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The Apprentice 4: An Analysis of the Final TwoPage 2
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Experience: Investment banker and financial journalist
Project Manager: Best Buy (lost), XM (lost), Microsoft (won)
Trips to the boardroom: Best Buy, XM
Just as we didn’t see much of Randal in the first few episodes, we didn’t see much of Rebecca either. The one thing we learned about her is that she isn’t the best ice skater in the world – during a reward, she fell and broke her ankle.
Because of that broken ankle, Rebecca volunteers to lead the third task. She wants to make it clear that her injury won’t hold her back. She began by leading a brainstorming session and requested that everyone say her peace and that everyone listen. Considering that listening was an ongoing problem for Capital Edge, that was probably a smart way to go. Alla, however, found her style abrasive, saying that it’s not a good idea to be forceful when leading a group of strong women. In retrospect, that’s rather rich coming from Alla. That aside, the women say that Rebecca doesn’t have them especially pumped up about the task. In the end, the event was incredibly lackluster, especially compared to the men’s, and Capital Edge lost.
In the boardroom, the team was clearly against Toral. Toral, they said, did not contribute to the team, and did a bad job of demonstrating HDTV. Rebecca and Toral had become friends after Toral took her to the doctor for her broken ankle, and the other team members said that to not bring Toral to the boardroom would be showing very bad judgment. Rebecca, though saw things differently. She thought Toral had the potential to win and refused to bring her into the boardroom. Trump told her she might be fired for that mistake, but Rebecca said her integrity was more important. In the end, Rebecca survived, since Trump saw potential in her.
After the Toral debacle in the boardroom, Rebecca had an honest conversation with Toral, along with the rest of the team. She told her friend that she expected great things from her, then was disappointed when she didn’t offer to lead. As the task went on, Carolyn noted that Rebecca and Toral were the outsiders in the sorority that was Capital Edge. This time in the boardroom, Rebecca knew better than to defend Toral. She told Trump that Toral deserved to be fired. It’s hard to say what to make of Rebecca’s involvement in the whole Toral issue. Trump said he appreciated her loyalty, but thought it was misplaced. Rebecca’s status as an outsider among the rest of the women never really changed. It could affect her ability to lead them in the final task.
In the sixth episode, Alla sent Rebecca to Excel as one of the people she thought contributed least. That task was the ill-fated Dick’s Sporting Goods task that decimated Excel. Rebecca performed quite well on this task. She recommended soccer as the sport of choice, which might have been better than baseball. Soccer is incredibly popular with kids, which would lend itself to a fun event, plus it is equally popular with girls and boys. When the team chose baseball, though, Rebecca still contributed. She was one of the players who actually managed to do some selling, despite the fact that she never claimed to be a master seller like Jennifer – and she was on crutches. Her good work spared her from the mass firing.
Rebecca impressed me less on the Learning Annex class. She thought Randal’s topic was boring, and just decided that it was on him to make it good. The best candidates don’t just throw up their hands and wait for the project manager to screw up. I would have liked to see her make the best of the task rather than just complaining about it.
She more than made up for that, however, in the Star Wars task. Brian and Marshawn were arguing about which of them should handle the presentation. Rebecca heard enough of that, and simply offered to do it herself. With just half an hour to prepare, Rebecca did, by all accounts, an excellent job. She was more than ready to step in where her team needed her.
In the next episode, Rebecca volunteered to be project manager. Her team lost the task, and it was largely Rebecca’s fault. The object was to find an artist that best fit in with XM’s Café channel, and Rebecca’s choice of Jide, though a great musician, was totally wrong for the format. She misunderstood the kind of performer they needed to find, leading directly to Excel’s loss. That said, she did an outstanding job as project manager. Clay was very difficult to work with, and Rebecca handled him well. She asked him to select a new photo to replace the boring one of Jide that Randal picked. Not only did she get a better picture, but she made Clay feel good about his contributions. Later, when Clay made his violin gestures to express his dislike of her presentation, I absolutely loved Rebecca’s reaction. She demanded that he “tell me an idea,” rather than just complaining. It absolutely shut him down, and well done.
In the boardroom, as we previously discussed, she accused Randal of not stepping up. She is equally praise-worthy for the way she and Randal handled that discussion. She vowed to work hard with him and did just that in the Shania Twain task. It was her idea to snag the bullhorns away from Capital Edge, a slightly shady move that Trump and Bill both got a kick out of. She also had the good idea of sending Spanish-speaking workers to Spanish Harlem. As a result, she and Randal were able to appeal to a wider demographic.
Finally, Rebecca volunteered to manage the Microsoft task, knowing that she needed a win. It was a tough decision for her to fire the actor, but she did it and quickly replaced him with Randal. Later, she apparently decided to act in the commercial as well, and did a very good job. In the end, Randal paid her the ultimate compliment of saying she was a good project manager. Rebecca has made some bad decisions in the past, but has shown herself overall to be a solid worker and was a very good project manager in the last task.
So who will win? Frankly, I think Randal has this one in the bag. I don’t think Rebecca will fail in her task by any means. She is far too smart and competent for that to happen. But Randal has more than proven himself to be those things as well, along with being a strong leader who has the respect of everyone he’s worked with in the past. Trump can look to what I’m sure will be a successful final task, along with a great record both as a player and as a project manager, not to mention an incredible resume. Randal will be the next Apprentice.
Betsy Wasser is the Associate Editor of Reality News Online. She can be reached with any comments at Betsywasser@gmail.com.<--Previous 1 2
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