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Lessons From The Apprentice (6.13 – Los Angeles)

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The Candidates

Kinetic: Muna, Kristine, Derek, Marisa, Angela, Jenn, Heidi, Aimee

Arrow: Nicole, Frank, Michelle, James, Carey, Tim, Martin, Aaron, Stefanie, Surya


The remaining candidates get to meet the past five Apprentice winners. Oops, four. Bill got called away on business… presumably Trump business.

The remaining candidates were told to divide up into two teams and then decide who they want to bring back to join them on the final task. Frank and Nicole chose to have Surya back along with Tim. Nobody on that team got along with Surya, but they bring him back? This ought to be fun.

The Task:

The teams are to write, direct and produce a sixty second commercial for Renewzit Air Freshener. The commercial will premier at a movie theater in front of a live audience. The execs will judge the commercials.


F/N met with the execs, got their demographic info and found that mothers with kids is their target demographic. They came up with an idea of a mother visiting her child in the hospital so she brings the air fresheners to make it more like home.

Frank immediately takes exception to that concept and confides in Tim. He’s acting like he’s a hired player not one of the candidates. To keep the hospital scene “funny” Frank has a “bum” in the bed next to them to add the “odor”.

When the execs showed up Nicole stops production to ensure there was a product in the scene. The execs loved it while the others just saw it as brown nosing. In the editing room James and Nicole seemed to have different agendas. Nicole wanted to run with it and Frank just wanted input. The “solution” they came up with is for Frank to write down his notes so he does not interrupt Nicole.


J/S took a tour of the sound stage and found a plethora of options. They met with the execs to get background/vision. Their vision of the commercial is a dad on trial for stinking up the family home.

James has the role of directing the commercial regardless of his admitted lack of experience. Stefanie gets concerned that James is taking too much time with multiple takes. By the end of the day, it seemed that they did not have all the footage they needed to fill the gaps. James knows it’s his fault, but he feels that he’s the creative one so he can fix it.

The result:

As cheesy as the courtroom scene was, it actually played really well and the value of the product came across strong.

The second commercial was a bit scattered, somewhat of a dual plot, but the point was made.

I think the courtroom commercial played best.

The execs like that James made the actors feel good and feel he and Stefanie worked together as a team. They felt Nicole was smart, but she didn’t do much while Frank directed. Another exec felt that they should have worked better as a team.

The Boardroom:

After getting a synopsis from the fired candidates, Trump sends the four candidates home for a week until the final episode. Anybody else get the sense that NBC is burning through these final six candidates? Instead of running six episodes they fired two last week, and had the final four perform the final task instead of the final two. Can we all agree this is the last season for the Apprentice?

Winner PredictionI’d like to see Stefanie win, but I think Frank has it in the bag. Mostly because the courtroom commercial impressed the execs and mostly, they saw him running the show.

Lessons Learned:

  • Leave people wanting more, rather than dragging something out past it’s prime. Eliminating three episodes from the season was probably a smart move.
  • If you are passionate about what you do, that can often help you succeed despite your annoyances and incompetences.

What would you have done?

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