Apprentice 14: An ugly t-shirt with big fake rhinestones? How convenient!


 Previously on the Apprentice, Magna’s office product stunk up the place. Tana weirded out all over someone’s shopping cart at Staples. Stackables..stackables…the handy new lunchtime treat. Craig is mean. Trump refers to Alex and Bren as "best friends". Excuse me but how the heck does he know that? I mean, he watching tape? I want to know that because it changes everything and tells me that Trump doesn’t care that Craig is incredibly rude to his co-worker; which means there's some culpability there. Perhaps he understands the value of a dramatic firing, but still...making Kendra suffer like that. Bren and Alex giggle over the “lashing” they thought they would bestow upon Net Worth…and now I am giggling. Boy, customers sure do hate ugly furniture and that sent Magna to the bored room where Bren indicted himself (sure hope he’s not a criminal attorney, huh?). Risk, risk, blah, blah. And I really need someone to remind me why Trump expects a lawyer to be an entrepreneur. I don’t see the connection. If anything, it's trivial.


This week in the suite, we see the portraits of the apprentae as ominous music plays. It sounds like the haunted castle as Disney land or something. More grerat grooming as Craig shines his shoes and Tana and Kendra talk. Tana doesn’t think that Alex and Bren will turn on each other. Kendra refers to them as her “boys” and in overly dramatic fashion explains what we already know. Thanks for the update. She thinks that Bren could be coming back because Alex hearts his bugly table. But Alex is better, she explains. I’m not sure we could follow the show without these little  updates. I mean how could we know that Alex and Bren went to the bored room. I mean, it’s not like we actually watched it last week. Oh wait. OK, well, don't tell anyone. I have a reputation to uphold.


In walks one of Kendra’s boys, Alex.  Lots of those big hugs that Alex so enjoys. He explains that after 4 trips to the bored room he has no equal. Um, right. Alex says “it’s me against the world. You know the worst person to get in a fight with is somebody that has nothing to lose…that’s me." Hello…drama!  And I’m pretty sure you're at risk of losing the same thing the rest of the apprentae do…and I would be extremely remiss if I didn’t mention the credibility at stake here. Well, whatever is left of it. “I’m letting Magna think that I’m weak when I’m strong. Right out of Sun Tzu’s ‘Art of War.’” OK, not to get too philosophical here, but could not any semi well-read weak person claim the same thing? I mean how do you differentiate between someone playing weak and being weak? And doesn’t the fact that you need to play weak make you a little, well, um, weak?


OK, then I see the unthinkable. Alex unpacks a hanging rack of belts.  Dude, how many belts do you need to go with your flat-front trousers? A black belt, a brown belt and what else? I'm at a loss for words, but not at a loss for fine leather products.


Kendra explains that Alex is going to choose a partner from among the 3 remaining NWs. Tana points out that if Alex picks her, Kendra and Craig must work together. And as much as I feel sorry for Kendra, I love it. I’m sorry but that’s the most real thing here. We’ve all been there…working with someone we can’t stand. Do I need to mention the rage-filled person at my last company that left voicemail messages for her cats? And we were in a cube farm in a Chicago high rise and I simply was not paid enough. So I guess I know how Kendra feels.


The apprentaegreat are to report to the lobby in an hour. Glass, glitz, marbly office-ness. Mr. T explains that these people were chosen from among one million people and I suspect that ping pong balls or little strips of paper were involved. At the very least, hanging chads. They all look incredibly satisfied as Trump explains that “there are no losers”…OK, if you say so, but I just heard you call Alex a loser, like the last four times I saw you, Donald. Make up your mind, man! “In life, three of you will lose”. And while that sounds all Sartre-esque, I’m not sure that he knows what he’s saying. Three will lose the game, which is, under no circumstances to be confused with "life". Perhaps he was referring to the board game of Life and he is challenging them to an exciting round of spinning the dial and plugging stiff little plastic family figures into cars and driving them around a candy colored board. And by the way, it doesn’t work that way. 


Alex gets to pick a team member and he chooses Tana and I’m trying to define the look on the faces of Kendra and Craig. Well, they aren’t happy faces. Alex and Tana hug and I gotta say that in the work world, that kind of body contact just doesn’t happen.  I don’t even want someone standing too close to me in the cafeteria. Then Trump explains “I put my name on everything…buildings, helicopters, even t-shirts”… really? We hadn’t noticed. What’s your name again?


Donald introduces the Hanes challenge. The teams are to design and sell a shirt in honor of “t-shirt culture”…seriously? T-shirt culture? What does that mean? Isn’t it enough to be a simple piece of clothing? Does it have to have a culture attached to it? He describes two artists I have never heard of…just not into pop-art…sorry. We learn that Trumps’ daughter loves Scoop. Fascinating. He needs to think about the economy of the English language, cause I’m hearing way too much talking…hey, Craig and I have that in common. Trump-more writing, less talking!


You know what was weird…Carolyn and George were standing there and added nothing. How would you like to be the officer of a huge corporation and be called to a meeting to talk about t-shirts and be told to stand there and look pretty? He tells the apprentae to “say hello to Hanes”. That's like saying hello to your it's a person. Whatever.


OK, as Tana and Alex hug (again!), I notice the pins they are all wearing. I think I noticed the same last weekend. What are they? Alex is all excited about Tana’s experience in the clothing industry. He laughs goofily over Tana and Craig being stuck with each other again.


At Hanes, Alex and Tana design their logo, which they each refer to as “tight”. I don’t understand the language that kids use these days. Oh wait, these aren’t kids. They are totally bonding and Tana explains their “rockstar couture” concept. They meet their artist and review his work. Sorry, I’m still not into it. Their design includes a flag in a star with wings. Because one cliché is good, but three are better!


Over at Magna, Kendra chitty-chats with a not-very-social artist wearing an extremely unattractive shirt of his own design. I’m sorry, I loved the 80s as much as anyone…in the 80s. Kendra is the project manager and that is why she thinks they will win and as much as that would sound arrogant from anyone else under any other circumstances, I have to agree because I still have not seen good things from Craig lately.  Kendra works with the artists assistant to send a marketing message to the artists fans. Because if anyone is going to buy a bugly t-shirt, it’s people who are fans of bugly. Sorry, I’m just saying. Hey, more hearts and wings and stars….right on! If both artists came up with it, what are we to say about “art” and "culture". Craig relished the idea of Kendra being voted off if they lose. 


Trumplesson: “Keep your eye on the prize”. Oh great, how insightful. He explains that you have to focus on what is important…which certainly does not explain what I am doing writing this recap right now. Trump is all packaging. I can’t take it any more.


Over at NW, Tana loves the shirt, but she would love it more if she could stud it! Whee!  “Oh my God…the Bedazzler’s coming back”. Um, no honey, it isn’t…it was never in. Tana explains that she made ten thou off the $10 Bedazzler (she says this word many many times this episode…I think she is making money off of how many times she can say the name). Tana calls around and looking for the Bedazzler. She says “oh no!” each time she hears the store doesn’t carry it. She is focused on her flippin’ Bedazzler! She and Alex take a hotjobs taxi to Staten Island. Alex tries to talk to Tana about marketing but Tana does not want to hear of anything but Bedazzling. 


Alex explains that he has a list of Tana’s mistakes in case he needs them. Well, he should call me if he needs a list of the goofy things she has said because I’ve got them all right here.


Kendra and Alex argue about price. Again he just picks on her. He’s generally disagreeable. He obviously must not be aware of what a villian he's coming off as at this point.  Why is she so nice to him? He tells her she looks at him like he has a problem. Which, I am sorry, he does! And Carolyn is watching and she is not amused. Carolyn camera talks about the volatile relationship. They are going downstairs and Craig lets the elevator door close in Kendra’s face. Seriously! He gets all mean with her in the elevator. She calls him a b*tthole…oh well, NBC bleeped it out so I figured I would too. Ahh. More arguing. Make it stop.


Magna at Scoop. Kendra explains the concept of t-shirt as art. Kendra explains to George how they marketed to the artists fans. And now these art fans start coming in. Schweet! Craig refers to the decision “we” made to market to the artists fans. We? In the words of Dana Carvey…how convenient. So this is also illustrating the simpleness of the general public. People are buying the t-shirts just because there are only 288 available. It would be really cool if you could go to Old Navy and they explained to you that 4.6 million people would be wearing the same cargo pants as you the next day and then they printed it on your butt.


Craig starts giving discounts and let me just explain the problem I have with this. First, he did not use the discount as part of the selling process. The customer was fully willing to buy them full price. Then, the customer protested the discount and Craig gave it to them anyway…now there’s a business person for you! Kendra tells him to knock it off. He explains that he was doing to to “appease” her (Kendra). Give me a break…when have you EVER done anything to appease her? Once again, how convenient!


Kendra is all excited about “bedazzling” her own shirt. I really hate that fact that that word is being used as a verb right now. Must we? I mean seriously, if I hear it one more time, I might chia all over my couch. The woman is downright giddy: “the rhinestones just puts it a little but…oooh! A little fancier” Spoken like the head of one of Trump’s companies. Hah! Alex tries to sell on the street and he gets the full-on New York treatment. To a customer, Tana refers to herself as the “master studder”…that’s excellent. Tana talks to George about what they are doing…pricing high due to those cheap rhinestones. And someone who pays $50 for tacky t-shirt really wants to be told “step right up”(I wish they had a cow bell or something)….I’d be all “no, you delivery it to my house when you are done and don’t look me straight in the eye.”


Now in the bored room, in comes Trump. Much small-talk. Craig explains that his team did better and Trump tells him “you’re learning”. Yes, that is the first rule of business. We must all be encouraged by our leaders to be totally full of it. Craig takes credit for selling their t-shirts. Alex explains that he would “bounce” customers in and Tana would close (boing! boing!), because it’s really tough to “close” on t-shirts. I’m just saying. Magna wins because they sold to the art fans. NW loses again.


According to Trump, next week signals the end of NW, which will be “buried” and “memorialized”. Kendra and Craig get to dogfight in fighter planes.


In the suite, per Tana: “for the first time, Tana doesn’t have her happy smile on” and if by happy, you mean goofy and inappropriate, then I miss my sunny faced little Tana-bear. Alex and Tana are shocked by the loss. Each pontificate bored room dynamics. Kendra is excited about kicking Craig’s butt in the air and she will do just that. Craig says he can beat her in a dogfight “without a plane”…exactly how so Craig? By flapping your imaginary wings? It was great watching Kendra pull up behind Craig and “guns! guns! guns!”. Sweet! 


Alex and Kendra talk about the bored room. Alex explains that he has to convince Trump to fire Tana…ah…strategery! I see glimpses of Chris in Alex when he explains that based on this tasks “she’d be fired in a heartbeat”. Very reminiscent of “I speak facts!” Craig and Tana do similar scheming. Then to 2 opponents hug before the bored room.


Up in the bored room, Tana and Alex try to malign each other. Alex explains that nobody was in charge of marketing as their main role. George calls him on this given that it was a team of 2. Also, George explains that they lost focus of the art as art.  Tana felt their strength was product design, especially because of the beading that made people feel like “glamour queens” and “divas”…yes, that is exactly what it would make me feel like…and also that I must have just visited a flea market recently. Tana explains her deep and rich bedazzling experience. Alex says that Tana wouldn’t talk marketing with him.  It looks like Tana is going to get fired. As she walks out, Tana whispers “they didn’t like my beads”…unbelievable…she still doesn’t get it.


Trump talks to George and Carolyn. George likes Alex. Carolyn thinks that Tana is “sweet”…seriously, I am convinced she is gone. But in the words of Lee Corso…not so fast my friend.


Trump asks again why they lost. Blah, blah, blah. Trump cannot believe Tana’s claim that “the fashion capital of the world” was sold out of beads. Well, I can. Sheesh! Too much about the bedazzler. Carolyn was ticked that they spent so much time on beads.  Trump says he’s not “about” the beads on the shirt. Tana explains that she isn’t intimidated by the rich and powerful people in her life (I don't know, like MaryKay?). She describes the success she has had with Mary Kay and eBay. She makes the most nonsensical argument ever….until she explains her recordbeing better than Alex’s. Alex gets his record as project manager wrong and Trump does not like it. Again…how convenient! Alex tries to justify his MVP status witnessed by the fire in his belly, which I think a little Pepto could take care of.  


Things turn around so quickly and the golden boy is fired. Finally! It’s like I couldn’t lose with the firing this week.


Next week…wait, wait, let me guess…it’s down to the final three and it will be an Apprentice like no other. Next week there are interviews. It sounds like the bored room is a full half hour. That’s fantastic.


Then we are asked if we want to find the t-shirts from tonight’s show. No irony...they are serious! (By the way, I hear the Apprentice desk caddies are sold out at Staples)


In the Taxi, Alex explains that Trump livevillains and dies based on the win/loss calculations, except not soglamor much. Alex realizes he can set up a crappy record beingbusiness in 24 hours. He can’t wait to go home and rip off residents of the great Seattle area. See ya at Pike Place Market Alex! I’ll be the one sans rhinestones.


Comments (5)

  1. I think I will buy a Desk Apprentice. I have a spot on my desk and it looks like it actually could help me keep stuff organized.

    From a story I read, Staples produced 30,000 units and they sold out in 10 days. They have stopped online sales at 15,000 back orders also! Might be a month or 2 until new ones reach stores.

    Heather — congrats on passing me in the game. I may still catch though. 🙂

    Also I am working on the trophy this weekend… I will go to Michaels tomorrow for the plastic cucumber! I hope they have one.

  2. Casey says:

    I can’t believe you haven’t heard of the artist. I figured they worked for Microsoft making clip art, because that’s what it looked like. The one artists work all had the same black spikes around every piece.

    BTW, I think your recaps are great.

  3. ScottMagoon says:

    I knew you were a little behind us East Coasters, but I thought it was three hours, not a whole week. You just described last week’s Apprentice. I hope I don’t spoil anything for you by reporting from the future that the next episode is an Apprentice LIKE NO OTHER!! It’s the interview episode. Again, don’t let me spoil it for those of you in another dimension of time and space, but I am predicting Kendra to take the prize on the final head-to-head challenge. Her confrontations with Craig have made her tough enough for the cliche Apprentice setup of having to control a band of misfits to complete a challenge. Sorry, Tana, you’ve had some good ideas and thought way out of the box, relatively speaking, with those "focus groups" but you’re not a killer. And Trump’s world of killers would eat you up in a New York minute. Or so he leads me to believe. Remember he killed Branson and Cuban, what hope do any of us ordinary people have?

  4. HeatherLeigh says:

    Chris- I’m afraid of that trophy already but I guess I don’t have to worry about it since there’s no chance it’s coming my way!

    Casey-even if the person did ourt clip art, I’m aloud to not like his art. Sprry, I just don’t. That’s kind of the point of art, though, I guess.

    Scott-pesky day job keeps me from recapping immediately. I do the best I can. ; )

  5. Ellis says:

    I found this funny t shirt about high gas prices:

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