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The Apprentice 2, Episode 5 Extras: It Works, but Apex Doesn’tPage 2
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In the extended boardroom footage, Trump tells Pamela that he thinks the grill was a better product than the sponge. He can’t say why exactly – just instinct. Ivana jokes that it’s because Trump doesn’t do much cleaning of his own. Pamela thinks the sponge played well to QVC’s main audience – women in the “elderly stage of life,” and that the panini maker was too sophisticated for them. I’m not sure why she’s making that argument, since we saw that the panini maker sold just fine. Jennifer says she thought the grill was a better choice, and that it would have more impact on TV and would make for a more interesting demonstration.
Jennifer then says that she was “a broken record,” recommending repeatedly that they set the price lower. She liked that Pamela was a calm, cool, and collected leader, but thinks she made a mistake setting the price where she did. Pamela disagrees. She says that the biggest obstacle to getting someone to order off of QVC is to get them to overcome the inertia and make the effort to pick up the phone. Price, she says, isn’t an issue – once someone decides they want something, they’ll buy it regardless of the price – it doesn’t matter if the item is $20 or $27. Literally everyone at the table disagrees with her, including Carolyn who says that the price was way too high for a cleaning product.
Ivana says that she recommended the $19.99 price point, but that because she was busy writing the script didn’t have time to make the final decision and suggested that Pamela have Stacy decide. Pamela says she didn’t want it to be up to Lil Stacy because she has no business background. She’s very thorough and is a great lawyer, but pricing is an art, not a science. George says that Stacy’s opinion was valuable because she spent a lot of time on the computer researching competitive product pricing.
Elizabeth says that as a leader, Pamela was fair. But she thought the pricing decision was terrible. She says she has a background in similar products, and that that price was way too high. Trump points out that it sounds like everyone recommended that Pamela choose a lower price. Pamela asks, “Was I deaf?” Well, apparently she was – or she’s lying now - because we saw at least two people (Ivana and Lil Stacy) suggest the $19.99 price point.
Ivana says that she personally tends to lead by consensus, which doesn’t work well for this group (as we saw when Ivana was project manager). Pamela is much more decisive, but as we saw from the results of this task, that doesn’t necessarily work for the team either. They need some kind of balance. Ivana goes on to say that when Pamela got feedback from the team, she ignored it.
Trump tells Jennifer that she did a great job on the air, but heard that other than that, she didn’t do much. Jennifer disagrees – she did legal, worked on promotion, helped choose the product, and an array of other little tasks. Maria says that Jennifer did a great job on camera and also contributed well to the team overall. She explains that she and Jennifer were primarily charged with doing the show, but that before that, they acted as support to the rest of the team.
Stacy says that Pamela delegated tasks to them, but then didn’t trust them to do the job. For example, Pamela ignored all of her legal advice. Pamela says that she really just wanted “a checkbox” as far as legal went, because legal issues were really no big deal. Carolyn says she’s wrong. Trump surveys the room and asks who the women would fire. Everyone chooses Pamela. Pamela chooses Lil Stacy and Maria to return to the boardroom.
When the three women return to the boardroom, we see some more new footage. Trump asks Pamela why she didn’t bring Sandy to the boardroom – apparently the people at QVC hated her. Carolyn says Sandy was “worthless.” Oooh, interesting! Pamela says, “She was useless, but she was out of my way.” Maria very sarcastically applauds that leadership from Pamela, and adds that it was typical of the disrespect Pamela showed the team.
George asks Pamela if Lil Stacy was in her way. Pamela says that Stacy doesn’t bring much to the table. Stacy objects and says that she’ll happily do whatever task she’s asked to do. In this case, it was to handle legal, and she did it well. Pamela says that she has to think about who she needs on her team going forward, and right now she has two lawyers – Stacy and Jennifer. Stacy is a great lawyer, but Jennifer is better as a businessperson. Lil Stacy says that she worked in an auction house before she became a lawyer, so she does have business experience. George, who you might recall is legal council for Donald Trump says that, on behalf of lawyers, it is not reasonable to assume that they have no business knowledge.
In the end, as we all know, Pamela is fired. In her cab ride home, she says that she should have let someone else pick the price, but that she stuck her own neck out. She says that what she experienced was politics, not business. What Pamela doesn’t seem to recognize that the two are often intertwined. Pamela says she’d love it if a woman won, but she doesn’t think it’ll happen. She says that she enjoyed her experience and hopes to work with some of the people she met in real life.
A final note on this episode. Several people – including David Bloomberg – have suggested that the teams shouldn’t have been judged just on total sales, but also on how much profit they made. After all, that’s how real life business works, and if the women actually made more of a profit than the men, they should have won the task. While I agree that profit margin is important in reality, it just wasn’t a factor in this task. For one thing, I seriously doubt QVC wants all and sundry to know what their profit margins are, so they couldn’t address that issue on the show. And more importantly, fair or not, that’s how the task was judged, and everyone knew the rules going into it. The women brought in lower sales. It was close, but somebody had to lose. In this case, it was the women.
Betsy is the Associate Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached with any comments at email@example.com.
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