The Apprentice 2 Weekly Performance Review, Episode 11: Maria's Movin' Outby Mike DeGeorge -- 11/24/2004
This was one of the best showings by a team in this season, maybe second only to Mosaic's NYPD ad task. And was it just my imagination, or did Robert Hanson, the president of Levi's, remind anyone else of Egon from Ghostbusters? Also, this was one of the coolest rewards ever. Screw the jewelry, I'd rather meet the man who wrote Piano Man. And no, I'm not being sarcastic.
Jennifer: At first, I couldn't believe how incompetent you looked in this episode. But then, after talking to a few people about you, I've come up with a theory. You're not stupid - in fact, you're one of the smartest people on the show. However, you play off the dumb blonde theory and let people think you're not intelligent. You do exactly the amount of work you have to do. If you're not in danger (or Project Manager), you seem to scale it back. While this method of play would work well in Survivor, I think it will hurt you badly when your ass actually IS on the line.
Let me illustrate the point. She defends Stacie in the boardroom, slightly. Just enough so that she could say that she doesn't like the way Stacie was treated and not look horrible. Hey, she tried! Of course, she didn't try TOO hard, like disagree with Trump when he said that "everyone" thought Stacie was crazy.
Or, more recently, she claimed not to understand the "fit wheel" and as a result, was busy work the rest of the task. Maybe she saw that Kevin and Kelly LOVED the wheel idea, and she knew it was a good idea. But she's not going to give Ivana the satisfaction of praising her, so she sandbags her. You're not going to work hard only for Ivana to get the credit for it. Your team wins, you can say that Ivana just didn't explain it well enough for you. You lose, you can point to the fit wheel and say "I thought it was dumb from the start, I didn't even understand it until it was too late, but everyone else loved it!" Finally, you claim to know nothing about modeling, but you can't tell me that's the first time you've ever done something like that. And finally, you managed to take the credit away from Ivana. You should have been honest and said that it was Ivana's idea, but that would have been really, really stupid, so it was right of you to keep quiet.
Of course, I could be wrong and you could be stupid as a rock. After all, the internet extras showed you acting confused at the very beginning. Either way, you're doing well in the game somehow. I haven't quite figured that out yet. Maybe it IS some sort of fembot powers, or cross mojo-nation, or something.
Kelly: As I've said before, I love confidence, but saying that Wes sent you to Apex because he's afraid of you? That's just dumb. Maybe he didn't like your cocky attitude?
Ivana: I don't like you as a performer on this task, but credit where credit is due, your "fit wheel" idea was excellent. Definitely your high point of the show, and you deserve all the credit in the world, despite what ol' Egon thinks. And speaking of which, I'm glad you didn't try to argue about Jen doing the best job. It would have made you look petty, just like when you criticized Stacie on the real estate task.
However (you knew you wouldn't get away from me that easily!), in talking with the same people as I mentioned above with Jennifer, I've decided that you have a RAGING case of jealousy against Jennifer. It's understandable, because it's not fair that beautiful people already have an advantage in life. But it does no good to moan and piss and whine about it, it's unbecoming! Besides, jealousy makes you say things like "[Jen] is getting more in more blonde," right in front of the blonde Carolyn, who holds your fate in her hands.
You've proven yourself to me this week - you have the skills it takes to be a tremendous manager. Take my advice, and don't worry about the advantage that someone else has, use the advantages YOU have and laugh as you pass them on the corporate ladder. And if you go back to sucking next week, I'll go back to ripping on you.
Kevin: You did a great job as Project Manager this week, taking the good ideas of your teammates and letting the lesser people do the busy work. Not sure I agree with that last part, but it worked for you. I also loved the idea of posing for the catalog yourselves. It shows a confidence and willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Of course, Egon said your pictures weren't all that sexy, which would have been painful to me.
As seemingly everyone has mentioned, your biggest problem was the insane amount of flop sweat during the presentation. There's really no advice I can give you about that, except maybe a public speaking class is in order. Also, YOU should have stepped in and mentioned Ivana's contributions when Trump asked about who did the best job. Even though he wasn't speaking to you, it was worth mentioning.
In any case, well done!
Can I just say that if Levi's could come up with a jean that made everyone's butt look as good as Melania's, they'd rule the world.
Andy: Well, another week, another article with me complaining that you're getting the shaft. This week, it was Donald, Carolyn, and "Mr. Rancic" saying that you need to step up. What are they watching? You've continually come up with good ideas and you try your best to work as a team player. You won the NYPD challenge despite Maria's best efforts to lose it for you. No matter if you're Project Manager or not, you always seem to come through with SOMETHING to help your team win. You found the backup contractor in the real estate task. You came up with the million dollar giveaway in the Crest challenge - even though it wasn't used for legal reasons, no one else had a better idea. And, this week, you tried to push Wes to wear jeans to the presentation. It doesn't sound like much, but the Levi's guy mentioned it immediately. It probably wouldn't have won the challenge, but it's a contribution.
It almost angers me that you're not getting the credit you deserve on this show. You have the best ideas of any of the contestants from either year, you have a fantastic attitude, a willingness to learn, and the ability to know when to shut up. The one thing you don't have, at least among this motley crew, is the ability to make people follow you. It's incredibly difficult for a younger manager to get older people to listen to him. Believe me, I've been there more than once. But I've found that once you prove yourself, the respect follows. In The Apprentice, you're competing with these people directly, and it appears that they'll be damned if they give you the respect you deserve whether you prove yourself or not. God himself could come down and anoint you as the rightful winner, and most of the contestants would have some sort of snotty remark to say about it. Is it because they're threatened by you? To quote "Mr. Rancic" from last year, "you know it and I know it."
Sandy: Well, we're done with wedding challenges so I guess it's back to you not doing a whole lot. Although, to be fair, Maria didn't give you the CHANCE to do anything. And it showed bad form to draw out the fight with Maria for so long, even though I know that wasn't entirely your fault. But when it's so obvious that the other person is in the wrong, the smart move is to STOP ARGUING. Just ask Ivana.
Wes: Throughout the season, I've been unable to comment on you many weeks, and when I did, it was usually a negative. We now see why, as it appears that you're not one to fight and claw to get your ideas heard. When faced with a problem employee in Maria, you ran away. Hey, it's tough to be firm with people who you work with. That's a particular problem of mine, too. But it's got to be done, and your failure to control Maria killed you.
Maria: I said in week three that the second time you pointed that finger in my face would have been the last. This week, you once again shook your finger in someone's face, this time you were lucky that the person was Wes, who, as the cliché goes, apparently wouldn't have said crap if he had a mouthful of it. But we're not talking about Wes. We're talking about the fact that there was NO EXCUSE, NONE, ZERO, ZIP, for you to scream at Wes to back off and stick your finger in his face. Whether he was justified or not in what he was saying - and he was, let's make absolutely no mistake about that - you should have been dragged out of the room and into the unemployment line. And if you were lucky, they would have opened the door first.
Not since Omarosa has a firing been so overdue. Even Ivana has had a couple of flashes of brilliance, while you've been non-stop incompetence. Let's go back, shall we?
Episode One - You threatened to throttle your Project Manager (Bradford) for daring to have his own opinion and not listening to you.
Episode Two - You went in search of the lost second ice cream cart and couldn't locate it, half a block away, in two hours.
Episode Three - You directly caused your team to lose by not getting a quote in writing from the printer, throwing your team over budget, and then blamed the printer. The Crest people specifically said that this was the reason they picked Mosaic instead of Apex. And, as mentioned, you shook your finger in Stacie's face when she was trying to have a rational discussion with you, and then made incendiary statements that you couldn't back up about Stacie in the boardroom.
Episode Four - Nothing blatant, but you complained to Elizabeth after the boardroom, blaming her for your screwup with the printer. One problem I have had with you for a while is that you refuse to take any responsibility for ANYTHING.
Episode Five - You claimed that you were the best in public speaking, yet we find that's just another aspect of the business world where you failed miserably. And then you sulked about it the rest of the episode, blinking at perhaps a world record pace.
Episode Six - Perhaps your best moment, you won the fashion challenge as Project Manager… against a group of men. Well done! And you treated Elizabeth, a problem employee, shabbily, shunting her off to the side when she proved difficult. Funny, wasn't that the same thing you whines and pouted about Pamela doing to you the week previous?
Episode Seven - Carolyn herself complained that you did nothing on the dog challenge but stand around, show off your legs, and half-heartedly try to sell. Perhaps of everyone, you made the best use of your exemption by being completely useless the next week. But then, you're useless every week, aren't you?
Episode Eight - Your most ludicrous failure - suggesting that Andy's incredibly emotional "When was the last time…" NYPD ads needed "sexing up."
Episode Nine - No real contribution that they showed.
Episode Ten - You left the phone number off the ad, and then tried to blame it on the advertising company.
Episode Eleven - You took charge of the task, shutting the others out to the point where everyone was mad at you. Plus, you were downright rude and impertinent to your project manager, Wes, which showed an incredible lack of respect and maturity. You dominated the presentation and said stupid things like "If being sexy is wrong, I don't want to be right!" Um, you're neither. You also left "butt shots" out of the brochure and claimed that the jeans didn't fit right, thus insulting the product to the president of the company. Yeah, blame the jeans for your failure. Hey, Ashlee Simpson called and said to tell you that was a lame excuse. And then you lied about making the editing decision in the boardroom!
What gets me, what absolutely kills me about you, Maria, is that your biggest screwups occurred in advertising, which is supposedly your area of expertise! If you showed a weakness in sales or even leadership, I could let it pass. But you were promoted (Peter Principled?) to Vice President of a Marketing firm in the "real world" without the mastery of such concepts as getting a quote in writing. You're also rude, condescending, egotistical, overly emotional, untrustworthy (for blaming everything on others), overdramatic, and, yes, a HUGE control freak.
You're supposedly a wonderful person in real life. In fact, a person whose opinion I respect called you a "doll." But on this show, from what we saw, you were totally incompetent.
Mike DeGeorge has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, and has almost ten years of management experience. He is also Associate Editor of RNO. Email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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