"Jeff," she said, "you just don't fit in. Goodbye."
But wait, there's more. Jeff, a contentious creative director from New York, received a handwritten note from the domestic diva, on her ecru-colored personal stationery.
"Dear Jeffrey," it said (as Martha read it in voiceover), "I'm sorry that you are the first to go. Not to fail, but rather not to fully succeed."
So much for his chances for a $250,000 position at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, which is the grand prize in this new reality show.
For their first task, the 16 candidates were asked to update a classic fairy tale and make it relevant – and marketable – to the lucrative children's lit business.
Virginia Sherwood / NBC Universal
One team, who called themselves Matchstick, didn't succeed. First-graders didn't think much of their new, improved Hansel and Gretel. The other side, named Primarius, conquered all with their Jack and the Beanstalk.
Meanwhile, as The New York Times notes in its morning-after review of the show, "Apprentice contestants sleep on Martha Stewart sheets, eat off Martha Stewart plates and tap on their laptops on a Martha Stewart table."
What surprised the critics, though, was the new, improved Stewart herself. "The most remarkable thing about Ms. Stewart," The Times says, is not how the Martha's mood has shifted from "steely" to "cheery," but "how quickly and seamlessly she has woven a felony conviction and incarceration in the Martha Stewart brand."