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The Apprentice: Los Angeles Weekly Performance Review, Episode 12by Brian Towers -- 04/13/2007
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This week, the teams were dissolved and new duos created. Although the new pairs were formed with little apparent problem, we all know that issues had to ensue. To see how everyone responded, read on for performance reviews of the remaining players.
And at the end of the article… the results of last week’s opinion survey!
Finally, a venture into the world of real estate! Pop quiz: Which contestants this season have real estate-related backgrounds? Drag your cursor between the square brackets to see the answer. [ Frank, Nicole, Aaron, and Michelle all have real estate backgrounds. Note that all were originally Arrow Corp members. ]
This week’s task had our three newly formed duos creating a presentation to promote new Trump properties in Las Vegas. They were all given access to a digital artist, and apparently, sufficient funds to enlist the aid of a professional cameraperson, a videographer… and more!
I liked it that the judges were Mr. Trump and Don Junior themselves, because they need to be more connected to the tasks. The original plan was to fire both members of the losing team; however, presented with two horrible pitches, The Donald decided to select one each from the two losing units.
Essentially this was not a complex task. The big trick this week was in making the new partner alignments work. The hidden trick was in managing one’s own physical resources (more on that later).
On to the teams, listed in the sequence they presented.
This was a strong performance from the duo that has worked comfortably together over the longest period of time. Instead of wasting energy on drama, they focused on the task at hand and came up with a solid presentation and brochure that guaranteed them a spot in next week’s show. Even opponent Heidi admitted she was “100 percent impressed” by this team’s presentation.
Some highlights were the information-gathering sessions they had with Trump’s business partner and, as shown on Yahoo!, the sales representatives for Tower One. No other duo was shown visiting that latter group.
There was a cute moment on a Yahoo! clip where Stefani finally commented on something we all knew – perhaps more than any other, she REALLY hated living in the tents! Kudos to her for not whining in earlier weeks about something that was out of her control anyway.
Trump often doesn’t see Stefani’s best moments, which include many of her presentations. This time, she was the first person pointedly chosen when the teams needed to become duos. Yet again, she gets recognition of her value from her competitors.
Stefani recognized the need for her team to hire a professional videographer so they could concentrate on their areas of expertise. Very good – that’s why you get a budget. And when meeting with the sales reps in the webisode, she asked, “What is the most common question you get asked?” Good question!
However, the same source showed us that she actually asked too many questions, and she and James missed a preset time for their tour the construction site. As a result, they did not get a tour, introducing the potentially huge problem of not talking to the site foreman.
Does it need to be said again that Stefani made an impressive presentation? At least Trump saw this one. Stefani gets a GOOD rating. Missing that tour cost her the top rating.
It’s partly due to the new rules this year, but Stefani has one glaring shortcoming in the game… her non-record as a PM. All previous winners of The Apprentice have had at least two wins. Should she make it to the finals, it may be a difficult fact to overcome.
James’ first good move came when the former-Arrow team came into the mansion and discussion ensued about how they would partner up. He took control of that situation and secured the efficient and compatible Stefani as his partner before the rest got untracked.
James was very mischievous on the plane. He knew he could get Frank distracted by their surroundings, and that it would annoy Heidi when he did so. The reactions he got probably exceeded even his wildest expectations, as Frank lost focus and Heidi lost patience. In business terms, that’s called influencing others to achieve a desired result.
During the fact-finding task of this project, the Yahoo! clips show us James asked many good questions. For example, he learned that by far the majority of sales were through brokers, and that there was an impending event for potential VIP customers scheduled.
In the presentation, James’ oral skills were evident. Additionally, his chart that tied this project into other Trump operations was a very clever move, and Trump was visibly impressed by it. None of the others addressed this aspect of the project.
James’ rating is therefore VERY GOOD. It would be EXCELLENT, but he also had responsibility to meet the appointed time for the site tour and must take a share of the blame.
James showed me so much this week, he’s my new pick for winner. Yes, I’m aware that’s a curse! There’s more to this lad than just a camping-friendly haircut!
One problem ahead for James is that he was PM and lost a task. No previous winner has ever led a losing effort. He needs to hope that Trump can be convinced that the new rules are responsible for that statistic not holding true this season.
I guess my first thought was that since they didn’t spend money on a professional photographer or videographer, what did they do with their money?
Trump liked their video and brochure (phone number excluded) more than that of Frank and Heidi, so had they presented even half decently and gotten that one significant detail right, they would surely have avoided elimination.
How Nicole survived that debacle, I’m not sure, but a nickname of “Ms. Houdini” is not unwarranted. I’m hard-pressed to identify a single thing she did right!
When forming the teams, Nicole loudly and emotionally ranted against Frank (“What, are you retarded?”). Even with Tim gone, she’s still suffering from showmance-related issues.
I’m not sure why Nicole had no questions for the site foreman. She may know the business in general, but every project of this scale has some unique opportunity they could exploit, and with her expertise she ought to have been the one to uncover it.
Saying she has the entire PowerPoint presentation in her head is one thing, but obviously getting it onto a screen for the Trumps to see is a really basic “Presenter’s 101” issue. Trump took his shots at her, and deservedly so. To make matters worse, her shortcomings as an oral presenter were evident as she stumbled over words, spoke too quickly, and in what I heard as a panicky tone.
In the Boardroom and in later cameos, Nicole was tossing blame around pretty freely. This is amusing considering her contribution was merely a PowerPoint presentation that without James’ aid we’d have never seen. This was not the episode for Nicole to be tossing too many brickbats around and I fear her self-image exceeds reality.1 2 3 Next-->
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