The Apprentice: Los Angeles – Why Aimee Lostby David Bloomberg -- 03/01/2007
Aimee thought she was a great leader and perfect to win on The Apprentice. What we saw on the show, and what her teammates said about her, seem to place her in a different version of reality. But what exactly did she do so wrong? Why did Aimee lose?
The way this season is set up, with project managers repeating until they lose, has already provided a couple interesting situations – first with Aaron, now with Aimee. In both cases, they lost following a previous win. Yet the win (or in Aaron’s case, wins) didn’t help their case while the loss was held against them. Let’s look through What ‘The Apprentice: Los Angeles’ Applicants Should Have Learned to see why that happened for Aimee.
The first rule, of course, tells applicants they need to show leadership. The problem with Aimee was that her team won the first task on which she was project manager in spite of her, not because of her. Then on her second task, the only time she came close to making a decision was when she took the pink inflatable octopus off the top of the kiosk. Woohoo! And frankly, even that wasn’t exactly showing leadership, because she went around to various other players to get their buy-ins, as if it was the most important part of the task. I have to agree with Jenn, who said Aimee ended up “looking bossy and dumb.”
One key factor in this particular task was figuring out that a large portion of the target population spoke Spanish, and acclimating accordingly. Unfortunately, the editors didn’t see fit to let us in on who really did or didn’t tell whom about this point. But from what we’ve seen, I trust Jenn and Derek more than Aimee on this issue. Plus, Aimee claimed to have not spent much time in the mall, despite statements by several of her cohorts to the contrary. She didn’t need to be a brain surgeon to figure this one out… if she had been paying attention.
But I think Derek said it best when he mentioned that the language issue was “a red herring.” The real issue, he said, was her management/leadership style. Angela, who really hasn’t had much bad to say about anybody, noted that Aimee had trouble delegating and following through – and we saw that in action (or is that “inaction”?) as the team tried to prepare for the task at hand.
The second rule tells players to stay cool under fire – both in the Boardroom and on challenges. I don’t think we really saw Aimee get flustered, but unfortunately that was because I don’t think we really saw Aimee do anything. You don’t really have to worry about being rattled if you don’t feel any pressure.
Even in the Boardroom, Aimee seemed to be living in another world. This was a world where she was a great project manager and her team was completely to blame. This was a world where the pressure didn’t get to her because it was all somebody else’s fault. I don’t know what color the sky is in her world, but it must be nice to be so stress-free.
Third is to have a backbone. Frankly, I think we’ve pretty well addressed this with the inflatable octopus. Aimee couldn’t even simply say, “That’s gotta go,” for something that minor. She had to go around and seek consensus. We didn’t see much more of her behavior in this regard, but I doubt she stood up and said, “This is the way it will be!”
The fourth rule reminds applicants that scheming and plotting don’t work, but they should still not show their hands ahead of time. Aimee blew the latter part by talking to Jenn ahead of time and telling her she was going to the Boardroom. As Jenn herself said, this gave her the opportunity to specifically cite every mistake Aimee made along the way – and she had plenty of time to think about it. Aimee should have surprised Jenn in the Boardroom. That would have given Jenn less time to compose herself and get her stories straight. Being nice by warning somebody they’re in danger is not the way to play.
But being nice with your teammates in general is important, as discussed by the fifth rule. Aimee seemed to have a way about her that really did not encourage her teammates to like her. She kept insisting that she didn’t have the same team working for her that Heidi did. Well, yeah, essentially she did. So if they weren’t the problem, maybe she was (not that she would ever admit it). As discussed in this rule, if you at least appear to be nice, “they are less likely to blame you for things” or call you out in the Boardroom. Aimee obviously did not have that going for her.
Sixth is to focus on the long-term. Frankly, I didn’t see a lot indicating Aimee could focus on, well, anything. Short-term, long-term – didn’t matter. She was unfocused.
What about the seventh rule, which says players need to understand the challenge? Well, a part of understanding the challenge is certainly allowing the customers to understand you. It was amazing to her teammates – and probably to all viewers as well – that Aimee could be at the mall for as long as she was and not figure out that perhaps the first language of most customers was not English. That language barrier, by Aimee’s own admission, slowed down the registration process. Given that the winner was determined by the number of registrations each team got, slowing it down was obviously a big problem!
The eighth rule says players need to be creative. There wasn’t a whole lot of opportunity for that this time – except maybe a pink inflatable octopus. And we know what happened to that!
Ninth is a reminder that applicants cannot be one-dimensional. Aimee’s teammates generally said she was a hard worker. That’s good! But it’s not enough. Trump needs an apprentice who has multiple abilities, culminating in good leadership. Aimee never showed such things.
Finally, the tenth rule says to use common sense. Wow, did she blow it there. Aimee said she noticed Latino people in the mall but didn’t know they spoke Spanish! Let me repeat that: Aimee didn’t know Latino people spoke Spanish! What the hell?! What’s really ironic is that she’s listed as “The Thinker” on the official Apprentice website.
Aimee was, in the words of Derek, an absent leader for the past two tasks. They won one in spite of her, then lost one in large part because of her. Trump laid it out for us on this one – Aimee showed absolutely no leadership skill whatsoever. And to top it off, she didn’t show much in the smarts department either. That is why Aimee lost.
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David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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