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TV Review: The Apprentice 5 – Episode 4

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Well, well, well… it’s about time. But, I’m getting ahead of myself, aren’t I?

As the show opens, the candidates are worried. Tarek knows one more time in the boardroom could be his last time. Charmaine bursts into tears and climbs in bed when she’s told that Trump wanted to know why she wasn’t called into the boardroom. After all, it was she who secured the lewd comedian and then paid said lewd comedian the full amount. It was she who should have been fired. Oh, woe is me! Everybody’s worried except “What? Me Worry?” Brent. After all, why should he worry? He’s done nothing wrong.

The two teams are summoned to the Trump Tower Bar and Grill where they learn their next task will be to create a billboard touting Post Cereal’s new product — Post Grape-Nuts Trail Mix Crunch. (My own advice would be that the name of the cereal is too long, but I wasn’t consulted. What exactly is a “grape-nut” anyway? I don’t think I want my grapes to have nuts. But, I digress.) Carolyn is absent this week and it’s the posing pretty progeny Ivanka Trump along with George who’ll be looking in on the teams’ progress.

And, so it starts. Tammy stepped up to be the project manager for Synergy and Brent immediately volunteered his expertise in presenting to the executives. Oy! She tried to politely tell him it was a healthy product and that she didn’t think he was best suited to present it — plus, he messes everything up and he’s an embarrassment to the team. No, she didn’t say the latter to him, just on camera and with the others. She put him in charge of selecting the clothes. Now, there’s an important task. Brent may be batty, but he isn’t stupid. He also thinks she called him “fat” when she actually didn’t go that far at all. Ivanka peeked in and immediately made the Brent plan — don’t let him touch anything important to the task.

When the commercial break ended and the show intro was just a “Keep it Simple, Stupid” logo, the good ol’ KISS Theory, it was a dead giveaway that one team would overdo things. Ah, but which team?

Over at Gold Rush, Charmaine took on the project manager role in hopes of redeeming herself from last week’s faux pas. Now, watching her, I have to say she did very well. She solicited ideas from all and decided a “less is more” approach is best as folks don’t really pause to read billboards — something should just jump out at them and make a quick impression. (See the KISS Theory.) Oh, and now it’s easy to figure which team will win, isn’t it? Bryce came up with the idea of someone chugging cereal because “it’s just that good!” The team went off looking for a healthy All-American girl for the photo shoot.

Meanwhile, Synergy is in flux. They have way too much going on! Their graphics and pictures don’t line up. They decided to go with a “new generation of cereal” theme, hiring what they presumed to be an older man with someone they thought looked like a daughter. The guy was nowhere near old-looking enough to be her father! Eek! And, then the graphics were all over the place.

Task completed, the teams went off to New Jersey early the next morning to meet the Post people. Well, one team went early. The other team waited for a Brent Without Pants to iron and get ready. They were a good half hour behind. Once there, both billboards actually looked pretty good, but the chugging cereal was the obvious winner — clear, concise, exactly the right model for the shot and a quick glance would convey the idea. Synergy’s next generation just had much too much going on. In the presentations, Synergy’s Sean got tongue-tied and blew it. Two strikes. Gold Rush wins.

The reward for Gold Rush didn’t seem all that to me, but the team seemed to enjoy it. They got a chance to go cook with Chef Jean-Georges, the world acclaimed chef at the Trump Tower. Lenny was a bit embarrassing, but it looked like they all had a good time and quite the feast. The team sang the praises of Charmaine’s leadership. She is redeemed.

And it’s to the Boardroom for Synergy! Woohoo!

The team so wants Brent gone. Since they didn’t give him any real responsibility, they don’t think it’s going to happen. They think Tammy may be blamed as project manager, Sean blamed as he blew the presentation or Andrea because she was the one responsible for the too-busy graphics. Of course, Brent is confident: “Save my seat here (at hotel). I will be back stronger and more powerful than ever! Keep me out of the boardroom or you’ll be sorry!” Yipes. He’s reminding me of the old Twilight Zone episode with the talking doll that killed Telly Savalas and then told his wife, “If you’re not nice to me, I’ll kill you too!”

The Boardroom never got to its second stage. Brent proved himself a liability, an embarrassment and probably a bit of a fool. Tammy didn’t have to choose to take anyone into the Boardroom at all. It never got that far. With the full team there bickering mostly about Brent, Trump hit his Brent Limit.

“Brent, you’re fired. Out! Over! Go! GO!”

It’s about time.

Dollar bills, y’all…

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About Jackie

  • Dynamo of Eternia

    I just posted a comment on an Apprentice blog, which I’m pretty much going to copy and paste here as I do not want to retype everything -I’m lazy- Damn it! :)
    This was my first time posting on that site, so some of my comments may be a little redundant on what I said in my responses to the previous episodes. (sorry that its so long winded, but I have a lot of opinions and I was on a role).

    —————————————–

    I’ve seen all four episodes so far and I do feel that Brent has been unfairly labeled overall.

    In the first episode, he threw out some odd idea (i.e. proposing to call the team “Killer Instinct”). And I think a lot of people just got an overall bad impression of him and jumped to conclusions.

    Everyone just seems to assume that anything that comes out of his mouth is junk. And if they would actually listen to his ideas, they may realize that some of them are not that bad.

    In regards to this week’s task, His proposal to focus on the cereal being healthy for the billboard didn’t seem like a bad one in my opinion (in fact, that was a good portion of the focus of the opposing team’s billboard, any they won the task). But, his idea was imediately dismissed because it was his idea.

    And the very next idea that was proposed by someone else (the whole father/daughter thing) was instantly considered great by comparison. If Brent had come up with that idea, it would have been shot down, and if someone else came up with the health idea, they likely would have gone with it. Heck, with the pre-conceived notions that everyone had about Brent, someone could follow up any decent idea that he has with a really ridiculous one like, “Hey, let’s use the image of a man beating a dog with a crow bar for our billboard!,” and they would probably still consider it to be exceptional when compared to anything Brent came up with. It’s really ridiculous.

    In the defense of the rest of the team, Brent did seem to have the potential for disaster, so I can see their concerns.
    However, they really never gave him the chance to prove himself one way or the other.

    As far as Brent being a ‘distraction’ is concerned,I don’t think he ever truely was one. If anything, with this past task, they got annoyed when he would throw in his two cents, but all he was trying to do was be part of the group and help out. If they had given him some responsibility, then he wouldn’t have been ‘in the way’ of what the others were doing. He wasn’t trying to be in the way, he was trying to help, and everyone just concluded that they didn’t want his help.
    The issue over him not presenting because of his looks is kind of contraversial. I can see where the team and Trump were coming from in regards to that (and this is coming from someone who isn’t exactly in shape), but I still think Brent would have been a better choice than Mr. Fumbles who was studdering the whole time. Yeah, he may look nice, but if he can’t get the words out, then he shouldn’t be up there.

    Overall, the team seemed to be acting more like immature high school students picking on the unpopular guy and being upset that they were forced to work with him on some kind of class project, rather than handling this as mature adults. It’s amazing how some of these people even got to be as successful as they are with the kinds of attitudes that they have.

    Brent’s problem did often seem to be his attitude, though, which is what lead to his ultimate demise. People didn’t like him, and he knew it. And sometimes instead of trying to do more to make them like him, he would just perpetuate the whole thing. He was often very cocky about things and became over confident that he was so invincible and unfirable.

    In the board room he shot his mouth off, which wasn’t a good idea. Like Trump said, he should have been more moderate and respectful upon stating his opinion of the project manager. Up until that point, there was very little (if any) focus on Brent in the board room, with instead the focus being on those who actually made the decisions for this task. Brent basically shot himself in the foot with his comments. If he had been more calm and layed back about the whole thing, he’d probably still be in the running.

    Brent never got the chance to prove himself. Everyone just decided that he was drowning before he ever had a chance to jump into the pool. He should have been given some responsibility, that way if he screwed up, at least there would be a legitimate reason to fire him, and if he did well, then he could fix his reputation.

    I don’t necessarily agree with Trump’s decision to fire him. Drastic action needed to be taken over the Brent situation, and I see where Trump was coming from, and as I said before, Brent did become cocky. However, he never had the chance to prove himself. Trump’s main reason for firing him was that no one seems to like him and get along with him. Well, if that’s the basis of hiring and firing, then he should just fore-go the rest of the tasks and just put all of the members of both teams in a room together to decide whom each of them likes the best and hates the most, and make his Apprentice decisions that way.

    If I were Trump talking to Brent in the board room, I would have said something like, “I should fire you, but I will let you stay with the stipulation that you will be project manager on the next task. It’s time for you to put your money with your mouth is, and prove that you don’t ‘stink’ as much as you feel your teammates do. This way you can have a chance to prove whether or not you really belong here, since no one else seems to want to give you that chance.” And if he screwed up, then he would be out the door. If he did well, then maybe the rest of his team would respect him more.

    The way this all turned out was really crappy, IMO.
    ——————————————

    Ok, so everything above (between the dotted lines) was my comment from the other blog.
    A few extra thoughts I’d like to add now that I’m thinking of them:

    The whole idea of the older father, younger daugther was weak to start with, and was poorly executed as the woman looked to be late 20’s/early 30’s, and the man looked to be in his early to mid 40’s, which would mean he would have become a father roughly at the age of 15 if that is supposed to be his dauther. I guess they could go with the slogan, “Post cereal, official breakfast of people who became parents as teenagers!” And none of this was Brent’s fault. As I said, IMO, Brent’s idea was better and more in line with what the winning team did. The only thing Brent was at fault for was being late with ironing his pants, etc, but that’s hardly why they lost.

  • nugget

    “Overall, the team seemed to be acting more like immature high school students picking on the unpopular guy and being upset that they were forced to work with him on some kind of class project, rather than handling this as mature adults. It’s amazing how some of these people even got to be as successful as they are with the kinds of attitudes that they have.”

    I couldn’t agree more. As a bit strange as Brent may have come off, I believe he was one of their strongest team members. He actually criticized the graphics they used for the Billboard! I thought he was the most intelligent and creative person on Synergy.

    In the end, if he would have simply swallowed a bit of his pride, he would have garnered more support in his plight.

  • nugget

    Dynamo: could you link that Apprentic blog?

  • Dynamo of Eternia

    No Problem. Here is the link:

  • Suzie

    You know, I was thinking. If these people knew anything at all about strategy, they should have let Brent BE a project manager, and then he would have really been fired for a GOOD reason this week. Yes, he was unmanageable and difficult, but Mr. Trump clearly kept him and then FIRED him when the time was right for ratings. I felt Brent was obnoxious too, but when you’re not as “pretty” as the other people on the team think they are, well, you sort of put up a wall, don’t you think? Andrea is making me crazy too!

  • http://childoftv.blogspot.com Brent

    I share the first name and nationality of the Apprentice’s Brent, and while I believe he should have been (and would have been) fired sooner rather than later, he shouldn’t have been fired for his role in this task because they didn’t give him anything to do. The biggest problme that he faced however was his own combatative attitude when he went to the boardroom. He was ticked off at all of the others and he ran his mouth off in his own defense when a better strategy would have been to be modest and ask how he could be disruptive to the others when the others hadn’t let him do anything of substance in the four tasks they’d been involved in. He didn’t and he’s gone.

  • http://jackiestvblog.blogspot.com/ Jackie

    Dynamo – Always good to read your thoughts on the show. I agree with a lot of what you had to say until you came up with the like/dislike bit instead of tasks. I know you exaggerated to make a point. But in the corporate world, fitting in with others and people skills are also vital characterics needed to succeed. Brent’s lack of social skills would have hurt relationships with clients and co-workers, I think. I agree it wasn’t the opportune time to fire him. Had he kept civil and polite in the boardroom, he wouldn’t have been fired.

  • http://jackiestvblog.blogspot.com/ Jackie

    Nugget – He had a lot of ideas, but many of them were a bit off the wall and I got the feeling he often just said whatever first came to mind. I don’t think he’s dumb, not by a long shot. But I don’t think he’s really all that creative, at least in a finished vision sort of vein. As with his behaviors, he didn’t think things through. He’s a blurter, not a thinker. Sometimes that might work – you may get a good idea out of a dozen thrown on the table.

  • http://jackiestvblog.blogspot.com/ Jackie

    Suzie – I dunno. His behavior was getting so bizarre that ratings actually would probably say “keep him around for a while longer.” The show was filmed early in the fall, I believe. Trump wouldn’t have a clue what the ratings would or wouldn’t be. So, I disagree a bit with you, but thank you for commenting! Please stop by again during the season. It’s always interesting to read other people’s take on the show!

  • http://jackiestvblog.blogspot.com/ Jackie

    Brent – I was concerned you’d be all broken up about your namesake and not return to comment again! ;-)

    He did do himself in. The others didn’t really behave with maturity, true. There are ways to handle a Brent (pardon the expression), but they just shut him out from the get go. But, inevitably, it was his mouth that did him in. I knew he was sunk when he made the “stinky” comment.

  • http://www.rodneywelch.blogspot.com/ Rodney Welch

    How did Brent get on the show in the first place? Andrea rather cruelly tells him to his face that she’s a multimillionaire while he’s never made over $50,000 a year. Trump echoes the same point in the boardroom. Was Brent put in this group as a deliberate ringer?

  • http://jackiestvblog.blogspot.com/ Jackie

    Rodney — He could be a ringer. But, a lot of attorneys seem to be attracted to the show. Every season has ‘em. I believe he’s a public defender type, thus earning less than the private sector. He may have talked a good bit and got himself in. In a way, he has that eagerness which might get him in.

    I personally wonder why someone who’s already successful and has millions on their own would bother trying out for the show. It’s only a quarter million in salary.

  • http://www.rodneywelch.blogspot.com/ Rodney Welch

    Yeah, I think we all wonder that — what’s the percentage in working with Trump? I guess it leads to better things, or at least that’s the idea.

  • http://jackiestvblog.blogspot.com/ Jackie

    Perhaps they can pick up hairstyling tips.

  • nuggets

    what could be better than millions? (ok billions or trillions)

    but seriously, millionaires that go on that show are looking for fame. Bunch a pigs. Grape-nut-eating pigs.

  • http://jackiestvblog.blogspot.com/ Jackie

    “Grape-Nut eating pigs” – now, there’s an image Post cereals don’t want to promote! Love it, Nugget!

  • Dynamo of Eternia

    “Dynamo – Always good to read your thoughts on the show. I agree with a lot of what you had to say until you came up with the like/dislike bit instead of tasks. I know you exaggerated to make a point. But in the corporate world, fitting in with others and people skills are also vital characterics needed to succeed. Brent’s lack of social skills would have hurt relationships with clients and co-workers, I think. I agree it wasn’t the opportune time to fire him. Had he kept civil and polite in the boardroom, he wouldn’t have been fired.”

    I see your point and it is a very good one. But still, they seemed to be going too much on their first impressions of him rather than really giving him a chance. And granted, in the corporate world first impressions mean quite a bit, so that’s isn’t working in Brent’s favor.

    But still, I guess my point is that the guy got on the show in the first place, and I’m sure he had to beat out a lot of other people to get there. The others should have put in at least some amount of faith in the fact that Brent must have at least some level of qualifications to even be there to begin with and give him a shot to prove himself. The same with Trump. The whole idea is that this is a 15 (or so) week job interview. These candidates need to do things to prove themselves of being worthy or not being worthy. Brent had some negatives working against him, but no one ever really gave him a shot to express his positives (or if he did try to express them, no one paid any attention and just dismissed him).

    There are reasons for the firing, and I understand it. And there are reasons why the people didn’t like him. Did I expect him to make it until the end? – no. Do I think he would have made a great project manager? – probably not. The odds were very much stacked against him, but the problem was that no one really gave him the chance to possibly (all be it unlikely) to prove the odds wrong.

    It’s as if someone is entering a race against the fastest runners in the world. This individual’s best speed that has ever been measured is still far off from that of the other people in the race. And so instead of letting him even try, they just declare him a loser before the race even starts and pull him off of the field.
    I know this isn’t a perfect metaphor for what happened, but all in all in comes pretty close to that in my eyes. I know Brent didn’t seem to have a lot of potential, but its still not fair that he was never really given a shot.

  • http://jackiestvblog.blogspot.com/ Jackie

    I understand your points, Dynamo. He definitely had to have something right about him to get aboard – I think that could possibly be his eagerness. He’s got to have book smarts, he wouldn’t have passed the bar without them. They did shut him out from the get go. The other team members could have handled him differently and probably would have had a better teammate. I’m pretty sure we saw well edited Brent sequences playing up the Crazy Brent, too.

    But, in a different racing metaphor, he was a sway-backed farmhorse racing against the thorobreds… he never had a chance. It’s not fair, no. But I think he and/or Trump would know the likely outcome when he got accepted to be on the show. It’s like me being accepted for Top Model or something. I know I’d be on as the Joke. But, his reactions made himself his own worse enemy.

  • clubstyle_dj

    Short and tardy entry:
    Brent you’re fired was going to be said… However once again as I mentioned before, if these guys would keep their PIE HOLE shut they might last a bit longer. Both Summer and Brent couldn’t keep quiet… soooo…poof gone!. Brent was so ready to be “defensive” he was a cocked “nuclear weapon” pfffftttt. . Sean said it during the bed orgy scene. “it’s going to be hard to get rid of him” he didn’t didn’t contribute to the loss. I don’t think Trump even asked him anything…he kinda blurted out his “defense” and the bad mouthing of andrea and tammy… when he should have just sat there and been quiet. Because if the others had have torn into him Trump would have brought the hammer down on Andrea for the cluttered billboard, and or Sean for the 4th grade presentation i think he sucked during the Tahoe truck “ride” presentation too. Just because ones british flow sounds eloquent doesn’t mean one is capable of presenting or reading aloud in public.
    (my 4 cents )

    CSDJ