Apprentice
King Of The Jingle

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Jacob Clifton: C+ | Grade It Now!
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Lesson Six: Trump's Your Momma Now

"Command Respect" is the Weekly Wisdom, but it's awesome because there's a voice-over/footage juxtaposition that tells me there's an editor somewhere with a very awesome sense of humor about old Trumpy. He's going on and on about how "a leader" must have "the respect of his or her employees," or else "it's over," because "you need the respect of your people," and if you're "not going to lead" or "have their respect" then "it's over, get out and go get a job." And then he sits back with one of the grosser toad-satisfaction faces we've seen this season. But visually, what we've got is Trump bugging the shit out of some Trump Tower escalator repairmen, just bugging them and bothering them like a little kid, to the point where they are irritated, but also...kind of sad for him. And that, my friend, is a beautiful sight.

Showtime, Synergy. Roxanne sings to Tammy that "when [she's] thinking natural, [she's] thinking...Arby's," in a lovely voice, and Tammy sings back something that makes no sense whatsoever, but resolves down to tasty all-natural chicken being available only at Arby's. Allie, who's becoming the bobble-headed girl version of Seanthusiasm with the pantsing around, talks in mystical terms about how "different people came up with different lines" and they all "just merged so well" and as usual, Allie puts way too much of a premium on a conflict-free environment for me to feel really comfortable with her. Yes, adults should be able to work together without dicking it up, but the way she reacts so unthinkingly to those dynamics is kinda all-natural Squeaky Fromme at times. They sing, and sing, and sing, but at least: they do not rap, they do not have to produce the finished product themselves, and there is no Markus. Andrea makes strange, sour faces, and is nervous, like she's about to go behind Sean's back and change everything like last week. I start to think maybe she was the little sick girl in elementary, the one who always hugged the lunch ladies and snotted all over the teacher and wanted to be the Anything Monitor and was a tattletale just for the joy of it. We'll see, because the Asshole Flow is pointed back towards the low-pressure Tarek system at the moment, but that's what the faces right now are telling me. Sean screams at us about how they had the vocalists and musicians and they harmonized. All the singers we see are either boring or weird or both. Michael quibbles about something or another, and interviews that he "wants more responsibility" and then pisses around, I know not about what. I don't know about that whole moment. I felt previously that Michael was FUTR on purpose, and the week of Seanthusiasm is not the week to screw around.

Gold Rush is screwing around and wasting a lot of time, because jingling is hard, and kind of gay, and Tarek and Bryce don't want to call that bluff. Bryce has no ideas, he admits, and Lenny...thinks that maybe because it's a "jingle," there should be jingle bells. I don't know what to say about Lenny this week except that either this is all an elaborate façade, or somebody actually on-purpose refused to tell him what a jingle was. I am sympathetic either way, of course. Tarek sings something dorky, something that says, "I'm trying so hard, but I'm just not queer enough," but really means, "I'm not actually trying because singing in front of people is weird." And I agree with both. He's not a creative person. Lenny...thinks that maybe it should sound like a cell phone. Bill is very, very impressed by how not-at-all they're all working. It's hilarious. Lenny interviews that this process is "rocket science actually" to him, and that I do believe. He continues to make weird suggestions ("scrape a pizza cutter along some bricks, then pretend to be schoolyard lesbians," "put a sheep in a cowboy hat with a marimba covered in cheddar and horseradish," "contrast with Chernobyl chicken, which glows") as Charmaine ignores him, getting steamed, and Leslie kind of waves his away like a gnat: "I'm trying to...think." Charmaine doesn't really crack on Lenny, but she gives voice to her irritation that he just does not get this. "So far he's thought of a sound of a chicken." She's adorable in her exasperation. Lenny sings horribly, hilariously. "That could be a problem."

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