November 26, 2005

"The Apprentice."

Spoilers follow, of course!

So, our dear boy Adam is gone, and for the first time no white male makes it to the final episode. No white male makes it to the semi-final. Adam was always at a disadvantage, being so terribly young (22), and he should feel great that he made it as far as he did. I think he knew that. In his taxicab confession, he presented his resume for all his future contacts. Smart! They should all do that, rather than rip the other contestants.

Adam remained, every step of the way, a decent, diligent, good kid. And wasn't it cool of him that he didn't make that boring? We felt for the kid. In the clip show that aired on Wednesday, we saw extra footage from the show where they did the education program about sex in the workplace. The expert they brought in to help them asked "Who here has had sex?" He thought that, of course, everyone would raise their hand and then they'd laugh, and it would be an ice breaker. But Adam couldn't raise his hand. Who in the history of the world has had his virginity exposed so blatantly, to so many people? But Adam kept his nerve. He stood up for himself. He's a great guy.

A toast to Adam!

But this week's task? It was a great task. You have all this advertising wrapping, and you're supposed to find something interesting to wrap. But the winner would be chosen by the number of people who call a phone number for a free sample, not by executives judging the quality of the advertising, presenting a new brand to consumers who would pay money for the product. The product was perfume, named after a star, Shania Twain. Having an army of temps with sandwichboards and megaphones was a horrible association for a perfume. But the contestants were right to ignore that, and ignore the creative task of finding something cool to wrap. They concentrated on how they were to be judged: by the number of phone calls. I cringed at the hucksters on the street, who had a negative impact on the brand. It's perfume! The quintessential luxury item. They were hawking it like a strip club!

I loved the way Rebecca and Randal pulled together and won. And I loved the way Trump did something new, sending Alla back to safety and pitting Felica and Adam against each other to debate for their lives. Both of them did a fine job. Never on the show have I seen such an even match. The editors let them have it out for a good, long time. Imagine if job interviews were like that and you had to go head-to-head with one other candidate, pitching yourself as the better of the two!


Glenn Howes said...

I can't believe you didn't mention the poaching of the megaphones. One of the best bits of editing this year, you really expected Capital Edge to burst in the door any second. And another classic Adam moment:

Adam: "Well you can't blame them."
Alla: "Of course, I blame them. You wouldn't do that."
Adam: "Well no..."

Ann Althouse said...

I was just horrified that megaphones were going to be used to sell perfume. And both teams thought of it!

Irene Done said...

Adam became my favorite when he talked of living out a dream both for himself and his father, an immigrant. Genuinely touching. But yes, the big loser of the night was Shania. She could have made up for her perfume's shabby treatment with a glamorous appearance but no. She chose to hide under Jose Eber's hat. Was she taking her brand seriously? Was Coty? What a waste.

katiebakes said...

Your observation about the competitive interview style is an interesting one.

When I was applying for jobs at various financial firms, I heard that one of them used a "group" interview in which you had to do various problem solving activities with 6-8 other applicants.

It sounded like my worst nightmare! A room of conniving, aggressive, Type A personalities, all trying to impress!

I think I would rather be part of a competitive face-off than have to pretend to work together with people who you are really angling against.

Which is, basically, what the entire Apprentice show is about. Glad to hear they threw in that twist at the end.

I've missed this season but from reading your blog it sounds like a good one. Do you think it has been better than past seasons?

Ann Althouse said...

Katie: I think this is the best season. Season 1 was really good too. I barely watched season 3, and I thought season 2 was boring. The characters this season really stand out and have been clearly articulated all along. I bonded with Alla in the first episode and really enjoyed loathing Marcus.

As for your interview, wow. I wonder if things like that are more likely or less likely now that we've seen it on TV in "The Apprentice."

Ruth Anne Adams said...

The shock for me was when Alla was dismissed, and spared, early. She let Adam do that dippy 'wrap the carriages' idea. Felisha objected and Alla failed to solve it then. Alla was as much to blame as Adam for the loss. Why is The Donald protecting her?

Pete said...

ruth anne adams

"Why is The Donald protecting her (Alla)?"

Because she's a former stripper. (Oops. I mean "exotic dancer." one whom at least one man has allegedly killed over.)

Trump is nothing if not a dog.

And, gosh, I like this show. Ann, thanks for blogging. The best season ever? Maybe. Certainly as good as the first. The third was a waste of time.

And, yes, a toast to Adam. A class act.

Hnkn said...

It is probably too late for a comment to get a response on this post, but I was wondering: The teams had $10,000 to spend. Could they have just paid people to call? My thought was, spend $500 on signs/megaphones, $500 on phones, and offer people $5 each to call for a free sample of perfume. They would have crushed the other team with nearly twice as many calls with less fuss.