Week 5

Season 10
Episode 1005
Air Date 10/14/10
TV-PG

Outside the boardroom, the candidates lay odds on who will be fired. A couple of the men think Mahsa should go, but they acknowledge she's a real fighter. Everyone celebrates Liza coming out of the boardroom but they're a bit more surprised to see Mahsa. Mahsa says being in the hot seat was the least fun thing she's ever done, and she never wants to go into the boardroom again. Brandy says that although Mahsa did her job as a project manager, in the real world with real businessmen her aggression would get her nowhere. Wade finally gets his wish to be project manager. The men have mixed feelings about his prospects. Steuart thinks he's been a good follower, but he's never really stepped up to the plate beyond that. He's curious to see how Wade will do as decision maker.

As winning project manager, Clint gets to meet with Steve Forbes Jr. Mr. Forbes gives Clint a lot of advice. He says that Clint is the kind of person who soaks up advice, and is therefore the kind of person who will go far. Forbes says that Clint's been through adversity but he's always got that glint in his eye, looking to the future. Clint relates how he was a successful real estate developer but is now living on savings and no income. After this talk with Steve Forbes he feels good about the future.

Trump meets with the teams at a shoe store to detail the new task. He introduces them to Michael Rupp, the CEO of Rockport. Mr. Rupp describes the team's new task, putting together a fashion show to show off Rockport's line to their main buyers, like Zappos. The men's team will present Rockport's line of shoes for women, and the women's team will present their line for men. Trump then introduces his advisors for the task, Catherine Roman and Juan Betancourt, two executive headhunters. The teams introduce their project managers: Wade for the men, Stephanie for the women.

Stephanie tells Team Fortitude that today is "Operation Win," not "Operation Pick on Whatever Each Other's Weakness Is." She's happy to be project manager, saying, "finally we'll have a focused leader with vision." She assigns Kelly to help with the fashion show itself, helped by Poppy and Liza. Mahsa will be time manager. Brandy gets the job as MC. They decide the show will be a "Day in the Life" story of one particular character named Tristan, based on Mahsa's love of Brad Pitt's character in "Legends of the Fall." Kelly suggests having the models come out at the end wearing nothing but boxer shorts and shoes. Everyone thinks it's a great idea and runs with it. Kelly, however, immediately starts worrying about offending the Rockport executives, wishing she had never suggested it.

Wade assigns Steuart and Anand to handle wardrobe, seeing them as working well together and knowing the most about fashion. Gene asks to be MC, saying he's done it before, and Wade agrees. Then David asks if he and Gene can co-MC. Wade warns David that there's no room for "smart-ass David stuff." David agrees, saying he understands this is a "different crowd." Wade agrees to the co-MC idea, suggesting that if David can work with anyone, it would be Gene. David starts suggesting MC lines to Gene: "My brother from another mother," or some variation on Ebony and Ivory. Clint worries that David could be a real liability, with his history of being a loose cannon combined with the fact that he might be hopped up on dental painkillers.

Catherine visits Team Octane to see how they're progressing. Wade worries that he blew her off a little, and hopes she doesn't mind that he was focused on getting the show together. Catherine says that Wade seems to be doing well. In certain areas he doesn't seem to be doing a lot, but he seems to have put good thought into delegating tasks. Wade assigns Anand and Steuart to work with the models, and go shopping with them. Gene laughs, saying putting Anand and Steuart together with the models was like "putting wolves in the henhouse."

The male models arrive, and Brandy admits the women are definitely excited, adding that having a roomful of male models is not something that happens to her everyday. Kelly tells the models that her main concern is "walkability" while they're modeling. Juan stops by to see how the team's doing. Stephanie explains that she's a banker by trade, and Brandy, her assistant on the task, is an attorney. As they're not so "creative," they're working on the play-by-play of the evening, while assigning the creative to Kelly and her team. Juan thinks she's demonstrating qualities of great leadership. From their energy, he can tell this is their task to lose.

Poppy and Kelly go shopping. They decide bringing eight models shopping would be way too much, so they just bring one as a "Barbie doll" for the dressing room. Kelly thinks that she and Poppy, in charge of creating the "look" of the modern Rockport man for the show, have the biggest responsibility.

Steuart and Anand bring all of the models along to shop. Both Steuart and Anand are distracted by the beautiful models and have a hard time controlling themselves. Anand tries to name his favorite model, starts naming one after the other, and finally concludes he likes them all. Steuart gives Anand grief for telling the models about Steuart's girlfriend, but laughs when Anand says that they're both totally "!@#$ed." Both of them struggle trying to pick out clothes. Steuart says he would never complain about having to hang out with eight models, but that picking the clothes for this task is the hardest thing he's ever had to do. Anand admits it's much harder than he expected it to be.

Stephanie flips out when Poppy and Kelly get back with only one pair of boxer briefs, raging about how some people are "so incompetent." Brandy runs out immediately and buys several more pairs. Kelly directs the runway show, impressing Mahsa with her natural ability at the task. Liza notices that one of the models has scabs on his legs, which will be uncovered during the big finale, and insists that something should be done to cover up the scabs.

It's time for the men to start rehearsing. David prods Gene, who still doesn't have his shoe descriptions ready. Onstage during rehearsal, David makes an obnoxious show of mocking Gene's lack of readiness. Steuart notes how badly this registers on Trump's task advisor Catherine. When Gene walks off to gather his thoughts and finish his preparations, David describes him as running away like a "scared child." Wade talks to Gene, saying that he can hand the whole task to David if necessary, but Gene assures him that he's good, and he'll be ready. Clint says that Wade had better be worried. All hell is breaking loose, and their rehearsal is no rehearsal at all. Unless something changes, Clint can knows the show is going to be a disaster.

It's time for the fashion show. Trump is accompanied by a special guest, Miss USA 2010. The women's show goes off really well. The energy is good, Brandy does a great job as MC, and their story of "A Day in the Life of Tristan" is received well by the audience. But Kelly's still worried about the big finale, with the models dressed only in shoes and underwear. While a lot of the audience responds positively to the risky ending, both Trump and the Rockport CEO seem a bit nonplussed.

The men's show goes south immediately. Gene – possibly nervous, possibly unprepared – is unbelievably stiff and halting as MC, and at one point mixes up the name of a shoe and the name of the model wearing it. Anand describes this moment as feeling like "watching a horse die." Feeling the energy sucked out of the room, David exits the stage leaving Gene alone. Trump is clearly horrified by the presentation. Gene's descriptions are endless and he keeps screwing up words, leaving the men backstage in agony. Steuart whispers, "He's an idiot," and Wade just smiles ruefully and whispers to an imaginary Gene: "You're fired." He adds, "Unless the women sent naked men out on stage," there's no way the men won this task.

In the boardroom, everyone including Trump compliments Brandy on doing a fabulous job as MC. Both Trump and Catherine criticize the women for allowing a model on the runway with scabby legs. Juan also questions them about the risk of sending the models onstage in their underwear. Stephanie justifies the choice, saying it's good to take risks and also it allowed them to show off the shoes, which would otherwise be covered by pants legs. Trump tells them that regardless, he thinks Fortitude did a fabulous job. The women so blew away the men that for the first time ever on the show he's sending a team out without further critique. He congratulates them on winning the task, tells Stephanie that as winning PM she'll be meeting with Rockport CEO Michael Rupp, and sends them out of the room.

Trump tells the men that their presentation was a mess. Wade agrees, and apologizes. Trump lays into him for allowing Gene to be MC. Trump scoffs at Wade's explanation, that Gene said he had public speaking experience. Once again, Trump brings up what a fabulous job Brandy did, saying he'd hire her right now to be a speaker for him. The women – watching on closed circuit – congratulate Brandy again. Trump asks Gene what he was thinking bringing his "clobby" laptop on stage with him instead of a page of notes, adding that it looked awful and he still ended up mispronouncing half of what he was saying. Moreover, Gene's descriptions were tedious and endless and never got around to pointing out how beautiful the shoes were.

Trump asks Gene if Wade was a terrible project manager. When Gene says he was good, Trump mocks him, saying, "Oh, he did great, he picked two guys who shouldn't have been chosen." Trump tells Wade he should have picked Steuart and Anand, saying they're smoother and would have made a great presentation. He sure as hell didn't see David doing a good job at it, and Gene couldn't have done worse. Wade says that both Gene and David had assured him they had experience as MCs. Trump asks why he didn't test them, having each of the men do a dry run at public speaking. Wade explains that he thought Anand and Steuart, as fashionistas, would be better used picking the wardrobe, and he thought Gene had a good voice. Trump explodes, saying Gene "couldn't even !@#$ing read," and that it was the worst job as MC he'd ever seen.

Trump asks Catherine – as witness to the men's process – what she thought. She says that during rehearsal it was clear that it was going horribly, and wonders why no one said, "Stop, we need to rethink this." Trump says, "90% of this task is your MC," and Wade agrees, saying that Gene let him down. But Trump puts this back on Wade, insisting that he should have seen that Gene had no idea what he was doing in rehearsal. Clint mentions that there was no rehearsal, because Gene didn't have his notes ready in time for there to be a rehearsal.

Finding out the men didn't rehearse sends Trump off on another tirade, asking Wade how he could possibly put Gene on stage not even knowing if he could perform. The women – watching on closed circuit – are similarly astonished that the men didn't even rehearse. Wade insists he's known Gene for weeks now, and knows that he knows how to speak. Trump tells him that speaking in person is one thing and speaking on stage under pressure is completely different. Gene finally speaks up for himself, saying that he's not just a "good soldier," but he knows how to speak. He tries to explain that he didn't like the setup with his laptop either, but Trump talks over him, telling him his speech was boring, and that people knew he'd lost as soon as he started talking.

Without sending any of the men out, Trump asks the women to turn off their TV. The women realize this means he's going to fire someone immediately, and probably more than one person. Trump points out that the one thing the judges did like were the outfits, and that Anand and Steuart did a great job. Steuart mentions that when they got back from shopping, they could see the rehearsal was not going well from David's performance. Trump asks Wade how he could have picked David; this task isn't about comedy. Steuart insists that David was adamant about being MC. For his part, David says Steuart didn't want to be MC, because he wanted to have the chance to "harass women" by shopping with the models. Trump scoffs at this, pointing out Steuart's good looks - he has no need to harass women.

Trump asks Juan what he thinks. Juan says there are clearly two people who deserve to be fired. He says the MC is the most important part of a fashion show, and that a fashion show without a good MC is like "Seder dinner without matzoh balls." Gene takes responsibility for his bad performance and Trump asks Gene who he should fire. Gene says his performance could have been better, and he's not a guy who goes around blaming others, so if Trump wants to fire him, then fire him. Trump says, "Okay, Gene you're fired." Without a pause, he turns to Wade and says, "Wade, you're fired." Then he dismisses all of the men, telling them they were terrible. When the men leave, both Catherine and Juan agree that Trump had no choice in this case and that his decision was clear.

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