The Apprentice: Why Nick Lostby David Bloomberg -- 04/09/04
In the second-to-last episode, it all came to a head. No more piddly challenges. As Nick said, no more lemonade stands. Now it was all about them. And when it came down to them, only two were left standing. We’ll look at Amy later, but right now let’s take a look at why Nick lost.
The contestants were interviewed by four executives from Trump’s organization. These were not people who could be fooled easily, and these were not your standard job interviews. We could see that in the way several of them laid into the contestants when the contestants tried to give stock answers. But Nick apparently still thought he could “hang and bang with the heavy hitters in the Trump organization.” He knew it was all about performing in front of key people and he thought he had sold them on why they should have hired him.
But that was part of the problem – those key people thought he was “performing” for them. He wasn’t being real or showing why he should be hired, he was performing. As Allen said, other than being good at selling, there was nothing there. Charlie was not impressed with Nick’s intellect. Tom said he was too slick for his own good and flat-out said he couldn’t see Nick running one of Trump’s companies.
Indeed, some of the answers we saw Nick giving were definitely of the “slick” variety. Allen asked him what he would do on his first day on the job, and Nick said he’s lay out his vision for the company. Allen pointedly asked how he would do that without even knowing how things work! It was a slick answer, but one with no substance behind it. And Trump’s executives saw right through it.
When Nick and the others arrived in the boardroom, it seemed like he had a big target on his back. Kwame said he wouldn’t be comfortable working for Nick. Bill – who has previously had trouble giving a direct answer to certain questions – said flat-out he would fire Nick, noting that Nick only had experience in sales. Even Amy said Nick was the one to go. It was like sharks turning on their own when there was a scent of blood in the water.
The best Nick could offer was his claim to have a presence like Trump’s that can inspire people who work for him. That was quite a claim, and it didn’t budge Trump a bit. Indeed, it went along with what Trump’s executives were telling him about Nick having a slick exterior but nothing behind it. Trump laid it out by noting that Nick is an excellent sales person, but not a leader.
Meanwhile, Trump’s executives said Bill was solid and could hit the ground running. Kwame was likeable and could get a valuable extra few minutes with a potential customer. Plus, Bill did a good job defending himself both to the executives and then in the boardroom.
All in all, Bill and Kwame impressed Trump’s top executives better. Nick didn’t. Bill and Kwame have more experience in the business world. Nick doesn’t. And as Trump said, when it comes to business, he doesn’t fool around.
As I noted in Why Troy Lost, winning challenges will not necessarily win the apprenticeship. Nick had done fairly well in challenges – certainly better than Kwame. But when it came down to the final moments, he found himself in a situation that he couldn’t bluster his way out of. Without the experience to back up his claims, and without the substance to back up his veneer, he couldn’t impress the people he would actually be working with. That is why Nick lost.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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