Trump Doesn’t Scare Me (Episode 5-6)

Bryce doused himself with gasoline and handed Donald Trump the lighter for a spectacular boardroom suicide on tonight’s Apprentice. The blaze ended with Bryce’s snotty taxi cab confession: “It wouldn’t hurt Trump to listen once in a while.”

This week’s task was a disaster waiting to happen. Teams had to write a jingle to promote Arby’s Chicken Naturals sandwiches. Arby’s execs didn’t specify what their competitors’ “unnatural” chicken sandwiches are made of.

Before the task had even been announced, Gold Rush was off to a bad start. Bryce called a team meeting to air any bad feelings. Tarek’s belief that he’s been unfairly targeted in the boardroom because he’s the player to beat earned him a reaction that was equal parts outrage and “Huh?”

Then Lee announced that he couldn’t participate in the task because of Yom Kippur, effectively garnering him a pass from the boardroom. If Tarek was really smart, he’d find some obscure foreign holiday and take it off, just to avoid being Trump’s whipping boy for a week.

After receiving their assignment, Gold Rush arrived 25 minutes late for a meeting with the Arby’s execs. When the CEO asked Bryce if they’d gotten lost, Bryce responded with a nonsequitur: “Did we get lost? Leslie has some questions for you guys.”

The execs called Bryce on his attempt to dodge the question, so he clarified that he didn’t know they were running late because he didn’t know what time the meeting was. To make matters worse, he didn’t even apologize.

When it came time to work on the jingle, the team learned that Lenny was useless for the task. After explaining that jingle bells are not required for a jingle, and then hearing him sing, they found him a spot on the couch far away from the piano.

Tarek wrote a corny, hoedown-meets-The-Andrews-Sisters melody that the group approved because they didn’t have any better ideas. Bryce decided his talents were best put to use sitting on the couch next to Lenny, leaving Charmaine and Leslie to write all the lyrics.

Gold Rush’s half-hearted effort was no match for Roxanne’s catchy rock number, which Synergy Project Manager Sean approved immediately. The death blow was that Synergy’s jingle mentioned that natural chicken was only available at Arby’s. (Again, if that’s true, then what unholy creation dies to make a McChicken?) When approving Charmaine’s and Leslie’s lyrics for Gold Rush, Bryce didn’t notice that his team had neglected to mention this fact, which the Arby’s execs had emphasized.

Synergy’s reward was a 6-course truffle dinner that retailed for thousands of dollars per person. Allie spent the meal fawning over Sean’s accent, while Sean smothered the women with compliments, cheek kisses, and hand-holding. Meanwhile, Michael rolled his eyes.

In preparation for the boardroom, Bryce rallied the troops again, promising not to backstab or humiliate any of them. Because the editors included this proclamation, it seemed clear that Bryce would not adhere to it.

When asked by Trump why Gold Rush lost, Bryce glossed over Tarek’s stupid song and Charmaine’s and Leslie’s lousy lyrics. Instead, he immediately blamed Lenny for not contributing to the final product. It didn’t occur to Bryce that he and Lenny contributed roughly the same amount. And at least Lenny had tried to help, though he said that converting his clever Russian rhymes to English was “crap.”

Trump asked Lee if he should be fired for skipping the task to observe a religious holiday. Lee didn’t bite, saying that he couldn’t ignore his religion just for the show, but that sometimes life is unfair.

Mistakenly, Bryce took this as a sign from Trump to bring Lee into the boardroom, along with Lenny. When Trump asked, “Do you really think I’m going to fire Lee?” Bryce replied that he was sure Lee wouldn’t be fired. Carolyn asked, “Why don’t you just say, ‘Fire me, Mr. Trump’?”

Upholding some moral code understood only by him, Bryce continued to defend his decision not to bring in Charmaine or Tarek instead of Lenny and Lee. As time passed in the boardroom, Bryce became more shrill, sarcastic, and defensive, much like his attack on Lenny during the car dealer task.

Trump didn’t appreciate Bryce’s frequent interruptions, and was especially furious that he brought Lee into the boardroom. Bryce was fired, and Carolyn and Bill agreed that it was a particularly easy decision.

Departing in his cab, Bryce said, “Trump doesn’t scare me. Neither does Carolyn. Neither does Bill. The best candidate is sitting in this cab, and Mr. Trump’s going to realize that.” The camera cut to credits, but returned so that Bryce could grumble, “It wouldn’t hurt Trump to listen once in a while.”

With one delusional egomaniac who won’t acknowledge his own faults gone, will Gold Rush be able to win despite Tarek, their other delusional, faultless egomaniac? Next week’s charity-related task may not even be enough to turn this grumpy bunch of losers into functional adult members of society.