A Dose of Reality: The Apprentice 3 - Episode 5: A Boardroom Cliché Bites the Dust
by Beth Gottfried
Published: February 18, 2005
Ok, so I lied. There was no real shocker on this week's episode. In fact, the whole show played out in a predictably less than enthralling fashion. There are a few loose ends on this show that still need to be cut - namely Stephanie, Erin, Audrey, Angie, Craig and Chris. You might be thinking, "What has Craig done?" and my response would be, "Exactly." On this show, there is only so long people fly under the radar and by now the stand-outs have emerged. Bren, John, Tara, Kendra, and Alex have all solidified their edge and part of me thinks that in one fell swoop those other 6 should just be fired. It would transpire something like this: In a unprecedented event, Trump should just start eliminating people throughout the duration of the show. Candidates would think they were being rewarded by receiving visa check cards courtesy of Trump, but in the end when they went to use those cards, a big "You're Fired" would flash on the machine. At least if this idea isn't incorporated into the show, it does merit a Visa Check card commercial (it's better than the one with Trump sifting through the dumpster) or possibly a parody on SNL?
This week's task had teams competing in the creativity department once again. From that tidbit, we should already be able to predict the outcome. For all of Magna's glowing on-paper credentials, they can't seem to muster up any common sense to carry their ideas through to marketable success. In contrast, Net Worth keeps stepping it up a bit, taking chances, and maximizing their wins. Teams were given the task of converting trailers into businesses and allowed $5000 in seed money to get their businesses up and running.
Bren nominates himself Project Manager for Magna . I thought this was fitting as Bren seems to be the only team member capable of an ounce of creativity. Does anyone else find it incredibly ironic that it takes a republican prosecutor from the south to be able to come up with out-of-the-box unorthodox ideas? Maybe it's just me. At any rate, I liked Bren's "Massage on Wheels" theme. Even at those cheesy massage chair stationts in the mall with the pervy male masseuses harassing you, you always see at least a few people waiting for their turn to get a massage so you have to a figure a quasi full service spa on wheels might have some appeal. Of course, you also have to ask yourself how useful a manicure is when you are running around outside. Those nails need time to dry.
NetWorth had Tana as Project Manager. I have to admit I thought Angie was PM as everyone seemed to point a finger at her when things weren't going well. Then I realized she was probably just the resident team scapegoat. As for NetWorth's creative strategy, I wasn't sure how I felt about the casting director/agent motif, but in the end it paid off. High risk=high return. As Gordon noted, "Net Worth came up with a very risky but creative idea. Having a mobile casting director was unique. Personally, I didn’t think it was going to be successful. I didn’t think people would want to pay $25 to meet with a casting director. However the casting director, Meredith Jacobson Marciano, was giving people work as soon as the following week. I think that is what led to the buzz." I'd have to agree. I can't imagine wanting to spend that amount of bling on a casting director, but it worked to their advantage.
" If I were to empty a pool and fill it with an inch of water that would describe Stephanie. Shallow.” – Bren
Stephanie and Michael were lousy this week and every other week. Stephanie's subtle insidious effect on this team seems to be catching up with her. She's not like Michael, an all-out baby or an "apathetic piece of trash" (Thanks G), but I have a feeling that Bren was correct in ascertaining that she is potentially the biggest overall detriment to success and that Trump should have and WOULD have eliminated her this week had Michael not opened his huge trap. As the usually diplomatic Matt Lauer said this AM on The Today Show while interviewing Michael, I just wanted to tell you, "Shut UP!!" Yes Matt, we all feel your pain.
Gordo's Team NetWorth Take
While the idea of a mobile spa was not unique as well as not being risky, it was in fact a service need that many people in the concrete jungle desire. I must say that it was quite embarrassing to hear a group of college-educated people confess that they lack the street smarts and creativity to be successful in this game. Not to mention these appropriately described, “Pencil neck geeks,” proactively requested to reshuffle the teams based on their inability to think out of the box. Think about the young person who is watching this show and now believes that going to college does not properly equip you for success in the business world. This was a shame. Overall, their business venture appeared to be doing well throughout the task. However, Magna lost this mission clearly on an absence of marketing. The sole person responsible for this failure was Michael.
Beth Bites Back
Never one to not assert my own strong opinions, (sorry Gordon) I'd have to say that labeling Michael as "the sole person responsible for the failure [of the marketing]" is a gross exaggeration. [You will note the use of double entendre. I knew college taught me something] Back to marketing, if you will recall, Stephanie, Erin, and Michael were ultimately responsible for carrying out this task and I don't think any of them really stepped up to plate on it. I would have to concur with your assessment of the college idiots. I mean I always wondered to myself it was really worth the $80,000+ I spent on those 4 years and now I think I have the answer. Everything I ever needed to know, I learned in high school.
"I'm so beautiful, it hurts just to look at myself -Beth (to herself) and Michael (to himself)
In the end, Michael's vanity lost him this game. I think it may make him a loser in the game of life as well, but don’t quote me on that one. Michael's constant comparisons between Trump and himself were teetering on the pathetic a lot. I mean when you have to stretch the parallels so far so as to stoop to personal taste in women by saying, "Both Trump and I only date Eastern European women," (lucky me, btw) you might as well start comparing shooting angles in a urinal. Gordon hit the a** right on its tail with, "What’s funny is that in the beginning of the episode, Michael mentioned how similar he is to Trump. That’s like calling Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger twins." Seriously…
That ends this week's recap. Michael was eliminated, i.e. given the boot. Stay tuned for next week's episode as the teams go ghetto urban all in the name of art.
Beth Gottfried is co-author of 10 Secrets I Learned From The Apprentice, available at Amazon. Published by Chamberlain Brothers, 2004.