Apprentice

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Under the Hammer

Meanwhile, Piers has assigned Stephen the task of moving fifty tickets to the charity event, but once again, as with racking up celebrities, Stephen's getting nowhere. And, I mean, if Stephen Baldwin called you wanting to sell you tickets to something, wouldn't you change your number? It's actually almost impressive that he's got five people coming as opposed to zero. Piers doesn't see it that way, and goes into a kind of quiet panic.

A bunch of country stars, meanwhile, arrive at the airport and pile into limo vans to show up at the event in support of Trace. I assume Ronnie Milsap isn't driving.

Trump tries to go off-script Olmos-style: "Let's take it up. Check," he says by way of introducing another clip of the preparations for the event. Trace is feeling the time crunch, and is down to his last nerve, when his wife and two small daughters all come in, dressed to the nines. Suddenly all the stress goes away for Trace as he reunites with his family. He's literally moved to tears. Aww. Now get that deathly allergic six-year-old out of there before the shellfish arrives!

With one hour to go, catering is well underway. This is Carol's job, and she's just doing this like it's a regular party. But as with everything, Piers has a strategy: go light on the food and heavy on the drink. "Loaded celebrities means lots of money," he reasons to the caterers. They all seem to be on board.

With 30 minutes to go, BSB arrive just as the red carpet is being rolled out. They start their sound check, but there's another glitch: Trace needs to come up with a knee brace for Howie, who is apparently among the walking wounded. And he still can't seem to wrangle the asked-for wheatgrass. "Looking at the rider for the Backstreet Boys gave me new appreciation for myself," Trace boasts, cracking up the studio audience. He even shares a story about the time he did a show with severe stomach pains, and then went to the ER and got a foot and a half of his colon cut out that very night. "Don't get me started on the BSB," he wearily concludes. Yes, we'd all much rather hear more about your colon.

Commercials. Watch the Miss USA pageant and see somebody fuck up!

Trump reminds us of the criteria for the final competition (ticket sales, auction sales, overall whatever) before sending us back in time with another clip. Which begins with Piers and Trace shaking hands outside the door and wishing each other luck. Piers says something nice to Trace, who acts all surprised to hear it. Now who's the nice guy?

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Apprentice

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