The Apprentice Season 10, ep. 1
Donald Trump is back with a twist on the usual non-celebrity version of the Apprentice. He decided to focus it on those laid off during the current recession. Here is the cast of Apprentice 10, Second Chance:
Tyana Alvarado Age: 41 Hometown: Miami, FL Career: Unemployed real estate agent and title-holder of "Miss Cougar California"
Kelly Smith Beaty Age: 30 Hometown: Fayetteville, GA Career: Unemployed public relations professional
Poppy Carlig Age: 24 Hometown: Richmond, CA Career: Recent college graduate
Stephanie Castagnier Age: 34 Hometown: Chicago, IL Career: Non-profit founder
Nicole Chiu Age: 27 Hometown: Palos Verdes, CA Career: Unemployed attorney
Alex Delgado Age: 43 Hometown: Santa Ynez, CA Career: Truck driver and unemployed mechanical engineer.
Gene Folkes Age: 46 Hometown: Wylie, Texas Career: Entrepreneur
Wade Hanson Age: 33 Hometown: Woodbury, MN Career: Realtor
David Johnson Age: 34 Hometown: Portage, MI Career: Unemployed account manager and part-time stand-up comedian
Brandy Kuentzel Age: 30 Hometown: San Francisco, CA Career: Corporate attorney turned cupcake entrepreneur
Steuart Martens Age: 27 Hometown: Washington, DC Career: Entrepreneur
Liza Mucheru-Wisner Age: 30 Hometown: Corpus Christi, TX Career: Entrepreneur and part-time aerobics instructor
Clint Robertson Age: 40 Hometown: Austin, TX Career: Unemployed accountant and real estate attorney
Mahsa Saeidi-Azcuy Age: 29 Hometown: Brooklyn, NY Career: Assistant District Attorney and online TV host
Anand Vasudev Age: 31 Hometown: Tampa, FL Career: Entrepreneur
James Weir Age: 31 Hometown: New York, NY Career: Unemployed attorney and volunteer
These individuals are hungry and you can bet thirsty for blood whenever they can gain an advantage over their competition. It's going to be brutal!
Trump added that all the above are victims of the recession and that the show will be spread over 13 weeks. This was a 2-hour opening show to introduce the cast and succeeded as such. Future episodes appear to be only 1 hour, which based on what I observed of Celebrity Apprentice 2 was an excellent decision. Trump tells the team of men and the team of women to go and create a team name and nominate their Project Manager (hereinafter P.M.) for the first task.
The men were able to agree on Octane for their name. They considered Phoenix (as did the women) but neither chose it. Nobody volunteered to be first task P.M.for the men, so gene stepped up. for the women, they liked the name Fortitude (a 4-syllable mouthful compared to 2-syllable Octane). Nicole volunteered for P.M. and was acceptable to her team. Historically on the Apprentice, I believe that the winning first task P.M. has received a better reward than most of the later tasks, so volunteering to be first is smart. Both teams rejoined Trump, who introduced them to his Eyes and Ears, his children Donald Jr. and recently married Ivanka.
The task will be turning some vacant space on the first floor of buildings in the Soho district (South of Houston, one of the more funky ones in New York City) into more usable office space suitable for a variety of different types of offices. The evaluation criteria include originality, functionality and execution. Donald Trump himself, an expert in NYC real estate, will be the sole judge of this task. He stated that the prize for the winning PM is really special and it is reasonable to expect that he will make good on that promise.
The teams get to their assigned spaces, which are different but share the characteristics of open with lots of windows and high ceilinged lofts. Gene started with the concept of Open Office space as the guiding design principle. He wants the walls repainted in brighter colors, green plants brought in and the open nature of the space maintained. One of his teammates said “Gene had no idea what that meant.”
Tyana and Poppy were asked to join Nicole on some mission. Mahsa, obviously pissed at getting left out of the action, s critical of that. Tyana, who had the only real estate background among Fortitude, volunteered to select the colors since her knowledge of spaces is better than the rest.
Architectural Renderers come for about 3 hours to examine the space and turn the concepts their assign team is discussing into drawings. Anand and James sat with the man doing this for Octane.
Brandy and Tyana stayed behind for supplies for painting and cleaning. Both team elected to focus early attention on getting all gunk off the windows and one or more fresh coats of paint on all walls. Nicole and Stefanie took responsibility for the electronics.
Gene wanted to order trees, flowers and plants. He assigned that to David, who also had another assignment to complete first. Clint attempted to steal the developed list of who to call and this led to a serious confrontation.
Ivanka arrived to check on progress, which she deemed quite slow. In an aside, she said that she would not want to be the P.M. who lost on this task with The Donald the sole judge. Since Gene was away, it was James who greeted her, answered questions and gave her a tour and overview of the Octane design principles.
A delegation from Octane visited Cort Furniture Rental and promptly ordered 4 desks and 8 chairs. Another delegation from Fortitude also visited Cort and Tyana whizzed through and got the job done in 45 minutes. Nicole was very impressed and stated that her opinion of Tyana had shifted from least useful to most useful. Don Jr. happened to be visiting then and recorded in his memory that shift.
Mahsa, recognizing that not contributing visibly to the team effort creates many risks if fortitude should lose, decided to pitch in on menial labor. The following day she insisted on being part of a delegation buying things where she was totally superfluous. She apparently wanted to claim “credit” wherever possible to protect herself from being backstabbed. Now, who would want to back stab an acid tongued viper like her?
Nicole liked white leather partitions so they ordered some for where there were no walls but space separation was still needed but flexible. Tyana insisted on adding a touch of class by adding a portrait of a businessman from many decades back.
Don Jr. visited the Fortitude space in the hour before their presentation. He deemed it a mess and that the leadership on fortitude was insufficient.
James had taken a lot of artistic license in painting bold angles and colors on the walls. Gene did not like them, but it was too late to take them off. James had to finish u in the same style. Gene noted that rugs needed to be moved and the furniture did not arrive until 30 minutes before presentation time. The end result, according to a biased Anand, was a beautiful work space.
Fortitude was ready for the presentation. Trump arrived and was greeted by Tyana who led him to Nicole. Nicole showed him around. He gave no hint of his real observations. The same happened with the Octane presentation.
It’s time for the first Boardroom of Apprentice10. Trump revealed that he did not really like either space very much, so there was no clear winner. However, he might still choose to award a victory to the better team. Gene was reminded that the rugs in one room were not taped down and a cameraman had a nasty fall which could have been serious. David said he was proud of Gene by the end even though they were at odds earlier.
Trump asked Gene who was his team’s weakest link. He tried to avoid answering that questions but Trump wasn’t letting him off the hook. He said David or James. Trump asked about conflict and was told there was major conflict between Clint and David. David said he tried to pick up the ball when Clint was called away on Audio-Visual work. Trump observed that Clint was the only member of Octane without a tie. He strongly recommended that Clint rethink that, as all job applicants were dressing formally these days.
Nicole was asked by Trump what she thought of her contributions to her team. Tyana jumped in to state that Nicole did not lead or manage. Brandy said that Nicole is a leader, but preferred the delegation style. Mahsa jumped in with great intensity (typical of the legal profession) and accused Nicole of critical errors, ignoring Tyana’s advice and being off doing minor things for the 3 hours when the architectural renderer visited. She would have gone on forever but Trump finally decided to cut her off rather emphatically.
It is obvious that Mahsa hated Nicole, but what difference would it make to her?
Trump disliked the old painting because it clashed with the type of building concept they were trying to get across. Trump liked the TV on the wall over the Octane space conference room. He thought that conference room was small (seating 6) but Octane members defended that design with evidence that there were other spaces to achieve the same purpose.
Don Jr. and Ivanka both weigh on for the Octane space and Trump says they are right. He declared Octane the winner because it was more modern and had a cooler feel. P.M. Gene will be the first winning P.M. to get the one-on-one coaching advice of top business leaders around the country and he has the privilege of receiving his from Donald Trump.
Octane was excused to watch the first part of the ongoing Boardroom from their suite. Trump asked Tyana why Fortitude lost? Her response was lack of leadership. Lisa said the creative aspects (designs and colors) were off. Design decisions were made by either Tyana or Nicole. Trump asked Brandy who he should fire and she responded Nicole. Trump addressed the women and it plain English told them they were killers! He has never done that to my knowledge and I have seen every Apprentice episode. Ivanka told Trump in an aside that Mahsa was brutal (as if he had not already figured that out for himself). Trump asked Poppy who he should fire and she responded that nobody did a bad job. Lisa said ultimately the responsibility was with Nicole as P.M. Nicole was asked which 2 fortitude members she would bring back to round 2 in the boardroom but that did not happen yet. Mahsa claimed innocence by stating that “I did everything,” having deliberately gotten her finger into a little bit of many different pies. Nicole was excused of not defending herself and of all her team piling on. Now the others are excused and it is Mahsa, Tyana and Nicole in the Boardroom with the 3 Trumps and cameras.
Mahsa is whining that she does not understand why she is there. How about because you are incredibly obnoxious and who wouldn’t take the opportunity to get rid of you?
Nicole stated that now she will defend herself since the time is right. She said she led by collaboration and delegation, but her teammates were not prepared for those responsibilities and wanted somebody to tell them what to do so they could focus on execution and keep low profiles. She accused Tyana and Mahsa of not being team players. I though this was a little harsh on Tyana but right on for Mahsa. Ivanka told Mahsa that she is a bit of an abrasive personality. She asked Nicole why she did not regroup as a leader. Nicole then makes a big mistake. She stated that Mahsa’s sin is disloyal but the individual who should be fired is Tyana. Don Jr. tells how Nicole changed her assessment of Tyana from negative to positive between day 1 and day 2, so we are now seeing another position on the Nicole assessment of Tyana. I think that was the nail in the coffin. Nicole said that she hated the painting which helped bring her down. Trump fired Nicole.
In the post-mortem, Trump said that he really like Nicole and considers her a leader. He would contact the Miss Universe pageant to set up an interview for her. The main reason to be on Apprentice 10 is the opportunity to network with sponsors, executives and guest stars to expand their networking base and create potential new career opportunities. It sounds like Trump is delivering on those to help these individuals.