Out4Blood & El_Cap's Rise of Nations Strategy

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

The Apprentice: Week 7 analysis

Stacy FINALLY got fired this week on the Apprentice. And we've finally got a hot streak going where the firings are at least partially related to how well the candidate performed during the task. Maybe Trump realized that while firing people randomly on a whim might be great for his ego, it doesn't do anything to help ratings. Trump and Burnett like to brag about how their show has one of the richest and most educated demographics in prime time, but if they want to keep that demo, they need to stick more to merit-based firings rather than transforming into the Jerry Springer show.

Big twist this week was the recall of everyone to the boardroom, where the freshly chosen PMs were asked to shuffle the teams. This time by picking the players they did NOT want. Oooh. The effect is the same as if you were picking the ones you wanted, but it feels so much more harsh to the individuals being selected. More importantly, it gives Trump MUCH-NEEDED information on who the "strong" and "weak" candidates are, since he's shown himself to be pretty clueless so far this season. And it plays out in that the first person chosen by Jenn M. as a "weak" candidate ended up getting fired.

Based on our rankings so far, Jenn M. got by far the better team out of this shuffling. Wes is a poor judge of talent. He kept Andy or both Kevin and Raj. He was right to keep Kelly, but he should have sent Andy packing, particularly since he said (later in the boardroom) that Andy had always required lots of management. The REAL mistake this episode was in choosing Wes as the leader. The men are being very egalitatarian about this, but in a suprise twist situation, they should have gone with one of the stronger guns, even one who has already led, rather than just going down the list random list. Imagine if Kelly has been chosen. He could have picked both Kevin and Raj and they would have dominated.

So, 3 of our 4 positives (Jenn M., Raj, Kevin) are on one team, while only one (Kelly) is on the other team.

Another interesting dynamic is that everyone on the new Apex has led a task, but there are two candidates on Mosaic who have not: Sandy and Andy. (Hey that rhymes!) Previews suggest that Andy and Elizabeth lead this week. My ungrounded prediction is that Apex loses and Elizabeth gets fired.

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 - He continues to be a strong leader for the team even when not chosen. Both Carolyn and George have said very positive things about him. He'll be around for awhile.
  • Jenn M - Finally getting her shot to lead, she shows that she has good leadership talent, and is not afraid to lead by example. Ivana's comments saying that Jenn doesn't know the difference between leading the team and being a team member say more about Ivana's lack of leadership than it does about Jenn.
  • Kevin - He finally got some decent airtime this week. My bet is on Kevin to be #3 at the end.
  • Raj - His star is definitely waning. His eccentricities have been wearing thin, but he did contribute this week by getting Jenn M. to diversify to a new location.

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

  • Maria - She's probably the #2 remaining woman since she has a victory under her belt, but I sense she could be a scapegoat if Mosaic loses soon.
  • Andy - Andy's make or break moment appears to be coming up next episode.
  • Chris - Chris keeps digging himself deeper into the hole of obnoxious New Yorker. Would anyone hire this guy to run a business. Being able to hustle stocks is one thing, but showing overt disrespect for customers and their needs is toxic. Brings to mind the "Boiler Room."

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

  • Sandy - She contributed pretty heartily to the team effort this week. Much more so than...
  • Wes - He got lucky by having the Most Annoying Candidate Ever on his team to fire as a scapegoat, because his leadership was extremely poor. He made bad chocies at nearly every turn. Didn't start washing dogs until 12:30?!
  • Ivana - She and Liz swap places since she at least is stable and doesn't break out crying. In a pinch she can do Excel, so she's not completely worthless.
  • Liz - No change from last week. Even Pamela does not have a favorable impression of her.
  • Stacy got the boot. Never was a firing more deserved. I'm inclined to hire her for a speaking engagement if only to hear about "Dating Lessons Learned from the Apprentice."

Speaking of websites, here are the current web addresses of your all the candidates.

Stacy - http://stacyrotner.com/
Kelly - http://kellypredew.com/
Pam - http://pamday.com/
Andy - http://www.andylitinsky.com/
Chris -
Jenn M. - http://www.jennifermassey.com/. Although it doesn't appear to be working.
Ivana - http://www.ivanama.com/
Liz - http://www.elizabethjarosz.com/
Maria - http://www.mariaboren.com/
Wes - http://www.wesmoss.com/
Raj - http://www.rajbhakta.com/
Sandy - http://www.sandyferreira.com/
John - http://www.johnwillenborg.com/. By the way, he has a picture which shows John, Stacy, and Elizabeth together with Heidi. The thing these people might have in common is that they were fired in that order. Hmmm. Another spoiler?
Bradford - http://www.crimdefend.com/
Jenn C. - http://www.jennifercrisafulli.com/
StacieJ - http://www.staciej.com/
Heck, even Rob has a website - http://www.robflanagan.com/. And he was on the show, what?, 15 minutes?

Only Kevin does not yet appear to have milked his fleeting fame. What would be Kevin's address: kevinallen.com redirects to Warner Bros.

My personal favorite of all these is definitely Raj's site. It is clearly ALL RAJ!

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