The Apprentice 3: Why Audrey Lostby David Bloomberg -- 03/04/2005
Audrey’s fate was sealed five minutes into the most recent episode. Everything from that point was just like watching a horror movie – you knew what was coming, but you didn’t exactly know how bad it would be. It was bad.
She gave Donald Trump more reasons than he could ever hope for to fire her. But in the end, why did Audrey lose? Let’s look back at What ‘Apprentice 3’ Applicants Should Have Learned to see what she did wrong, and if she did anything right.
The first, and always most important, rule is to show leadership. Let’s start by giving Audrey a little credit: she knew just how important this was. She wanted to prove to her team that she could lead them, especially after having been called out in the Boardroom (and on the patio) by John and other members of the team.
However, that’s where the credit ends. Audrey’s idea of leadership does not actually have anything to do with reality. My dictionary defines “lead” as “to show the way to, or direct the course of, by going before or along with; conduct; guide.” Apparently, Audrey’s definition says, “to delegate and do nothing but sit back; to give no guidance whatsoever; to blame when things go awry.”
To put it succinctly, Audrey was a terrible leader. The only thing she did, apparently, was tell other people to be in charge of certain areas. When they asked her questions, she not only flat-out refused to answer them, she got mad at them for asking! Ye gods. There is no way I would ever want to work for this woman – in fact, I cannot imagine anybody wanting to work for her if that’s what she thinks leadership means.
Looking at one example, Audrey put others in charge of marketing and promotion (though she didn’t know what the word “promotion” meant!). OK, that’s fine. But then she just let them twist in the wind when they sought guidance from her. That’s not fine. If she recognized that marketing and promotion were the most important parts of the task, then she should have taken steps to ensure they were done right. Instead, she let them fail and then was ready to fling blame. As John noted, “Audrey has made one big decision, and that was that she would not make any decisions.” Bad move.
Also, we have to once again go back to an all-too-commonly cited quote from the rule: “What is worse than walking into the Boardroom after having lost? Walking into the Boardroom and saying, ‘Yes, we lost, but it wasn’t my fault because I had no control over my team.’” That’s what Audrey did – admitting that she couldn’t control her teammates (though I don’t think she actually tried). Eventually, she even took the stance that everybody should be fired except Tana. Harumph! Oh, that’ll get you far.
That leads us directly into the second rule, about staying cool under fire. There was pretty much nothing cool about Audrey. She had a meltdown at the suite after the previous Boardroom as she went on about how people hated her because she was beautiful, how she wanted to scar herself, how she had a brain, etc.
Let me just go off on a tangent for a moment here and state for the record – I don’t know of anybody who has ever “hated” somebody for being beautiful, and I really get annoyed by these reality people who use their looks to get on a show and then whine about it. Are some people prejudged based on their looks? Absolutely. It happens all the time, to people who are beautiful, ugly, old, young, fat, thin, etc. So it’s up to each individual to rise about those judgments and prove themselves. Did Audrey prove to anybody that she has a brain? Not in this episode! In some cases, she couldn’t even string three words together to form a sentence!
That brings us back to our point – when she was under pressure, she cracked. She could barely speak sometimes. She became flustered. She yelled. She swore. She stormed out. She said stupid things (like the aforementioned comment about how everybody but Tana should be fired). She made bad decisions (such as bringing Angie into the Boardroom and wording her reasoning so as to turn Angie against her).
In short, Audrey is definitely not the person I would want to rely on in a high-stress situation!
One thing I will say for Audrey is that she followed the third rule about having a backbone. She stood up for herself, she fought back. Unfortunately, she did so in such a horrible way, as already discussed, that it ended up hurting rather than helping her cause.
The fourth rule says that scheming and plotting don’t work, but you still shouldn’t show your hand. Audrey tried to scheme with Angie, which in and of itself might have worked if she was just looking for guidance. However, Audrey couldn’t even do that right!
It was obvious that she would be taking John and Craig into the Boardroom. This allowed both of them to figure out how to outsmart her there – which probably took them all of three seconds. But that wasn’t her biggest mistake.
Her big mistake was that after she went to Angie for guidance, she brought Angie into the Boardroom with her! From the look on Angie’s face, this was not one of the things they had discussed. What was worse was that when Trump asked why Audrey did this, she said it was because Angie was part of the marketing team. So she appeared to be putting blame on Angie! Fellow RNO writer Gil Sery brought up a good point to me, noting, “if Audrey had just answered with, ‘She was on the marketing team. She knows what went down. She'll back me up,’ Angie wouldn't have had a reason to turn on her.” Just a few little words could have changed Angie’s entire disposition. Instead, Angie turned on Audrey. Looks like we’ll have to add to this rule next time, noting that if you are going to scheme and plot, at least do it right!
The fifth rule tells contestants to play well with others. I think we can safely say that Audrey failed miserably on this one. Before this challenge, several of her teammates had singled her out as a weak link. By the end of it, it looks like pretty much everybody agreed with that characterization and none of them respected her.
Quoting from the rule: “You need to control your anger; you can’t allow your anger to control you.” Audrey failed miserably in that regard.
She also failed to focus on the long-term. Audrey was so concerned about proving to everybody that she was a leader that she didn’t consider the possible outcomes. She should have known that if they lost, she would have been blamed. And considering that nobody respected her, they were unlikely to win – especially given her “management style.” Audrey would have been well advised to take a breather and let somebody else be the Project Manager – and should really have considered it after John spoke out against her. She could have stepped back and then if they lost, gone to the Boardroom and calmly said, “Mr. Trump, I tried to lead this task. I wanted to lead this task. But smartass John thought I couldn’t. We failed, but if I had led we could have won.” Sure, it wouldn’t have been true, but nobody would have been able to prove differently.
Instead of thinking about the overall game in the long term, Audrey was focused on her immediate need to be recognized as more than just a pretty face. Then, she compounded this problem by oh-so-cleverly trying to set up others to take the fall if they lost (either that, or she really was so stupid as to think what she was doing was “leadership”). Bad ideas all around.
The seventh rule is to think outside the box. Magna showed how to do this when they went to various child-centered businesses with their flyers and coupons. Net Worth… didn’t. Sure, Audrey would probably blame that on the marketing team, but once again, she was the Project Manager, not them. She assured everybody that she could lead this challenge. But really, she couldn’t.
Eighth is to not be one-dimensional. You don’t know how tempting it is to say that Audrey was indeed one-dimensional – a pretty face and that was it. However, I won’t say that. I’ll instead just point out that despite all her claims of ability, there was nothing to back it up. She had no dimensions, no depth, no apparent abilities, and not much in the brains department.
Finally, we come to the rule that says players should use common sense. Wow. Where do we start? Actually, I think we’ve pretty well covered it in the previous discussions. Most of the things Audrey did could also show up here as violations of simple common sense. But I doubt Audrey had any sense – common or otherwise.
So where does this all leave us? Well, it leaves Audrey looking pretty bad in front of millions of people. As I said earlier, her coming fate was obvious as soon as the episode began. It was like watching a train wreck, Audrey just kept getting worse and worse, culminating with one of the worst Boardroom performances we’ve seen in quite a while.
Audrey wanted to prove she was more than just a pretty face. Instead, she did just the opposite. She was a horrible leader, collapsed under stress, and showed no sign of ability to think through problems – in some cases, to think at all! In summary, Audrey was a mess of an Apprentice applicant. That is why Audrey lost.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the Apprentice 3 Episode 7 recap:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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