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The Apprentice - Week 13

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Last night's episode was delicious. As Tammy predicted, Allie and Roxanne couldn't handle a non-sales task. Allie broke every rule in the book. She ignored the needs of the customer (the hotel employees), she dismissed her teammate's ideas, and she pretended to know more than the design expert. Plus, she was just plain rude and obnoxious.

The weird dynamic between Allie and Roxanne was fascinating. Roxanne knew Allie was wrong to go with skirts instead of pants for the front desk workers, but the friendship prevented her from putting up a fight. Roxanne seemed shocked by the way Allie treated the designer, but she kept her mouth shut once again. Meanwhile, Allie treated Roxanne like she wasn't even part of the team. Some friend. I wrote a story about being friends with your employees a couple of years ago, and the general rule of thumb seemed to be that if you can compartmentalize the different facets of your relationship, it can work out. But that's incredibly hard to do. Obviously, Allie and Roxanne are not mature enough to handle a complex relationship.

Lee and Sean, on the other hand, struck the perfect balance between having fun, being pals, and getting the job done. They have a good relationship, but there's a healthy amount of distance...they weren't hugging and kissing every five seconds like phony Allie and Roxanne.

Relationship dynamics aside, Gold Rush had the clear advantage. Sean obviously has good taste, and Lee didn't do so badly either. Even though Sean was the style guru on the team, he had no problem taking Lee's suggestions regarding design and fabric. That's a sign of a good leader. Lee's biggest contribution was listening to the hotel workers and realizing that they didn't want a drastic change or trendy uniforms. They just wanted to be comfortable and look nice. Sure, Gold Rush's designs weren't exactly cutting edge, but the fabric was breathable and the clothes were well suited for all different body types.

The same cannot be said for Synergy's ridiculous designs. As Ivanka pointed out, not many women would look good in Synergy's puffy-sleeved get-ups. I was getting uncomfortable just looking at the material. I can't imagine changing sheets and vacuuming in such a tight-fitting, synthetic fabric. And why did Allie decide to break the mold by putting the cooks in khaki? Didn't she stop to ask why cooks always wear white? She clearly missed the whole point of the task, which was to win over the staffers. The outfits belonged in a B movie about hotel workers, not real life.

Needless to say, I was very happy that Sean and Lee won. (I felt terrible for Sean when the women returned from the boardroom and proceeded to tear apart Tammy. I don't know if it's just an act, but Sean really seems to have a thing for Tammy. I'll have to keep an eye on them at the finale party.) The reward was pretty great, the next best thing to having dinner with the Donald himself. Ivanka and Don Jr. seem like nice people.

The same cannot be said for evil Allie and Roxanne, especially after the boardroom massacre. I wasn't surprised at all by the fact that they ripped each other apart. Allie clearly deserved more of the blame, but two nicer people might have figured out a way to get around the slugfest. Remember when Lee helped prep Lenny for the boardroom, and defended him vehemently? If the women had any sense, they would have figured out that the Donald admires loyalty (most of the time, at least). When he tried to pit them against each other, they should have stood their ground and shared the blame. That was their only chance at survival. Instead, they attacked each other like two angry dogs. In the end, the Donald made the right choice by firing them both. I'm only shocked they made it this far. I was also surprised by the taxi cab confession. The fact that Allie and Roxanne could switch from attacking one another back to the best friends routine shows how phony they really are. Good riddance!

Even though this season's contestants have been the worst yet, Sean and Lee aren't bad. I could see either one of them turning into the next Bill Rancic. I guess we'll find out in the next couple of weeks!

Last updated: May 23, 2006




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