Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
The Apprentice 3: Why Bren Lostby David Bloomberg -- 04/22/2005
View Printable version of this article
Bren had made it all the way to the Final Five on The Apprentice 3. He was on a two-man team where the other man was the Project Manager and should have easily taken the fall for the many mistakes they made. But somewhere along the line, the scale tipped back toward Bren instead, and he heard the line, “You’re fired.” What happened to turn the tables (or the desk, as the case may be)? Why did Bren lose?
Part of the answer to these questions lies in what happened during the Staples challenge. But a larger part points us to the Boardroom. To make sure we cover everything, we will once again look back to What ‘Apprentice 3’ Applicants Should Have Learned for guidance.
The first rule, of course, is to show leadership. Throughout his time on The Apprentice, Bren never really stood out as one of the leaders. Then, in the Staples challenge, he had the opportunity to say that he wanted to take charge. Instead, he allowed Alex to take that on himself – and he did so in front of Carolyn! Trump wants go-getters, not those who will easily say, “Oh, okay, you can do it.”
Bren did follow the second rule – staying cool under fire. In fact, Bren followed it a bit too much. He even said in his and Alex’s pre-Boardroom coffee hour that he was done being humble and was going to tell it like he saw it. Hmmm, well, that didn’t really happen, did it?
Why not? Because Bren failed to follow the third rule and have a backbone. As Alex lobbed accusations at Bren, most of them were direct hits because Bren didn’t bother to even try to deflect them.
Most of the failures in this task could be traced directly back to Alex. Going into the Boardroom, I was certain that Alex would be leaving – it was just so obvious. Let’s look at what Alex did wrong:
Bren could have gone on the attack about any of these things. Hell, the door was wide open, because Trump & Co. already brought them up. But Bren just sat there. He didn’t defend himself, he didn’t attack Alex. He just sat.
The fourth rule, relating to strategy, has nothing to do with anything at this point, so let’s move on. What about the fifth, which says to play well with others but stay professional? It’s hard to say for certain, but I wonder if one of the reasons Bren didn’t really fight back was his friendship with Alex. If he had been facing off against one of the people he didn’t really get along with, would he have been so laid back? Would he have allowed them to walk all over him? I don’t think so. I believe he allowed Alex far more latitude because they were friends.
The sixth rule brings us to an interesting question. It says to focus on the long-term. Generally, that means the long-term of the game and how to win it. In that aspect, Bren obviously failed. However, his taxicab comments after he was fired indicate that Bren really was thinking about the long-term, much longer term than the game. He realized that what he really wanted was not to work for Trump, but to go back to his own life and own family. Once that realization hit, “long-term” took on a whole new meaning for him.
Seventh we have the rule that says to think outside the box, but not too far. Incidentally, did anybody else notice that once again Craig’s idea was similar to a box? He seems to have a thing about that. Anyway, in this case Alex and Bren both went too far outside the box – both literally and figuratively. Staples was looking not for a new invention, but a tweak to something that already existed. So taking a box and making it better would have been great. Creating a new desk to sit next to your original desk? Too much. Of course, they would have known that if they had talked to the right people.
The eighth rule says you can’t be one-dimensional. When they came into the Boardroom, Bren and Alex were immediately labeled as uncreative lawyers. Bren did nothing to overcome that accusation. In fact, he made it worse when he admitted that he was not a risk-taker. Oof, wrong answer, Bren. If Trump just wants to hire a conservative straightforward lawyer, he can have his pick. That’s not what The Apprentice is about.
Finally, we come to the rule that says to use common sense. There was not an abundance of common sense floating around between Alex and Bren. As we’ve already addressed, Alex pretty much had none during the task; Bren lost it heading into the Boardroom.
That last sentence sums things up well. Most of the bad ideas and poor leadership during the task came from Alex. But all of the poor Boardroom performance came from Bren. Like it or not, the game is often won or lost in the Boardroom, and Bren just didn’t have it in him.
In many ways, Bren acted in the Boardroom like Janu did over in the Survivor Tribal Council. The main difference is that Janu quit against the will of her tribemates, while Bren just stopped defending himself and allowed the hammer to fall.
Somewhere along the line, Bren decided that working for Donald Trump really wasn’t for him. It might have been even before this task, which is why he didn’t ask for leadership and didn’t try too hard in the face of Alex’s bad decisions. Then, even though the loss should have fallen squarely on Alex’s shoulders, Bren just gave up the fight. That is why Bren lost.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the Apprentice 3 Episode 13 recap:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
Be sure to sign up for our e-mail update so you can stay informed about new articles on the site! And take a look at the rest of the site. You can find all of our recent articles on this show at our The Apprentice page and take a look at our sections on Survivor: All-Stars and Celebrity Mole. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!
For more news about The Apprentice, be sure to check out SirLinksALot: The Apprentice!
View Printable version of this article