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The Apprentice 2: A Look at the Final Fourby Betsy Wasser -- 12/08/2004
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The candidates on this season of The Apprentice came from all walks of life, with varying degrees of education, experience, and expertise. But all of them had one thing in common: each and every one of them was convinced they had what it takes to hear Donald Trump say, “You’re hired.” One after one, they have instead been fired, until only four candidates remain. Jennifer, Kelly, Kevin, and Sandy are the final four. In the next episode, Donald Trump will fire two of them, leaving the last two to duke it out for the big job. Which of them will be fired next, and who has the best shot of winning it all? Let’s look at their records and make some predictions.
We don’t know as much about Jennifer as we do the other candidates because she has only served as project manager once. When she did, in the dog challenge, her team won and she did a solid job. She was in charge right after the corporate restructuring mixed up the teams by gender, and she started out by asking the new members of her team what their strengths and weaknesses were. Then, she asked their teammates the same question – in other words, how does Raj perceive himself and how do his teammates perceive, him for example? It was a good question and allowed her to immediately assess her new teammates.
At the task itself, Jennifer was not afraid to pitch in and get dirty, washing dogs and working with Kevin to clip fingernails. And although she initially said no to the idea of operating in two locations, when she saw that they needed some extra traffic, she was flexible enough to change her mind.
Jennifer has also proven herself to be a good salesperson. When her team needed someone to present on-air in the QVC task, Jennifer excelled where Maria failed. She gave a relaxed, comfortable performance that was well-receiveed. In the bridal shop task, her project manager Chris found that she worked very well with the vendors and did a good job of selling to the customers. And in the M&M task, Sandy applauded both her idea of having them dress in matching outfits and said she did a great job of relating to the customers.
Jennifer is also comfortable speaking in front of a group. She was calm, cool, and collected when she had to present to that huge group of Pepsi executives. She also has a reputation for being a smooth talker in the boardroom, gaining the loyalty of her project managers.
In spite of these positive attributes, Jennifer does not have the respect of her fellow candidates. During the fashion design task, Maria sent Elizabeth off to meet with buyers to get her out of her hair… but she sent Jennifer with her. Could this mean that the team didn’t value Jennifer either? Later, Kevin put her in charge of copywriting for the Levi’s catalog, calling it busy work. In that same task, she claimed to not understand Ivana’s fit wheel idea, not a difficult concept to follow, which lead to her teammates considering her dumb. Even Carolyn has her doubts about Jennifer. Carolyn has said that she believes Jennifer has been protected by her project managers, allowing her to slide by week after week. Finally, Chris accused Jennifer of not being a team player. That characteristic certainly seemed evident when, in the Levi’s task, Jennifer claimed credit for Ivana’s idea. Is Jennifer all style, or is their substance to back it up?
Kelly has served as project manager three times, more than any other candidate in the final four, and has won every single time he was in charge. He has proven himself to be a natural leader. In the ice cream task, he took charge right away, controlling the amount of time his team spent brainstorming. He effectively divided the team into two groups to get maximum value from everyone.
Although Kelly leads with a military precision, he also knows how to take care of his troops. In the ice cream task, John argued against giving the team money for food during the day. Kelly told him no, that it was worth the investment to keep everyone happy, strong, and motivated. And after the team won in the ice cream task, Kelly asked Donald Trump if the remainder of the profits could be donated to the charity.
Kelly has also taken on a leadership role several times when he wasn’t actually the project manager. In the QVC task, he took charge of determining the price point for the grills, and indeed, it may have been the high price point that allowed the team to win. And in the fashion design task, not only did he create order out of the chaos that was a group of men in a fabric store, but he also designed an outfit that designer Isle liked. He took charge of presenting the NYPD ads in the advertising task, came up with the idea of putting a hole in the Pepsi Edge bottle, and even got down and dirty washing dogs.
Really, not much bad can be said about Kelly. Some of the other candidates have called him arrogant. And although he was in charge for the bridal task, the lion’s share of the credit for that win should go to Sandy.1 2 Next-->
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