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The Apprentice: Los Angeles, Weekly Performance Review, Episode 3by Brian Towers -- 01/24/2007
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In the third episode of The Apprentice: Los Angeles, we saw something a little different when Michelle spoiled Trump’s fun by quitting before he could fire her. I can only assume that – mistakenly – she thought there was a chance he might fire someone else, and she wanted to avoid continuing in the game at all costs. Maybe, but she still did a wrong thing. I’ll say more on that later though, because now it’s time for a “Performance Review” of each active applicant.
This week I preferred this task to the ones we’ve seen to date. Arrow had to run a tour bus and get the top rating scores on a survey filled out by “a focus group of tourists.”
This task took advantage of this season’s unique location and there was a factor of presenting oneself well to an unfamiliar audience. Now, I’m not usually in favor of tasks where the judging is subjective, but this time it didn’t matter because the winning team was obvious.
Kinetic spends so much time at the hedge listening to Arrow shoot themselves in both feet that I think Team Hedgehog might be a better team name. Good for them! They continue to gather important information about Arrow that will be useful in the future when the teams are reshuffled. At the rate Arrow is losing, that may be very soon.
Kinetic wasn’t actually partaking in the task this week, although they did some team bonding. No one caused any disruption, so no one gets a bad rating. Although I’m a big fan of a quality Shamu impersonation, I regret that’s not a dimension I traditionally pass comment on, so it’s NO RATING for all but Heidi.
Heidi: Heidi gets a GOOD rating for the complete and honest way she reported her Boardroom experiences back to her team. A more devious player might have lied, exaggerated, or omitted key details, but Heidi did not take those lower roads.
As the conversation shifted to the way the rest of Arrow turned on Michelle, Heidi’s comment, “There are disruptive people in any business and you just need to roll with it,” was right on the money.
This week, Arrow was split into two groups, with the unit led by Aaron winning by an overwhelming amount (82% to 58%) over that of unwilling leader Michelle. When the teams were chosen and Michelle picked two of her harshest critics (Tim and Nicole) for her team, the die was cast. So let’s look at the winning trio first. As usual, the winners team got minimal face time this week, and again, we saw very little of how the project was actually accomplished.
Aaron: I liked it very much that when Trump called for volunteers to be the next project managers, Aaron stepped right up. It was discouraging that no one else did, so all the better for Aaron.
As mentioned above, we didn’t see a lot of what Aaron did, just the positive result of a handily won victory. In the Boardroom, his teammates gave gracious kudos to Aaron, with James specifically mentioning “leadership, and willing to listen.” Two things we are aware of are that he encouraged open discussion among his teammates and he ensured the task preparation was completed so there was still time for some shuteye. Neither of these things happened on Michelle’s team.
So finally, I can type the words I’ve been longing to write all season: Aaron gets an EXCELLENT rating!
My last comment for Aaron is that it’s a rough break for him that Michelle’s decision denied Aaron from the opportunity to sit on the other side of the firing table. Every opportunity to shine in front of The Donald is to be cherished.
James: James started out in a very interesting fashion with his idea of renting Laker Girls to attract business. It ensured they had more passengers than they could handle. Too bad this didn’t address the actual task at hand, namely running a tour that pleased the customers. Contestants need to stay focused about the true objective of the task – this one was about quality, not quantity.
However, James did do well by coming up with the theme of “Famous Places, Beautiful Faces.” It’s a positive theme and what tourists expect when they tour Hollywood.
Unfortunately, we don’t know who had the excellent idea for one of the trio to take an existing tour to see what they could learn from it. James made great use of the opportunity, though, by noticing the annoying, distasteful jokes and the need for refreshments.
James has a youthful enthusiasm that is infectious and it makes him very likeable. However, Team Arrow should never give him that much coffee and a public audience again! He ranted meaninglessly in the first part of the tour and almost undid all the things that had gone right up to that point. This kept him from receiving a top-notch grade, as oral presentation is very important. But since in the long run it wasn’t fatal, I can assign him a GOOD rating.
Stefani: Stefani did a few things right this week. First of all, her research was of high quality and gave them interesting tour material. But her best move was later on the bus, when (as she pointed out to us) she saved the task for her team by wresting the microphone from babbling James. She saw a bad situation and stepped up to fix it. That didn’t happen so much on the other team.
Stefani calmly and coolly delivered a smooth patter that ensured the task would not fail. As I said above, oral presentation skills are important for someone heading up a Trump endeavor, so it’s also an EXCELLENT week for Stefani.
Frank: Frank also did well in this episode. It started during the planning session, when Frank was unequivocal in his support of his PM when asked if he liked the theme. In fact, although he didn’t like working with Michelle, he managed to avoid the distasteful and negative sniping the others featured so prominently. This might normally be an expected behavior, but in this episode, apparently not.
Let me take a brief aside to talk about these articles and the Yahoo webisodes. As far as these articles are concerned, I only write about what I see on the broadcast show. However, the webisodes are great viewing and worth the trouble for fans like us (or you can read our recap of it). This week, we saw irrefutable evidence that Michelle was a bad PM who can’t make decisions, and that it drove Frank right to the edge.
Teamed up with Nicole on task(s) unknown (but apparently doing nothing), he took the initiative that they should independently acquire costumes and signage. Without that initiative, they’d have failed even more miserably than they did. No one else stepped up to help Heidi, so again Frank gets credit for what ought to be standard procedure.
Even in the Boardroom, Frank tried to carefully choose his words and stand behind his PM. Trump was having none of it, so Frank confessed accurately that Michelle had shortcomings in the area of decision-making.
I can only go so high when a team lost this badly, so this time out, Frank earned a VERY GOOD rating. However, Trump again took specific notice of who was the last one picked, and it was Frank. Frank’s a fine worker bee, but he’s still got zero chance of winning this game.1 2 Next-->
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