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The Apprentice: Los Angeles – Why Stefani Won, and James, Frank, Nicole & Viewers Lostby David Bloomberg -- 05/07/2007
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It’s been a few weeks since the end of The Apprentice: Los Angeles, and a number of people have e-mailed to ask where “Why Stefani Won” was. It’s finally time for me to write it.
However, this article will not take the usual format. The reason that Stefani won while James, Frank, and Nicole lost is a simple one: Stefani was the only one of the bunch who didn’t act like a total moron.
Some people have wondered what Donald Trump was talking about when he told James he couldn’t hire him because of things James had said. Even James himself has professed confusion on this subject. But it was pretty clear to me. James and Frank acted like first graders making fun of the teacher when Surya was their project manager. I knew immediately that neither of them could possibly win due to this immaturity and unprofessional behavior.
People might wonder: If the behavior was so bad, why didn’t Trump deal with it sooner? We have to remember that Trump doesn’t see all the behind-the-scenes stuff until the same time we do – when it airs on TV. He has to rely on his various “eyes and ears” and what people say or do at the Boardroom. While it was obvious in the Boardroom that Frank and James didn’t respect Surya, Trump had no way of knowing about their childish behavior until he saw it on TV.
I haven’t mentioned Nicole yet, but do we really need to go into it? Her boyfriend was booted in part for their relationship. And then she picked him for the final task, where she was busy canoodling with him instead of working as hard as she should have. There was no chance she would win.
That left Stefani, the first person to ever win The Apprentice without ever having been project manager. Referring briefly to What ‘The Apprentice: Los Angeles’ Applicants Should Have Learned, how could somebody win without following the first and most important rule about showing leadership?
Well, we have to say that this is at least in part not Stefani’s fault – and part of the reason the viewers lost this season. The Apprentice instituted a number of new rules, several of which were just plain stupid. The project manager carryover is perhaps the most heinous of these.
One reason is obvious – we ended up with a winner who was never project manager because of this rule. While we can say that she should have muscled her way into the position, what she said in the finale is absolutely correct: She was never in danger, and others were. One way a candidate has historically shown Trump s/he can handle the job after getting in trouble in the Boardroom is to become the next project manager. It happened to both Surya and James. James never gave up the position. Then the last two tasks put them in pairs with no project manager, so Stefani didn’t even have the opportunity all other finalists have had – managing a task on her own.
Another reason the rule about continuing project managers was a bad one is due to the way Trump handled the firings. Even when a project manager had a win or two under his/her belt, Trump often fired them. It’s one thing to fire a project manager who stepped in and lost, but another to fire one who stepped in, won twice, and only then lost.
Indeed, Trump’s firings this year have seemed more random than usual. While there were generally legitimate reasons for the firings, as discussed in each of my columns, there were definitely times when I disagreed. The phrase “white trash” comes to mind, for example.
In the end, Trump picked a new Apprentice who flew so low under the radar that viewers probably don’t feel they know much about her at all. But we knew plenty about the other three finalists, and there was no way any of them deserved the job. The rule changes, especially the ongoing project manager, hurt the competition and gave us a winner who never truly showed she was the leader Trump claims to look for. When you put all of these together, we have the reasons why Stefani won, and James, Nicole, Frank, and the viewers lost.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Apprentice articles:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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