Last week on Martha, my personal favorite, Ryan (Matchstick) came through with flying colors (Tide orange and blue, to be exact), dressing as a superhero. He probably fulfilled a childhood dream of his, and certainly fulfilled an adult dream of mine (to see him in a skin-tight leotard). *swoon* The dismal performance by team Primarily Sucking, was so atrocious (and/or Martha is so desperately following Trump’s lead), Martha decided to *gasp* give two candidates Martha Mail, sending both Sarah and Carrie home. Let’s see who gets the junked mail this week, shall we?
We catch up with our friends in the loft kitchen. Jim is explaining the boardroom happenings to a captive audience, when Howie and Bethenny return from the boardroom. (As a side note, Ryan must be missing his superhero clothes [me, too, Ryan], as he’s got a blanket draped over his shoulders like a cape). Bethenny is most upset by Sarah’s comments that ‘everyone’ has said Howie doesn’t do anything, and she’s glad Sarah is gone. For the rest of the evening, Jim and Bethenny entertain/annoy/shock (choose your own verb) their fellow roommates long into the night.
The following day, Martha, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum await the candidates. As they file in, Martha notes that the number of members on each team is five and three. In order to even the teams, she asks who has the best winning track record, and Dawna (foolishly?) raises her hand. She is then told to join Primarius, and we get a close-up of her forced smile. I immediately think we’ll be seeing a shameless toothpaste plug, but no, it’s a shameless QVC plug. They’re surrounded by outdoor furniture, and Martha tells them this week’s task is to sell outdoor products on QVC. Each team will have 10 minutes in which to sell the product of their choice. The team that makes the most revenue wins, the other team blah, blah, blah.
Wise Words To Fold Towels By
What makes a good sales pitch? Martha tells us, you must know your product, know your customer, and know the tone you must take. *wow*
Washing Out, Or Cleaning Up?
Matchstick: Ryan, Project Manager, members Amanda, Leslie and Marcela
While on their bus to QVC central, Amanda is in full overbearing mode, and is grating on her teammates’ nerves. She is interrupting everyone, including Ryan *Roses wags finger*, and is monopolizing the conversation. Ryan tells us he’s decided to pick his battles with her. Smart and cute. *sigh*
They arrive at the warehouse in which thousands of products are stored, and they briefly look at a hammock. But Ryan dismisses it, and his (beautiful) eyes focus on a self-rewinding garden hose that’s propelled by water. As someone who hates having to hand-crank the hose back on the reel, I’m interested. The fact that it’s Ryan’s idea, is an added bonus in my (beautiful) eyes. *Roses bats eyes* Ryan decides that’s their product, and he opts to price it at $99.97.
After choosing their product, they’re taken out to the back lot where they decide how to ‘dress’ their set, which consists of the front yard of a fake house (think Universal Studios). Ryan puts creative Marcela in charge of making the backdrop look inviting. Leslie will be the lead expert to show off the product, and he wants Amanda to take a supportive role. Amanda is not happy about it, and feels she’s a good salesman and should be more visible. Charles, who has been watching them, sums up that Ryan has a great strategy, but he ‘gets’ that Amanda wants to be the on-air personality.
The following morning, Marcela is very comfortable picking out the props, and setting up the entire shot. Leslie and Amanda are trying to determine their positions, and Ryan secretly tells Leslie he’ll be keeping the camera on her, and will be keeping Amanda off to the side. They both laugh conspiratorially.
The Wind Bag Sells The Air Pump
Primarius: Bethenny, Project Manager, members Dawna, Howie and Jim
Bethenny shows off her superb intellect by telling us it’s important for her to choose the right person to be on camera selling their merchandise. She’s a sharp one. She’s thinking Dawna should be on camera if they decide on a woman, or Howie (in other words, NOT JIM) if they choose a man. On the long bus ride out to the site, Jim is spewing out choice four-letter words, and Bethenny, like any mother of a teenage boy, is telling him to “reel it in,” “shut up,” or “simmer,” and he, unlike most teenagers, does. I wonder if Bethenny has worked as a seal trainer before, because he barks and claps his hands together as she throws him a sardine every once in a while. Okay, that didn’t really happen, but wouldn’t that have been great?
How can it be that in a warehouse loaded with thousands of products, both teams zero in on the hammock and hose reel? Hmm, seems suspicious to me. *raises eyebrow* Anyway, the difference with this team, is that Howie and Jim spend a lot of time trying to assemble the hammock, then realize it’s not such a good idea when Howie stretches out in it, and it collapses, knocking him in the head. They briefly consider the hose reel, but settle on an electric air pump, for inflating balls, tires, etc. They settle on $44.78. Dawna feels Bethenny is nervous and stressed out, and she’s making everyone else nervous.
They practice a mock QVC sales pitch, and Dawna is impressed with how easy it is to use the air pump. Bethenny, however, is concerned that Howie has not been learning about the product. It’s 2 a.m., they’re still on the set, and Howie STILL can’t say the name correctly, nor has he figured out how to demonstrate the product. So what should Bethenny do? (1) Put herself on camera? Noooo. (2) Put Dawna on camera? Noooo. (3) Put Jim on camera? Yeah, that’s it! She chooses option (3), and even Jim says, “I’m afraid I’m gonna, like, go off and be like a nut.” I suspect it’s from lack of sleep, but they stick with the decision to go with Jim.
Mr. DeMille, I’m Ready For My Close-Up
Marcela and Ryan are in the control booth, and he does a sound check with Leslie to make sure she can hear him. He also gets familiar with the graphs that will allow him to see how the hose thingy (<--- technical word) is selling. Ryan feels if Leslie can tell a story about the product, they’ll do great.
Action! Leslie begins her pitch, and sales start to climb. Martha is watching from her office, and looks quite pleased. As the camera goes to Amanda demonstrating how the hose works, Ryan notices that the sales drop, so he tells her to get out of the shot. Once she has backed out of view, the sales pick up again. Ouch. I must say, Leslie and Ryan are naturals, and work very well together. Everyone is thrilled.
It’s showtime, and Jim isn’t nervous at all (he’s probably the only one). His single complaint is that with the last-minute change in roles, he didn’t have a chance to practice. Bethenny and Howie are in the control booth, and with 45 seconds to show time, Howie notices when he talks to Jim, Dawna hears him, and vice versa. To add to the suspense, just before they go live, Jim talks about dropping his pants, and proceeds to spank his butt. Oh yeah, this is going to go swell. Howie says he feels like Captain Kirk in the command center, and I begin fantasizing about hitting Jim with a phaser gun or beaming him onto Survivor. Jim begins talking about all the inflatable toys his daughter has and how great a product like this would be to avoid all the hand pumping and mouth blowing. (Okay, people, this has nothing to do with sex toys, although it could certainly help save time with those damn blow-up dolls…not that I would know about that, ahem). As he’s doing this, Howie is thrilled to see the sales pick up. Bethenny describes Jim as a mid-Western goofy dad. But just when they think things are going well, Jim walks out of camera range and has his back to the camera, blocking the view of the demonstration. Martha is again watching from her office, and is shown taking notes (either that, or drawing a moustache and blacked-out teeth on a portrait of Trump). Dawna is surprised at the chemistry she and Jim have, and the team is satisfied with their performance.
Who Could Sell Ice To An Eskimo?
Everyone has gathered in the boardroom for the results, and Martha asks Bethenny how her team did. She feels Dawna did great, and she loved the team dynamics, and feels they all worked well together. Alexis reports they sold 266 units at $44.78 each, totaling $11,911.48. Charles says Matchstick sold 143 units at $99.97 totaling $14,295.71. Matchstick wins again. Martha says their approach was excellent, and they will be rewarded with a helicopter ride to Martha’s home in the Hamptons. Howie looks sick at the thought of missing out on the Hamptons, and/or knowing the boardroom is in his near future.
There’s Something Fishy Around Here
In the helicopter, Amanda and Marcela are wearing straw hats, like the kind they used to wear on Hee Haw. A limo takes our winners from the helipad to Martha’s home, and her decorator, Kevin Sharkey, meets them at the house to show them around. My keen eyes notice everyone in the house is barefoot, so it’s no secret how Martha keeps those wood floors scratch-free. I’m guessing the plastic covers on the white furniture and lampshades, were whipped off just prior to the cameras being turned on. But my attention is quickly diverted when the camera sweeps over the rooms, and I realize Martha’s got dead fish plastered all over the walls. There’s hardly a room in the house that doesn’t have at least one gigantic dead fish staring at you. And I’m not talking about Big Mouth Billy Bass, although I keep waiting to hear one of them break out into a rowdy rendition of Take Me To The River. I swear, the eyes are even following Martha’s hopefuls as they walk around the room. I expect PETA to be picketing her home by this weekend, because they believe fish are smarter than dogs (yes, they really do). In one of the best cases of hilarious film editing this season, Kevin informs us that Martha is a big animal lover as the camera takes one last slow shot of all the dead carcasses. Heheh. If this is the way she shows her love of animals, Martha’s weird, little black dog should be in fear of his life. Perhaps it’s really Martha’s way of sending a subliminal message to her guests ala Benjamin Franklin…“guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days,” so put your shoes back on, and move along already.
The Loser Shuffle
Back in the loft, the losers are frantically trying to cover their asses. Dawna tells Bethenny, she has uncontrolled energy, and feels Bethenny should go home. Bethenny says she identifies with Martha (does she decorate with dead fish, too?), and she desperately wants the job. Jim would rather see Howie go home than Bethenny.
Martha asks Bethenny what happened, and she says no one was singly responsible for the loss. When Charles asks Dawna, however, she’s quick to say that Bethenny was a terrible leader. Have any of you three readers suspected that Martha might be coordinating everyone’s clothes? It’s occurred to me that everything in the entire room, including the people sitting in it, is decked out in black, tan, or pale blue. Even my eyes are screaming for something exciting. Don’t you just wish someone would do something spontaneously fun? Even Jim was a disappointment this week and performed relatively sanely. Anyway, Bethenny decides to cut Dawna loose and bring Jim (huh?) and Howie back into the boardroom with her. While Martha, Charles and Alexis (why is she even on this show?) confer, Bethenny admits to Howie and Jim that she has made a critical error in letting Dawna go upstairs. Martha zeroes in on Howie, and dispassionately tells him he’s just not passionate enough for her. The letter Martha writes is:
I would suggest now that you’re now 33 years old, it’s time you went by the name Howard…you’re not in grade school anymore.
Do you decorate with dead fish? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.