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The Apprentice: Los Angeles, Episode 4 Extras – Fowl Playby Kathy Lonergan -- 01/31/2007
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Welcome to another edition of The Apprentice Extras. I’d like to kick off this week with a little joke:
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
For those not in the know, this week’s task required the teams to create, market, and sell a new dish for the El Pollo Loco restaurant chain. The team that generated the most revenue from that new dish would be declared the winner. According to Marisa, her team’s marketing strategy would be to have people dressed as chickens, standing at intersections, in order to draw customers into the restaurant. Yes, that’s right – chicken suits. Poor Marisa; it seems the pollo ain’t the only thing that’s loco.
We begin the webisode with a voiceover from Trump, reminding us how Kinetic had been killing Arrow, thus precipitating the transfer of someone from the mansion to the camp. We see several members of Kinetic volunteer to move to Arrow, with Aaron selecting Surya. As Surya leaves the mansion, he reminds Team Kinetic to keep doing what it’s doing.
In the yard, Aaron greets Surya warmly, tells him the team members are thrilled to have him on board, and offers him a beer. Surya declines, reminding him they have a task tomorrow morning. Not that I disagree with his logic, but I’m guessing Surya is somewhat on the conservative side. The fact that in the swimsuit task, he modeled board shorts instead of something like Carey’s “mankini” might have been my first clue.
It’s morning, and Arrow is ready to go. Surya thanks his new team for choosing him and asks them to help him get validated. For some reason, this tickled my funny bone; all I could picture was him having a parking stub in need of a stamp. It’s not all that funny now that my cough syrup has worn off, come to think of it…
Anyway, Surya says he can tell the members of Arrow are deeply emotionally invested. He’s going to dig deep to help them get a win, but not just any win – he’s wants to win BIG, by a 2:1 ratio. James asks the group if they can put someone in charge of logistics; they need someone to develop a schedule and manage the details. He thinks Surya’s just the man for the job. Surya says he’s “totally a big picture guy” and that he hates details. James facetiously says, “No! You don’t hate details!” but Surya insists.
James suggests to the group that they try to have more order than has been the case in previous tasks, and Surya asks if they have a problem talking over each other. The team says yes, and Surya proposes a plan. He suggests that they choose an object and during meetings, and only the person holding that object may speak. He picks up a small rock to illustrate his point. By utilizing this system, he rationalizes, the team will restore much-needed order and will be able spend more time listening.
In an interview, Aaron remarks that Surya is making a very “Kinetic” move here, but in all fairness, it’s probably a good idea, considering that Kinetic has been “whooping (our) butts.” He gives the idea the green light. They’re ready to rock (pun intended) and roll. (Note: Here’s a little something you should know about me: the pun is ALWAYS intended.)
Cut to Arrow riding in the van en route to El Pollo Loco. Sure enough, they are employing the “rock system” and it seems to be working beautifully. They are actually taking turns talking and responding to one another. There are a lot of good ideas coming forth from this discussion. Tim wants to secure bulk sales by delegating one person to look in the phone book and call all the businesses in a 10-block radius. Frank agrees. James says that sales are going to be important, but the other key to success in this task is their marketing strategy. Nicole interviews that the rock is working; she’s excited and says now people have the opportunity to listen to everyone. Rock on, sister!
We then see Arrow at the restaurant, using a trial-and-error method to create their product. Meanwhile, Surya worries. In an interview, he says that the other team has been all about execution, while this team is “big picture.” While they may have energy, they lack focus. He says Arrow could have been undefeated if only they would have had someone on them, keeping them in check. He says Arrow needs someone to hammer home schedules, logistics, and discipline, and he’s going to give it to them, whether they want it or not.
Just in case you weren’t convinced, we see Surya writing furiously on a pad of paper that bears the heading “OPERATIONS.” While we can’t read the details, it’s clear that it’s a division of personnel, duties, etc. In an interview, Stefani remarks that while every member of Arrow is a Type A personality, Surya is a Triple A!
She says she has never seen a person fill so many pads of paper with what appears to be the same list over and over again, just in a different order. “For the love of GOD,” she rails, “we’re at El Pollo Loco. Talking about what you need to do is not going to get it done!” She then suggests that Surya loosen up a little bit. This leads me to wonder if he wears a tie to bed, er, perhaps I should say sleeping bag. Speaking of El Pollo Loco, the webisode wraps up with a montage of Arrow’s successful sales and their ultimate Boardroom celebratory hug. Trump congratulates Aaron on his team’s win, but I can’t help thinking Surya felt it was HIS team to lead.1 2 3 Next-->
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