What a difference a week makes, huh?
Last week everyone was so cordial and friendly; this week the claws started coming out on Team Forte!
This week's episode begins with the fall out from last week's firing. It's always a very awkward situation sitting in the winning team's Boardroom waiting to see who has been fired. It's one of the only times that the two teams get to socialize and see each other, but it's under such stressful circumstances.
When Victoria and Dayana return to the room, Victoria makes it abundantly clear that the gloves are now off! She doesn't trust anyone, and she's going to be fighting from here on out. No matter how much Tia tries to calm her down, Ms. Gotti is ready to throw down!
We get a great chance to see some of the good that comes from the show when Paul Sr. delivers his previous week's winnings to a young man with Make-A-Wish Foundation. Paul gets a chance to talk about Make-A-Wish and why it is important to him, and he spends some time with a young boy who reminds us all the value of what we are playing for.
And then... we're on to our next task...
As contestants, we always tried to deduce what the task would be before we were told, simply based on the location of the shoot (even though nine times out of 10 the location had NOTHING to do with the eventual task). This week we were taken to an old and ornate church on Manhattan's Riverside Drive. The gothic architecture set the stage for a task with a medieval theme. We were told we would be writing, directing, producing and starring in a 15-minute performance for Medieval Times, the entertainment restaurant.
Team Unanimous immediately suggests that Penn would be the most qualified as PM given his performance experience and his knowledge of minstrel-type entertainment. He accepts. Team Forte will be lead by Lisa.
What you didn't see during the episode is how adeptly Penn delegated the task out to each member of the men's team. Immediately upon learning of our task, Penn handed each person VERY clear and specific responsibilities and goals. He knew exactly what he wanted and exactly who he wanted for each task. It was very impressive.
Team Forte, on the other hand, pile in to two separate vans and right away have trouble communicating. Lisa, who had been frustrated by the interrupting and lack of respectful communication in last week's project, immediately sets down some ground rules for how she wants her team to operate this week. No interrupting! As the Medieval Times location is in New Jersey, Lisa comes up with the clever idea of using Teresa's home state to their advantage and bills Team Forte's concept as The Un-Real Housewives of New Jersey. The ladies love it.
After meeting with the creative director for Medieval Times, Penn settles in on a broad concept that highlights the "celebrity" of each individual team member. He will juggle and eat fire. Arsenio will tell jokes. I will sing. George's performance will nod towards Star Trek... and, of course, Paul Sr. will provide an appropriate bike for the occasion! It's a broad concept that only has a thin plot line, but it has something in it for everyone; and Team Unanimous is continuing with our love-fest from the previous week, so everyone gets along and agrees right away.
Meanwhile, the ladies are getting down to the task of assigning responsibilities and parts to each member. Lisa delegates the acting roles to Tia, Patricia and Debbie who each have extensive acting experience, but the rest of the planning seems to be handled by Aubrey. Debbie suggests that Aubrey is "second in command." When it comes time to hand a task to Victoria, Lisa gives her the responsibility of "stage director." Lisa tells her that it is a very important job. I'm not sure that that is not a line of bull... in this situation, stage director is not horribly crucial... but Lisa sells it. (Either Lisa is trying to make Victoria feel important, or she's playing the game very well. Only she knows!)
By now, the men are rehearsing for the fight scenes that will be a part of the show. Lou is a perfectionist when it comes to his roles, and he would have rehearsed that fight scene for 24 hours straight if he could have; but we were on a tight schedule. It took several people to pull him away from his sword and shield so we could move on.
Team Forte is, by now, headed down to check out the costumes. With all of the fancy clothing available, it can only be expected that the ladies were excited about trying things on and discussing what they would wear. "Frau" Lampanelli, however, is insistent upon maintaining order and sorta flips out on the ladies who couldn't seem to stop interrupting. Call her a "tyrant" if you want, Patricia. But, as Lisa says, "It's not [her] job to teach you how to not be an interrupting pain in [her] ass" (best line of the night thus far!).
In rehearsals, Victoria is still not happy about being the director and even goes so far as to say she is not good at it and doesn't think she should be the director, but she soldiers on in the sound and light booth, trying to make sure all of the cues are called at the right times while the ladies do their thing in the arena.
Team Unanimous, on the other hand, does not have anyone in the sound booth. In a shining example of how unimportant that position may have actually been, on the men's team I had written out a script that was so precise the sound and light operators could simply follow along and use what was being said on stage to know when the lights or sound was to be called. The only condition was... the actors needed to follow the script exactly or the sound and light folks would not know when to do their thing. George is a classically trained performer and therefore wanted so badly to memorize his lines instead of reading them that he didn't look at his script during rehearsal. That caused things to be pretty bumpy along the way and caused a lot of light and sound cues to be missed on our side as well.
In fact, those missed cues were only the beginning of Team Unanimous' problems during rehearsal. When Dee began to ride out sidesaddle on his horse, I began to play the tambourine that was a part of the performance. Dee's horse had never heard the sound of a tambourine before and was spooked by it, rearing up and throwing Dee off. His finger caught in the saddle and snapped as he came down! I saw him fall off of the horse, but at first thought that the situation was minor and decided to continue on with the performance (we were being timed!), but I soon realized we had a serious situation on our hands. (No pun intended!)
But, as they say, a bad dress rehearsal leads to a good performance! And such was the case for the men. George realized the importance of the cues and gladly held his script up to read from it. Dee bravely forced himself through the show despite a severely broken finger. His horse did not buck and the show went off without a hitch. (Side note: We were unable to sing any songs that were copyrighted. So, when it came time for me to sing, all that I was really able to sing was a long riff and some self written lyrics to the old hymn Greensleeves!)
The women didn't fare quite as well in their performance. As expected, some of the sound cues that Victoria was responsible for calling were missed, and Team Forte had a rockier start than they would have hoped. But they pulled it together and performed an entertaining show... (especially entertaining for the straight men and gay women in the audience, because Debbie accidentally showed her hoo-ha!)
In the Boardroom the fireworks begin!
Victoria tries to remain calm about her disagreements with Lisa, but the Trumps are so good at stirring the turd. It doesn't take long for a big stink to happen in the room, and before you know it, Lisa and Victoria are both yelling and crying!
On the men's team, Penn did something unique and something you didn't see on camera. In an attempt to be humane and kind, Penn told us before we went in the Boardroom who he would be selecting as the two weakest players. That maybe turned out to not be the best idea because it gave Lou some time to get angry and prepare his argument. And Lou went after Penn in earnest. Whether Penn was too afraid to fight back or too respectful to argue with Lou is to be determined. Either way, he just sat there and took it.
In the end, the men win again and we head back to the war room while the women duke it out.
Lisa brings back Dayana and Victoria. There is plenty of screaming and crying, but only between Lisa and Victoria. Dayana sits there not saying much, just watching the other two fight. It's funny to see her look back and forth at the two on either side of her like she is watching a tennis match! Ha ha.
When it's over, Victoria gets fired, but between you and me, it certainly doesn't leave Dayana in the clear. In fact, it paves the way for one of the greatest rivalries in Apprentice history. The Lisa vs. Dayana war will provide MUCH entertainment in the weeks to come. That's a promise.
Next week, we'll see if Dayana can get a bit of the respect she hasn't received thus far. And, we'll see if George's love of fancy costumes might come in handy for him. They are both on "full display" next week!
Don't miss it!!