Last week, we saw things like the Tour Bus Thrust and Praying to the Porcelain God as teams designed a celebrity workout for 24 Hour Fitness. RockSolid’s class had more of a party-like fun atmosphere while Tenacity stuck with a more traditional approach. 24 Hour Fitness executives preferred the RockSolid rockstar workout and awarded them the $24,000 prize. However, Tenacity raised more money thanks to Holly and pulled off the win. In fact, combined donations from both teams set a record for money raised in a single task outside of the finale. A whopping 347K went to Holly’s charity and Trump was so pleased that he didn’t fire anyone. No one gets a reprieve this week. Who will go? Let’s see…I’ll tell you right now it’s not Holly. So don’t get your hopes up.
Now last week’s recap was brought to you by the alphabet. Still inspired by Big Bird and his crew(and also because long recaps get tedious), this week is brought to you by the numbers 1-20.
1. Toot Your Own Horn
Holly was moved to tears to get so much money for her charity. She presented the whopping big check to her husband, Rodney Peete. He was speechless when he saw how much money was raised. And he one-upped her with a surprise of his own…their four children. They rush in and tackle their mom for a genuine Kodak moment full of “I miss you’s,” tears, and smiles. Nice to see a human, not-so-bitchy side of Holly. Almost makes me like her a little bit. Not quite. But almost.
2. Be A User
Teams convene in the ballroom of Trump Soho. They’re joined by executives from Clockwork Home Services, the parent company to Benjamin Franklin, the Punctual Plumber, One Hour Heating and Air-conditioning, and Mr. Sparky, America’s On-Time Electrician. Teams will be creating a 30 second radio commercial for each of the three companies. As always, they’ll be judged on creativity, brand integration, and live performances of the commercials. RockSolid names Bret as project manager; Tenacity goes with Summer who admits she has no experience in the recording studio but plans to utilize the experience that both Cyndi and Holly(?) have. Rich, since she takes every opportunity she can to try and shut Cyndi up. Winning project manager will get the usual 20K plus an additional 20K from the Clockwork folks. Trump promises that someone will be fired this time around. Trump’s eyes and ears will be Ivanka and Eric, another one of Trump’s children. Just how many Trumplets are there? This one looks more like Donald than the others, but he shares Donnie’s fetish for excessive use of hair gel.
3. Whisper Behind Someone’s Back
RockSolid gets to work right away brainstorming in the van. Of course, their ideas quickly turn pervy. No surprise there. Bret and Sharon are dangerous together. They go from Sharon asking Mr. Franklin if she can suck his plunger to crude bathroom talk. The three of them are laughing hysterically. I’d love to see the driver’s face. Better yet, I’d love to see Trump’s face. In the Tenacity van, the mean girls are…well, mean. Cyndi wants to do a jingle and also a voice over. To this, Holly says she doesn’t mind doing a jingle. The green-eyed monster has completely consumed Holly when it comes to Cyndi. I believe she actually things she’s a better singer than Grammy-winning Cyndi. Behind Cyndi’s head, Holly whispers to Summer that she needs to give Cyndi one task only. They think they need to limit her involvement to keep her focused. And mostly, Holly is just a bitch.
At the recording studio, Bret realized they were going to be right across the lobby from Tenacity. He moved huge banners with the company names and slogans into their room. Then he “accidentally” turned Tenacity’s banners around so they wouldn’t see them. The executives happen to come in and observe what Bret is doing. The stand watching and laughing as Bret takes a stab at being a Mean Girl. Tenacity meets with the executives first . Holly feels she’s become a pro at reading their body language to learn exactly what they want. When it comes to humor, the execs want to stay away from the overused plumber jokes since the poor guys have been abused so much. Cyndi asks them why they chose the name Benjamin Franklin for plumbing. Reportedly, he took his bathtub with him when he moved so he was thinking about plumbing early on. Cyndi says it was because he took lots of baths in France. Privately, she says she saw a documentary about John Adams and BenFranklin enjoyed taking baths with women. So that would mean he was thinking about plumbing after all. There’s a really crude joke about plumbing/pipes I could insert here but at the risk of sounding as pervy as RockSolid, I’ll pass. All in all, the executives seem very conservative so Tenacity realizes they can’t go too far out of the box with this task. They also think this gives them an advantage since RockSolid is so wild.
5. Talk Down To People
RockSolid gets the same feeling about how conservative the executives are. The big wigs tell them the same thing they told the other team about the plumber jokes. Bret tells them he wants to go way out there with the humor but then pull it back in. Still, they don’t want any jokes at the expense of hard-working plumbers. Sharon wants to tell the straight-laced suits to lighten up and jokes that Trump might need to get rid of all three of them. Across the hall, Summer tasks out each of the commercials to her three teammates. She thinks Cyndi needs to be told exactly what to do so she directly tells Cyndi that she needs to listen to them and basically do as she’s told. She’s trying to be polite about it but is talking down to Cyndi. Cyndi is tired of the way they refuse to listen to her and is way over the high school antics they’re pulling. When Cyndi leaves the room, Holly explains to Curtis that they have to manage Cyndi this way. Curtis privately comments that the dynamic is so different on this team…that Summer and Holly are more methodical and disciplined. He also notes that they can be a little bitchy. A little? Curtis, you’re too kind.
6. Think You Are A Know-It-All
RockSolid hums, sings, and brainstorms to get their jingles written. Bret wants to get a little risqué but Sharon is concerned since the execs were so conservative and corporate. And dull and boring. Tenacity is also working on their jingles. Curtis can’t carry a tune in a bucket but he’s trying. He sings/reads his ideas to the group and they wait until he leaves to criticize him. Holly tells Summer that it needs to be tweaked because his Aussie way of saying things is so different. It does need to be changed a bit but Holly is so condescending. Of course, she lets Summer tell Curtis that they’ll change up his words when he comes back. Again, she works well behind the back.
7. Take Over and Think You’re The Only One Who Can Do Something Right
Still working out of the box, Bret wants to take a swipe at plumbers by using the word “crack.” Maria and Sharon want to avoid going there since they were specifically told not to do that. Bret insists on using it and as project manager, he will take full responsibility. He’s willing to take the risk. For Tenacity, Cyndi is working on her jingle. Summer tells her it needs to be faster and then decides to take over writing the script for Cyndi’s commercial. She doesn’t think Cyndi can do it on her own. Both Cyndi and Curtis thinks it’s too wordy and rushed but naturally, Summer doesn’t agree with them.
8. Be A Stick In The Mud
Maria is driving Sharon and Bret crazy singing all of her ideas in a dramatic Broadway musical-like voice. They tell her to stop but she lets it go in one ear and out the other. Sharon says she’s waterproof…she hears them, lets it roll off, and keeps on singing. Across the hall, Curtis suggests they think outside the box a little more since their ideas are “vanilla.” From his perspective, they need to be more edgy. The uptight mean girls don’t want to go that route since the execs probably won’t think it’s funny. Holly does say that the first idea she had was about her husband clogs the toilet on a regular basis. I’m sure Rodney appreciates the world having that personal info. Cyndi chimes in and tells them their ideas are bland and not funny. However, Holly and Summer insist that they need to play it safe. Cyndi quips that she’s on the “Girls don’t wanna have any fun at all team.” Poor Cyndi. She’s exactly right.
9. Take Advantage Of Someone When It Benefits You
Cyndi works with the band to get their jingles together and jokes about how she’s been reduced to television jingles. Holly asks if Cyndi is going to sing the lead since she can hear Trump calling them on it for not using her. Now they want to pat her on the back…since they need her. RockSolid is having a blast with their singers when Ivanka comes in to check up on them. She’s not sure they should use the plumber’s crack joke since the execs didn’t want stereotypical jokes. Eric checks in on Tenacity and listens to their jingles. He likes the beat of their jingles but thinks they sound a bit on the generic side.
10. Steal and Call Names
As a diabetic, Bret needs some food. He says he’s going to order some but Sharon tells him they have pizza across the hall. Bret sends Maria, who is more than willing, to steal a slice for him. Curtis spots her swiping the pizza and chases her back across the hall. He’s pretty riled that they took the pizza without asking. Sharon thinks he should lighten up…Sharon thinks everyone should lighten up, doesn’t she? Bret jokes that Curtis will probably have a chef’s hat in his commercial. Sharon says that Mr. Pastry will find a way to work in an apron or a frying pan. In Tenacity’s studio, Summer is stressing because Cyndi is a little hoarse. She’s starting to think she should just sing background rather than the lead. She should just to stress Summer out more….there’s my inner mean girl coming out.
11. Make Fun Of Others
On the morning of the presentation, Cyndi is warming up her voice in the band. She had her fingers in her mouth while humming. Summer snidely asks Curtis if Bret warms up his voice the same way. Summer isn’t sure Cyndi should do the lead and Holly says it’s going to be tough because it’s a live performance. Cyndi reminds her that she knows live performances.
12. Go Against The Wishes Of Your Team
Bret thinks they need to push the envelope and go with their commercial that sounds like a bad 70’s porn movie. Sharon tries to reign him in but he says he would have been even more suggestive if he had his way. He insists that they have to be edgy and go out big.
13. Be Jealous
Summer asks Holly to help her decide if she should let Cyndi do the lead on her jingle. Holly thinks not since it might not be perfect. In this recapper’s opinion, Holly has some serious jealousy where Cyndi’s singing is concerned. Bitch #1. So Summer tells Cyndi that the professionals who have had the script all night should do it. Is she implying Cyndi isn’t a professional? Curtis thinks it’s a mistake NOT to use cyndi Lauper. Cyndi insists she should sing it and Summer tells her, “We’ll see.” Bitch #2.
14. Look Smug
RockSolid gives their live performances first. Executives listen in another room. They seem to like all three commercials but frown upon the plumber’s crack joke as expected. Other than that, they like Bret’s originality, and even say they should hire him. When Tenacity is up, Cyndi tells Summer that her voice has more character and she should sing the lead. Holly sits silently, obviously biting her tongue and wearing a very smug look on her face. She clearly does not want Cyndi to sing. In the end, Summer realizes she has to use Cyndi. So Holly hasn’t completely brainwashed her. The executives think Tenacity’s commercials moved too quickly but they did love Cyndi’s voice singing lead on one of the jingles. They think overall, they pulled it off.
15. Lie or Mislead When It Makes You Look Good
In the boardroom, Sharon and Maria sing Bret’s praises. Ivanka observed that Sharon reigned Bret in considerably. Summer says she loved her team and loved their end product. She also says she had no weak links and that Cyndi was her strongest link since she sang on one of the spots. Ironic that she says that considering her treatment of Cyndi. Cyndi tells Trump that the execs were too conservative. She tells them the story of Benjamin Franklin taking baths with a lot of French women. This sends Bret, Maria, and Sharon into fits of laughter.
16. Act Holier Than Thou
Ivanka calls Bret on the plumber’s crack joke since the boring execs clearly instructed them not to go there. Bret defends his decision saying he wanted something memorable that would stand out. They listen to the commercial in question and Summer’s looks aghast when Bret gets to the “crack” part. Trump tells them that the execs like Mr. Sparky commercial best. Even Cyndi laughs and bounces along as it plays. Summer says she thinks theirs are better and Curtis thinks they’re off brand.
17. Jump On The Bandwagon
Eric lets Tenacity know that the execs thought their commercials lacked originality and were too wordy. They did, however, love Cyndi. Sharon thought their commercials were very good and professional. Maria thought they were like any other commercial. Trump thought both teams were good but the executives chose RockSolid. Bret wins $40,000 for his charity. Before he leaves, Trump asks him who should be fired. He answers Summer because she’s tough and he wants to get rid of her. Sharon says Curtis should be fired because he’s so smug and mocks him saying, “Put another shrimp on the barbie.” She says Australians are usually smug like that. Curtis is smiling under fire and says he doesn’t know how she can say such things about him when they’ve never worked together. He probably wants to tell Sharon to go to hell but knows if he does, she’ll toss his shrimp on the barbie. Ivanka asks Maria if she shares Sharon’s sentiment and she does. She says that when she looks at Curtis, she wants to punch him. Her comment was uncalled for and immature, in my opinion. Must be all the time she spent at WWE that makes her want to punch people for no reason. And something tells me she’s only saying it to be one of the “cool kids” in Sharon’s clique.
18.Be Haughty And Again, Lie And Mislead
Summer is disappointed because she thought her commercials sounded great. Holly is surprised that they won based on the plumber’s crack joke since the execs were so adamant about that. Trump tells her that’s because their commercial was great and very specific where hers wasn’t. Eric asks Holly how she fits in since she seemed the most reserved. She maintains that she did her part by starring in one of the commercials and also by helping out with the creative end of things. She even gives Cyndi props for writing inside the box, unlike her usual style. Eric puts her on the spot with his questions and leaves her no choice but to say that Cyndi was a huge asset to their team. Again, this is ironic considering she tries to shut Cyndi up and out of every task.
19. Build Up Your Bitchy Friend When She Doesn’t Deserve It
After all the “Cyndi was great/so proud of Cyndi” talk, Holly says that Summer, not Cyndi, was the strongest player on their team because she tasked out the three commercials to them. Ivanka wants to know her reasoning behind that and says that delegating may have been a good strategy or maybe not. Summer agrees that Cyndi’s commercial was their best. Trump wants to know why Cyndi didn’t have a bigger role in singing on all the commercials. The execs really loved her voice but wish they’d heard more from her. She says she didn’t do more because she’d lost her voice due to all of the dust giving her allergy problems. She leaves out the biggest irritants of all…Holly and Summer, who likely wouldn’t have allowed her to play a bigger part.
20. Save Your Bitchy Friend When She Doesn’t Deserve It
Curtis tells Trump that he thinks Summer, as project manager, should be fired. Trump wants to know who should NOT be fired. Summer should have answered Cyndi since no way is Trump going to fire her, but she answers Holly. Holly heads off to join RockSolid saying she doesn’t want to go in with “that group.” Wish “that group” could hear her say that. Once there, they ask her who she thinks is going. She says she doesn’t want Summer to go but Cyndi was so good and instrumental in their commercials. The RockSolid crew all thinks it will be Summer or Curtis to go.
And the bonus number...
21. Don't Have A Backbone
Back in the boardroom, Trump wants to know why the other team seems to dislike Curtis so much. Curtis has no clue but notes the usual rivalry between Brits and Aussies. Trump points out that he didn’t really fight back when they were going at him. He politely says that he speaks respectfully to women and sees no reason to scream across the table at them. When asked who should be fired, Summer can’t answer. Trump tells her she’s going to have to answer or she’ll be fired herself. She says Cyndi did what was asked of her so if Trump doesn’t fire her as project manager, that leaves Curtis. Weak argument. Trump agrees and wants to know who should be fired…Curtis or Summer. He says he won’t fire Cyndi since she did a fantastic job. Therefore, he sends Cyndi out of the room. Curtis pleads his case by saying he did suggest they go more edgy with their commercials. Ivanka wants to know if going forward, Summer or Curtis would be the stronger player. Summer thinks she would be stronger. Curtis thinks that Summer should be fired because as project manager, it’s her loss. Summer can’t defend herself or give a good enough reason to keep her. After all the hemming and hawing, Summer is fired.
Next week, teams are shaken up again as Trump makes Bret and Curtis switch places. Woo hoo! Can’t wait to see Holly deal with both Cyndi and Bret. And it will be just as much fun to see how Curtis deals with both Maria and Sharon. Teams will be given an apartment to paint and furnish. Looks like Cyndi will be given all the grunt work and she doesn’t like it one bit. The boardroom showdown between Holly and Cyndi looks like a doozy. My partner, AJane will be back to fill you in on the drama.
We’ve exhausted the ABC’s and 123’s. Might have to go with opposites next. Send me your favorites for consideration.