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The Apprentice: Los Angeles, Weekly Performance Review, Episode 2by Brian Towers -- 01/16/2007
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In the second task, Arrow lost again and Carey was sent packing. How did each applicant do on the job? Let’s take a look at their performance reviews. (If you’d like a full explanation of my rating system, check outlast week’s column.)
This week, I was very disappointed in the whole show. The task was settled by a skill that has nothing to do with running a Trump company and was just a cheesy way to get people into bathing suits. The reward – more of the same. Trump’s dopey comments about the pretty girls are no longer amusing, nor are his thoughts about whether pink is an appropriate color for men.
Now, before saying this next part, I know this is supposed to be an entertainment show and not really a job interview, but asking people if they are gay is simply not allowed in the employment process these days. And the inane limitation of providing only four models so two of the contestants were forced to get into swimsuits – would that be legally actionable in the real world, or is that a requirement of employment at a Trump company?
Further, the editing of the show was terrible, with minimal footage of the teams accomplishing the project by actually performing assigned tasks. For example, riddle me this about both teams: who designed the clothes for each gender, who supervised construction of the suits, who worked with the models, who coordinated the details of the show with Trina Turk, and how were the price points set?
And finally, where were these nifty new team names last week?
At any rate, the task this week was to design swimsuits, price them, supervise their construction, and present them at a fashion show to sell them to retail outlet buyers. Gross sales to those buyers were the yardstick of final evaluation. Let’s look at how the players performed.
Kinetic had little face time as individuals. Therefore, I regret that I have NO RATING for Aimee, Angela, Derek, Jenn, and Muna. Really brief clips showed Muna and Jenn as part of the group designing female suits, but not enough that I feel obligated to make comment.
Kristine and Surya: Not much was made of it, but bravo to this duo for also stepping up onto the runway to display product. Their rating is SATISFACTORY, because for the most part in this episode, they were in the same generic boat as the five mentioned above.
Marisa: We did learn that Marisa was responsible for the first women’s swimsuit. Perhaps it was a pedestrian affair, but it was certainly a marketable product. She stood behind her work when challenged by Heidi, and I liked that.
Marisa’s rating is GOOD. At reward she showed us viewers a little resentment of Heidi’s role as PM. As this was an aside I will not alter her rating because of it, but I think we need to be wary of teamwork issues in the weeks ahead.
Heidi: For quite a while, pretty much everything Heidi did on the task was hidden from us, and I was beginning to fear that I’d actually have to give NO RATING to a project manager! We didn’t really see her until she was shown being negative about Marisa’s suit design. When she told us that she allowed it to be included, but planned to turn on Marisa if things went badly, I questioned her teamwork.
I’d really prefer to write more about her communication and resource deployment skills, or perhaps her deft costing decisions or the way she avoided some pitfalls, but I can only guess that must have all been satisfactory and uneventful.
In the Boardroom, Heidi did better this time at subtly directing the flow of the debate. She deflected Carey’s attempt to put focus on a perceived weaker link, Michelle. Heidi’s efforts earn her a GOOD rating.
Boy, is this group ever in trouble! They didn’t remember who the client was, they were unsupportive (or fake-supportive) of each other, and they talked so loudly that the other team could hear them air their dirty linen. Now, next week they’re essentially competing against themselves. I’m almost ready to predict that there will be no winner!
Aaron: Aaron expressed his doubts about Carey’s designs while in the back of the van, but no one seemed to react to the straight man’s opinion. He gets a SATISFACTORY rating for being right yet no more because he didn’t put his opinions out forcefully enough to sway others.
Frank: Except for being perhaps a little too exuberant in his celebration of not being fired, Frank was a good boy this week. However, when Frank mentioned he was sleeping outside Trump still saw fit to comment to him, “Don’t worry. You’ll be back in the Bronx very soon, don’t worry about it.” That was an unfair snipe, but it does indicate that Frank will not win The Apprentice: Los Angeles.
One more point… Frank is a very bad liar. When he first saw Carey in the pink suit, he said, “I like it,” in a manner so unconvincing that I’m surprised no one either laughed or slapped him. Still, for this week’s efforts Frank earns a SATISFACTORY rating.
James: We learned in the Boardroom that apparently, James had a role in the pricing. Since Trump felt the pricing was fine, James gets credit here.
Also in the Boardroom, James said his choice would be to send Nicole home. Yet, when she pressed him, he didn’t really back it up. In fact, Trump had to put words into his mouth that I rather doubt were forthcoming. It’s good to show a unique opinion, but you know this question is coming and one needs to be ready to succinctly back that opinion up. Netting these items out and getting generous, James barely records a GOOD rating this week.
Stefani: NO RATING.
Tim: Tim was again responsible for loud talk outside that the other team could hear. Maybe when (if?) he ever gets on the other side of the hedge, he’ll figure this out.
I think others look to Tim as a natural leader. When discussing an upcoming Boardroom, Tim’s opinions have been sought out in both weeks. The time can’t be far off when these leadership skills will be called on to take on the PM role.
In a cameo that preceded the Boardroom, Tim tells us this week he saw “no obvious screw-up,” which is an odd statement considering the sales numbers for men’s suits. Nonetheless, Tim gets a SATISFACTORY rating for the week.1 2 Next-->
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