The 10,000 Faces of Charmaine (Episodes 5-7 and 5-8)

Two hours of The Apprentice led to a big heartbreak: Lenny was fired. He wasn’t the only candidate fired tonight, just the only one that mattered.

NBC aired two episodes of The Apprentice tonight because the show will be preempted next week by the two-hour premiere of Celebrity Cooking Showdown. If Trump’s Viceroys — George, Carolyn, and Bill — were the celebrity contestants, it might be worth watching.

Lenny’s
demise came at the end of the first episode, another charity task, this
one sponsored by Ace Hardware. As a part of Ace’s awkwardly named
charity wing, “New Faces for Helpful Places,” each team had to renovate
a recreation room at a Boys & Girls Club.

Gold Rush, led by
Lenny, chose music as the theme for their rec room. At another Club,
Synergy used a vague lounge concept to encompass karaoke, board and
video games, and a “girls” area, denoted by fluffy pink bean bag chairs.

Michael,
Synergy’s Project Manager, did everything he could to sabotage his
team. His trip to Ace to buy paint took twice as long as necessary
because he called Sean for a second opinion on every decision. In later
interviews, Sean screamed, “Michael is such a wanker!”

But
Synergy earned the victory, because their room had something for
everybody. Gold Rush’s music room looked stark and uninviting, with
several expensive keyboards and electronic drum kits shoved up against
a wall. Any kid who didn’t have an interest in performing music would
feel left out.

Lee tried to coach his buddy Lenny on what to say
in the boardroom, asking Lenny what the Ace execs were looking for in
the rec room. “Sustainability,” Lenny answered. “No,” Lee said,
“creativity.” Lenny replied, “Yeah, sustainability.”

Charmaine
went after Lenny in the boardroom, even criticizing his choice of red
for an accent color. Trump pointed at Lenny and said, “You like red
because you come from Russia.” Thank goodness Lenny’s team vetoed his
vodka-vending-machine idea, or Trump would’ve had a field day.

The
Russian was fired without being called back to the boardroom. As he
said goodbye to his teammates, he brushed off Charmaine because, “you
have 10,000 faces.” She walked to the elevator protesting, “I never had
10,000 faces, ever.”

Cheer up, Lenny fans. His website
features lots of pictures, and shirts designed by Lenny and Lee.
Proceeds from shirt sales will go to a charity of their choice; let’s
hope its the Boys & Girls Club, so they can replace those expensive
instruments when the kids destroy them.

As the second episode
began, the women of Synergy told Michael that he was lucky they won the
Boys & Girls Club task, because otherwise he would’ve gone home.
Charmaine confronted Lee about defending Lenny in the last task, to
which Lee responded that his loyalty to his friends is unwavering.

When
the new task was assigned the following morning, Michael jumped at the
chance to join Gold Rush when Trump offered, portending the team’s
doom. Leslie volunteered to PM Gold Rush, with Andrea back at the helm
for Synergy.

In the second sandwich promotion challenge in as
many weeks, teams had to sell 7-Eleven’s new pizza sandwich, the
P’Eatzza. This disgusting abomination replaces the bread of a turkey
sandwich with two cold pieces of pizza. Clearly, 7-Eleven execs didn’t
read this morning’s news on obese Americans. Or maybe they think we’re not obese enough.

Andrea
ignored her teammates’ idea to choose a promotional item that related
to the sandwich, insisting that they give away hats. While Trump and
the viceroys agreed that the hats were stupid, selling the sandwich for
$4 allowed Synergy to increase sales at their 7-Eleven by 997%

Gold
Rush gave away a more appropriate mini-cooler with their sandwiches,
but priced the cellophane-wrapped-heart-attacks at $7.99. For that kind
of money, you could buy a Playboy and still have enough left for a Super Big Gulp.

Lee
tried to salvage the situation. He told Leslie of the store manager’s
concerns about the high price, but she ignored him. Then he tried to
negotiate a deal with a local business to buy 1000 sandwiches. His
efforts failed, and his team only increased revenues by 608%.

In
the boardroom, Leslie elected to bring Lee back in with her and sent
everyone else to the suite. Citing the importance of price, Lee said,
“Who are the most price-sensitive consumers? College kids and senior
citizens.”

Trump actually said to Lee, “I thought you were going
to say something else.” In the course of two episodes, Trump made
offensive remarks about Russians and Jews. For an encore, Trump plans
to bomb London the week he fires Sean.

By bringing in the only
person who advocated lowering the price of the sandwich, Leslie left
Trump no choice but to fire her. Leslie’s biggest regret was that she
was fired on her birthday.

When The Apprentice returns in two weeks, teams must design a promotional piece for a forest preserve. I’m planning on wearing my “Lenny for Governor” t-shirt.