First, our household has finally given in to the inevitable and joined the Tivo-craze. On more than one occasion, commenters have suggested that I get Tivo, and now we have it. It's pretty neat, except for the ungangly 25 foot phone cord that barely reaches the nearest phone outlet. But we're having a new phone jack put in much closer so there won't be that tripping hazard. . . .
As you may know, one of the things Tivo does is recommend shows based on what you tell it that you like. The first pass involved all kinds of bad reality TV shows as well as syndicated adventure shows like "The Lost World," "Nightman," and "Andromeda." Maybe I'll post some of the more bizarre suggestions down the road.
On to last week's "The Apprentice." The task was to come up with an edgy bottle design for Pepsi's new Edge drink (a regular/diet mix). Not surprisingly, Jenn M. was sent from Apex to Mosaic to balance out the teams. Why is Jenn. M. so disliked? I'll admit that her stock has dropped in recent episodes, and her accepting credit for Ivana's wheel-o-jeans idea wasn't her best moment (but to be fair, she was acting in self-defense, since her teammates Kevin and Ivana were conspiring against her). Still, she is poised, well-spoken, and fairly level-headed. Certainly, she still has done better than Ivana or Sandy, and possibly Kevin.
In any event, Apex, led by Kelly, came up with the superior design. Mosaic, led by Andy, bombed with some hideous bottle that looked like a sideways dumbbell. Apex won, and as a reward, got to go drive Lambourghinis on a racetrack, prompting Ivana to say that she hadn't driven a sports car since she wrecked the Porsche that her dad gave her when she turned 16. Hmm, it's pretty much impossible to muster up any sympathy or positive feelings toward Ivana . . . .
In the boardroom, it looked like Sandy was going to get fired until Jenn. M. brought up the fact that Andy had told her that Ivana wanted her (Jenn) to be fired. This led Sandy to argue that Andy and Jenn had allied against her, and as the boardroom descended into a bickering match between the two women, Andy basically stayed out of it. Then Trump fired him for having been out-debated by Sandy.
Yeah, maybe if we're calling "Crossfire" debating as well. . . .
I don't think Andy did a good job this episode. He was dictatorial with the design crew, refusing to let them eat pizza that had been delivered until they finished the task. He was also condescending with them, offering them "cash incentives" of $100 each. (Of course, no clients ever tipped me when I was working for the law firm, but if they had, I don't think I would have accepted. It just doesn't seem right when you're working a white collar job to take a tip.) And the ultimate bottle design sucked.
But . . . Sandy deserved to be fired if you took the long view of things. Her presentation was awful; she couldn't speak in complete sentences, and she made George Bush sound like Tony Blair. And if you look at past projects, Andy has consistently been a strong performer. He was brilliant in leading his team to victory in the NYPD recruiting ad, and he saved Sandy when she was the project manager in the home remodelling task (by bringing in the additional contractors to finish the job). His only slip-ups were losing the cell phone on one task and coming up with the dumb "Crustacean Nation" toy in the first week (but in his defense, no one came up with a better idea). Meanwhile, Sandy has contributed nothing other than the week where the project just happened to be in her line of business (bridal salons).
At this point, here's how I see the remaining five:
Kelly: The favorite to win right now. He has immunity this week, so he's guaranteed to get into the final four, and I'm pretty sure he'll survive the interview by Trump's underlings to get to the final 2. He's won twice as project manager and he's regarded as a strong presence.
Kevin: Probably a better shot than Jenn to make it to the final 2, but talk about going under the radar. He hasn't had any disasters (other than his presentation to Levi's, when he was dripping buckets of sweat), but hasn't really stood out. He did have a good idea of a charity tie-in on one of the earlier projects, and his attempt to help Elizabeth when she was the horrible project manager in the NYPD recruiting ad was admirable.
Jenn M.: Should make it to the final 4, but as noted above, her stock has dropped in recent weeks. I don't think she's an airhead, as Ivana and Kevin do, but maybe I'm biased in favor of lawyers. Still, her weaker moments have been in the past few weeks, which is not a good sign for her.
Ivana: No chance to win. She's been in the boardroom too many times, was a terrible project manager, and has had one shining moment (the wheel-o-jeans). Plus, the previews for this week don't look good for her, with her offering to drop her shorts for $20 in a cookie selling challenger. As Carolyn would say, "That kind of thing is not going to get you hired here."
Sandy: No chance to win. Trump has shown that he's school-conscious to a certain degree, and Sandy didn't go to college. Last year's non-college grad, Troy, was a much stronger performer, and he didn't even make it to the final four.