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The Apprentice - Weeks 7 and 8

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Lenny really blew it last night. I know he's never been a people person, but I didn't expect him to choke that badly with the Ace Hardware execs. The silence during that meeting was painful. Lenny's inane comment about Ace being a small town store was even worse than his silence. I understand what he meant, but it came out all wrong. Way to insult the judges, Lenny.

Charmaine was right when she suggested that Gold Rush prep for the Ace meeting, but she's clearly not assertive enough. A few episodes ago, she set up that ill-fated meeting that led to Bryce's downfall. Instead of insisting that they leave the loft, she waited for Bryce to take the lead...and the fall. That seems to be part of Charmaine's strategy. She makes a suggestion for the record, then sits back and watches as her project leader blows it. Maybe she doesn't have 15,000 faces, as Lenny proclaimed, but she definitely has two. And maybe if she whined less, people would actually listen to her when she makes a good point. Needless to say, I'm not a big Charmaine fan, even though she does have some good qualities.

As Bill aptly pointed out, the challenge was over when Gold Rush blew the initial meeting. If someone had asked the execs what they were looking for, they might have realized that the all-music room didn't encourage team work, which should have been the main objective. The room did look nice, and I'm sure some of the kids will enjoy it, but the judges' desires should have come first.

As for Synergy, Michael drove me crazy throughout the entire episode. He performs well when he's being managed by someone else, but he's obviously a terrible leader. He was unwilling to delegate tasks, yet it took hiim forever to make a simple decision. He needs a lot more confidence. In the end, though, the concept wound up working, thanks mostly to Michael's hard-working underlings. His presentation was pretty good as well.

Lenny's presentation, on the other hand, was a disaster. He blamed the language barrier and tiredness, but I think he just choked. He's been in the U.S. for 14 years, and he's perfectly clear when he's telling off his teammates, so the language excuse is pretty lame. That said, I felt bad for him and I thought it was nice, though bizarre, that Lee was trying to help. I'm surprised that those two wound up being friends after the whole religious holiday debate. It was very risky for Lee to be so loyal to Lenny, especially in the boardroom. Sometimes Trump slams contestants for putting friendship above business. This time, however, the Donald was clearly impressed by Lenny's loyalty. It made for one of the strangest boardroom scenes ever. I loved when Lenny said that he painted the room red to give props to his native country. It's too bad that, in the end, the Donald had no choice but to fire "the Russian." I will miss Lenny a lot, though I know he deserved the boot.

I like how the "Lee is a rebel" theme continued into the second episode last night. I thought Lee had an excellent point about the sandwich prices. I also liked his idea to sell a huge amount of P'Eatzzas to one person. That said, his negotiating skills leave a lot to be desired. George would have been appalled when Lee offered the potential customer $3, the rock bottom price, on the second go around. Hello? He should have cut the price from $7.99 to $5, then worked down from there. Even though the negotiation was a bust, Lee earned a lot of points from the Donald for thinking big. He's becoming a real contender.

Leslie, on the other hand, was clueless most of the time. Sure, the cooler was a good idea, but it all came down to price.Why didn't she listen to Lee when he said that the store managers thought $7.99 was too much? That's more than a fancy Cosi sandwich! As George pointed later on, Leslie clearly doesn't have what it takes to be the next Apprentice.

I really wanted Synergy to lose last night, just to see Andrea pummelled in the boardroom. I can't stand her smug, self-satisfied attitude for one more week. I couldn't believe her when she insisted on handing out those cheesy hats. Who the heck wants a 7-11 cap? And how do hats relate to sandwiches? In addition to being a dictator, she's a terrible salesperson. She's more offputting than the nasty-looking P'Eattzza sandwich.

I'm getting tired of Gold Rush losing every week. Hopefully the Donald will shake up the teams again in the next episode. It would be great if Michael landed back on Synergy's side. Right now, my money's on Lee and Charmaine for the final two.

Last updated: Apr 11, 2006




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