The Apprentice 2: Why Sandy Lostby David Bloomberg -- 12/15/2004
Sandy, like Kevin, made it to the Final Two with a 2-0 record. In addition, she really should have been granted the honorary win for the wedding shop challenge, she her expertise was the key. But she also had some definite negatives that have come out recently. Considering that Trump fired Kevin immediately before her for having too much school, certainly the real reason behind her firing can’t be too little! So what was it? Why did Sandy lose?
As I noted in Why Kevin Lost, this week’s columns are a bit different than the usual ones, because so much of the two contestants’ firings are based purely on interviews or what might have been going on in Donald Trump’s head. Based on what we’ve seen, I sure can’t figure out why on Earth Trump would want to keep Jen around. But we’ll go through What ‘Apprentice 2’ Applicants Should Have Learned to see where Sandy went wrong, not just in the interviews, but in other challenges as well.
The first rule, as always, is to show leadership. I’ve already mentioned that Sandy led twice and won both times – in the home remodeling challenge and the M&M challenge. But Jen led only once – in dog-washing. Obviously, Trump was not just looking at how they led on their specific tasks.
As Betsy Wasser noted in her Final Four article:
Sandy also contributed a great effort to other challenges. The vacation contest in the Pepsi task was her idea, as was using Mike Piazza as the celebrity spokesperson for Crest. She worked hard in the dog task, doing the dirty work of washing the dogs. And in the fashion task, she tried to keep things moving during the photo shoot so her team would stay on schedule.It’s almost enough to make us forget that earlier in the series, Trump twice suggested that Project Managers erred by not bringing Sandy into the final Boardroom because of mistakes he felt she had made.
On balance, I would say Sandy took on a strong role – often a leadership role – in many of the challenges, whether she was technically the Project Manager or not.
However, one place Sandy did not do so well was in the Boardroom. Specifically, she was unable to stay cool under fire. We saw this most obviously when Andy got fired. As I noted at the time, I did not at all think Sandy out-debated him. Out-screamed him? Yes. But that was not exactly a professional way of showing disagreement. She was lucky, in my opinion, that Andy screwed up in other ways during that task.
We saw the same thing again this time, when she got into another screaming match with Jen. This time, Trump claimed that Jen out-argued Sandy. Once again, I find that ridiculous, since all Jen did was repeatedly yell about having moved to San Francisco. Well whoop-de-freaking-doo for you. Somehow, I don’t see that it at all compares to dropping out of school in order to start your own business. However, while Jen might have gotten angry in the Boardroom, she never got as emotional as Sandy (this might be because Jen is, as Ivana said, a fembot and doesn’t actually have emotions).
But we aren’t here to talk about Jen, so I’ll get off that topic and back to Sandy.
The Boardroom wasn’t the only place that Sandy had issues with controlling her emotions under pressure. She faced similar issues during her stint as Project Manager on the remodeling challenge, and she fell apart when trying to do her part of the Pepsi presentation.
The third rule is to have a backbone. Sandy certainly had no problems standing up for herself in the Boardroom. And she made sure her ideas were heard in many of the tasks. This was a non-issue for her.
The fourth rule, however, might have been. Sandy showed that she could do more than just be a salesperson or an idea person. But she lacked one thing that the interviewers were looking for: corporate experience.
I went on a bit of a rant in “Why Kevin Lost” about how Trump knew what the contestants’ résumés looked like before the game ever started, so the topic really should not even come up at this point unless it was directly related to a problem he had seen in their actions. We didn’t see anything from Sandy that indicated her entrepreneurial nature, as opposed to working up the corporate ladder, had caused any problems. However, if Trump had it in mind already that he wanted somebody with a specific type of experience, then somebody like Sandy would have had to excel to overcome that prejudice.
Moving on to the fifth rule, we did not really see anything that was particularly disloyal in Sandy’s behavior. I think we can rule this one out and move on.
The sixth is to not show your hand. Once again, this was the interview phase, so there really wasn’t much strategy. Still, Jen caught Sandy and Kelly talking about her, so Jen likely knew she was a target and therefore could have been ready to fight.
Since Sandy was busted gossiping about Jen, does that mean she failed to play well with others? Actually, not really. She seemed to get along fairly well, no matter what she might have thought of her competitors. All we need to do is look at the M&M task to see that. Sandy and Jen had been screaming at each other just the previous night. Then they had to work together and did fine.
The eighth rule says to focus on the long-term. Honestly, I’m not sure that Sandy either particularly excelled at this, nor did she do anything particularly wrong. However, if Trump was thinking long-term, he might have determined that somebody with only Sandy’s type of experience would not do as well as a Jen or a Kelly. In that case, though, we go back to what I was saying about him knowing her résumé before the show ever started. We’ll call this one a draw.
One thing we didn’t really see Sandy do was thinking outside the box. Sure, she had some good ideas. Sure, she was a hard worker. But did she come up with anything that made us say, “Wow!”? I can’t think of anything. She really needed something like that to overcome Trump’s preconceived notions about somebody without a full college-plus-business-school education and corporate experience.
The tenth rule is to use common sense. I think Sandy failed in this a bit during her argument with Jen. She was trying to make a point that she had taken risks. But in doing so, Trump got the idea that Sandy did not value education. I think this was a misunderstanding on his part, but common sense would pretty well tell a person not to attack somebody else for having degrees that they themselves don’t have. In Sandy’s case, it wasn’t so much a failure of common sense, but a failure to properly lay out her points in favor of an overly-emotional argument.
When it comes down to it, we don’t have a whole lot of good explanation for Sandy’s firing. However, when we look through the discussion above, and we listen to what Trump said when he sent her packing, we find that there is a match. Sandy did not stay cool under fire. She let her emotions dictate how she argued, and she was unable to lay out her points in a well-organized fashion that would avoid misunderstanding and convince other people that she was right. This tactic worked against Andy, who was sticking too closely to proper debating techniques. But it didn’t work against Jen, who is a lawyer and perhaps more used to picking holes and taking apart other people’s arguments. Sandy’s emotional arguing played right into Jen’s hands. That is why Sandy lost.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other Apprentice 2 Episode 14 articles:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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