'Apprentice's' Ereka Gets the Boot

02/27/2004 AT 12:00 PM EST

The whining, boasting and accusations reached a fever pitch on NBC's reality hit "The Apprentice" Thursday night, in what was one of the show's best episodes yet.

In the end, native New Yorker and team Versacorp member Ereka Vetrini got the ax from The Donald.

As nine contestants remained -- four for team Versacorp and five for team Protege -- the two teams were given another task to promote billionaire and show host Donald Trump's varied business interests.

This time, the teams were charged with selling Trump Ice, the mogul's venture into the bottled-water business. Each team was given 48 hours to move as much of the water as they could, to whomever they could. The team that made the most money in sales would avoid the boardroom -- and a having one its members fired.

A week after discovering her mother was suffering from cancer, Heidi was selected project manager for Protege, whose members were still fuming at Omarosa for the minor injury she received when a small piece of ceiling material fell on her head the previous week. "It really disgusts me to see Omarosa elevating this (to something serious) when we're all laughing at her behind her back," Amy said.

Ereka took the reins for Versacorp, and as the two teams started making sales calls, her approach was to try to generate some word-of-mouth buzz for Trump Ice. When her pitches fell flat, teammate Bill stepped in. "In business it's about numbers," he said later in the show. "It's about what you bring to the bottom line. Not, you should just buy this product because I'm cute."

Meanwhile, Protege had split off into two sales teams, and Heidi had paired Amy with Omarosa because Heidi thought Amy was the only person on the team who could deal with the contentious player. However, every sale Amy tries to close, she finds Omarosa undercutting her deals.

After a day of mostly small sales for both teams, Protege's Troy is struck with a brainstorm that he should try to sell large quantities of the water to distributors rather than a few cases to nightclubs and restaurants.

During a late-night session with Versacorp, Ereka tries unsuccessfully to get Nick to study the literature for a distributor they are supposed to call on the next morning. "(Ereka is) trying to tell me how to sell," Nick says later. "That's like trying to tell the Pope how to pray."

But Nick's sales tactics fall flat at the distributor, while Troy's plan for Protege pushes its sales a couple thousand dollars ahead of Versacorp. As Heidi's team is rewarded with a flight around Manhattan in one of Trump's personal helicopters, Ereka's bunch is sent to the boardroom.

Although she tries to enlist the help of Bill, who, with Nick, she takes to the boardroom for the final three on the chopping block, a series of verbal missteps and her mismanagement of the project results in The Donald sending Ereka to the street.

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