the unassuming, quiet, sweet, Mid Western Pollyanna of such a nefarious act?
It’s once again time for the teams to meet up in the boardroom. Team VersaCorp made a profit of over $600, while Protégé finished with a disappointing net loss of $78. The Don is shocked. How can this be? He believes in Kristi. Kristi knows she let him down. The moment gets all warm, kinda fuzzy, and then fades. VersaCorp learns that they will be awarded with a trip to Yankee Stadium and some inspirational words from our sponsor, or George Steinbrenner. Aint they lucky? Or not…
The situation back at the pad gets downright cat-like. Heidi is losing it. Omarosa, who has emerged as the mature, professional femme to be reckoned with, is keeping her calm. She knows she’ll be one of the final 3 in the boardroom, but can deal. Heidi is whacking out on some bad trip, all hyped up, singing, “I’m a bitch, I’m a lover,” while spraying her hair with toxic fumes. Yikes.
Back in Central Park, Kristi is confiding in her BFF Jesse about how she should proceed with DT in the boardroom. Jesse is giving her some “friendly advice” and Kristi is definitely heeding Jesse’s help-she is writing every word down verbatim. At this point I was like, “Damn, can’t Kristi think for herself?” She put us all to shame. And Jesse’s nasaly voice which made us all want to wretch? No wonder she hasn’t been getting much camera time. p>
That’s the Way Love Goes
The end of this episode is upon us and Team Protégé assembles with DT, Caroline, and George’s replacement. Kristi is quiet and letting others do the talking. (Good girl, we know she can take orders well) Omarosa and Heidi are defending themselves staunchly. Omarosa is fingering Kristi as the culprit and despite all her earlier coke-induced ravings, Heidi is diplomatic and places blame nowhere. The real zinger is best buddy Jesse’s comment about Kristi. Where is the loyalty? Kristi puts her head down in shame and looks like she may cry at her best friend’s betrayal. And then she makes a big mistake when she opts for Omarosa and Heidi to be in the boardroom with her. Granted, Jesse wouldn’t have been booted off, but she stabbed you in the back when you were down and you should have stepped up and served her smug little face up on DT’s coif. p>
The show breaks to commercial at this crucial time and for once I was a little stumped as to who would get kicked off. DT seemed to have a soft spot for Kristi and Heidi didn’t really do anything wrong so naturally I thought Omarosa, but I’ve been known to be wrong. (Read my latest “Mole” column) They all reassemble and Trump takes a moment to give us the lowdown on each of the women. In the end, Kristi is FIRED. She didn’t have the fight in her. Omarosa and Heidi did. The end.
Love Will Never do Without You
Oh, yeah, Yankee Stadium and VersaCorp highlights: Tammy asks about George’s “bling” and he actually knew what it was. There is some sort of motivational speech going on- As if this man were Gandhi and somehow deserved our admiration. Although perhaps Steinbrenner and Gandhi are not so different after all. I think perhaps Steinbrenner’s bling ring may be somehow interconnected with Gandhi’s "As long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything, keep it."