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I’m bummed. I mean, seriously bummed out. It’s disappointing when an early favorite, who’s handsome, witty, classy, intelligent, and well-spoken, gets Trump’s boardroom door hitting him in the butt this soon. Let’s face it, Martin was a clown and richly deserved to be the first dolt fired. But this week…oh, man, it’s a sad day in Apprentice land. So I’m a little down, but there’s more than just this week’s firing to be despondent over.
The Trump Trailer Park
About five seconds into last week’s rehash of events, Trump’s voiceover tells us that the teams have been renamed – Heidi’s Team is now Kinetic, and Frank’s Team is now Arrow. Either Frank drew the losing straw - because Arrow has got to be the worst team name in Apprentice history – or his team is even lamer at naming things than they are at tasks. (Really, considering that Frank is a bundle of frantic energy, “Kinetic” suits him better.) Before Frank’s semi-triumphant return to Arrow’s campsite, his teammates are laying odds on who’s going to come back. Nicole opines that there’s a more than 50% chance no one will come back – but she over-estimates Trump’s integrity, because soon we see Frank appear, schlepping his suitcase back to the tents. The team celebrates his return (or, more likely, they’re celebrating the fact that Martin didn’t come back) and Frank claims in a confessional that he survived because Trump “saw a fire in me”. And the possibility of a meltdown that may result in a ratings bonanza, perhaps.
A smirking Kinetic team is shown listening intently to Arrow through the hedge – I guess even lounging by the pool and drinking free champagne can get dull. Derek snickers that some of the Arrow people seem “high-maintenance” and are uncomfortable living in tents. Gee, ya think? Most people who have to live in tents are what society refers to as “homeless”.
The phone rings at 4:45 am the next morning – I’m not sure where the phone is in the tents, but one of the Arrow guys picks it up from somewhere, and a pink-lingerie clad blonde from Kinetic (because there’s not enough gratuitous flesh shots in this hour) answers in the mansion. It’s Andi (Who? Suffice to say it’s a blonde Rona) from Mr. Trump’s office, and she’s calling the teams to battle. In a confessional, Carey says that the Trump Trailer Park sucks eggs, but Arrow is determined to make good on task no. 2.
One, two, three, four, tell the people what he wore
Donald and Ivanka meet with the teams at Pallisades Park. Trump natters on a bit about the beauty of the beach, then tells the candidates that their next task will involve them designing bathing suits and putting on a fashion show for none other than Trina Turk. Again, who? I watched The Devil Wears Prada twice this weekend and they never mentioned Trina Turk even once. (Although Anne Hathaway’s wardrobe was to die for – I’d sell my soul for even one pair of those boots she wore). I checked out Trina’s website and her stuff is okay, I suppose – too many busy prints for my taste, but then I’m not the fashionista that Trump is.
Trump goes on to reveal the Stupidest Twist Ever – the winning team does not have to participate in the next task, is exempt from losing and will not have to visit the boardroom. What, what the hell?!?!? Why even bother filming a show next week? Is he already so bored that he can’t be bothered to judge TWO team performances? And what’s worse – he actually looks proud of himself for having thought of this.
Frank, the losing Project Manager, hands over the Arrow reins to Nicole. Nicole is a motivator, by which she means “ineffective doormat”. She’s the PM in name, but the Arrow member who’s showing the most enthusiasm and leadership is Carey. Carey actually knows who Trina Turk is, plus he’s attended fashion shows, so is pumped about this challenge. In case those aren’t enough hints for you, Aaron tells us via voiceover that Carey is gay. Gay men don’t wear the same bathing suits as most guys in America, says Aaron. Really? You can tell just by the kind of bathing suit? That’s one helluva developed gaydar.
At Kinetic, the glamazon female candidates argue over the bikinis. One of the nameless blondes, who has spent far too much time in the Mystic Tan booth, models an orange bikini with brown trim. The camera pans allllll over Bronzed Barbie’s bikini-clad bod, while the debate rages. Too Ralph Lauren, sniffs one. Too conservative. Marisa, in particular, is extremely vocal in her dislike of the suit, but my guess is that it’s more of a bid for camera time than it is fashion snobbery.
Back at Arrow, Carey models his choice for a men’s bathing suit. It’s a pair of very tight, very short trunks, white in color with pink hibiscus-type flowers. Now, laugh if you will (and his teammates did) but Carey can actually pull this suit off. Carey explains that this suit is for men with great bodies who want people to look at them. That may describe Carey, but the other guys are utterly horrified. They think it looks like a women’s bikini bottom, and it kind of does have that boy-short look. Michelle voices her disapproval, but Nicole is either stupefied by the sight of Carey in his tighty-whiteys or she’s in awe of his fashion expertise, because the pink-flowered trunks are in.
There’s some chat about price, and Nicole feels that pricing is important. Though it’s not important enough to do a quick google search of Trina Turk’s prices, because if she had, she would have known that she was way under-pricing the suits. Nicole decides she’s going to price the bikini at $60 (approximately the price of a pair of Trina Turk bottoms only) and asks the team their opinion of the price. Michelle waffles and refuses to name a price she thinks is reasonable, and the rest of the team is ticked off – they recognize he indecision for what it is, a classic Apprentice cover-your-ass move – if you don’t do anything wrong, or anything at all, it’s hard to blame you for a loss. It used to work great, but season six Apprentis are wise to this kind of thing, and they’re p.o.’d at Michelle.
Paging Miss J.
It’s showtime, and hitting the catwalk for Arrow will be some actual models and, of course, Carey. Even the male models, who are used to being primped and made up, think his pink and white trunks are too sissy, so Carey will be strutting his stuff. For some unknown reason, the team convinces Nicole to also model one of the bikinis. She’s not very model-like, but good-naturedly agrees.
Trina Turk (also not very model-like), is emceeing the show, and Kinetic is up first. There’s a brown and turquoise halter-type bikini for women, and turquoise board shorts for the guys. The dreaded orange and brown bikini makes its appearance, and Surya models beige board shorts. Surya is so skinny, he reminds me of an old friend of mine that was affectionately nicknamed Chicken Bone. Milan would ban this guy in a second. Finally, there’s a very pretty turquoise bikini (Trump asks in an aside if the model “works for us” – Melania must be stashed safely out of earshot in the rococo mansion). Carey is ecstatic after viewing Kinetic’s offering – he thinks that their line is dullsville and Arrow has this task in the bag.
Arrow is next, and they start off with a pair of men’s orange print board shorts, and a black & white bikini. There’s also a pair of men’s black and white trunks that are tight, but cut a little longer in the leg. Not too bad. Then Carey bursts forth in all his floral glory, and the looks on the audience's faces is truly priceless. Derek tells us in a voiceover that he’s gay as well, and he wouldn’t be caught dead in that suit – mind you, Derek doesn’t have that aforementioned great body that you want people to look at. There’s also a white bikini, a turquoise and white bikini (quite pretty) and that wraps things up. Muna from Kinetic rolls her eyes in confessional and says that she knows a LOT more about Carey, including stuff she’d rather not know, and makes the “teeny-tiny” gesture with her fingers that is universal for “small feet”. OK, not really, but this is a PG13 forum, people.
Trina Turk liked the bikinis, but what did the buyers like? It’s the dollars and cents that will win this task – Arrow racks up $19,616 worth, and yeah, that sounds like a lot of Lycra passed hands. It’s looking good for them until the Kinetic numbers are announced – they managed $20,000 and something dollars – I couldn’t hear the exact total because of the excited screams coming from the Kinetic team. Trina tells the teams that Arrow lost because the men’s line was weak (weak = something you might see on a Gay Pride Parade float). The reward for making the most attractive-looking scraps of fabric? It’s a meet and greet with Hugh Hefner at the Playboy Mansion. Suddenly, bbq’d hot dogs don’t sound so bad, do they? Heidi, as winning PM, remains as team leader and gets to sit on Trump’s right at the boardroom yet again. Arrow glumly heads back to camp, and both Frank and Aaron claim nausea due to another loss – or Derek did try on Carey’s suit and they caught a glimpse of him in it. Oh, yes, I can hear you groaning – I warned you this hour was full of disappointment, didn’t I?
Bunnies and more bikinis
A trio of blondes greets Kinetic at the Playboy Mansion – we hear their names but c’mon, they’re virtually indistinguishable from each other, and Hef probably replaces them monthly, so there’s really no point in messing around and fast-forwarding my tape. I’m sure they were all Miss Novembers, or Miss Julys, or something. Hef, clad in his signature smoking jacket, greets the candidates by telling them to call him Hef. They have a little fireside sit-down, and Hef regales them with tales of his business ventures. He tells them about having to sell his furniture to put out the first issue of Playboy, and his coup in acquiring pics of Marilyn Monroe. It’s actually the most interesting part of the entire episode, but we’re quickly whisked off to poolside, where bunny ears and bikinis abound. The Donald arrives in his pink tie from last week (did Melania not pack him any other ties?) and annoys some Kinetic members by personally introducing Heidi to Hef.
Those sour grapes are nothing compared to the griping going on at Arrow. Tim has been pretty quiet up until now, but he starts his own fireside lecture by complaining that the group doesn’t mesh, and then turns on Michelle and tells her she’s one of the people that don’t “mesh”. Kinetic eavesdrops again as Michelle tearfully begs for mercy, realizing she must change her ways.
Pink is the new black
Foreign Butler Dude from last week has apparently been fired (maybe he’s the one who packed the ties for Donald) because blonde Andi answers the mansion door and shows Arrow into the boardroom. Trump is again wearing that damned pink tie, but he’s in a pretty black frame of mind, as he immediately barks “What’s wrong with you?” at the Arrow team. Ivanka, by the way, is wearing a bright red blouse and skirt, and looks very nice indeed. So fashion-impairment isn’t a family trait, and let’s hope complete self-delusion isn’t either, because Donald launches into a mini-rant over Carey’s bathing trunks. Without a trace of guile, Trump tells Carey that he (Trump) has a great body, and that although he and Carey could wear that suit, not many men could. Carey proves he has a future in politics, because he doesn’t laugh out loud but instead smiles politely and explains that he was attempting to show three different kinds of men’s suits – the “gay” suit, the “metrosexual” suit, and the “straight/conservative” suit. It actually makes sense, but Trump is having too much fun to really listen. He asks Carey if he’s gay, because it looked like Carey had no fear of the runway, and was having a great time up there. Carey admits that it’s all true, but tries to shift focus away from himself and on to Michelle, who he blames for the loss. There’s an awkward moment when Frank, seemingly out of nowhere, says he’s claustrophobic and can’t sleep in the tent, and Donald assures him that he’ll be back in the Bronx soon. Oh, snap!
Donald polls Arrow on who should be fired – it’s a split decision again, as Tim, Steph, Frank and Michelle want Carey gone, while Aaron and Carey vote for Michelle. James sneakily abstains from the in-fighting and says that Nicole should be fired for letting Carey run the show when she should have been reining him in. Not surprisingly, Nicole opts to bring Carey & Michelle back to the boardroom.
Behind closed doors, Heidi and Ivanka agree that if Nicole approved the designs, she should be on the chopping block. Trump grunts noncommittally, so we know Nicole is safe. The unlucky Arrow trio troop back in, and there’s a brief fashion war – Carey admits the design was risky, Michelle says she “objected” to his design, and Nicole weakly tells Trump that she approved the design because “pink is the new black”. Trump doesn’t exactly disagree – after all, he’s wearing a pink tie. Again. (Though I’m thinking this is the last we’ll see of it.) Trump pulls out the notorious swim trunks and uses his pen to hold them up. Carey is obviously fighting a losing battle, but he valiantly insists there’s a market for that kind of suit. Ivanka attempts to ask Carey if his marketing focus was too narrow, and it’s a smart, valid question, but this is Daddy’s circus, after all – Trump tells the group that he’s wild (no argument there) and he wouldn’t wear the suit. Though he could pull it off, of course. *gag*
Had enough yet? Me too. Trump doesn’t like risk-takers this week, and Carey is unceremoniously fired, and given the suit as a going-away gift. Another tough call, sighs the Donald (and a dumb one, too). Michelle & Nicole bid Carey adieu on the steps, and Michelle, at least, is not an aspiring actress, because her insincerity when expressing sadness at Carey’s departure is more obvious, then, well, a men’s bathing suit with pink flowers. Carey doesn’t have much to say for himself, but calls the girls “dishonest” (no argument there, either).
And so ends the journey of one of the more promising candidates. Hey, Trina Turk, since you didn’t rate a mention in The Devil Wears Prada, maybe consider hiring Carey to do your marketing. Or as a model – you know he worked that suit something fierce.
All this talk of bikinis is making me feel awfully bloated. Or have I just had my fill of The Donald this week? Maybe a little of both, but I’ll be back recapping next week, when Arrow battles it out with…themselves, I guess. Oh, but there will be a twist in there somewhere, and you know you’ll have to watch or at least check back here to find out what it is, won’t you?
I’m accepting donations of your unwanted Chanel boots. Size 9, please. firstname.lastname@example.org