'The Apprentice' recap: Drama Queen
Shubert Theatre. The teams are lined up in front of Trump on the stage. Trump's seen "Memphis" there recently, and the theatre's great. Blah, blah, blah superlatives. He says finding backers is an important, difficult part of putting on a Broadway show. The task is to create a backers' audition aimed at getting money to put on a musical. Each team will have a musical, but no directors, producers, or designers. They'll have a score, actors and a script only, and will be judged by Broadway investor and "Memphis" producer John Yonover, Trump's good friend and producer Daryl Roth, and Kristin Chenoweth. They'll be judged on their marketing materials and their overall presentation. Liza (who came from Kenya to the U.S. by the way, to play golf) will lead Fortitude, and Steuart will lead Octane.
Ryan Scott Oliver meets with the ladies about their musical, "Darling ." (He's the composer and lyricist.) He says it's a dark deconstruction of "Peter Pan ," which he says is not your grandmother's version. Liza tells him she's never been to a Broadway show, so she asks what people do there. She imagines they get on stage and, like, perform. Everyone is speechless, and RSO is like, "You mean in the show or the backers' audition?" She just replies, "Well." Stephanie snarks about her later in her interview, saying she has no culture and depth. When RSO leaves, Stephanie says she has a musical background because she studied with the Royal Conservatory. Yes, of course, she's an expert. On everything. Poppy says she also has music. So Stephanie interviews later that she studied with the Royal Conservatory for thirty years (what?! Is that even possible?) so she doesn't care if Poppy listens to Miley Cyrus on her "Walkman" [sic]. I guess they haven't gotten iPods at the Royal Conservatory yet. They argue over who is more of an expert. Poppy's annoyed that Stephanie claims to be the strongest at everything in every task. She'd like people to recognize other people can be good at stuff, too.
The guys meet with Kirsten about their play, "Little Miss Fix-It ," about an eleven-year-old named Nan who meets a twelve-year-old boy who's an Impressionist painter. The guys all think this will be totally fun. Steuart says the most important aspects of this are the promotional items, the promotional packets, and the actors. He assigns Clint to work with the graphic designers, and he'll work the theatre side himself. David says that he's done a lot of small plays, at civic theatres and high school. Steuart's convicted whether David will be the creative David they can trust or the virus. So he assigns him to ordering food, which David says is a "chump move" to put his creative mind on lunch ordering. While he's ordering food, Steuart asks him to do it outside of the room. He heads into the lobby and dances to the music in the other room while he waits on the phone to order food.
Fortitude. Brandy re-fills us in on the task. She explains you have to shrink an entire production down into a short time frame to get investors excited enough to want to fund the show. Stephanie's totally taken over as PM, so Liza quickly sends her and Mahsa off to do the promotional and marketing materials with the graphic designer. Stephanie protests, but Liza interviews she made the right decision since there was so much tension with Stephanie and Mahsa being around the other girls. In the van, Stephanie's screaming. Um, did we know she studied with the Royal Conservatory?! I don't know if she's mentioned that yet. Mahsa's on her side, and they high five on being in this together.
Octane. David comes back in after ordering food and catches the tail end of the musical numbers. I'm not sure why it would take him that long to order food, but maybe everyone on the team wanted something from a different place. They start to discuss presentation, and David doesn't think their team should talk; just leave it to the actors. He dramatically tells us that Team Octane "are not thespians in any way." Well, actually, David, you might be a bit of a thespian, judging by the drama. Anyway, Steuart wants to be part of the presentation, but David tells him that always causes a disconnect instead of just having the characters and actors do it all. Clint can't believe he's doing this, but he agrees with David. They let him do his thing and basically put him in charge of being creative director of the presentation. Uh-oh. Unless Steuart wants to throw him under the bus.
Fortitude. Brandy thinks they should have a narrator, though Liza doesn't totally agree. Poppy says Liza took a hands-off approach, so they got to do whatever they wanted. Which means a narrator. Don shows up then and asks what's up. Liza stutters until Brandy jumps in and tells him what they're doing. Don's not impressed that Brandy would be the one taking him through the concept. He says that's going to come back to bite her. Back at Octane, Anand and Clint go to work on the promotional items, happy with David's creative change. David re-explains the concept of "Little Miss Fix-It" to us as he watches the rehearsals. Ivanka shows up then and asks how it's going. David explains what they're doing, and she's pretty impressed with him, considering how he was ripped apart in the boardroom last week. She thinks if Steuart doesn't step up during the presentation, it will seem like it was David's task. Back at Octane, Stephanie calls to see if Liza got their email with the flier. Liza did, but it's not what she wanted. Stephanie talks over her as she tries to explain. But Liza wants it to be colorful, not black and white. They'll try again, but they say if it looks ridiculous they'll stick with black and white. Liza thinks they're trying to sabotage her, since they're not doing anything the team agreed on for the poster.
All the ladies are in the van on what appears to be the next morning. Liza tells them what she's planned for the intro, and Mahsa suggests making it a little simpler and more interesting. They're headed to the theatre to present their audition to the judges. Mahsa says that Liza had one thing to do and couldn't even write three sentences, because she can't do anything. At the theatre, they see the poster, which is the black and white one that Liza didn't want. She tells them it's all right, but is clearly peeved. The guys, meanwhile, love their poster, which is like a cool little chalkboard, with a 3-D piece of chalk and everything.
Judges line up for Octane's presentation. Steuart introduces it shortly and sweetly, then the presentation starts. As David sings along backstage, Clint interviews that this is the best he's seen David, who was creative and solely responsible for this. You can actually see that Kristin's into it, though the other two judges look sort of bored. Steuart closes with a lot of stumbling and stuttering over his one line. David's annoyed that Steuart ruined it. The judges talk about it: They liked the performance a lot, and they love the materials. But Kristin wishes Steuart had been more excited about it. John wishes he'd been more prepared, since you shouldn't stumble. They don't think he sold the show.
Fortitude's turn. Liza comes out, reading overly dramatically from her script. Then the narration and songs start up. The judges don't look enthused, except by the songs. Daryl likes the presentation, but John couldn't follow it with just songs and narration. Kristin thought Liza's enthusiasm was great. And they like the simple, black promotional materials, except that they don't have any information on them to follow up with the producers. They say the decision will be tough, since they have two very different presentations. It really doesn't seem that tough to me: The guys clearly have this one. Who would have thought David would be such an asset for a change?
It's that time again: Boardroom. Trump joins them, and asks Liza if she liked their musical. She loved it. He asks Brandy if Liza was good, and she says she was, though she would have liked to see a little more involvement from Stephanie given her musical background. Stephanie says she told Liza of her background, but she sent her to the printer instead. Mahsa says she thinks Liza did "fine," and Trump tells Liza that's not great, but she's making progress. Don admits that's a high compliment from Mahsa. Trump turns to Steuart, who's extremely happy with how they produced as a team. Trump asks about David, and Steuart says that he let David step up and take ownership of something and thinks he did a good job. Trump asks Clint if he'd take back the things he's said about David, but he won't because he thinks the conversation last board meeting is why David did such a great job this week. Trump asks Anand what he thought of Steuart, and he says he was good. Trump asks about him stumbling on the presentation, which the judges were not happy with. Steuart says he just looked down at his note card and read the wrong word, then recovered and finished strong.
Trump would like to see the promotional materials. He shows them each other's, and says the men's was very good, but he didn't like the women's. He asks them who did it, and Liza says the ideas were "collaborately" done. I'm going to forgive her that since she's from Kenya. When Trump pushes, she says Stephanie and Mahsa were in charge of the promotional materials. Stephanie disagrees, saying Liza told them exactly what to put in there. Trump asks why they can't get in touch with anyone if they want to invest; whose fault is that? Liza says that should be Stephanie and Mahsa's responsibility, but they lie that they made exactly what she wanted and she approved it. She says she didn't, it's boring, blah. He asks who she'd bring back if she loses, and she says Stephanie and Mahsa. Stephanie says that's completely uncalled for, but Trump and Don disagree. Trump asks her why she wasn't project manager when she knew it was a musical, and she lies she wanted to but thought it was theater, and Liza wanted to. He calls her on her crap, because all he talked about was it being a musical. She says she can't be project manager every week, and he says he likes that point better than her lying to him, which she shouldn't have done. Even Don looks a little frightened for Stephanie.
Trump says the decision's split: Daryl loved the men's team. Kristin loved the women's team and thought Liza did a great job. John broke the tie by choosing the men's team. Trump tells David it's an amazing comeback, and tells Steuart he'll be meeting with Larry Young, president and CEO of Snapple. He sends the men to their suite to watch the fighting. With fifteen minutes left, it better be good. Trump asks Poppy what went wrong. She thinks the biggest oversight was not including their contact information on the promotional materials. Trump thinks that was the biggest thing, too. He asks Liza what happened, and she agrees the contact information was critical. He asks why none of them thought of that, and asks Mahsa. She blames Liza, who gave them an exact list of what she wanted. Trump asks why Kristin liked Liza so much. Mahsa says she was the one who wrote Liza's three sentences, but he says he wasn't talking about her. Brandy sort of goes off about what a bitch Mahsa is, and Trump says he sees it himself in the way she treats everyone.
The guys get a good laugh back in the suite as Brandy talks about Mahsa pointing her finger in everyone's face. I guess Clint told her not to do that, and Don says a finger pointed in his face wouldn't last long in business. She says it's because she's an attorney, but Don says she needs to know to turn that off. He also tells her she turns everything in every boardroom around as a positive about her and a detriment to everyone else. Trump says Brandy has gone a little bit wild in the past couple of minutes, and he wonders what brings this out in her. She says their team is being torn about by this fragmentation. Mahsa asks what she did wrong on this task, and Brandy yells that she didn't do anything! Trump tells Mahsa she really is abrasive and she points and defends and butts in and turns it around on Brandy for telling her to shut the fuck up.
Poppy says that, in Brandy's defense, Mahsa was trying to give their strategy to the men. Trump asks Brandy to explain, and she says that Mahsa told the men what they made before the boardroom last week. Trump grills her on it, and she says that Clint told her, too. In the suite, Clint says she's lying. Don says he wasn't here but can't believe she'd give the results on a sales task before the boardroom. Ivanka agrees she altered the whole dynamic of this process by doing that. Trump says that's not being a team player, and asks her why she'd do that. She says he told her again, and Trump says he doesn't care. Clint's getting pissed that she keeps lying about him, and Steuart tells him to go in there. Trump tells her again how wrong it is, and she again says Clint told her. He says she's looking for a scapegoat and throwing him under the bus, and the guys head back to the boardroom, all of them fully backing Clint on this. They can hear Trump grilling her in the lobby as they head back in. And now I can see why there was so much time left when the guys were sent away.
Trump asks Clint what's on his mind, and he says he's back to clear his name since he has three little boys and a wife to play for here. He's not going to be soiled by Mahsa. She says she never lied and is not lying now, then tells him not to be dramatic and to calm down. Clint says that Mahsa can't keep her mouth shut and told him the particular numbers in the lobby of the hotel last week. Trump asks if he told her, and he says he knew what he made on the task but was out pedaling and had no idea what the team made. Ivanka asks if this is a total fabrication, and Clint says the only thing he said was, "Did you really only make $360?" And he told her he thought they made a lot more than that. Mahsa can't believe he's lying, but Clint says Brandy heard it, and already told them. Clint tells Trump he's a straight shooter and he never divulged the number his team made because a) he didn't know and b) he thought they were trying to lie with the number $360. Steuart says he heard it too.
Don says that coming back to clear his name, and risking being back in the boardroom, makes a pretty big statement to him. Clint says he'd rather be fired tonight and have his name cleared. Trump asks David if he's backing Clint, and David says they didn't know a number, so he does not believe Clint gave one. Steuart says he was with Clint during this conversation (Mahsa says he wasn't), and didn't hear him give a number or give anything. Trump asks Brandy's take. She says she's never raised her voice in this boardroom until tonight. She says she feels very passionate about this. She says Mahsa's lying is one thing, but the fact is that she's disloyal. Mahsa starts screaming and finger-pointing that's she's never lied and is not lying now. She says Clint said "Well over $1,000." Mahsa screams some more and Clint asks her to shut her mouth and stop screaming. She continues to screech, and Brandy covers the ear that's facing Mahsa.
Trump tells Mahsa it doesn't really matter who said what, but wouldn't she say it was disloyal to give him the number? She says the task was over, and it was stupid to give the number, but not disloyal. Trump says that whether she's allowed to do it is one thing, but it was disloyal to the team. She doesn't think it was disloyal. He asks if she thinks she made a mistake, and she says she did. He fires her. Brandy looks relieved. So does Clint. Liza. But, most of all, me. Trump kicks them all out. Mahsa smugly leaves. In the boardroom, Trump says, "That's too bad, but that's the way it goes." What exactly is too bad about getting rid of the wicked witch?
Taxicab confession: Mahsa says she made a stupid mistake and got fired for it. She says if she'd been quieter, she would have stayed longer and made fewer enemies. And she's shocked she's inside the cab tonight. The fact that she's still shocked just proves that she's delusional and always thinks she's in the right. Her Rockport next step: Doors have opened because of the show. She wants to be an on-air personality, and she's pursuing that now. [ Who would hire her? Seriously? -- Angel]
Next week: The teams go co-ed, but the fighting continues. David has a man crush. Brandy and Steuart get all sexy, so Trump asks if they're having an affair. When she says she likes older men, Don jokes, "You're hired." I love that he can tease his dad like that.
Photo credit: NBC