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The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, Weekly Performance Appraisal, Episode 1: Beans to You!by William Ingram -- 09/26/2005
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And That’s No Lie.”
-- “Every 1’s A Winner,” Hot Chocolate, 1979
Welcome to the weekly (some might say, “weakly”) evaluation of the contestants on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. Each week, I will look at each contestant remaining and give my appraisal of his or her performance. Some of them will shine like stars and others will flicker like fluorescent lights down at the warehouse.
This week, we start off with sixteen contestants. Due to time constraints in the first episode, not all of them got enough air time to give them a fair evaluation. But then, who said life was fair?
Bethenny: You have quite an “in,” Bethenny. You are best friends with Charles’ daughter and even dated his son. You need to be very careful not to let that connection get in your way.
It could help you, in the sense that Charles may give you the benefit of the doubt in cases where he knows that you are capable of something that you are not showing. On the other hand, Charles may try extra hard to demonstrate that he is not showing you any favoritism.
Your best bet for now is to keep doing what you are doing and try to pretend that you have never met Charles before. Treat him like any other executive that you have to work with and that you’ve never met before.
Chuck: I guess you are the designated “sissy boy,” as Jim would say. You didn’t get much camera time in this episode. There’s not much to say except to continue to keep your head down for now. Your name never came up in a negative way, so it appears that you are doing just fine.
David: You didn’t have much camera time this week. Maybe that’s a good thing this early in the game. If you can help the team and not put a target on your back, you must be doing something right.
But, keep in mind that, to win a reality show like this, you will need to step up to the plate sooner or later and take a leadership role. Don’t wait too long.
Dawn: You are not long for this game, kiddo. Your problem is that you always seem to insist on getting your way. You are like a spoiled little child.
You have a preconceived notion of the way things should be, or the way you’d like them to be, and then become annoyed and frustrated when other people don’t agree with you. When Jeff explained how he wanted the story read, you bucked him at almost every opportunity. Now, I’ll grant you that Jeff was being a bit too pushy, but he was the project leader at that point. While you certainly have the obligation to point out really bad ideas on Jeff’s part, you were really stepping over the line by opposing every one of his ideas. At some stage, you just have to shut up and let Jeff sink or swim on the merits of his own work.
You are not a team player. When Jeff announced that the team had fifty minutes to read the story and get prepared, you announced that you were hungry and needed to eat. When the team objected, you gleefully insisted on arguing the point until we finally saw you wander off to the kitchen for a banana. As one of your teammates pointed out, you didn’t even appear to be in any kind of a big hurry. You weren’t going to do anything until you had your little tantrum and got your way.
Let’s face it, Dawn, you are skating on very thin ice. Jeff demoted you from being both a writer and then from being a reader for very good reasons. You’d be wise to figure out those reasons and change your ways. Martha’s not going to want an apprentice that defies her at every junction. Keep in mind Martha’s new key phrase, “You just don’t fit in.”
Martha will be saying those words to you personally, sooner rather than later.
Jeff: Oh Jeff, where do I begin? Somehow you got to be project manager this week. If you had watched any seasons of The Apprentice, you’d know that bossing everyone around and ruling with an iron fist is not the way to win challenges and build good team spirit.
Well, okay, you might actually win some challenges if you have some really good ideas and nobody opposes you too much. But, it quickly became obvious that Dawn was going to be a problem. She couldn’t work well with other people and she was going to try very hard to be a thorn in your side.
You did well to minimize her role in the challenge by giving her the simple role of reading the story. And, when it became obvious that she wasn’t going to do that without complaints, you again did the right thing by demoting her again.
But, could you have done it better? Could you have somehow managed to steer her in a more productive direction without being so blunt? I think you could have. Instead, you showed the rest of the team what happens when someone locks horns with you. You become pig headed and lay down the law. No one will like you for that and your team will abandon you at the first chance. In fact, Jim did try very hard to get rid of you and that’s why we are doing this performance review over a speaker phone from your home rather than face-to-face in my office.
And what was up with that rhyming idea you came up with? Sure, it worked for Dr. Seuss, and your meeting room was The Dr. Seuss Room, but the good doctor worked on his rhymes for many, many years before publishing them. Your team got to work on your rhymes for only a couple of days. You should have stuck with traditional verse when you knew you only had a limited amount of time.
Jim: You need to tone it down a bit, Jim. Yes, I can see your enthusiasm and that kind of energy is exactly what is needed for this show. But, you need to channel that positive energy into positive directions.
Currently, you seem to be directing your energy in negative ways. You call people “Sissy boys.” That’s a bad idea, considering that your team has a male interior decorator on it. Although Chuck didn’t say anything directly about your comments, you know he heard you and you are headed for conflict if you continue like that. Granted, Chuck did say, later on, that he couldn’t work with you on a regular basis, so maybe he was thinking about your homophobic comments.
Also, you complain too much about everybody. To you, everyone else is a screw up and just a pawn for your use. You even said as much in one of your private interviews. For now, you are correctly deflecting blame onto the other players. But, in the end, when people start comparing notes, they will see you for what you are – a snake in the grass. Then, they will gang up on you (as much as they can in this type of game). Once they complain enough about you, you will be seen, in Martha’s eyes, as a liability and you will never be picked to be her apprentice. You’ve already got a couple of black marks on your record, in that Chuck and Jeff have both denounced you in front of Martha.1 2 Next-->
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