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The Apprentice: Los Angeles, Episode 8 Performance Reviewsby Brian Towers -- 03/14/2007
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We learned one thing on The Apprentice: Los Angeles this week: Surya’s record was 5-2 in the challenges! For him, that seemed to be worth repeating – and he did, many times. To try and make further sense out of the other 58 minutes of the show, let’s turn to our attention to “Performance Reviews” of the remaining applicants!
Crowd reaction was appropriately underwhelming for two such amateurish events. If I had been scoring these events out of ten, neither effort deserved better than a three or a four. I think the smart people went for a beer and a pretzel instead of watching these presentations.
If someone can tell me what “dressing up in a Styrofoam costume and acting like an idiot in front of a crowd of thousands” has to do with the management of a project for Trump International, please tell me at the address at the end of the article.
I wasn’t incredibly impressed with their event, but now we know GNC’s red pills are better than their white ones! (Yes, that was a joke.) Reader Matt wrote to suggest a competition between a GNC pill (or bottle) and one labeled Brand-X might have made better sense.
Angela: I got one thing wrong in last week’s article – it’s obvious Angela has tons of Olympic brownie points left! First, Trump called her “a star” when meeting the sponsor. Then, when results were about to be announced and Trump asks the PM how they thought the task went, he asked Angela instead! The golf compliments seemed over the top too, but since we really couldn’t tell a lot from the camerawork and I’d like to think Trump won’t make any serious decisions based on such a non-business skill, I’m not going to worry about her golf.
As a follower, no one could fault Angela’s effort, but as Surya proved this week, the show is about finding a leader. So after the warning Trump gave her as Kinetic left the Boardroom last episode, I had fully expected Angela to make the effort to step up and insist on becoming the PM. If she made such an offer, we didn’t see it.
My opinion of her public speaking skills hasn’t changed; I found her voice harsh and even after several re-listens, almost completely unintelligible. On a soccer board I read there were several posts that implied it was even more painful to the ears in person. However, the GNC exec seemed to think he heard what he wanted to, and that’s what mattered the most this week.
When advising Surya through the hedge, she suggested he bring up his record. Aha, that’s her fault! Did I mention he was 5-2?
I’m not real comfortable with it, but Angela gets a SATISFACTORY rating. I expect she’ll be with us for a couple of episodes yet.
Heidi: Heidi was also pointed out to the GNC exec with the news that she “was a star,” with the emphasis on the word “was.” One minute, one strike. Angela got the same intro, but Heidi was not to benefit from any future positives from Trump.
We saw Heidi several times but I actually don’t have much specific comment for her this time out, so I’ll just assign her a SATISFACTORY rating and we’ll move on to Kristine.
Kristine: Kristine stepped up to be PM this week, and I applaud both her initiative and her optimism. After all, there are still a goodly number of tasks to go through yet, and winning them all will be hard. However, this task was so right up her alley that it seemed like as good a time as any for her to jump in.
When Kristine spoke of her prior experience in the area of this task, I was reminded of Kelly from Survivor: Borneo, the river rafter who couldn’t paddle a canoe. Or, more on topic, Sandy from season two of this show, the bridal salon owner who failed at a bridal show.
However, Kristine led a clean if unremarkable event. Okay, it was actually kind of lame. It seemed unrehearsed, with characters bumping into each other and Angela clobbering the message. Much of the blame for this has to fall on Kristine, as insufficient rehearsal means time management was lacking. However, they had a simple if unspectacular storyline with plenty of color, movement, and noise. Maybe fireworks could have helped, if they were permitted. Bottom line, as far as the GNC exec was concerned, it hit the main points. I can’t disagree, and it wasn’t offensive… faint praise, that, but it’s the best I can offer.
Kristine came up with an idea that sounded pretty appropriate to me, a GNC-themed soccer game. Although they went in another direction, Kristine gets marks for recognizing that final suggestion as a decent idea.
I was impressed that Kristine recognized that difficulties with Muna will have to be worked out, and that she is willing to put forth an effort to do so. This needs monitoring in future weeks.
In the Boardroom, why did Trump ask Kristine if Surya was a good leader? How could she possibly know? Was that a trick question to see if she had a secret agenda? She took a short step toward that trap but easily evaded it. Actually, I thought her performance as Trump’s aide was good. She offered opinion and made inquiry without exhibiting the shortcomings of predecessors Aaron and Aimee. Putting the idea of firing all three into Trump’s head in a non-aggressive fashion was inspired.
Since Kristine led Kinetic to a win with two less helpers, even if her event stopped short of being spectacular, her rating must be GOOD. Next week she’ll be leading her team on a project where she is probably less comfortable, and we’ll get a true measure of her skills. Based on what we saw this week, I’m a little nervous for her.
Muna: Last week we saw Muna delving very deeply into how to operate the Lexus, and now this week we saw a repeat performance of her tendency to dogmatically focus on items of lesser import. She harped on meaningless details with both Kristine and the design team and wore them down while contributing little. Sometimes the line between double-checking and micromanaging is pretty fine… but not in Muna’s case.
Muna felt she was identifying areas where they could improve, but finally it clicked in that she ought to just “shine within my own realm.” Yes, she should. She needs to dial it back a little.
In the webisode, we saw a little of the planning Kinetic did, flushing out their idea. While the other three were enthusiastic and offering ideas, Muna sat very quietly with a defensive posture, and pouted. She claimed she wanted to hear details; I think you need basic concepts first.
Once again Muna’s Spanish skills came into play for Kinetic. It added a dimension to their presentation that Arrow did not match. Additionally, her presentation was almost as frenetic as Angela’s.
Assuming it was well-intentioned and not an attempt to undermine Team Arrow, I applaud Muna’s encouragement of Surya to fight to the end. Of course, she knew none of the facts and her suggestions (as well as Angela’s) were complete nonsense, but wasn’t that a nice sentiment?1 2 3 Next-->
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