The Apprentice: Los Angeles, Episode 12 MVP and LVP - Ooooooooh, Shiny!by Jennifer McBride -- 04/11/2007
Alas. Poor Heidi! I knew her well. Whether Ďtis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous Reality Television Fortune or take arms against a sea of Trumps, and by opposing, end them.
So much for my confident predictions of last week. For some reason, Iím not sure why, this task seemed to overwhelm Heidi. Maybe it was working with Frank, but he seemed competent if not brilliant. My best guess is that she realized she was the one to beat and nerves got to her. If Heidi had torn up and eaten her brochure as part of her Boardroom savaging, she couldnít have choked more. Now that would have been an entertaining way to exit.
Team Webhead & Realist
Stefani, as always, shone brightly as a newborn starÖ except when she thought she was under attack by an army of WMD-carrying mice. Bees, I can understand, but her terror of everything mousy and lizardy makes her look like a weak Ď50s sitcom stereotype. I was prepared to hate her when I saw that at the beginning of the series, but her smooth confidence has won me over. Me, but not Trump. Again, this week in the Boardroom, she was fatalistically silent. If she had been project manager even once, she would have a shot. As it is, I think her epitaph will be, ďI was under the radar so much I was looking up at the Mariana Trench.Ē
James also rocked it. His work on the project looked good and he worked smoothly with Stefani. Furthermore, he got up to help Nicole when she was having problems with set-up, which is the gentlemanly thing to do. God knows, Trump loves a chivalrous man.
Team Dreamer & Schmoozer
If youíre going to own it all, you also get to lose it all. Kristine and Nicole had an abysmal presentation. They started off poorly, with Kristine trashing Nicole. Did she miss the whole statement that both partners would be fired if they lost? The fact that Trump repealed it later doesnít change the fact they should have just smiled and presented a united front.
If Kristine wanted to work with a workhorse, she shouldnít have chosen Nicole. She took a risk trying to bump off Heidi, a risk that did, in the end, succeed. But it could have very easily been Kristine and Nicole taking a cab ride home together. Trumpís all about loyalty, and trashing your teammate pre-presentation isnít very loyal, and probably is going to screw up your confidence, leading to a poor demonstration. It probably wasnít the main problem in this case, but it certainly didnít help anything.
Kristine didnít have much presence, while Nicole babbled like a broken toad. For putting the wrong phone number on the brochure, Kristine definitely deserved the whack of Trumpís ego. Address, phone number, and email are the first things to double-check on a brochure. Iíve made the occasional deadly typo, but I havenít done it on national television. Ouch, Kristine. If not for that and the horrible presentation, Kristine would have been fine because Trump was a fan of the brochure and the video.
Nicole continued her odd behavior with her argument against Frank. Did she expect him to lay back and quit just to save her poor darling sweeticans, who she didnít like much anyway because he didnít stand up and challenge James to dueling fisticuffs? If she did need a nap in the middle of a task, she should have set her own alarm. When both your necks are on the line, you need to be willing to stand up and fight, not lay back in a fit of lovelorn misery. Set your cell phone alarm or donít sleep at all. Nicole didnít seem to contribute much this time around.
Team Hottie & Mouth
Theme? What theme? Was there supposed to be a theme? Heidi looked as clueless as a blonde with a car jack. All they had to do was be competent to be safe. Instead, they blew thingsÖ big time. Heidi began it all by trashing Frank instead of standing by him, which is bad for all the reasons above. The only thing worse than her presentation óstarting out with an obvious lie that had nothing to do whatsoever with selling the damn things ó was her fight in the Boardroom. Frank got her on the defensive and she never recovered.
Frank understood that if Trump handpicked the showerhead, Trump would probably want to see it in the video. The minute details that bore those of us with lives are bread and butter to the gilt-loving Trump. I wonder if he wears gold boxers? Ooh, sorry for that particular image. Frank also understood how to maneuver Heidi into a corner: if she didnít work on the crappy brochure, then she didnít do any work. Either way, he painted her as deserving to be fired. He is smarter than his mouth indicates.
So who gets the LVP and who gets the MVP?
The light darts between Stefani and James before finally landing on ó James! While Stefaniís natural presenterís gifts have carried her far, sheís going to make a graceful exit next week when either Trump or his minions decides that she looks good, but she never steps up to the plate. James, however, has the best chance of winning. He is reasonably well-rounded, fairly creative, and energetic. He also is still in Trumpís good graces for standing out as a team. He has been project manager the most time of anyone left. For this reason, James is probably the next Apprentice ó as long as he doesnít choke.
But the woman who was in the light so long now is painfully forced to leave it. I whack Heidi over the head with a rod because of her stupid presentation errors, her awful brochure, her Boardroom manner, and her stupidity in allowing herself to be partnered with Frank in the first place. She had never worked with him before, and final six isnít the time to start. If she had spoken up and said that she wanted to work with Kristine while Kristine was dithering, Kristine probably wouldnít have turned her down. Nicole and Frank would have fought like rabid monkeys and Heidi would be making her way to Apprentice glory.
This isnít about avoiding making someone feel like they were last picked kickball. Heidi could have won the whole thing. Instead, she played nice, ended up with Frank, and was so distracted she fell all over herself and did a horrible job. Not as horrible a job as the team of Nicole and Frank, though. That would have been a quick and easy train wreck. But most importantly, Heidi gets the LVP because she revealed that the Goddess of Reality Television is not infallible! AHHHHHHHHH!
Nicole gets a secondary whack of the rod for calling Frank retarded and overall being a poor sport, but she wasnít in the position to fall so fast or hit so hard. She opened herself to early elimination if the other women had taken the opportunity to leave her stuck with Frank. Luckily for her, neither Kristine nor Heidi took that opening to guarantee themselves a slot in the final four.
I think that Trump had the one-person-from-each-team thing planned from the very beginning. If one team had lost by a more significant amount and they couldnít throw each other under the bus, there would have been no suspense, no screaming, no ratings. Wait, there are no ratings right now. Well, less than no ratings then.
In the end, the final four include two people I never thought would make it out of prelims ó Frank and Nicole. Itís an Arrow final four (who could have seen that coming from the seasonís start?).
I think the order of the final four SHOULD be (from least value to most):
But I think the order will turn out to be:
Stefani will be Trumpís traditional shocker, where someone unexpected falls to his mighty and arbitrary axe. She will be the sacrificial lamb to Trumpís raving lunacy. Frank will fall next, probably due to his shock at Stefaniís ouster, and because he never really had a chance after his behavior in the first episode. Nicole will last longer than she should because, first, she has Trumpís eye (remember how Trump is under the mistaken impression that Timís not worthy of her?), and second, she has the potential to bring the most melodramatic, ratings-boosting conflict to the table. Yes, Iím a cynical, cynical goddess.
I hope that that my prediction turns out to be wrong, because I donít want to watch an episode just focusing on how Nicole screws up the final task, but I think that more worthy candidates have fallen before to similar antics. So will you all join me in my campaign slogan: ďRandal for Apprentice í07Ē? Because when James is the best you can hope forÖ
Let us pelt Heidi with rotting fish.
Things Iíd Like to See This Season on The Apprentice:
Jennifer McBride has finally graduated from the University of Oregon with concurrent degrees in journalism and political science. Her lifetime ambitions involve bigamy and a plethora of cats. Job offers and Viagra ads can be sent to her at email@example.com, though you should use the subject line ďNot SpamĒ if you expect her to find them.