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A couple of seasons ago, one of the Apprentis quit, remember? I can’t remember her name, but I recall her having some kind of drama queen-like mental breakdown and she ended up packing suddenly and dragging her suitcase down the sidewalk. Now that was pretty entertaining TV, plus NO one had ever quit on The Donald quite so publicly before. The never-been-seen always has a little bit of shock value, plus it’s usually fun to watch for at least a little while. Well, my friends, there’s none of that this week, I’m afraid. We’ve been-there-done-that, so the fun and entertainment part is…well, not quite so much in evidence. But if you like train wrecks – and the name of the train wreck this week is Michelle – you’ll find something to like this week. It’s the silver lining in the cloud that is week 3, season 6, anyway.
As icy-cold as an outdoor shower
The frat-pack that are the remaining Arrow men are snickering amongst themselves, apparently anticipating the return of Nicole & Carey. Remember last week’s boardroom, when Carey was trying to convince Trump that Michelle was evil incarnate? Well, if you don’t, there’s some footage of Carey’s firing to remind you. It seems Michelle is the wallflower of the group, because none of the boys – Frank, Tim, and Aaron – want to see her return. They refer to her as “Johnny”, as in “Johnny-come-lately”. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and it’s not really funny – kind of like a Rosie O’Donnell bit (or, increasingly, these recaps) – but it’s making the boys positively giddy with laughter. There’s obvious dismay when Nicole returns with Michelle, and the guys are shown hugging Nicole but dissing Michelle. Foreshadow much, Mark Burnett?
At Kinetic, Heidi announces that Carey’s been fired, and everyone reacts with surprise (presumably because Carey’s a nice guy, not because they thought his pink swim trunks were worthy of Calvin Klein’s 2007 summer line). There’s general agreement that Michelle is a disruptive influence on Arrow, and sure enough, there’s Michelle-bashing aplenty going on at the campsite. Tim hisses to Nicole that Michelle is insane – kinda harsh, from what we’ve seen of her – and that she’s so icy-cold, she literally gives him chills. Wow…I didn’t think she was quite that bad, eerie resemblance to Nicole Ritchie notwithstanding. Michelle complains via confessional that she’s the outsider of the group, and has to learn to play the game in “some weird way”.
Speaking of weird, there’s a Get Rich With Trump game during commercial breaks. If you pick the person most deserving to go to “Tent City”, you win $10,000. That is, if you agree with Trump on who is most deserving to go. This game is no fun, as you can only pick one of the Arrow team members, but maybe you can text a write-in vote to send Donald instead. After all, there’s no one more deserving.
The phone rings at some ungodly hour, as per usual, and it’s Rona’s LA counterpart Andi, who tells Stefani & Derek that the teams are to meet in Santa Monica, though she also reminds them that Kinetic is not participating in the task this week. Apparently they’re still expected to haul ass, though, and there’s a montage of the teams getting ready in the morning. It’s supposed to be funny because the Arrow team has to struggle with yucky water and cold showers and the Kinetic team has all the amenities, like indoor toilets and hair dryers. Yeah, I know, the tent thing was pretty much been milked for all it’s worth during the first two episodes, but it’s a source of unending discomfort for the non-campers of the bunch (which is everyone except Heidi, the girl who’s competent enough to pitch a tent AND lead her team to victory twice in a row). Michelle notes that she “underestimated the whole tent experience”. Good grief, woman - did you think it would be like Girl Guide camp? There’s no making lanyards and singing Kumbaya by the fire in Trump’s tent city, but personally, I just don’t think Arrow is trying hard enough to have any fun. Mind you, they’re not trying hard enough to win any tasks, either.
Roll up for the mystery tour
The teams meet with the Donald and his baby Trumps at the hotel on the beach – yes, that’s right, Don Jr. is back, at least temporarily. Jr. just doesn’t seem to have the same ruthless, ambitious glint in the eyes as his dad & sister, so I’m guessing he spends more of his time clubbing with Paris and the like than he does in the various Trump boardrooms.
Trump has perhaps reconsidered his “reward” from last week – as Kinetic is exempt from participating in this week’s task, they get a second, better reward. They will get to enjoy all of the hotel amenities, such as the spa and the pool, while Arrow slaves away. Arrow will be divided into two teams, and Trump asks for volunteers to be project manager. Aaron steps up, but there’s dead silence when a second volunteer is requested. Oh, you’ll all pay for that later, my pretties…Donald doesn’t like Apprenti that try to fly under the radar. Surprisingly, though, he doesn’t berate anyone, but instead asks Michelle if she’d like to be PM. Michelle’s response is to look like someone just handed her a big, steaming bowl of crap, and croaks out an acceptance. She complains (yet again) in confessional that she felt like she’d been cornered. Like the weasel she is.
The new PMs pick teams – Michelle chooses Tim and Nicole (who also look like they’ve been handed some big ol’ plates of crap themselves) and Aaron picks James and Stefani. Frank is odd man out, and he goes to Michelle’s team. Donald Jr. announces the task – the teams will each be given a double-decker bus, and will have to create a theme tour for Starline Tours of Hollywood. They’ll be judged by groups of tourists on creativity, substance, and performances. Considering how poorly this team has done in all of those departments thus far, I’m thinking there’s not going to be anything too magical about these tours.
The 3-point shot – Laker girls, popcorn, & Perrier
Aaron’s team – or, more correctly, James – start strong by suggesting they hire a couple of Los Angeles Laker cheerleaders to accompany the tour. Score one for creativity – it’s a great idea, and it turns out a couple of Laker girls are to be had for $85 an hour. The girls are booked and Aaron, James & Stefani – who is affecting a ginormous pair of black-rimmed eyeglasses perched on the edge of her nose – are off to the races.
Michelle’s team decide on a theme of “A Day in the Life of the Rich & Famous”. I deduct one point for creativity here. Michelle wants to “lead by consensus” – in other words, she doesn’t want to take the rap when her deadly dull theme idea goes over like a lead balloon. The team is unimpressed with her weaselly machinations, and I’m deducting another point for lack of substance, because this girl is as obvious as her collagen-injected lips.
Aaron’s team is brainstorming a theme – Aaron suggests famous murder locations, like the Simpson/Goldman slayings. Oh, Aaron…I live in Northwestern Canada and even I’ve heard of that kind of Hollywood tour. I’m taking away that creativity point. His team nixes that idea and suggests movie locations, and James comes up with a name – “Famous Faces, Beautiful Places”. Or was that “Famous Places, Beautiful Faces”? No matter, it works either way, and they get their creativity point back. The team decides to send James on a Starline tour to scope out what tourists like and don’t like. Woot! I’m handing out points all over the place here. James calls in to report that offering refreshments to their tourist groups would be a nice touch, and the team decides on popcorn and Perrier water.
In the midst of this flurry of activity, the Kinetic team is shown frolicking in the hotel pool, enjoying a champagne brunch, getting massages, and sunbathing. Marisa claims that the time off isn’t going to slow this team down, and I hear the Jaws theme playing in the back of my head – DUH-dum…DUH-dum – because you just know that comment is going to bite this team in the ass. Not this week, perhaps, but soon. *rubs hands together in anticipation*
If by now you aren’t wondering how the hell Michelle managed to get chosen for this show – well, you should be. Michelle & Tim are attempting to plan their tour route, and for a girl whose bio says she grew up in California, she doesn’t know a helluva lot about Hollywood. Apparently, the rich & famous don’t reside in Hollywood proper, so they wend their way to Beverly Hills. There’s lots of pretty houses there, and…that’s about it, really. They head back to Hollywood, and Michelle spends most of the time trying to pawn off the decision-making on Tim. Tim’s wise to her shenanigans and insists that she make the decision on the location, and after much hemming and hawing, Michelle finally settles on Hollywood as a tour route.
Nicole and Frank, irritated at the lack of direction from PM Michelle, decide to take some matters into their own hands. They head off to rent tuxes as their tour uniforms, and make some banners for the bus. One point for performance – well, maybe just half a point.
Aaron’s team heads back to camp around midnight, manages to plan their route without much trouble, and hits the sack. Nicole and Frank have decided to turn in also…but Michelle has other ideas. She & Tim return, and inexplicably, Michelle doesn’t think her team should sleep. It’s inexplicable mainly because she & Tim farted around all day, driving aimlessly, and she’s confused as to why Nicole and Frank are pissed off about it and want to go to bed. Nicole is having none of Michelle’s nonsense, and she tears into Michelle about all the wasted time and the idiocy of wanting them to stay up all night because nothing got done during the day. The two argue, and Michelle tells the camera that she plans to recommend that Nicole be fired
whenif they lose.
Morning dawns, and the Laker girls draw a huge crowd by Aaron’s team’s tour bus. The girls sign pictures for the tourists, and Stefani hands out the refreshments. Ivanka is obviously still Daddy’s favorite, as she gets to check out this team’s tour. James starts off as tour guide, and he’s really, really energetic. And loud. Man, is he LOUD. Cringe-worthy loud. The tourists, pacified with Perrier and popcorn, fortunately don’t seem to mind that much. Finally, James runs out of steam, and Stefani takes over the mic. She’s very cool, well-spoken, and professional, and a welcome relief after the manic James. She does a great job, and pats herself on the back, feeling she bailed James out. Personally, I think the two differing styles balanced each other out, but maybe I’m just annoyed by those gigantic glasses teetering on the end of her nose. I tried pushing my glasses down like that and I couldn’t see a damn thing. Maybe there’s just no glass in her lenses and she thinks they make her look smarter.
Things are a lot quieter on Michelle’s bus. Don Jr. is on board and I’m assuming he fell asleep, because we don’t see him again for the duration of the tour. Michelle starts off as tour guide, and her spiel is confusing and wandering all over the place, so Tim takes over and immediately encounters some nasty feedback problems with his mic. There’s not many situations where you can make feedback work, and Tim’s no Jimi Hendrix – the mic shrieks and wails, and Tim makes things worse by giving out a little TMI with a semi-graphic description of John Belushi’s overdose at the Chateau Marmont. Michelle tries to put a good face on the disaster by saying there were some people on the bus who weren’t angry, and who sympathized. Oh, well, my sympathy is misplaced, then – here I was feeling sorry for the tourists who had to witness this Titantic-like tour, when really, I should be weeping for Michelle and her sorry crew of sleepless, bow-tie clad tour guides. My mistake.
You can’t fire me, I quit
Arrow heads off to the boardroom, and seriously, people, my jaw actually fell open, because Trump is wearing that damned pink tie, AGAIN. I swear he’s wearing it just to spite me. Hello, Donald? Your freaky hairstyle never caught on as a fashion trend, and I promise you that tie isn’t going to, either.
Trump asks Michelle if she thinks her team won. Michelle squirms and makes some inane statement about having heart. Trump asks the team how Michelle was as PM, and everyone hedges but admits that she wasn’t a good PM and had trouble making decisions. Aaron, in contrast, is supremely confident in his team’s performance, and James & Stefani sing his praises as PM. Ivanka reports that the team fared well with the tourists’ appraisals, and garnered an 82% approval rating. The news for Michelle’s group is, not surprisingly, lousy, and Don Jr. tells the group that they only managed a 58% approval rating – the tourists weren’t so sympathetic after all, it seems.
Aaron’s team claims victory, and that’s all they get to claim this week, because there’s no material reward. Instead, Trump tells them, they get to bask in their win – it’s a mental victory, and the good feeling they have (and are no doubt quickly losing) is its own reward. I would have preferred a spa massage, personally.
Before Trump sends the losing team away until the final boardroom, Michelle asks for the chance to speak. Instead of the desperate last-ditch effort to save herself that we all expect, she launches into a little speech about how she “didn’t sign up for this” (living in a tent in Trump’s backyard), that she’d love to work for his organization, but…she’s quitting. There’s the expected surprise, and Ivanka (who I like more and more every week) contemptuously asks Michelle if she would have quit had her team won the task. Michelle, clearly lying, says “maybe”, and Trump delivers a lengthy lecture on the evils of quitting. Because quitters never win, winners never quit, his number two most important thing when giving motivational speeches is to never give up, yada, yada, yada. Michelle claims she’s staying true to her integrity and isn’t quitting (quit - verb (quitting; past and past part. quitted or quit) 1 leave, especially permanently. 2 resign from (a job).) Trump isn’t interested in anyone’s b.s. but his own, and he accepts Michelle’s resignation and wishes her good luck. The team files out, and Don Jr. puts in his two cents, pointing out that Michelle should have sucked up the loss and not made her team go to the boardroom without her.
The Arrow team is furious with Michelle – not for leaving, but for putting their necks on the line. (Kinetic has way too much time on their hands, because they’re listening through the hedge again, giggling and gasping over the Arrow drama.) Michelle, giddy with freedom and the prospect of a hot shower and a place to plug in her curling iron and makeup mirror, says she knew Trump would react that way and that she doesn’t care. Before she trots off, the phone rings and Andi tells Frank that Mr. Trump has cancelled the boardroom and no one is getting fired this week. Frank reacts in his usual composed manner, and starts leaping around screaming and hugging his teammates. Apparently quitters don’t get chauffeured Lexus rides, because Michelle is shown walking away, giving a queenly little backwards wave.
Next week, someone makes a huge mistake, and it’s the beginning of an Apprentice romance. And best of all, The Donald dons new neckwear!
I’m collecting signatures to ban the wearing of pastel neckties. Send yours to firstname.lastname@example.org.