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The Apprentice: Los Angeles, Episode 4 MVP and LVP – Bowl-Sh**by Jennifer McBride -- 02/05/2007
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Cheap wine, midterms, and the Donald don’t mix well. Good thing the Reality Television Goddess is immune to hangovers, even if she isn’t immune to bad grades. She isn’t immune to Sean’s British accent, either. Listening to him was enough to make me purr. It was almost pleasant enough to drown out Trump’s discussion of the things people do in their automobiles.
The Donald does like to hear himself talk, doesn’t he? One of these days my ears are going to rot off my face from overuse. Is the hats-off inside rule still applicable in buildings not ruled by a big-haired maniac? Because I’m afraid my Reality Television Goddess crown is glued onto my scalp.
By the way, I strike my previous comments about sympathy for the tent dwellers from the record. How bad can life be if they have access to both wine and beer? Spaghetti from a can is not exactly the ninth circle of Dante’s inferno, people.
At last, our heroine “the hottie” sails to a loss. This week was not her shiningest. She stuck with a name choice, which was good, showing a decisiveness that Reality TV Hall-of-Shame inductee Michelle could have used in the last challenge. Heidi gets an F, however, in her allocation of manpower. There were too many people hanging behind the counter during a time of no sales. Excess cashiers should have been trying to wave in traffic or find bulk orders, like Tim and team did.
At the very least, an excess of cashiers should have led to an excess of spirit, but Team Hottie showed all the sales enthusiasm of a limp mango slice. I think Heidi’s team was used to winning by default and didn’t feel the need to put much effort into the tasks. Good Apprentices know: even when you’re sure you’re going to win, you have to try a little harder. Meandering into home base isn’t sufficient, Heidi and company should have been willing to get down in the mud.
From a strategy standpoint, Heidi did a good job discussing her Boardroom justifications with her team beforehand. She showed her teammates a fair thinking process and a lot of respect, helping ensure they wouldn’t turn against her later. I think isolating Marisa beforehand earned a maximum of team support for Heidi in the Boardroom.
Heidi also made a good strategic choice taking Aimee into the Boardroom. If Trump did one of his sudden, classic flip-flops, suddenly determining that he liked Marisa’s “spirit” (my new euphemism for breasts), then he would naturally pick Marisa’s target, Aimee, for exile. By choosing Aimee, Heidi prevented Marisa from changing her vote from Aimee to Heidi, effectively protecting herself from sudden wind shifts in Hurricane Trump.
Derek proved himself entertaining this week by referring to his project manager as “the almighty,” but he didn’t rein in Marisa and he didn’t contribute much else. Sorry boy, but Shamu impressions and jokes about your fearless leader are not enough to sway this cold heart.
While Derek might have failed to notice the fact that work ethic takes you farther than wit, Marisa failed to notice that, in the short term, the name of the bowl isn’t going to matter as much as the strength of marketing’s push. Chicken suits might have gotten you better publicity, but they were more likely to generate car crashes than sales, as drivers doubled over their steering-wheels, screaming with laughter.
I’m giving an honorary whack-o’-the-salmon to the entirety of Team Adaptor for not cleaning up the campsite this week. I’m a college student and I live more neatly than you do. If you guys were in a forest, the bears would come by and devour all your dishes. “Big Teddy” would probably have gnawed off an ankle or two for good measure. Let’s see you utilize your designer shoes then, tenties!
Brave Surya climbed the mountain and heard the Reality Television Goddess’s first commandment: thou shalt shew thy initiative! Unfortunately, he skipped down the mountain so fast he forgot to listen to the part about not lecturing your new team five minutes after you’ve met them. Unless he’d planted a personal video camera on Arrow’s previous tasks, he couldn’t really know what caused them to lose, so he had little right to criticize.
Even if Surya was right, speaking to his teammates like they were a bunch of ten-year-olds when they were well-lubricated with alcohol was not a good idea. Surya may look good in a swimsuit, but he didn’t look good during his “Papa don’t preach moment.” Surya did make up for his sermon by selling vigorously over the counter. His conservative counsel to Aaron was wrong, but it could easily have been right. Still, given the team’s losing streak, it wasn’t a good time to play things straight.
Aaron made the right call by rejecting Surya, but was it because he’s good or lucky? He gets the point for rocking the pink shirt in his confessional interviews this week. See, Mr. Trump? Pink is good for more than ties. His willingness to step up last week to lead and his willingness to take chances this week proves that Aaron has initiative tempered with intelligence. He needs to speak up more in the Boardroom, though. Trump loves loudmouths (unless they’re Frank). The valuable face time is a chance to prove that you can bark and bite.
So who’s this week’s MVP? I see a light shining, hovering, darting, trying to steal the heart of someone’s Reality Television Boyfriend. Luckily for one RNO writer, the man stays firm, resisting the Goddess’s subtle charms if not her offer of a sidelined throne. Tim pitched the bulk sales hard and went for it, even though he knew he risked getting fired for abandoning his team. When he sold 22 bowls of chickeny goodness, persuading the reluctant without pushing too hard, he sealed Team Adaptor’s victory.
Sorry, Aaron, but the closest you get to be to my throne this week is the position of my human footstool. This position is prestigious enough that I only award it to my close, secondary MVPs, so enjoy my ankles on your back for the moment. Tim also made a move to secure future MVPs based on his entertainment value by possibly stirring up the beginnings of a romance between himself and Nicole. If Apprentice editors continue to leave so much task footage on the cutting room floor, entertainment may be the only thing I can judge on in the coming weeks.
And the whack of my scepter goes to… Marisa. Oh, Marisa, I had such high hopes for you. You were willing to stick to your guns on the swimsuit challenge instead of covering your behind like so many of your teammates. Even if your design wasn’t great, you had spunk, and that should count for something. You grasped the idea that victories, while they kept you alive in the short-term, would lead to long-term detriments, and you looked like you were about to do something to throw off Heidi’s game. Were your actions this week supposed to be part of your subtle plot to dethrone Heidi? If subtle means a bullhorn in the ear, you deserved an MVP for your eighty decibels of failure.
Unfortunately, true MVPs slither and strike in the dark. You might still be around if you had kept your mouth shut, as Trump genuinely liked you and he’s protected those he liked before. However, you showed an ability to think clearly, an inability to keep silent, and in the end you’re taking a towncar to an alley where you get dumped in a heap. And, here’s some free political advice – the closest wannabe senators should get to reality television is the front row in a CSPAN broadcast. There’s no way you don’t end up giving your opponents several free, juicy bits for their campaign ads.
Now let us pelt her with rotting fish.
Things I’d like to see more of this season:
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Jennifer McBride is a senior in journalism at the University of Oregon. Her lifetime ambitions involve bigamy and a plethora of cats. Job offers and Viagra ads can be sent to her at email@example.com, though you should use the subject line “Not Spam” if you expect her to find them.
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