Not So Pepi (Episode 5-2)

This week, Brent joined Lenny on the list of The Apprentice 5 villains. Like Lenny, Brent survived his first trip to the boardroom, where two contestants were fired. But while Lenny is entertaining and diabolically cuddly, Brent is just sort of annoying. He does do a mean robot, however.

After selling memberships to Sam’s Club last week, the future leaders of industry that Trump selected for this season had to shill razors. And not just any razor: Fusion, the new five-bladed razor from Gillette. Looks like producer Mark Burnett’s hands are biting back at the reality stars they’ve fed. This episode put Burnett in direct competition with Survivor: Outback runner-up Colby Donaldson, whose day job is as the Schick Quattro pitchman.

The team that got the most New Yorkers to text message a certain word to a certain phone number won the task. However, it was never made clear what was in it for those who did send that message. A sixth blade?

Team Gold Rush, lead by the nearly post-pubescent Lee, badgered people who were waiting in line for tickets to Broadway shows. Getting a captive audience to send text messages while on-camera and waiting in line was easy as fish-in-a-barrel pie. Lenny didn’t feel at all challenged by the task: “What could be simpler? Water? Air?”

Team Synergy, lead by the ironically sleepy Pepi, was still in bed over an hour after their opponents left the loft. Their time management hinted at a loss, but their sales strategy ensured it.

First, native New Yorker Stacy picked a bad corner for them to make their pitch. Then, they followed management consultant Michael’s vision for their marketing campaign, which consisted of nothing more than the team standing around, wearing bathrobes.

At Synergy’s site, Sean the Brit stood in his robe and belted out into his megaphone, “Find out if you can handle it.” Handle what? It’s a razor, not tickets to a cockfight.

As a last ditch effort to interest passersby, Brent danced and performed “robotics” in his bathrobe. After all this, scatterbrained Synergy was blown out by Gold Rush’s simple, effective plan.

In the boardroom, Trump said he’d be firing two candidates. Pepi put the blame on Brent. During a planning meeting, Brent had confronted Stacy in a hallway and told her to stop interrupting him. She had then returned to the group and said Brent threateningly pointed a finger at her. In her defense, his nails did look a little rough. Plus, Stacy bruises easily.

Later, Stacy had admitted to appellate attorney Roxanne — currently the only likeable person on Synergy — that she hadn’t actually felt like she was in any danger. But in the boardroom, Stacy changed her tune again and said she really had felt threatened.

Neither Trump nor subsititute viceroy Bill Rancic bought Stacy’s act. Trump said that, as a criminal defense attorney, she should be embarrassed to feel threatened by Brent. Trump also faulted her for picking a bad location, and she was fired.

Brent got a pass, after Trump’s daughter Ivanka (subbing for Carolyn) said Brent would probably be fired soon enough, anyway. So, in order for Trump to fulfill his promise to fire two members of the losing team, project manager Pepi got the boot as well.

Next week, The Apprentice turns into Fear Factor, as contestants ride in golf carts and swim with sharks. What exactly are these people supposed to be learning anyway?