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The Apprentice 2 Weekly Performance Review, Episode 1: Crustacean Frustrationby Mike DeGeorge -- 09/14/2004
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For those of you not around last year, I am Mike DeGeorge and every week, I will put the Apprentices through a level of workplace hell they won't get to experience through the show - the dreaded annual performance review. Except I will conduct these reviews each and every week, taking into account not only the most recent episode, but building on each past show. My opinions can change from week to week - as they did with Heidi - or each episode can simply reinforce my beliefs, as with Amy.
Before we begin, a word about last year's contestants. I normally hate seeing contestants being compared to previous seasons' contestants. However, I will be dropping the names of many of Season One's Apprentices, but only as points of reference. I don't intend to compare one season to another, as they are separate entities. But a certain amount of comparison is necessary to illustrate a point of why a certain action was or wasn't a very good idea.
Finally, you'll want to make sure to watch the episode and read Betsy Wasser's fine recap every week before reading this. I will be referring to certain events and you might be lost without the context. Also, at times I will mention Betsy's comments and agreeing or disagreeing in order to help bring my point into focus.
With that, let's begin, as always, winning team first:
I am a bit ambivalent on the name. I don't love it, but it's better than some. It does show that you guys are aiming high, which is never a bad idea.
As for the toy, I didn't think the interchangeable remote controlled car was exactly innovative or interesting, but the kids loved it. As I say below, I thought the football toy would have been a winner.
Elizabeth, Jennifer C., Jennifer M., Sandy, and Stacy: None of you really did enough to separate yourself from the pack. In some cases, this is a good thing - see Ivana, below. It doesn't mean anything, it just means that with eighteen candidates, there wasn't enough time to show everyone.
However, I want to point out, whoever's wardrobe seems to consist entirely of tube tops and skirts (I'm thinking it was Jennifer, but I can't tell all these blondes apart yet) - cut it the hell out. Unless you're angling for a modeling contract after the show, it's not going to help you one little bit. Did you even WATCH the first season?
Ivana: The only reason I didn't include you in the above category is that you came up with the idea of a "Junior Drag Queen" wardrobe, an idea that is so patently ridiculous that it would have gotten you thrown out of most boardrooms. Did you miss the meeting where they said you're designing a toy for little boys? Thinking outside the box is one thing, but let's try to stay in the same building, hmm?
Maria: You scare me. But in a good way. Trump and I would both love the intensity and drive you are showing, but threatening your project manager with a throttling - even in jest - is a wee bit much. Tone it down a notch.
Stacie: Speaking of toning it down a notch, you need to tone it down SEVERAL notches. Your little meltdown told me one thing: you can't handle pressure. If you can't deal with waiting a few minutes for the results of your challenge, you are going to be dead as disco in the weeks ahead.
Bradford: You're getting a lot of credit this week, and for the most part, you deserved it. You took the initiative and volunteered for the other team, which was a huge plus. Personally, I loved the idea of the little remote-controlled football player guy. Heck, if you could get sponsorship, you could put the pro logos on the helmets and get a bunch of kids together and play a game! It could be like those vibrating stadiums that every kid in the world had. And even if you couldn't get sponsorship, you could make up your own teams. I thought it was a winner.
But your teammates didn't, and you went ahead anyway. An executive decision is a good thing when the others are deadlocked. It's another when you just decide and cut off debate and you're the only one who agrees with your position. It was dangerous, but I have to admire the confidence. You were afraid that your teammates didn't understand the concept (based on some of the ideas, you may have been right), so you did it yourself. I also think that based on the huge lists the women had been making (did you really need all fifty of those name suggestions?!) you snapped. Something tells me that "let's make a list of options" is not a phrase you use often.1 2 Next-->
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