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The Apprentice 2, Episode 5: The Price is RightPage 3
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Meanwhile, Pamela is alone, working out. She says she felt confident that what Apex really needed was structure, and she provided it. She adds that she doesn’t want to seem too overly confident, but that she’d be very surprised if she were fired. Oh, well that’s great, Pamela. I thought you had a shot at staying in this until you jinxed yourself like that!
The women head into the boardroom, and Maria is wearing a hideous black suit trimmed with silver studs. Put the Bedazzler away, Maria! Trump immediately focuses on Pamela and says, “You lost again.” Pamela tries to play it off as a tie, since the final totals were so close. George says that’s ridiculous. Their total was lower, and the margin doesn’t matter – a loss is a loss. And really, shouldn’t any Apprentice hopeful know better by now than to come into the boardroom claiming that they didn’t really lose? Trump never buys it.
Jennifer, still the voice of reason, says that the price point was too high, and that Pamela was the one who chose it. Pamela argues that actually, it was too low. Trump and Carolyn disagree. Carolyn adds that $30 is a lot of money for a cleaning product, and that if they had priced their sponges lower, they would have sold enough to win the task. I tend to think she’s right. Ivana says that Pamela has “a very distinct leadership style,” in that she makes decisions without feedback from the rest of the team. Trump then asks Pamela who she’d like to bring back to the boardroom. Pamela chooses two people – Maria and Lil Stacy.
Once the women clear out of the boardroom, George says that he was impressed with Pamela’s leadership. She made them a team, and she was strong. Trump wonders if maybe she was too strong with them. George says that she was a good leader. Carolyn agrees, but says that the price point was what lost the task, and it was Pamela’s decision.
The three women return to the boardroom, and Trump asks Pamela why she brought Lil Stacy in. Pamela says that Lil Stacy doesn’t add any value to the team. Stacy vehemently disagrees as Pamela says that she is a distracting presence on the team. Stacy tells Trump that she was put in charge of legal, but that Pamela told her she was “too legal.” Stacy then goes in for the kill, saying, “I’m not going to act unethically. If you want another Enron on your hands, Mr. Trump, here’s Pamela.” Pamela blows it off, saying that Stacy was just focused on labels on the bottles. That might not be an Enron-level scandal, but face it – Stacy just zapped Pamela hard.
What about Maria – why is she there? Maria says she’d like to know, too. Pamela says that Maria claimed to be a specialist in public speaking, but was terrible on camera. Maria says that she is good at public speaking, and that the whole group thought she’d do a good job. Then, when she was on camera, they thought her rate of speech was too fast. Carolyn agrees that it was. Pamela says that Maria is a compelling speaker, but just wasn’t good on camera, so she had to replace her at the last minute. Stacy says she thinks Maria is an excellent saleswoman who was not used well. She adds that she doesn’t think Pamela wants to be held accountable.
Pamela says that she asked the women what they were good at, then asked them what tasks they wanted to take on. One usually matched the other, so she thought they were just fine. Trump says that she should have assessed their skills herself, since she was in charge. He adds that she doesn’t assess people well at all. Pamela is fired.
As an unhappy Pamela takes the elevator of despair, Carolyn says she thinks they made the right choice. Trump says that Pamela is very opinionated, but that her opinions are almost always wrong. George says that she has a good head on her shoulders – but Trump reminds her that she does tend to be wrong.
It’s kind of a shame that Pamela got fired this week, as I think she’s smart and made a real effort to change things at Apex. Trump challenged her to get them into shape, and she tried her best at what had to have been a hard task, especially as an outsider. But she made some mistakes. She needed to be firm, but she took things too far and came across as dictatorial, rubbing absolutely everyone the wrong way. And, very simply, the team lost based on price point, and Pamela picked the price point. They didn’t lose because Stacy was obnoxious with the legal department, because Ivana and Elizabeth wrote a bad script, because Sandy’s set design needed work, or because Jennifer or Maria messed up on air. They lost because the sponges were priced too high to sell in adequate volume, and it was Pamela’s decision to price them as she did. This week, for this task, she was the one who had to go.
In her cab ride home, Pamela says that she planned to be above board and direct, with no factions. She adds that there’s a difference between a cutthroat competition and political mudslinging, and wonders if she’d have done better if she were more underhanded.
Next week, Mosaic faces the awesome challenge of having to design women’s clothes. Can they continue their winning streak? Plus, in the boardroom, one candidate learns a valuable lesson: Don’t annoy George! I can hardly wait.
Betsy is the Associate Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached with any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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