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Celebrity Apprentice – Week 10 (The Semi-Finals)

Posted in News & Entertainment by trickyd313 on May 23, 2010

This episode starts off with the remaining celebrities (Bret Michaels, Sharon Osborne, Maria Kanellis, Holly Robinson-Peete and Curtis Stone) celebrating in the champagne room having drinks. Suddenly they are all called back into the boardroom (not a place I’d like to go after drinking a little bit.) The five remaining candidates seems to continue to play nice nice in the boardroom.

The Trumptacular was, as always, all business in the boardroom. The rules were set to decide the last two candidates. Two people will be fired after interviews with previous winners Joan Rivers and Bill Rancic and one would be fired right then. Trump asked  everyone who was the weakest player and who should be fired. There was a lot of himmin and hawwin until he asked  Sharon. She didn’t give an answer until cornered and absolutely had to do so. She picked Maria to be fired. Curtis was asked the same thing and picked Maria right away. He still hadn’t gotten over what was said about him in the last boardroom. Maria tried to defend herself by saying that she didn’t like Curtis because he used their teams bathroom and left a smelly stench in there. Curtis thought that was a below the belt remark. In traditional Trump-o-matic fashion… Donald took a breath and told Maria that what she said was gross and inappropriate for his boardroom. Then he fired her. Down to four left.

The former Apprentices conducted the interviews and formed their opinions and reported back The Donaldator. Joan thought that the last two should be Sharon & Holly. Bill thought that Sharon didn’t have the energy to continue competing. They both thought that Curtis didn’t have the fire to win. The four remaining candidates were brought back in to the boardroom and again interrogated by The Trizzz-Umpster.

Curtis was told that the interviewers thought that he was a one trick pony. In similar fashion from earlier weeks, Curtis’ Defense was solid but without fire. Trump has a tendency to be rude to those that can take it (this is apparent on TV but I assume if the camera weren’t rolling anyone is subject to get the full Monty from the Trumpster.) He told Curtis that he was going to take the advice of the former Apprentices and promptly fired him, then told him to get the hell out! Funny, but awkward because Curtis, being the gentleman that he is, stood up, shook Trumps hand and thanked him for the opportunity. Down to three left.

Next the attention turned to Holly and Bret. Sharon got emotional about everyone reasons for winning and broke down crying. I think that Trump was about to focus on firing Bret until Sharon’s waterworks started. The patented inhale, then the “you’re great” speech started that resulted in Sharon being fired. The Finalist have been established as Holly Robinson-Peete and Bret Michaels! Who would have thought that Bret would be in the finals.  When I auditioned for the show over six weeks ago, one of the producers of the show was surprised that he had lasted up until that point.

Next week is the live season finally and it is questionable if Bret Michaels will be there due to health issues that have evolved over the past few weeks.

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Celebrity Apprentice – Week 9 (The Celebrity Room)

Posted in News & Entertainment by trickyd313 on May 22, 2010

This week the show started out with a twist. On the last episode Sharon Osborne and Maria Kanellis both stated how much they disliked Curtis Stone. So The Donaldator put Curtis on their team (RockSolid) and put Bret Michaels on Team Tenacity. The task was to decorate an apartment (in 24 hours!) and have a creative celebrity room. This task saw Sharon Osborne vs Holly Robinson-Peete (reluctantly) again as project managers.

Team Tenacity decided on colors for the apartment and Holly gave Cindy Lauper the celebrity room to keep her a bit occupied. Bret Michaels repeatedly had to reel Cindy in when she started yelling at the workers. Holly loved the help dealing with Cindy then… Bret had to leave the show to perform in a concert. Before Bret left he took some pictures of the New York skyline and had them blown up for wall art. Holly spearheaded the idea for a minty green New York Zen theme to the apartment with a red celebrity room. Cindy was to do all of the other creative decorating in that room. She felt to need to make the room exciting.

Team RockSolid appeared to start out in the hole. Curtis felt that he had to prove his likability to his new team and Maria though that Curtis was out to get her. Sharon felt that Maria was too young and inexperienced to be of use so she sent Maria on the non-creative task working away from the team for much of the task. RockSolid was behind in time for much of the task and it didn’t help that Sharon decided to repaint one of the rooms at the last-minute. Curtis made the kitchen look homey and then there was the mad dash to get rid of the wrapper and trash that was left behind from decorating.

Earlier, Bret’s pictures had arrived in the wrong sizes so he had to send them back and get the right sizes. He just completed putting them up when the judges came. The judges inspected their apartment then went to inspect Team Tenacity’s then reported their findings to The Donaldgizer.

In the Boardroom it was revealed that Team RockSolid’s celebrity room fell short and was just an average room but they did a great job making the apartment look more roomy than it was. Team Tenacity’s room missed the Zen mark but Cindy’s celebrity room was outstanding and Bret’s pictures were great. It was announced that Team RockSolid was Rock Solid and that they won the task.  RockSolid was dismissed then the drama began.

Holly and Bret thought that Cindy should have been the Project Manager and that she was very hard to work with. It was mentioned that the judges loved Cindy’s room and though it was the best one in the apartment. Cindy said the gloves are off and start going in on Holly. Bret sat there while Holly defended herself. The argument boiled down to Cindy being difficult to work with. Bret, being silent, almost led to him being fired. He came under fire for leaving then for not having the toughness to compete. He finally stood up for himself and said that Cindy needed to be fired. As much as the Judges liked Cindy’s room she admitted that the room was Holly’s idea thereby giving the credit for the compliments to Holly. The Don-miester promptly fired Cindy and cleared the boardroom.

I have said all season long that these celebrities don’t get it! They just don’t know how to operate in the boardroom, even this late in the game. The argument that Holly should have made is this.  Since the Judges loved Cindy’s room so much… if she would have stepped up to be the Project Manager then maybe her signature would have been all over the apartment and Team Tenacity would have won. Holly didn’t want to be Project Manager in the first place so her first line of defense should have been to hold Cindy responsible for not stepping up.

This week, Mr. Trump-o-matic… you fired the right person for a flimsy argument when a good one was there to be voiced. Not your fault but still… you’re safe this week.

Celebrity Apprentice – Week 8 (Do it live!)

Posted in News & Entertainment by trickyd313 on May 16, 2010

Week 8 Started with both teams intact from the prior week. In Week 7 no one was fired but The Trumpster promised to fire someone this week.  The teams were given their tasks.  They were to create and perform a live commercial for three different home repair companies. Bret Michaels once again stepped up to become the Project Manager for RockSolid. Summer Sanders became the Project Manager for Team Tenacity.

Both Teams met with the executives and received the guidelines for the commercials. The executives were very professional and straight laced. When asked about comedy appearing in the commercial they were not interested and felt that comedy didn’t really have a place for their line of work. Bret Michaels threw that out of the window and incorporated a butt crack pun in the plumbing commercial. When the executives heard that commercial they were not amused.

Team Tenacity wanted to incorporate Cindy Laupers singing in the commercials. While making the commercials Cindy’s voice started bothering her and Tenacity had to rely on the back-up singer for the rehearsals.  Summer created some commercials that had a great deal of information about the company.  Curtis Stone mention that he thought that the commercials were a bit copy heavy. Cindy came through at the end and was able to perform for the live spots. The executives were very happy as they listened to Team Tenacity’s spots. The execs went to report to The Donald who they thought won and the teams were brought into the boardroom.

In the boardroom RockSolids commercials were played first.  Bret was grilled about using the crack comment when the execs said they didn’t want any comedy at a plumbers expense. Bret defended his position and stood by his decision. Tenacity’s commercials were played next. Donald Trump though that the commercials were too wordy and that sentiment was echoed by the executives. The execs also wanted to hear more of Cindy’s voice in the spots. Curtis was asked what he though about RockSolids spots and he gave a very structured and intelligent critique. Sharon Osborne and Marie Kanellis took exception to Curtis’ remarks. They said that Curtis was smug and mocked his being Australian. Maria even went as far as to say she wanted to punch him (Kinda of worrying coming from a professional wrestler.)

Trumpomatic asked Summer what would she like for him to say. Summer said that she would like to hear him say that Tenacity were the winners but Trump said that he could not say that because RockSolid were the winners. RockSolid was dismissed then Tenacity was grilled about the creation of the commercial and who contributed the most. Summer took some heat for her delegation of the task and for not defending herself in the boardroom. This ultimately led to Summer being fired.

The show is almost to the season finale and these celebrities still do not know how to handle being in the boardroom. Curtis Stone so far is the only one that holds people accountable for what they did or didn’t do. His weakness is the fire needed to state his case more forcefully during the task and in the boardroom.

Donald you get a thumbs up this week.

Celebrity Apprentice – Week 7 (Reorganization)

Posted in News & Entertainment by trickyd313 on May 12, 2010

“RockSolid, you’ve hit rock bottom. The women have kicked your ass… you know that!” – Donald Trump

This week finds RockSolid down to only two team member vs Tenacity’s having seven. Donald Trump moved Curtis Stone to Tenacity and moved Sharon Osborne and Maria Kanellis to RockSolid.  Both teams immediately took on a new vibe with RockSolid being a more loose and fun team and Tenacity being more structured and focused.  The task was to create a celebrity fitness class for Derek Jeter’s 24 Hour Fitness and to raise the most money for charity. This would have been well suited for Goldberg had he not made the mistake the week before and gotten himself fired. Sharon Osborne was selected to be the Project Manager for RockSolid and Holly Robinson Peete was selected for Tenacity.

Bret Michaels was at the heart of the fitness program. Their class was called the RockStar Celebrity Bootcamp. All the moves were edgy and had names of things that happen in the world of a rock stars such as Groupie Thrust and the Tour Bus Thrust to name a few. Curtis Stone and Summer Sanders were the driving force behind the fitness program for Tenacity. Cindy Lauper had to leave for the first part of the task for an event with Lady Gaga leaving Tenacity short one team member.

RockSolid’s operation was very loose. Sharon allowed for the team to just work as things fell into place. Ideas were flowing from Bret and Maria and they just pulled together and created a very entertaining fitness class. Sharon retained the responsibility for the fundraising. Team Tenacity worked with more structure. Deadlines, follow-up, delegation and Holly was responsible for the fundraising. 24 Hour Fitness was offering $24,000 to the team with the best original concept.

Both Project Managers were stressed about their donors ability to give money on such short notice. Ozzy Osborne was the guest host on WWE Raw during that time and Sharon was able to raise $30,000 from the WWE. Later she received another large donation of $25,000. Holly had been sweating about her $50,000 donation from Ron Burkel. It finally came through at the last-minute.

RockSolid conducted their classes and they were very active and fun while Tenacity’s class were structured and fundamental. In the boardroom Donald asked each team if they thought that they won. Each though that the other won for various reasons. Holly thought that Sharon had the advantage of having very rich friend that could donate a lot of money. Holly was asked, rhetorically if she thought that she had an advantage because of her yearly fundraising efforts.

RockSolid won the $24,000 from 24 Hour Fitness. and the amount was added to their fundraising effort making a total of $131,000. Tenacity was a little worried. Their total was announced as $206,000 so Tenacity won! After all the worrying Holly beat Sharon at a fundraising task.

Trump went on to needle everyone in the room on who should be fired. He asked everyone. He didn’t even dismiss the winning team. Trump said he wanted to fire somebody like a dog. No one was thrown under the bus but Holly snitched to Trump that Sharon said that she didn’t want to be there anymore. Sharon was ready to be fired when suddenly Donald Trump said that he was not going to fire anyone for such an across the board good job.

All the money raised went to the winning Project Managers charity so Holly’s received nearly $350,000. This was the largest amount of money raised outside of a final episode for a single task. The benevolent Trumpster allows everyone to stay for another week.  My evaluation of Trumpomatic… Nice!

Celebrity Apprentice – Week 4 (Agony!)

Posted in News & Entertainment by trickyd313 on April 5, 2010

Week four of the Apprentice  started off a bit unique.  Selita Ebanks and Rod Blagojevich were picked as the Project Managers for their respective teams then they were sent off to Orlando, Florida to learn their task. I knew immediately that communications skills were going to be a major part of this task and technology is not Governor Blagojevich’s best friend.  

Team Tenacity got a jump on their task using text messages and e-mails.  Governor Blagojevich had to resort to using the phone but was restricted a bit because he didn’t want to talk about his strategy while the other Project Manager was around.  Admittedly I would have had trouble with this task because it was centered around a Harry Potter attraction and I am no Harry Potter fan.  I know nothing about the world of Harry Potter.  But I do know management.  The Governor made a great decision to make Bret Michaels the creative director of this task.  The men were off to a rocky start but they pulled the task together in the end.

As much as many people like to watch a car wreck taking place, I like to watch success. Watching Team RockSolid execute this task was more of  a car wreck.  Scratch that.  RockSolids performance was like a slow agonizing car wreck.  I was waiting for the week that Governor Blagojevich was going to be the project manager. I was actually hoping that he would show the management skills that a former Governor should have.  In some wierd way I was pulling for Blagojevich to win his task.

Their is not much that I can say about the performance of Team Tenacity.  They did not execute this task with the flawlessness of past weeks tasks.  They just flowed.  Most of this episode highlighted the car wreck that was taking place on the other team.

No details are really needed for this one.  Team RockSolid lost and Team Tenacity won.  In the boardroom.  Blagojevich chose Curtis Stone and Michael Johnson to come back in and face Donald Trump.  This was a bit of a shocker because the Governor delegated a vast majority of this task to Bret Michaels.  The entire team, including Michaels said that Michaels should have been brought back into that boardroom. Blagojevich stuck to his guns which was a bad move.  I admire the fight that Blagojevich had in the boardroom but that fight would have gone further with the right people in there.

So Blagojevich was fired ala Sinbad (You made it too easy for the Trumpster there Blago) and the women have a commanding lead just like last season.  Now the men’s team is down to the stronger players or the players that have the tenacity (ahem) to get the job done.  One thing I have to say.  The love fest will not happen next week on either team.  It appears that all the celebrities that are left are going to have to fight their way through these coming weeks.  It may not be a matter of “throwing someone under the bus” it will come down to performance.

Donald Trump, again they made it easy for you this week.  You get a pass.

Celebrity Apprentice – Week 3 (The Controller)

Posted in News & Entertainment by trickyd313 on April 5, 2010

The task this week was to produce a 4-page advertorial for Norton 360 & Lifelock.  The Project Managers for the two teams were Michael Johnson for Team RockSolid & Summer Sanders for Team Tenacity.  Michael Johnson started out by assigning duties right away.  Bret Michaels immediately buzzed around Johnson until he got an assignment.  Mind you he was already given an assignment.  Clearly there is entertainment value from Michaels surviving long enough to stay on the show.

Sanders took charge of Team Tenacity and made a few decisions but let the team progress on its own.  Sharon Osborne was selected to be the spokesperson for the team but functioned more as a candid diplomat to keep the team on task.  Even though Team Tenacity appeared to be a power keg waiting to explode, they functioned well to produce the advertorial. Sharon Osborne appeared to botch the presentation and the computer failed to project the slide show on the screen for the Norton and Lifelock executives.

Michael Johnson picked Curtis Stone to be the spokesperson for the product. Johnson felt that cooking was big and that people would trust a Chef and a current Celebrity. Bret Michaels thought that it should have been Goldberg.  Johnson listened to Michaels well-reasoned argument for Goldberg, then went with Stone.  Rod Blagojevich thought the decision was a pre-ejaculation.

Michael Johnson’s performance this week made me take a look at management styles.  The four are analysers, supporters, controllers and promoters.  Understand that no style is considered better than the other but knowing the style of the person you are dealing with is very important.  Johnson is clearly a controller.  As a fellow controller I immediately recognized the following traits in Johnson.

  • Task accomplisher
  • Bottom-line results
  • Self-motivated
  • Forward looking
  • Fast decision-maker
  • Initiates activities
  • Disciplined
  • Likes to control others

Controllers are also known to seldom listen to others around them, focusing only on the task at hand. Controllers often stand up for themselves and take full responsibility for their actions.

OK, the Norton and Lifelock executives chose Team Tenacity’s project to be the better of the two and the women won again.  They though that the men should have used Goldberg as the spokesman and that RockSolids advertorial was a bit wordy. Both of these things Johnson vetoed when brought to his attention by Michaels. In the boardroom Michael Johnson stood up for how he managed the project and was unyielding in he views.  He was ready to be fired as the Project Manager of the losing team. Darryl Strawberry was asked who should be fired and he said… “ME!”  What! Did Strawberry not see past seasons of this show? Did he know that you should not ask to be fired?  After a bit of a scolding by The Donald, Strawberry attempted to back pedal a little bit but it didn’t work.  Trump fired Strawberry and told Johnson the he got lucky.

I understand that in the end Strawberry probably wanted to take the hit for the team but I don’t think that this show is about that.  It’s about cunning, shrewdness honesty and winning.  Sooner or later these candidates will figure that out.  Someone need to call Annie Duke from last season.

Donald Trump.  This was an easy one… Fire the one that asked to go home.

Celebrity Apprentice Week 1 – Guess who I’d fire.

Posted in News & Entertainment by trickyd313 on March 15, 2010

One of the few reality shows that I really enjoy started this week. The Apprentice. Of course this year is the return of the Celebrity version of the show. Doesn’t it seem that during the recession that Donald Trump would bring back the regular version of the show and give someone a job? Maybe not. That’s ok though.  I don’t want to see any more Omarosa’s running around out there.

The first episode of the Apprentice had me shouting at the TV again for almost two hours. The show started with a twist. Each team had to pick the others Project Manager for the first task.  It was funny that Bret Michaels knew that he would be picked to be the Project Manager by other team.  Michaels said that he would be picked because they think that he’s been stoned since the third grade. Funny! They did pick him but it was because he had only one hour of sleep.  I think that was a mistake.  The obvious person to pick to lead the men’s team was Rod Blagojevich.  This guy is a disaster waiting to happen. It was funny to see him go back to that “I do not recall” line from his hearings. The men’s team picked Cindy Lauper to be the Project Manager.  Next they each chose names for their teams.  Tenacity v Rock Solid.  The men thought about Rock Hard but stuck with Rock Solid instead (Good Job Bill Goldberg.)

Next was the event.  Operate a Deli, raise money for charity.  Team Rock Solid’s first mistakes was the deli menu.  Hamburgers started out at $100 and they served Truffles. AT A DELI?!  Howevery, Darryl Strawberry proved to be an asset. I’m not sure where he ranked as far as money made but he was in charge of getting big money people in the door.  Chef Curtis Stone’s idea to serve truffles in a deli was WAY out there. A great moment happened when Chef Stone had second thoughts about the menu but Michaels as the Project Manager manned up, grabbed his balls and made a decision to stay with the program. This could save Stone in the boardroom if Rock Solid doesn’t win.  But they did win.

Wait a minute. I mentioned the mens team mistakes yet they won. How did that happen. Team Tenacity REALLY didn’t have  mistakes. They ran a near flawless operation.  Simple, Rock Solid had many more big money donors (Good Job Straw!) But what surprised me more than anything was what happened in the board room.

In the board room the losing team sat before Donald Trump. No one could decide on who should be fired. Carol Leifer was singled out for staying out side too long trying to get customers in when they had a line around the block.  But that was the only negative thing about the entire operation. Cindy Lauper couldn’t pick two people to stay in the board room with her so the entire team stayed (bad move.)

If an operation works flawlessly and the employees do well… The supervisors catch shortcoming and fix the situation… and the overall function of the event is successful what do you judge on? NUMBERS! Tenacity won a $10,000 bonus from Joan Rivers judging of the event and still got beat by $20,000.  In business it is about numbers. Profits. Cost. Labor. Same Store sales, ect. If the team succeeds but the organization fails whose to blame? THE BOSS!!!  MANAGERS – ARE – EXPENDABLE!  Run a good operation, don’t make numbers, you gotta go. So why the hell did Donald Trump fire Carol Leifer over Cindy Lauper?  Lauper couldn’t make a decision on who to bring into the boardroom. Bad move. It just worked out for her because Trump appeared flustered and just went with that ole gut instead of that ole head.

Sorry that you got fired Carol. If it’s any consolation Donald Trump you are not fired but… You are on probation!!!