November 18, 2005

Linda Ruiz

Jim is invincible!


I’m not trying to feed his manic delusions or anything, but I’m starting to actually believe it’s true. Jim is invincible! Or at least he’s on a bit of a lucky streak.

Last week, Martha tasked the teams with a project that echoed en episode of last season’s The Apprentice: hawking crap on QVC. This time, it was fancy air-pump-things and retractable hoses.

Primarius definitely had the short end of the on-air-talent-stick, though, with Dawna (who is only modestly more exciting to watch than Alexis Stewart, who is actually modestly less exciting to watch than Henry Kissinger), and the trio of Jim, Bethenny and Howie (who have a tendency to scare old ladies and babies, which incidentally represent 99% of QVC’s viewership). The original plan was for Howie and Dawna to be on TV. But when it became apparent that Howie was going to be a total disaster, Project Manager Bethenny replaced him at the last minute with Jim, who surprisingly performed fairly well. At least he didn’t claim that the product cured skin disorders, or recommend massaging your wife with it. Hmm, air pump massages. Kinky!

Alas, fairly well wasn’t good enough, and Dawna, Jim, Bethenny and Howie were sent to the conference room, and ultimately Howie didn’t fit in.

Fast forward to this week and Dawna was having a mini-breakdown because she had to be “mean to Bethenny” in the conference room. Um, have you met Bethenny? I think she can handle your “meanness,” sweetie.

Amanda, in typical Burnett-esque-painfully-obvious-foreshadowing, said, “I’m just confused at this point what Martha Stewart is looking for, because I don’t know. If she likes Jim then she’s probably not going to like me, because we're very very opposite.” Oh Amanda, you and Jim are not that different! First, you both love to make crazy faces.

Jim’s Phil Koeghan impression

Amanda’s girl-with-no-legs-and-a-weird-face impression

And second… well, OK, that’s all I got. Yep, you’re totally getting booted today.

The following morning, Martha’s floating head delivered the next assignment. Actually, it was Martha’s floating upper body this time, as he had to hold a delicious hot beverage prepared using her Tassimo Hot Beverage System.

Mmmmmmm. Hot beverages.

The teams would be given $40,000(!) each to set up a retail space to sell the THBS (it is much more than a mere coffee maker, you know. I actually kind of want one. Must… buy… everything… Martha… touches…).

Leslie was so excited about the THBS that she threw up a little in her mouth.

The teams were off and running, and the newly-Howie-less Primarius came up with the (great) idea of hiring a promotional team with expertise in setting up retail spaces in very short time periods to oversee the task. They did have a $40,000 budget. What else could you possibly spend that much money on?

Apparently you could also spend it on a “celebrity pastry chef,” as Matchstick did. Now, the idea doesn’t sound totally bad. There are lots of celebrity chefs who I think could draw a crowd. Unfortunately, Matchstick chose someone who even I have never heard of, and I (a) love pastries, and (b) literally watch cooking shows almost 24 hours a day (with breaks only to bowl, pee, and watch other shows, such as this one). So, maybe this gal made some delicious cupcakes, but unless the goal was to attract the “oooooh free food!!!” crowd that was randomly wandering the streets in the middle of the day (which I would not imagine to be the most likely to purchase a $169+ hot beverage system on the spot), the idea wasn’t the smartest.

Ryan, incidentally, had the idea to get a non-food-related celebrity to attend the event. For some inexplicable reason, however, when given a choice between Mary Tyler Moore and Vincent Pastore aka “Big Pussy” of the Sopranos, he got totally excited about the idea of inviting Big Pussy, which, of course, totally got shot down.

Side note: I wanted to title this post “Everybody Loves Big Pussy!” but I thought that might be a little too dirty-sounding. Would you have been offended?

Umm guys, FYI. Who loves Mary Tyler Moore? Who is very likely to buy a fancy kitchen appliance like the THBS? Who has their National Headquarters in Manhattan? If you answered gays for all of the above… ding ding ding, you’re right! Duh, it was the perfect marketing strategy.

In any event, the pastry-fest flopped magnificently, with Matchstick selling only 9 units of the THBS (I’ve started calling it the “thibs” in my head), while Jim led Primarius to a decisive victory with 36 units sold. Booyah! That means Marcela is 0-2 as project manager. She barely escaped dismissal last time, so now we can assume she’s totally done for, right?

The whole team seemed to be against her, and she was sobbing away and moping around, so it almost seemed like a foregone conclusion. I was sad, because I do like Marcela (mostly because she’s obviously the biggest Martha-maniac among the group, which I can totally relate to.) FYI Martha, my sugar buns are even better than Marcela’s, and they are much more satisfying.

But then, in comes Jim to console a distraught Marcela. Well not console, exactly. He actually prepared her conference-room offense for her in exact word-for-word (crazy face-for-crazy face) detail. Why would he do this, considering she’s on the other team? I actually have no idea. But it was definitely a good thing.

In the conference room, Alexis hit Matchstick with some stinging criticism.

You guys were like, dead. The most morose… (Sorry, I missed the rest. I fell asleep during her sentence.)

Oh, Alexis, I kid you. I still love you (and your recipe for Brown-Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies). Mmmmmmm.

Marcela decided to bring Ryan and Amanda back into the conference room with her. Martha asked Amanda why she wanted to work for her, and she gave some long-winded, totally incomprehensible answer about loving to garden (not work in the garden, just garden. It’s much more fun.) and being “flawed.” Um, yeah, your flaw is that you make no sense. I don’t think that’s a plus.

Marcela, on the other hand, talked about bringing MSLO to the Latin American market (i.e., actually buying the products, not just making them), and called herself the “Mexican Martha Stewart.” Linda Weaver then popped in to translate: “that’s Martha-o Stewart-o, for my Spanish-speaking amigos.”

Martha apparently liked the idea, and by the end of Marcela’s spiel, she had already constructed a beta-version of the Martha Stewart Everyday Tortilla Press (aka the MSLO hot flat wheat-or-corn-based meal system) underneath the table using only her toes (she is a multi-tasker, you know).

In the end, Martha said that Ryan was an upright young man, and Marcela was passionate about her work. But Amanda was not a “team player” and “that sort of behavior has no place at MSLO.” She wrote her a very cordial note where she informed her that perhaps she should stick to her gardening. Ohhh was that a dis? I think so!

So last week Jim escaped another conference room firing. This week, he led his team to victory, and then basically orchestrated the ouster of the person he wanted fired from the other team! JIM IS INVINCIBLE!!! Mwahahahahah.

Posted by Linda Ruiz in - Martha - on November 18, 2005 12:31 PM