The Apprentice: Los Angeles, Episode 13 MVP and LVP – A Breath of Bad Airby Jennifer McBride -- 04/20/2007
Wow... that was a dumb final task. None of it had the epic, organizational scope that most final tasks do, the potential for candidates to either break down or break heads. Compared to running an expo, shooting a commercial seems... easy. The teams of two also were a bad idea. We’ve seen these candidates work together all season – shouldn’t there one last task where they have to be big kahuna on a big task, where they have to put all or nothing on the line to shine?
My only explanation of the final task’s pffft (pffft is the sound a balloon makes deflating, my personal slang for great expectations falling into pathetic mush) is that one of the events fell through and Mark Burnett had to come up with something else on short notice. Either that or they realized nobody was going to be watching anyway, so they decided that actually doing something meaningful would be more trouble than it was worth. At least my prediction didn’t come true – yet. Stefani is still in the running, and with two good reviews in a row, she might have a shot.
The only thing I liked about this episode is that we got to see all the old apprentices again – minus Bill. So many attractive people, so little screen time. I wonder if they like their jobs, and if they feel the process was worth it? Probably, since they won. I like just about anything I’m good at. I wonder what they spend their time doing in the Trump organization? Making movies for air fresheners? I think not.
Team Mouth & Dreamer
Uh oh. The showmance is back in town. I’d feel sorry for Frank having to deal with Nicole and Tim if he didn’t pick Surya. Uh, there’s not one person on this whole season he’d rather work with? The only worse picks I could think of would be Heidi or Michelle. Or Omarosa, from season one. For their choices, I think Nicole and Frank are, well, bonkers. The short time period they had to decide things in shouldn’t have been that hurtful. If I were nearing the final two, I would certainly begin thinking about who I’d want for teammates on my final task.
Nicole again made the less-than-bright choice of putting her emotions before her common sense. Tim is not the distraction she needed, and it’s certainly going to distract Mr. Trump when it comes to Boardroom time. He really is way too interested in anything that even smells like showmance. Mmmm, the man beneath the hair thinks to himself, it smells like ratings.
Though it was a potentially fatal choice, it seemed to turn out okay. Nicole did not spend the entire time either smooching or crying, just half the time... a step up for her this season. For example, she did not go off on Frank about how retarded he was, like last week. After the blowout, the flawed teamwork displayed between the two of them was – well, nothing short of a miracle.
I don’t know how in her right mind she thinks that Trump would give her the Apprenticeship when she spends a crucial part of the final task smooching with Tim. Sean didn’t sweep Tammy off her feet until after business hours. Common sense has never been Nicole’s bright point, however.
Frank likewise showed odd judgment with his choice of Surya. The only explanation I can think of is that he thought it was going to be a huge task, and that Surya’s organizational skills would come in handy. It paid off, as nemesis Surya supported Frank before Trump.
Anyway, their commercial, I thought, was a bad idea in the first place. Unless you’re on Scrubs, where you have the full 22 minutes to create a sweeping story, humor and sickness don’t go together very well. The executives didn’t like them as much as they liked Stefani and James, which is always a bad sign. Frank, as we know, was doomed from episode one, but he did some good work in terms of directing the film. Too bad he couldn’t even remember the product name. Trump may have upgraded his initial perception, but I have to admit that, if I had to pick an emissary to represent my hypothetical company, Frank could have made the best video in the world but he still wouldn’t be my mouthpiece. There’s no way Trump would pick Frank’s uncouth mouth, no matter how hard the guy tries.
Nicole pretty much got veto power with Tim backing her, which is perhaps why Frank sat back and let her do all the editing and supported the idea, even though he disagreed with it. Nicole also got some brownie points with the advertisers for her brown nosing and product placement. On the final task, she should not have left the presentation up to Frank. I’ve come to the conclusion that either Nicole is a complete nincompoop or she doesn’t really want the job. Maybe both. Any rational person would fight harder than she is to stand out. Either the editing is slanted, Nicole isn’t right in the head, or she’s thrown in the towel without bothering with the formal declaration of throwing in the towel.
For the record, if I were choosing teammates fired from this season, I’d probably choose Aaron and Muna. They stuck out to me as two of the more capable candidates, and they were both good workhorses. In a final task like the usual galas, Muna’s detail-oriented nature would have been a blessing, and Aaron was a gifted schmoozer.
Team Realist & Webhead
James is a real jack of all trades. This season, we’ve seen his first – and probably last – televised rap, and now we saw his first – and probably last – chance at directing. Well, the executives liked it, but I think he would have driven me nuts with the micromanaging and the spending time on small details instead of nailing the critical shots first.
Anyway, it looked like he managed to get enough done to make a proper commercial. My friends are amateur filmmakers and there’s no way they’d be able to get a full commercial shot in 45 minutes. They’d simply collapse in heart attacks, the poor little creative geniuses. James made it up in the editing room, which was smart, strategically. He didn’t want to lose because someone could point to his video and say, “that was horrible.” And because he was the one most prominent in the ad people’s minds, he gets the glory while Stefani will probably get the door.
Stefani handled the practical parts, which is one of the things Trump should be looking for in an Apprentice. Her presentation skills were as impeccable as always. I wonder if she was a former high school or collegiate debater? She would have been a wonder with speaking events that required limited preparation times.
So who gets the MVP and who gets the LVP?
A light shines down sweetly on the almost-certain-to-be-future-apprentice waiting at the base of the throne. Long overlooked, time and time again, he reaches up to grasp the hand of the Reality Television Goddess and sit beside her for the second time in a row. James took chaos and created light. He failed at shooting the video, but the resourcefulness he showed afterwards mitigated the original folly. He also made sure that he would be the most visible to the execs, who said good things about him to Mr. Trump. Stefani made another fatal mistake by staying in the background, again. For outshining his major competition, James picks up another easy MVP.
But where there is light there is darkness. The dull bulb this season has clearly been Nicole. She gets a whack of the rod to what is, undoubtedly, a head covered with bruises. Perhaps there is even a callous building from where I’ve hit her so much. If so, I’ll have to whack her twice as hard, just to make sure she can feel it.
Now let us pelt her with rotting herring. Of course, by now she already smells like old fish. The editors and I have both been hard on her this season.
Next week should be interesting. A four-way Boardroom where you attack all your opponents and try to defend yourself? My guess is that we’ll hear a lovely lecture about loyalty from Trump when the partners are forced to attack each other. Nicole and Frank will hopefully be the quick outs, with Stefani and James mud wrestling as James, the only PM left with a winning record, finally comes out on top. Trump tends to do the unexpected (cough cough Derek cough cough) so nothing will be safe or sacred next week. In the previous seasons, I’ve always predicted the correct winner by the time they get down to the final six, so Heidi’s surprise ouster has decreased my confidence in my own analytic powers. Nevertheless, James is in a very good position, especially since he didn’t mess up too visibly (to Trump) in this task.
Here are the records of the remaining contestants as far as MVPs/LVPs stand:
Stefani got a lot of honorable mentions, but not being in the driver’s seat hurt her a lot. I think the low amount of MVP victories each player has shows the fact that none of them has been truly outstanding – at least not in what we’ve seen. Nicole is the only remaining challenger without any MVPs, and though James has the most, they both came late in the season. Everyone has been... inconsistent to say the least. Nicole was LVP a quarter of my Apprentice reviews – the most frequent LVP on the show. The editors may have picked her as the one to hate, but she certainly fed them a lot of negative footage.
Things I’d Like to See This Season on The Apprentice:
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Jennifer McBride has finally graduated from the University of Oregon with concurrent degrees in journalism and political science. 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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