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The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, Weekly Performance Appraisal, Week 10: A Brand New Car!by William Ingram -- 12/02/2005
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I can lock all my doors, it’s the only way to live,
-- “Cars,” Gary Numan, 1980
Welcome to the weekly (some might say, “weakly”) evaluation of the contestants on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart.Each week, I will look at each remaining contestant and give my appraisal of his or her performance. Some of them will shine like stars and others will flicker like fluorescent lights down at the warehouse.
This week, we start off with the six contestants. Will any of them remember what I told them last week? Will any of them learn from their mistakes? Let’s find out.
Bethenny: I didn’t like the fact that you and Jim tried to double-team Dawna. The three of you were a team and should work together as one. Then again, at times, you didn’t seem to get along with Jim at all. So, I really don’t have a very clear picture where you stand.
And, your idea that you want to be standing in the finals with the strongest other player is laughable. Sure, if you beat that other player, it’s a greater victory, but you have to factor in your chances of getting to the finals and winning. Frankly, honey, you are not a very strong player. If you were up against any one of the remaining players, except maybe Ryan, you will lose. Your only hope is that you can face the weakest player possible.
In fact, why do you think Jim has become your best friend and ally? Listen closely to Jim. He has told you, point blank, that he wants to eliminate the strong players so that he can face the weak players at the end. Yet, you can see him helping you to get farther in the game. Hello!? Earth to Bethenny! He’s helping you because he thinks you are a weak player.
And, if you can’t see that, then, I guess, you are the weakest link. Goodbye!
Jim: I’m glad you admitted that you gave Marcela the pep talk last week as a matter of strategy to keep the weaker players in the game. I’ve read an awful lot of comments on the Internet where many viewers actually believed that you pumped her up because you had suddenly turned into a nice guy or something.
But then you made the critical mistake of telling your whole strategy to Charles at dinner. Man, was that a stupid move. Charles will not let Martha hire someone who is going to screw over their fellow employees just to get ahead in the company.
In this challenge, I didn’t notice that you did a whole lot. Of course, there wasn’t a whole lot for your team to do. It was the car, a carpet, and some photographs. In this case, the simpler idea won.
Dawna: As project manager, you need to keep control of your people and make them get past their differences to work together. You tried to step in when Jim and Bethenny were at each other’s throats. I guess you did well enough.
And, your idea to stagger the work crews to come in and do their work in series was a fine idea. Unfortunately, the problem with “just in time” production methods like this is that, if one part of the system fails, the whole system gets screwed up. I think you discovered this.
In the end, though, you did get it all done. I wasn’t really impressed by the end product, however. It looked to me like it was a car on a pedestal with pictures of the car all around it. Was I missing something?
But you impressed the executives by creating a presentation that looked almost exactly the same as one created by every other car dealer in the last forty years. I guess executives like to see replications of their own ideas.
Ryan: A car at the dinner table? With a napkin in its lap? I’m having a hard time picturing that. Helpfully, you decided to produce a video that shows me what that would look like. That got nixed, I guess.
But, the team decided to use your dinner table idea anyway. Unfortunately, it kind of looked stupid. Those ever clever editors decided to use the old “dumb blonde” music to showcase the images of your car sitting next to a dinner table.
And what was up with that video? It was horrible. It was mostly undirected sex. I can just imagine the executives thinking that it was an advertisement for people to get it on with their car. At least you could have added some music to the video and tried to make it exciting.
Leslie: As I recall, last time you were project manager, you were given a lot of good ideas, but pretty much brushed them off. You did that here too.
Unfortunately, in this task, you had Ryan on your team. He was, pretty much, dead weight. He presented a couple of decent ideas and, when they weren’t adopted completely, he went into a funk and refused to help out much. Your job was to keep him motivated.
And, in the end, your final product was terrible, I thought. You seemed pretty nervous when delivering the sales pitch. And, I suppose I would be too if I were trying to sell something as dumb as you were.
And, in the end, what you tried to do was impress Martha with a table setting. Martha wasn’t upset at the idea of a car sitting at the table, she was upset that you didn’t make the table look nice. Remember, Martha is the queen of elegant dinner parties. Because you let an un-elegant table display be shown, Martha pulled the tablecloth out from under you. This was so important of an issue to Martha that she got rid of you even after acknowledging that Ryan was a buffoon and Marcela didn’t do much in this task. That’s how much a proper table setting means to Martha.
Marcela: I’m not quite sure that you were in this episode. And that’s kind of surprising, especially since last week you were the center of attention and vowed to do much better and really bring the house down. Leslie was right, in the conference room, when she pointed out that you really didn’t have any good ideas this week.
Now, everybody get the hell out of my office. I’ve got real work to do. I’ll call in the five remaining players for another performance review next week.
Bill ( email@example.com ) is a huge reality show fan. His often wears his Survivor dog tags. He’s wearing a set of Guatemala tags right now, as a matter of fact.
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