The Apprentice 3: Why Tana Lostby David Bloomberg -- 05/20/2005
Tana seemed to have the Apprenticeship in the bag… right up until the final task. Then she blew it all away. What happened to cause such a huge turnaround? Was it something she did or something her opponent did? Why did Tana lose?
We’ve waited two weeks to find out who would win, now we analyze the final results. But the way we do it hasn’t changed – we still look back at What ‘Apprentice 3’ Applicants Should Have Learned to see what Tana did right and where she went so very, very wrong.
The first rule is to show leadership. Tana did a good job of this throughout the course of the show, being Project Manager three times and taking on a leadership type of role even when she wasn’t officially in charge. Overall, her record as a Project Manager was two wins and one loss – not bad, though Kendra beat her by going three-for-three.
One thing she did in leading her group was to create a good atmosphere. Tana always showed her personality, which had been fun-loving and excited.
Until the final task.
Tana went into the final task with three of the most hot-headed contestants, two of whom were virtually worthless (Chris was the only one with redeeming qualities). The problem is that leaders are often saddled with employees they don’t necessarily like and couldn’t pick. In fact, in the real world, managers quite often are promoted or transferred into areas where the employees are already there; rarely does a person get to handpick their entire staff. Good leaders can make the best of what they’ve got.
Tana didn’t do that. Instead, she griped about her staff to everybody who would listen. This is not a sign of good management. Furthermore, after all her talk about how she thought they were horrible, she didn’t even keep tabs on them for some of the most important tasks, such as when she allowed Kristen to do the printed program job all by herself – which of course ended in disaster.
So really, her failure here was twofold. First, she did not treat her employees well. Second, she knew she had bad workers but failed to properly manage them. It’s not looking good when you have two strikes just from the first rule!
The second rule says to stay cool under fire. Throughout Tana’s time on the show, she did one of the best jobs in this area – even including the final task. For example, while her answer to the governor’s aide about him sitting and waiting was probably not the best one, some people would have freaked out with that and all the other pressure points being put upon them. Tana didn’t. She handled all of the various crises by simply dealing with them one at a time.
Tana showed that she followed the third rule, having a backbone, by the way she stood up for herself and her ideas throughout the process. Then, in the final live Boardroom, she really gave her backbone a workout. Unfortunately, I don’t think it came off quite the way she wanted it to. She was raising her voice and making sure she was heard when she wanted to defend herself or make a point. But she was also pointing her finger a lot and even pumped her fist in the air at one point!
I suspect Tana was acting this way because she knew she had nothing to lose. Might as well go in and be fierce and try to steal the thing from Kendra, right? Well, maybe. But it didn’t impress any viewer I’ve talked to since then, and it didn’t impress Donald Trump either, who was quoted in an AP news story as saying, “I thought it was a little much. I don't mind aggression in men or women, but I found it to be a little obnoxious. I didn't love it.”
The fourth rule has no bearing on Tana’s loss, so let’s skip to the fifth. That rule says to play well with others and stay professional. We’ve already detailed how Tana dealt poorly with her staff on the final task, but there is another aspect to staying professional that we should address.
In the final live Boardroom, I’ve already mentioned how Tana was acting. Even the answers she gave when she wasn’t shouting or whooping it up were certainly not the best ever. Meanwhile, Kendra gave polished answers that clearly and concisely conveyed the proper information and showed that she could function in a true business environment. I have to tell you, if I saw somebody behaving the way Tana was in a work meeting, I’d have left and wondered, “What the hell was that all about and who is she?” Kendra, however, would have given me no such pause.
The sixth rule says to focus on the long-term. Tana had been doing okay at this throughout most of the competition, but forgot all about it at the end. She was so focused on the task that she ignored one of the main components that she should have known Trump would be studying – how she behaved and managed. We’ve already dealt with those two topics, but I just want to reiterate here that these were failures on multiple levels. The final challenge is not so much a competition to see who “wins” by doing it better, it’s a test to see how you work. Even though the NYC 2012 event went off fine, Tana still failed that test.
Throughout her time on the show, George noted that Tana had tremendous ideas and creativity – in other words, she followed the seventh rule of thinking outside the box. The final challenge did not really give her much opportunity to be creative, since all the events and attendees were set up ahead of time. Her earlier performance could have helped Trump decide at the end if things had been more even, but, well, they weren’t.
Eighth is to not be one-dimensional. I think Carolyn said it best in the finale when she pointed out that Tana is a great salesperson. Carolyn chooses her words wisely, and she meant exactly what she said – that is one area where Tana did a great job. But as the rule specifically notes, “Trump is not looking for a salesperson.” As mentioned above, George pointed out that Tana had great ideas. The rule also notes, “[Trump] isn’t looking for an idea person.”
Trump is looking for somebody who is multitalented, and one of those talents must be leadership, as we referred to earlier.
Finally, we arrive at the rule that says contestants should use common sense. For many of the reasons outlined above, Tana blew it here as well:
Somewhere along the line, Tana forgot where she was and what her goal should have been. She became so focused on the fact that she had been saddled with three difficult personalities that she lost sight of the prize.
Tana started out well but her stock dropped precipitously in the final weeks. Kendra started off slow but ended with a grand flourish. Tana needed a solid performance in the final challenge to win. It didn’t need to be great – she had been great for most of the season. She just needed to be solid. But she wasn’t. She was unprofessional (both in dealing with her employees and in her behavior on the live show) and, more importantly, she was a horrible leader. That is why Tana lost.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our Apprentice 3 finale recap:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
Be sure to sign up for our e-mail update so you can stay informed about new articles on the site! And take a look at the rest of the site. You can find all of our recent articles on this show at our The Apprentice page and take a look at our sections on Survivor: All-Stars and Celebrity Mole. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!
For more news about The Apprentice, be sure to check out SirLinksALot: The Apprentice!