|by Hildee Weiss
After watching the second episode of The Apprentice 4, I came to one conclusion – lady luck was definitely on the side of certain candidates. Markus should have been fired last week for the sole reason of talking Trump to death at the reward luncheon. As luck would have it, Markus’ team won and Melissa got the heave-ho for talking too much in the boardroom herself. Of course, Melissa considered herself fortunate for being the first to go instead of fifth or sixth because no one remembers those people. Um, someone should tell Melissa that being the first bootee won’t make her a member of The Apprentice Hall Of Fame.
But I digress. The task of the week was to create a 30-second commercial and print ad campaign for Lamborghini. Each team was given access to two cars, camera crews, photographers and editors. Executives at Kaplan Tayler and Lamborghini would choose the most original campaign and report their decision to The Donald. The boys at Excel were sure they had this one in the bag as they knew and understood the product well. (After all, every ten year boy dreams of driving a Lamborghini.) Chris was named project manager for Excel, given his expertise in advertising. Everyone – including the Lamborghini executive – shot down Markus’ idea of “smooth as silk” and opted for the hardly creative slogan of “green with envy.” The guys anticipated yet another victory with Carolyn watching in the background and noting their many flaws. For one, Mark spent way too much time working on the fonts for the print ad. Putting “Italian” in lower case and in italics did not make this ad a winner in my book. Markus was elected traffic controller for the video shoot but he got his walkie talkie taken away when he proved to be a moving violation. His infantile behavior certainly didn’t win any points with me, not to mention his teammates.
Marshawn was named project manager for Capital Edge but the true manager was Alla. A self-proclaimed novice in the film business (at least, outside of Vegas), Alla produced the video shoot for the commercial and earned the respect of all of her teammates. Marshawn stayed behind to finish the print ad, which didn’t sit too well with many of her teammates. Rule number one of The Apprentice is the project manager must oversee. Marshawn did a good job of assigning the tasks but then she left everyone on their own to do their thing. That is usually a recipe for disaster if that team loses, with the project manager usually hearing the words, “You’re fired.”
I thought that The Donald showed some real class in flying Randal to Philadelphia for his grandmother’s funeral. I enjoyed watching the personal moments between Randal and his family and hearing about his beloved grandmother. The show could definitely benefit from showing that there is a personal side to all of these professionals.
The campaign competition was hardly a fight and it was Capital Edge, and not Excel, that had the edge. Donned in black, the girls gave it their all and earned what I thought was a smile from the Kaplan Thaler lady. The men, on the other hand, stumbled through their presentation which seemed to be about nothing but water. The verdict? Men say it but women do it. Capital Edge was declared the clear winner. Markus didn’t need to be declared the clear loser but he definitely lost points when he admitted to Trump and the ad execs that he had a “problem” with his team’s slogan. In my opinion, Markus should have been fired right there and then for morphing into Benedict Arnold.
While the girls were excited about their victory, it was obvious that they had an issue with whether or not Marshawn should be exempt. I personally thought that someone should have spoken up right away. They didn’t need The Donald to pick up on Kristi’s hesitation but in the end, The Donald decided for them. Marshawn was exempt from a firing, should her team lose next week’s task. The girls’ reward of playing hockey with the New York Islanders seemed a guaranteed snooze-fest but it provided some interesting moments. We got to see a little flirting between Kristi and her designated goalie and we watched Rebecca take a nasty fall on the ice. I didn’t have to watch the previews to know that Rebecca’s sprained ankle means an imminent firing.
I could have predicted the boardroom scene as soon as Excel lost their task. Chris blamed Markus for the failure, citing his inability to follow the simplest directions and his need to be babysat. The entire team seemed to agree that Markus should be fired, going so far as to call him a disaster. I applaud George for having called the boys on losing their task from the get-go when they showed too much confidence and not enough creativity. Despite Trump’s harsh criticism of Mark’s slogan idea, Chris refused to take him into the boardroom. I couldn’t believe that Chris stayed strong in picking himself and Markus for the boardroom showdown, especially after Trump kept asking him if he was sure that he didn’t want to take Mark. No one needs a M.B.A. to know that Trump was giving Chris an out but he stayed strong and sent his friend upstairs. That would prove to be Chris’ downfall as neither Trump nor his advisors would blame Markus for his team’s loss. Chris had made an emotional decision by not taking Mark into the boardroom even after Trump suggested he should and for that move alone, he was fired.
I didn’t think much of Trump’s comment to Markus that he doesn’t see him lasting very long. I’ve seen many players like Markus on previous installments – Danny, Raj, to name a few – and they stuck around a lot longer than they should have. My suggestion to Markus – find a four leaf clover very quickly!
Feel free to write me with your comments at HildeeW@SBCGlobal.net