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The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, Episode 12: Juggling Actby Betsy Wasser -- 12/15/2005
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Dawna says that she’s tired, but she’s dying to see who survives- Marcella or Ryan. As Jim, apparently unconcerned about the results, sleeps, we see a montage of ticking clocks and Dawna and Bethanny pacing. Dawna says she can’t imagine what could have taken three hours to discuss in the boardroom. Jim wakes up, and really should not wear a tank top. He yawns and speculates that Martha fired both of them. This apparently never occurred to Bethanny or Dawna. The three of them realize that this means that they are the final three.
The next morning, Bethanny answers the phone. It’s Martha, and she directs them to meet her in her Connecticut studio. She says they should come dressed in business suits and be ready for “a long and interesting day.” At the studio, Martha tells a group of four executives that she appreciates their time and values their opinions. She asks them to be tough. The candidates arrive, and Martha actually says, “Hello, candidates.” She congratulates them on making it to the final three and confirms that Ryan and Marcella were both sent home. She commends them on their combined record of six wins and won loss as project managers. But from here on out, there will be no more project managers or teams. The candidates are on their own.
Their next challenge will be a simple job interview. The candidates will meet with four Martha Stewart Living executives. They are:
Martha tells the candidates that she values their opinions highly and will send one of them home based on their recommendations. She says it is probably their hardest task. In an interview, Jim says that the stakes were high. Next to marrying his wife, he says, it was probably the most important day of his life. I’m not surprised that the birth of Jim’s first child didn’t make the top two, since he didn’t bother to be there for the birth of the second. As the candidates file out, Jim shoots the executives a weird smile. It’s probably intended to come across as charming, but it’s just goofy.
Jim meets with Jonathan first. Why should we hire you? Jim is a little thrown that Jonathan led with that. Dawna tells Gael that she is good at making people focus. She sees herself working in the media division. She adds that she is more professional than Bethenny or Jim and could hit the ground running.
Bethenny tells Margaret that she is on her third career. Margaret asks her to describe their brand, and all Bethenny can think to say about it is that it’s “clean.” Not a good answer. In an interview, Bethenny says that she has never had a corporate interview before –she’s always worked in creative fields. She thinks that Dawna is the strongest candidate as far as corporate experience goes, but that she is the strongest creative. That makes sense to me. She tells Margaret that she has managed people before.
Susan asks Jim if he regrets anything he’s done. Not surprisingly, Jim has no regrets. She tells him that she was very disturbed by what he said at dinner about “playing the game” and using strategy to get ahead. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see Jim’s response to that question, because it’s time for an interview montage.
Jim tells Jonathan that he thinks in five years, he’ll be flourishing with the company. He is a sapling now, but will become a mighty oak. Dawna says that she’s not the most creative person, but that she’s good at implementing creative ideas. Bethenny says that she loves the feeling of being scared, about to make a leap. Jim says he’s striving for achievement, not acceptance. He talks about truth and beauty, and Jonathan says he has no idea what he’s talking about. He says that he’s the worst candidate, “except for all the others,” which Jonathan doesn’t seem to get. He then jokes that this is an easy job, and Jonathan immediately corrects him.
Yeah. Things aren’t looking so good for Jim right now, are they?
Martha meets with the executives. They start by talking about Dawna. Susan says that Dawna is almost the total package, but that she will never surprise them. I think that’s probably accurate. Gael thought she gave pat answers, but Jonathan disagrees- he thinks she was polished. Margaret was very impressed with Dawna.
In the loft, Dawna says she hates waiting. She just wants the results. She seems a little nervous. Jim says that the questions were tough and he’s feeling disarmed. He tells the women he hopes they don’t have to slaughter each other in the boardroom. Jim looks really rattled and is lacking his usual swagger.
Jonathan tells Martha that Bethenny has an almost manic energy. He can see her fitting in. Susan admires her entrepreneurial spirit, but is concerned that she flits from one thing to another. Martha says she isn’t bothered by that. She herself did some searching when she was younger, and obviously she wound up in a good place. Margaret likes Bethenny’s “scrappy” qualities.
As for Jim, Susan says that his comments about “the game” stopped her cold. Not only was it weird, but it was also an unattractive strategy. Jonathan says he couldn’t understand a word he said. As for Jim’s sapling metaphor, Jonathan says he doesn’t have time to nurture him. He’s talented and creative, but Jonathan can’t imagine sitting next to him in meetings. Susan can’t imagine where they’d place him in the company. Gael thinks Jim would consume a lot of time.
Martha thanks the executives and brings in the candidates. Anyone feeling suspense? Yeah, me neither. Martha shares some of the comments with the candidates. Jim defends the game thing by saying that, to him, “Life is a game.” It’s a battle, he adds. Martha says he’s a loose cannon, and has alienated many of his teammates. His experience, management skills, and understanding of MSLO are inadequate. Plus, he’s potentially disruptive. Here comes the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Martha says, “You played it your way, and now I’ll play it my way. The game’s over, Jim. You’re out of here.
Jim thanks Martha for “a wonderful experience,” and tells Julia on the way out, “It’s all good.” Martha writes that Jim probably surprised a lot of people by making it as far as he did. She concludes, “My best wishes to your patient family.” Patient is right. Besides patiently waiting for him to come and see his newborn daughter, Jim’s wife must, in general, be an incredibly patient woman.1 2 3 Next-->
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