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The Apprentice, Episode 13: The Firing Squadby Betsy Wasser -- 04/09/04
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First, let me clear up a few things about last week’s challenge. In my recap, I noted that it seemed a little bit fishy to me that Amy and Nick managed to find someone to rent the penthouse at the very last minute. Several readers emailed me to say that it seemed especially odd because Ian, the guy planning the party, wanted to use the space for a New Year’s Eve party, but the contract for the penthouse said you had to be out by midnight. In last week’s episode, when Ian returned, he and his party planner Kate did say that they planned to use the space for a different kind of party, so that explains that. Second, a few people mentioned to me that Amy was wearing a different outfit when she and Nick were sitting in the lobby than she was wearing supposedly minutes later when Ian and Kate returned. No, she didn’t run upstairs and change clothes with just moments to spare. The NBC web site has posted the dossier for the challenge, and although we were led to believe it lasted only a day, the candidates actually had about two days. I hope that clears up some confusion, but I must say, it still seems awfully convenient that things worked out so neatly for Nick and Amy.
Now, on to this week’s episode. Kwame returns to the suite after his trip to the boardroom and finds Bill, Nick, and Amy talking. Kwame declares, “Everything I do is now dedicated to Troy.” He says that he and Troy respect each other, and he’ll miss him. Bill says, “That’s it. We’re the final four.”
The next morning, the Trump Phone rings. Kwame gets the instructions to meet in the Esquire suite at 9:00. The four of them head off, and Bill says, “No matter what happens, we made it down to the wire.” The four open the door of the suite and see Trump, Carolyn, and four people we haven’t met yet. Trump welcomes everyone and explains that the suite was designed by Esquire magazine. It’s a cool place, and he says that if the candidates are successful, they may someday live somewhere like it. He says that they should all be proud of their accomplishments.
Trump introduces the four new people: Norma is his executive assistant (which sounds like a secretary, but later her title is given as VP of Media Relations and HR), Allen is his CFO, Charlie is in acquisitions, and Tom is the head of Trump International Hotels and Trump Tower. These people will interview the four candidates and report back to Trump with their findings. Based on their recommendations, Trump will fire two of them. Trump adds, “So you better do a good job with your interviews.”
Trump says that he trusts these four people a great deal. Together, they’ve worked for him for over 75 years. Trump says that their recommendations are valuable to him because the winner will be working with them. He sends the candidates to the suite to prepare.
In an interview, Nick says that he’s glad that there are no more lemonade stand challenges – now they’re on to the big stuff. He says the question is, “Can you hang and bang with the heavy hitters in the Trump organization? Can you sell them on why they should, basically, hire you?”
It’s time for the interviews. Allen tells Kwame that he seems less energetic than the other candidates. Kwame says it’s a matter of style – “I wear my energy different from others.” Allen says that people in Trump’s organization project a lot of energy, so Kwame might be perceived as too laid-back.
Charlie asks Amy to describe the Trump organization. She answers by telling him what value she can add to the group. He interrupts her and says that she’s not answering his question. She responds – still not answering the question – by saying that it’s important for someone to act as a devil’s advocate, to say, “Charlie, I don’t think you know what you’re doing.” Charlie points out that in many cases, Amy would have no way to judge whether he knows what he’s doing or not – like in construction for example. Amy admits that she doesn’t know much about construction.
Bill tells Norma that he feels like he’s never satisfied, which is a curse for him because he can never rest easy. She says that’s not a weakness, but a strength because he has high standards. Obviously, Norma hit Bill with the classic interview question of “What is your greatest weakness.” Bill tired the equally classic “strength hidden as weakness” response, but Norma has been around long enough to know that tactic, and presses him to reveal another weakness. Well played, Norma.
Nick tells Tom that he’s well-spoken, smart, and has a positive energy. Tom asks him what he has to offer other than his charisma. In an interview, Nick says that not everyone could handle such tough questions. Speaking of tough questions, Allen asks Nick what he’d do on his first day on the job. Nick says that he’d introduce himself, and then lay out his vision for the company. Allen asks him how he could do that on the very first day, not knowing how things work.1 2 3 4 Next-->
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