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The Apprentice: Martha Stewart – Why Ryan Lostby David Bloomberg -- 12/14/2005
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Ryan was doing so well, but then the Song airline challenge hit – and he crashed and burned. What the heck happened? What was he thinking? Well, we can’t answer the latter question, but we can address why Ryan lost.
This we will do by looking back at What ‘Apprentice 4’ and ‘Martha Stewart Apprentice’ Applicants Should Have Learned. Though, let’s be honest here, most of the reasons Ryan lost are pretty damned obvious. Still, I have a duty to you, the reader, to make sure everything is covered.
The first rule says applicants should show leadership. Up until his final challenge, I thought Ryan was a pretty good leader. But in this one, the problems just kept piling up.
First, Ryan didn’t think it was worth calling the Song executives. Hello? As recapper Betsy said, “apparently he’s never watched The Apprentice ever. Then, his employee (Marcela) told him that Song has a target demographic of women 40 and older, which meant his commercial was all wrong. Ryan ignored it. In fact, from what we saw he ignored Marcela pretty much the entire task. Then he chose to act in the commercial rather than making use of available professional actors. Oh, and he was directing and producing, too. Finally, he decided to get drunk while still working on the task. None of these actions show particularly good leadership. All of them added together are pretty much horrible.
The second rule says to stay cool under fire. Ryan did fine here – perhaps a little too fine. Despite his denials, I do think Ryan was too relaxed entering into this challenge. He no doubt felt safe with Marcela by his side, and he allowed that to affect his choices. He went for having fun rather than winning, but he should have felt some pressure to do well. From what we saw, he didn’t.
Ryan definitely did okay by the third rule, too, as he had a backbone. In fact, he had such a backbone that he stood up for every idea and shot down every one of Marcela’s that we saw, even though his ideas were generally bad and hers were generally good. As we’ve seen with this and the previous rule, sometimes doing the right thing can hurt you if you are doing them in the wrong situation.
The fourth rule warns players against scheming and plotting. I don’t think that Ryan intentionally planned to take it easy on this task, which would have been scheming, in a way, to get rid of Marcela. I do think it happened, but not really on purpose.
Fifth is to play well with others, but stay professional. Ryan seemed to be well-liked among pretty much everybody, so that part is a non-issue. The “stay professional” portion is meant to apply to people not basing their decisions on friendship. However, I have to point out that it is not terribly professional to get drunk in the middle of a task.
Nor is it really thinking for the long-term. Even if they had won, there is no doubt in my mind that Martha would have heard about Ryan’s alcohol intake during the challenge. Somehow, I don’t think she wants executives getting drunk in the middle of an all-nighter.
What might have been worse were the answers Ryan gave to Martha in the Conference Room after their loss. When she asked why he drank so much beer, he replied, “The beer was free.” Oh, well, then that makes it all okay. That was truly a head-slapping moment when viewers across the country said, “I can’t believe he just said that!” But then he topped it, as Martha later asked what he saw himself doing in her company and Ryan said this was an opportunity to get an executive job without working his way up! Another head-slapping moment! Obviously, neither of these things were smart to say to the person giving you a job interview. I don’t care if he had won the previous task, saying those things just is not smart long-term thinking.
Ryan failed pretty miserably in the seventh rule, understanding the challenge. Song wanted an ad directed at its target audience. Marcela understood this but Ryan ignored her. He had made up his mind about the commercial before even hearing from them, and his opinion would not be swayed by the facts!
It only got worse when he created the truly nonsensical tagline, “Need We Play More?” And it hit the height of ridiculousity (yeah, that’s not a real word, but it seems appropriate) when he inserted the “subliminal” message. These were certainly not things Song was looking for – so why do them?
Those also play into the eighth rule, which says to be creative but not insane. In this task, insanity ruled the day.
The ninth rule says applicants need to be more than one-dimensional. I do think Ryan proved himself to be adept in multiple areas. However, he managed to undo any feelings of goodwill that Martha might have had.
Finally, we arrive at the rule that says to use common sense. Isn’t it odd that we even need a rule that says this? But people break it all the time, and Ryan is a perfect example. We’ve already addressed the things he did that violated this rule, but in summary they were drinking on the job and saying stupid things to Martha in the Conference Room. Nobody with an ounce of common sense should have done either one. Ryan, what were you thinking?!
As we figured, the answers to Ryan’s firing were pretty straightforward. He purposely ignored what the Song executives wanted. He got drunk while working on the project. He made incredibly dumb statements to Martha Stewart. It was like the Ryan we had watched all season was replaced by an inferior clone. He did about as many things wrong in that final challenge as he possibly could. That is why Ryan lost.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other Apprentice: Martha Stewart Episode 11 articles:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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