Out4Blood & El_Cap's Rise of Nations Strategy

Friday, October 08, 2004

The Apprentice: Week 5 analysis

Pamela got the axe this week on the Apprentice. I think it was a terrible decision by Trump, but I was not all that surprised. First, he hasn't impressed us very much by his decision-making thus far; second, Pamela had had numerous negative impressions to indicate she was not staying long; and third, she had previously declined real-life party invitations (from colleagues of mine) for this weekend, an indication she'd be appearing in New York for the obligatory post-firing appearances. In any event, Pamela did not make enough of an effort to describe why she should not be fired for the team's failure and Trump let her have it.

The women's team is a complete mess, with no ability to work together outside the boardroom. However, in the boardroom they all seem to work in concert to eliminate their rivals in quick succession.

One interesting tidbit that was not shown on TV, but is shown on the web videos, is that the men all encouraged the women to get Pamela fired. Raj was very emphatic about it. And the women complied.

Now, was this extremely subtle strategy on the part of the guys, or payback for having to endure Pamela's lackluster performance on the men's team? Pamela is far superior to any of the women, except perhaps for Jenn M, and she could have helped turn the women's team into a potential threat to the men's. Maybe she just didn't have enough time to get to know them well enough to make it work. But with Pamela gone, the women will likely flounder even more next week, and the guys will escape the boardroom yet again.

So here's my updated rankings of the Apprentice players:

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. Raj calling him the "de facto" leader of the men's team, coupled with his minor airtime, only solidifies his position as the #1 contender.
  • Raj - Raj earns geek points for asking out Anna Kournikova. He gains even more geek points for losing the dare and having to run in his boxers around Arthur Ashe stadium. He's sticking around for awhile.
  • Jenn M - She's head and sholders above the rest of the women, and she got promoted past Maria as the spokesmodel for the team. Only woman that hasn't been "brought in" to boardroom. Given the cattiness on the team, that's important.
  • Kevin - No change from last week; I think he was out sick this episode.

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

  • Andy - Moving Andy down to neutral; he's starting to show negative signs as he keeps bringing up how much he doesn't know about the weekly topic. Yea, we know already: you're young and inexperienced. Task leadership will make or break him.
  • John - John moves up merely because the others in the neutral category have moved down. However, being labeled a "pretty boy" doesn't make it look good. Hopefully, he'll get a leadership role soon so we can see him in action.
  • Chris - Nipple rings?! He drops a notch in the neutral category. Also he appeared as a non-factor in watching Kelly lead Mosaic to victory.
  • Maria - The boardroom queen evades yet another firing opportunity.

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

  • Wes - No change from last week. he moves up by virtue of the women all moving down. We'll see when/if he gets to lead the team...
  • Sandy - Sandy hardly shows up in this episode. And other than being the virtual goat of Episode 4, we have not seen much of her. Bodes well if you ask me.
  • Stacy - Stacy shows more negative signs. She's gotten a lot of negative airtime, partly because she's bumped up against almost every PM. She's certainly someone I would not want working for me. However, all of those PMs have gotten fired, which means she's done some great boardroom maneuvering. However, it looks like someone like Sandy will outlast her, if only to even out the exposure.
  • Liz - No change from last week. Even Pamela does not have a favorable impression of her.
  • Ivana - No change form last week. She still sucks, but at least Trump is not calling for her head anymore.
  • Pamela go the boot, albeit unfairly. Given the exposure she's had, though, is it any surprise?

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