Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
The Apprentice: Martha Stewart – Why Dawna Wonby David Bloomberg -- 12/22/2005
View Printable version of this article
In some ways, Dawna seemed closer to what a Donald Trump would want rather than what a Martha Stewart would be looking for. But for all the vaunted creativity that people said Bethenny had, did Dawna have some too? She must have had something going for her, so let’s look into what it was. Why did Dawna win?
Frankly, watching the finale was something of an anti-climax. It seemed obvious going in that Dawna would win, and this was made even more obvious by Alexis’ comments when asked to talk about Dawna. We can look through What ‘Apprentice 4’ and ‘Martha Stewart Apprentice’ Applicants Should Have Learned to examine why it was that Dawna seemed the obvious choice by that point.
Just as one of the biggest reasons Bethenny lost could be found in the first rule, it also explains one of the main reasons for Dawna’s success. While Bethenny was hiding from the project manager role, Dawna stepped right up and grabbed it in the very first task. And she won. Then she took it again for the Tide Stick challenge. And she won again! She had two wins under her belt before Bethenny had even one attempt! Then she had her third win, in the Buick Lucerne challenge, before Bethenny finally came away with a win for herself – of course, even then Bethenny described Dawna as the organizer in the task.
The three people Dawna picked to be on her team in the final task were happy to be there, fighting for her to win. A large part of this was due to her leadership. She left a huge portion of the task up to Amanda, who could have simply said, “Eh, screw it.” Indeed, I strongly suspect that if the tasks had been reversed and Bethenny had tried to let one of her team members do the entire fashion lineup, she would have ended up with nothing. But Dawna was able to trust such a huge task to one of her employees in large part because of her leadership abilities.
Furthermore, just as Bethenny’s name was associated with creativity during the entire live finale, Dawna’s was associated with being a solid businessperson who knew how to run a company. Amanda couldn’t even think of a leadership quality Dawna lacked, describing her as the strongest leader she’s ever met. That’s pretty high praise.
The second rule also played into Dawna’s hand, as she always stayed cool under fire. Several people talked about how she was calm all the time, no matter what was going on around her. Alexis called her “dispassionate,” which probably was not meant as a compliment but nevertheless did support her abilities in this area. When Dawna remained calm, her team remained calm, allowing a better and more productive work environment.
Just as the third rule, having a backbone, didn’t really apply to Bethenny’s loss, it also doesn’t really apply to Dawna’s win. Yes, Dawna stood up for herself and her ideas, but that’s not what won her the apprenticeship.
Dawna understood the fourth rule, and was in some ways the anti-Jim. While Jim was actively scheming and plotting, Dawna just wanted to compete on a fair playing field. Jim was tossed in large part for the way he approached things, but Dawna won it all. Seems to me that supports the rule.
The fifth rule says applicants should play well with others. While Bethenny had trouble even finding three players who didn’t hate her, Dawna had a whole list to choose from. She was described as a people person and was generally well-liked. Nobody had anything bad at all to say about her at the end.
Dawna always seemed to keep her eyes on the big picture, which puts her in the right frame of mind for the sixth rule, focusing on the long-term. I would say this began with the very first task, when she volunteered to be project manager. Stepping up that early is a risk – players don’t know each other, don’t know their capabilities, and know that one slip-up could mean the end of the game. But Dawna seemed to know that taking a leadership role early would help her later on – and she was right.
Seventh is to understand the challenge. I think Dawna did understand what she needed to do. I’m not sure I agree with how she did it, because if Amanda had screwed up the fashion, Dawna’s chances of winning could have gone straight into the toilet. Still, she knew the labor had to be divided up, and she focused on making sure every detail was taken care of.
It seems that Dawna did not do so well in terms of the eighth rule, being creative. Alexis went so far as to call her “uncreative,” while others simply heaped the “creative” label on Bethenny. And it’s true that Dawna didn’t come up with grand ideas most of the time. However, that doesn’t mean she has no creativity. Dawna did start up a magazine, after all, and that takes some amount of creative ability. While Dawna left Amanda to do the creative portion of the final task, thus showing a lack of creativity herself, it also showed that Dawna knew when to rely on others. This is a good skill for any manager to have.
However, Dawna had enough ideas to keep her around and show that she could indeed provide them to Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. She proved that she was more than one-dimensional. She could lead, organize, pay attention to detail, arrange her team, etc.
We never saw Dawna have any real problems with the tenth rule, using common sense. So that means it’s about time to wrap this season up.
Dawna might not be the most inspiring person in the world, but what she lacks in outward energy she makes up for in the ability to lead people and get them to do what she wants them to do. Even on Martha’s version of this series, leadership is more important than creativity. Dawna had that leadership ability and showed it whenever she could. That is why Dawna won.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our other Apprentice: Martha Stewart finale articles:
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: Martha Stewart page and take a look at our sections on Survivor: Guatemala and The Apprentice. 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: Martha Stewart!
View Printable version of this article