Apprentice
Pepperoni Profit

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DeAnn Welker: A | Grade It Now!
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h the choice, and so is Dionne. And Nene. Latoya tells him their name is ASAP, which doesn't mean "as soon as possible" but... something she can't remember. She keeps getting the words wrong, subbing Actors for Artists and Performers for Professionals. Trump tells her it's okay, but the men are already snickering. Then they show how they learned sign language. Trump's impressed, and so is Backbone. Hatch wishes them well.

Trump tells them that New York likes pizza more than anything other than money, so they're each going to run a pizza place. They have two choices: One on 8th Street, near NYU; the other is at 50th and Broadway, up by the theater district. The women want the theater district, and the men are happy with NYU. They'll each leave with a truck full of pizza and come back with it full of money. They can sell to whomever they want, including friends, and for any price. And then someone will be fired, which he reminds them is never fun. Especially when you're first.

Backbone. Hatch tells everyone to call whoever they know they can bring in to buy some pizzas. It really looks like every one of them is making calls. Jose tries to tell Hatch what role he wants the next day: He wants to be out front with a bullhorn, but Hatch wants him to make calls. Jose says he's from L.A., so doesn't know anyone in New York, and he can't call any Yankees since he wrote Juiced, which accused everyone in baseball of using steroids.

ASAP arrives at their pizzeria and they all start making calls for big-money donors. Lisa gets $5,000 from Russell Simmons, and they're all happy. Star does know that training people how to use the equipment and procedures of the pizzeria is also important. Dionne tries to learn how to run the cash register, which is a bad choice. The pizzeria employee told her he'll be here tomorrow to help her when it all goes wrong. A graphic designer shows up, and Star works with him to make giant posters for the windows.

Backbone arrives at their pizzeria to learn how it typically runs. Hatch wants to make a clear decision about price, but David Cassidy keeps asking questions. Hatch finally actually tells him to be quiet, and then sends him away. David Cassidy says he's worked with a lot of big egos in the past forty years, but no one quite like Hatch. Which, well... yeah. Lil Jon, Rich, and Busey are in charge of marketing, so they hop in a van with their graphic designer. The Jo(h)ns try to figure out how to use Busey, who starts preaching about pizza. They love it, and name him the "Pepperoni Profit." Back at their pizzeria, they're making pizzas when Ivanka shows up. Hatch tells her that it's really heard to learn to make pizza and these guys are doing it quickly, so there. He's pretty arrogant with her, too, but I think that's just how Hatch comes across. Ivanka thinks he has his finger on the pulse of Backbone, but she says he really needs her father, her brother, and her on his side, not his team.

ASAP's pizzeria. Wacky music plays while Niki makes a pizza. She volunteered to be a chef since she's been a mom. Lisa plays with a ball of dough that she thinks is just like a breast implant, while Nene jumps right in and does everything. At least according to Nene, who tells us, "I greased the pans, I greased my hands, I greased my ass. I mean, I just did everything." Lisa wonders why it's taken Star 2 1/2 hours to get the menu and fliers ready, because her nine-year-old could have done it in twenty minutes. Star says it's taking a long time for a deliberate reason: "Because I knew what I was doing." The guys of Backbone are sweating all over their pizza dough, which is disgusting, but at least we know they're working hard. I just wouldn't want to eat any of it. When Hatch comes down and sees the toppings David's made, he says it's enough for about five pizzas. Jose interviews that Hatch is a tyrant, but he doesn't want to get in a fight with him, because all hell will break loose.

Next day. Backbone's menus and T-shirts say "Buy a Pie for Charity." Busey's in a costume, which Lil Jon says makes him look like "a damn crazy man," which he says is just what they want. As if Busey ever looks another way. Hatch and David are going at it again, so David tells us that Hatch has "anger issues" and that he spent four years in a federal penitentiary for "cheating and lying." Tax evasion, actually, but I guess that's pretty much the same. David asks Hatch not to push him or touch him please, and Hatch apologizes, then interviews that "poor David," but says that everyone has to go, so bye bye, David.

At ASAP, Star confronts Lisa for talking about her taking too long with the menus and posters yesterday. Lisa acknowledges it and says she's sorry. So Star is happy with her. She shows her the printed materials, which Lisa pretends she likes but then interviews that she hated. She couldn't read it, because it was too small, but she didn't want to deal with it. It's about time to open at Backbone's pizzeria. Busey, the Pepperoni Profit, has a handful of actual pepperoni in his pocket. The Jo(h)ns are also out on the street marketing, while everyone else is inside serving and cooking. John Rich sings while Lil Jon jumps up and down next to him. It's a little weird, but Rich is like, "We're professionals." No, really, he said that about Busey.

ASAP opens, too, with Niki, Marlee, and Hope cooking and Dionne on the register. Lisa's in charge of deliveries and customer service. The mouth of Nene and the celebrity of Latoya are on the street drawing people in. Which makes me wonder what Star might be doing. All the people in the pizzeria are chanting for Niki. Don shows up to check on the women, and thinks they're doing a great job. Star's sure they're going to win. Don thinks the only flaw was Dionne on the register, where she seems to be writing everything by hand. He thinks it should have been a bit higher-paced. Nene makes fun, and says she gave people pizza, which they ate before Dionne got them through the line. Star offers to take over, but Dionne wants her to calm down, because people will be patient. Star admits she was a little intimidated, so she leaves Dionne at the register and tries to breathe deeply.

I can't believe there's now an inspirational commercial about Minute to Win It. Come now, NBC: You're not fooling anyone.

Backbone. Busey and the Jo(h)ns are still working the streets. Inside, some girl cries to Meat Loaf that he's the reason she's working in music. They hug. Hatch's people start to show up: past contestants and winners on The Apprentice and Survivor. Hatch says he's playing for Grassroots Soccer, which educates people, particularly in Africa, about the spread of AIDS. Ethan Zohn buys a slice for $1,000. Lil Jon's DJ friends come in, too. Then one of Rich's friends buys a slice for $15,000, which Rich says was a challenge to the rest of the team. David calls someone and asks them to bring in some money, because he hasn't raised a nickel. He thinks what the other guys are doing is incredible.

ASAP's big-money donors are pouring in, too. Star's dog's best friend's owner donates $2,000. They get a $5,000 donation from another of Star's friends. Wendy Williams shows up. Russell Simmons. Curtis Stone arrives, too, for Latoya, because he's a friend of Janet's (and of The Celebrity Apprentice, of course). He's actually here to taste both the men's and women's pizzas, for Trump. Whichever one he likes better gets $35,000. He thinks the women used a little too much cheese, but it was pretty good, with thin crust. The men are busy and having fun at Backbone when Curtis shows up. Mark tells him to take a s

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