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The Apprentice, Episode 5: Flea CircusPage 5
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Meanwhile, Kristi and Jessie go for a walk in the park to talk strategy. Jessie advises that Kristi offer up the facts and accept responsibility for the things that were her fault. The others might be confrontational, and if they are, Kristi shouldn’t get into a nasty squabble with them, but rather should just let them talk. Jessie says, “Just shut up and don’t let it get to you. Wait until he addresses you, then say something.” Jessie says that she’s worried that Kristi will break down, because the other women might get very defensive. Kristi talks about how she is learning from Jessie to speak less and listen more. Jessie is only half listening, though, as she points out a pigeon and asks what kind of bird it is (remember, she’s from Wisconsin). Kristi says in an interview that she trusts Jessie. When the competition turns into an individual one, that may change.
It’s time for the boardroom. Kristi tells Trump that she’s not used to defeat. She admits that she handled some decisions badly and that she relied too much on consensus, rather than taking charge. Kristi is following Jessie’s advice, but she seems to be a little meek about it. It’s one thing to be upfront with your shortcomings, but it’s another to be a doormat.
Bernie tells Trump about the missing money. Kwame says that Omarosa was their financial manager, so Trump asks her what happened. Omarosa believes that the money was lost when she gave it to Kristi in Chinatown. Omarosa explains, “She put the money in her pocket and asked me to keep an eye on her bottom.” Hee. Trump summarizes, “The money got lost somewhere between the hand and the ass.” Everyone laughs. Omarosa tells him that she was not assigned the job of financial manager initially, but she saw the need and offered to help. She agrees with Trump that Kristi usually does a fantastic job, but that this time she fell short. Omarosa is certain she would have done better in the leadership position, noting that she used to shop at flea markets all the time as a kid.
Trump asks Jessie what she thinks went wrong. Jessie, the person that Kristi trusted, says simply and clearly, “I think it was management.” He then turns to Heidi, saying she’s been quiet so far. Heidi brashly answers, “You never addressed me, you know? I’m feeling left out, Mr. Trump.” Ugh, Heidi, show some decorum. Heidi blames the loss on a bad product, bad location, and bad planning. Trump asks her who lost the money, and she maintains that she doesn’t know. Even though Trump pressures her to name names, Heidi doesn’t, which is very cool; she honestly doesn’t know, but doesn’t just blame Kristi because she’s mad at her. Troy says that he respects the fact that Kristi was willing to take accountability for their loss.
It’s time for Kristi to make her decision. She says that Omarosa will be joining her, and, “only because I’m forced to make a choice,” Heidi. Heidi is pissed, and says, “I did nothing wrong. The three women wait outside while Trump and his viceroys discuss their fates. Kristi puts her hands on the others’ knees, which is weird and inappropriate, since they’re not exactly friends. Inside, Carolyn speculates that maybe Kristi is a good employee, but a bad manager. Bernie agrees. Trump thinks that Kristi has potential, and notes that Omarosa was in charge of the money. It’s time for the women to face the music.
Trump tells Kristi that she was a star who failed in her leadership position, “but sit.” Heidi is, in his opinion, too aggressive, “but sit.” That leaves Omarosa. Omarosa calmly says that this must mean she’s going, and she thinks she’d be the wrong choice. Trump says that she’s not. Kristi is fired. While Heidi and Omarosa fought for their lives, Kristi just sat there. “You never said anything in your defense,” Trump explains. Kristi asks if she can make a point now, but it’s too late. Trump says she didn’t stand up for herself, and, “She blew it.”
Without a doubt, Trump made the right decision. It’s true that Omarosa was in charge of the money, but she didn’t lose it; she just discovered that it was missing. She worked with the team to try to find it, and when they couldn’t, she properly accounted for it as a loss. As for Heidi, it’s only fair to put aside her meltdown after the project ended; after all, that’s not what they’re being judged on. During the project, she sulked, complained, and whined. I would have hated to have her on my team. But the fact that they lost was not her fault by any means. Instead, the blame rests on Kristi’s shoulders. She was such a weak leader that they weren’t able to come up with a product until late in the day, they didn’t find an effective space, and they sold so little that even if they hadn’t lost any money, they still would have lost. Kristi was without a doubt the person most responsible for the team’s failure.
I was shocked to see that Jessie, who had seemed to be Kristi’s confidant, turned on her in the boardroom, blaming the team’s loss on Kristi. It’s also impossible to ignore the fact that Jessie told Kristi not to argue too much, and that Trump wound up thinking that Kristi didn’t fight for herself. Was Jessie setting Kristi up? Was her advice sabotage?
I don’t think Jessie deliberately gave Kristi bad advice. Kristi is a very emotional person, and if she got into an argument with Omarosa and Heidi in the boardroom, she likely would have come across badly. She either would have cried or she would have seemed immature and defensive. Getting into an argument with one of the other women would not have impressed Trump. But Kristi took Jessie’s advice to the extreme. When she was accused of poor leadership, she sat looking expressionless. When she did have a chance to speak, her voice was flat and uninspired. She didn’t offer any examples of what she did right, nor did she tell Trump what the others did wrong. Jessie told her not to talk too much, but she didn’t tell her to be a mouse.
That said, I don’t think Jessie had the same feelings about Kristi as Kristi did about her. When Kristi tried to open up to Jessie, Jessie was paying attention to the pigeons. Jessie might have liked Kristi as a person, but not enough to sacrifice herself.
Next week, the reviled Omarosa is project manager. The teams must organize a charity auction, starring celebrities ranging from Regis Philbin, to the Queer Eye guys, to Carson Daly, to celebrity chef (and Mark Burnett alum) Rocco DiSpirito. Plus, love is in the air between two of the candidates. Who are the lovebirds? Barring the possibility that it’s Donald Trump and George Steinbrenner, my money’s on Nick and Katrina. They seemed to be having an awfully good time picking through the trash together.
Betsy is the Assistant Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached with any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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