2006-03-07

Apprentice 5-2: Tropical Storm Brent Upgraded


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Big surprise this week as Bill Rancick and Ivanka Trump stood in for George and Carolyn. The original, and IMHO best Apprentice winner so far, Bill is always a fan favorite. It was interesting to see Ivanka. She's attractive (in an absolutely flawless sort of way), blonde, smart and has a finance degree. Did Trump figure out how to buy himself a daughter?

This week our little hopefuls were sent scurrying to raise text hits in a promo for Gillette's Fusion 5-bladed razor. Aside: Man, I'm still using a Mach 3, but it is Turbo, so I've got that going for me.

Behind the scenes, personality games continued. The rift from last week's boardroom? Lee stepped up to be the Gold Rush PM and Lenny was the bulldog behind his team's success, while Tarek wisely fell in line. He did secretly speculate that PM'ing this one would be too much for Lee, and despite the victory I think I agree with him.

Meanwhile Tropical Storm Brent reached Hurricane strength as Synergy spent the better part of their first day trying to deal with the unruly bull in their china shop. Brent confronted Stacy about repeatedly interrupting him which Stacy managed to inflate into anything from "no big deal" to aggravated assault depending on the moment. The funniest thing was watching Synergy PM Pepi, after being put up to it by the team, try to fire Brent.

That was the Synergy story for this task. The team was out of control and Pepi was always a step behind. On money day, the sun rose to find Synergy nestled all snug in their beds with Gold Rush having quietly exited the loft. Trump would later point out that Gold Rush logged over 100 text hits before Synergy even woke up.

Having lost a lot of time, Michael suggests that Synergy hit Times Square in their bath robes to attract interest. It got worse. Much, much worse. Things were going pretty slow for Synergy, so Brent decided that dancing, and "robotics" (his term) my draw some interest. Have I mentioned that Brent is rather, ummm, chunky. And not in a cute, Danny DeVito sort of way. No, this is a dress up or wear loose-fitting clothes chunky. Sloshing around in a white bathrobe and t-shirt is more info than we need.

Funny thing is, Brent came away seeing himself as the star on this one. It reminds me of Sammy trying to sell a glass of lemonade for $1,000 in season one. He came away proud that he had demonstrated the lengths to which he'd go to win, and be the Apprentice. Everyone else came away thinking, "Man, not only did you fail, you made an a** of yourself in the process!"

Lenny correctly understood that this was no time for creativity. Gold Rush needed feet on the street. The team members circulated and get the word out. All across Times Square passersby were inspired to text "closer" to the magic number.

Results: Gold Rush wins 683 - 458 hits.

Predictably, Synergy lines up against Brent. Or do they? Suddenly Stacy is waffling on the nature of Brent's "attack." No matter, Pepi has little choice. If he can't put Brent in the crosshairs, then he, the PM, is in danger.

Trump and Bill didn't give the "Brent de-railed us" defense much traction. They find it hard to believe that defense attorney Stacy could be so frightened by a simple buffoon.

Under fire in the boardroom: Brent because Trump's team is also not buying his claim that he was a star on the task. Michael for coming up with the bathrobe idea which, as Ivanka correctly pointed out, was beneath a quality brand like Gillette. Stacy for choosing horrible locations. Pepi for PM'ing this mess! In an effort to increase his chances of survival, Pepi brought the other three back into the boardroom.

As the group stepped out to let Trump confer with his team, the Donald informed them that due to the magnitude of their loss, he'd be firing two people. Nice! That gave them something to chew on in the waiting room!

Bill felt Stacy should be fired for not taking responsibilty for her role. Ivanka didn't think Brent would last long, but thought Pepi owned the failure because he did nothing to check any of the elements that were "spinning out of control."

Trump fired Stacy, put Michael on notice, told Brent that he probably won't last long at all, and fired Pepi.

The last thing Pepi and Stacy saw before boarding their elevator to the street ... the "back to the loft" elevator doors closing on a smiling Brent.

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