The Apprentice 3 Weekly Performance Review, Episode 5: They Can't Even Fail Creativelyby Mike DeGeorge -- 02/23/2005
I wasn't crazy about the casting idea - in fact, when I heard it I immediately assumed you would lose - but it worked well enough. You probably SHOULD have lost this one, but then again, you should have done better as well, so that evens out.
Angie: Are you the only one who can answer the Trump phone? As for the task, how could you possibly think you'd have "lines of actors" waiting? Did you think they'd just be wandering the streets? Overselling your idea is as bad as underselling. Guess who would be blamed for the loss? More you than Tara, who actually came up with it. And like John, I wasn't impressed with your calling of casting directors. You need to be able to get your point across better, especially for an idea you were so excited about. I like to say that a good barometer of performance is how you do on a task you don't like - it's especially bad when you can't do well on a task you like.
Chris: Well, you weren't in the boardroom, so we didn't get to see any irrational upset yelling from you this week. But you did help John with the phone call, which is something.
John: Here's one of the highest compliments I can give you: you get things done. Without you, the team might never have come up with a casting director, much less a big name one. Not many people would have thought to ask the woman exactly what it would take to get her there. Doubling it was a bit much, but you were smart enough to know that offering her only the amount she asked for probably would have made her say, "I'll think about it." You're able to think on your feet and get people behind you, which is essential.
I'm almost hoping that you don't get the job! I think you'll get more out of it, from other job offers, speaking engagements, endorsements, and the like, if you don't win.
Craig: You told us that many actors learned to never pay to meet a casting director. Isn't this information that might have been helpful… BEFORE you had everything set up?
But here's something I liked - you were willing to play along with the women putting the crown on your head at the jewelry store. You would have been perfectly justified in being a little irritated, but you played it off well.
Tara: You had one of the best ideas of the week, in going to see the trailer before deciding the task. I certainly would have had no idea they would have looked like. I think the lack of renovation that your trailer went through was part of the reason you guy did well - you weren't working on such things all night.
I like the idea of the casting director. It's not the sort of thing you find everywhere. The problem was, it really needed more time to promote. But you did a really great job in general this week, and you deserve to be commended for it.
Audrey: Whoa, baby! Kiss me with that mouth? Not because of her opening speech… well, okay, partially, but not because of the profanity… I've discovered that I've developed what I think is my first ever reality TV crush. Yes, after four years of writing at RNO, I finally have a crush. So be warned for the future - I don't think I can be objective.
Tana: As Betsy assumed in her article, You automatically get points deducted for saying "inside the box." A reader sent in an idea for an "Apprentice Drinking Game" based around these stupid catchphrases, and I think that's a grand idea. At our last offsite meeting, we actually played catchphrase bingo and it was pretty fun. People actually paid attention to the speeches as a result.
You told your team to "spread the word." I really hope that was editing and you were really more specific than that. How about calling talent agencies? Setting up near Broadway, or better still, Off-Broadway, where actors might be? Setting up on a random street, which is what it looks like you did, was pretty uninspired. Simply put, you didn't win the task, your team did. You were along for the ride.
After being free of it for two weeks, I think we can say pretty much conclusively that the "unbelievable" crap was all Danny's. Another reason I'm glad he's gone.
Also, when I lived in Dallas, there was this great Mexican restaurant way north on Preston Rd. The reason I mention this is, there was a trailer almost exactly like the ones you used right down the way from the restaurant (this wasn't exactly a well-populated area). They offered a number of "services" in the trailer - or so I hear, thank you very much. They probably offered "massage services" too. How many people on the street saw your trailer and thought exactly the same thing: "What exactly ARE massage services?" Or maybe I just have a dirty mind.
That said, it wasn't a BAD idea - but it wasn't very strong and should have been handled better, as I go into below.
Alex and Kendra: I'm so ready to get rid of the excess people so that we can actually SEE some of the other contestants from week to week.
Erin: Whatever will you do next week, now that Michael is gone? You did a good job of going out and selling, but I attribute that more to your looks than any appreciable skill. Trump said it best when he said you "give good lines of crap." You talk a lot, but don't say or do anything.
Stephanie: Whether or not it brought your team down, you were incredibly negative during the task. The worst part is, you didn't have any better ideas. You didn't come up with a good idea for the trailer, you didn't tell Bren about your problem with getting the food until after it was done. You didn't think someone with a business would help "a competitor." Who did you THINK would help them with the massages? Did you expect to give the massages yourself? Back to the Burger King task, you just sat back and let Danny run all over you with the marketing. I gave you the benefit of the doubt back then, but this has become a trend. If you're going to argue, for pity's sake, have an alternative! One thing that pisses managers off to no end is someone who complains but doesn't offer any other suggestions. Welcome to the bubble. Ask Michael how he enjoyed it.
As for your problem with massage services in the mall, I've used them, and I know many others who have. Dropping into the store for a ten minute massage while Christmas shopping? Ooh, nothing better.
Bren: You're right, the reason your team lost was due to a lack of creativity. You guys might have done better setting up in front of a busy shopping area. Or, depending on the guidelines of the task, started out in a busy business locale like Wall Street, and then moved to a shopping center after the work day. Or considering how late some badly-stressed executives work, you may not have had to move. How about sparing someone who was standing around yelling for no good reason, and having them go into some of the businesses, offering a volume discount for showing employee ID's, one day only? I came up with a couple of ideas from two minutes of thinking - you couldn't think of anything after a day?
That said, I don't think you were a bad leader. You got the team behind you and almost pulled off the win. You were quick to take advice, especially from Marie, the masseuse you hired. You played well with others, and when Stephanie complained, you fired back with rational arguments. And you didn't pull punches in the boardroom. I think you impressed Trump by admitting that the team needs help, and being willing to accept help from some people from Net Worth. You don't want to solve the problem all by yourself, you wanted to get the right resources. That's a mark of a quality leader. My problem with you is that you need to find better ideas. Massages and cucumber pornos just won't cut it. On the plus side of that, you KNOW your weakness and want to fix it.
Michael: Here's what I said last week: I really don't see the point in wasting my time giving you advice. You're on borrowed time after last week, no doubt about it. Eventually, a boardroom will come where there's no one that REALLY messed up, and your number will be up.
It just happened quicker than I thought. It doesn't speak very highly for you that Stephanie did horribly, yet you were the one to go. Either way, bye. Maybe now (not counting Stephanie, because she's the new dead person walking) we've gotten rid of most of the dead weight and can actually see some management and business principles put to use. Don't hold your breath.
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 email@example.com.
Be sure to sign up for our e-mail update so you can stay informed about new articles on the site! And take a look at the rest of the site. You can find all of our recent articles on this show at our The Apprentice page and take a look at our sections on The Amazing Race 6 and My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!
For more news about The Apprentice, be sure to check out SirLinksALot's Apprentice page!