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The Apprentice: Los Angeles Weekly Performance Review, Episode 13Page 2
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This was the episode where Frank got some long-overdue respect from The Donald. Although in the mansion Trump said Frank “should have been fired,” by the end of the show he confirmed with the Dial execs, “He really comes through.” That’s quite a migration!
When they found out they had the opportunity to pick assistants, Frank somehow selected Surya. I cannot rationalize that, as Frank was the one who was the most derisive of Surya’s methods. Surya was clearly less than thrilled to be there, and Frank’s attempts at a poolside reconciliation were awkward and ineffective.
Frank was never very comfortable with Nicole’s idea of a hospital setting, but we saw him discussing it with Tim, not Nicole. It’s unusual for Frank that he didn’t confront Nicole directly. In an attempt to make it work, Frank came up with the idea to incorporate a “humorous” stinky bum. Now, I got it that he was stinky, but he didn’t look like a bum to me. This lowbrow approach was not likely to find favor with the Dial execs.
However, Frank more than made up for earlier shortcomings by doing the lion’s share of filming-related work while Nicole was distracted with Tim. This was highlighted by his effective use of time and resources while directing the shoot. Surya commented that he was impressed with how quickly Frank was able to move from scene to scene and get all the shots they needed.
Frank will never be a star at oral presentation, but having to read the correct product description (“three-in-one special odor neutralizer”) off his hand, that was a bit sad.
The Dial execs admired the way Frank stepped up to get the task done, essentially taking over the directing and presentation tasks, and in the Boardroom, Surya gave him the compliment, “Great mind.” Solid as ever, Frank gets a GOOD rating this week.
I wasn’t impressed with Nicole’s maturity at the top of the show. First off, telling Stefani that she (Nicole) thought she (Stefani) would flub her presentation – isn’t this a case of projecting your own shortcomings? Secondly, offering to cook dinner for the Trumps? Really? Did you notice they didn’t even bother to acknowledge the offer?
I was not surprised when she chose Tim to be on their team, but it devolved as one could easily have predicted. During a time when she ought to have been actively involved with the filming, she was goofing around with Tim instead. Get focus and maintain it!
It took the Dial execs showing up to stir Nicole into action. Unfortunately, it was a lame attempt at product placement that somehow the execs did not see through. In fact, they commented favorably about it. She also found time in her busy schedule to slip a handshake in there.
To her credit, Nicole made sure that the product remained visible whenever possible. Nicole also did well with her research with the Dial execs, and developed a solution she felt was directed toward the proper target audience. However… I must agree that a hospital is an odd choice of a setting for several reasons, many brought up on the Yahoo! clips. As James said, for a target audience of moms, their kid lying in a hospital is not a positive image for the Dial brands.
Going slightly off-topic here, I did a little thinking about the hospital idea. Except for those lounge areas set aside for the family of patients, where do you see carpet in a hospital? It sure isn’t between two beds; that’s a guaranteed source of staph infections and worse! Also, when rushing to the hospital, who detours to first pick up an electric guitar and other homey paraphernalia?
For someone who has a high opinion of her ability to make presentations, why did Nicole let Frank make the presentation? That decision lessened her role in this task and left a poor impression from her last presentation active in Trump’s mind.
The Dial execs gave mixed messages to Trump about Nicole. Although they liked her energy and enthusiasm and called her “very smart,” they also saw her cede the leadership role to Frank. That’s not good; Trump hires leaders.
But once again, Nicole’s week is easily summarized. With Tim returned to her side, she lost her edge to the point where the Dial execs identified Frank as both the team leader and the harder worker. Nicole retains her UNACCEPTABLE rating.
In the episode, editing constantly stressed the respect and camaraderie between the four. I believe that to essentially be true, but not absolute. In a deleted scene on Yahoo!, Trump asked the teams to critique each other’s commercials, and discouragingly, it was very petty. All four are guilty of deliberately trying not to understand what they were seeing.
For example, Nicole claimed the others didn’t focus on the correct demographic (Trump thought they did) and then she said the other team omitted the product’s ability to clean carpet (Don Junior overrode that one). Both sides said the other included a drunk character not fitting with Dial’s family image, and both sides called the other’s efforts confusing or muddled. There was almost eight minutes of such childish, petty sniping.
I don’t think either team outshone the other by a significant amount this week. Both mini-movies had positive and negative points. For example, Frank and Nicole had better product placement, but their storyline was weaker. It seemed like both teams received equal support from the audience, but that could be simple sound-editing tricks.
From Yahoo!, here are the track records of our remaining candidates. Read into them what you want!
This week’s big question for readers is, who’s going to win? Since my poll of a couple of weeks ago had Heidi way out in front, is it wide open now? Are James’ previous wins an insurmountable advantage? Can Stefani overcome having never formally led a task? Has Frank worked his way through another iffy result? Can Nicole pull a miracle upset?
That’s all for this week, so please feel free to let me know what your thoughts are at the eAddress below.
Brian lives in Toronto, where he can be reached at email@example.com. He spent a couple of decades working in middle management at The Prudential, primarily hiding behind the coffee machine to avoid his pointy-haired bosses. He’d like to hear your opinions and promises to respond to all serious email!
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