April 16, 2004

The Apprentice: Pre-scripting, Post-scripting, and Omarosing. Was The Apprentice scripted? In a way. The cast was chosen in part to provide entertainment as they interacted, and the competitions were scripted like an improvisation exercise, designed to maximize drama and interaction. Clearly, once the footage existed, stories were created through editing.

I think someone had to be keeping an eye on whether the emerging story was going to produce interesting enough footage and that probably led to giving some contestants some direction. For example, maybe three people believe they are seriously trying to get a business deal to work, but the fourth is told to go ahead and make trouble for them, by oh, maybe taking a nap on the floor or taking an important phone call and then ignoring it. Things needed to get out of control, chaos-making was needed. These people were able to make a practical plan and stick to it, but somehow, things always turned frantic. I think the producers kept an eye on who could be the best chaos maker. For a while it seemed like Sam, but clearly Omarosa got the part. She was obviously the star of the show. Bill "won" and has the job (presumably--though how many times did Trump assure him that he'd be somebody's underling, kept on a short leash?), but Omarosa is the one everyone wants to see more of. She could very well have perceived this opportunity on her own, however, and realized that she wasn’t going to win the actual competition or even that it wasn't worth winning, but that there was an alternative competition, that she could set the terms of, to become a big celebrity with a future in show business.

A general life principle can be extracted: When you are invited to play in someone else's game, identify a competition that you can win and win it. Let's just call that Omarosing.

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