The Apprentice: Los Angeles, Episode 8 MVP and LVP – Hit Trump’s Ballsby Jennifer McBride -- 03/16/2007
This episode of The Apprentice surprised me. Trump usually appreciates fighters, keeping them on much longer than they should be. When Tim turned on James, this Reality Television Goddess thought it was all over. Nope. Despite Bill’s dislike of James and Tim’s perceptual turning, the Trump strikes unpredictably again.
As is often the case, we didn’t see much of the task’s organization this week. Kristine led her team to victory, apparently understanding what the GNC manager wanted. The crowd seemed to be more enthusiastic for them—though I rather suspect the shots were selective, and that barely anybody was interested in either the boxing or the obstacle course.
The only thing Kristine didn’t handle very well was Muna. If the PM is concerned with someone over-micromanaging, it’s her duty to stop the micromanaging. I love Muna, but she did need to let go of the poor workers. She was looking for information at the wrong times in the wrong place. Micromanagement pays off sometimes, but not when bunches of people are sitting around making foam suits.
Muna did obviously learn something from the misadventure in the mall. This time, the logo was prominently displayed in Spanish. Whoever came up with that idea should be commended. It was a good one.
Angela also gets kudos for out-shouting Frank. Her gold medal status seems to draw Trump like a moth to a flame. At the end of the challenge, he didn’t turn to the project manager to ask how they did. He turned to Angela. At the reward, he focused on Angela. I don’t know if its enough to punch Angela’s golden ticket to the finals—the viperous Donald has a tendency to turn on former allies with a vengeance—but if she doesn’t do anything completely stupid, she’s going to go a long ways yet.
I admire the fact that Team Schmoozer realized that anything could happen in the Boardroom and agreed that Trump was crazy. I think he needs to cool his head a bit in the MISERBLE tent before he makes any more mistakes in firing people.
Ah, the pleasant veneer shatters at last. Surya continued his not-fitting-in-streak. He wore a suit at the table when everyone else had on sweats and laid on the compliments so thick that it was a wonder nobody ended up covered head to toe in spittle from all the ass licking. Surya, you need to learn that sometimes silence hides the truth better than lies.
I don’t think stopping the brainstorming was a bad idea, though perhaps he could have had better timing. Five minutes to get your ideas organized is always nice. Arrow is made up of the cool kids, though, and they can’t pass up a chance to play kick the geek. Just cause Surya doesn’t seem to have any social skills or leadership off a whiteboard doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to follow his instructions.
Frank loses a lot of the credit he had gained with open insubordination. That trait, more than anything else, will stop Frank from becoming the Apprentice. Trump doesn’t like anyone cutting him down, and Frank can’t or doesn’t want to stop his clowning.
Tim also gets a lot of credit for supporting Surya even while he wanted him gone. I cringed for him when I heard the boxing idea, but it didn’t end up quite as bad as I originally thought. I don’t understand halftime shows unless they’re funny, so I’m not the one to judge Tim’s ideas, I guess.
James seems like the kind of person to take Tim’s defection personally, however, so I expect friction between them. If James loses it, he’ll go next—he’s already skating on thin ice with Trump. It did sound like he made his objections way too late (he should have used the five minutes of quiet to think of them!) and if Tim says that it’s a pattern, James probably is going to be in trouble with his next PM. If he’s smart, he’ll lead the task himself. It’s time to come out from behind the sales counter and show that you can do something other than talk smack and be a creative, yet strangely handsome mess.
The whole team seemed like a mess. You do not discuss trivial issues on a speech in the last five minutes before a performance—you practice the hell out of it so that you can deliver it with confidence and swagger.
Trump could learn a thing or two from Nicole about not punishing someone for their shouted ideas in brainstorming. She must either not like Tim that much or not been afraid for him. He headed off to the Boardroom without a kiss goodbye.
So, who gets this week’s MVP?
The light of the heavens splits and falters for an indecisive moment before suddenly landing on… Kristine. I’m not sure how much of your win was leadership and how much was the fact that members of Arrow are more detail-oriented, but if the worst thing that happened was Muna trying to set up an early run, that probably shows skillful leadership. Everyone seemed to be involved and content with what they were doing.
Kristine also showed humor in the Boardroom, with her oblique suggestion that all three candidates be kicked out. She said it in a non-rancorous way, which was good, and Trump took it as honesty instead of insubordination. Either way, I liked it. She probably needs to speak up more this week (I’m guessing we’ll have another Kinetic victory) and give her opinion when she isn’t asked. I also think she made a good strategic decision by not trying herself too tightly to Surya. She tried to help him, but she wasn’t about to go down with his big-haired ship.
Speaking of hair, Surya is very easy to grab by the edge of his. He blames his team for abandoning him, but I never saw any effort on his part to blend in. He constantly separated himself, and no amount of oily praise can create the bonds of downtime. He made his own bed the instant he began distancing himself from the other players. As a leader, you have to be decisive, unlike Aimee, but you have to meet your team in the middle sometimes, or you haven’t got a team. You have a dictatorship. In this case, the dictatorship failed because your subordinates didn’t make up for your lack this time.
James is on warning. “I didn’t do nothin’” is a horrible defense. Not contributing to the main theme is a firing offense in my eyes. You’re just lucky Trump didn’t give Surya a pass for his win-loss record and his reputation.
Now, let us pelt Surya with rotting herring.
Things I’d like to see more of this season:
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Jennifer McBride is a senior in journalism at the University of Oregon. Her lifetime ambitions involve bigamy and a plethora of cats. Job offers and Viagra ads can be sent to her at email@example.com, though you should use the subject line “Not Spam” if you expect her to find them.
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