When The Apprentice premiered to literally no fanfare (way to go NBC) two weeks ago, I trumpeted its quality with gushing praise and multiple pleas for people to watch the show. Then in its second week, the producer coughed up a dud of an episode — giving us an uninspired challenge that had business people selling ice cream in a park. I’m not inherently opposed to such menial tasks, but at least show us something a bit more involved than just a bunch of sweaty reality stars calling out to strangers on the street. There wasn’t even any intrigue about marketing or strategy. Just ice cream. And yelling. It was boring. Clearly anyone who had decided to sample The Apprentice must have tuned out halfway through.
Well, the good news is that the third episode of this season was back on track. The teams had to each take over a Doggie Spa in Manhattan and come up with a “value add” that would enhance the business and offer a unique experience to the clientele. For the men, they opted to install webcams in the dogs’ kennels (not a totally innovative idea, but a strong one nonetheless). The women instead focused on boosting sales on the spa’s slowest day of the week. Admittedly, they both seemed like they were headed in the right direction, but things went very haywire very quickly.
Resident redhead James took over the reins of Team Octane, hoping to repair the bad reputation he somehow received during the previous task. Unfortunately for James, he’s just not a natural leader. I find him to be quite likable actually, but then again, I’m drawn to elitist people. Nevertheless, James first made a silly corporate-esque speech about valuing people’s opinions and blah blah blah. Then he and the team began working with the spa’s owner to hear about the business. In the middle of this all, David asked a benign, if dumb question about what to do if dogs misbehave. James decided this was not an integral point; so he shelved it for later. This did not go over well with David, who is not only a control freak but is also crrrrrraaaaaaazzzzy. Just look at his sarcastic grimaces, his rage-filled eyes, and the way he seems like he’s always one heartbeat away from strangling the nearest human being.
David immediately launched into his usual passive aggressive undermining, muttering curse-laden phrases under his breath and rolling his eyes at every juncture. The guy is a total dick (and crrrrrraaaazzzzyyyy!), which is why I wasn’t surprised that James practically lost it when David condescendingly lectured him about respect. I hope I’m not the only one who wanted to reach through the TV and slap the dude.
Later, when David returned from the hardware store with astroturf that needed to be nailed to the ground, he made a startling discovery: he had forgotten the nails. It was a dumb mistake (one that was oddly overlooked later on in the Boardroom), and in an effort to right his wrongs, David went into a frenzy as he claimed he could turn binder clips into nails. It was truly bizarre and scary and stupid, but not surprising because let’s not forget that David is crrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaazzzzzzy.
Thankfully, James felt this binder clip situation was ridiculous and told David to move on to something else, and when David started up again with his insubordination, James made an executive decision and fired him of the task. Unfortunately, the decision came back to bite him in the ass. James proved to be disorganized as a leader, and his final presentation and value-adds were so average, it’s no wonder that the men eventually lost the task.
The women also had some dysfunction, courtesy of Liza who continued to claim she wasn’t an emotional person, even as she called the other women bitches and went on shrill tirades about who knows what. Also making a fuss was my favorite ball-buster Mahsa, who spent a good portion of the hour announcing her FIFTEEN YEARS OF RECEPTIONIST EXPERIENCE. This was an important point, you see, because after having made this essential keystone of her resumÃ© abundantly clear, team leader Tyana (who I believe revealed that she was the reining Ms. California Cougar?) did not put Mahsa at reception but rather in the kennels. Travesty! Luckily, for Tyana, her team won. Otherwise there sure as hell would have been plenty more declarations of reception area expertise by Mahsa.
Ultimately, James wound up in the hot seat, pulling David and Wade into the second round of the Boardroom with him. The Wade choice made no sense, especially since Wade seemed to have the best idea of the task (the webcams). He unsurprisingly was embittered by this, joining up with David to bully James out of the Boardroom.
The biggest problem James faced, however, was that he simply was not authoritative as a presence. He was polite, he stuttered, and he seemed like a deer in the headlights at times. Rather than be a diplomat, he should have reiterated that David forgot the nails at a critical juncture, and then following that, accuse the guy of having a rage problem. Alas, it was not meant to be for poor James, and he ultimately got the axe. Oh well.
Here’s the photocap: