Out4Blood & El_Cap's Rise of Nations Strategy

Thursday, September 30, 2004

The Apprentice: Week 4 analysis
Here's my continuing analysis of each of The Apprentice candidates so far.

The task this week was opening a restaurant and was scored by how well they fared in Zagat's restaurant survey. One point that no one mentioned was that Apex would miss StacieJ on this task. StacieJ has successfully opened at least TWO different restaurants in major cities. She would have made a great project manager for this task, and if she failed at this they would finally have had a good reason for getting her fired.

I must say though, opening a restaurant in two days is pretty impressive. The show had to have arranged some of that stuff in advance for them - foodstuffs, tables, linens, etc. But even so, both teams seemed to do a great job. Of course, because the chef was provided, there were only two things that they really needed to worry about: Decor and Customer Service.

So Apex melted down almost completely, while Mosaic (literally) sleep-walked through this task. Trump seems to enjoy giving away the ending in the first 10 minutes. the title was "Be Respected" and in the first scenes we show just how much the women do NOT respect each other, particularly their project manager, Jenn C. Apex lost and Jenn C quickly (and deservedly) got the boot. Looks like my Week 1 observation of her was correct, even though I had her neutral as of last week.

I've the ranked the candidates in descending order in three groups: positive, neutral, and negative. Of course, this is all my opinion, so you are free to feel differently. Big movers this week were:

Movin' On Up: Jenn M (only decent Apex member)
Goin' Down: Sandy (they're calling for her in the boardroom)

The current standings so far...

Positive - these are the candidates who have stepped up (so far) and look to be strong contenders for the top prize. In descending order...
  • Kelly - no change from last week (the scene of him giggling while the women carp at each other was typical Kelly)
  • Raj - Raj led the team to an easy victory but we saw almost none of his leadership style. Apparently he delegated very well to the right people, but beyond his natty dressing, there wasn't much from Raj; clearly they are saving him for the later episodes
  • Jenn M - She continues to impress with her rational comments and calm demeanor. She has avoided most of the catfighting, although it will take leading a task to solidify her as a contender. She moves up a couple notches. Only one of Apex I would ever consider hiring. The betting scandal is also telling evidence.
  • Kevin - no change from last week, but he scores points for chiding the women on their foolishness in using StacieJ as a scapegoat.
  • Andy - no change from last week, even though he's a poor waiter :-)

Neutral - these are candidates who either have not stood out yet, or have had both positive and negative exposures. In descending order...

  • Stacy - Stacy got quite a bit of negative airtime interacting with Jenn C, but it looked to be mostly due to Jenn C's incompetence. She demolished Jenn C in the boardroom with her comments: "Where's Sandy? Sandy was in charge of decor, and decor scored the worst. Where's Sandy?" Preview scenes of her getting into with Pam might signal another boardroom call, and she's got no real achievements to use in her defense, but I predict her survival.
  • John - Being eye-candy for the "fab four" is probably a bad sign, but I've no reason to move him up or down.
  • Chris - his call on the gay guys was pretty sharp. However, his bad mouthing of the general public, and his foul language will keep him out of the executive suite. He drops a notch.
  • Maria - she laid pretty low in this episode after avoiding a near-certain firing last week. Despite the consensus she's a certain goner, I'm keeping her at neutral. The other women are far worse, and I think Maria has learned her lesson.

Negative - these are candidates about whom I would be shocked if they made it to the final four. In descending order...

  • Pam - No sign of Pam this week, although it looks like things will get VERY interesting next week as she switches teams to help the women get their act together. (Or will the tigresses just band against her?) Pam's early decision to jump ship looks like the smartest move in the game so far. Too bad for her she has to go back.
  • Wes - no change from last week
  • Sandy - "Where's Sandy?" She developed the great decor for the trendy restaurant. Oops, the decor sucked; it's a blue-collar neighborhood. So, why was she not in the boardroom? You know it's always a bad sign when Trump and his minions are practically BEGGING for you to be called out for firing. She drops like a stone to -
  • Liz - Yet ANOTHER terrible episode for Liz as she breaks down in tears over her unfair treatment. This may yet turn in her favor as she earns sympathy points. But I sure hope not.
  • Ivana - Ivana actually looked like the leader of the team in this episode, trying to keep loiterers out of the way. She still sucks, but at least Trump is not calling for her head anymore.

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