The Apprentice 3: Why Kendra Wonby David Bloomberg -- 05/20/2005
Kendra played an under-the-radar game in the early goings, but came on strong when it counted. But she was up against somebody who had played hard the whole way through. How did she overcome Tana’s early lead? Why did Kendra win?
Just as we have analyzed each player’s loss throughout this season of The Apprentice, we will also take a look at Kendra’s win through the same criteria. As we go step by step through What ‘Apprentice 3’ Applicants Should Have Learned, it will become clear that Kendra did not do everything right – but she did enough to come away with the big job.
The first rule is to show leadership. Throughout the game, Kendra played a stay-behind-and-watch type of strategy, otherwise known as “under-the-radar.” During that time, she didn’t show much in the way of leadership and just kind of faded into the background. It was a good way to get to later stages in the game, but a poor way to stand out and show that she could do what Donald Trump wanted.
Indeed, Trump, Carolyn, and George all commented in the live final Boardroom that they were disappointed in her strategy. Let this be a lesson to future players: Just because Kendra won, that doesn’t mean this is a good strategy to use, because I’m sure they will be looking for it!
Eventually, Kendra stepped up and led three times, notching a win in each case. More importantly, she showed how to lead in the final challenge. While the people working for Kendra were nowhere near as difficult as those working for Tana, they had been shown to have problems working in this sort of team environment. But Kendra pulled them together and made them want to work for her victory – even though in some cases, a couple of them hadn’t even wanted to work when their own butts were on the line!
Kendra showed Trump & Co. that she could truly be a leader. Meanwhile, Tana showed that she had some problems in that area. Despite the fact that Tana might have gone into the final challenge with a “lead,” Kendra showed why this is the most important rule to follow.
The second rule says contestants should remain cool under fire. Kendra passed this one easily. Indeed, she showed us just how easily in the final live Boardroom. While Tana was ranting and raving and woohooing and fist-pumping next to her, Kendra remained calm and poised. When Tana tried to take credit for the Pontiac challenge win, Kendra gave her credit for designing the shape, and then went on to explain calmly that of course the shape was not the only feature that made them win. When Trump asked them each which project they would choose if they won, Kendra clearly explained why she would pick the Palm Beach Mansion. Calm, cool, collected – Kendra.
Third is to have a backbone. Once again, Kendra succeeded. Since we were just discussing the Pontiac challenge, let’s look at that again. Kendra knew she had a winning idea and also knew that it would mean working through the night to get it done. Despite the fact that her teammates fought her on it, she went through with it and picked up the win.
Similarly, in other challenges (at least the later ones), Kendra was not afraid to step up and say what she thought. She and Craig clashed on numerous occasions because both of them were headstrong and wanted their ideas their way. And Kendra was not simply willing to sit by and let Craig talk to her the way he did – she stepped up and told him off about that as well!
Normally, I wouldn’t expect the fourth rule, advising against scheming and plotting, to have any bearing on the outcome. However, as I noted earlier, the biggest concern expressed by Trump, George, and Carolyn was that Kendra had been playing an under-the-radar game, which none of them particularly respected. In other words, she was plotting her way to the end rather than working her way there – though she didn’t seem to be particularly plotting with anybody, which worked to her advantage.
The fifth rule takes us back a paragraph to her fights with Craig. The two of them simply couldn’t get along. While I put a hefty portion of the blame on Craig and his inability to communicate his ideas, Kendra did have to assume some of the blame – such as when she eventually admitted that his “box” idea for the Home Depot challenge was a winning plan. But other than Craig, Kendra did not seem to have real problems getting along with the other players, and she certainly won over her three employees in the final task, despite at least two of them having been problems previously.
Kendra certainly succeeded in the sixth rule, focusing on the long-term. While I’ve already mentioned (and will likely mention again) that I didn’t respect her under-the-radar game and would not recommend it to future players, Kendra did understand that the goal was not to win this particular challenge or that specific competition. She kept her eyes on the prize from the get-go. She chose to play for the big win by staying out of the limelight early on, but at least she knew where she was going and didn’t get caught up in petty nonsense on the way there like so many other players.
The seventh rule says players should think outside the box. While Tana was lauded for her creativity by Trump & Co., Kendra’s was also pointed out. For example, George said that once she stepped up to the plate, she showed flashes of brilliance! And indeed she did – again, witness the Pontiac challenge.
Kendra also showed – once she decided to do so – that she is not just one-dimensional. Carolyn called Tana a good salesperson. Normally, that wouldn’t be an insult. But when contestants are trying to be good leaders, it’s a bit of a backhanded compliment. Kendra showed that she could do many things – design, be creative, sell, and lead. That’s what Trump & Co. are looking for.
Last but certainly not least is to use common sense. While Tana was off at her challenge ignoring any shred of common sense, Kendra was making good use of hers. She knew that the sponsors were who she needed to please and she made every effort to do so. She knew she had to work with her employees rather than denigrate them, and she turned them into a machine. She simply played it smart.
As I’ve already mentioned (see, I told you I’d bring it up again), Kendra’s under-the-radar strategy is not one that should be emulated by future contestants. Trump, George, and Carolyn have already made that much clear, I think. However, when it really counted, Tana screwed up and Kendra did well.
Maybe Kendra could still have pulled out a win even if Tana had succeeded, but I doubt it. We’ll never know for sure, of course. But in the end, Kendra pulled together her team and showed what a good leader she can be while Tana did exactly the opposite. That is why Kendra won.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our other Apprentice 3 finale articles:
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!