CA3, ep. 5
This opens with Selita, last episode's winning project manager, stating that "we've won 3 in a row" and Tenacity is cruising with good teamwork and camaraderie. Others disagree with the camaraderie. Michael stated that Rock Solid must work together and be organized, but he does not think Bret is up to that. Selita gets to deliver the $20K winning project manager's check to Shine a Light on Sierra Leone. Trump asks Michael what he misses most about Rod no longer being available. Michael has a big grin on his face and does not answer the question for fear of self-incrimination.
It's time to have Project Managers nominated by their teams, but first Trump announced that Sharon is still too ill to participate and Cyndi is going to the White House for a celebration, which she says is for the signing by President O'Bama of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act into to honor Matthew Shepard by President O'Bama. The men only can choose Goldberg or Curtis and Curtis is the man. The women can choose Holly. No doubt she stepped up when she heard that Cyndi would not be there to distract and torment her for one day. George Ross and Ivanka are playing the Eyes and Ears roles.
Trump introduced the task on a basketball court by saying that it is to promote a new right Guard product and Eric and Ben from that company will be the executives in charge and deciding who wins. They stated the criteria of creativity, use of the celebrities and the overall presentation. A 30 second commercial and a 10 second Internet ad (intended to be viral) will be created. He also says that Right Guard is the official deodorant of the National Basketball Association and former NBA stars Scottie Pippen and Clyde Drexler will be assigned to work one with each team. Before anything further can be done, Trump took a basketball, strode to the foul line and hit the 15 foot shot with a swish. He slyly remarked "I hope you got that on camera." Right. Was that take 25 or take 50? However, he was not about to be overshadowed by any of the celebrities, particularly the men. He offered $10,000 to the winning PM of the team what got the first basket (I believe for fairness giving the other team the chance to tie if the team making it had gone first). Goldberg, Curtis, Michael and Bret have many talents and Goldberg and Michael are world-class athletes) but clearly shooting a basketball is not among them. The women did better, but Selita, Summer and Cyndi did not come close either. Holly had a shot that appeared to be in but it trickled over the rim and out. Up walks "little Selita in her 6 inch stilettos" and she banked it off the backboard straight in. Holly's charity wins the $10,000. That would be the HollyRod Foundation she founded with her husband former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete to provide comfort and medical, physical, and emotional support for those with Parkinson's disease and autism.
Each team meets with Eric and Ben to gain critical information. Have you noticed that when really top-level executives are the liaison to a Celebrity Apprentice episode they are introduced by the Donald by their full names while when you have them introduced by first names only you can assume they are at best low-level Vice-Presidents? I have noticed this. If they are listening carefully teams learn that the target audience is young, male and sports-oriented.
Tenacity is impacted by a brainstorm that Holly has right at the beginning of the task that focused attention on "the first time a boy gets the funk" and on his mother. That would be the centerpoint of the Tenacity 30 second commercial, which has a boy being lifted in the air by Pippen and deodorant rolled onto his armpits for the first time. The women have the usual trials and tribulations of creating a proper space for the commercial shoot. They must select and move a large group of props. The four Tenacity teammates are doing this as George arrived for his observation, but Selita had taken a break to figuratively "stroke" and be self-appointed guardian of Pippen's well-being. George noted that she was not contributing to the hard work. Cyndi called in from Washington DC and delivered over the phone her essay on her child's experience with "the funk for the first time." Holly made an executive decision to edit a 10 second middle segment of the commercial in place of the 10 second viral video they had already completed. The editing process extended to 2 hours the following day. Cyndi returned for the 2 hours and offered to add to the song recording track necessitated by Holly writing and singing a jingle. Holly was offered the opportunity by Maria to check out the final product but just delegated approval of it to Maria, but when it was too late she interjected herself to see it and complain that it was not done right. Holly had been working on the final script for the presentation, so she was required to make a value decision that could only be avoided if Tenacity had gotten to that point earlier.
Rock Solid opened their task with Curtis asking Michael which team Clyde Drexler played for in the NBA. I myself, a big NBA fan but focused mostly on the Eastern Conference, could not remember that it was Houston (indeed Houston U.'s Phi Phi Slamma Jamma plus the Houston Rockets but also starting with Portland in the NBA) Rock Solid has nobody really creative except for Bret and he is like a machine spewing out a wide range of different ideas but with no focus. They start down one path and send Michael and Goldberg to the prop shop, then Curtis got feedback from a production assistant type that there was a reasonable probability that their design could not be finished in time (I sense Mark Burnett or Donald Trump orchestrating this here). Curtis changed his mind when Bret came up with something new and was about to change the prop list 180 degrees for Michael and Goldberg when he decided that he had to take the risk and stick with the original plan. Bret was really pissed and threw a tantrum. Through all of this, Bret was weepy over the fact that his 9 year old daughter Rainbow had just been diagnosed with diabetes and he could not be home to support her. Well golly, Bret, maybe she will live for another week or two until you get eliminated form the celebrity Apprentice! This has all the signs of a decision by either Mark Burnett or Donald Trump to put this rubbish (Bret's extreme emotionalism) on the air for this episode. The focus of the Men's 30 second commercial is a cute Clyde Drexler and 2 kids. The 10 second viral is better and used the tag line "your only defense is Right Guard Defense 5."
At the presentations, the executives said that Tenacity had too much focus on the mother and not enough on the product and it was not aimed at the target audience. They did have a great jingle and a very good commercial, but their repeated material in the 10 second viral video was an opportunity lost. They said that Rock Solid was excellent at product focus, the use of Clyde Drexler and the testimonials of the men and their commercial was good. So, what does that mean on who will win? As always, the producers feel like they have to leave you hanging.
After the presentations, Michael apparently got a call from home about his son Sebastian, who I discovered from research is age 4. I am guessing that it was his wife Kerry calling about "personal problems" that Michael would not discuss. Michael told Trump he had to go home. Trump responded that he understood but if he did then he was out of CA3 because it would be unfair to excuse anyone for multiple episodes (I believe they do a new episode every one to two days while filming to conserve the time of the celebrities).
In the Boardroom, Trump had George and Ivanka repeat the perspectives of the executives. He then announced that Rock Solid had won. this caused some considerable sniping on Tenacity. Curtis had won $20K for Food for America. The long knives were out with Cyndi repeating her previous personality conflict with Holly. Trump asked Holly who made the decision on reusing material for the 10 second viral video. Holly strongly responded that it was her decision and was made because that material was better than what it replaced. Trump say it was a major reason Tenacity lost. the usual Trump questioning on "who was the weakest link?" could not be evaded this time and the women knew it. Maria volunteered in her meekest tone that Selita did not contribute as much energy. Holly seconded that and told the story of the editing mistake. Selita defended herself in what I regarded to be an appropriate way, but Trump and George were out for blood. George supported what Maria and Holly said with his own observation. When Trump asked Holly who were the 2 weakest, she without hesitation said Selita and Maria. The Selita story was already public, so she had to explain to Trump the incident with Maria which was really minor. In essence, Holly had to make a choice between Maria and Summer and I suspect she felt Summer was the easiest one to beat in later episodes. Holly asked if she could nominate Cyndi because of her disruption of the brief period she was "helping." Trump told her a firm NO and also made a public statement that if Sharon did not return to the set soon she would be out, following Darryl and Michael. Cyndi wanted to comment but used some rare discretion and kept her mouth mostly shut. If she had, it would have cost her in future episodes, so I think she did the right thing. Cyndi and Summer were excused.
In the final conclave between Trump, Ivanka and George, they all agreed that Selita's lack of energy and fighting spirit was not going to allow her to last through future rounds. He eliminated her without much further ado.
I was appalled by that decision. Maria did not do enough of the task badly to really screw anything up; the part she may have messed up was minor and nobody noticed except Holly. Holly as the PM was totally responsible for all key decisions. It was Holly's vision at the beginning and the "use the middle of the 30 second commercial as the viral video" decision which caused the defeat of Tenacity. If either one of those had been made differently, I bet Tenacity would have won. Holly had a strong controlling personality, which because it is similar to Cyndi Lauper's causes the clashes between those too. Maria is also similar. Selita and Summer were more low-key but better organized and they got it done through more teamwork and less micromanagement. I know that except for her beauty Selita is less dysfunctional so she did not make the best TV, but she was solid. I have the best answer to the question of "who was the weakest link?" This week, for the first time I can remember, it was DONALD TRUMP!
So, where does that leave the viewers of CA3 with respect to who might win? The strongest player of Rock Solid, Michael, is gone, leaving Goldberg (who is still a cipher so far other than the brief glimpses that he is a really good guy and quite talented in a number of different things) and Curtis (who is more of the smooth team-oriented operator). Bret has no chance because he has no respect from his teammates and his creativity is overbalanced by his flakiness and lack of organization. The strongest of the women, if she doesn't stay too sick, is now Sharon. Cyndi is a loudmouth who may know everybody in New York City (all 8 million of them) but also does not have the respect of her teammates. Holly deserves to and will suffer from her loss in this episode. Summer and Maria will be waiting in the swings and they could positively surprise me. I hope one or both of them do. If Sharon comes back (and I predict that she will as it will lead right into the June start of the NBC summer hit "America's Got Talent" where she plays the role of the "I like everyone" judge (I forgot, it's a reality show and she is just being herself) along with her sidekick David Hasselfhoff) she will be a contender because she is the voice of reason.