Friday, February 13, 2004

Since the past two weeks The Apprentice was "super-sized" thanks to Friends, I've been taping Survivor and watching The Apprentice live. And because of last night's Survivor completely overshadows an otherwise strong episode of The Apprentice.

Going in to Tribal Council, I expected Jessie to get the pink slip. I thought Trump might cut Omarosa some slack because the auction was an activity that didn't need a whole lot of hands-on leading. But then Trump laying into Omarosa about her rudeness, which is a valid point -- it becomes a challenge to lead when you go out of your way to insult your workers/colleagues; being a common enemy to your underlings probably works better in sports. Furthermore, Omarosa hasn't yet realized that so far, success in the competitions revolves around the team -- for the intents and purposes of The Apprentice, only failure is nailed on the individual.

In retrospect, however, given that Trump skewered the previous loser for not defending herself, I should've seen Jessie's firing in advance, even when the dramatic momentum shifted towards Omarosa. I'd considered that Jessie was setting up her buddy (whatever her name is) with intentionally faulty advice, but then she apparently she believes in the philosophy of being nice. In conjunction with one of her face-time moments where she said something painfully obvious and her assertion that niceness was a crystalline virtue, her naivete proved her biggest problem. And her begging in the end was also not endearing.

Troy did a bang up job. His one-on-one selling, with all of the celebs we saw, was brilliant: his strategy with the Queer Eye guys, his mollification of Mizrahi, and probably his masterstroke, establishing rapport with Russell Simmons. He's got charm, he can think on his feet, and self-awareness. But I haven't seen him do anything else to stand out.

On the other team, like Troy, Amy was the best negotiator. What separates her from him, though, is she gets things done.

Heidi needs to realize that if someone asks for an opinion, she needs to give it. Initially I thought it was her being diplomatic (from the prior episode), but it turns out she's trying to avoid the responsibility and repercussions of criticizing a colleague.

Russell Simmons was one hard bastard. He scared me through the television!

Anyway, I thought this episode was going to drag like last week's because of the additional 20 minutes, and I'm glad it didn't. Still, I'm relieved that there's no more Friends foolery giganticism and I can watch my Reality Thursday live.

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