Martha Stewart's Apprentice - Week 9

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Wow. Amanda certainly had me fooled. She showed real promise in the beginning of the season, especially during the hotel room task. But she seemed like a totally different person in last night's episode. I must admit that Marcela's mousy demeanor is a bit annoying, but Amanda had no right to act the way she did. Even before Marcela was chosen as PM, Amanda seemed determined to sit on the sidelines during this task. I was really surprised at the start of the episode when she openly questioned Martha's decision to fire Howie. Then she made it clear that she wasn't going to put much effort into the task. Very strange strategy.

That's what made the end of the show so delicious. But more on that later. As I said before, I've never been a huge Marcela fan. Last night, she wasn't much of a leader. I think she's too shy and unassuming to really take command of a team. That said, she did come up with the idea of hiring a celebrity pastry chef and caterer to drive traffic into the shop. She also showed flexibility when she lowered the prices of the coffee machines. I admire the fact that she kept it together even though Amanda and Ryan were so unsupportive, and even undermining. I couldn't believe that Ryan was so negative right in front of Charles and Alexis. That was outrageous! Then he made a big stink later on when Marcela said he wasn't loyal. She was right on the money, Ryan. Basically, I think Ryan and Amanda lost this task for the team because they didn't sell and they were emitting a lot of negative energy. Case closed.

As for Primarius, I had little hope for them in the beginning. Is anyone else weirded out by the blooming alliance between Bethenny and Jim? I guess it makes sense, but it still seems odd. I like Dawna, but it was inappropriate for her to unilaterally decide to hire that pricey promotions company. I guess, in the end, it wound up to be a good move. They did have a ton of traffic in the store. Unlike Matchstick, Bethenny, Dawna, and Jim were determined to sell as many coffee makers as possible despite their differences. I'm really impressed that they sold so many, especially considering the high price point. That was no easy task. My guess is that the next time they lose, Jim and Bethenny will gang up on Dawna and try to get her fired.

Speaking of ganging up, Jim's attempt to thwart Amanda and Ryan's evil plot to drive Marcela over the brink in the conference room was pure genius. It's rare that there's a "twist" on reality TV that isn't manufactured by the producers. Very exciting. I was convinced that Marcela was going to cave in and quit, but Jim's pep talk gave her the confidence she needed to keep it together. I was very impressed with Marcela's performance in the conference room. She made her case against Amanda without being nasty. I loved when she said, "If you want someone cutthroat, it's not me." She didn't say it, but everyone knew that Amanda was the cutthroat contestant. Amanda's reasons for wanting the job with Martha Stewart were so lame. So she's a lawyer, but she'd rather be gardening. Is it me, or is that a tad condescending? Marcela made a much better case for herself. Good for her.

Gee, whiz. I can't wait to find out what kooky stunt Jim pulls next week. Without him, NBC will have to come up with a new star for their previews. Frankly, I'm surprised that Jim and Bethenny have made it this far. None of the remaining contestants seem that great: Ryan's a turncoat, Jim and Bethenny are just off, Leslie's pretty much a non-entity, and Marcela lacks confidence. Maybe Jim's speech will spur her on to victory?

Last updated: Nov 17, 2005




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