Ep 5: 'Pamela, you're fired'
According to Trump, Apex had been "decimated" by lack of leadership, infighting and bickering. To solve the problem, he installed new leadership in the form of Pamela. Pamela seemed shocked, but then dutifully left the men of Mosaic and moved over to join the women and lead them on the next task.
The teams were to work with QVC, an electronic retailer that does more than $4bn a year in sales. The teams had to pick a QVC product, set a price, and sell their product on live TV. The team that brought in the most money would win.
As Project Manager of Apex, Pamela set the tone right away. She promised her new group that she would be their tough and uncompromising leader but this attitude did not win everyone over. In an interview, Maria complained that Pamela talked to the group in a condescending way that showed, "she didn't respect us in any way, shape or form."
At QVC headquarters, Apex chose to sell the It Works! Cleaning Blocks - a set of sponge-shaped supplies that removed stains from walls, cabinets and other surfaces. Pamela divvied up the responsibilities, at first giving Stacy R the job of setting the product price. But they soon clashed over the issue and Pamela said that Stacy R. - who had suggested a price of $19.99 for the set of cleaning blocks - lacked business experience, which would inevitably lead her to under price the product. That's why she stepped in and priced the product herself at $27.23.
The men of Mosaic had their own intense discussion about pricing for their product - the DeLonghi Panini grill. Kelly and Raj were on opposite sides. Kelly felt that the grill had to sell for just over $71 to maximize profits, while Raj felt that going over $70 created a psychological barrier for potential customers. Team leader, Chris, followed Kelly's suggestion and agreed to a price of $71.25 per grill.
Later, Apex did a run through of their sales pitch in front of cameras. Pamela thought that Maria was flailing around and said she looked like, "she was having a seizure". As soon as the rehearsal was over, Patricia told Maria that she had to switch roles with Jennifer M. and become the sidekick. Pamela also offered Maria some performance advice - she told her to "stop speaking".
After Mosaic's run through, John and Wes took to the QVC stage and went on live TV to sell their DeLonghi Panini grills. Andy watched a real-time graph of the buyers calling into the station and watched the line plummet as his team went on the air. He said it looked like the 1929 stock market crash. In an interview, Raj said that the team had only sold a little over 200 units when they expected to sell 800 - and the price mattered "hugely".
The women - now with Jennifer M. as the lead salesperson - pitched their It Works! Cleaning Blocks. At the end of their 12-minute segment, the team had sold about 650 units. But, would it be enough to break their losing streak?
Via live videoconferencing, Trump joined the two teams through a bank of TV monitors. George reported that Apex had sold 659 sets of cleaning blocks at $27.23 each for a total of $17,944.57. Carolyn said that Mosaic had sold 252 grills at $71.25 for a grand total of $17,955. Mosaic had won by just over $10! As their reward, the men of Mosaic would get to play tennis with John McEnroe and Anna Kournikova; the women of Apex would take another trip to the boardroom where yet another team member would be fired.
At Arthur Ashe Stadium, Mosaic arrived to see John McEnroe and Anna Kournikova playing tennis. Raj got up the courage to ask out Anna, who decided to make it interesting and said that if Raj could return one of her five serves, she would go out with him; otherwise, he would have to perform a dare. Raj accepted the challenge but couldn't return a single serve. As payment for his loss, he had to jog around the entire stadium wearing only his boxers as McEnroe, Kournikova and the rest of Mosaic fired tennis balls at him.
Meanwhile Apex met with Trump, Carolyn and George in the boardroom. When Trump asked how the team lost, Pamela insisted that Apex really tied. But Trump and George agreed that there is no close when it comes to first place. Jennifer M. said that she thought the team lost because Pamela set the price of their product too high. When pressed, Pamela said she actually thought that the price was too low - something that Trump and Carolyn completely disagreed with. Finally, Pamela chose to bring Stacy R. and Maria back into the boardroom with her to face the firing.
Trump asked Pamela to defend her reasons for bringing Stacie R. and Maria back into the boardroom. Pamela said that Stacie talked too much, while Maria "crumbled" in front of the camera. Pamela continued, "I literally had to replace her fifteen minutes before we went live because she was so bad." Trump said that he felt Pamela didn't have a good ability to assess people's skills, and as Pamela was still pleading her case, Trump said, "Pamela, you're fired."