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The Apprentice 4 Weekly Performance Review, Episode 9by Brian Towers -- 11/18/2005
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This series of articles primarily focuses on the business actions of each player on The Apprentice. Toward that end, I’ll be giving a capsulated performance review of each applicant:
Capital Edge: Capital Edge regained their team harmony in the most subtle manner – they got rid of Clay. Addition by subtraction… or in this case, multiplication by division.
Alla: Alla did one smart thing this week – on the reward ride on the helicopter, she managed to get the seat closest to Trump. Like all the others, she contributed to the songwriting task. As far as things she did on her own, not much was shown. I’ll assign her a rating of SATISFACTORY.
Adam: Adam did a good job of interviewing musician Levi Kreis. He also called out Clay as being disloyal for trying to switch teams. We didn’t get a ton of Adam moments this week. I also assign him the rating of SATISFACTORY.
Felisha: It was amusing that Felisha was proud that she had stepped up and assumed the Project Manager role, since the others had been PM in the last three weeks and she hadn’t done it since week four. She had no real option. From what we saw, Felisha was the one who contributed the basic idea of the song, and the melody. Mind you, all contributed a large amount and the end result was a team effort. Felisha also handled the presentation, which went smoothly.
Felisha’s best act of the week was recognizing that their song has morphed into something that had too strong a jazz influence, rather than the expected pop-rock sound. Further, she saw to it that a corrective change was made. I had thought Felisha had gone about as far as she could in the game, but she did EXCELLENT work this week.
Excel: As a group, Excel produced music that was a little different than what XM Cafe listeners expect. Personally, although they had great potential, I didn’t think their song delivered on its premise as well as Capital Edge’s did.
Randal: When it became obvious they were about to be given Clay as a teammate, Randal complimented Clay and his creativity. This was a good teamwork move. Although it was said to the camera, Randal knew the importance of matching their product to XM radio’s market. However, somewhere along the way, he forgot that.
Randal was smart enough to design a good piece of marketing material, only to have that negated by the incorrect station number. He did well in the Boardroom by quickly assuming responsibility for that error. It’s my opinion that Randal got beat up excessively by Trump for that error. George realized that this mistake wasn’t why they lost the task, and even the XM exec called it “a small error.”
In the Boardroom, Randal took a couple of shots from Rebecca, who knocked his creativity, amped up his poster error, and said he “missed some of the main points.” There was nothing specific said, though, merely subjective opinions. He wasn’t shown fighting back. Is it possible Randal is not strong defending himself in the Boardroom? So far he’s made few errors, and the need to defend himself hasn’t come up much.
Randal earns a SATISFACTORY rating this week. I still think he can win, but there have been chinks developing in his armor over the past couple of shows.
Rebecca: Talking with Randal after returning from last week’s Boardroom, Rebecca recognized the importance of their positive team dynamic. When they were getting Clay as a teammate, Rebecca complimented Clay’s winning record (which isn’t all that great, is it?). When you are given lemons, make lemonade.
Similar to Felisha, Rebecca stepped up and assumed the Project Manager role. Also similar is that since the other two were PM in the last two weeks and she hadn’t done it since week three, she had no real option.
It was Rebecca’s idea that Jidé make a separate entrance at the presentation. Good idea. Trump didn’t care for her presentation, but I thought she was doing well enough until Clay brought Jidé in prematurely. That sure threw her off stride, though.
Probably Rebecca’s best work was done in the area of handling Clay. For the most part, when he started to go diva (like his playing air violin), she called him on it.
Rebecca’s ranking is SATISFACTORY.
Clay: As much as anything he did wrong this week, Clay was fired because his two teammates are Trump favorites. Further, he did few things to help himself out in this episode. However, there were a couple of good points. His interview of Jidé was strong, and Trump referred him as “creative” several times. But that’s about it. Trump also called him “difficult” in the Boardroom.
At the beginning, when the others were trying to get him to not take everything so personally and focus on the team, he was dismissive. Asking to leave his team shows disloyalty. His inflexibility about the song lyric forced an unnecessary stalemate. His opening of the door prematurely in the presentation disrupted the flow and they lost the dynamic moment. His decision that Jidé would not speak in the presentation showed he didn’t understand the task – selling Jidé as a commodity.
There’s more, but I stopped making notes when it became evident Clay was finally going home.
Clay has three main faults: he’s more interested in protecting himself from criticism than producing a good product; he criticizes without offering alternatives; he irritates his teammates to the point of counter-productivity. All are fatal errors.
Clay re-earns his UNACCEPTIBLE rating all over again.
Well, those are the performance reviews for this week. I’ll be back next week with a new review of our remaining candidates’ antics.
Last words: There was interesting mail this week. Some readers are predicting an Alla-Randal finale. What do you think? Let me know at the eAddress below.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our Apprentice 4 Episode 9 recap:
Brian lives in Toronto where he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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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