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Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Apprentice: Stephanie Gets Canned (Liza slips into the final 4)

The Apprentice - The Complete First SeasonTonight The Apprentice started with a recap of last week’s excitement. This time that statement was really true. The recap of Anand getting busted for cheating will make Trump’s greatest worst moments film archive. Then we saw Clint, at his meeting after winning the task, with Barry Sternlicht a real estate developer and founder of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Clint also won a $5000 Peir One Imports gift card. Nice!

The Apprentice final five are: Clint, Steuart, Brandy, Stephanie and Liza. I think at least two could go home at the beginning of this episode and it would just speed up the process. Stephanie talks a big game, but no one wants to work with her. Liza has show little or no initiative on any task and is the only one left that did not win as a PM.
The task: Make a 30 minute commercial for AT&T Mobile TV
Each team would be judged on creativity, brand representation and a clear message to the customers.

Team Octane now consisted of Stephanie and Liza. Though Stephanie looked pleadingly at Donald Trump, he did nothing to change things up. It would remain a 3-2 team match up.

Stephanie stepped up immediately for team Octane as PM. She should have let Liza have it, but her pride and arrogance got in the way. Liza let her make her mistakes (it seems to be what Liza is best at).

Steuart went for PM on team Fortitude, after some discussion. I’ll bold that for you so you can come back and confirm later, Steuart was PM. There was no doubt the odds favored team Fortitude. Clint has confidence without arrogance, and Brandy seemed to have settled down a little this week.

Right out of the gate Stephanie showed Liza who was in charge. She also told us (often). At one point Stephanie said, “I’m a one man show and I have a secretary.” Hmmm, that’s not a team leader, that’s a boss. If you are the boss, prepare to take the fall. Stephanie put Liza on props and location. She then heard Liza get turned down on several locations and failed to change plans, or even really create a full one.

Clint got team Fortitude started by saying, “I had an epiphony in the bathroom!” Luckily, he really did apparently. From that moment on, Clint was in charge of creativity on the task. Steuart tried to speak up a little, but Clint was on a roll. He wound up starring in and directing the entire commercial. It was campy and cute as you would expect.

Meanwhile, Stephanie got to spend quality time with a professional photographer/filmographer. The joy was apparent in his sneer. With no concrete plan, and Liza having just left for props and wardrobe (without a plan), Stephanie stalled. Time management did not seem to be her strong point, among other things.

When Donald Jr. showed up at team Octane’s site, Stephanie was looking a little frazzled. I’m pretty sure the photographer got some kind of raise at that point too (just my assumptions). Liza made it back to find out Stephanie had changed themes from a sporting event to an office setting. Liza failed at bringing appropriate props for either setting.

Ivanka Trump was impressed with Clint’s enthusiasm when she visited team Fortitude. She felt Steuart was riding the tails of Clint on this one. It would not bode well for Steuart if they lost.

At the presentation, Stephanie spoke for team Octane (surprise!). She did a good job on the oral presentation, but the commercial was a bust. They had chosen the office setting and having a guy watching TV during a board meeting. It did not speak well to Mr. Trump or the clients.

Brandy finally took her role as presenter for team Fortitude. It did not go stellar. Brandy seemed ill prepared and her voice was cracking and rough as she read her lines completely. She stammered through it and Donald Trump asked when she finished, “Why didn’t you memorize your lines?” Steuart actually stepped up to Brandy’s defense and said they were working on it right up until the presentation started.

In the boardroom Donald Trump told the teams immediately that Stephanie’s presentation had beaten Brandy’s. He then asked Donald Jr. to read the pros and cons of team Octane.
Pro: Great presentation, high energy,
Cons: The premise was flawed, took too long to get to the brand (18 seconds into a 30 second commercial is not good at all)

Ivanka Trump gave the rundown on team Fortitude’s commercial.
Pros: Great branding, high energy, retail location displayed
Cons: Campy, inconsistent brand messaging

Donald Trump then announced that the clients liked team Fortitude’s commercial far better than Octane’s. Clint, Brandy and Steuart were sent to safety, while Stephanie and Liza sharpened their claws for the final boardroom. Oddly enough, it was down to the two that I thought could have been fired at the beginning of the episode.

Stephanie came out swinging calling Liza difficult to work with. Liza defended herself fairly well, but Donald Trump called her out on being confrontational in the boardroom every week. Liza said she had to defend herself, which is true. They’ve been after her for weeks. If she only produced during the tasks.

When Stephanie said Liza failed on the props and location, Ivanka told her, “You’ve got to have a concept...” In the end it was apparent that it was the concept that was the problem. That was all on Stephanie, the one man show. Trump said, “Stephanie, you’re the Project Manager. Stephanie, you’re fired... and Liza, I was not happy with you one bit, you’d better get your act together!”

In the update, Stephanie tells us she’s been hired to represent the Trump brand. She now travels and speaks to audiences as a brand rep. Seriously? I’m assuming it’s a one woman show.

In the scenes from next week we see the teams are back to men vs women. Clint & Steuart take on Brandy & Liza. Liza had better step up her game. I’m going to go out on a pretty sturdy limb and say Steuart and Clint are in the final two this season. Donald Trump will fire two people next week, so we’re close to the end of The Apprentice. Who do you think is going to win?

Catch up on this season of The Apprentice here:

The Apprentice Premier: The Recession Season

The Apprentice: Alex Gets His Dream Job After Trump Fires Him

The Apprentice: Crazy Dave Survives the Boardroom, James Gets Fired

The Apprentice: Mahsa the Pitbull Stays, Tyana Goes Home Instead

The Apprentice: Gene and Wade Get Fired Together

The Apprentice: Kelly Gets the Cab Ride Home

The Apprentice 2010: Mahsa gets muzzled in the boardroom

The Apprentice: The End of Crazy David

The Apprentice: Anand is a cheater and Poppy gets fired too

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