The Apprentice Episode 3: Who drinks that stuff anyway (my title, not theirs)?

Danny and guitar. He likes Verna. He likes to save people...he's too compassionate for his own good (hey, don't blast me'll see). He tries to pull together a "support group" for Verna which pretty much ticks off everyone. Verna decides she's out of there. If it's isn't going to work for you  the best thing you can do is go. Erin baby talks and that really bugs me...I'll eat my hat if she makes it into the final 4.

Bren says you "have to have a burning desire to be here"..he's right. Or else you have an acid reflux problem and you should definitely not book a performance on Saturday Night Live. But if all else fails, do a jig.

Trump Square and Nestle'/Nescafe/Taster's Choice. Yowza..the product placement here is making my head spin and who drinks that stuff anyway? It is freeze dried coffee. They take something that is mostly water and then FREEZE DRY it. That can't be good. Hmm, maybe that is the point. The teams are asked to create a PR campaign. Aha! This one is about promotion and product awareness (and interestingly, the company just got sued by the guy whose face is in the Taster's Choice label, but otherwise, I have not heard the words "Taster's Choice" pass the lips of anyone since 1978). I would have asked Trump if they have the option of naming it Emergency Coffee or Camping Trip Coffee...Coffee Sand for people who don't like water (kind of like pop rocks but not poppy). Am I turning into a Seattle coffee snob? Is it just me? Trump says Nescafe is "really good"...jeesh! Please, tell me if you know someone who drinks this kind of coffee...I need to know.

Magna project manager...Danny, the singing promotion guy (hey, he might actually drink freeze dried coffee so there could be some logic there). Michael starts his crazy talk with "Everybody loves a European supermodel"...say what? To fill up prime time TV time, we see lots of shots of Michael doing nothing except starting fights. I'm sorry, but I saw this coming. Michael...lazy...blah,blah, blah.

Over at Net Worth, Chris explains that screaming stuff is a great promotion tactic and we'll get to see him do this later (even the guy in the foam coffee cup looked annoyed). Angie, project manager for Net Worth, comes up with the All American theme. If by All American she means nobody in any other country would drink freeze dried coffee, I predict a winner. I truly didn't see the connection, but it won't end up mattering that much because Magna comes up with nada. And to make matters worse, they outsource nada to an event management company...and none to quickly or cheaply.

Danny can't make a decision and now I am starting to understand the wardrobe a little bit more. Danny's a nice guy, a decent troubadour but not a good manager...anyone surprised? Someone mentions the HP iPod and though it has little to nothing to do with coffee, they have to go with something...any word that will get peoples' attention when Danny sings it to them. iPod rhymes with mod, fraud, maude, broad...we have a winner! Glad they didn't pick the theme of "orange".

Michael says "people with money don't walk, they drive" and so it is here that we see that Michael, despite his credentials, has no understanding of the concept of a target market segment. Like the guys in the big limos are chugging down that Nescafe.

Net Worth cranks at their little political rally and now I see a cohesive idea. Taster's CHOICE...get it? Cute. And it sounds like they actually made the product more appealing by serving it cold. I would have called this elegant execution if Chris wasn't yelling and then asking why nobody wanted his coffee. Oh, plus you are not allowed to use the word "elegant" in reference to anything that involves a coffee cup of those weird NY street laws.

We get to the board room and the Nescafe folks have to make up some nice stuff to say about Magna. Otherwise, there would be no suspense leading up to Net Worth's win. This is called the producers dumbing down to their audience and I wish they would stop. Networth gets a cool helicopter ride. Magna gets the board room.

The team tries to get Trump to overturn Michael's exempt status but we all know it's futile. Danny brings him into the board room anyway. Not a smart move but it won't matter because as much as they try to make us think it won't, we all know what will happen (I'm not letting those producers fool me anymore). Stephanie shouldn't have been there. Michael forgot that there were cameras filming and wonders why he won't end up as Trump's new Apprentice. Danny gets the boot, which leaves a nice imprint on his polyester pants.

At the end of the day, a bad teammate is bad, but a bad leader is deadly. Next week's episode is sponsored by the Target on Michael's back. OK, not really, but I see Danny Deutsch and someone is going to do something "offensive". You know how bad it is for them to call it "offensive" after last year's advertising challenge and also after all the "offensive" stuff that has happened already this year? The show might have to move over to Sirius radio. Whee!


Comments (15)

  1. mike w says:

    Nice summary. I am glad guitar boy is gone. It was a set up by the producers. Had to be. No one was going to think he had a chance. And seriously. The constant WWF posturing and bleeping swearing between what I call the blue collar boys? Yeah, even if either got to the final four, Trump wouldn’t want either of those clowns in his board room let alone on a construction site. I look forward to your next Apprentice assessment. And the other good stuff you post too. 🙂


  2. JimmyM says:

    I’m right on your tail now, Heather.


  3. zzz says:

    I somehow find it hard to believe for her to quit. There have been many times in the shows by producer Mark Burnett (survivor, apprentice etc) that things somewhat unbelievable happen on regular pace (once twice every season of any show) that it makes it hard to belive that the person involved does not get any $$$ through the backdoor for creating the drama that draws more viewers. And I would claim it would also be stupid to not use such backdoor to create drama, these shows can be made dull too (A local non-english version of Apprentice that runs here is example of that).

  4. And, like it or not, anonymous comments from an "Executive Producer" at NBC don’t carry a lot of weight, especially when deriding a company based on an individual’s performance.

    And, yes, I’m in last place again this week 🙁

  5. Devin Reams says:

    I agree, the producers do dumb it down a bit… but that’s reality TV. People can’t take all of this at face value and assume it’s how things are done… but they do.

    Wow, graced by the likes of a producer… haha, that’s fresh.

    PS: I finally made the 1 point jump to 5th, right behind ya, Heather. 😉

  6. Heather says:

    Jeremy, Devin, I deleted the comment. Anyone who comments on this blog and pretends to be someone else can pretty much expect the same. It’s just lame. Especialy the fact the they didn’t even know who Mark Burnett is(not sure if I spelled his name right)

    Jeremy-I have faith that you will move up in the game. Keep at it. Or at the very least, expect to see me at the bottom of the rank too, if I keep playing like I did last week.

    I need to do a score recap…JimmyM shot to the top. Devin’s moving up.

  7. Geoff Walker says:

    Heather, I like what you’re doing but I’d still like to see more analysis and less summarization. You have to assume that almost everyone reading your posts has seen the episode and knows what happened. For instance, how about the top 5 idiocies of each episode? (I see so many incredibly dumb behaviors each week.) Or, major strategic mistakes? Or, demonstrations of incredible lack of basic business knowledge? Or, exhibitions of gross immaturity? Or, just plain stupid mistakes? Or (if there actually are any) smart moves?

    What I really don’t get is how these people made it through the screening interviews. THIS is what bubbles to the top of 100K interviews (or whatever the number was)? Yes, I know this is a reality show, so the contestants are chosen for their interesting personalities as well as their skills and experience. But come on, very few of these people would survive in any serious business enterprise that I’ve ever seen. I’ve worked for 30+ years in high tech, and creating successful products takes people that are a heck of a lot more intelligent, self-controlled, teamwork-oriented and mature than this bunch. I just don’t get it. Couldn’t they find people more skilled and knowledgeable who still have some interesting personality characteristics? These people are so unskilled in basic business (and I mean all of them, both the BS and SS) that it’s actually painful to watch most of their concepts and execution. Maybe that’s the point? If so, then doesn’t Trump care that the show is devaluing his business enterprises?

    I just wish the show offered more value (through smart ideas and good execution) rather than snapshots of stupid people bumbling through sandbox games. It’s starting to lose its appeal, for me anyway.

    One last shot — I wonder why there wasn’t any mention of how the teams did against their $75K budget in Episode 3? My gut feel is that the winning team went substantially over their budget.

  8. Heather says:

    Wow Geoff…that makes it sound like it’s my job or something…as much as I enjoy the Apprentice, it’s not something I want to spend that much time on. My Apprentice updates are pretty quick stream of consciousness ramblings. Turning them into too much of a strategic (hee!) analysis could take out some of the fun (for me anyway). So I’ll probably just keep them as they are but I appreciate your feedback…if I can work in more observations without extra work, I will.

    Part of the appeal of the show for me is the number of ridiculous things that apprentae do. Pure entertainment. I never really thought they were trying to pick the best contestants they could find. I mean…Brian? Some of them are in there for pure comic relief (or fellow contestant aggravation).

    I don’t know…I guess I don’t take it all that seriously.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Mike thinks I’m the un-Scoble…or something like that.

  10. mike w says:

    Un Scoble? Naw, just not Scoble. 🙂 I was actually watching a Channel9 video this evening and thought it might actually be fun for them to come by and check out the Marketing folks and see how you all are set up. Would be different than the normal tours of MSR and such I am sure.

  11. Eusebio Rufian-Zilbermann says:

    For me, an interesting question being presented is: who would you select first as a no-hire? The worst team member or the person responsible for the key mistake that brought the loss to the team?

    Usually I would think that the person who takes responsibility and makes a decision, even if it is the wrong one, deserves at least some credit for having stepped up. In this particular episode, Danny didn’t even earn this respect (at least from the scenes that were shown).

    Probably it doesn’t matter, both are no-hires and it is just a matter of time.

  12. Heather says:

    Hmm, well I haven’t seen this week’s episode yet. I still think you have to do the job you have. If you step up to be a leader you have to be a leader. So my question would be who did the worst job in their role (as leader OR as team member). I think that was Danny. Also, Danny lacked a competency to do his job, he didn’t have the aptitude. Michael was an attitude problem. Better chance of giving someone a quick attitude adjustment (boot-to-rear-end, I guess) than making them good (I know it’s a generalization and someone will disagree, but it is surely more likely that Michael will stop ACTING like a jerk than Danny would suddenlty become dicisive and good leader).

    At the end of the day, they both gotta go. But Danny had to go first. Of course, just my .02.

  13. Steve R says:

    Heather: My grandparents drink Taster’s Choice!

    Jeremy: I finally broke the last place tie with you!

    Good luck tonight everyone.

  14. Heather says:

    Steve—-see, they totally missed their target market. Maybe they could have done a Jack Benny theme…or big band, or groucho marx. Something informed by their customer segment. That’s pretty basic marketing stuff. Makes me wonder about their candidate selection criteria really.

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