WELCOME BACK TO THE APPRENTICE. This week’s challenge is a real stunner. The contestants must sell ice cream on the street. That’s it. No gimmick. No risk. Just some melted gunk and a couple of sad balloons. Don’t complain. WE’RE IN A RECESSION. Project managers are David (Team Octane) and Poppy (Team Fortitude), a 23-year-old who’s never actually sold anything. It obviously doesn’t matter. Ever run a lemonade stand for one day, Poppy? Congratulations! You’re over-qualified!
Alex has a family at home, so he needs to be the next Apprentice. I am always so tickled by these bold declarations. I’m currently hungry, so I need Funyuns. I have a sofa waiting for me at home, so I need to start wearing more hats. (Tell me what you need and why in the comments — it might be more interesting than discussing this episode!)
On Day 1, both teams show up at Union Square, even though all of the tourists dumb enough to lay down five bucks for a semi-satisfying treat are up at Times Square. The early-bird men begin by strong-arming people with the hard sell, while the women can’t even agree on a price. Is it three dollars or five dollars for that 50-cent ice cream sandwich? “Ugh, never mind!” mutters a kindly grandpa as he trudges away. He can score a tiny bottled frappuccino over at Starbucks for four bucks and pretend he’s a giant.
Clearly, they need costumes. Liza and Poppy pick out pink tank tops to match Team Fortitude’s two-toned pink balloon cluster, then tuck flowers into their hair in case they are suddenly required to go dancing with the stars. Stephanie actually has a decent idea — the women should figure out how to sell ice cream by the case instead — but we never hear about it again.
The men steer clear of the scary clown in the costume shop and go for barbershop-quartet vests instead. Steuart wisely abandons his pesky shirt so his vest is more like a crop top. David shouts out excitedly to passersby to go see the “stri-ped vest gentlemen” nearby. “They’ll cut you a deal. Full price.”
David calls Alex a puppy dog and insists “You can’t put a puppy dog in the middle of New York City and expect him to sell ice cream.” Is he nuts? That is exactly what they should have done. A puppy, a clown, sheriffs who turn out to be strippers, anything! Anything but this!
It’s a beastly hot day. Don Jr., nice and cooled off from his limo ride down to Union Square, pretends to emerge from a grueling NYC subway ride. His coif is perfect. He’s not impressed with the women. They seem to be missing a great opportunity for volume by not setting up near a subway entrance.
NEXT: Nnnnnneeeeeeiiiiiigghhhhhh! (Not a promo for Secretariat, incidentally.)