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The Apprentice 2, MVPs and LVPs – The Corner Office or the Mailroom for the First Ten EpisodesPage 4
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Apex didn't fare so well. Elizabeth was their project manager, which is really all I should have to say. Everyone suggested ideas, including Raj, who steamrolled over everyone with his insistence on creating a paramilitary look for the ad. Elizabeth had misgivings along with everyone else and Kevin offered to work late into the night on another pitch. Then, after all that, Elizabeth waffled again and adopted Raj's fear-inspiring vision. Both Raj and Elizabeth work the mailroom this week, Raj for his scary, militaristic vision which was a total disaster and for his heavy-handed dealings with colleagues; and Elizabeth, for her utter... Elizabethness. The corner office belongs to my steady favorite, Kevin. Kevin, you were team player extraordinaire this week. You didn't agree with Raj, but were working hard on that approach when the team adopted it, then threw yourself into helping Elizabeth realize a different vision only to see her reward your hard work by throwing it out for Raj's original idea. Kev, make sure you have Elizabeth bring you extra stamps and envelopes and stuff – make her sweat this week.
Week 9: Are the Washer and Dryer Included?
Finally, a real estate task. Glad you paced yourself, Donald. You almost got through two thirds of the show without an actual real estate task. This week the teams each had to renovate a house. The team who added the most value to their house wins. Extra workers came in the form of all the previously-fired contestants, divided evenly between the teams. Raj and Sandy were the respective leaders, and I wondered about the match-up. I thought little Sandy would be seriously outmatched by Raj. How wrong I was.
Raj proved that a pair of red pants and a horndog personality don't mean squat in the remodeling field, and he proves utterly incapable of realizing two main points in real estate: first, control your contractor (Trumpism of the week) and second, don't make a house smaller than it already was. What Raj was thinking by knocking down a wall and making a four-room house into a three-room house only Raj knows, but the mimeograph machine is in the mailroom and perhaps he can provide a written explanation to the rest of us. As if that wasn't bad enough, he also hired the worst contractor on the planet and then failed to supervise him properly. The minute I saw him not working, he' d have been outta there! Instead, Raj insisted on meekly asking (repeatedly, which was annoying) if he understood what they needed done in the upstairs bathroom. Then, when the contractor left, Raj never even checked his work! My four-year-old nephew could have done better. Enjoy the mailroom, Raj. No one from Mosaic sits in the corner office this week. Even my fav, Kevin, bungled the job when he got a recommendation for the contractor. It's okay, though, Raj's mistakes were much worse.
Apex actually did very well, though I suspect a set-up. The team needed a contractor and awaited a contractor when, lo and behold, along came a contractor who was (a) not busy and (b) within their budget? What are the odds? Smells of the same suspicious coincidence that provided Amy and Nick with a buyer for their apartment five minutes before time was up. Is The Donald the wizard behind the curtains of it all? In any event, the team had a good, simple plan, and executed it well, with the help of the contractor and his Soprano-like family. The whole contractor family should camp out in the corner office this week, but I'll give the honor to Andy, who flagged them down in the first place. Sandy, you werethisclose. As for the mailroom, I don't think anyone deserved to be there. You all worked hard. Raj can carry the mail for you, too.
Week 10: Should you really be wearing white?
At last! We are finally caught up! For those who are still reading, I doff my chapeau to y'all and thank you. Next week's analysis and the weeks' to follow will not be nearly as long. This last week, the teams were handed another task that seemed to play to one team's strengths. Is anyone but me suspecting the fix is in? The Donald decided, of all the businesses in the world and all the goods that could be sold, the teams should try the niche market of bridal gowns. You read that right: bridal gowns. To me, it would be akin to having copier sales be the task when Nick was around last season. Sandy, of course, owns a bridal salon, so her team would have to go out of its way to lose. The other team knew they were up against it and should therefore have redoubled their efforts, no?
NO! Chris, the project manager, slinked into a black hole and gave up. At one point, the group just sat around reading magazines. Eventually, Ivana got the bright idea to actually leave the empty space they had to fill and go meet some vendors. For that idea alone, which seemed to prod her cohorts into action, Ivana can relax on the leather couch in the corner office this week. As for the mailroom, it isn't even close. Chris, I would warn you not to get a paper cut, but to be honest, it might not be the worst thing.
As I said before, all Sandy's team had to do was not screw up, but they almost did that. Well, okay, Maria almost did that. Why is anyone letting her handle anything with details involved? As with the printer snafu of the Crest challenge, Maria seems unable or unwilling to focus on details. Because of this, she okayed an email sent to the 25,000 brides-to-be on TheKnot.com, Sandy's great suggestion for advertising, without even reading the freakin' email. Had she done so (or had Wes, who was with her), she might have noticed that the phone number wasn't on the email. Still, that snafu did not derail Mosaic, although it got Maria a pretty little spot in the mailroom this week. Maria, make sure you read the address labels more carefully than you did the emails. As for the corner office, I refuse to give it to Sandy for being competent at the job she had before she got here. I smell a fix, as I said, and for that reason as well, Sandy is to be commended but not rewarded. Kelly and Wes certainly don't get it for crashing the van into parked cars, but Andy seemed positively giddy selling bridal gowns. It was both disturbing and inspiring at the same time. Andy, enjoy the fresh roast coffee served in the anteroom to the corner office.
That brings us up to this week. Who will be express-mailed to mailroom hell and who will be "top of the world, ma!" in the corner office? We'll just have to wait and see.
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Mel Ellis is a prosecutor and loves a good debate. Feel free to email her with your thoughts on who should be or should have been mail clerks or apprentice CEO's. You can reach Mel at email@example.com.
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