Apprentice Episode 4: What Happens if we Fire Them All?

OK, this recap is tough for me because I really dislike almost all of them at this point and I hated this episode.  I need to keep reminding myself that the producers are pushing my buttons. But this one was bad...the people that already bugged me, bugged me more. Winning by being the lesser of 2 evils still makes you evil. Anyhoo...just wanted to preface this crud fest.

First....Erin...please stop talking. PLEASE! Did you just say "exemption schmubxemtion". Are you sure that you are an attorney? Really? I can just imagine her saying "jurisprudence schmuridge bloodance". Please...please...less camera time for Erin.

Everyone is talking about how much they dislike Michael. Yes, the team bonds over how much of a jerk he was last week. It's good to have a common bond...too bad it's a negative one. He apologizes...none too sincerely. And I'm pretty sure everyone still wants him gone (and take Erin with you!).

Trump gives the apprentae the next assignment from the limo. Yes, the Donald phones it in. Nice. He tells them that they are meeting with Donny Deutsch (I think I called him Danny last week...sorry). Yada, yada...launch Dove Cool Moisture (ice cream or lotion?). The apprentae meet with Donny and we learn that it is body wash that they will be promoting. Is anyone else besides me kind of bored that the tasks so far have been so marketing/promotion focused? ZZZZZZZZ. A little variety would be nice...a distribution task, something involving more negotiating. No, evidently, consumer marketing is the theme this season. Please let it end.

So Donny says he's looking for originality. And if by that he meant that he hopes the commercials suck, he's about to get just what he asked for. The fact that we are going to hear the words "vegetable porn" several times during the episode should have been our first clue that this was going to hell in a hand basket. Sadly, I felt a commitment to blog on this fiasco...otherwise I would have done something fun with my time instead like clean my oven or drink Taster's Choice.

What the Apprentae still have not figured out is that there is a core task and then there's something that gets said that totally throws them off. It's really just too easy to throw them off, it's just no fun anymore. Advertising 101: the ad needs to communicate your value proposition to your target audience. These people wouldn't know a value prop from a schamlue schmop (oops, sorry, I was channeling Erin). As we see, neither team communicated any of the product attributes that the their target market would care about.  Anyway, I'm jumping too far ahead.

Erin thinks she should be project manager for Magna and states that she has no advertising experience. I see some glimmering hope that she will be gone soon. She refers to their project as an "extravaganza"...fabulous. Lecherous Bren (ew!) starts to talk about washing cucumbers. Mike doesn't like the "gay part". Hmm, what about the bad taste does that sit with ya? This idea is so off the core message (value prop people!), that I look forward to Magna going down in flames. Let's just get this over with quickly.

Over at Networth, Kristen volunteers to be project manager because her boyfriend is a director (ah, the expertise by association school of thought...I get it). I'm hoping that Kristen's boyfriend lives in Van Nuys directs vegetable pornos so that we have a real contest here.  We never find out if that's true because Kristen's lack of anything resembling leadership so distracts us from everything else that this team does. Audra has a "great idea" involving a shower and water and as ridiculous as this sounds at the time, I end up wishing that Networth listened to her. Instead they go with John's marathon idea because sweaty, sporty men are clearly the target market for this stuff. Yeah, well, at least they realize that humor is importnat...I mean, until Kristen touches it.

Magna's "talent" is angry at them for being late. They should be angry because the commercial is insulting. But Trump only paid them to be angry because the apprentae were late. This whole exchange is a waste. I'm trying to find someone that is likable OR qualified here. Someone help me.

Kristen and Audry duke it, major hostility there. Perhaps some cucumber body wash would calm them down! Could I offer you some Taster's Choice? No? How about a Western Bacon Cheeseburger while I serenade you on my guitar...nevermind.

Trump steps in and makes some big statements about lazy people settling for mediocrity. In expressing his distaste for mediocrity, he's basically telling us that he hates it more than vegetable porn, right?  That's all he needed to say. Be completely distasteful, but if you are mediocre, you are outta here.

I've decided that the actor who plays the marathon runner should be Trumps apprentice because he's the only one questioning why he is putting body wash on his face (value proposition!!!). I would also like to see him make that face in the boardroom. I think Carolyn would laugh.

Erin washing the model's abs...make it stop! Then shooting the vegetable footage. I can't believe this...and that Michael is the voice if reason. I have definitely fallen through a hole in the space/time continuum. This cannot be real. You know the only thing that could make it even more surreal is stupid costumes...oh wait! You know what makes me want to take a shower? A chef.

Then we see the commercials. Oh, the humanity! When Donny tells you he "appreciates the effort" (not even "good effort"), you really stink and it's not cucumbers that smell. Neither of the teams really got the product or the target customer. The porn and the washing your face with no water thing just adds to the grossness. My favorite word of this episode..."unrefreshing". Word.

Erin talking the the camera sounds like "blah, blah, <baby talk> blah". Michael decides to "be nice to everybody"...don't hurt yourself dude. He's like my crockpot....just 2 settings. Bren is he should be (Alex says he will miss Bren). And he starts in the with the "no sleep" defense. He's gross. Kristen starts coalition building only nobody will back her up (I have some new-found respect for Tana). Holy cow...the defensive posturing that is going on here! Some of these people should not be in the business world. Kristen starts blaming Audry <collective eye roll>.

Everyone in the boardroom and the Trumpster is P-Oed. Erin starts talking again "blah, blah, like, blah and totally, blah". They force us to look at the commercials again. Yay, what a fabulous advertisement targeted at women where the woman in the ad ends up ticked and alone at the end. This is 50 kinds of wrong. Then we see the goofy marathon commercial. Kristen is officially un-funny.When Carolyn has to explain to you how not funny you are REALLY not funny! And do any of those people look like they are running a marathon...on the sidewalk?

Chris jumps in to affirm his heterosexuality. Not for any reason. Just because. How uncomfortable was that? Hey dude, the part that made it bad wasn't the was the sexuality. Nobody cares that you like girls!

Final boardroom: Erin (bad bangs), Bren (bad idea), Michael (bad attitude), Kristen (bad suit)...and also her bad choices to join her: Tana and Audry.

Erin sings "we are family" (someone somewhere is blaming spongebob squarepants for this....probably Chris). Trump fires Kristen and her pink suit. Then we see the world premier of the real Dove commercial (not superbowl material), where we see more disturbing stereotypes perpetuated.  This episode was a train wreck from beginning to end. I am embarrassed for everyone involved, including myself for watching. Sorry if you were looking for deeper analysis here. You've got to have something to build on and I am at a loss.

Next week, the contestants turn a trailer into a mobile business and I can't wait to see who is a "trailer expert".  

Comments (24)

  1. Steve Hall says:

    Er…I think you mean: who is the real trailer trash! By bringing out the trailers, I’m wondering if the producers are merely just goading the "streeties" into showing their "true colors"…

  2. I’m somehow thinking Bren’ll be a trailer expert 😉

    The episode was bad. In reality, I think all the Deutsch ones are bad, though. They’re typically given no direction and each of the ads every season have been pretty crap.

    And while I don’t like the product placement stuff this year, I do like the fact that teams are given larger budgets to work with. Season 2 was pathetic that way. I’m hoping for more original competitions though.

    I’m glad I finally put myself on the board this week.

    As far as the episode, I nearly drew my recap on 5 queue cards and scanned them in. It would have been that hard. There was so little substance, and so little that was quality that it’s not even funny.

    Good job on the recap though. I have to tell you, the "washing the abs" thing really made me uncomfortable. Her ogling him, head to the side, with drool coming out of her mouth? *shiver*

  3. Seriously?!!!!

    What’s wrong with taster choice. That has got to be the best coffee ever!!!! And this episode of the apprentice is what realy business is all about. Tump and Deutsh are lamers.

    Veggie Porn is where it’s at.


    Did anyone else get the impression that the ‘pissed off’ actress what doing a very bad job of ‘acting’ pissed off?

  4. JimmyM says:

    I thought that it was the funniest when they bashed the team with the runner skit for focusing on the face and it being a body wash

    Then they show the real ad at the end of the episode – and all it focuses on is the face.

    At any rate – that sucked. Good call Heather.

    Oh – and next time I’ll wait at least an hour after the episode to e-mail you – I didn’t realize Seattle was an hour behind (and probably an hour off TV-wise) until after i hit send.

  5. Heather says:

    Jeremy-Bren definitely has the advantage in anything tasteless. He’s just yucky.

    Paul-yes, she was clearly a plant. It was ridiculous. The producers thing that the viewing audience is a bunch of idiots and they are tweaking the episodes to the lowest common denominator. If this keeps up, this is my last season watching.

    Jimmy-no worries…I didn’t look at it until after I watched the episode.

  6. John says:

    Heather, sweetie, you need to toddle on over to and offer up your services as a professional episode recapper. You, my dear, are a wit and a half!

  7. Heather says:

    Oh John, you are so nice. I have defnitely visited TWOP in the past. Not sure that I could compete with their prolific writers. But you are so sweet!!

  8. mike w says:

    I agree with John, you should go pro with your comments. And I like the new Erin HTML tags you have introduced. <baby talk> needs to definitely be </baby talk>’d. Are they XML compliant? 🙂

    Not sure if she works there anymore, but have you throught of interviewing Verna for your blog to get her spin on the hiring process for the Apprentice?

  9. Ian says:

    I only got to watch the first episode and now I’m in Sri Lanka!! 🙁 I’ll be sure to keep up with your recaps since they seem to be just as entertaining! lol 😉 Keep up the good work! 🙂

  10. Howard says:

    What bothers me is that these top business people don’t have any idea about how to problem solve to develop the best solution before charging off on a single suggestion – that some of the group members hate and most of them do not understand. Have they never heard of sitting down and looking at all of their collective best solutions, considering pros and cons before starting out?

    Is it just me or are they just polain self centres and stupid?

  11. zzz says:

    For season 1 & 2 at this point I had some clue regarding who’ll come out on the top, but for this season anything promising has yet to emerge..

  12. Geoff Walker says:

    Heather, good job on the recap. You commented on all the key idiocies. This episode was the worst I’ve ever seen. Like you said, Advertising 101. They just can’t have had any real business experience. And the planted "angry talent" behavior was so obvious, it jumped right out of the screen. Re my post on the previous episode, thanks, I’ve calmed down now.

  13. patblue says:

    I was a bit angry arrving home from my travels across the pond, and learning that this episode did not record on the Media Pc…your update was update enough for me Heather. IRREDGARDLESS of me not seeing it. Erin’s mouth has annoyed me from the get go, it sounds like I should be glad that I missed it.

  14. Heather says:

    Mike…I’m sure there will be more creative html tags to come ; ) Lots more garbage in store on the Apprentice, I’m sure.

    Ian-glad you made it there safely!!

    Howard-I suspect that these people were chosen for entertainment value…not because they are "top" business people. Seroiusly…how did Erin get through th interviews?

    ZZZ-my bets are John/Craig/Audrey. John and Craig had the good sense to steer clear of Kristn and her ridiculousness.

    Patblue! -Welcome back old chap ; ) Let’a grab lunch with Annsh sometime soon…I want to hear all about the trip!

  15. Chris says:

    The latest episode of Apprentice points out a valuable lesson – uncontrolled marketing via product placements can be very dangerous – and do more harm than good.

    The way the body lotion was portrayed would turn more people off than actually entice them to try!

    Apprentice has gone down hill faster than Trump’s casino revenues.

    BTW – this being my first comment to your blog, I’d like to a hello and add excellent work!

  16. Chris says:

    … slight case of afternoon lack of caffeine dyslexia – I meant "I’d like to add a hello and excellent work…" did not mean to request a hello and that you needed to add excellent work …

  17. Heather says:

    Chris-I knew what you meant…funny anyway though ; )

  18. Brian Korzeniowski says:

    I agree with Heather when she replied to howard. These people were certainly not chosen for their business acumen. On the flip side, the "buzz" they are generating for themsleves on this blog seems to indicate they have marketing 101 down pat. 🙂 Being notorius has its advantages too. 🙂 Take it from someone who knows. 🙂

    It’s sad though that most people work very hard just to make a name for themselves in their career, and folks like the Apprentice contestants end up winenrs in the corporate world for being losers at practical application skills. 🙂 *lol* Just kind of funny that’s all.

  19. Brian Parry says:

    What a great episode! It just strengthens the idea that these people are chosen for their ability to act like jerks. If any of these reality shows used "normal" people the show would be horrifically dull. Dull like the Craig. He is low key and probably rational. You almost never see him. Michael is my favorite jerk. I love being amazed at how delusional people can be. I like the fighting like children because it keeps you keen to poor job candidates. I have always believed that attitude is the most important characteristic a candidate can have. It doesn’t matter if you are a super genius if you can’t play well with others.

  20. The producers will be in town on Friday (Feb 25th)… I live in Albuquerque NM and hope to compete with the other wannabee "Apprentices"…If someone wants to offer any moral support… "bring it on"… I have a MPA- not an MBA, so probably won’t get taken seriously…BUT.. I want to be there for the casting call.. Should be interesting to connect with "the others"… We have the "Anderson Schoolf of Management" here in Albuquerque… an MBA graduate school..

    I got my MPA- Master in Public Adminstration from the University of NEw Mexico…

    Should be interesting….


    Albuquerque NM

  21. The producers will be in town on Friday (Feb 25th)… I live in Albuquerque NM and hope to compete with the other wannabee "Apprentices"…If someone wants to offer any moral support… "bring it on"… I have a MPA- not an MBA, so probably won’t get taken seriously…BUT.. I want to be there for the casting call.. Should be interesting to connect with "the others"… We have the "Anderson Schoolf of Management" here in Albuquerque… an MBA graduate school..

    I got my MPA- Master in Public Adminstration from the University of NEw Mexico…

    Should be interesting….


    Albuquerque NM

  22. Heather says:

    Patrick…we’ll give you moral support if you really want to do this, but are you crazy? ; )

  23. The Apprentice 4: What’s Next for The Apprentice, Mr. Trump?

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