The Apprentice: Los Angeles – Why Heidi Lostby David Bloomberg -- 04/12/2007
Heidi was a superstar early on. Then she fell from grace. It seemed she had regained her place in the sun… until she fell hard and fast again. What happened to her? Why didn’t Trump take into account her earlier “star” days? Was it all Frank’s fault? Why did Heidi lose?
This was an interesting double-firing. Trump planned on firing the worst two-person team. Instead, he had two really bad teams and fired one person from each of them. To find out why Heidi took the fall for her team, let’s look back at What ‘The Apprentice: Los Angeles’ Applicants Should Have Learned for our step-by-step guide.
Heidi did well on the first rule, showing leadership. She immediately took on a leadership role when all of the contestants had to build a tent at the beginning of the show, and ended up being one of two original project managers. She had a good winning streak going for a little while, indicating that she was doing a good job. Later, she became the only contestant this season to be project manager twice, non-consecutively. And she won again!
Certainly, having a record like that put her in good stead, and I expected her to likely be one of the final two. But I suspect any Boardroom chits she earned with her early winning record were used up in her losses. There were a couple times when she could have been in danger, but the leadership skills she had shown earlier were likely considered when Trump went after somebody else.
On this task, there were no leaders – everybody was supposed to work well with their teammates. Yeah, we saw how that went. James and Stefani were the only ones to work well together.
But the part of this rule that tells players to take a leadership role on their assigned tasks still applied. For Heidi, that meant she was in charge of the brochure and apparently part of the presentation. She failed miserably on both.
Another area where Heidi failed was the second rule, staying cool under fire. She first blew this during the task, when she apparently became so overwhelmed with the amount of information she had about the Trump building that she couldn’t figure out how to cut it down and make it into a proper brochure. Thus the horrible piece of garbage she ended up giving the Trumps.
To compound this problem, Heidi also fell apart when she was supposed to give her presentation. She misspoke by saying it was an honor to see the ground broken when, in fact, that had happened over a year ago. And then she completely went to pieces, utterly blowing the presentation, not to mention failing to even mention their theme. It was a terrible showing in front of the most important “customer” ever on the show.
At least we can say Heidi had a backbone throughout her time on the show. As project manager, several times she took a stand against people who wanted to do things their way. And it certainly wasn’t an issue here.
Similarly, the fourth rule didn’t come into play, either. Heidi didn’t try to scheme her way into getting somebody else fired. She did tell several different versions of the story when it came to what actually happened during the task, but that wasn’t so much plotting as it was wildly hoping to score points and instead making things worse.
The fifth rule says to play well with others. While she and Frank certainly have different personalities, they were mostly working on different aspects of the project and it was not a personality clash that caused their issues here. So we’ll move on.
Sixth is to focus on the long-term. In this particular task, the long-term and the short-term pretty much coincided. Their customer was Trump. They needed to impress their customer, because he’s the guy they want to eventually work for! So the focus should not only have been on winning the task, but on being able to generally stand up and show the Trumps that they did good work. Heidi, of course, could not do that.
Could it be because she failed to understand the challenge, as the seventh rule discusses? I don’t think so. I have to believe that Heidi understood what a sales presentation and brochure are supposed to do. She simply failed to do it.
The eighth rule tells players to be creative. James and Stefani? Creative. Even Kristine and Nicole were at least somewhat creative – they did have a decent brochure that Trump liked. But Heidi’s brochure? Well, we’ve already been down that path.
Ninth is to not be one-dimensional. I do think that by now Heidi showed that she had multiple talents. Unfortunately for her, none of those talents were in evidence in this very important task.
Finally, we arrive at the rule saying players need to use common sense. Heidi’s was so lacking here that it was just astonishing. But we don’t need to go over it, because most of what we talked about similarly also fell into this category.
Heidi went through multiple stages of the Boardroom. She tried to blame Frank. She tried to take blame herself and make it look like she was being a stand-up person. She took credit, she gave blame, she took blame, she gave credit. The stories just kept changing.
But her real problem started long before then. Heidi can complain all she wants about Frank being difficult – and I’m sure he was – but that didn’t have anything to do with her inability to get her own work done. She was overwhelmed by the brochure and allowed it to consume her. Then she screwed up the presentation and started circling the drain, waiting to be sucked down it.
And that’s exactly what happened. While I don’t think Frank has shown himself to be deserving of the overall win, in this case it was absolutely correct for Trump to essentially ignore all of Heidi’s previous successes. This was the one where it counted most, and it was also the one where she did the worst. I suspect those two were linked, and Heidi simply let the pressure get to her. No matter the reason, she completely and utterly screwed up her portions of this task, leaving Trump little choice of what to do. That is why Heidi lost.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Apprentice 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: Exile Island and American Idol 5. 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!