Apprentice 12: Bring it on, Kendra and Take it Out, Chris!

Ahh, time to feed my “Trump obsession”…just a few words in my defense, I am not obsessed with the man, just the ridiculousness. But aren’t we all addicted to the ridiculousness? Otherwise, could you please explain Paris Hilton? 

Last week: Tana walking through a store asking questions is referred to as a “focus group”. Craig and Kendra don’t get a long. Chris “unraveled” and Angie “stumbled”. Later days to Angie. For some reason, I’m sure she will be fine.

Up in the suite, Bren, Kendra, Craig and Tana speculate on the bored room activities. Bren picks Alex to get fired (with friends like that…), Kendra picks Angie (yeah, well get used to Kendra being right). Tana said something like: “why does Chris always get to ‘snake out’…he’s out of his league…he’s a virgin and we’re all sluts.” How refreshingly….tacky. And totally unrelated to anything that is going on here (I hope…maybe they don’t show everything). I imagine Chris could be feeling a little left out of all the slutiness.

Alex and Chris walk back in. Tana hugs the pure fact speaker. She camera talks that he has “staying power”…no, it’s the sadistic producers. Alex and Chris recount the bored room. Once again, Chris pridefully describes Trumps assessment of him as a “disaster”. Why, why, why would you be telling people this? Like it’s a badge of honor or something. Bren says that the other apprentae were just saying the same thing. Chris chuckles along until his brain catches up with his face. You actually get to see the moment when Chris realizes that was an insult. Let’s hope he is also reminding himself not to talk about it anymore. You just be the speaker of facts.

Chris then camera talks that because of his disaster status, he needs to be project manager. He says this without the slightest recognition that the only reason his teammates will let him be project manager is so he can implode (or explode as the case may be). I mean, certainly the whole “disaster” thing and the fact that he gleefully accepts it is not a big credibility booster.

Kendra does some camera talking of her own…”final six”…”step it up”…”be noticed”…blah,blah, blah. I hate the camera talking…it’s so fake.

In the AM, Rona gets the honor of launching the first product placement and it’s a double: GM and NYSE (OK, technically they are brands, but no doubt they paid for the honor in one way or another). Just once this season, I wanted someone to get the time or place wrong or just go back to bed after taking the message. But we all know this show is much more orchestrated than that. It would be fun though.

Down on Wall Street. Trump defines uncomfortable small talk: “great to be with you, how’s Pontiac doing?” Ugh, only Trump could talk about the “new car” and make it about himself. Which is tricky, because he wouldn’t be caught dead or alive in this car. He clumsily transitions: “I hope it does as well as this building. I bought it for a million and it’s worth 400 million”. Ahh, stop with the dog sniffing! The worst part of this is that it’s not enough for Trump to kiss his own you-know-what, he makes successful execs from other companies do it too. Enough! It’s just too distasteful! Can’t you just look at what you’ve accomplished in life and be satisfied? Or does everybody have to kiss the ring?

The apprentae line up outside and unfortunately we are reminded that it’s only week 12 of 16. Great…four more weeks of this. Trump allows Chris and Alex at Magna to pick someone off the other team. They quickly choose Bren who looks thrilled (hee hee!). It’s almost like they went to every school playground and took the kid who got picked last. Then they put them all together and made Alex and Chris pick one of them. How do you pick the best bad person? Evidently, you just go with the one with the bow-tie (works on the playground too). Anyway, the fun part of this was watching Craig’s worried face when Alex and Chris were picking. Craig’s buddies love taking his money on poker night.

Trump talks up the NYSE like it’s his favorite model (I hear it’s the Heidi Klum of the trading world). Then Trump introduces the Pontiac people, whom I immediately feel sorry for. He then lavishes praise upon himself…again. The task will be to publish a brochure for their new car, Solstice. Trump calls is “totally beautiful”. Then one of the GM guys calls it a “sexy, gorgeous, 2-seat roadster”. What are they talking about? This sounds like flirting, only the really awkward kind involving cars. Tana looks intrigued by this sexy motor vehicle, but it’s possible because someone just used the word “sexy” and she is a self-proclaimed “***”…don’t blame me…she said it. The winner gets one of the cars. Chris is frightfully giddy. The winner will be decided by the GM execs. Tana is exempt so there’s be plenty of opportunity to laugh at crazy camera talking for this episode and the next. Trump explains about the bored room like we’re new.

Over at the Magna team, Kendra explains her experience with press kits to Tana and Craig. Cool…someone who actually HAS experience. Not “I saw a press kit once”, “I ate a press kit”, “my boyfriend used to be a press kit”…I’m talking about actual promotional collateral experience. Whee! The 3 agree that Kendra will be project manager, then they all disagree with her idea about including a CD sleeve. When will they learn?

In the Net Worth cab, Chris expresses delight that he, Alex and Bren are “finally working together”. Yes, the 3 boys that get picked last on the playground all get to be in the same homeroom. This is so junior high. Bren thinks he can help this team end their losing streak. Yeah, like he’s been so instrumental in the past…need I remind you of the dirty veggie flick? I mean, seriously, Bren, Alex couldn’t turn this around and he’s, like, actually kinda smart…what do you think that you have that Alex doesn’t, besides pleated front trousers and a bow tie? Could it be that the problem is Chris? Just asking.

As if this conversation hasn’t caused enough embarrassment for everyone associated with these “gentlemen”, it gets worse. Bren refers to the other team having “chicks” and the three of them laugh like idiots. I’m sorry, they just did. Then Chris rubs his hands together and says “excellent! excellent!” like some 13 year old playing an evil scientist in a school play. When I saw this on the preview, I thought it was bad, but in context, it’s ten times worse. I’m embarrassed for America. Trumps stock price takes a nose dive due to the possibility that one of these people will be working for him. At least this aired after trading hours.

Magna goes to the advertising agency. Kendra wants to focus on the emotions that the car invokes. Craig says “she doesn’t get it most of the time”. I really hope he’s at home with his TiVo rewinding and watching the stupid words come out of his mouth. We can talk about who doesn’t get it later, Craig.  

The Trumplesson segments are making less and less sense because they have run out of lessons from the Nursery Rhyme Book of Business. The topic is “pulling all-nighters”  and Trump is at a podium reading from the book: “Love What You Do”, “Don’t quit”, Easy for you to say…you’re a flippin’ millionaire! Is this a lesson?  And what does this have to do with pulling all nighters aside from the fact that it’s what your production team was doing when they put together this segment?  Thanks for the lesson. I’ll start loving what I do and I’ll stop quitting.

Magna comes to a building that they are very excited to declare is a “bath house”. It’s possible that they may actually be thinking they get a bath. I mean, there’s not a lot of privacy in the suite. Oh darn, it ends up that it is a photo studio. Kendra wants Craig to own the photo shoot and they argue some more. Craig needs to simmer down. He’s just generally a disagreeable person, which would be interesting if he was actually right sometimes. You’d think he’d catch on.

Over at Net Worth, Alex shows his beautiful olive sweater. Seriously, it’s cute. Bren likens the car to a beautiful woman and I have a sudden urge to shower with a big metal scrub brush…I feel dirty just knowing he exists in this world. And why is this episode about ***?  Chris, the project manager, asks Alex’s permission to send Bren off to do his work. What the?

At Magna, Tana and Kendra talk to people on the street asking them to describe the car. It’s strange, I feel like I have seen this before. Oh wait, I have…every week for the last 12 weeks. And Net Worth still can’t figure out why Magna is winning. It’s called knowing your customer. It’s Marketing 101.  Actually, it’s the thing that comes before Marketing 101. Kendra is going to use the customers’ own words to market the car.

Over at Net Worth, Chris is getting all creative-like. Last week it was ” bubba”, this week it’s “excellent”. And…I’m officially done listening to Chris camera talk. If this episode was a blind date, I’d be pretending to go to the bathroom right now and sneak out the back door. And on the way home, I’d call the friend that set me up and ask them to lose my phone number. And by that I mean, I’m done. With Chris and his wack and insipid camera talking.

Alex is instructing a model: “playful…kitty…there you go…nice and coy.” I’m not sure what I am hearing..I only have basic cable. But again…***!Who is this person and why must the model be a kitty? Chris then tells Alex that he’s going to “flip out” because Alex didn’t get the detail shots. Hmm, Vegas odds are that you are going to flip out anyway…I’m just saying. As Chris chews on a CD case, he says Alex “dropped the ball.” Turns out that Bren is also ticked about the lack of detail shots. It’s turning kind of “Lord of the Flies” all of a sudden.

Over at Magna, Craig is whining about the lack of a theme in the brochure. Technically, the theme is Kendra is going to do all the work. I’m just curious how long he gets to stick around without adding any value whatsoever. Earlier in the season I praised him for just staying out of the way of the disasters. But at some point, you really hope that the teams get whittled down to the point where the people actually add some value, even if it’s just ordering lunch of delivering product or, um, staying awake. Clearly, we are not there yet.

Unfortunately, Bren is writing copy at Net Worth. Chris falls off his chair. They all rip on Craig and Tana. Obviously they are giddy because this is the opposite of funny.

Because two excuses are better than one, Tana states that she is tired and her throat is sore. Tana wants to go home. Per Craig, “bodies aren’t made to stay up just to be staying up”, which again begs the question “why don’t you actually do something then?”. It’s like he’s saying, “I add so little to this task that it makes no difference whether I’m conscious or not.” But actually it does because he’s less annoying to Kendra when he’s asleep. Kendra walks away and Tana makes a smirky face. Kendra is a little self-righteous, but she’s right though. Tana and Craig should be thanking her, bringing her coffee, rubbing her feet because they are doing nothing to win this task. She works her butt off while Craig and Tana sleep. She comes in at 8:30 and tells Tana the brochure is done. “I feel like a girl who just had sex. I’ve got, like, a silly grin on my face. It’s so awesome.” Ahhh, the stupid things that people say when they haven’t slept. I can’t believe she’s not more angry. I’d be putting Tana’s hand on a bucket of warm water right about now.

Net Worth reviews the final brochure and Chris calls George “bro” which is all kinds of inappropriate and rude. According to Alex, Bren’s text…not so good. Hee! They are turning on each other. Why is this so fun?

Over at Magna, Tana covers her eyes when they unwrap the brochure because she doesn’t know what it looks like? She’s playing peek-a-boo with it? Craig says they all delivered. Evidently, the mission was about producing a brochure and leaving dent in your pillow. Yep, they all delivered. Craig kisses the top of Kendra’s head. I believe apologies and extreme gratitude are in order. Kendra just saved their butts. Like I said a long time ago, Kendra is going to win.

When Magna goes in to present their brochure to GM, Tana takes over and Kendra is PO-ed. Tana has a lot of nerve and  really poor professionalism and presenting skills. I really wish the GM folks had asked her which part she did. Kendra gets it back under control.

Chris presents for Net Worth and despite the fact that “interiorly” and “exteriorly” are in the dictionary, there are articulation and credibility issues here. Alex talks about Chris making up words and funny music plays. Then Chris calls the car the “Solster Roadster” while the GM guy tries not to laugh. And I wonder at what point I will actually start to feel sorry for Chris. Not there yet. Then one of the GM folks asked about the blurred image used in the brochure. All Chris needs to do is explain that the image represents speed. Instead, he says it makes the reader want to “go to the next page”…indeed. It also might make them want to go to the Toyota dealership. Net worth blunders along.

With the apprentae out of the room, Trump talks to the execs and they call back the teams. The GM dude (did he not have a name?) says that Net Worth did not accomplish the goal. Their brochure stunk up the place. Magna delivered emotion and Pontiac will actually use the brochure in real life. OK, you fooled me once with the meatball pizza thing…I might need proof this time. Anyway, Kendra was thrilled, as she should be. The winners get to meet Isaiah Thomas the the other “Knick” players. OK, I have to ask only because I heard this twice in 24 hours. What is the deal? Is one of the Knicks a Knick? On the Howard Stern show this morning, Artie referred to a “Met” game..not “Mets” game. You would never hear someone in Chicago refer to a “Cub” game or a “White Sock” game (haha!). So perhaps it’s a New York thing? It just sounded strange to me. Someone please explain.

Bren, Chris and Alex go out for boys night. Because if you have to show up in the bored room the next day, you may as well reek of stale beer and cheap cigars. Chris mentioned losing seven straight and the fact that he was “out-thought”. Again, not completely erroneous, just clumsy and odd sounding. Which is just as bad.

At Madison Square Garden, the players make Donald shoot a free throw after the producers tell them to. Then they all pretend that the shot that aired was actually the first shot he made. I’m catching on, see? Then the apprentae run drills. There’s no point here of course.

In the suite, Alex packs his bible. Bren realizes he couldn’t pull the team out of the “muck and mire.” I get it, biblical references. He and Alex get all choked up. Chris wonders why he keeps losing: “I perceive myself to be somewhat of a brilliant young man.” He obviously has not watched this show, nor has he asked for anyone else’s opinion on the matter. I’m sorry, but brilliant is not a word I would use.

Bored room. Red suitcases. Trump says Chris has been here seven times and Bren is now a loser too. Yeah, yeah, we get it. Chris explains that he likes the brochure pics, including the out of focus one. Alex chimes in about the sense of speed. Chris can’t explain why he consistently loses. Bren sells out Alex and Chris because they forgot the logo. OK, cucumber guy.

All three of them love the car. Carolyn calls Bren’s text “boring”, Alex calls it “terrible”. This is the first time Bren has heard this feedback. Alex blames Chris. Chris turns on Alex. Alex says he napped through the text selection. Chris tried to blame Bren’s writing. It’s like they all 3 showed up with a t-shirt that says “I’m with stupid(s)”.

Trump goes back to the seven losses thing because we really have to stretch out this boring bored room scene for time: “I think it’s amazing to lose seven times in a row and not be fired.” Excuse me, Mr. Trump, but isn’t that your fault? Oh look at what you have done. Chris is about to cry. I’m serious…he actually looks like he is going to cry. He knows, he makes excuses. But George wants Chris out, Carolyn wants Chris out and Heather wants Chris out…sorry, I wasn’t there, I’m just saying. Trump gives the overview of why they all stink, saving the worst for last. Only Chris was so bad, he said it twice “you’re fired…you’re fired”. I kind of wish he had given it a “Bam!” like Emeril.

I seriously can’t believe it but Chris starts to cry. I’m sorry, there’s no crying in the bored room. Trump calls him back. I swear that he’s about to tell him to knock it off. Instead he tells him to watch his temper and no tobacco. Unbelievable. Chris hugs Bren and Alex like he’s going to prison. Carolyn forces herself to call Chris a “great kid”. For the life of me, I just can’t figure out why she did that because it was not even remotely believable.

Chris’ taxi is waiting outside…has been for several weeks.

Next time, it’s the final five and the tasks are tougher. Craig to Kendra: “I’ve given you respect that you don’t even deserve, young lady.” Are you kidding me? Craig, why are you still here? “Things are getting good on The Apprentice.” Which implies that they haven’t been good yet. True that.

Chris in the cab (my paraphrasing): ‘thanks for not kicking me off sooner’ 

This episode wasn’t pretty but it was satisfying.



Comments (13)

  1. Turker says:

    One thing that disturbed me most (among every other thing about the show) in this episode is that Tana tried to steal the show from Kendra so to speak. Similar think happened last season when Jen presented something she didn’t work on as her own work and even got the props. Just like you, I wished they asked what part they all did. My question is what is the best way to handle such a situation?


  2. I think the show "jumped the shark" with the cucumber. Let the show end and let Trump go away. When Survivor and all the other reality shows have picked up a bit this one has plunged deeper.

    Heather — doing a great job on these recapped. We need to get you a new show when this is done. Will you be doing the Martha Apprentice? I do think that Burnett will get that show back on track.

    The big problem with this season has been the sell out of the show to be one long commercial each show. There has to be tasked that do not have to revolve around a product or service. The writers and producers need to go back to the first 2 seasons and find the great episodes. A lot were just them doing something. My favorite episode was the home remodeling. Basic teamwork and task oriented plain and simple.

    In the end the show probably has made a lot of money but I wonder if the companies that paid for the episodes would do it again? I bet most would not. Or is bad marketing better than no marketing? I hope not.

  3. JD says:


    Your posts are the reason that I watch Apprentice! See, if it was not for Apprentice, how would I find such a hilarious (and meaningful) post about what happened and what should have happened. 😉

    Anyway, I really hate this Craig, I have yet to see him do ANYTHING and I am really surprised he is still there. I think even Chris is better than him.

    And Kendra’s boyfriend is lucky. If he is not in mood for sex on a particular night, he can just give her a print job and she would feel like she had great sex! 😉


  4. HeatherLeigh says:

    Turker-I think Kendra handled it well. You cannot cause a fuss in front of the client. It’s too bad they don’t have a board room for the winning team, knowing that it’s possible that there are some slackers there too. It’s almost like they are burdened by their success. If it’s true that Tana makes it to the final 2, and thinking that Kendra could also (my own prediction), then hopefully Kendra can have her revenge.

    Chris-I totally agree. I’m not planning on doing another show recap but am open to recommendations. The only thing is, it has to somehow be relevant to my job/blog subject matter. It ended up the the Apprentice was a stretch. Martha’s a possibility, I guess. But could just be more of the same.

    JD-Aw, thanks! I agree with you about Craig. In high performing organizations, flying under the radar doesn’t work. In other work scenarios, maybe you can blend in with the other non-performers, but not on a great team (which has little to do with this show) and not on TV. I’m disappointed. I thougnt Craig would be better than this.

    Go Kendra!

  5. Turker says:

    I haven’t heard about that rumor about Tana.My pick was Kendra after my disappointment with John.I kinda felt positive about Tana since she and Kendra were the driving factors behind Magna’s success.IMO,they perfectly understood this seasons’ "product placement driven" tasks and nailed it every single time while Chris and others were trying to figure out how they were "out-thought":)My symphaty towards Tana decreased this week.She seems unprofessional at times.She may be someone you may need behind the curtains but not in front. I hope Kendra wins.If Trumps is as smart as he poses to be during his lectures, she should win:)

  6. JohnB says:

    Outstanding recap – could be the most entertaining one yet.

    The show is suffering from a number of problems but I think the biggest one is the lack of any new, fresh challenges. Folks were intrigued by the first season as a chance to see different approaches to business tasks. Now the tasks are just an excuse for us to see the drama between the contestants.

    Someone with way too much free time has compiled a list of Apprencitce stats:

    And I find it amazing that Kendra isn’t getting better odds:

    Great work with the recaps. Too bad you can’t do something similar for the nightly news. You could go definetely take on the Daily Show 🙂

  7. Pradeep says:

    I dont know Heather.

    I sooo want Kendra to win – but know she wont.

    Shez a great worker bee, creative plus sensible & smart too. But seriously – all that is lost unless you can be savvy enough to stand up and say your work is yours – or be gracious enough to make your competitors cringe and be scared (this aint the Survivor – they cant vote u off!).

    Besides the CD idea was brilliant. If 2 morons (read the **** and the work-shirker) dont agree – the idea is to MAKE them agree OR hear their idea and come up with a better one. Not mope arnd, pout sadly, waste time and then out-work them overnite.

    So based on talent and utility Kendra should win – but i dont think she will.

    Besides shez better off not working for Trump.

  8. Pradeep says:

    I just realised the solution.

    Kendra should read "The prince" and implement a lil from that book ….. maybe then she might win. 😉

  9. D-Wang says:

    Oh may goodness… You do not cry in the boardroom. He will never be able to live that down.

    I’m not trying to be Machinsmo or anything like that… but you do not let them see you cry! 😉


  10. HeatherLeigh says:

    Pradeep-I disagree about Kendra. I think she did exactly the right thing. You do not fight it out in front of the client. They care about the work, not who is taking credit. That discussion is for the bored room. People who do things like Tana is doing usually get theirs in the end…it’s called karma and it’s a beautiful thing ; )

  11. Harry Joiner says:

    Wow. I notice from another post that you rarely blog outside of the office. Did you write all of this on the clock?



  12. HeatherLeigh says:

    Harry-there’s no clock; )…Seriously, I stay in the office long enough to do what I need to get done, including blogging. Sometimes that’s an eight hour day, sometimes it gets closer to 12. Today I took 2 hours off to practice softball on the sports fields.

    Not doing work activities at home is one of the ways I achieve a balance in life. We have the luxury of defining that balance for ourselves. Some people like the flexibility of working at home, some like to come in late. For me, it just means totally disconnecting when I am out of the office. But I rarely watch the clock.

    Anyway, to answer your question, yes I do all (or almost all) my blogging while at work but no, I’m not watching the clock to see when it’s time to go home. ; )