The Apprentice 3: Why Danny Lostby David Bloomberg -- 02/09/2005
It was fairly obvious that Danny was not long for The Apprentice. In the very first episode, he was pretty fairly summed up as a disaster. In the third episode, his leadership was similarly called a disaster. But we cannot so quickly explain why Danny was fired – after all, he also tried to get an exempt person fired, so there are several levels to look at. Luckily, we have What ‘Apprentice 3’ Applicants Should Have Learned as a framework against which we can compare Danny to see what he did wrong and why he lost.
The first, and always most important, rule is to show leadership. Indeed, the Trump message of the week was to “Lead with Authority.” Danny apparently knew about neither of these when he accepted Bren’s nomination to be Project Manager, because he neither showed that he knew how to lead nor did he exhibit any type of authority.
It truly seems that parts of the first rule were written with Danny in mind, considering the quotes like, “When you are the Project Manager, by all means be the manager.” And, “If you’re going to be blamed for a loss, make sure it’s a loss that you created and that you took a stand!” Danny acted more like a team coordinator than a manager, and he certainly didn’t take a stand – instead he took a vote! Yes, Danny couldn’t decide whether or not to hire the event planner, so he asked the team for a vote. It’s one thing to get feedback and make a decision – it’s another to try to manage democratically. It just doesn’t work.
What’s even worse is that when Danny finally did make a decision and hired the event planner – for almost 50 grand, I might add – I’m not even sure what they did for the team.
Danny had to know he was in trouble when Trump asked him to pick two people for the final Boardroom session by saying, “Danny, it’s time. You’re the team leader… sort of… a little bit.” Ouch.
The second rule is to stay cool under fire. Danny certainly didn’t fold like Verna did, but he didn’t show that he could work well under pressure, either. Twice in three episodes – the first and third – we saw Danny responsible for making some decisions in a short timeframe. Both times, he failed. I’m not sure what his regular job is like, but I’m betting he has a lot of time to think. On The Apprentice, that is not the case – ever.
The third rule is to have a backbone. Danny definitely has one – he used it in the first episode to stand up to Boardroom accusations about the way he handled his part of the task. He also used it this time to try to get Michael on track. However, that backbone seemed to turn to Jello when it came time to make a decision. It seems like he could deal with people, but he couldn’t deal with the task overall.
Danny also had one heck of a backbone in trying to convince Trump that “exemption” didn’t really mean “exemption.” However, in that case his backbone had gotten so stiff that it apparently shot right up into his brain and disconnected the logic circuits. I mean, has anybody ever claimed that “immunity” doesn’t mean “immunity” on Survivor? No. So why would “exemption” not mean “exemption” on The Apprentice? It was a last-ditch effort on his part to foist blame elsewhere, and it didn’t work.
Danny tried to scheme his way past the Boardroom, as he got everybody on his team to join him in encouraging Trump to dump Michael’s exemption. Unfortunately for Danny, he didn’t realize that the fourth rule says scheming and plotting usually doesn’t work. In this case, it didn’t even stand a chance.
Fifth is to play well with others, but stay professional. Danny didn’t have any problems here, other than with Michael. He wasn’t a great leader, but he did seem to get along with almost everybody. And Michael is just an arrogant jerk, so we can’t really count Danny’s disagreements with him as being Danny’s fault.
The sixth rule says to focus on the long-term. I’m honestly not quite sure what Danny was focusing on. He wasn’t really focusing short-term, because he couldn’t think that fast. But he didn’t do anything to make me think he was focusing long-term either. Perhaps the correct solution is that Danny simply wasn’t focusing at all.
My first impression of Danny led me to believe that he would get in trouble for thinking too far outside the box. I mean, all you had to do was look at him in the first episode. However, we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. In fact, Danny’s thinking was not at all outside the box. Indeed, his wonderfully creative idea in the first episode was a box – a box that people were supposed to toss a ball into.
In the third episode, the judges of the task said it best, noting that Magna had no creative idea that stood out. It was blah. Even the iPod giveaway idea belonged to somebody else, and that was probably the biggest idea they had. For a guy who was supposed to be a hotshot creative force, Danny really fell down on the job.
The eighth rule says that players cannot be one-dimensional and need to be able to do many things well. Danny could get along well with people, as we saw in the second episode. Other than that, we saw pretty much nothing from him. He could not lead, he could not even be creative in a short time period.
Finally, we arrive at the rule saying players need to use common sense. Of course, Danny failed here as well. We’ve already gone over how silly it was for Danny to think that Michael’s exemption could be simply pulled by Trump. The idea that it could be went against common sense, and yet it was on this idea that Danny based his entire plan for escaping this Boardroom. Needless to say, it didn’t work.
It’s ironic – Todd, the first Project Manager, was fired because he couldn’t control Danny. Now Danny was Project Manager, and he couldn’t control Michael. But that wasn’t why Danny was fired. The only time we really saw Danny’s creativity was when he was trying to find a loophole for the rules of the show. During the actual tasks, he was unable to lead and unable to come up with ideas. Add in the fact that Danny based his entire defense on the idea that Trump would break the rules, and you really have a bad combination. Danny couldn’t lead, couldn’t follow, and sometimes couldn’t think straight. That is why Danny lost.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other Apprentice 3 Episode 3 articles:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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