The Boardroom is where the candidates face the boss and his/her advisers to determine who gets fired.
The boardroom consists of a large table with chairs on both sides. The candidates sit on one side of the table, and the executives on the other, with the boss's chair in the center and the chairs for the advisers to the left and right of the boss's chair. The boss's chair is larger than the other chairs to make him/her stand out more, emphasizing their supreme authority. There are large mirrors hanging on the walls, and on one side of the room there is also a television screen that is used when the boss needs to review a video that the candidates made. There are two sets of doors in the boardroom. One leads into the lobby area where the candidates wait, and the other, located directly behind the boss's chair, is where the boss enters the room at the start of the meeting.
A typical boardroom meeting begins with the candidates from the losing team entering the room and taking their seats at the table. The executives serving as the boardroom advisers are already seated at the start of the meeting, but the boss usually enters the room after the candidates.
Once the boss takes his seat, he will ask the candidates why they think they lost the task, and who they think is the most responsible and therefore should be fired. The boss and his advisers will take turns asking the candidates questions, and often times sparking heated exchanges. It is not uncommon for the executives to point out a drastic mistake made by one of the candidates only to have that person either vehemently deny or passionately defend their actions. It is also a common occurrence for a candidate to blame a different candidate for the loss, when in fact that person either is innocent or played only a small role in the defeat.
Most of the time, the boss will hold the project manager partially responsible for the loss, and will ask them to pick the people who they think contributed to the loss to bring back into the boardroom. Most of the time the project manager will bring two people in with them. On rare occasions when the boss allows it they will bring three, and sometimes will opt to only bring one person in. Once the project manager makes their selection, the boss will order all the candidates to leave the room while he discusses with the advisers on who should be fired. The candidates deemed by the project manager to not be at fault for the loss will go back to their living quarters, while the project manager and the people he/she selected will wait outside the boardroom while the boss makes his decision.
Once the boss finishes his private discussion with the advisers, he will call the candidates back into the boardroom. The boss and the boardroom advisers will ask the candidates some more questions and give them one last chance to make a case on why they think they should stay. The boss will then tell one of the candidates about how their errors prove they are unfit for the company, and announce that the candidate is fired. The boss will then order the candidates to leave; the surviving candidates will go back to their living quarters while the candidate who was fired will go down to the street and get in a cab to go home.
Rare occurrences in the Boardroom
No final boardroom
Sometimes, the boss will forgo the final Boardroom phase if he feels it isn't necessary, and instead fire someone right on the spot. This usually happens when one person, usually the project manager, is clearly the only reason why the team lost.
Number of candidates brought into the Boardroom
Most of the time, the boss will tell the project manager to select two people to bring back into the Boardroom with them. Sometimes the project manager will opt to only bring one person back. Usually when this happens the boss disapproves, as it shows that the project manager isn't being ruthless enough in defending their actions, whether or not they were at fault for the loss. Also, there may be a candidate that clearly deserved to be fired that the person chose to not bring into the Boardroom. This is usually a critical error and the project manager is fired as a result.
Occasionally, the project manager will be allowed to bring more than two people back with them. In the second season of the US version of the show, Donald Trump gave the project managers the option of bringing three people back in. Surprisingly, the option to bring three people back was only used twice during this season (the second time resulting in a multiple firing) and as a result Trump discontinued giving candidates the option of bringing three people in, though he reluctantly allowed Audrey to do so in the third season. In season 5 he once again openly allowed candidates to bring three people back into the Boardroom.
Sometimes when a team performs especially badly in a task, the boss will not allow the project manager to select candidates for the final Boardroom, and instead select the candidates himself.
It is not unheard of for more than one candidate to be fired if the boss feels it's appropriate. The usually happens when a team performs especially badly in a task. The first multiple firing happened in Season 2 of the US version of the show, when Donald Trump fired Wes and Maria. On even rarer occasions more than two candidates are fired. One of the most drastic cases of a multiple firing happened in Season 4 of the US version, when Trump fired four candidates (Josh, Jennifer, James, and Mark) after their team suffered the worst loss (at the time) in the history of the show.
Often times multiple firings are last-minute decisions made by the boss, and as a result the fired candidates have to share a taxi because a second cab wasn't called. When the boss announces that there will be a multiple firing, a second cab is called.
Emergency Boardroom meetings
Sometimes a candidate will behave in an outrageous way (either breaking the rules or making the other candidates feel uneasy) that will result in an emergency Boardroom meeting being called.
The first time this happened was in Season 2 of the US version of the show, when the Apex team singled out Stacie J. for being possibly mentally unstable. At first this was a routine Boardroom meeting, with project manager Elizabeth bringing Stacie and Maria into the boardroom. But after hearing Elizabeth and Maria's complaints about Stacie's behavior, Trump called the rest of the team back into the Boardroom so that he could hear from all of them about whether they felt Stacie was mentally unstable. Stacie ended up being fired.
In Season 10, an emergency Boardroom meeting was called to discuss the issue of candidate Anand cheating in a task. Anand had sent text messages to various friends of his, asking them to buy a pedicab ride from his team, which violated the rules of the program. No one took him up on the offer, but the evidence against him, and the fact that Anand initially lied about it to Trump, resulted in Anand being fired.
Behind the scenes
- The boardroom is set constructed specifically for the show. The large mirrors on the walls actually conceal openings for the cameras to shoot without being seen, and there are studio lights on the ceiling. The doors through which the boss enters the Boardroom actually do not lead into an office or hallway, but rather a small room that houses the cameras and audio equipment.
- The boss's chair sits on a raised platform to further emphasize his authority by making him tower over everybody else.
- Boardroom meetings typically take several hours to film and are heavily edited for viewing. Among the footage that ends up on the cutting room floor are expletive-laced interactions and heated exchanges that make the ones that are actually aired seem tame by comparison.
- In the US version of the program, the Boardroom is actually on the same level of Trump Tower as the suite that the candidates live in, despite Trump telling the candidates to "go up to the suite."