On ''The Apprentice,'' the women prove better at selling Lamborghinis, and project manager Chris fails in the boardroom against his team's biggest loser

By Whitney Pastorek
September 30, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT
The Apprentice: Virginia Sherwood
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”The Apprentice”: The men fail at a manly project

Let’s just start with the obvious, shall we? Every time there is a car project, the dudes think they are going to win. And every time there is a car project, the dudes do not win. Death. Taxes. Dudes losing car task. Get used to it.

Hello, and welcome to week 2 of what I am now calling The Apprentice: Personal Tragedy Edition. Last week, a contestant named Randal found out his grandmother passed away. Foolishly, I assumed we’d seen the last of this, mostly because so far I have heard Randal say exactly one thing, and it’s ”My grandmother passed away.” How am I supposed to develop an emotional connection to a character I’ve never met? But no, week 2, all we were missing was Ty Pennington’s bullhorn as we traveled with Randal to share in his deeply personal family time. I now know that Randal’s family has lovely taste in coffins. PS: If I die while one of my relatives is on a reality show, and that relative even thinks about dedicating his or her performance on said reality show to my memory, there will not be enough chains in hell for me to shake over their sleepless bed each and every night for all of eternity.


Tonight’s tragically Donny Deutsch-free advertising campaign was for Lamborghini, which makes tons of sense because if there was ever a product begging for an impulse buy, it’s a freakin’ Lamborghini. Marshawn stepped up as project manager for the women, a.k.a. I Will Not Say That Dumb-Ass Team Name, and Chris nominated himself (”All in favor of myself?”) for the men, a.k.a. Team Excel.

The women made a cool little commercial and even did a little interpretive dance during their presentation. Alla, who is Eastern European and apparently worth 12 million dollars — watch out, Melania — was put in charge of most everything, and Kristi, who you met last week, was put in charge of everything else. I’m assuming everyone else wandered around and picked at hangnails or something.

The dudes, on the other hand, immediately started sucking. Before they’d even met with the car execs, Markus — who, you’ll remember, is not exempt, because he is a massive tool — immediately tossed out a slogan, a delicate, horrifying slogan: ”Smooth as silk.” People, I cannot endure much more of Markus and his inability to do anything but be a massive tool. I’ll try and come up with a different description for him next week, because now I fear I’m accidentally insulting Carson Daly, but seriously, the dude is Tooly McToolinger, Mayor and Chief Executive Tool of Tooltown, U.S.A. Still, it’s not like anyone else was faring better, as Mark purposely didn’t capitalize the ”I” in ”Italian” in the dullest print ads ever, and then explained a whole circular-logic green-car thing that I really haven’t the energy to address right now as ”It’s my freakin’ car, and you suck, and you can’t have one,” and then guaranteed a victory, Joe Namath style (okay, now I know I’ve insulted Joe Namath) while project manager Chris assembled a high-school-AV-club-caliber commercial, parked an unfortunately taxicab-yellow sports car next to a taxicab, and stumbled into a classic presentation ramble that led him to call water ”a symbol for the purest, most delicate substance in the world.”

The dragon lady who runs the ad agency said, ”Men say it, women feel it,” and handed the victory to the chicks (who voted Marshawn an exemption). And then how we got to the elimination tonight was kind of complex, but it mostly breaks down like this: The dudes’ ads sucked, right? And the episode was edited to look like this was Mark’s fault, while really I think the issue was more of everyone being kind of dumb, and also Markus being a massive tool. When the men headed to the boardroom, Chris fixated on Markus as the problem, since he didn’t see the editing to make Mark look bad (and it’s much easier to point out a massive tool as the problem than to take into account the way your entire team is kind of dumb and there’s a kid who I think might be Jason Schwartzman sitting in the corner, not saying a word). Chris fixated on Markus so much, in fact, that he brought Markus and only Markus back into the boardroom with him, even though Trump essentially held up a big sign that said, ”Bring Back Mark, Okay?” And as we all know, there’s nothing Trump likes more than to fire someone, no matter how borderline competent he or she may be, on a stupid technicality like that. So. Out with Chris. In with massive tool. Do you ever feel like you’re in a rowboat and…oh, never mind.

Whoops, I almost forgot: The girls got to go play hockey with the New York Islanders for their reward. One of them, who I am told is named Rebecca and who I have, as usual, never seen before in my life and couldn’t care less about because all I’ve ever heard her say is ”Ow, my ankle,” broke her ankle while on skates. Stay tuned for next week’s episode of The Apprentice: Personal Tragedy Edition, when Amy Grant will stop by to grant Rebecca’s wish to be put out of her misery, and maybe sing a few choruses of ”Baby Baby” for good measure.

What do you think? Is the show back on track or has it lost direction? Do you find it frustrating or entertaining when the wrong person is eliminated?

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