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What ‘Apprentice 5’ Applicants Should Have LearnedPage 6
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10) Use Common Sense
Do we really need to say this? Well, yes. In the first season, Jason made a huge (or “yuge” in Trump-speak) mistake when he was project manager. He had the opportunity to talk to the client and find out what kind of advertising campaign they wanted. But he blew them off. About 99% of people watching were yelling at their TV sets for Jason to talk to them – it was common sense. He didn’t have it. He was fired.
Similarly, in the Trump Ice challenge, Ereka blathered about "creating a buzz," while Bill cut to the chase and talked cost to clients, getting got much better results. It's common sense that bottled water is bottled water, and people are really just looking for a good price.
The second series showed that too many people still didn’t understand common sense. Ivana taking off her skirt for twenty bucks in the M-Azing challenge wasn’t just short-term thinking, as already discussed – it was stupid! Raj knocking out a wall to make a four-bedroom house into a three-bedroom house in the remodeling challenge similarly defied logic. Tana ripping on her own crew in the final task to Caroline showed horrible management skills and helped her lose the job. And do we really need to talk about Ryan on Stewart’s version of the show, getting drunk during a challenge! We could go on, but I think the point is obvious by now. Will it be obvious to the contestants? We’ll have to wait and see.
This doesn’t just apply in the challenges, but in the Boardroom as well. Bring yourself back further in the first series. Remember David? No, you don’t. My point exactly. To remind you, David was the first person fired. Why was he fired? In large part because when Trump asked him if he would have been a better leader than Troy, he said no, because sales are not his forte. Never admit that you would have been worse than the other guy when you’re in a competition!
And then there was Bradford? He made a Reality TV Hall of Shame-worthy mistake by getting cocky in the Boardroom and telling Trump he didn’t need the exemption he was holding. So Trump took it away and then proceeded to fire him. That went way beyond a failure of common sense to just plain stupid.
Finally, you should use common sense when you are the project manager deciding who to bring with you into the Boardroom. You don’t want to go up against two strong people, so you should always do your best to bring at least one weaker person in. When Ereka didn’t take Katrina in, as discussed earlier, she made more than one mistake. Yes, she let her friendship get in the way of her decision-making, but she also brought two very strong competitors in against her. She was the weakest link – goodbye.
It goes further than this, as we saw repeatedly in the second series. Project managers and others need to listen to Trump during the first phase of the Boardroom and pay attention to what he says about people. Several times, Trump gave big hints that he wasn’t happy with certain people, but the project managers failed to pick up on these.
For example, Pamela should have known that Trump was not a fan of Sandy’s, but she missed it completely and didn’t take Sandy with her. Pamela was fired, Sandy made it to the Final Four. Earlier we discussed Chris in the fourth season, who ignored Trump & Co.’s statements about how he should bring Mark to the final Boardroom instead of Markus; he didn’t, so he was fired. So don’t go in with preconceived notions about who you’re bringing to the extent that you don’t even consider changing your mind. Common sense dictates that you need to be flexible enough to roll with the Boardroom punches.
Ivana did get the hint about Bradford when he made his boneheaded move to give up his exemption. But then she was upset about it when Bradford was fired! She made the right decision based on what Trump said if she wanted to avoid getting fired herself, but if she didn’t want Bradford fired – if she thought he was a strong player who could help the team – she should not have brought him along. Do not bring a “decoy,” because anybody who goes to the Final Boardroom could be fired.
Similarly, non-project manager players also need to pay attention. Bren was targeting Stephanie in a third season Boardroom when Michael kept interrupting. He needed to just shut up and let the other two fight. But he didn’t – and by doing so he drew attention back to himself with the wrong outcome for him.
These are the most important lessons that should have been learned ahead of time by the Apprentice 5 contestants. Bill played by these rules and came home (literally, since he got a job in Chicago) with the big prize. He didn’t win every challenge, but he showed that he knew how to handle himself in a variety of situations. Kelly likewise followed these guidelines – especially in showing leadership – and easily trounced all of his competition. Kendra played the game a bit differently, and in a way that was not universally-liked, but in the end she was able to turn on the power and walk away the winner. Randal showed great leadership throughout the series, earned the respect and admiration of his peers, and had a perfect record as a project manager to boot.
This fifth time around will definitely have added difficulty. In addition, with four seasons under our belts, contestants should have a better idea what they’re up against. They should know more of what to do and what not to do. No matter what, these rules provide the best chance to hear the words, “You’re hired!”
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com. Thanks to Betsy Wasser and Mike DeGeorge for their contributions to earlier versions of this article.
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