February 13, 2004
The Apprentice: Episode 5: remix
A week behind on my Apprentice reviews. I guess because Episode 5 was so unremarkable.
This week, with the men down to 4 guys left, Donald had to do a "corporate restart" and rejigger the teams. Nick got the lead and picked a team. Nick had been shamed into being team leader for basically bailing on the team during the last task and acting like he was above it all. Donster basically told him to put up or shut up. Kristi, the blonde from Santa Monica took the helm of the other team. Nick did a good job of picking strong people. Kristi picked the weakest people but the "nicer" people. Basically her friends. It was an early sign of trouble. Funny because for all the previous episodes, Alex and I had noticed how often the producers would interview her. We speculated that she would be a finalist. The restaurant business is hard and very crazy day to day. How wrong we would be...
So the task was to set up a stand at the flea market and sell something. The company with the largest sales over expenses would win. They were given $1,000 seed money. The trouble started for Kristi's team right away. They went to China town and looked at the junk stores for cheap stuff that they could sell at a markup. But don't they know that anyone from NYC would know the stuff was cheaper in chinatown? They basically picked up a bunch of stuff retail at a store and tried to sell it at a fleamarket for a markup. There was no value added to the product other than location. Stupid idea. Kristi wanted consensus on the product, pricing, and every aspect of the location, etc. It was clear from the start of the day that she was paralysed by fear. At times during the selling day she just sat there staring straight ahead not able to talk. She totally bonked. They were inside and all the foot traffic was outside. Few people were buying the overly marked up trinkets. They ended the day with lots of inventory and their display fixtures.
Nick actually stepped up to the plate very well. He went with Ereka's (hottie) idea to make tee-shirts and other custom created clothing. Just tie ribbon on them in interesting patterns. Nothing too complicated to manufacture (they had one day), but unique. High value add. The team also was very parsimonious on their setup. They picked an outside location. Which when it rained in the morning looked bad, but in the afternoon when it cleared up and all the people were outside, it proved the right decision. So people bought. It was a unique product that you obviously couldn't get anywhere else. The price was reasonable. But Nick did the SMARTEST thing with half an hour to go. He basically said "EVERYTHING GOES" at any price. All product, all display materials, everything for any price. He didn't want to have any work in progress inventory at the end of the day. Better to have cash on the balance sheet than inventory which doesn't count against the goal. This was the difference in strategy. And put them over the top.
Of course Kristi went to the boardroom. She took Heidi because she had a bad attitude. I forgot who the other was, I believe Omarosa. Omarosa also had a bad attitude all day. In the boardroom Heidi and Omarosa were very staunch in their defense of their actions. Kristi just sat there and took all the responsibility for everything. Put up no defense. She was a total wimp. Trump even tried to get her to defend herself but she wouldn't. She was on the verge of crying the whole time. Trump fired here. He was surprised because she had done such a good job as a team player up to that point. But when put in leadership, she was a deer in the headlights. Did nothing. I called it and the Donster did it. Whew, finally got one right.
Posted by Martin at February 13, 2004 1:39 PM
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