Does anyone remember those old Charles Atlas ads in the back of comic books? Those hokey ones with the skinny guy sitting with his improbably curvaceous girlfriend in her 1950’s girdle-style swimsuit on the beach, when the big muscular guy saunters over and kicks sand in the scrawny dude’s face? Back then there were no anti-bullying classes at the local high school – oh no, you were expected to suck it up and figure out some way to battle back when some big guy makes you eat sand. And that’s just what our comic book hero does – he scampers off to purchase some vitamins and vows revenge. That’s not as scary as it sounds…remember, people, this was a kinder, gentler time. All our hero does is return to the beach, buffed up and wearing a MUCH tighter pair of swim trunks, and punch the bully in the nose when he puts the moves on his girl. The girl clutches our hero’s arm in gratitude and admiration, and it’s a happy ending for all (except, presumably, the bully).
This little comic book vignette kept running through my head last night, because I was picturing Surya as the scrawny guy in the oversize trunks (and thanks to week 2’s bathing suit fashion show, we all know what that looks like, unfortunately). So who’s the sand-kicker? You’d think it would be the Donald, wouldn’t you? And wouldn’t you think that Surya would be the hero and prevail against all odds? Well, times have changed, my friends – there’s no happy endings here at Camp Trump.
Grrrl Power and Surya as Tony Robbins
At the Kinetic tent, there’s only four ladies remaining after the last week’s double ouster of Jenn and Derek (and yes, I know Derek isn’t a woman, but holy crap, he could out-gossip all four of the Sex and The City gals). Muna has taken it upon herself to pep-talk the team, and the women pledge to do their damnedest to prevail on the next task and be the final four standing. They must win and prove themselves superior businesspeople to the Donald! Plus, the makeup mirror in the tent sucks.
In the mansion, Surya is the one giving the motivational speech. He does love to hear himself talk, so no surprise there. He’s even more insufferable than usual as he patronizingly tells Arrow what a super-duper team they all are, and what a gosh-darn smart bunch of people, and…yeah, it’s about as inspiring as it sounds. Frank is visibly fuming during Surya’s entire diatribe, and in confessional furiously admits that he hates Surya and thinks he’s a phony. I’m liking Frank better every week, aren’t you? He scores some extra points with me when he finally walks away from Surya in the middle of his speech.
Wrestlemania 23 = a bald Donald. April 1st – mark your calendars
I swear Trump is growing his hair out in anticipation of his showdown with Vince McMahon, because his combover is even grander and blonder than usual. In the interest of giving credit when it’s due, however, I feel compelled to mention that he is wearing a tie that’s a really lovely shade of burgundy. I have some dining room chairs that I’d love to re-cover in that color. Trump is meeting the candidates at a very pretty place called Echo Park, and he’s flanked by his ever-changing entourage, which this week is season 1 winner Bill Rancic and some nameless young suit. Donald chatters about all the beautiful LA people around him that are participating in healthful pursuits such as jogging, swimming, etc. What does this have to do with the challenge, you ask? As it turns out, the nameless suit is Steven Nelson, VP of Marketing for GNC, the vitamin people. The candidates are charged with putting on a half-time show for the Los Angeles Galaxy professional soccer team at Home Depot Center. (Did you get all those product placements? Good.)
Putting Arrow in the time-out corner
The Arrow team is all enthusiasm about this new challenge, and Tim immediately comes up with the idea of having a boxing ring, with a skinny boxer getting beat up until he pops some GNC vitamins. Frank volunteers to create a boxing ring, and the team is excitedly shouting out suggestions when Surya decides that he’s had enough of all this flowing creativity and shouts for a time-out. Everyone shuts up, but it’s more from shock than a desire to obey their project manager. Surya demands that everyone commence thinking about one idea – that’s ONE idea only, now! Frank’s ass is understandably chapped at such tyranny, and he snidely shushes the remainder of the team and tosses out some rude remarks. In confessional, there’s some (redundant) remarks from James about how Surya is driving everyone crazy. No kidding? I’ve known daycare providers who were less controlling than Surya.
And in Kinetic’s corner – God
Kristine is the chosen PM for this task, as she apparently has experiencing in marketing for a Miami football team and this challenge is right up her alley. I thought she was an attorney, but whatever. Kinetic’s idea is to have giant vitamins dueling on the field – that is, to have some people dressed up as giant vitamins, and having them compete in some sort of obstacle course that involves them running through arteries and such. Frankly, it sounds kind of sucky, and Muna appears to agree as she’s the voice of dissention. She nitpicks and complains, and Kristine gets pissed. To Kristine’s credit, she doesn’t whine in confessional but gets in Muna’s face and tells her that she’s done “like 30 half-time shows” and to give her some credit. Muna affects astonishment that Kristine feels this way, and there’s an uneasy truce. Muna confidently tells the camera that she still doesn’t agree with Kristine, but she’s going to “shine within my realm” and that God is on their side. Amen, sister!
Arrow is busy preparing their boxing ring when James decides to stir the pot. He’s worried that their show isn’t appropriate for a crowd of 15,000 people. Arrow, he says, doesn’t realize how HUGE a crowd of 15,000 people is. Surya is annoyed and in confessional complains that James is throwing out dissenting opinions in the event that Arrow ends up in the boardroom. Yes, it’s that obvious.
15,000 spectators, mentioned 15,000 times
Kinetic has come up with the rather uninspired name of the Ultimate GNC Multi-Vitamin Challenge, but they’re having a good time with the props. Heidi, who’s normally quite dignified, is leaping about, encased in a circle of foam. Muna keeps busy aggravating the prop makers, and Kristine turns to confessional this time to complain that she’s micro-managing and it’s not productive. Finally, the head prop man basically tells Muna to get lost – Angela, on the other hand, is shown buddying up with the prop guys. Bet she showed them her medals.
Arrow’s not having as much fun as usual. James says the first rehearsal “went sour” and does some more hand-wringing over the 15,000 people expected in the audience. In case his team missed his head-count the first endless number of times he mentioned it, he whines about it some more as Arrow has a last-minute brainstorm session minutes before they’re set to go on the field. Bill Rancic is observing and he’s not impressed – the team, he says, is in chaos, and it would be a miracle if they pulled it off. Surya, who must have heard the news about God being on Kinetic’s side, is also unhappy – he’s never worked with such a “challenging” group, he says – the bastards are constantly coming up with new ideas! And you know how businesspeople hate that kind of crap.
Getting knocked out in the boxing ring of life
Finally, it’s game time, and Trump arrives decked out in lavender neckwear. (I can’t help it, I’m obsessed, OK?) Kinetic is up first, with Angela as a very loud, energetic (albeit slightly shrill) emcee. She charges around the field and manages to get the crowd pumped up about huge foam vitamins running through hoops. In a (wily) politically correct move, Muna is enlisted to emcee part of the program in Spanish. Inexplicably, the crowd loves them and Arrow has a hard act to follow.
It seems to start off well – Frank is Arrow’s emcee and he’s actually pretty good at it. I bet he does all the weddings in that big Italian famiglia of his. Tim is the hapless boxer, and he doesn’t look any better in trunks that Surya does, I’m sorry to say. Their show is weird, with a giant vitamin capsule lumbering over to the boxing ring with Tim running over to hug him/it. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the camp skits I remember from sixth grade, but Surya is beaming like a proud papa at the conclusion. Those GNC capsules must contain some ingredient that promotes delusion, because Surya thinks the crowd loved their act. Well, if looking bored and unhappy means love – and it might, as that’s always been the perpetual expression of each of Trump’s trophy wives.
marryimpress a millionaire
The teams troop up to the top of the stadium to hear the verdict, and everyone’s supremely confident. GNC VP Steven is brief and to-the-point – Kinetic was entertaining and he liked the bilingual emceeing, while Arrow had poor brand integration and the concept was hard to understand. The Donald congratulates Kristine, and there’s a brief shot of Bill Rancic beaming (is it just me or is he getting ridiculously good-looking as the years go by?). This week’s reward is a visit to the Trump National Golf Club (the best golf club ever, of course). The team is going to play alongside Trump and some Adidas exec – not a bad reward at all, and for her part, Angela is glowing like it’s Christmas morning.
And we soon see why, because girlfriend can sure smack a golf ball. She’s got good form and a helluva lot of power in her swing, and I’m duly impressed – Trump even more so, and he falls over himself complimenting her. He quickly adds that all the women are good golfers, which looks to be true, but Angela is obviously the superior athlete by far. Trump presents the team with their own set of Donald J. Trump signature collection golf clubs each, and if you know how much a good set of clubs cost, then you can appreciate this as being an awesome gift. For his part, Trump continues his admiration of Angela’s golf skills, and it’s mutual – Angela tells the camera that Trump is a pretty decent golfer himself who consistently drives three or four hundred yards. For you non-golfers – that IS pretty decent. Between the great ties and the golf, I almost like Donald this week.
Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I’ll go eat some worms
Mr. Un-popularity, Surya, is in full panic mode – he’s headed to the boardroom and he knows he’s on the chopping block. He has a frantic whispered conversation with Angela through the hedge and begs for her to appeal to Kristine, who as winning PM will be on Trump’s right in the boardroom, for support. Angela instantly loses points with me by reassuring Surya and saying that it’s apparent that he was responsible for Arrow’s two wins. Muna joins in the hedge conference and pledges her support. Via confessional, Angela thinks that the Surya-Arrow situation is simply a personality conflict – which is pretty much true, because if Surya wasn’t such a tool, the team wouldn’t hate him so much. Surya tells the women he plans to bring James & Tim in – I guess Frank’s bald-faced dislike has got him bullied.
Trump is discussing the upcoming boardroom with GNC exec Steven, who says he would fire the PM on the task. This guy is so straightforward and decisive, you know he’ll never be a Trump employee. To prove my point, when asked for his opinion, Bill Rancic evasively says that Surya’s a target, Tim’s concept was confusing, and James is a distraction to the team. He did say all that in a very firm manner, so maybe that counts for something.
Arrow troops in to the boardroom, and Trump’s first salvo is fired at Frank. He demands that Frank explain Arrow’s concept, and Frank doesn’t give a straight answer but says that the problem was that the concept was boring. Tim disagrees, and says that the concept was good but the execution was poor, which is pretty much bang on. James and Tim start in on Surya and although they refrain from actually using the word “hate”, Tim says that Surya is “disconnected” from the rest of the team. Understatement, thy name is Tim. Nicole, however, claims she “loves” Surya as a person but not as a leader. Kristine apparently isn’t that invested in her former teammate, as she waffles when questioned by Trump, explaining that she hadn’t worked with Surya enough to comment on his leadership abilities.
Surya, realizing he’s being hung out to dry, starts a vigorous self-defense and points out that Arrow was winless prior to his arrival. True, but those delusional vitamins are still working on Surya and he won’t admit that his joining the team had little to do with the wins. He claims James is the weakest link (again, probably true). Trump polls the team and they unanimously agree that Surya should be fired. Donald remarks that the team has never been “spellbound” by Surya – perhaps he should offer Surya some of that Kool-Aid he must be serving to his employees to keep them around.
Surya isn’t deviating from his original plan, and will bring James & Tim back to the boardroom. Trump asks Kristine what she should do, and she scores points with the Donald by cleverly responding that she would fire all three as it would benefit her team. Bill is all for firing James or Surya, saying Tim was the only guy on the team who “stepped up”.
The threesome re-enter and Surya immediately begins sucking up, telling Trump he takes inspiration from him, etc., etc. The brown-nosing isn’t that effective, so he switches gears slightly, saying he wished he’d never switched teams, and that he came to Arrow to provide some needed discipline to the team. James snaps that the team needs inspiration, not discipline. Tim decides to play a little of both ends (always unwise – you know that’s gonna bite you in the ass later) and – horrors! – agrees with Surya that James can be difficult. Surya snatches at the lifeline and hammers on James’ shortcomings. Bill makes it worse for James, and calls him on his cover-your-ass moves at the eleventh hour of the challenge. There’s the usual squabbling and desperate speeches, but Trump is unmoved by Surya’s pleading and fires him, claiming he has “no choice”. Oddly, he apologizes to Surya – twice – but Surya is in a snit and leaves without a backward glance.
James & Tim watch Surya depart with solemn faces, though you know they’re just dying to get back to the tents and get drunk in peace. So ends week 8 of the only job interview in town that involves outdoor showers – and speaking of showers, I always feel like I need one after an hour of the Donald, don’t you? A big mucho gracias to PhoneGrrrl for her amazing recap last week – read it here http://www.fansofrealitytv.com/forum...ite-trash.html if you haven’t already – and remember, say your prayers, take your vitamins and you’ll never go wrong!
I’m off to mail in my order form for the sea monkeys. And those x-ray specs look cool too. Oh, and PM me if you have an extra Stretch Armstong, OK?