The Apprentice, "10.3": the Trump Tower for dogs

Quick Take: The Apprentice, "10.3"
"You still have to live with these bitches." -Donald Trump

The Apprentice season 10 cast

Quick Take: The Apprentice, "10.3"
(S1003) I know many people were glad for The Apprentice to return to its roots and cast normal, hard-working Americans who are actually motivated to score a life-changing job.  I can’t honestly say I was one of them.   Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that Donald Trump is giving some people who were hurt by the economic downturn a new opportunity, but man, I miss the celebrities.  The pure absurdity brought on by those ridiculous egos really made the show a train wreck worth watching, and saved the franchise from the brink of death.  You’re not going to see this “normal” cast creating a masturbation-themed laundry detergent commercial, or an aerobic exercise known as the “Tour Bus Thrust.”  These things bring me great joy.

Alas, I’m here to discuss tonight's installment of the "regular" version of the show, and to be fair, there are some pretty volatile characters in this cast.  Tonight the teams were assigned to run a hotel and spa for dogs.  They needed to add a value incentive for customers, and attempt to impress the dog spa’s owners, as well as “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan.  The men’s team (“Octane”) selected poor, hapless James for the role of project manager, while Tyana stepped up for the women (“Fortitude”).

The men’s main selling point hinged on installing web cams. To my family and friends: if you ever find me watching my dog get spa treatment on a webcam, please put me out of my misery.

Anyway, they had barely sat down to think before things erupted between James and David.  David is filling the role of the hot-tempered, arrogant guy quite nicely, and he was very eager to see James fail.  I felt a little bit bad for James, who seemed to start out the task in a pretty deep hole with his teammates.  If he had worked harder to appease David, the most dominant personality, he might have avoided drama well enough to get through the task with at least a little respect from the other men.  Instead, he shot down David’s first question during brainstorming, and all bets were off.

But it was David’s attempt to MacGyver a nail that broke the final straw between David and James.  Having forgotten the nails they purchased, David apparently felt he could create a nail out of a binder clip, an idea that utterly astonished James.  “I don’t know what planet Dave lives on where he can turn a binder clip into a nail,” James says to the camera.

David is even more direct, declaring that “James is the worst project manager in the history of project management.”  Rod Blagojevich might beg to differ.  Unable to quell David’s insubordination, James asks him to leave, resulting in a rare firing by a project manager.  At this point, it was probably James’s only move to avoid looking completely weak, but he lost a set of hands, and the rest of his team, though, less vocal, still seemed completely dismissive of James’s inarticulate leadership.

Things weren’t so peachy on the women’s side, either, where outspoken Mahsa starts off the task fuming that Tyana won’t let her work the front desk, apparently because Tyana’s a “jealous cow.” I really hope Mahsa and David both stick around long enough to be on the same team.  If Trump is smart, he’ll make sure this happens at all costs. I can only imagine the violent screaming, or if we’re really lucky, violent lovemaking, that would ensue when these forces collide.    

There’s also a little tension when the emotional Liza almost fails to get the artwork, but that hurdle is cleared and things go relatively smoothly on team Fortitude.  They brand it “Tailwag Tuesday” and hand out doggie “report cards,” which are essentially checklists of the dog’s activities for the day.  This seems slightly more reasonable than watching your pet on a webcam all day.  Slightly.

The judges apparently agree with me and award the women with the win, leaving the men to duke it out in the board room.  The social dynamics of these board rooms are always pretty interesting to me.  A gang mentality usually develops, with everyone teaming up to place the blame on one person.  As long as it’s not you, why put a target on your back by defending someone else when you can go with the flow and pile on? This week the obvious target is James, whose elite education has not translated to strong leadership skills.  He also gets a lot of flak for dismissing the business owner when he tried to give them some important training.   James brings David back to face the firing squad, as well as Wade, who was not really present in this episode other than being noted as the team’s “dog expert.”

David gets some heat for being, as Trump says, a “wise-ass,” but ultimately James gets the boot.  Trump says this was an easy one, and I definitely agree.  You’ve got to keep a character like David around as long as you can. James was the only real choice here.

Right now David and Mahsa are carrying the show and keeping it entertaining, mostly by just being so angry.  The challenges themselves still leave a lot to be desired, and there’s never going to be as much of a humor factor without the celebrity buffoons, but it's probably still worth watching for now. Some bullets for you:

  • Had to laugh: in James's "What are you up to now?" clip, seeing him try to claim that running the dog daycare was an essential experience to his current success.  Riiiight...
  • How hot is Ivanka? We need more Ivanka on this show.
  • When the women asked the dog spa owner what his slowest business day was, he responded "Tuesday," so the women "decided" to do their special promotion on Tuesday.  How convenient that that was the day the task was being run.  Could they really have chosen Saturday? Ah, reality television.
  • That's all I've got for tonight.  What did you think of tonight's episode? Did the right person get fired? Can YOU turn a binder clip into a nail?  Sound off in the comments, or say hi to me on Twitter @ACWatt.

    Video: The Apprentice, "10.3"
    Check out an excerpt from this week's episode, called Under the Bus, from Hulu: 

    By Adam Wattenbarger

    About the author

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