Hope you all had a great weekend! We began this episode watching the teams as they waited to see who would be coming back to join Meat Loaf, Lil Jon and John Rich on another task. The guys were nervously hoping and praying that it was not going to be Gary who survived the Boardroom and walked through the door... sure enough it was. I think the only people happy to see Gary were the members of team A.S.A.P. It seems Gary has quite the effect with the ladies, that and his team at this point are ready to quit if he continues to act the way he has. NeNe cruelly said she is enjoying the torture Gary is putting the guys through. It seems the tables have turned and as I told the ladies' team a few weeks back, I have seen many instances where a comeback is very possible. Team A.S.A.P. is a great example of this. For weeks their morale was down and as soon as they brought home a few wins and figured out their team dynamics they were back in the running against the men.
We met the teams at the Trump Grille in Trump Tower, a place I visit very frequently for lunch meetings. This week's task was to create a live cooking demonstration making three meals for Omaha Steaks. Hope stepped up as PM and hopefully would have enough Texas in her blood for this task. Gary would lead the men this week. I was looking forward to seeing how Gary would perform as PM and also how his teammates would respond to his leadership. The past few weeks, they've all showed a lot of frustration when it comes to Gary. I think I can safely predict that the men will have short fuses this week, so Gary better step it up.
As the teams split off Gary quickly assigned Meat Loaf to be the Chef for this task, which was a very crucial position. I was surprised to see that Gary didn't ask the men first to see if anyone had any cooking experience. To me that was a huge gamble. When you start any task or project, first things first you find out if anyone is an expert or has experience in the particular area. This way you are putting your strengths from the team in the right places. Gary seemed to be fixated on the "Kite" theme which is a little disconcerting considering he still had yet to delegate tasks to Lil Jon and John.
The ladies were busy brainstorming and I was wondering if Hope would have enough power and leadership in her to not let Star monopolize the task. As first glance it seemed that Star kept cutting Hope off and trying to take over. However, I was glad to see that Hope commanded the attention, firmly introducing herself as the PM when the executives came into the room.
The men's team continued to sit around with little or no direction from Gary. There was a hilarious conversation with someone from Omaha Steaks' customer service. John Rich intended to call the number on the box to gain some more information that could be potentially useful for them on this task. Gary was completely confused and had really no clue why he was on the phone. If this was any indication as to how the next 24 hours would go I think the men's team was in for a LONG day.
La Toya was probably wishing at this point in the task that she had spent a little more time in the kitchen during her life, admitting that her only feat in the kitchen was making an egg... I liked though that she didn't seem discouraged but rather up for the challenge. I think Hope did a good job delegating to the women, making sure that everyone had a job to do and was contributing to the task.
When Ivanka visited the men's team, she stepped into an intense therapy session, all of the team members giving her a look of "Help!" Frankly not what we are used to seeing out of team Backbone. Lil Jon went as far as to ask Ivanka to take him with her. Thankfully she didn't ask, as Lil Jon was soon after tasked with the "big" job of cutting up small squares of paper, one that my daughter could probably do. After Lil Jon finished his arts and crafts he was joining Gary in arranging tissue paper in a box, another "crucial" element. This was disappointing to see as Lil Jon historically has brought a lot of creativity and energy to each task thus far. I think that Gary was not utilizing his team members' talents or assigning them anything to do. As a result, it looked to me like a lot of sitting around for everyone besides Meat Loaf. When it came to the menu, John Rich made sure to ask Gary to sign off on the design, as he knew that it should be the PM who has final signoff on all of the teams' graphics. I liked seeing that on the day of the task, John Rich stepped up and asked Meat Loaf if he could assist regardless of the fact that Gary still hadn't really provided any direction.
The ladies were a little upset that they didn't have enough time to rehearse, but I think when you are dealing with a task against the clock, you aren't always able to have ample time to prepare. Therefore you've got to be able to adapt to any situation thrown at you. When the ladies finally did have time to rehearse, Hope was encouraging La Toya to project her voice louder. She also was able to handle NeNe's complaining and force her to get back on task. I think Hope did a good job handling the team with a positive attitude, avoiding the drama that usually arises.
It was time for the presentations and I think the ladies' team did a great job. La Toya threw out a big personal endorsement of Omaha Steaks, which is always great for the executives to hear. Secondly their "poker party" theme was a huge hit for the variety pack. The executives did mention that the women referred to the brand as "Omaha" without saying "Omaha Steaks," which was a bit of a negative. I think that's always an area to be aware of and careful of. I think the rule of thumb should be unless you are told the brand name's abbreviation or shortened nickname it's always a safer bet to use the proper name.
Meat Loaf took the stage and if he was nervous he definitely fooled everyone. He was very enthusiastic and excited about the products. Sure enough, Gary included the kite story into the presentation; it was very odd during Backbone's brainstorming session and even more awkward and confusing on stage. I think Gary should have taken a hint from the way his teammates reacted. But again, sometimes there is no reasoning with Gary. At the end of the presentation, Backbone picked three people to come up on stage and enjoy the meal.
The executives felt that both teams did a good job. They liked the enthusiasm from the men and thought Meat Loaf was terrific. They also felt that the women's team was very organized and they liked their poker-themed variety pack. The executives did wonder why Lil Jon and John Rich weren't more involved, something that surprised me as well, and was probably a result of Gary's leadership.
It was time for the Boardroom and for once this season the issues were on Ivanka's side of the Boardroom table with the men's team. It didn't take long for Lil John, Meat Loaf and John Rich to voice their extreme frustration with Gary for yet another week. I think Gary should have quit with the kite story after his presentation; when he attempted to explain it to my father, Ivanka and me, he left us laughing since we had such a hard time following where he was going. The ladies all had rave reviews for Hope as PM and were all very happy with how things went this week.
My father delivered the news that overall, the executives felt the women were far better than the men's team. As a result, Hope raised $20,000 to her charity, Best Buddies. Also, Omaha Steaks would sell A.S.A.P.'s themed variety pack with part of the proceeds going to Best Buddies as well.
As the men were left in the Boardroom I was surprised to see how visibly distraught Meat Loaf had become. This task had torn him up so badly he'd even lost the ability to communicate. I think that after the last few weeks, Gary had really driven the men's team close to the edge. At first they believed that Gary was a sometimes-brilliant, sometimes-scattered kind of guy, which was fine with the team until Gary started to become a detriment. When we asked Gary to pick two people to come back in he really couldn't do so. We all like Gary very much but it was time for Gary to go and he was fired. We all agreed that this week he was the obvious choice to go home. I think that the team dynamic will change drastically next week, so I was looking forward to seeing if Team Backbone could make a comeback!
I hope you all enjoyed this week's Celebrity Apprentice. Thank you for all your comments and tweets. Please continue to share them with me here on the blog and on my Twitter page (www.twitter.com/donaldjtrumpr). See you next week!